Welcome to Thrifty Thursdays! The rules are simple and are as follows: 1. Each week’s link-up will be posted on Thursday. 2. Post or talk about a book you found used (preferably in a book store or thrift shop). 3. The book must cost less than $5. 4. Be sure to return for the link-up! Weird or strange books are preferred. Ideally, we all would be exploring authors, books, and genres that we never would have considered otherwise. Some of us may find new favorites. Others may just find some laughs. Either way, we’d be supporting independent booksellers who are the backbone of what we do as bloggers. Of course, these books cost money, and posting each week isn’t required, though you’re certainly welcome to do so. An interesting possibility down the line may be picking a subject or genre and trying to find the oddest possible title.
My pick for this week? George Konrad’s The City Builder. From the Amazon page: An architect in an unnamed city considers his life, his work, and the many-layered history of the city he and his family–architects all–have contributed to building. In the days after World War II–during which American bombers destroyed much of what his father built–he becomes a Stalinist planner and realizes that the power of the nobility, the wealthy and the bourgeois has been usurped by technocrats. Vanished by those technocrats into the communist underworld of torture and imprisonment, he is eventually released into a post-Stalinist world and becomes the chief builder in a provincial town. So what piqued my interest about this book? Well, the cover, for one. It’s simple, but it’s striking standing next to other books full of color. The first paragraph is long and poetic, but it’s interesting, and it reminds me of prose poetry. Certainly not disappointed with my use of $3.50. Price: $3.50 And, of course, a teaser. Opening paragraph: A flurry at dawn, uncertain hour…scarlet light embraces the brick walls. Things swarming out of the shelter of half-light begin their forced orbit. The waste products of consumption are ready for the garbage truck, the electric pistol for the sedated cattle, eager officers for VHs commands, the unpredictable switchman for steadfast engines. … Sleeping eyes are still free from a hail of stimuli, sleeping hands from damp and crumling matter, sleeping mouths from hostile words and the hurried repertory of curses, pleas, boasts; thighs and testicles from a creeping hand making its uncertain rounds, the organs of the body from warring cells, the brain from a showcase of meaningless prables, terrifying pretenses, anniversary cliches. Perspiring skin breathing on crumpled sheets; drooping mouth discoursing with the stale air; nightmares fighting out their battles on the eye’s inner field of vision–a limp parcel stamped PERISHABLE. But it is still the uncertain hour, when the shock troops of light invade the furrows of a ravaged face, and each passing second is tapped out on a brain teeming wih the slogans of a paltry past. What did you pick up on the cheap this week?