New books

Today I shall tell you about my new books. I have darkened the doorstep of very few bookstores lately, but the books keep coming in, mostly through Book Mooch and now and then from Amazon. Most of these books, you’ll see, I decided to acquire based on the recommendations of bloggers. Thank you, as always!

  • Jonathan Coe’s The House of Sleep. I may need to read Rosamund Lehmann’s The Echoing Grove before I read Coe’s book, as that’s where he found inspiration for it. I almost began this one yesterday after noticing the epigraph from Lehmann’s novel, but decided it wasn’t quite right for me at the moment. I’m prepared to enjoy this greatly when I’m ready, though, as several bloggers have told me how much they like Coe’s writing.
  • Goethe’s Elective Affinities. Litlove recommended this one to me, and I’m excited about it, as I’ve read some Goethe in the past (Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust), but had never heard of this novel. Here is a description: Elective Affinities is a “penetrating study of marriage and passion, bringing together four people in an inexorable manner. The novel asks whether we have free will or not and confronts its characters with the monstrous consequences of repressing what little ‘real life’ they have in themselves, a life so far removed from their natural states that it appears to them as something terrible and destructive.” It’s from 1809.
  • Werner Herzog’s Of Walking in Ice. This book tells the story of Herzog’s three-week walk from Munich to Paris. He walked to see his friend Lotte Eisner who was sick and near death; he believed that she wouldn’t die as long as he was walking to meet her. I’m kind of fascinated by Herzog, although I haven’t actually seen many of his films. But after seeing Grizzly Man and hearing some interviews with him, I want to know more. And, of course, this is an example of walking literature, which I’m always looking out for.
  • Gabriel Josipovici’s Goldberg: Variations. After reading Imani’s posts on this book, I couldn’t resist. I own Josipovici’s The Book of God, which I read parts of in college, but I don’t know anything about his fiction. I should take another look at The Book of God, now that I think of it; I do like reading books about the Bible.
  • Finally, The Owl Service, by Alan Garner. This is a young adult book, and it is the next Slaves of Golconda book, which we’ll be read at the end of the month. I don’t read much young adult literature, so I’m looking forward to this one.


Filed under Books, Lists

12 responses to “New books

  1. A nice variety of books you got there. I need to go to the library to pick up The Owl Service. I’m looking forward to that one. I used to not read YA books but that kind of changed this year. I’ve read several and I’m definitely more open to them now.


  2. I have to go look up “Of Walking in Ice” now. Thanks.

    I think I read about his walk in Solnit’s “Wanderlust” – and I was absolutely fascinated – but forgot about it as soon as I got home.


  3. hepzibah

    How wonderful to have new books! I feel the urge to buy some new ones!


  4. Checking to see how you are doing on the National Blog Posting Month! 🙂


  5. I do hope you enjoy the Goethe – just reading that description makes me want to read it again. The only problem is my copy is in German and having let the language drop for so many years, I couldn’t possibly manage it in the original now! I’d also quite like to read the Josipivici so I’ll be intrigued as to how you get on.


  6. It seems like most of the books I borrow or mooch these days are recommendations from other bloggers. It looks like you have a nice assortment here.


  7. verbivore

    Such good books – I am also very interested in the Josipovici so please do tell how you get on!


  8. Iliana — I haven’t read many young adult books lately either, but the ones I have I do enjoy, such as the Philip Pullman books, so I should certainly do it more.

    Dark Orpheus — yes, Solnit’s book is where I heard about Herzog’s walk for the first time too, and I keep coming across references to it, so I’m intrigued.

    Hepzibah — it is such a pleasure to go out and accumulate a few new books, isn’t it?

    J. Kaye — thanks for stopping by! So far, so good!

    Litlove — at this point I’d be hopeless at the German! I’d love to read it in the original, but it would take SO much time, so I won’t …

    Danielle — same for me; I honestly don’t know what I’d be reading if it weren’t for bloggers … I’d find something of course, but it would be radically different from what I’m reading now.

    Verbivore — I will certainly let you know!


  9. The Book of God is beautiful; I highly recommend revisiting it. Also, I just wrote about Josipovici last week, at length:


  10. What a nice list of books! I’ve got the Goethe, found a copy after I read something Margaret Atwood, or was it A.S. Byatt, said about it. Haven’t managed to read it yet though. And everyone seems to be raving about Josipovici. I must check him out!


  11. The title “Of Walking on Ice” reminded me of “Smilla’s Sense of Snow”, where the main character, like a polar bear, could walk across ice floes; inherently sensing which were the light, balanced ones that would turn over at the slightest provocation, and which were larger, and bottom-heavy, providing better footing.

    Just a random thought, from somewhere deep in my head. (This also made me think: I read a lot of books after seeing a movie, and wanting to know what the story really contained.)


  12. I hope you enjoy The Owl Service. It is one of my husband’s favourite books. He sent me a copy when we were dating long distance; now we have two copies on the shelf!


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