Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Books Hurled Themselves Into My Library Bag

I can't be held responsible...


The closest library to my house is the Greenville City Library. As such, if you live outside the city limits, it's $20/year to join the library. It's obviously worth it, as the library card pays for itself after one or two hardback checkouts. I went on Saturday and renewed my membership with the intention of picking up Karen Russell's new release, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. This is a short story collection, and since I enjoyed Swamplandia!, I figured I'd give it a go. I am absolutely in love with the title.

While I was there, I was reminded of why a small city library can be AWESOME. If there are new releases to be had, they're in far less demand. The bigger city I moved away from in 2011 usually had a humongous wait list on anything critically acclaimed or garnering any amount of buzz. Not so much with my little city library. I picked up Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth. While I was there, I also saw Louise Erdrich's The Round House, Jamie Attenberg's The Middlesteins, and a bunch of others that have been popping up all over the blogosphere. I limited myself to the two literary fiction titles and the children's books below in an effort to actually READ these before they're due back in a couple of weeks.


Another reason I went to the library in the first place was to pick up Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie -- the next book in Lisa's Little House Readalong. I finished a re-read of Little House in the Big Woods this past week, and I'm excited to jump into the next book. I'm not sure I've ever actually read this one.

While I was looking for Little House, I ran across Brian Selznick's Wonder Struck. I really enjoyed The Invention of Hugo Cabret when I read it several years ago. I also think it's integral for me to have some quick, readable, make-so-progress books in my stacks to keep my mojo going. I think this one fits the bill perfectly. 

Finally, A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na has an owl on the front! That's what got my attention, but it also looks like a fun book to read with Greyson. We'll try it out tonight and see how he likes it. :) 

What have you been reading this weekend? Any new library acquisitions or purchases? 




29 comments:

  1. I just read the first story, the title story, of the new Karen Russell collection a couple of days ago. I liked it. Would have preferred a different ending, but still.

    I've got to track down A Book of Sleep. That image is eye-catching.

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    1. I'm excited to dive into it, Carl. I'm ready for quirky, weird, and probably a mixture of satisfaction levels. I tried reading a collection of Aimee Bender's short stories a while ago and had that reaction. We'll see how it goes. I'm just excited to give it ago!

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  2. I LOVE the title of Karen Russell's latest efforts, but I am just not a fan of short story collections. Everyone seems to be loving it though, so I know my prejudice is going to prevent me from reading some amazing books. The Little House series is still one of my favorite childhood series. I will never be able to get rid of my collection because they hold some wonderful memories. I even have the Little House cookbook; how is that for dedication? Enjoy your selections!

    A week never goes by where I don't purchase one book or another. LOL! So sad. It really is an addiction!

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    1. Isn't it great? That's what got me. Sinister and sweet! Sorry to hear you're not a fan of the short story, but I know plenty of people whose cup of tea they just aren't.

      I actually started reading the series in 6th grade and never finished the whole thing! It's high time I gave it a straight read-through.

      And good for you! I wish I could purchase more, but I really need to whittle down what I have.

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  3. It's obvious those books were in desperate need of some attention and you were just doing your civic duty by bringing them home for a little while. Nothing new here - I'm reading Brain on Fire and it is mesmerizing!

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    1. I know, right!!! They were downright lonely!

      I toootally want to read it. I think I might've first caught a glimpse of it on Kim's blog.

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  4. I love love love living with a small city library. It doesn't always have the books I want (especially slightly-obscure nonfiction), but the hold lists for popular fiction can't be beat. I've gotten some great books very quickly.

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    1. I had forgotten that particular upside, Kim. How dare me!

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  5. The holds list at my big-city library definitely can be daunting at times! Although, I find that I have so much to read, sometimes I'm relieved to be above 100 on the waiting list for a book.

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    1. Indeed, Ali. But I know what you mean -- it can occasionally be a blessing to have to wait a while. :)

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  6. I can't believe that you actually limited yourself at the library! :-) Wonderstruck is a really good read. Happy reading.

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    1. I know, Vasilly! My local library actually has a pretty low number of books one is allowed to check out (10 maybe?) because of the smaller amount of inventory. That can also be a blessing sometimes.

      Looking forward to Wonderstruck!

