Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Books In, June 2016

June was a strange month where the books coming in were almost taller than my roses! I finally piled them all up today and made some tea (Thai osmanthus, thanks for asking.) More discussion and regions below the list.

Light Boxes by Shane Jones
Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith
The Good Life Elsewhere by Vladimir Lorchenkov
The 6:41 to Paris by Jean-Philippe Blondel, translated by Alison Anderson
Memories: From Moscow to the Black Sea by Teffi
The Bug by Ellen Ullman
The Joys of Love by Madeleine L'Engle
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The Colony by Jillian Weise
Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle
Enchanted Islands by Allison Amend
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
The Peripheral by William Gibson
Restless by William Boyd

Half this pile was from a trip to the used bookstore where I had credit to spend - Jones (because I loved the cover), Smith (because I wanted it in my collection), L'Engle (because I wanted to read more of her adult literature, although this doesn't qualify), the Hornby (to have in my collection), the Weise (because I had only read her poetry and know she's local), the Gibson (because I used to read all his novels and somehow never got around to this one), and the Boyd (because I enjoyed Any Human Heart.)

On Episode 061 of the Reading Envy Podcast, I discussed the book Some Day,a title from a publisher that was new to me. They contacted me and offered to send me a few more books, and I'm looking forward to the Lorchenkov (set in Moldova and the author is also from Moldova) and the Blondel. The Beagle is also a galley sent by a publisher, with the most beautiful cover! I only recently read The Last Unicorn for the first time and I'm looking forward to this one.

I ordered the Danler because it sounded right up my alley, the Teffi because a friend whose reading tastes are similar to mine demanded I read it right away, the Ullman because I had recently seen it on a list and then found it at a friends of the library bookstore in the NC mountains, and the Amend because I signed up for Book of the Month in a weak moment. All the readers in Litsy are doing it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Reading Envy 061: Never Do That to a Book

Elizabeth (from Episode 033) is back to discuss books she's read recently. We are sometimes joined by children, dogs, and airplanes taking off from a nearby airport, but please just settle in as if you were in a friend's living room with all the ephemera. Welcome!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 061: Never Do That to a Book.

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Books discussed:

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
My Last Continent by Midge Raymond
Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Some Day by Shemi Zarhin
Ex Libris: Collections of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel

Other mentions:
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Flight to Arras by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
Any Human Heart (miniseries)
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
The History of Reading by Alberto Manguel
A Universal History of the Destruction of Books  by Fernando Baez
Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper by Nicholson Baker
Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories by Joy Williams

Related Episodes:
Episode 033 - An Undulating Thrum with guests Ruth and Elizabeth
Stalk us online:
Jenny at Goodreads
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Elizabeth at Goodreads   

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Library Books Mid-June 2016

I resurfaced from teaching my reading class on June 1, and went overboard at all the libraries! I need to get through these soon or I will have to return them unread, especially the interlibrary loan titles.

A General Theory of Oblivion by Jose Eduardo Agualusa
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
The Secret Lovers by Charles McCarry
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett
The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand

Two of these novels are for my Africa 2016 reading project - the Agualusa is from Angola and was also a nominee for the Man Booker International Prize this year. The Badkhen is non-fiction and looked good. I can't remember where I saw it mentioned, but I requested it from the library immediately.

I had pulled the King off the shelf when I was contemplating books in genres I don't usually read (and ended up with Amish romance and sports), and this is a book that comes up often in my book club. They read it before I joined them, but it stuck. I'm sure I'll like it once I get into it (why is non-fiction so hard to start?) I'm not sure I'll end up really reading the Osen but will definitely skim it for the titles. That was one that was near another book in the library and came home with me.

Some books were because of frequent mentions - Williams, Chee (also the June pick of one of my Goodreads groups), and Fuller. Fuller was also recommended by Nathan Ballingrud, the Hand (and maybe the Bennett) was recommended by Jeff VanderMeer, and the McCarry is just the next Paul Christopher book in my attempt to work through those spy novels. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Reading Envy 060: A Good Era for Communists

Jenny is joined at the Reading Envy pub by Rose Davis, one generation removed from a previous guest! We cover a lot of ground, historically and geographically, from moody moors to being raised by vampires for political reasons to whether or not an Oprah Book Club sticker makes us more or less interested to read a book.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 060: A Good Era for Communists.

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
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Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play (new!)  

Books discussed:

Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Miernik Dossier by Charles McCarry
Prudence by Gail Carriger
Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Other mentions:
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
Don't Look Now: Selected Stories by Daphne du Maurier
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle
Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane
The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett
The Tears of Autumn by Charles McCarry 
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre
Soulless by Gail Carriger
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
The Lady of the Camelias by Alexandre Dumas
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
A Good Story is Hard to Find Podcast Episode 134: Aliens

Related Episodes:
Episode 052 - The Man with the Eyebrows with Philip and Scott
Episode 055 - Too Late for an Autopsy with Julie Davis
Stalk us online:
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Books I Read in May 2016 (121-143)

(Pictured: 5-star reads from May)

121. The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud (library; my review)
122. Letters to Tiptree edited by Alexandra Pierce (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
123. The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
124. Human Acts by Han Kang (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
125. Ruby by Cynthia Bond (library; my review)
126. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
127. The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie (library; my review)
128. Daredevils by Shawn Vestal (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
129. The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston (public library; my review)
130. Hotels of North America by Rick Moody (public library; my review)
131. The Past by Tessa Hadley (interlibrary loan; my review)
132. When Hoopoes Go to Heaven by Gaile Parkin (library eBook; my review)
133. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (library; my review)
134. The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor (public library; my review)
135. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (library; my review)
136. The Tears of Autumn by Charles McCarrry (interlibrary loan; my review)
137. The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
138. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger (library; my review)
139. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (eBook; my review)
140. You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: Short Stories by Alice Walker (interlibrary loan; my review)
141. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi; Read by Sunil Malhotra (audiobook; my review)
142. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
143. The Door by Magda Szabo (library; my review)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New Books In, May 2016

The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
The Likeness by Tana French
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell

I purchased the Ballingrud, French, and Winell from Amazon, for entirely different reasons! I had recently acquired French #3 and #4 at a used book sale, previously read #1, and wanted to remedy missing a volume, so just bought a random used copy that I could use Amazon Prime to ship. Ballingrud of course has been on my podcast and I would have ended up reading this one, but then he was nominated for an award, and I wanted to read it sooner rather than later! The Winell is for my own personal journey, about dealing with a past laden with fundamentalism.

I staged a readathon for my Reading Class and one of the things we did was have a book swap. I snagged the Eggers and Lindbergh from the table - I actually don't want to read the Eggers but it was on the nomination list for my book club, and I thought if it ended up on the list I might as well have a copy! I know I've heard about the Lindbergh but can't exactly remember in what context. Probably a quick read.

The Brooks-Dalton is a review copy from a publisher, a post-apocalyptic novel featuring an astronaut and a scientist. It sounded kind of like a less funny version of that tv show, Last Man on Earth. I was up for it!