Thursday, November 30, 2017

Friends Sponsors Colson Whitehead's Fall for the Book Talk

Colson Whitehead opened this year's
Fall for the Book Festival.
Colson Whitehead kicked off the 2017 Fall for the Book Festival in October with a discussion of his best-selling novel, The Underground Railroad. George Mason Friends sponsored Whitehead's talk, and several members seized the opportunity to meet Whitehead  during his reception.

The Underground Railroad combines realism and allegory to tell the story of 15-year-old Cora, a slave who escapes on a railway system that is literally underground. "The Underground Railroad confirms Colson Whitehead’s reputation as one of our most daring and inventive writers," The National Book Award judges wrote in their award citation for the novel. "A suspenseful tale of escape and pursuit, it combines elements of fantasy and the counter-factual with an unflinching, painfully truthful depiction of American slavery…He has given us an electrifying narrative of the past, profoundly resonant with the present."
GMF President Kate Krohler introduces
Whitehead before his talk.

In less than a year, the novel has gained the distinction of being one of the few works to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award --- along with the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, the Heartland Prize, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. It became a #1 New York Times Bestseller and was a Best Book of the Year for numerous print and online periodicals. It's being translated into 40 languages.

In spite of this whirlwind, and of winning national honors since 2000, (including a MacArthur Fellowship Award, the Dos Passos Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship), Whitehead still seems surprised and slightly bemused at all the fuss. The 48-year-old Harvard graduate, who tends to describe himself as just a quirky and somewhat isolated guy pounding out stories in his "cave," admitted in an August 2016 New York Times article "I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how people are responding to the book…I'm someone who just likes being in my cave and thinking up weird stuff."   

Whitehead signs his book for GMF
Board Member Barbara Coates.
Similarly, when a reader asked whether he was more impressed by the fact that Oprah has read his book, or that it's on President Obama's summer reading list, he responded, "I spend so much time in my cave thinking up these things that I'm impressed anyone picks them up! I'm glad they are both getting the word out in different ways, and if you like the book and tell a friend, that's nice, too. [Wipes tear of gratitude from face.]"
someone who just likes being in my cave and thinking up weird stuff."  

Well, the George Mason Friends have done their part to spread the word with enthusiasm, and we were delighted to be able to help bring him to Fairfax County! Look for Whitehead's books at the Spring book sale, but be quick -- they'll be snapped up fast!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lynn McCaffree Recognized at 2017 Friends Choice Awards

Thank you, Lynn, for all your hard work!
The Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees honored Friends of the Library  volunteers on October 11, 2017 with a special reception and awards ceremony at Kings Park Library.

The George Mason Friends Board selected Lynn McCaffree in honor of the key role she has played in our Friends organization for many years. Few of our Friends work as tirelessly as Lynn does as our children’s books specialist, categorizing and pricing the thousands of donated materials for young readers, and then setting up and staffing the children's room during the sale.

Lynn is deeply committed to making sure every kid can take home just the right books, at a price that suits their allowance. She is equally thoughtful about the books she sets aside for donation to schools and other literacy programs -- she makes sure they are all current, in good condition, and age-appropriate. And she works closely with our GM Library staff to identify replacement copies for high-demand children’s books.

As if that weren't enough, Lynn is the go-to person for any questions about sorting books for all categories, pitches in on any daily work that needs to be done, assists other people with their categories, and serves on our board of directors. All in all, Lynn is an invaluable member of our team, and we all look forward to seeing her smiling face and generous spirit in our Friends’ room every day! Thank you, Lynn!

The fruits of Lynn's labors: a well-stocked
children's sale room sorted by topic and reading level!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thank You, Volunteers!

At the check out area.
A huge thank you to all the hard-working volunteers who pitched in to make the Fall 2017 book sale a success! 

Whether you unpacked books, cashiered, tidied tables, schlepped boxes, or helped pack up after the sale, we are so grateful for your time, enthusiasm, and energy! It was a terrific sale, and it's all because of you!
Getting ready to
pack up after the sale.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

What Will YOU Find at the Sale?

At the Spring 2017 sale, this couple came to the check out table laughing, because they were buying a book that they themselves had donated a couple years earlier! At the time, she didn't think she'd have any further use for her textbook on artificial intelligence, and no one else in her house seemed interested.

But then, recently, her son started asking about that old AI book that was laying around. He wanted to read it. So she came to the sale planning to buy a book on artificial intelligence, and was tickled to end up buying the exact same book!

We'd love to hear your favorite book sale story, from bumping into a long lost friend to discovering something that intrigued, tickled, or moved you. Drop us a line at

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Book Sale Starts Today!

