Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bookellanea or This is How I Drool

Bookish + miscellanea. Get it? Get it? OK, it's been a hell of a week, and it's Thursday and I'm dragging arse. This has just been one of those weeks at work when every duty snowballs at once and I'm left trying to keep my curly head above water. No signs of slowing before the end of the term on July 30th, so I'll be paddling hard until then.

In the meantime, I've been reading Lucy Knisley's graphic novel French Milk for the second time this year. She will be my next Outspoken Interview, with ILLUSTRATIONS!!!! That'll post this coming Monday.

I'm also still reading The Passage, and I will wait to tell you how FREAKIN' AWESOME it is when I'm finished with it completely. 200 pages left! You know how allergic I am to overhyped books,  but this one, so far, has been far and above the hype. And this is not even my "kind" of book generally speaking. Awesome. Just awesome. But I'm waiting to tell you that. Right. Ahem.

While I haven't gotten anything new from the library or for my Nook, I have been adding titles to my Nook wishlist when I blog hop or read through the latest issue of the New York Times Book Review. Have you read any of these?

By Fire, By Water by Mitchell Kaplan - I read about this one over at Caribousmom. Wendy writes:
Mitchell James Kaplan’s debut novel is set in fifteenth century Spain during the time of the New Inquisition when King Fernando and Queen Ysabel were waging war and expelling all Jews from Spain. This period is also remembered for Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) and his discovery of the Western Hemisphere. Kaplan has taken all of these events and created an historical novel of depth, passion and faith which held me spellbound.
The only other book I've read from the Spanish Inquisition time period was Alice Hoffman's YA historical, Incantation. I read it a few Dewey's Read-a-Thons ago, and I absolutely loved it. I would love to delve back into this particular part of history.

The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna is one I read about over at Farm Lane Books. Jackie summarizes it nicely:
The Birth of Love combines a present day birthing experience with flashbacks to Vienna in 1865, a time when thousands of mothers died simply because doctors didn’t think to wash their hands between performing an autopsy and helping with a birth. We discover how Professor Semmelweis, the first man to suggest that doctors should wash their hands regularly, was imprisoned in a lunatic asylum. He was driven mad by his realisation that he had killed so many women by spreading disease between them.

The book also gives a scary prediction for the future, suggesting that in 2153 no one will give birth – all babies will be grown in special genetically screened baby farms.
Having a child certainly gives any woman a greater appreciation for the process. Personally, I had absolutely no interest in birth stories before Greyson came along, but now a book like this sounds like something I'd love to get my hands on. I'm also fascinated by the various historical periods. Seems I'm craving something historical! That's totally out of the ordinary for me. I'll blame it on loving The Good Earth so much. Now I need MORE!
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares is everywhere. I can't even remember which blogs have featured it because they numbers are stacking up. The Powell's description:
Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has the memory, the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.

Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again.
OK, does The Gargoyle come immediately to mind for any of you? It did for me. I've never read any of Brashares' YA stuff, so I'm completely new to her writing, but I'm hoping this story offers something new. I adored The Gargoyle, so if it's too similar I may be irked. We'll see how it goes!
Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross was one I noticed in the New York Times Book Review, and it had a pretty good showing from what I can remember. This is only part of the blurb from Powell's, but it sounds like quite the twisty mess:
David Pepin has been in love with his wife, Alice, since the moment they met in a university seminar on Alfred Hitchcock. After thirteen years of marriage, he still can't imagine a remotely happy life without her — yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she is dead, and David is both deeply distraught and the prime suspect.
So basically, David Pepin is not the only married man under fire or embroiled in murderous schemes in this book (that's included in the rest of the blurb over at Powell's). While I'm not much of a murder reader, it seems as if this one may be an interesting, if brutal, examination of marriage.

Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon is another book that landed on my radar, but I'm not sure how. I'm almost certain it was a blog, but it's been a while so I can't remember who got me hooked.
Dismantlement = Freedom

Henry, Tess, Winnie, and Suz banded together in college to form a group they called the Compassionate Dismantlers. Following the first rule of their manifesto--To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart--these daring misfits spend the summer after graduation in a remote cabin in the Vermont woods committing acts of meaningful vandalism and plotting elaborate, often dangerous, pranks. But everything changes when one particularly twisted experiment ends in Suz's death and the others decide to cover it up.
It sounds one part The Secret History (Donna Tart) and one part "The Destructors" (Graham Greene). Both the novel and the short story came immediately to mind when I read the blurb, and now I can't wait to get my hands on it. I'm not sure if I'll be able to grab it from the library or if I'll end up snagging it on e-book, but either way, I must try it!

What books are you drooling over?


  1. new reader; your blog is great! i am and will probably always drooling over Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius :).

  2. I love Bookellanea. Very creative. I'm going to start The Passage on audio next week. I'm almost finished with Voyager. I can't wait. I've read mostly great reviews. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  3. OMG - I love French Milk! I can't wait for your interview. I must know, what else is she working on? Is there another book out soon?

    And, I'm a lucky girl because I think I'm getting an ARC of By Fire, By Water. I hope it's going to be a great historical read.

  4. Can't wait for your interview with Lucy or your review of The Passage.

  5. I want to read By Fire, By Water too. I hope that you enjoy The Birth of Love :-)

  6. I haven't heard of ANY of those! I'm totally stoked about your upcoming interview :) I'm also really excited about your review of The Passage. I downloaded an excerpt of it onto my Nook but haven't read it yet...I have a feeling I'll end up just buying it!

  7. Glad you are loving The Passage! I am 24th in line at the library for Mr. Peanut, mainly because it is written by a high school teacher here in Nashville! Gotta support the locals!

  8. Well good lord, this read like a list of books I would buy if I could buy books. I could turn that into a tongue twister, but I shall refrain.

  9. i like the cover of mr. peanut--it sounds a bit kooky, though. when my hubby and i were first dating, he took me to a lecture delivered by 'ghost hunters' ed and lorainne warren. i hope he doesn't have some big plans for me. :) lol.

  10. I've heard a lot about The Passage. Everyone I know seems to be reading it right now. My curiosity has certainly been piqued! I'll be sure to tune in for the review!

  11. I am drooling over The Passage and debating on whether to wait until the 2nd book comes out (if one does) before I read the 1st one. I'm not good on awaiting the next novel from an author, but I've heard so many good things on The Passage that your initial sneak peek is making me think that I need to pack on up to go to the bookshop to pick it up!

  12. Dismantled is one I've had on my radar for a while--I am craving The Secret History right now, and I expect I'd like Dismantled too. Mm, death cover-up stories.

  13. By Fire, By Water has been on my radar for quite some time now.


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