It’s time to say goodbye to some books

That’s right. I have to do it. I don’t want to do it but I have to, for my sanity. My book shelves just can’t hold anymore books and the piles growing in front were making my OCD go crazy. I am a bit of a neat freak. I like my books organized and to see piles of books was making my anxiety go off. So even though I had just re-organized my shelves a few months ago, I decided to do it again.

This time, I had a strategy. I took every single book off the shelves and began to group books by authors and then creating separate piles for classics, contemporary, YA/children books, etc. I had also decided it was time to keep an index of the books I had because I was starting to consistently buy books I already have, while passing up books I thought I owned but didn’t.

Deciding which books I would part with was definitely not easy. There were a few I changed my mind on and put back on the shelf. There is just so much attachment to the books, especially the memories of reading it for the first time. What if I want to reread it? What if? What if? What if? But I knew I had to do something.

So in the end, I reversed strategy and began asking myself if I liked the book. If I didn’t, then it was in the pile. If I did, I would ask how much I liked it and if I would reread it. Eventually I got a considerable pile that totaled 30 books.

img_1961.jpg

In no particular order:

Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

I acquired Outlander from my future mother-in-law because I had finished the book I had brought with me when we went to visit. I finished the book when I got back home but I wasn’t a huge fan. She sent me the second book anyway. I have had it on my shelf for over 2 years now and haven’t even attempted to read the first book or touched the second book. These books are large and taking up valuable real estate. They have to go.

Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Madame Bovary  by Gustave Flaubert
Son of the Witch by Gregory Maquire 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

All of these are duplicate copies. This is why I am now creating an index. Also that particular copy of the Jungle has writing on the pages which absolutely infuriates me. I didn’t realize it until I got it home. Luckily it was only a $1.

Miss Peregrines School for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Both of these are the first books to a series. I read the whole series of Beautiful Creatures years ago and I don’t think I will be rereading it. I didn’t realize Miss Peregrine’s was a series until I read the book. While it was good, I just don’t think I am going to be reading the rest of them anytime soon.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

This was a book club book that I wasn’t a fan of. In fact, it was the book I first reviewed on this blog. For June, we are reading Hoover’s Verity, another book I have to buy. I am hoping I have more luck with that one.

White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

These were all books I bought for book clubs that I wasn’t crazy about. Some of them were better than others but I don’t foresee rereading them anytime soon.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The Witches by Roald Dahl

Children’s books I bought simply to read them because I had heard so much about them. Also I had never read a Roald Dahl book before except for Matilda, so I need to rectify that. Now that I have, I don’t think I need to keep them on my shelves.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

This was a hard one to put in the pile. The books are beautiful but I haven’t read them in such a long time and I have no desire to reread them again. I think I am just over it. Besides, if I want to revisit the story, I can just go to the library.

Me Before You and After You by Jojo Moyes

I received these during a gift book swap. Now that I have read them, I can get rid of them. I will probably just borrow the third book from the library so there is no point in having an incomplete series on my shelves.

Who’s Looking Out For You? by Bill O’Reilly
Kids Are Americans Too by Bill O’Reilly
Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O’Reilly
Myths, Lies and Downright Stupidity by John Stossel

I bought these back in the day when I was an impressionable youth. While there are some good points made in all of these books, I just don’t agree with them anymore. Besides, I have to make room for the more recent current affairs books that are out there.

Go Set A Watchmen by Harper Lee

If I haven’t said it enough, I will say it again. There was a reason why Harper Lee never planned to publish this book. I actually DNF’d this book and haven’t picked it up since. To Kill a Mockingbird will always be my book.

Meandering with the Muse
Lemuel Smith and the Compulsion to Kill by Denis Foley

Don’t ask me how I have these two on my shelves. I must have gotten them from someone and then just buried them. I have no desire to read these. Off they go.

Right now, these books are sitting in a box waiting to go to the library or the book barn, a place that takes used books. I just hope I don’t have a change of heart before then and start putting them back.


What books have you unhauled recently? Have you read any on this list? What did you think? Should I give any a second chance?

