Books Brought Home January/February 2020

TalkWhat Are You Reading Now?

Join LibraryThing to post.

Books Brought Home January/February 2020

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Jan 1, 2020, 4:10pm

Edited: Jan 2, 2020, 5:34pm

I've put a moratorium on new book purchases this year as my TBR pile is now a bookshelf containing over 250 books I haven't read. That does not mean that books purchased is 2019 aren't going to trickle in, or that I can't receive books as gifts. All of these are from my mum in one way or another: she gave me a gift card for a bookstore as a Christmas present, and when I took her out to run errands today, she bought me Elton John's autobiography as she'd remembered that I wanted to read it. Some of the Christmas gift card books arrived today as well.

Me by Elton John
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey

Touchstones don't seem to be working today.

Jan 2, 2020, 8:06pm

I had one whole day of restraint in the new year, but today I broke and bought Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple and Bird Box: A Novel by Josh Malerman (2 for $8).

Jan 2, 2020, 8:57pm

>1 seitherin: Are you a Wignall fan? I discovered him when Amazon began offering his novels for a buck. The first novel of his that I read blew me away. "People Die" was utterly original in concept, tautly written, and a mature and compelling character study. I also read The Traitor's Story, which was utterly different but thrilling and well plotted as well. i have two others by him on my Kindle that I've yet to read.

>2 ahef1963: Lucky you -- Lonesome Dove! To my mind it is the Great Amerian Novel. Have you read it and got yourself a nice edition, or are you a "Dove" virgin?

Started Family Fang wanting something diverting to start the new year. Looks like I picked a vicious satire that pokes fun at performance art or happenings. A family of four characters, each abundantly endowed with quirks are going to start 2020 with a good laugh.

Jan 3, 2020, 11:46am

The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Ruth Ware
5/5 stars
Hal, a single woman is living and struggling on her own as a tarot card reader when she gets a letter informing her of a relative that has died and she is to inherit part of the estate. However, she believes that she is not related to that person but still decides to go to the will reading hoping to get some of the inheritance to help her survive. As she arrives and meets the family she has second thoughts but still plans to go through with it. However, there is someone in the family who has a secret to maintain and Hal may be in the way. I flew through this book because I couldn’t wait to see how this ended!

Jan 3, 2020, 1:53pm

>4 Limelite: The only Wignall I've read so far is A Death in Sweden in 2015 and I don't seem to have been overly impressed by it. I don't really remember much about it.

>2 ahef1963: My TBR pile currently contains 478 books. I think I'm in worse shape than you. :D

Jan 5, 2020, 5:08pm

First additions to my TBR peak in 2020 include. . .

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor new author, British
Green Darkness by Anya Seton modern classic
The Names of the Dead by Kevin Wignall espionage thriller
The Shape of Ancient Thought by Thomas McEvilley philosophy
Dessa Rose: A Novel by Sherley A. Williams African-American historical fiction (slave narrative)
Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea by Tim McGrath maritime history

Jan 7, 2020, 7:09am

>4 Limelite: This will be my first reading of Lonesome Dove. I have a couple of books lined up ahead of it, but am looking forward to it. I wonder if there's a Great Canadian Novel? The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler springs to mind immediately.

2019 purchases still trickling in slowly: Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Day arrived yesterday.

January 7 and I haven't purchased any books yet this year! Only 359 days to go!

Jan 7, 2020, 12:24pm

To all you readers on the Book Purchases Wagon, please FALL OFF! Otherwise, I'll be the only bibliodrunk around.

Jan 7, 2020, 3:31pm

>9 Limelite: LOL - I don't think you will have to worry! I am not on any wagon...

I purchased They Called Us Enemy by George Takei last year while on vacation, but it didn't get home until I did on Saturday, so

This graphic novel by George Takei of Star Trek fame describes his experience as a Japanese American in US WWII internment camps. A very good book. Got to meet George also - he was on our holiday cruise and gave a couple of lectures and a Q&A session (and signed his books at three book-signing sessions). He and Brad are very gracious.

My NYRB monthly selection arrived - it is: The Simple Past by Driss Chraibi.

Jan 7, 2020, 5:46pm

I’ve fallen off and I can’t get back up!

Jan 7, 2020, 10:04pm

>4 Limelite:, >8 ahef1963:

I read Lonesome Dove last year for the first time ever and I immediately wanted to start again from page one when I finished. It was the perfect book. I also immediately bought the other books in that world. If you purchased the 20th anniversary edition however, I highly recommend not reading the short introductory from the author. Have fun reading!

