Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New Books In, August 2016

I brought home SO MAN BOOKS in August that they will have to be represented by three photos of book stacks.  Bear with, bear with.

Much of the fault goes to The Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale put on every summer by the Greenville Literacy Association. This year I volunteered as a book sorter, pulling a few shifts throughout the month of July to sort donations that came in. I haven't heard yet how many books were sold, but I know we sorted over 126,000 books, if you can imagine. I was a minor player compared to some people who seemed to be full-time volunteers.

Child of All Nations by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Footsteps by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
House of Glass by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2 by Annie Proulx
A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle
Time and Again by Jack Finney
Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear by Javier MarĂ­as
Old Filth by Jane Gardam
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

I read the first book of the Toer (This Earth of Mankind) and was pleased to find books 2-4 for $1 each.  I have meant to read some of L'Engle's adult fiction, and the others were all authors I had on my list. Yes, I do bring a list. It helps keep me focused. The Finney was an earlier pick this year for the Sword and Laser book club, one I didn't get to, but hey, for $1, I might still.

I went to that book sale twice - once on the Saturday, where you pay per book, and once on the Sunday, where you pay $10 for every grocery bag. I went earlier on the Saturday than I usually do, so there were more people. This meant I didn't get to look deeply at the non-fiction, which is where I headed on the Sunday! Richardson-Moore is a minister in my town, Nahmad wrote the book I wish I'd lived, and the Kabat-Zinn was to give away!

Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
The Weight of Mercy by Deb Richardson-Moore
Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Pilgrimage to Iona by Claire Nahmad
My Sergei: A Love Story by Ekaterina Gordeeva
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Otherwise, I had birthday money that I of course spent on books. Many of the books I ended up with in August are in preparation for my in-person book club. (You can hear more about this book club on Episode 049 of the Reading Envy Podcast.) There are some other random books in this pile - one from a Misfit Reader which I purchased in a weak moment, one Goodreads Giveaway win (the McInerney) and two audiobook review copies from Brilliance Audio.

Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar
The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton
The Registrar's Manual for Detecting Forced Marriages by Sophie Hardach
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Skylark Farm by Antonia Arslan
The Plum Tree by Ellen Marie Wiseman
The Seventh Elephant by Alexis Stamatis
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

Now that I have finally taken photos of these piles, I can try to find space for them on my shelves.

Reading Envy 066: When Time Stops

Karen returns to Reading Envy to talk about summer reading, just in time for the craziness of the academic year to overtake us both. We had some interesting crossovers, like finishing series, traveling without taking a trip, and starting something new.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 066: When Time Stops.

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Books discussed:

French Milk by Lucy Knisley
Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
An Age of License by Lucy Knisley
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett
Just So Happens by Fumio Obata
Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah by Anna Badhken
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Other mentions:

Saga series by Brian K. Vaughan
Record series by K.A. Linde (starts with Off the Record)
Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction
Apex by Ramez Naam
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
Changeless by Gail Carriger
Waistcoasts & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin
Relish by Lucy Knisley
The World is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village by Anna Badhken
The Cruelest Journey by Kira Salak
Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
My Own Cape Cod by Gladys Taber

Man Booker Prize Long List 2016
A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre

Related episodes:

Episode 004 - Home, Frightening and Banned with guest Karen Acosta
Episode 015 - The Time for Exclaiming Over Costumes with Jean and Karen
Episode 051 - Dreaming in Books with Karen
Episode 052 - The Man with the Eyebrows with Philip and Scott

Stalk me online:
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Reading Envy 065: Creeping through the Uncanny Valley

Bryan Alexander drops by the Reading Envy pub to chat horror novels and short stories. Bryan has been exploring the question of the best 21st century horror novel for about a year, and Jenny wanted to hear about what he has discovered. Bryan also chats a bit about a near-future science fiction book club of sorts that he will be hosting on his blog. Jenny also manages to ask one of the authors we discuss some of the questions we had about his novel.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 065: Creeping through the Uncanny Valley.

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Books discussed:


In Parenthesis by David Jones
The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud
Dark Entries by Robert Aickman
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
The White People and Other Weird Stories by Arthur Machen
The Fireman by Joe Hill

Other discussions:
"What are the best horror novels of the 21st century" posted by Bryan in August 2015
"Near Future" Readalong on Bryan's blog
Bram Stoker Awards
Necronomicon (the con)
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
"The Feather Pillow" by Horacio Quiroga
Birdbox by Josh Malerman
Blood Kin by Steve Rasnic Tem
Reanimated (film)
The Resurrected (film)
Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam
Revolution in Higher Education by Richard A. DeMillo
New Media Consortium
Association of Professional Futurists
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
Company Town by Madeleine Ashby
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Peripheral by William Gibson
This is Horror podcast
M.R. James
The Wicker Man (film)
The Ink Readers of Doi Saket by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Daniel Mills
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones
Yann Martel
Jonathan Safran Foer
Algernon Blackwood
The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Dragon Age videogames
Kate Mulgrew
Locke & Key by Joe Hill
The Stand by Stephen King
Salem's Lot by Stephen King
On Writing by Stephen King
"Somebody's Trying to Kill Me and I Think It's My Husband: The Modern Gothic" by Joanna Russ
Anne Rice

