August 22, 2007

Vacation Purchases!

As you may recall, I packed over half a dozen books to take on my recent trip to the Canadian Gulf and San Juan Islands. Of course, I was too busy playing with my our new camera to read much of anything other than A Walk in the Woods (which I only managed to read on the long flights to and fro). So, I really didn't need to buy any more books, did I? I had plenty to read and quite of bit of variety just in case. Did this discourage me from adding more weight to my already heavy duffel bag? (Alright, alright. Duffel bags.) Nah. What fun would that have been?

I've never read anything by Annie Dillard, but when my stepmom mentioned The Living early on in our cruise, I thought both Rod and I might both enjoy this debut novel. It's set in the Pacific Northwest, just 20 miles south of Canada (specifically, the Bellingham, Washington region). June was fairly certain that I could find a used copy at Serendipty (in Friday Harbor) and she was right. I haven't had a chance to read the book, but my husband picked it up as soon as we got home and thoroughly enjoyed it. He said not a lot happens, but that it's excellent and quite beautifully written.

Next stop was Griffin Bay Bookstore (also in Friday Harbor). I'd been perusing June's large collection of regional cookbooks while lounging on the boat and remembered a delicious salmon pasta dish she'd made for us a few years ago. The recipe was from her copy of the San Juan Classics Cookbook. Well, of course I had to find a copy for my collection! And what better than a cookbook for a souvenir of our vacation. (And yes, I've already tried a few recipes. Go here and here.)

Griffin Bay Bookstore has such a lovely selection of cookbooks and I was so tempted to buy more than just one. Next time!

Heading down the hill, we stopped in at the Harbor Bookstore where I found a fabulous canvas book-bag with the store logo on the outside pocket. Perfect for lugging all my new books home on the plane!

I also picked up a copy of Putumayo Presents: Music from the Wine Lands for our hosts. This is a marvelous cd, as is the Paris album (which June bought earlier that day at Griffin Bay Bookstore). We listened to both albums every night for the remainder of the trip!

June had another recommendation, which I easily found at Tanner's Books in Sidney, British Columbia. The Curve of Time is a biography of a widow who cruised the coastal waters of British Columbia with her five children aboard a 25 foot boat in 1927. Sounds a bit crowded, wouldn't you say? Apparently this is quite the classic amongst Canadians and boaters. I'm quite anxious to get to it!

I found this lovely little book in the regional section of Tanner's. After scanning the back cover (and admiring the gorgeous cover art), I knew I had to own it! Here are a few lines from the back cover: "In her first bestselling book, Anny Scoones introduced Glamorgan Farm, one of the original homesteads on Vancouver Island. Now in Home and Away: More Tales of a Heritage Farm, Anny presents new stories about the joys and sorrows, excitements and mishaps, of life on a working farm. She also shares stories of travels to other parts of the world. Her travel tales offer keen observations of her experiences away, and also her perspective from afar on the importance of having a place to return to that truly is home." Doesn't this sound lovely?! I think this is a must for my flight to Oregon next month. Yes, we're going on another vacation! But I digress...

I know, I know. I could've bought this at home (with my employee discount!), but I love the Canadian cover AND Sara Gruen is Canadian (born in Vancouver, lived in London, Ontario, went to university in Ottowa), and I was in Canada. So once again, I felt compelled to add this to my stack of souvenirs.

For as long as I've known him, my husband has loved boats. He's read dozens and dozens of books (fiction and nonfiction) about sailing, motor crafts, lost-at-sea-adventures, how-to manuals. You name, he's read it. He's the only person I know who reads the Chapman Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling tome once a year. And we don't even own a boat! Yet.

We added a copy of Joshua Slocum's famous narrative to our stack at Tanner's. Surprisingly, it wasn't one Rod had already read. Not sure if it'll hold my interest, but you never know. Someone, somewhere just might host a nautical reading challenge!

Last but not least, I bought two copies of...