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  7. I just finished Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell, in the middle of the night. Not sure what I'm going to read next. I have a tour book I should read but I'm not sure it's what I want to read *right now*. Outlaw Platoon is excellent. It's about a platoon (obviously) deployed to Forward Operating Base Bermel on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. It is very graphic but only because the author wants people to know what our servicemen really experience. I couldn't put it down.

    Looks like you found some great titles! I'm eager to read Wonderstruck.

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    1. I know alll about those reading moods dictating what to pick up. It's why I had to just stop doing tours altogether. I'm glad you liked Outlaw Platoon! I haven't seen it making the rounds yet.

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  8. You absolutely cannot be held responsible :-) I want to read the book of short stories by Russell too. Hopefully soon.

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    1. Thank you, Tanya Patrice! ;)

      Looking forward to your thoughts on Vampires in the Lemon Grove when you get around to it.

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  9. I'm curious about Wonderstruck, loved Hugo Cabret. And I love the title of that Karen Russell book, though I don't think I've heard of her so will have to see if it's something I'd enjoy.

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    1. Joanna, her novel, Swamplandia!, was nominated for a Pulitzer last year when those pesky judges didn't award a Pulitzer. I thought she got ROBBED.

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  10. Wow, you limited yourself at the library! That took willpower, Andi! I'm not very good at limiting myself there. And yes I send back lots unread! lol I have to say A Book of Sleep looks wonderful, that owl is amazing. I like the title of Karen Russel's book too. I read her first collection of short stories and really enjoyed them. So at some point I will get Vampires in the Lemon Grove (awesome title!) and read some more. Happy reading, Andi!

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    1. I did, Susan! It was an enforced limitation -- only 10 or so checkouts at a time. Though I did hold myself under that, even, so I should be a little proud. lol

      A Book of Sleep is SO CUTE. The artwork is fantastic, and my son loved it. It actually takes a good bit of color and a good "hook' to keep him interested in a book, and this one did the trick. Every page is gorgeous, and he had fun looking for that owl on every 2-page spread.

      I'm glad to know you enjoyed Russell's first collection. It's already on my wishlist, but I couldn't pass up reading Lemon Grove first.

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  11. I'm super curious about Lemon Grove and Sweet Tooth, I can't wait to hear what you think about them.

    Yay for the library! I'm lucky enough to have a fantastic local library that belongs to a giant consortium. It's rare that I don't find a book that I'm looking for. If my local library doesn't have it one of the consortium branches is almost sure to!

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    1. I'll definitely keep ya posted, Jennifer!

      It is really nice that your 'brary is a consortium member. I dream of that!

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  12. Your new library sounds wonderful! I must say that I love ours too. If you put in a request, the book arrives right at your door when it becomes available. They also have a great selection of audios, which is nice, but sometimes I have to buy my own. I still haven't read Hugo or Wonder Struck but I have them both, along with Sweet Tooth. I need to get some reading done!!

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  13. I'm in love with the cover of Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

    I didn't read Hugo but I did see the movie and it was quite interesting. I'd like to give the book a try sometime soon.

    I know I read Little House on the Prairie when I was a kid, but I don't really remember any of it. I loved LH in the Big Woods... can't wait to start LH on the Prairie for the read-a-long!

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  14. I've got two out from the library at the moment--A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash and The Expats by Chris Pavone. I just started listening to the former and haven't started the latter yet, but I'm looking forward to it! Enjoy your books. :)

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  15. OMG A Book of Sleep looks ADORABLE!! May have to look for that one :p And can't wait to hear what you think of the Karen Russell!

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  16. I can't believe I haven't found time to read Sweet Tooth! It's been ages since I've read anything by McEwan and I was so excited when the book first came out. Maybe I'll get to it this month, although I was thinking about focusing on memoirs for a change. February's focus was library books and I'm still reading Broken Harbor by Tana French. Never did get around to Wish You Were Here by Stewart O'Nan, in spite of renewing it for another three weeks.

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  17. Oh! I had no idea library books could hurl themselves into one's bags, but this is vital info for me...it explains a lot.

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  18. I am crazy about my library and always have a stack of about 20 books checked out at any one time. I love that if I don't have time to read them I don't have to feel guilty, I just return them and check them out another time!

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