 

 

 

 

A successful run at library book sale #3

Honestly I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived at the third and final book sale of the season at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon library. I forgot to stop at the bank on my way there and had only $5 in my pocket. This was going to make it tough if there were some good finds.

After walking around for about 20 minutes, I finished the Classics and Fiction sections and had four books in my hand. I was debating whether to call it quits or to venture into the nonfiction room when I saw the sign. Everything, except for hardcovers was 50 cents. Well, that meant I actually had $3 left to spend, which meant six more possible books.

I scored some good finds in the nonfiction section and with money still left to spend, I went for a second walk through. I managed to find two more books I wanted. In the end, I bought 8 books and had a $1 left. I somehow stayed under budget while getting an armful of books. Not a bad day.

So here is what I bought:

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

I read this back in high school after we had to watch the movie in history class. I thought I had a copy of it on my shelf and was shocked that I didn’t. It will be nice to revisit this story.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

I had heard about this book through the years but never thought twice about it. Lately, I keep hearing people mention it. So when I saw it on the shelf during the sale, I figured why not.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I have always wanted to read this and from what I hear, it’s good. Now that I have a copy of it, maybe I will read it sooner rather than later.

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Now that I have read People of the Book and loved it, I want to read her other books. Lo and behold, this book was available. Score!

Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine by Ann Hood

You already know that I am trying to read Hood’s other novels. I loved Obituary Writer. I found The Book that Matters Most at the last book sale and now I found this one. I think this will be on my reading list for the summer.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

This was my impulse buy. I have heard of this book but never read it. It was only 50 cents so why not.

Into the Wild and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Though Missoula was extremely hard to get through because of the subject matter, Krakauer did a great job in presenting the facts and laying out an informational story that kept the reader engaged. Into the Wild appears on a bunch of “must read” lists and Into Thin Air just sounds like an interesting story.


What books have you recently bought? Have you read any on this list? Let’s discuss!

 

 

 

I think I went overboard at library book sale #2

Out of all the library book sales I go to, the Schenectady Public Library’s Spring Sale is by far the biggest one and sets me up with enough books to last me for most of the year.

I always forget to take a picture (this year is no exception) but there are tables that wrap around two sides of the building, and they have an atrium with a room filled with more tables. They actually provide a map so people can find the sections they are looking for.

I arrived at the sale 20 minutes after it started, but by then it was in full swing. I couldn’t count the number of people there but I have no doubts that there were more than 100. It was packed and I definitely felt like I was in a race to get the good stuff. Two hours later and two walk-throughs later I called it quits, namely because my arms couldn’t hold any more.

The paperbacks were 3 for $1 and the others were $1. I couldn’t resist. I acquired 17 books for $10.50 and hid them in my trunk until my fiancé wasn’t home to smuggle them upstairs. This haul caused me to reorganize my bookshelves since the stacks were growing in front of the shelving units. I actually had to think of unhauling a few of the older ones. 

img_1959.jpg

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

This is the only one of Kingsolver’s books that I didn’t own or read. I loved the Bean Trees and this is the sequel so I know I will be reading this soonish.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I loved Flynn’s novels. With this purchase, I now own all of her books.

The Martian by Andy Weir

I have heard so many things about this book. I am hoping now that I own it, I will get to it sooner.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

I loved this book when I read it two years ago and definitely wanted a copy for my shelves. I have no doubts that this will be a book I reread.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

I read this in February for Black History Month and I absolutely loved it. It was such a great read with parallel story lines. I definitely needed a copy.

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Smith

This is one of those children’s classics that I always heard about but never read. I have picking them up as I see them.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

I am currently trying to read Atwood’s other books. I loved the Handmaid’s Tale and I am currently reading The Blind Assassin, which is completely different but amazing. Her writing is absolutely beautiful. I think Atwood is going to be another author that I keep on my shelf.

Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov

I am trying to build my classics collections up as much as possible. It’s easy to say that you can just get them at the library but I have realized through the classics book club I am a member of, that some of the unread or unknown classics either go out of print or libraries stop carrying them. There have been many that I have had to order online. While Lolita is one of the more known ones, I am not taking any chances.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Rhys

Another classic that I need on my shelf. For one thing, I know that we will be reading this in a few months in that classic book club I just mentioned and it was under a $1. Second, it’s the story of the madwoman in Mr. Rochester’s attic in Jane Eyre. I have a feeling I am going to enjoy it.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

I read Black Beauty when I was a kid but I don’t remember much of it. I want to revisit it. I remember the movie being sad though.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

I am not sure why but this book is bothering me. I know I have heard of it but I can’t remember how or if I ever read it. I had to buy it.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

I bought this copy thinking I lost the one I have had on my shelf since high school. Of course I get home and I find it.

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien

I read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy back in high school when the movies were coming out but I wouldn’t mind rereading them. I haven’t read The Hobbit yet.

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

It’s hit or miss on which Vonnegut books the library’s carry. I did DNF Slaughterhouse Five but I have heard so many good things about Vonnegut I figured I would give a different title a try.

This was another great haul and I still have one library book sale to go. However, that one is hit or miss and I am not expecting to bring home many books.


How many of these have you read? What did you think? Let’s discuss!

 

 

 

A small haul at library book sale #1

I love spring! Why? Because besides the flowers and sunshine, the local libraries hold their book sales, with all proceeds benefiting the library’s programs and operations.

Since I am part of two major library systems, I have the opportunity to attend a few of these sales, which are usually much bigger than the fall ones. It has seriously changed how I acquire books. I don’t really buy books from a book store anymore. I utilize the library and take note of the books that I really like.  I then go to the book sale, which offers books for as much as $1 and as cheap as 3 for $1. At those prices, I can’t help it and end up purchasing a few books I haven’t read yet. 

My first book sale at the William K. Sanford Library in Albany was exactly that. Granted I went during my lunch break at work (I get an hour) and couldn’t take too much time browsing. I bought six books, none of which I have read yet. But for $6, who cares?

(All the titles are linked to Goodreads)

img_1960

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

I have read two of Kidd’s books, Secret Life of Bees and Invention of Wings, the latter of which I absolutely loved. I never heard of The Mermaid Chair but it was by Kidd.

March by Geraldine Brooks

I was reading People of the Book by Brooks and absolutely loving it when I saw this book at the sale. That and the fact that it’s the story of Mr. March from Little Women, one of my all-time favorite books. Enough said.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I have had this on my TBR since it came out but have yet to read it. I figured that if I owned it, I would read it much quicker.

Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

This book sale didn’t have a very big classics/literature section but I did manage to pick this one up. You know how much I love my classics.

The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

I wrote a post rather recently about the authors I want to read more of. Hood was on that list having read her other book, The Obituary Writer. So I was in luck to snag this one.

The Girl of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

A pure impulse buy. I do like my nonfiction history books and this one definitely seemed interesting. I love reading untold stories about people you would never know had a part of history.

My book haul was not as big for this first sale but the second one, which is the biggest of the library sales, was a major haul. That needs its own post because it’s going to be a long one.


Have you read any of these books? Does your library hold book sales? Let’s discuss! 🙂

 

 

 

Books on my spring TBR

It’s the first day of spring!! I am so happy. And the weather is supposed to be in the 50s. The perfect start to the season.

I normally don’t do a seasonal TBR list but with the warm weather approaching, I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of reading outdoors. We have a beautiful park about 10 minutes from my house, which has walking paths and lakes filled with fish and ducks. Benches circle the lake so its a perfect spot for reading and my plan is to get there more often.

So the following are 10 books I personally want to get to this spring. These do not include the book club reads that are required reading.

Ready Player One

This has been on my TBR list ever since the movie came out but because of that, the book has been checked out of the library. In preparing my reading list for April I went on the library catalog and saw that it is finally available. You better believe I am going to check this out ASAP! I loved the movie but I heard the book is different and better. I can’t wait to read it.

BecomingI am hoping to get to this book sooner rather than later. I was hoping to read it for Women’s History Month but EVERY SINGLE COPY IS CHECKED OUT!!  The library has about 10 copies of this book and they are either checked out or on a waitlist. I have a feeling this one may take awhile to get to.

originI love the Langdon series so I definitely plan to read the latest book. It actually works because I just found out that our April read in my SARAH (Society of Avid Readers Across the Hudson) Book Club is going to be The Davinci Code. This is a perfect time to reread the series.

