Books, Reading, Thrifty Thursday
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Thrifty Thursday #3 // A Fortunate Life

Thrifty Thursday is a meme run by Sal over at Motion Sick Lit (an excellent book blog – go check it out here). Thrifty Thursday goes like this:

1. Each week’s link-up will be posted on Thursday.
2. Post or talk about a used book you’ve found (preferably in a book store or thrift shop).
3. The book must cost less than $5.
4. Be sure to return for the link-up! Weird or strange books are preferred.

So basically, find a second-hand book for cheap and talk about it!

FullSizeRenderI’m the thriftiest thrift that ever thrifted this month.  How so? I got this book for FREEEEEEE. From my mum, and with very good reason, which I’ll go into a bit later. But to the (sort of) official Thrifty Thursday Requirements. To be honest I’m really blurring the Thrifty Thursday lines with this one, but I’m sure I’ll sleep ok anyway.

Under $5? Yes! Definitely! Free is equal to $0 and if I’d bought this book from my local bookshop, it would have cost me $17.99. So I’ve saved $17.99!
Is it weird? Not at all. It’s a memoir by a completely normal man who had a pretty remarkable life. There are no mushroom tumour thingies here.

I could try to describe the book to you, but I can’t do it as eloquently as Goodreads. So here’s the Goodreads blurb:

“This is the extraordinary life of an ordinary man. It is the story of Albert Facey, who lived with simple honesty, compassion and courage. A parentless boy who started work at eight on the rough West Australian frontier, he struggled as an itinerant rural worker, survived the gore of Gallipoli, the loss of his farm in the Depression, the death of his son in World War II and that of his beloved wife after sixty devoted years – yet he felt that his life was fortunate.
Facey’s life story, published when he was eighty-seven, has inspired many as a play, a television series, and an award-winning book that has sold over half a million copies.” 

I read this book (this exact copy) all the way back in high school. It was one of the first memoir/autobiography type books I ever read, and although I’ve not thought about it a lot over the years, it probably had a big part in shaping my reading habits. I have a great interest in reading about WWI and WWII – both fiction and non-fiction – and I believe it probably started with this particular book.

So why did my mum pass it on to me? Because it’s literally falling apart:  IMG_2182Yep that’s it there in three pieces. And that’s Albert Facey in his army uniform from WWI – he was very handsome. My mum bought herself a new copy of the book and was going to throw this one out but I suddenly discovered an attachment to it and asked if I could have it. And that’s how I ended up with it.

But my mum wasn’t the first owner. I think she picked it up at a garage sale at least 15 years ago, and it would have been in pretty poor condition then as I remember it being on the verge of falling apart when I read it all the way back then. Before that I believe it had IMG_2183passed through a couple of homes (but not necessarily owners) before it came into ours.

This edition is from 1982 and my mum would have picked this up around 2000/2001 at a garage sale in Davistown (the suburb we lived in at the time). But written on the inside cover is the name and address for a person who lives in Woy Woy (a suburb across the water from Davistown). So at some point it’s made the journey across the water and now it’s made the journey back – because I live in Woy Woy! And the address in the book is only an 8 minute drive away from me.

Ok it’s not really that much of a big deal because the two suburbs are really quite close, but I like the idea of the book making its way back to where it used to live. I’m sentimental like that, which explains why I rescued a book on its last legs in the first place.

Have you ever picked up a second-hand book that had been on a bit of a journey? Even a little one?



  1. Pingback: Thrifty Thursday #4 // Travelling with Alexandre Dumas | Bits & Books

  2. Aww, this is so sweet!! I love thinking about the journeys books take. Like I’ve sold books to my bookstore which I’ve then sent to somebody in Japan who ordered it online. THAT shit is magical. Also, I’m delighted that there is a place called Woy Woy and that you get to live there.


    • It’s a pretty nice place (although it’s had a bad reputation in the past) – apparently it means “big lagoon”in the language of the local Indigenous people. I like living there 🙂
      Do you ever wonder whether you have something in common with that person in Japan, other than your taste in books?


  3. My mother-out-law gave me a copy of A Fortunate Life as part of her subtle efforts to have me embrace Australia. I really really must read it (I’ve had it for years).

    But that was a gift, so while much travelled to get to the UK it probably gets trumped by my copy of The Reader, which I found abandoned at the gate at Detroit airport.


    • You really should read it – it shows really well what life was like in the early 1900s (not that I was there of course!).
      And finding abandoned books is pretty special I think – why were they abandoned? Where did the person who abandoned it come from? So many unanswered questions.

      Liked by 1 person

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