Related episodes:
Episode 002 - Return of the Euthanized Book with guest Bryan Alexander
Episode 011 - People of the Book with guest Bryan Alexander
Episode 030 - Bring Back the Guillotine! with guests Bryan Alexander and Steen Hansen
Episode 041 - Grotesque Beauty with Nathan Ballingrud

Stalk us online:
Jenny at GoodReads
Jenny on Twitter
Bryan at his blog
Bryan at GoodReads
Bryan on Twitter
Thomas Olde Heuvelt website 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Library Books Mid-August 2016

This post is brought to you almost entirely by one reading rabbit hole and one prize long list.

Bound to Violence by Yambo Ouologuem
Xala by Sembene Ousmane
The Yambo Ouloguem Reader by Yambo Ouologuem
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
Desertion by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Hystopia by David Means
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
Work Like Any Other by Virginia Reeves
Genii of the River Niger by Jean-Marie Gibbal
Kaidara by Amadou Hampate Ba
Ladivine by Marie NDiaye
(not pictured: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor)

I recently read Walking with Abel by Anna Badhken, which tells the story of one group of Fulani cowboys in their annual nomadic journeys in Mali. She had done a lot of research and I ended up adding a lot to my reading list, some of which I brought home. Although I haven't read any of it, that is why I have the two Ouologuem titles, the Gibbal, and the Ba.

The Man Booker long list was announced in July, and I checked out what my public library had available - the Means, the Moshfegh, and the Reeves.

I checked out the NDiaye and Gurnah for some Goodreads readalongs, the Ousmane for my Africa2016 project (although I'd previously read a book set in Senegal), the Darnielle because I started seeing his upcoming book in Litsy and realized I never read the last one, and the Okorafor after seeing her read from its sequel.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Reading Envy 064: Reading Down the Rabbit Hole

Jenny talks books with anyone who will listen, and finds a new reading friend in the library where she works. Tracy, who appeared at the tail end of episode 063, is back for a full episode. We discuss books that tie into movies, real life experiences, and more. (Caution: this episode may make you hungry!)

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 064: Reading Down the Rabbit Hole.

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Books discussed:

The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Baker
Julia Child: A Life by Julie Shapiro
The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Pauline Chiziane; translated by David Brookshaw

Other mentions:

Walter Edgar - SC writers
Dorothea Benton Frank
Mary Alice Monroe
Fran Rizer
Carolyn Hart
The Big Year (film)
John Adams by David McCullough
1776 by David McCullough
Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series
Diane Mott Davidson
The Forgotten Recipe by Amy Clipston
JennyBakes raspberry pie
The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss by Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper
As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto by Joan Reardon
My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prudhomme
Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
Julie & Julia (film)
The Last Queen of England by Steve Robinson
My Husband's Sweethearts by Bridget Asher
Apex by Ramez Naam
The Big Book of Science Fiction ed. by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Related Episodes:

Reading Envy 005: The Second Definition of Geek (mention of Penguin Lives)
Reading Envy 048: Reading Goals 2016
Reading Envy 063: Desolation Road (Tracy makes another brief appearance)

Stalk us online:

Jenny at GoodReads
Jenny on Twitter

Monday, August 1, 2016

New Books In, July 2016

The Folly by Ivan Vladislavic
Absolute Solitude: Selected Poems by Dulce Maria Loynaz
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
In Praise of Defeat: Poems by Abdellatif Laabi
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
The Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah
The Librarian by Mikhail Elizarov
The Geometry of Love by Jessica Levine
The Big Book of Science Fiction edited by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer
The Girls by Emma Cline
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
The Ethnomusicologists' Cookbook edited by Sean Williams
The Ethnomusicologists' Cookbook Volume II edited by Sean Williams
The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini

July was a great month for books! It was my birthday month, and many of these are birthday gifts - the McLain, Winspear, Beah, Elizarov, Williams (x2), and Mangini. Many of those were from my wishlist so that's always awesome, and the Beah and McLain will be good books for my Africa 2016 reading project.

Two of the books were purchased because I knew I'd see the authors and wanted to get them signed: the VanderMeer(s) and Heuvelt.  I always buy the VanderMeer anthologies and have a big shelf of them, but this time I've actually started reading some of the stories.

The Cline was July's Book of the Month pick, the Levine was a Goodreads giveaway, and the trio of Vladislavic, Loynaz, and Laabi were a generous gift from Archipelago Press. Two of them will be great for my Africa 2016 reading project!