Breakfast & Books… lots and lots of books.

Posted March 2, 2011 by in Breakfast & Books / 2 Comments

Breakfast & Books

This week’s breakfast was nice and uneventful.  Everyone was using their inside voices and no one offered me a free kids meal.  The food was delicious and I ate too much, as usual.  It has been a VERY good week for book purchases, too.

Madame Bovary & Nature Girl
These are the books I bought at Barnes & Noble.  I’ve been putting off buying Madame Bovary for some reason, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out on the hardcover edition, so I bought it today.  I found Nature Girl on one of the bargain shelves for $5.98 and since it was also on my wish list, I grabbed it.  Then I sat down to type up this post tonight and remembered that I already ordered Nature Girl from Better World Books (coming later in the post), so I guess I will be making a trip back to Barnes & Noble tomorrow to return the copy I bought today.  What an airhead.  I was also hoping to find a book for Ashley titled The Steps Across the Water, but it wasn’t in stock.  I’ll have to order that from Amazon.

The Word, Mirkwood and Salinger biography
Speaking of Amazon, I found a couple good bargains there this week, too.  I ordered all three of these within the last week and the last of them was delivered today:

The Word: Black Writers Talk About the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing by Marita Golden ($9.74 on Amazon) – I learned about this book from Twitter and knew right away that it’s a book I’ll enjoy reading.  It includes interviews with Chimamanda N. Adichie, Faith Adiele, Pearl Cleage, J. California Cooper, Ellis Cose, Edwidge Danticat, John Hope Franklin, Nikki Giovanni, Wil Haygood, Mat Johnson, Edward P. Jones, David Levering Lewis and Nathan McCall.  From Amazon: “In these thirteen strikingly candid interviews, bestselling authors, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, and writers picked by Oprah’s Book Club discuss how the acts of reading and writing have deeply affected their lives by expanding the conceptual borders of their communities and broadening their sense of self.”

Mirkwood: A Novel about J.R.R. Tolkien by Steve Hillard – I learned about this book when the Guardian posted the link for this article about it on Twitter.  This is a self-published work of fiction with J.R.R. Tolkien as one of the main characters.  The Tolkien estate is demanding that Hillard discontinue selling the book and DESTROY every single copy.  You can read all of the details in the article.  This irritated me quite a bit and the book sounds good, so I decided to buy a copy to support the author (and just in case the Tolkien family wins the lawsuit and the book is destroyed).

Salinger: A Biography by Paul Alexander – I learned about this biography while catching up on my New York Times Book Review subscription.  The book being reviewed was actually a newer Salinger biography written by Kenneth Slawenski.  It mentioned this biography by Alexander (published last year) and I was going to put them both on my wish list.  When I looked this one up on Amazon and saw that it was only $2.57, I just clicked the “Add to Cart” button.  The shipping cost more than the book.  Hahaha!  I couldn’t pass up that price, though.

Better World Books
I also ordered a bunch of books from Better World Books (BWB) this week.  For those of you who are not familiar with BWB, here is the overview of what they do (taken from the BWB website—see their entire description, mission statement and overall impact here):

We were founded in 2002 by three friends from the University of Notre Dame who started selling textbooks online to earn some money, and ended up forming a pioneering social enterprise — a business with a mission to promote literacy.

We’re not a traditional company with an add-on “cause” component. Social and environmental responsibility is at the core of our business. You could say it’s in our DNA.

We’re breaking new ground in online bookselling. We believe that education and access to books are basic human rights. That’s why books sold on help fund high-impact literacy projects in the United States and around the world.

All books are available with free shipping worldwide. And in case you’re concerned about your eco-footprint, every order shipped from Mishawaka is carbon balanced with Green-e Climate certified offsets from 3Degrees, a leading green power and carbon balancing services firm.

Here’s the best part: In addition to selling new titles, Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of over 1,800 college campuses and partnerships with over 2,000 libraries nationwide. So far, the company has converted more than 53 million books into over $8.6 million in funding for literacy and education. In the process, we’ve also diverted more than 26,000 tons of books from landfills.

Because we believe that most every book has lasting value and the potential to help change the world, we see our job as helping to find new homes for unwanted books. Thus far, we’ve donated 3.3 million books to partner programs around the world. Our five primary literacy partners are Books for AfricaRoom to ReadWorldfundthe National Center for Family Literacy, and Invisible Children. Good company, no doubt.

Every book purchased from Better World Books contributes to individual literacy throughout the world and the promise of a better life. Clearly, we can’t do this work without our customers. That’s why we’re so passionate about trying to offer the best price, selection, customer service, and overall shopping experience.

Anyway, they sent me an email reminding me that their bargain bin books are 3 for $10 or 4 for $12, so I decided to see if any of my wish list books were in their bargain bin.  I purchased eight books for $24 (and paid 32¢ for carbon neutral shipping) and I was able to cross six more books off my wish list:

  • Mrs. Dalloway — Virginia Woolf
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany — John Irving (wish list)
  • Heart of Darkness — Joseph Conrad
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God — Zora Neale Hurston (wish list)
  • The Virgin Suicides — Jeffrey Eugenides (wish list)
  • The Great Gatsby — F. Scott Fitzgerald (wish list)
  • Nature Girl — Carl Hiaasen (yep, there it is, also a wish list book)
  • Expensive People — Joyce Carol Oates (wish list)

So, it has been a great week for book bargains.  Now Eric and I just need to build some bookshelves to take care of the major book-overflow issue.  If you’re in the market for some new reads, please take the time to check out Better World Books—what could be better than shopping for books, being environmentally friendly and helping fund literacy programs all at the same time?  Happy reading!



  • Wow…you got some great ones! I have all of the ones on your list except for the last two. I love BetterWorldBooks too! I try to order from them most of the time because I support their cause, although I have to order from Amazon and B&N sometimes. Did you know I’m doing a $10 BWB gift certificate giveaway over at my challenge blog? Well, yes ma’am I am! Here’s the link, if you want to enter:

    Happy reading!

    • I did not know that. I’ll check it out… thanks!