Recently I got together with Frances from Nonsuch Book for coffee.
|Since I needed to make room on my shelves for new books, I brought Frances a few duplicates to satisfy her Barbara Pym cravings (and an EF Benson to boot).|
All this is to say, I had a big itch to scratch. And boy did I scratch.
Even crazier, is the fact that I bought so many hardcover books. But I really wanted some recent stuff so I had to take the plunge. And I should mention that at least four of the HCs were remainders and cheaper than their PB editions.
(In order, beginning with the stack on the left.)
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
I bought this one because it is one of the two books discussed on the recent inaugural episode of the podcast Hear...Read This. I am going to wait until I read these books before actually listening to the podcast.
The Bookstore by Deborah Merler
Not surprisingly, I bought this because it has the word "bookstore" in the title. No more to say about that.
The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton
I remember looking at this book several months ago and thinking I may like it. This was way before I heard of The Luminaries. More recently Frances said she was going to read this one as a warm-up to The Luminaries. But it wasn't until Frances pointed it out to me at the bookstore that I realized that they were the same book.
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn
I think Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader, and perhaps Nevil Shute's In the Wet are the only two books I have read that get the current royal family right in fiction. Oh, and Peter Lefcourt does a good job in Di and I. Emma Tennant really gets it wrong in The Autobiography of the Queen and Mark Helprin really got it wrong in Freddy and Fredericka. Where will this one land I wonder?
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
First the cover got my attention then the blurb "...rocky patch of Italian coastline..." how could I not pick it up. Oddly "Jess" is a man. I am guessing it isn't short for Jessica.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
I hadn't even noticed this book until Frances pointed it out. I think she was skeptical because of the Oprah endorsement, I was skeptical because the title is so god awfully cute. In the end we both bought it. At least I think Frances did as well. I was sold on "...small English village..." on the back cover.
The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt
I've liked pretty much everything Leavitt has written so I picked this one up without even reading the dust jacket flap. Now that I open it and take a gander I can see I made the right choice. Two couples wait in Lisbon in 1940 for a ship to take them back to the U.S. I might have to start this one soon.
HHhH by Laurent Binet
This is the second of the books on the first episode of Hear...Read This. I have already started reading this one and finding it pretty fascinating. A tale of Nazi mastermind Reinhard Heydrich but the story is told in a pretty interesting and unconventional way.
The Love of My Youth by Mary Gordon
I have moderately enjoyed other Gordon novels so this seemed a good choice from the bargain table.
The Good House by Ann Leary
I've seen a few friends bring this up on Goodreads and I love a New England setting.
Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem
This one was on the bestseller list at the bookstore. Daughter moves away from her communist mother in Queens to Greenwich Village. The title helped push me over the edge as well.
The Bottom of Everything by Ben Polnick
Also a bestseller at the bookstore and it appears to be set in Washington DC which doesn't happen too often.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Aichie
The story of a Nigerian woman studying at Princeton and dealing with life as an African in the US (in contrast to being an African-American). Sounds fascinating and my reading list is way too white.
The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble
I like Drabble a lot and since I was buying so many books, one more didn't seem like a bad idea.
May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Holmes
I have never read anything by Holmes and this one is on the longlist for the Green Carnation Prize.
The Infatuations by Javier Marais
Frances said this was excellent and it takes place in Madrid. I think I have spent more time in Spain (ten days) than I have read books set in Spain. Doesn't seem very worldly of me does it?
Have you read any of these? Do you want to?