Two days ago, I blogged about the Singapore Book Exchange: Give A Book, Get a Book initiative which is spearheaded by the National Library Board. The event happened yesterday and I thought that it would be awesome to share with you some of my book finds as part of our In My Mailbox contribution – a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. This is a perfect space to feature the books we discovered, found, fell on our unsuspecting hands during the week. And it brings me such great pleasure to share not one, not two, but twenty books I got in exchange for the old, unloved, tattered ones I used to have.
To say that it was a madhouse yesterday would be an understatement. We arrived a little past 9 am (the event started promptly at 8:30 in the morning), and it was jampacked – the NLB Plaza was filled with book-hunters. Yet despite the sizable crowd, it was all very orderly and efficiently-organized, that’s Singapore for you.
On to the Books: Novels for Adults and Young People
I exchanged twenty of our old book titles (mostly my daughter’s old books that she does not enjoy any longer and a few adult novels that were given to me, but didn’t really resonate with me that much). I thought it would be great to begin my book finds with a Neil Gaiman title: Neverwhere. I was also glad to find Lyra’s Oxford by Philip Pullman. I am a huge fan of His Dark Materials, so this is a fabulous find for me. I also have a copy of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City, so I thought of giving his Thunderstruck a try. I am also slowly collecting titles by Alexander McCall Smith, and how could I possibly resist this title: Friends, Lovers, Chocolate.
I also found Jostein Gaarder’s Maya, Cynthia Voigt’s Tree by Leaf, and a book that I have been quite intrigued about for awhile now: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.
My eyes were immediately drawn to My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk primarily because it won the Nobel Prize in Literature. I thought that it would be a great add-in to our Award-Winning-Books Reading Challenge (do sign up here if you haven’t joined us yet). Foundation’s Edge by Isaac Asimov is also a perfect fit for the AWB Reading Challenge as it won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. I became interested in Asimov after seeing quite a number of group reads and group discussions online. For Asimov fans, do let me know though if I should begin with this book, or if there is any other book you’d recommend.
On Picture Books and Scary Stories
My ten year old daughter claimed that she wanted to give Mr. Midnight a try. Since this is technically cost-free, anyway, I thought that I might as well indulge her, and so she got James Lee’s My Creepy Computer There’s a Ghost in my Photo and Scary School Bus to Nowhere: Revenge of the Goldfish. She was also pretty happy to find a Goosebumps book: R. L. Stine’s Secret Agent Grandma.
Because I am crazy about fractured fairy tales, I was happy to find Once Upon a Princess and a Pea, story by Ann Campbell and illustrations by Kathy Osborn Young. I was also excited to find a picture book by Michael Morpurgo: Joan of Arc with illustrations by Michael Foreman – seems to be perfect for our bimonthly theme on Girl Power and Women’s Wiles. For those of you who may have been following our blog for awhile now, you would know how absolutely crazy I am over Raymond Briggs, so I was beside myself when I discovered The Man just lying there unloved. I immediately grabbed the book and put it in my bag.
And my favorite book finds… saving the best for last…
I swore my heart nearly stopped beating when I saw all five books by Jasper Fforde at one go: The Eyre Affair, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, The Fourth Bear, and The Big Over Easy. What is even more amazing is that I just found Lost in a Good Book by Fforde a few days ago in Bras Basah (will be posting that for IMM next week). What are the chances of finding all five books in the Book Exchange? Wow. I just hope that they do this event again at the end of the year. Truly a highly successful event and an inspired idea.