New books!

Or rather, used books! Hobgoblin and I drove across Connecticut to visit the Book Barn in Niantic (which I wrote about here), a book store it is worth driving the entire way across a state to visit (yes, a small state, but still). We met some friends there who had two kids in tow plus there was our own kid, so we didn’t spend as long as I would have liked, but I found some nice things anyway. Hobgoblin found the entire Harry Potter series in hardcover, which we snapped up. We need to be prepared to read to our little one when he gets older, right?

I came home with:

  • Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend. I was hoping to find The Days of Abandonment, but this one sounds good too. Oh, I just discovered it’s the first in a trilogy, although it looks like only the first two have appeared so far and the second hasn’t been translated into English. It’s a story about friendship between two women, which is promising.
  • Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts. The man who was working the register when we paid for our books rhapsodized about Fermor, and I’ve heard many other rhapsodies about his writing, so surely this will be good.
  • Pico Iyer’s The Man Within My Head. This is partly about Iyer and partly about Iyer’s obsession with Graham Greene. I like this particular mix of genres, memoir and literary criticism.
  • Gideon Lewis-Kraus’s A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and Hopeful. This one is a mix of memoir and travel.
  • Georgette Heyer’s Footsteps in the Dark. All the Heyers I’ve read so far have been the romances, so I’m curious what I will think of one of her mysteries.

I could have come home with so much more, so maybe it’s a good thing the kids desperately needed their lunch and we needed to leave. Especially since I’ve accumulated a few new books from other sources. I picked up a copy of The Best American Essays, 2013, edited by Cheryl Strayed, a series I make sure to read every year (and I’m such an essay geek that frequently one of the most enjoyable parts of the book is the introductory essay on the essay genre). I also snagged a copy of Elizabeth Gilbert’s new novel The Signature of All Things from Goodreads. AND, I bought a copy of Hawthorn and Child by Keith Ridgway, which is supposed to be a new take on the detective novel. And also the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon. I love the title.

But most exciting of all, I got an advanced reader’s edition of a novel coming out in November, written by a good friend of mine, Elizabeth Gentry’s Housebound. You will be hearing more from me about this book when it comes out in November, but in the meantime, just go ahead and add it to your TBR pile, because it’s awesome. Here’s the cover:



Filed under Books

12 responses to “New books!

  1. Such a fascinating place, that Book Barn. I would definitely drive a long ways to get there. I just clicked on the site via the link and watched that one long video about it. You came home with some nice treasures!


  2. Housebound looks good just from the cover. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the new Elizabeth Gilbert, which I want to read.


  3. Is ‘Housebound’ coming out in the UK Rebecca? I shall be seriously annoyed if you rave about it and I can’t get a copy.
    I’m going to be another Fermor raver. I was recommended this particular book by someone whose taste as a reader I respect almost more than any other and I’ve never been without a copy since. If you enjoy (and I dare you not to) you might also want to read the biography that came out this year by Artemis Cooper.
    And why don’t we have a UK equivalent of your annual essay collection? Who publishes it? If they have a UK arm it might be worth my asking that question of them.


    • I don’t believe it’s coming out in the UK, Alex, but I will happily send you a copy. I want the book distributed and publicized as widely as possible, so I’m happy to send a copy your way. I’m so glad to hear you are another Fermor fan!

      You definitely should have a UK equivalent of the Best American Essays, or why not broaden the scope of this anthology to make it the best essays, period? Perhaps that’s too ambitious, but limiting the anthology to American essays isn’t very satisfying. It looks like it’s published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


      • Thanks, Rebecca. We do get their publications over here but whether they actually have a UK branch I’m not sure. I would have thought our librarians would know, though, so I’ll chase it up through them.


  4. I still remember the joy of choosing and buying books for ‘the little one’. In no time, the little one will become a little reader himself. My son’s first books that he read on his own were Frog and Toad are Friends, when he was about 5. And in a couple of years, he was reading the Narnia series. They sure grow up fast. Enjoy! 😉


  5. I wish I had a Book Barn to go to! I somehow manage to do alright though judging from my groaning bookshelves 🙂 You found some good sounding books. I have Fermor’s book on my shelf too because Danielle has raved about him so much. I had hoped to read it over the summer but that didn’t happen. Soon though! Enjoying your new finds!


  6. I am glad I finally looked at your blog, Rebecca. It is awesome and full of good recommendations!


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