Friday, June 29, 2012

White Elephants : Yard Sales, Relationships and Finding What Was Missing

Author: Katie Haegele

Publication Date: 2012

Who'll want to read it?
Anyone who loves garage sales, op shopping and buying things that have lived many lives before they came to you. People who are interested in how discovering these 'things' with their own pasts can transport us and delight us in the most unimaginable ways. Oh and also those who are interested in zines.

What's it all about?
Katie is a writer of zines and many other things, from Philadelphia. She loves going to yard sales, rummage sales and the like. So, in a captain planet "with our powers combined" kind of fashion, she has melded these two things into a series of zines titled 'White Elephants' which were then compiled into this wonderful, wonderful book!

However, this book is not just some list of things bought and people waxing lyrical about the "oh so fabulous and super awesome vintage stuff i found!!", it is a lovely and sometimes hilarious memoir about Katie's life, her relationship with her mother, dealing with the loss of her father and the beautiful and powerful connection things can give us to our memories, how they are a bridge into another way of thinking, living and breathing.

I loved this book. I loved reading about 'Dream Phone' a toy for girls who could pretend they were trying to ring their latest "crush", the phone has weird and creepy recorded clues about who your crush might be and what he likes. Just the kind of crazy, creepiness that you just couldn't make up if you tried. Katie's descriptions of the layout and people that staff the sales are fantastic, all the classic characters from the grumpy garage sale people who overprice everything to the lovely almost over helpful old ladies in church rummage sales who suprise you with their personal and sometimes inappropriate comments.

I also loved the panic, depression, unbridled joy, love, sadness and excitement that Katie described as part of her life. It was refreshing and honest, life is not always wonderful, sometimes you find nothing that catches your eye, that captures your heart, your imagination, but then suddenly, just as you think all is lost, there they are.....a pair of gravestone salt and pepper shakers "Here lies salt" and "Here lies pepper" and well, you can't help but smile*.

*If you aren't smiling then you might not enjoy this book but thanks for reading this far!

Publisher: Microcosm Publishing

If you would like to know more about Katie you can visit her website here

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

1 comment:

Kieran said...

Sounds like a fun book. My father used to take our family to lots of garage sales and auctions. We ended up with some amazing pieces of "stuff". I still have some of it including some cast iron lions heads guarding my garden. The best thing he bought at an auction was actually by accident - a horse - but there you go.