Monday, March 22, 2010

A lot of new books

Obviously I'm not doing so well in the stop-accumulating-so-many-books department. The shelves are full and I'm running out of flat surfaces for the myriad stacks. So what else is new?

Sans yesterday's books, these are the tricky devils that have finagled their way into my home since the first of the year:

Skippy Dies. Paul Murray. A three-volume slipcovered novel about boarding school, doughnut-eating races and parallel universes.

Stephen Hero. James Joyce. An early version of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I found it on the Free Books table in the staff lounge.

After the Workshop. John McNally. What do you do after graduating from the Iowa Writers' Workshop? You write a novel about someone who graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and winds up working as a media escort for author tours.

Workers in the Dawn. George Gissing. Gissing's first novel brought back into print by Debbie Harrison and Victorian Secrets.

The Hand That First Held Mine. Maggie O'Farrell. Publishers have sent me both the hardback and then the paperback version of a couple of books, but I think this is the first time I've received both an uncorrected proof and the finished hardback.

Life Sentences. Laura Lippman. For a book tour. Look for my review on Thursday.

Parrot and Olivier in America. Peter Carey. Historical fiction based on the life of Alexis de Tocqueville.

Twilight in Delhi. Ahmed Ali. Nineteenth-century India.

Wigs on the Green and Don't Tell Alfred. Nancy Mitford. These should be great for the next Read-a-thon, don't you think?

Vertigo. W.G. Sebald. The Slaves of Golconda will be discussing this at the end of the month.

The Possessed. Elif Batuman. I thought this sounded perfect for my daughter--and how even more perfect that I got to read it first!

Wish Her Safe at Home. Stephen Benatar. Woman inherits a mansion, proceeds into mania.

The Cost of Living and Varieties of Exile. Mavis Gallant. Short stories.

Fortunes of War. Olivia Manning. World War II trilogy set in Europe.

The Eleventh Plague. Darren Craske. Review copy. Book 2 of the Cornelius Quaint Chronicles.

Hopeful Monsters. Nicholas Mosley. If we are to survive in the environment we have made for ourselves, may we have to be monstrous enough to greet our predicament?


  1. Oh, you have that nice new Fortunes of War edition by NYRB books--very nice! I'm waiting for a library copy of the Maggie O'Farrell book and will be getting those new (new editions anyway) Nancy Mitford books! Now I don't feel so bad as I have a big stack to share sometime this week of my own new books. (Sadly though I can't say they are the only purchases since the first of the year....).

  2. Oh, I am lusting after your books right now. i want to read The Possessed and several other of the books you've got. Looking forward to your thoughts on Vertigo next week!

  3. Oh my goodness - what a wonderful list. I hope that you enjoy the Nicholas Moseley

    Thanks for sharing


  4. Wish Her Safe At Home looks good. So do the Mitford books. I need to find out more about George Gissing; his name keeps popping up everywhere.

  5. I liked Wish Her Safe at Home and will be interested to see what you think of it.

  6. Every time I tell myself to stop buying books, I always find more I *have* to have. I figure this vice is better than others, and I'm glad to know that I'm not alone. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the great books on this list.


"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.