Don't you just love that cover?! Much more colorful than the U.S. version!

I guess I'm really not a true fan, as I decided to sleep rather than walk up to Tanner's for their midnight festivities. I did manage to get some fun goodies the next morning, though.

Cool bookmark (those are actually individual stickers)

Another bookmark

And that's it! Now to find more time to read.


  1. You got some great purchases, Les! I hope they are as good as your trip. :)

  2. Looks like you made out like a bandit! Great job.

  3. Anonymous3:43 PM

    Ohhh, I just love the Water for Elephants cover. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. I just reviewed Me & Mr. Darcy on my blog and showed two covers of the same book. It is interesting how it differs country to country. When I was in Hong Kong a few weeks ago I saw the same Harry Potter, but didn't pick it up since I already had my American copy waiting for me here.

  4. I was so happy with myself that I didn't feel jealous of your trip to the northwest. Now that I've returned home and am reading about it, I'm feeling a strong yearning to go there again. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. The books sound great.

  5. I love comparing covers and choosing my favourite when possible.
    Enjoy all your new books!

  6. Anonymous5:23 AM


    I've jotted several of these titles down. They sound quite interesting! Loved reading about your book travels....

    Linda Huson

  7. Wow, Les, you did a lot of shopping and all of your purchases look so good!!!

    How nice that you and Rod sometimes read the same books...all my hub will ever read are business magazines and the odd marketing books (borrrring!)

    Like you, I enjoy picking up cookbooks as souvenirs...the San Juan Classics cookbook looks like a good one, love you for sharing some of the recipes!

  8. Joy - Thanks! I'll let ya know. :)

    Jen - I sure had a lot of fun buying them. Now to find time to read 'em. ;)

    Stephanie - I hope I enjoy it, too. I have yet to hear anything negative about it, so...

    Isn't it fun to show the different cover art copy for a book? I did that with Small Island (you can search for that on my blog).

    I'm off to catch up on your blog. I assume you were in Hong Kong for an adoption!! Congratulations!

    Booklogged - Ah, I'm in the same boat as you. I had a lovely vacation and enjoyed reading about yours, not feeling the least bit envious. Until now. That's one I'd love to take someday. I've bookmarked your travel blog in my travel folder for future reference. :)

    Nat - I'm sure I will (enjoy my books)!

    Linda! Thanks for stopping by with a comment! :) Glad you enjoyed the post. Hope you find some winners in there. Let me know.

    Lotus - Oh, yah. I did quite a bit of shopping. ;) I didn't touch on the lovely yellow rain slicker I bought in Sidney. Or the pretty turquoise bracelet. Or the hat.

    Yes, it's very nice that Rod reads a lot of the same books as I do. It's fun to chat about them over a meal or cocktail out on the front porch.

    We're going to Oregon in a few weeks and my mission will be to find a local cookbook. Stay tuned!

  9. Anonymous8:58 PM

    Ha,ha. I love the "keep out H.P. marathon reading session" door hanger. I need one of those (w/o the H.P. part though). When I travel books are my souvenirs as well. Looks like you'll have a lot of fun stuff to keep you busy!

  10. Iliana - Aren't those door hangers clever? I don't think I'll have any trouble keeping busy, especially with another vacation on the horizon. More books! ;)

  11. You've shown one reason I love shopping in Canadian bookstores -- the different covers. And it seems I ALWAYS prefer them to their counterparts in the US. They seem more sophisticated. I think the same can be said for the British versions of books. BTW, I also checked my cookbook shelf for the San Juan Classics cookbooks and discovered I don't have the San Juan Classics, but I do have San Juan Classics II. I'll have to pick up the first on our next trip -- hopefully this fall. We're trying to decide whether we'll go there or down to Portland for our anniversary.

  12. Maudeen - Isn't it interesting that the Canadian and UK covers seem more sophisticated. Wonder why that is? Ooh, I'll bet the San Juans are beautiful in the fall. I think I'd opt for that location over Portland.


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