Big Little LiesEver since I read What Alice Forgot, I have been meaning to read more Moriarty books. The other da, while at the library, I happened to be in the “M-O” aisle and Moriarty’s books were staring me in the face. I had the urge to pull this book but I knew I wasn’t going to get to it before it was due back so I decided to wait. There is always next time.

Educated.jpgThis book has been staring at me since I received it in a book swap in December. I have also heard nothing but great things about it and it has been recommended as a future read in book club multiple times (We don’t read new books due to availability at the library). I definitely want to crack this one to see what all the hype is about.

img_1263I have read mixed reviews about this book so I need to read this to make my own determination. Besides I love the title.

img_1260

I really, really want to read more Margaret Atwood and these two, which I purchased at a library book sale, have been calling to me from my book shelf. I know I will definitely be reading The Blind Assassin sooner rather than later.

the distant hours.jpgKate Morton keeps popping up around me. The most recent time was while I was in that aisle at the library. Her books were a shelf below Moriarty so I couldn’t help but get her in my head. I remember loving The Forgotten Garden so I think its time to check out Distant Hours. Plus I think this will be a quick read for me.

still meThe whole point of reading the first two books a few months ago was to read Still Me, which I hear is the best of the three. And then I forgot. Don’t ask me how. I guess book club reads got in the way. Anyway, I want to get this book knocked out of the way.

img_0244OK so this is several books but I am determined to finish the series. I have only read up to book four and since my girlfriend gave me the boxed set for my birthday last spring, I think it only fair that I actually read them.

So those are the books that I want to get to this spring. We will see how many I actually get to. Some of these will actually help me tackle my personal TBR which at last count was over 80. However, I have also been to several winter library book sale and the spring library sales will be happening soon. It’s a never ending cycle.


How many of these books have you read? What did you think? What are you planning to read for the spring? Let’s discuss!

Male authors I want to read more of

Since there are so many authors I want to read more of, I decided to make two lists. I already posted about the female authors I want to read more of, so its only fair that I do a similar list for male authors.

Here are the 10 male authors who I want to read more books from:

Jon Krakauer

 

Jon Krakauer is one of those authors who always appeared on a list of books that someone should read, usually for his work, Into the Wild. I always made a mental note but he was never on the top of my list. Until last month. I was introduced to Jon Krakauer’s work because of book club when we read Missoula. Though the content of the book was hard to get through because of the subject matter, which you can read in my review, I loved Krakauer’s writing. He definitely moved up on my list and Into the Wild is permanently on my TBR now. I also heard about Into Thin Air so that goes on the list as well.

Chuck Paliahnuk

Chuck Palahniuk is another writer who I had heard about but never got into until book club. We read Invisible Monsters Remix (See my review). As I quickly found out, you either love him or you hate him. His writing definitely … takes some getting used to. Luckily, I was able to stomach him and loved what he was trying to say in Invisible Monsters. Now I want to read more of him, though as my friend warned me, some of his writing is more graphic than others. I figured I would play it safe and go with what he is known for, Fight Club, of which a movie has been made.

Charles Dickens

I have had Great Expectations on my book shelf for as long as I can remember. I don’t even know how I acquired my copy but I remember trying to read it several times growing up and never getting more than halfway through it. I have come to realize that I think I was just too young to understand what he was trying to say. I finished Oliver Twist a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Dickens once again became my a classic author I wanted to read more of. Not to mention that I have pretty much all of his books on my shelf, so I might as well start reading. I figured its about time to conquer the book that has plagued my childhood once and for all.

Ben Winters

Before reading Underground Airlines for book club (see my review), I had never heard of Ben Winters, and even after, I thought this was his only book. Lo and behold, Winters has authored several titles. His newest book, Golden State, just came out on January 22 and its been making the rounds. Just in time.

Jonathan Safran Foer

I read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close for book club and fell in love with it. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me cry some more. The book is now a permanent fixture on my book shelf. Foer is a storyteller that makes the reader dig deep. I definitely want to check out Everything is Illuminated, which seems a similar.

