I was doing to call this post "Bad Habits are Hard to Break" but when is using the library a bad habit, right? I managed to make it three months without borrowing library books, however, and have been reading steadily from my own book piles, so all in all a good way to begin the new year and set the tone for the rest of 2013's reading. I'll continue to read from my own stacks as much as I can, but the temptation of new books was just too strong and I finally gave. I've got a few more than this pile shows, but I thought I would share a few highlights. These are currently closer to the top of the pile than the bottom and I'll be choosing one to start reading...and add to my current reads pile. Oh, the joy of thinking about starting a new book!
Christmas at Eagle Pond by Donald Hall -- Yes, Christmas! Had I come across this book a few months ago it would have been perfect, but I only just discovered it on my last library visit. What caught my eye was the name. I only discovered Donald Hall last month, so it was serendipity to find he has written books other than poetry collections. This is a book of his childhood memories (1940) of Christmas spent at his grandparent's rural home in New Hampshire. Even though I am ready for spring, the subject matter is still quite inviting and this is a slim little volume that may well coax me into reading more of his work.
Baksheesh: A Kati Hirschel Istanbul Mystery by Esmahan Aykol -- I read the first Katie Hirschel mystery two years ago, and finally the next instalment has been published in English. The draw is perhaps less the mystery than the locale and desire to read some Turkish fiction (well, crime in this case). "...Aykol takes us to the alleys and boulevards of cosmopolitan Istanbul, to luxurious villas and seedy basement flats, to the property agents and lawyers, to Islamist leaders and city officials--in fact everywhere that baksheesh helps move things along."
Lessons in French by Hilary Reyl -- "In compelling and sympathetic prose, Hilary Reyl perfectly captures this portrait of a precocious, ambitious young woman struggling to define herself in a vibrant world that spirals out of control. Lessons in French is at once a love letter to Paris and the story of a young woman finding herself, her moral compass, and finally, her true family."
A Little Folly by Jude Morgan -- I was just thinking this weekend how appealing a Georgette Heyer novel sounded. Jude Morgan comes very close to creating the same feel of Regency England as Heyer does. I read An Accomplished Woman by Morgan a few years back and recall liking it very much.
She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories by Ron Hansen -- Hansen is one of those authors I feel like I should have read by now since he is a native Omahan, though now he lives in Northern California. There are twelve new stories in this collection and seven from his previous collection, Nebraska. "...the subject of Hansen's scrutiny range from Oscar Wilde to murder to dementia to romance, and display Hansen at his storytelling best."
One for the Books by Joe Queenan -- I've read some of Queenen's essays and is someone I can relate to very well as he is as obsessive about books as I am. "One for the Books is Queenan's choleric survey of the landscape of reading today, from fervently dedicated booksellers to beleaguered libraries to the everyday dilemmas faced by the avid reader (borrowing and lending, the inability to finish certain books, rereading favorites, dealing with an increasingly elephantine collection)." This sounds like a fun collection of essays and books about books are always interesting.
The Burning Air by Erin Kelly -- I think Erin Kelly is someone I will like very much. And someday I really am going to read her. Maybe right now as a matter of fact. This is her third book. I own her first in hardcover, checked out her second from the library at least once (and maybe even twice), but haven't managed to read either. Another author I mean to read. The blurb tells me Erin Kelly "has written another spellbinder that is both creepy and compelling. Brimming with twists and Kelly's signature psychological intrigue, The Burning Air is her most chilling yet--a heart-stopping thriller of dark obsession, in which the smallest decisions carry unimaginable consequences."
Now the hard part. Deciding just which story I am most in the mood for. Did I already say, ah the joys of starting a new book?!