Jan 7, 2020, 11:06pm

>12 lilisin:, >8 ahef1963:

Always gratifying to hear how other LT-ers have been affected by McMurtry's novel. I, too, have all the books in the series, but only one of them (IMO) comes close to "Dove." I don't want to give more details because it's been a long time since I read them all and I don't want to prejudice anyone who hasn't yet.

"Dove" is a novel that I built a course around at university (I'm retired now), setting the students up for it by introducing them to the Western genre with short stories, a play, and -- yes -- an opera before letting them take to the cattle drive with Gus and Call. Students may have been skeptical at first about the literary worth of cowboy stories, but when the course ended, they usually expressed to me that they wanted to read all the books in McMurtry's series.

Jan 8, 2020, 7:39am

>8 ahef1963:, >12 lilisin:, >13 Limelite:

I finally read it in 2017 - needed a push because 'westerns' were not at the top of my TBR pile (not ever...). My review started with "Wow, just wow." and ended with "Go read it!".

I'm also jealous of your first read of it.

Jan 14, 2020, 4:20pm

Jan 14, 2020, 6:12pm

I gave in to the book-buying demons, and purchased Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.

Jan 15, 2020, 2:55pm

Arrived by USPS yesterday, my longed for used first edition copy of a novel read for the first time years and years ago, The Quincunx by Charles Palliser. Plan on cracking it open today and begin my marathon re-read with the help and support of several Hershey's mini variety chocolate bars.

The book shipped at 2.5 lbs.!

Jan 15, 2020, 6:22pm

A purchase from last year just arrived: Black Sunday by Thomas Harris. I saw the movie many ages ago, really enjoyed it, and thought it might be fun to read the book.

Edited: Jan 16, 2020, 8:04am

I had ABSOLUTELY NO INTENTION of buying any books anytime soon as I already have a great reading pile waiting for me at home but today while walking to the gym I noticed the foreign books were on sale so I had to take a gander as they are always at 5 dollars apiece. So I ended up coming home with:

Lao She : Mr Ma & Son
Ryu Murakami : In the Miso Soup
Charles Maturin : Melmoth the Wanderer

I really have no excuse. Not only do I already have a reading pile at home, but I also stated that this year would be a year I refrain from reading in English too much! And yet, not only did I buy these three English-language books, but one is also a Murakami book that I absolutely should be reading in Japanese instead! Dang it me!

Jan 20, 2020, 8:26pm

>20 lilisin:

"Mr Ma" sounds like a book I'd really enjoy. And I love the "Miso Soup" title. A murder mystery, or a troubled family?

Jan 20, 2020, 9:43pm

So far this year ...

In hand but not yet started:
*Elinor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, from the library, for my F2F group read.
*Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy, Hallie Lieberman, 1 of 3 purchased with my Christmas gift card.
*Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, Ruth Franklin, 2 of 3 on the gift card
*James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, Julie Phillips, 3 of 3
*The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again, Nancy Thayer (PBS swap)
*All in a Lifetime, autobiography of Dr. Ruth Westheimer. (PBS swap)

Acquired & read since January 1:
*Mending Lace, Sheila Forsey, Ebook, early review
*You're on an Airplane, Parker Posey, borrowed from the library, DNF

I see the road to book-acquisition abstinence is cluttered by those of us who have already fallen off the wagon....

Jan 20, 2020, 9:59pm

>22 Limelite:

Neither. More of a suspense thriller and Murakami's thrillers are intense. When I read his Audition two years ago I couldn't stop wanting to turn the page that I even read at work and every once in a while would look up and wonder where I was. Not so good for work, great in terms of the book.

Jan 21, 2020, 3:02pm

>23 LyndaInOregon: The Shirley Jackson book was quite good and so interesting!

Edited: Jan 28, 2020, 1:55pm

>9 Limelite: >10 LisaMorr: It is fair to say that I have fallen way off the book wagon. I couldn't even make it through January!

New books, ranked by guilt level:

Books about which I feel some guilt because I ordered them last year but probably shouldn't have been ordering so many books last year:
Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead
101 Reykjavik by Hallgrimur Helgason
The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

Books about which I feel some guilt, but which I've rationalized:
Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett - It's a Pratchett which I don't own and haven't read, so an entirely prudent purchase.
Five Plays by Chekhov by Anton Chekhov - because it's mind-expanding to read the classics.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - because one of my daughters has nicked my copy.