Erik Larsen

It took me years to read something by Erik Larson, but thanks to … yep, you guessed it… book club, I was introduced to his work, In the Garden of the Beasts (review). Seriously, if you are struggling to get into nonfiction or historical books, you should read Larson. He has a way of telling the story so that you don’t even realize its nonfiction. I am definitely going to read his other works and I recently bought Devil in the White City so I can do it quicker.

James Scott

the keptTo fulfill our local authors theme in book club we read, The Kept by James Scott. I can still remember the opening lines and every detail until the ending. This book was one of those books that stays with you (See review). This was Scott’s first novel and I want MORE!!! Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he is working on anything at the moment but you better believe I will be reading it when its published. Luckily he does have some short fiction I can read.

William Faulkner

I need to revisit William Faulkner. I vaguely remember reading him back in high school for fun but I must admit I don’t remember much of what I read. I think part of this is because I read them for fun and had no one to talk them over with. However, last year, I read As I Lay Dying for my classics book club and because I had to talk about it, I was able to think critically and I got so much out of it. I loved As I Lay Dying and so now I want to go back and read or reread Faulkner’s other works.

David Gutherson

I bought Snow Falling on Cedars at a library book sale because I liked the cover, not going to lie. However, when I finally got around to reading it while, I loved it. I brought this with me on vacation and had it done before I got home. Gutherson’s writing is so descriptive and so emotional. This book delivered an emotional punch which I was not expecting. I didn’t even realize that he had another book until I happened to be at another library book sale and picked up East of the Mountains. I hope I fall in love with it like I did with Falling on Cedars.

Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose is one of the few books that I have liked from the Modern Library 100 Books list (review). Stegner’s writing is so descriptive and I could picture every part of the book and I loved the characters. I wouldn’t mind reading more from this author and according to the reviews on Goodreads, all of his books rated above 4 stars.

There you have it. My list of authors I want to read more on. Of course this list will get longer as the year goes on and I discover new authors but for now, these are the authors whose work has left an impression on me. I hope their others works do the same.

Female authors I want to read more of

While scrolling through Twitter, I came across an article about author Ursula K. Le Guin and her book Left Hand of Darkness. I read the book two years ago for book club and I still think about it today. I had made a mental note that I wanted to read more of her.

Then it got me thinking of all the other authors I have discovered in the past year or two, whether because of book club or because of fate. Many of those books were great and it’s time to delve more into their literary works.

Since it is Women’s History Month, the following are 10 female authors, I want to read more of. I will make a separate list of male authors in a future post.

Ursula Le Guin 

Until I read The Left Hand of Darkness in 2017 (my review), I had never heard of Ursula Le Guin. The book was written in 1969 and surprisingly Le Guin has written more than a dozen books. Who knew? Then, as it happens almost every time, I began to see her name and her works, referenced everywhere. Of course, that increased even more since her death last year. But as I think of reading her other works, I realize I started with her most famous novel, so where do I even go from there? If I had to choose, I would think A Wizard of Earthsea, which is her other series. I would like to get a feel for her range.

Margaret Atwood

Not surprisingly, I know Margaret Atwood because of The Handmaid’s Tale. I first read it in high school and then again two years ago for book club. The reread hit me harder than the first time. You can read my review here. It’s not surprising that it has since been made into an award-winning television show. However, I want to read Atwood’s other works. The last library book sale I was at, I got lucky and purchased two of her books, Life Before Man and The Blind Assassin. I have already been told they are nothing like The Handmaid’s Tale, but I am looking forward to reading them. Oh yes, and you better believe I will be picking up Atwood’s sequel to Handmaid’s Tale when it comes out later this year.

Ann Hood

I was first introduced to Ann Hood on a fluke. You have all heard the story by now about how I stumbled across the Obituary Writer in the library. I loved that book so much I want to read her other books. She is known for the Knitting Circle and her most recent title, The Book That Matters Most, is about a book club, so that is a given.

