10 February 2009

shopping lists

It took me exactly 2 separate trips and 3 total hours of browsing to spend my entire Indigo gift certificate. It was, for a book nerd such as me, pure bliss. I never have money that I can spend so freely in a bookstore, and it was eerily easy to spend it all.

I bought books I've been meaning to buy for years.

For those who would like to borrow, let me know! Or, if you've read any of the following, I would love to know what you think of them

Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon
Patisseries of Paris by Janine Cahill
Digital Portrait Photography and Lighting by Catherine Jamieson and Sean McCormick
The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own by Nina Garcia

CDs (yes, I still buy cds when I have some pocket change):
Coeur de Pirate (Self-Titled)
Serena Ryder (If Your Memory Serves You Well)

I also bought some gifts for friends, and gave a chunk of it to Brian to buy stuff for himself. I wouldn't normally be so generous, but he'd been supporting my chocolate habit quite generously while I was job hunting, so it's only fair.

There's something about spending that seems to inspire more of itself. After reading Garcia's The One Hundred (a decently informative but generally boring book filled with lots of irrelevant quotes, but with gorgeous illustrations), I decided to take stock of my wardrobe and see how many of the 100 items I already owned, and which ones I should plan to get next.

I'm not an avid shopper by any means, though mostly for lack of funds, but when I do shop I like to buy pieces with lasting power. After browsing through my closet, I counted 39 items from the list. I made a list of the 32 things I wanted to buy next, and made a mini list to put in my wallet.

My hope is that when I'm out shopping and see something I like, I will force myself to consult the list and try to only buy it if its on it.

Boring? Sort of. But there's something exciting about re-building the bones of my wardrobe. I donated 60% of my clothes and accessories during the move last summer, and the process made me realize how many of my pieces didn't work together. It was a jumble of hoodies and "bar shirts" from my undergrad, which didn't translate very well to my post-school lifestyle.

So before I start buying whimsical stuff again, I am going back to basics. Sunday, for example, I bought 3 much-needed belts. I had thankfully gotten rid of the remnants of my old belt collection, which had been inspired by my fleeting love for Shakira and Evanescence (the fact that I let cringe-worthy artists inspire my purchases is evidence enough of my need to follow a shopping program). I also found 3 more items from my list: a man's white shirt, a clutch and a pea coat.

Next on the list: a good quality pair of ballet flats for spring, if it ever arrives.


Jess said...

Lullabies for Little Criminals is excellent. O'Neill is an amazing writer - her description! It's so imaginative. I loved it and read it in a weekend.

Another book I'd recommend (although I realize you just bought a metric tonne of books here and don't really need any additional recommendations, but whatever...) is Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. I heard about it at the SFU book publishing workshop and read it in Cuba. Absolutely heart breaking and inspiring all at the same time. A beautiful story.

Well done on the 100 - you have like half already! I have been wanting to get some kind of 'how do I dress properly?' book ever since you told me about that last one you read. I should hit up the bookstore soon myself!

Dallas said...

I loved Lullabies. It was very haunting for me, as the neighbourhood she lives in for most of it is right where my hotel was when I first arrived in montreal (the red light district). I actually think she lives close to The (infamous) Loft in part, and on Farah and Sara's street at others. I loved Baby's voice, and O'Neill did a wonderful job. Brian is reading it now. I bought Lullabies upon your recommendation, btw.

I've heard of Beal's book, and have been wanting to read it for a while too. Does he live in Montreal, do you know?

Next time you're in town, you can borrow The One Hundred, if you want. There's a lot of stuff on the list that I would not buy, like a fur coat, but it's a fun read nonetheless.

Dallas said...
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Dallas said...
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Erin said...

I ended up with a ton of Chapters cards after Christmas (my favourite store!) and also spent hours choosing books and random kitchen accessories/stationary from the "Life" section. Didn't buy any of the ones you mentioned, though I read a few of them last year.

I loved 'Lullabies for Little Criminals' as well (such a consuming novel), and 'The History of Love' was beautiful - did you know the Krauss is married to Jonathan Safron Foer ('Everything is Illuminated)? Lots of controversy there as to who wrote what, as their books had such similar tones and themes. I heard different literary voices between the two, but people love to judge.

Long Way Gone (Beah's memoir) was a really difficult, haunting read, but so well done and so...important. Just such an important book in terms of looking at the world, seeing beyond your immediate surrounding, understanding true hardship and courage. He's an amazing person. I believe he lives in NYC, but may be wrong.

Also...100 Years of Solitude is totally over-rated, in my opinion. Either that, or I just don't "get it". Not a favourite of mine by any means.

My book club is reading 'Late Nights on Air' right now, and it's really good so far. Check it out if you have the time!

Longest comment ever.


Anonymous said...

Pillars of the Earth is fantastic! Enjoy :)

Chris in NF said...

Garcia Marquez, Kundera, Chabon -- authors who have rocked my world, certainly.

If you enjoy those choices, you'll want to also check out Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez), Immortality (Kundera) and The Adventures of Kavalier and Klay and Wonder Boys (Chabon).

I wish I could read One Hundred Years of Solitude again for the first time. I envy you that.

Eric and Katie said...

Funny, I remember reading _One Hundred Years_ for the first time twice. At least it felt that way.

In these days of recession I think books should become the new currency.

Dallas said...

Chris, thanks for the recommendations. I will put them on my "to buy, borrow, or steal" list. I actually bought Love in the Time of Cholera in French a fit of overzealous french learning ambition. Needless to say, I have not made it past page 6. I have since resorted to reading Archie comics in French.

E&K, next time you're in town, we can do a book trade if you want!

Eric said...

By the way, if you're looking to finish a french book cover to cover, read St. Exupéry's _Le petit prince_ if you haven't already. I know some will say it's a kid's book, but it's totally legit -- not to mention one of my favourite reads, period.

brian said...

have you read twilight yet?

me said...

Have you ever looked at the website ''? It's SUPER cheap and you can get tons of books for an awesome deal. Recommended authors: Alice Munro, Alice Hoffman (everything she writes is AMAZING and beautiful)

Book suggestions:
-We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
-Red Tent

Dallas said...

Oooh, thanks for the suggestion. I will check it out now