Reading Round-Up, 11/19/13

First of all, don’t forget that I’m giving away a book! Leave a comment on my post reviewing Elizabeth Gentry’s novel Housebound to have a chance to win a copy. I’ll draw a name after this Friday.

A few new books came into my house in the last week and a half, although none of them were books I bought — they were all books I won in some way or another. I rarely have this many free books coming into the house at once, so it felt decadent:

  • Jill McCorkle’s Life After Life came from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer’s program. I’m not sure if this book is getting more attention or less since it has the same title as Kate Atkinson’s new release.
  • From Goodreads I won Brother Kemal: A Kayankaya Thriller by Jakob Arjouni, part of Melville International Crime from Melville House. This is book 5 in a series of crime novels set in Germany.
  • And then The Cutting Season by Attica Locke, which I won in a giveaway on Twitter. Can you believe my luck? This is another mystery, part of Dennis Lehane’s imprint with HarperCollins.

I added a few books to my TBR list (which numbers in the hundreds and includes a lot of books I may not get to for a long time):

  • The first is Young Rebecca: Writings, 1911-1917, which Rohan from Novel Readings was tweeting about recently. I’m a great admirer of West’s, but I haven’t read any of her nonfiction and would like to.
  • Then there is Christa Wolf’s One Day a Year 1960-2000, which Danielle has been writing about. The book is made up of diary entries from, as the title tells us, one day each year. The concept is intriguing.
  • And then I’m greatly looking forward to writer/professor/blogger Jenny Davidson’s forthcoming book Reading Style: A Life in Sentences. It’s not coming out until next spring, but I’ll get a copy as soon as I can.
  • Finally, I read about Enid Bagnold’s book The Squire from the Persephone catalog. It was originally published in 1938 and is largely about pregnancy and childbirth. Intriguing, right?

As for what I’m reading now, I decided to pick up All Souls by Javier Marias, which I’ve had on my shelves for a while now. I was drawn to it because I felt like reading about its Oxford setting, and I just finished a rather ridiculous set piece narrated in great detail about formal dinners at the university, or “high tables.” So far I’m enjoying the novel’s dark humor. I’m also making my way through the essay collection Meaty by Samantha Irby. I should finish that one soon.

After that, who knows?


Filed under Books

7 responses to “Reading Round-Up, 11/19/13

  1. I always enjoy a book with an Oxford setting but know nothing about Marias. What sort of writer is he?


    • He’s a Spanish writer, and his character is a visiting teacher/writer from Spain. I think he might be best known for Your Face Tomorrow, although I haven’t read it. The book is a slow read, although not entirely in a bad way; it’s kind of dark and brooding and satirical. I’ll write more on it later!


  2. Lucky you to win all those books! Quick, buy a lottery ticket while you’re on a streak! πŸ™‚


  3. Lucky you–I love it when I win books! πŸ™‚ It sounds like you have a lovely and interesting pile at your fingertips! I hope you like the Wolf book–it is very interesting–my only ‘criticism’ is I wish there was a good introduction that gave some background information about Wolf and East Germany–it would be helpful to have a little context. There are lots of references to people (authors especially–she was very much part of that world and seemed to know everyone–as well as politicians) I don’t know but they do give footnotes. Still, an interesting slice of life–I definitely want to read her fiction now–I especially like the bits about her family and her reading and writing. Hope all is well with you! πŸ™‚


    • I feel like I have many lovely and interesting piles of books at my finger tips πŸ™‚ Your point about context for the Wolf book makes sense. I suppose when I read it, I should be prepared to look up some context on my own. The sections on reading and writing sound really good!


  4. Yay! What a great book winner you are! I really enjoyed the Attica Locke. Don’t expect anything particularly unusual, but the plot reads like it’s on wheels and the writing is better than your average thriller. Jenny Davidson’s book sounds interesting – I’ll be watching out for your review of that!


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