Celeste Ng

I think I was meant to read the works of Celeste Ng. I first heard her name when Little Fires Everywhere came out. Then I was at a library book sale and picked up Everything I Never Told You, not even putting two and two together that it was the same author. I read Everything I Never Told You in the fall and absolutely fell in love with it (See review). I can’t wait to pick up her Little Fires Everywhere.

Janet Evanovich

I was introduced to Janet Evanovich in the past year after my best friend bought me One for the Money and urged me to read it. “You will love it,” she said. “Stephanie is from New Jersey and she reminds me of you.” Well, my friend was right. I did love it and as a fellow Jersey girl, born and raised, I related to this book so much (Review). I can’t wait to dig into Two for the Dough.

Donna Tart

I forgot how I came by to read The Goldfinch but I liked it. I am in the group that thinks this book is actually good. However, I heard Tartt’s other book, The Secret History, is way better. Well I guess I am going to have to find out.

Erin Morgenstern

I think this is self explanatory. Morgenstern is one of those new authors who blew everyone away with her debut novel, The Night Circus. And to think I wasn’t going to read it. Pssh! I am so glad I did. It was magical. So inevitably I am thrilled that Morgenstern has a new novel coming out. I can’t wait! I think Morgenstern is going to be an author I follow for years.

Eowyn Ivey

Eowyn Ivey is another author I randomly discovered while browsing the shelves at the library. I fell in love with The Snow Child for its magic and fairy tale-like quality (see review). I had never heard of Eowyn Ivey before but now I want to read everything by her. I think I will try out her second novel To The Bright Edge of the World.

Liane Moriarty

I have seen Liane Moriarty’s books everywhere the main tables at the book stores to my Goodreads feed to the book blogs. I read What Alice Forgot last year (review), and now I have to check out her other books. Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret I hear about the most so I figured I can start with them. I almost read The Husband’s Secret years ago but I never got around to it by the time my library loan was up. Better late than never.

Charlotte Bronte

I have only read Jane Eyre, one my top 10 favorite books of all time, but I would love to read more of Charlotte Bronte. I don’t know why I haven’t. I got the complete volume of all of her works long ago and they have been sitting on my book shelf for years and yet I never cracked it open. I have read Jane Eyre a several times but never her other works. Recently I have seen reviews for Shirley and Villette, which raved about how they are better than Jane Eyre. And it got me to thinking, maybe it’s time. I am definitely going to tackle at least one of these this year.

This list can obviously go on and on. There are so many great female authors who I am discovering everyday. However, if I could pick only 10 to read right away, these are on the immediate list.

What female authors have you recently discovered and whose work you want to read more of? Have you read any of the books above or any other books by these authors? What did you think? Let’s discuss!

 

 

Library book sale haul #2: Feeding the addiction

Do you remember back in December how I declared that in 2019 I was going to tackle my personal TBR shelves once and for all? Do you remember that? Well, let’s just say that has gone to shit. Because I can’t resist the library book sales. I’m like a drunk who can’t resist going into the bar once he knows its there. I even called the library up at 9:05 (they open at 9) to make sure the book sale was still happening because I didn’t see it advertised on their website. It’s a serious problem.

The only saving grace for me last weekend was the fact that this book sale at the Schenectady Public Library was not as big as their spring one. I managed to get out of there only purchasing six books. Only six. But those with the six I bought two weeks ago means I have added at least 10 books to my TBR shelves. And you better believe that I will be going to the spring book sales come April and May. It’s a never ending cycle and means my TBR keeps getting longer.

I couldn’t resist though. These books were just so tempting.

I scored “Life Before Man” and “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood. I have been meaning to read more of her books since reading “The Handmaid’s Tale” and if these two are just as good as that, then I definitely want them on my shelves. I can’t believe the library had them for sale.

 

I picked up the “The Human Stain” by Philip Roth because I have heard about this book through my bookish peeps and was curious to crack it open. “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shafter and Annie Barrows was because of all you fine folks who have recently reviewed this book. Besides the title intrigues me but that’s for a different post. I read “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova last year but I still think about it and wanted a copy of it on my bookshelves. It’s the only book in this haul that I have read.

