Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Monday, October 26, 2015

Georgette Heyer,Star Wars and other pop culture gems unearthed at my local rummage sale

In my area, there is a nearby church that holds a rummage sale at least twice a year, once in the spring and then again in the fall. The autumn sale was this past weekend and many a time I have found some amazingly awesome items in the pop culture category, something I like to share with you here.

The book section is the one that I hit first, with DVDs, vinyl records and VHS tapes also included in that wide sweeps of tables surrounded by overflowing boxes. It's fun to spot titles that I've already read, not to mention multiple copies of formerly popular books(Chuck Klosterman's Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs was well represented this time out) but it's even greater to grab up those books you've always meant to read but haven't gotten to yet.

To my delight, there were several Georgette Heyer books available and while most of them were current Sourcebooks reprints, I did snag a small softcover reprint of Venetia from Harlequin, complete with ad insert for "The Readers' Service", which offers you a choice of either romance or suspense.

Don't get me wrong, I like the new Sourcebooks editions but it's nice to have a handy little paperback version with good old school cover art as well-the golden yellow background is so inviting! Venetia has a heroine that "never thought she would have a London season" until fate gives her a rake to reform, a classic trope of Georgette Heyer's that ought to be entertaining to explore.

While there were some of Heyer's mystery novels, I decided to stick with her Regency/historical fare that was available, so in addition to Venetia, I bought False Colours(which sounds like double trouble fun) and Royal Escape, the latter which follows English king in exile Charles II as he hides out from the forces of Oliver Cromwell.

I know that Heyer's historical novels get a bad rap from some(I still have An Infamous Army on a "must try again" TBR pile) but as Charles II reminds me greatly of Forever Amber, that took place during his reign and has the randy monarch make a brief appearance in the plot, Royal Escape has some appeal there and might be that one non-Regency Heyer book that breaks through for me:

I bought three other books as well, one of which is the first novel in Eloisa James's Essex Sisters series, and a mystery that I later learned was attached to Midsomer Murders.

Faithful Unto Death is book five in Caroline Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby series that was adapted into a popular made for British TV series that began airing in America on the A&E channel back in the late 1990s. DIC Barnaby has had two generations of crime solvers who work with local law enforcement in the seemingly quiet towns of Midsomer county.

This particular book became episode four, which looks into the disappearance of the wife of a local businessman undergoing scrutiny for his latest financial deal that has bottomed out all too quickly. I've never watched Midsomer Murders(which is still in production and available on local PBS stations and Netflix) yet I'd like to give it a try. Faithful Unto Death sounds like a good way to see if going to Midsomer is a ride worth taking:

The last of my non-Heyer book purchases was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, a  Victorian era fantasy tale about Celia and Marco, a pair of magical apprentices meant to battle one another for the sake of their mentors but who wind up falling deeply in love instead.

This novel has gotten a lot of praise from critics and fans since it's debut in 2011 and I have been on and off curious about it. The book does sound like my cup of whimsical tea and the fact that the author began working on the book during National Novel Writing Month is impressive. I'll probably save TNC for my winter reading( a list that is growing long here) and join in the carnival fun as the snow flies:

 The DVD offerings at the sale were slim pickings at best, but I did find a nifty bit of nostalgia to buy. The 30th anniversary edition of Schoolhouse Rock! had both discs intact, plus the companion booklet that features lyrics for the most popular songs in this educational series.

Schoolhouse Rock was something I looked forward to on Saturday mornings as a kid, sandwiched in between episodes of Superfriends and various Hanna-Barbera cartoons. As a poor student of math, I was always able to remember the five times tables thanks to SHR's "5,10,15,20..." musical clip.

Of course, the grammar ones were big favorites of mine, with "Conjuction Junction" and "Lolly,Lolly,Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here" making my love of reading and words that much more fun to have. I must admit to spending a late hour or so in watching many of these mini doses of knowledge that helped educate a couple of generations far better perhaps than what is being presented to students these days:

You never know when or where a pop culture gem is going to turn up and for me, a real find was among the household ware as I was able to buy a set of four Star Wars Burger King glasses.

These drinking glasses were given out during the first theaterical run of the original trilogy and I have a glass that represents each film. One is an Empire Strikes Back(with Lando Calrissan front and center) and another is a Return of the Jedi with Luke Skywalker shown in lightsaber ready form.

The other two are both from the first movie and are duplicates, which I didn't mind at all since Darth Vader is one of my favorite villains from those films.  Having two of him(with Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin at his sinister side) was such a treat to behold! Given the current interest in the SW franchise due to the upcoming new cinematic chapter to this saga, this was truly a sign that the pop culture Force was with me:

Yes, I did buy non-related-to-pop-culture stuff(although that little tableaux from A Christmas Carol sorts of counts) but the true pleasures of a sale like this is in discovering such unexpected little treasures. Shopping in any remote locale gives you that hope of the perfect to your situation purchase, one that makes the hazards of any trip worth your while, whether it's a tag/yard/rummage sale or an off to the side store. That joy of discovery is something that you really can't buy, yet is worth more than gold or a gold record for that matter:

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