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Pausing at the Pass en route to McGregor
This mammoth book sale, in aid of the McGregor Donkey Sanctuary, takes place annually* in the small town of McGregor, situated in the Robertson wine area. I’ve always wanted to go and this year Nina helped me make my dream come true.
McGregor is a small country town, set on the edge of the Klein Karoo. Its arid, and yet people have made homes and lived here since the mid-1800s. Notice the thatched roofs, the beautiful dry stone walling, and the last pic, a general view, shows the surrounding countryside.

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We located the Town Hall, and as we walked into the grounds, we met people walking out smiling happily, and in one case, a strapping young woman carrying a huge cardboard carton of books on her shoulder! That was a good sign.
This was my modest haul after an hour of delicious browsing.
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The Chinese Horoscope Library – Snake – by Kwok an-Ho. Yes, I’m a snake … so watch out! I enjoy Chinese horoscopes, and find them helpful.
Air – Geoff Ryman . A British writer, who supports a Facebook page for African SF & Fantasy. A good enough recommendation for me.
Skinny Dip – Carl Hiaasen . I love Hiaasen’s Florida themed crime stories – you always get plenty of laughs amongst the gore and bullets.
General Tso’s Chicken and the 7 Deadly Sins – Maurice Kibel . A Collection of Rhyme and Reason. Illustrations by Tony Grogan. I recognised the name, from years back, in our early Bulawayo days – Mr Kibel was my kids’ paediatrician! And here was a book that, “celebrates a lifetime of words, and music and medicine”. Plus Tony Grogan is one of my favourite cartoonists. An irresistible combination.
The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton. An American writer I’ve always meant to read. And the book has a bright sky blue cover, fancy gold lettering, and in mint condition. I think I bought it as much for the cover as I did for the contents!Flying to America – Donald Barthelme. I frequently find mention of Bartheleme in literary blogs as being the man who set the benchmark for American short stories. For example:
“ Donald Barthelme almost single-handedly has revived the genre of the short story and made it a fresh art form… He can, and does, write stories of every kind.”
“Among the leading innovative writers of modern fiction”.
Well: with an intro like the above, clearly I am in for a treat.
As I said in my About page when I opened The Booksmith blog, my reading tastes are eclectic. I think my sale bargains prove this statement to be true!
Thanks to Nina Ganci for the pics. Exception is the bookpile, which I took.
* I’m posting this episode belatedly – we went to McGregor in May 2017.


  1. One of my favourite Afrikaans bloggers lives there and writes about “McGregor se dinge”, although she’s been very quiet for a long time now. She probably had her own haul of books from that sale.


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