And last but not least I picked up a copy of “A Lion Among Men”, completing my collection of the Wicked series. Now the trick is to actually read them. I have read Wicked, but it was years ago when the play first came out and it was being talked about. I want to reread it and then read the others.

(An interesting note: One of the members in the book club I go to is personal friends with Gregory Maguire and she actually gets signed copies of his books. *Jealous* This is the same book club where another member used to work with a famous journalist who helped break the Watergate scandal and wrote “All the President’s Men.” Not going to name names because *Ahem* it’s a secret. SHHH. Now that I think of it, I am realizing that I know a lot of people who know famous people. I’m thinking this book club is a keeper.)

With these most recent book hauls, I have reached the point where I no longer have any room on my shelves. In fact, these six are currently stacked on the floor in front of my shelves. It’s giving me anxiety because I am typically an organized person. I guess a book un-hauling is in order. There are a few books I read for book club that I didn’t enjoy. Why keep them right?

Maybe I will tackle that this weekend. I will let you know how that goes.

Until then, keep reading,

Book Admirer

Authors I discovered in the last year

The perks of being in four book clubs is that I get to read a lot of books that I normally would never have read. Thus, I am introduced to new authors all of the time, some better than others. Over the last year, I have read a lot of great books, many of which were written by authors I had never read before, and I wanted to share who some of them were.

hoodAnn Hood

You all know the story by now of how I discovered Ann Hood’s The Obituary Writer at the library while perusing the shelves. It was a book that seemed to speak to me and I ended up loving the book. I really want to read Hood’s other book, The Knitting Circle, a title which has caught my fancy. I have a feeling that this one is going to have multiple layers to it just like the Obituary Writer.

celeste ngCeleste Ng

I came across Celeste Ng accidentally after buying Everything I Never Told You at a library book sale. Honestly I had bought the book simply to round out my 3 for $1 purchase. I had never really heard of the book and didn’t even realize she was the same author of Little Fires Everywhere which everyone had been talking about. I didn’t think I was going to like Everything I Never Told You but was blown away. It made my top 10 of 2018 list and I still think about it. I now want to read Little Fires Everywhere.

janet evanovichJanet Evanovich

I know Janet Evanovich has been around for years but I never was interested in reading her books. Thanks to my friend Carmen, I was introduced to Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum and LOVED it. I had tears coming down my face from laughing so hard. I was pleasantly surprised how much I related to the book, which is why my friend bought it for me. She knows me so well. I now have a light reading series for those times when I need a break from the denser reads.

james scootJames Scott

My book club decided to do a pick in January 2018 from local authors. For us that meant, authors that lived in or near upstate NY. We picked The Kept by James Scott and I was so happy that read this book. I still think about that opening line. Scott knows how to weave a tale and for a debut novel, this was amazing. I can’t wait to see what other novels he comes out with. For now, I will have to be satisfied in checking out his other writing. It’s also inspired me to try to read and support more works from local authors, especially those just starting out.

chuck palahniukChuck Palahniuk

Ah Palahniuk. Another author I had heard about and whose works have made some of the lists of books everyone should read. When my book club picked this book, I don’t think any of us knew what we were getting ourselves into. We quickly learned that he is one that you either like him or you don’t and Invisible Monsters Remix caused quite the discussion.

lisa genovaLisa Genova

They say authors write from what they know. Lisa Genova is a neuroscientist and because of that she has weaved a beautiful but sad story about Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. I absolutely loved this book. I didn’t realize how many books she had written and now I have to check them out.

liane moriartyLiane Moriarty

So I had tried reading Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret a few years ago but didn’t get past the first chapter before I had to return it to the library. I didn’t bother renewing it because it hadn’t really grabbed my attention and I had other books to get to at that time. Anyway, fast forward to the end of the 2017 when I acquired What Alice Forgot during my book club’s Christmas book swap. It sat on my shelf for months until last year when I finally cracked it open. And of course I ended up loving it. Now I have to return to The Husband’s Secret just to see what I was missing out on. And according to my Goodreads friends, a lot of them love Moriarty too.

