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I don’t know when I’ll ever get over that naughty but victorious feeling; the feeling that I’m getting away with something as I exit my library with an armload of books.

Here’s today’s armload:

D.H. Lawrence: Portrait Of A Marriage – Brenda Maddox. Lawrence and Frieda were featured characters in Mansfield, so I want to read more about them as well as more about Mansfield and John Middleton Murry.

The Benchley Roundup – Robert Benchley. How can anyone resist a guy who wrote the line, “There are two ways to travel — first class and with children.” ? Actually, I’ve been a fan since I was a junior in high school. We were assigned “How To Sleep Anywhere”, but I would’ve read it anyway. My adoration was complete when I first watched Mrs. Parker And The Vicious Circle. Campbell Scott as Benchley got almost as many great lines as Dorothy Parker, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh. This edition was printed in 1954. It’s in terrific shape and exudes that lovely smell of aged paper and dust.

In Dubious Battle – John Steinbeck. YES! BIG SCORE!!! I’ve been looking for this novel for over a year now. Matt from my book group recommended it to me, and it’s been hidden from my eyes till now. This edition seems to be for Koreans majoring in English. The introduction and annotations are by Pongshik Kang and are in Korean. (There’s a photo in the front of Kang in Salinas posing with a life-sized statue of Steinbeck. Kang is lightly holding Steinbeck’s wrist.) There are also some critical essays at the end of the novel, written in English.

Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell. A nice copy from Everyman’s Library. I’ve been meaning to read Gaskell for years. This is her first novel, so that’s probably a good place to start.

Between last week and this week, it seems as if more English books have appeared on the shelves. I’d love to get behind the circulation desk and see what else they’re hiding.

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