Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Latest stockpile

Granted, I haven't showcased my book purchases since early April, but I was so horrified once I'd gathered (most of) the newbies together for the above photo op, that I cancelled three Amazon pre-orders. I don't need to acquire books for awhile, even if I do have gift certificates.

(Please note that the first three titles tell a story.)

Left stack:

Jeanne Darst's Fiction Ruined My Family. These days I rarely try for books at LibraryThing, so I was delighted when I won a galley of this memoir. Should make a great tie-in with Reading My Father and Yossarian Slept Here.

Sarah Bakewell's How to Live. Talked myself out of getting this from the library, so that I wouldn't feel that I needed to rush through it.

Jacqueline Winspear's Among the Mad. From the free books shelf in the staff lounge. Guess I should read at least some of the earlier Maisie Dobbs' before I start this.

Harry Mulisch's The Discovery of Heaven. I'd hoped to read along with Iris back in June, but quickly realized it just wasn't the time for me to start a book this size.

Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg's Madison and Jefferson. Someone recommended David McCullough's biography of Truman to me today; I in return recommended Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton. I need to devote more actual time to biographies instead of merely intending to.

Amitav Ghosh's River of Smoke. I haven't even read Sea of Poppies yet!

Dale Peterson's The Moral Lives of Animals. A review copy.

David Lodge's A Man of Parts. My most anticipated book of the year. Why didn't I started this immediately? Now I'm planning to have an H.G. Wells month.

Middle stack:

Annabel Lyon's The Golden Mean. The Slaves of Golconda will be discussing this on Sept. 30.

Jane Rogers' The Testament of Jessie Lamb. Made the Booker longlist so I thought I'd give it a try.

Stephane Audeguy's The Theory of Clouds. A French novel recommended at book club.

Felix J. Palma's The Map of Time. Steampunk. Another book for the potential H.G. Wells month.

Ron Rash's Saints at the River. Rash is my go-to for Appalachian fare.

Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz. Was surprised that this didn't make the Booker longlist. Have high expectations here since I loved The Gathering.

Tessa Hadley's The London Train. I like Hadley.

Kate Christensen's The Astral. Haven't read Christensen since The Epicure's Lament, which I loved. Another book I have high expectations for.

China Mieville's Embassytown. R. gave me this for Mother's Day.

Philip Hensher's King of the Badgers. Loved The Northern Clemency.

Right stack:

Tim Pears' Disputed Land. Lots of buzz about this at Book Balloon.

Jane Harris' Gillespie and I. I've not read Harris before.

Buck Brannaman's The Faraway Horses. A gift from C. for catsitting.

Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers. And we finally reach a book that I've read. I even read it immediately after receiving it! I'm pulling for the western to win the Booker! Plus, this has the best cover ever.

John Sayles' A Moment in the Sun. Could I get this read in a month if I read nothing but? Jeez, it's huge.

David Foster Wallace's The Pale King. Need to read the essays and short stories first.

Joe Scco's Footnotes in Gaza. Another freebie from the staff lounge. I have Palestine in progress.


  1. Seeing the words "Mad" and "Lamb" amongst your book titles reminded me of some fromyourdesks blog posts I read last week that reminded me of you. You had an interest in Mary Lamb a few years back, yes?

    (Scroll down halfway for a wonderful illustration for the poem "A perm did not prove successful")

    The book (maybe you should look at this first):

  2. This is a great looking pile of books! There are many that I want to read myself, but I haven't got to them yet.

  3. What a lovely pile of books. I would be greedy and not cancel the pre-orders...even with all the new books. I have Gillespie and I out from the library--big, chunky hardcover that is too big to carry around. I also got the Slaves book, but I found a used paperback. Part of my problem is I'll buy a book, like you, and think I really need to go back to the author's first book, which I often have and read it first, but then that doesn't happen so I end up with two (or more) unread books on my pile. Need more reading time.

  4. I read 'Gillespie and I' a couple of weeks ago and came away thinking, so what? I would be really interested to hear other people's views on it.

  5. Anonymous7:44 PM

    This is wonderful. My guilt about recent book purchases evaporates on comparing that paltry haul with yours. My little stack is not even worth a snap.

  6. Your story in titles is great :) Very nice collection of books. I can especially recommend the Bakewell biography -- she's very good and deservedly has gotten a lot of attention.

  7. Those are lovely and you made me laugh that you cancelled orders when you discovered how many books you had acquired. So is that right, the sequel to Sea of Poppies is out? I'm going to have to go check my library!

  8. Enjoy all of your lovely acquisitions.


As a reader I cherish the fantasy of one day stopping acquiring books, of subsisting only on what is already stashed away in the crammed lar...