Young customers show off their favorite finds at the
George Mason Friends Book Sale.
Our semi-annual sale starts today and runs through Sunday. With thousands of items to choose from, you're sure to find just what you're looking for!
  • For families with young readers, the George Mason Friends' sale features books an entire room dedicated to  children's titles, sorted by subject and reading level. It includes a great assortment of board books, picture books, easy readers, children’s fiction, non-fiction, young adult fiction, and books in other languages.
  • The book sale is also a great resource for older students looking for classics on their school reading list, reference works, language study materials, math, science, art, and sheet music.
  • If you're thinking ahead to the upcoming holidays, you'll find beautiful books in gift-quality condition on cooking, travel, sports, health, fitness, art, and more.
  • And last but certainly not least, customers come for the entertainment galore: movies, TV shows, music, games, popular and classic fiction, humor, comic books, and graphic novels.
Proceeds from the book sale support the George Mason Regional Library, the Fairfax County Summer Reading Program, and library-related programs and events in Fairfax County. Click our new Book Sale tab above to get all the details.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Great Deal on Beautiful Korean Children's Books!

This fall, we have a huge number of Korean children's picture books in our sale!  Topics range from Bible stories to folk tales to favorite board and picture books to science and math.  All books are in great condition and priced at just $2 each! Here are just a few examples:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Selected Children's Books now on Display

Special children's selections now on display.
Special selections from the children's books available for the Fall 2017 book sale are now on display at George Mason Library in the glass case on the right side of the lobby as you enter.

They will go on sale starting at 3 pm on Thursday, September 28.

Below is a list of titles and prices for every book in the display case. Please note that the information here may be revised or updated, and items in the case are subject to change.

Charming pop-up books

Fairies & Magical Creatures    $25
Sabuda and Reinhart    Candlewick Press, 2008, 1st edition

In the Beginning  $20
Chuck Fischer Little, Paper engineering by Bruce Foster, Brown, 2008

Beetles  $10
Sabuda and Reinhart, Hyperion, 2001, 1st edition

Winter in White  $10
Robert Sabuda, Little Simon, 2007, 1st edition

Winter in White pop-up book and
Mr. Fix-It's Mixed Up Christmas

Mr. Fix-It's Mixed-Up Christmas  $10
Richard Scarry. Little, Simon1st edition

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip  $10
George Saunders. Villard, 2000. 1st edition

New Chronicles of Rebecca  $15
Kate Douglas Wiggin. Houghton Mifflin, 1907. 8 illustrations, 1st edition

Growing Up with Dick and Jane  $10
Kismaric & Heiferman. Collins, 1996. 1st edition


The Real Wizard of Oz  $4
Rebecca Loncraine, Gotham Books, 2009

The Land of Oz  $10
L. Frank Baum, Reilly & Lee, 1904
Montgomery & Stone endpapers
The Scarecrow of Oz    $10
L. Frank Baum, Illus by John R. Neill, Reilly & Lee, 1915

Tik-Tok of Oz    $25
L. Frank Baum, Reilly & Lee, 1940s reprint

Dorothy & the Wizard in Oz  $15
L. Frank Baum, Illus by John R. Neill, Reily & Lee, 1908 reprint

Speedy in Oz  $20
Ruth Plumly Thompson, Reilly & Lee, 1934. 12 color plates

Pirates in Oz  $10.
Ruth Plumly Thompson, Reilly & Lee, 1931. 6 color plates
The complete Chronicles
of Narnia


The Chronicles of Narnia    $50
C. S. Lewis Folio Society, 1996

Uncle Wiggily’s Story Book    $10Howard R. Garis. Platt & Munk, 1939

Komantcia    $10
Harold Keith. Thomas Crowell, 1958, 2nd printing. 1965 Newberry Award.
Newberry Award-winner

Cowboy Andy    $10
Edna Chandler, Random House, 1959

Elsie and the Looking Club  $10
Monte Sohn. American Crayon Co., 1946 republication

Rascal    $10
Sterling North. E. P. Dutton, 1963

Little Plum    $15
Rumer Godden. Viking Press, 1963


The Very Fine Clock  $15
Muriel Spark, Illus by Edward Gorey, Alfred Knopf, 1968

The Water Babies  $10
Charles Kingsley, Illus by Jessie Willcox Smith, Dodd, Mead; 1916

Heidi  $10
Johanna Spyri, Illus by Jessie Willcox Smith. David McKay, 1922

Once Upon a Time  $10
Ed. Margery Darrell, Illus by Arthur Rackham, Viking Press, 1972