And then there's the wonderful books, no guilt, absolutely necessities:
Lonely Planet Spain and Lonely Planet Morocco because I'm taking myself to two countries I've always dreamed of at the end of May.

Jan 28, 2020, 1:57pm

Forgot that I bought American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins last week.

Jan 28, 2020, 4:07pm

A Very Stable Genius came in yesterday.

Feb 2, 2020, 12:13pm

Last week I needed my next book club selection and some retail therapy so I brought home:

All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy
The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
Letters from Wupatki by Courtney Reeder Jones

Edited: Feb 3, 2020, 6:40pm

Some February treasures:

Eventide by Kent Haruff novel, book 2 of Plainsong series
Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison novel, feminist Western reminiscent of True Grit by Charles Portis
The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd novel, based on actual history of founding of indigo mfr. in 18th C. America
The Riddle of the Labyrinth by Margalit Fox nonfiction, solving ancient Greek undeciphered language

Feb 6, 2020, 4:49pm

Just got my book of the month club selections:
The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James and
The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

Feb 8, 2020, 9:52am

>31 Limelite: Aw, I loved Eventide! Good reminder that I need to get Benediction.

The Imaginaries: Little Scraps of Larger Stories by Emily Winfield Martin is hot off the presses.
She's one of my favorite artists so I pre-ordered it and it got here last night!

Feb 11, 2020, 2:33pm freebie: Eve of Darkness by S. J. Day

Feb 20, 2020, 5:13pm

Feb 20, 2020, 10:56pm

Delightful diversion, a vintage British Golden Age mystery. It's a kind of marriage of John Mortimer's classic Rumpole of the Bailey and Alexander McCall Smith's The Department of Sensitive Crimes.

Sharp, witty as hell, and perfectly puzzling is Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert.

Feb 20, 2020, 10:59pm

Brought home today: One Minute Out by Mark Greaney and Framed by S. L. McInnis

Feb 22, 2020, 4:43pm

Started Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward Beach

Feb 23, 2020, 8:49pm

Finished utterly delightful mid-century British crime classic novel, Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert. A laugh-out-loud sarcastic expose of exactly how little anyone in a London law office actually works. Why get bogged down in legalese when murder and detection await?

Fun to review, too!

Feb 24, 2020, 12:52am

>41 Limelite: Having read the reviews, and the Wikipedia articles on the book and on Gilbert, and having worked in solicitors' offices myself, I'm taking a BB on this one. I loved the comment in the Wikipedia article about how "There is an especially strong playful portrayal of the English lawyer's talent for solemn pomposity." (Not only English lawyers, btw.)

Feb 24, 2020, 10:21pm

>42 haydninvienna:

You will not be disappointed. Don't worry, Gilbert crested an excellent charsacter to foil the "solemn pomposity." I found the hero uniquely interesting due to his peculiar disability, but he sometimes seemed almost a spectral personnage compared to some in the horde of eligible suspects.


Feb 26, 2020, 5:45pm

Recent purchases:

The Dolphin Letters, 1970-1979 -- correspondence between Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell and friends
Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman
Apeirogon by Colum McCann
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Weather by Jenny Offill
Machine Dreams by Jayne Anne Phillips (replacement copy)
Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips

Feb 29, 2020, 2:57am

It is fair to say that my moratorium on buying books has utterly failed. Over the past few weeks, these books have joined my family:

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Poison Garden by Alex Marwood
The Clergyman's Wife by Molly Greeley
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

and I borrowed a book on the behaviour of birds from my brother (I'd given to him for Christmas and he loved it): The Thing With Feathers by Noah Strycker.

Feb 29, 2020, 1:07pm

While looking for my next book club selection at my local independent bookstores I instead found:

Moon Palace by Paul Auster
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

And ordered my book club book from Amazon:
The Power by Naomi Alderman

Mar 1, 2020, 2:19pm

Forgot to post my NYRB book club selections:

Charisma and Disenchantment: The Vocation Lectures by Max Weber
Marrow and Bone by Walter Kempowksi

Mar 5, 2020, 10:10pm

I was about to brag that I brought home no books in February but then realized I received ONE book as a present for my birthday, a Japanese book by Kazuki Sakuraba called 私の男 (My Man) . But that was out of my control and at least I didn't purchase any!

March thread?

Mar 6, 2020, 2:57pm

New thread:

Sorry about that. Someone else created the new thread and didn't add the link here.