aj finnA.J. Finn aka Daniel Mallory

OMG A.J. Finn is going to be a rising star if he keeps writing like he did with The Woman in the Window. AMAZING!! I’m not one to read thrillers, simply because I always think they are predictable. Not this one. Finn is the new Hitchcock and knows how to keep the reader guessing until the very last page. I can’t wait to grab his next one, if there is one. Oh please say there will be and soon!

imbolo mdueImbolo Mbue

I was introduced to Mbue last year after reading Behold the Dreamers. I had seen the book review come out on the Associated Press back when I worked at the newspaper and had immediately written it down to add to my TBR list. When I came across it in the library’s newest releases section, I scooped it up. I can’t believe that this was her first novel. It was so powerful and I still think about it.

octavia butlerOctavia Butler

I had never heard of Octavia Butler until my book club selected Kindred to read. So I read it because it was the book of the month. I don’t normally go out of my way to read sci-fi but this had time travel which I have always enjoyed. I am a history buff so anytime a book jumps back in time and put a modern character in the past, I am always enthralled. Kindred was no different. I am actually surprised by how many books Butler has written and all of her books average above 4 stars on Goodreads. Another author I have to read more of.

After doing this list, I have realized that not only are my book clubs amazing at introducing me to new authors but I realized that I read a lot of female authors as well as quite a few debut authors. Interesting. Can’t wait to see what this year brings.


What new authors were you introduced to recently? Have you read any on this list? What do you think of them? Let’s discuss 🙂

Changes are happening

So at the beginning of the year, I said that one of the things I was going to work on was getting organized. Having this new laptop is definitely helping a lot in this because I can now write where the mood strikes me while staying active.

We are only 10 days into 2019 and you will may have noticed, or maybe not, that there are changes happening at Book Admirer. For one things, I have finally started getting the site in order. This is noticeable right on the main page, if someone is really looking, as the menus look a little different. Previously, the main menu bar included About, Contact, Reviews, Features and Musings. I moved Reading Lists – which was under Features – now to the main menu.

Blog1.png

In addition, I began to organize each individual menu so people can find what they are looking for starting with the Review section.

Oy, what a mess! How did I allow this?

When I was trying to create my yearly roundups and going back to see what I had posted, I couldn’t find anything. My reviews were scattered and I was forced to scroll through every post to find the review I wanted. Ugh. If it was that painful for me, I can imagine what my viewers thought. SO SORRY!!

My first order of business was a Review Index. I don’t know why I hesitated doing this from the beginning, but OMG what a difference this has made. If I categorize a review wrong, I can just go to my index and click on the appropriate link to read it. Now, the trick is to keep the index updated.

Second, I made sub menus for each category I usually focus on, including Classics, Book Club Picks and Audiobooks. I may add a fiction and nonfiction menu because I found a few books that didn’t fit in the other categories but until then, they can catch it in the main review section or in the index. 😉

blog2

Moving along the main menu, you next come to Reading Lists, which was supposed to show the lists I am trying to cross off. I will be adding pages of various lists. So far I posted the Goodreads 100 Books to read in a lifetime. I also have the Modern Library Classics lists, Oprah Book Club picks and the Amazon 100 Books to Read as well as my Personal TBR list. Any posts that have to do with updates will go under the general Reading List Category in general or in the wrap-up section

blog 3

Then we have musings, which is my general book discussions or other general ramblings.

Finally we have the Features which include all my ongoing weekly, monthly posts such as Top Tuesday (I participate in Top 10 Tuesday by That Artsy Reader and Top 5 Tuesday by Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm), Fun Fact Friday, TBR’s and Wrap-ups and Classic Club.

blog4

I have also gone through all my posts and have tried to categorize them accordingly so there is some semblance of organization. However, I know I still need to make a few tweaks.

In addition to the website, I have officially made a Twitter account for the blog. Yay!!! You can thank my job for that one, since I am required to be on Twitter daily and finally learned how functional it actually can be aside from Facebook. I now follow all my literary and bookish websites and blogs. I am following some of you already, but I haven’t had time to go through all my blog followers to find out who has Twitter. If you do, feel free to find me at @BookAdmirerBlog.

These are just some of the changes that are in the works. Stay tuned for more.

Book Admirer