Friday, April 1, 2011


Sometimes I'm a twit. Today was one of those days. Often, I stop into the charity shops to peruse the book shelves. I've found quite a few great books and paid about £1 for them.

Today I popped in one and saw a book I love: Eddie's Bastard by William Kowalski.
I was so surprised to see it I had to pick it up. It's a great book about a baby who is left on the doorstep of a cantankerous old man with a note that simply says, Eddie's Bastard. Eddie is the man's charismatic son, who died in the war but apparently had an affair that resulted in this child. The old man takes the child in, names him Billy, which leads to a fascinating, yet unconventional childhood.

It's an absorbing coming-of age story, but is funny and tragic yet always fresh. It begins with a birth, ends with a death and has a middle filled with wisdom and wonder set around a once great family in a once great town.

I opened it and was shocked to see it was a first edition AND signed by the author. I was so excited I paid the £1 and rushed home to put it next to my own signed edition that I've had since the book was published in 1999 - it was edited by my boss at HarperCollins when I worked there and signed by Mr. Kowalski in our offices. I couldn't wait to email my old boss and tell her what I'd found in London!

Well, imagine my surprise when I couldn't find my edition. Then I remembered in my absolute haste to move last year I packed up most of my work clothes, boxes of books, etc. and lugged them all over to that charity shop and donated them. It took them that long to unpack the rest of my boxes, take out my edition of Eddie's Bastard, place it on the shelf and then have me breeze in and re-buy the book I donated a year ago. What a doofus!

I won't be donating it again. In fact, I think it's high time I reread it!


  1. Ha ha ha!!!!! If only that kind of stuff happened to lost jewelry....

  2. Oh no. That would really upset me but you got it back so that's good.
    I work in a jumble sale at school and I'm often found eyeing up stuff that I donated about a month before.

  3. I once won the item I'd donated to the school raffle!

  4. No!! Great story! It must be a great book though so i may seek it out. :o)

  5. Well, at least you are doing your bit for charity!

  6. Wow - that is an incredible story! The sounds really interesting, I'm a huge reader, will have to try and get hold of (an unsigned) one.

  7. I like the sound of that book, but I like your story even better! Sounds like something I'd do!

  8. It's fate. You were meant to find it. But I wonder why. Keep us posted if anything strange happens to you or if something unexpected turns up on your doorstep!

  9. what an hilarious story. I love things like this. Just the type of thing I would do. I'm giving away a book over at mine at the mo as i LOVE books too, and someone gave me The Gift so thought I'd give one back :)


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