I don't share my new books very often here these days, do I? It certainly doesn't mean I am not acquiring them anymore, though hopefully these days I am being more selective. I am much more apt to shop my favorite used bookstore than other 'new' books bookstores (though I do still spread my purchases around). I have some recently finished books to write about, but not enough energy tonight to do so, so will save them for another day. Instead here are a few new books that have found their way onto my TBR piles.
Last weekend I stopped by the used bookstore in search of a book by Albert Camus. In error I bought, The Plague, which means I will have to go back (darn . . .). When I read Kamel Daoud's New Yorker story recently, I knew I had to add his forthcoming novel The Mersault Investigation to my wishlist. And of course since Daoud was inspired by Camus, I had better start there. Unfortunately I messed up and didn't get The Stranger (I think they didn't have it and so I picked what I saw, hence the error). Oops. As I have never read Camus, I am still happy to have any book--even one I hadn't actually intended to buy just yet.
My other 'finds' running top to bottom--and can you tell I spent my time browsing the mysteries, since this summer is all about reading mysteries and novels of suspense: P.D. James's Talking About Detective Fiction, which I read when it first came out, but is most decidedly worth owning. I may even give it another read now. I also found her memoir, Time to Be in Earnest: A Fragment of Autobiography. And how cool, what do you think? Her signature? I hadn't realized in the bookstore that it was signed! Wouldn't it make a nice little mini project to read these two books and one of her Dalgliesh mysteries? Hmm.
I had never come across Jenny White's Kamil Pasha novels. The Sultan's Seal is the first of three mysteries set in late Ottoman Empire Turkey. It looks nicely atmospheric. Elif Shafak's blurb on the back cover reads--"A joyous celebration of love and desire that recognizes no cultural boundaries . . . Lingers in the mind like the strong, delightful smell of an incense you will remember next time you catch it in the air." Maybe I can find somewhere that sells a cup of Turkish coffee and read the book in a proper setting!
And a new-to-me author and book (and it would appear that I missed the movie version, too . . .), Didier van Cauwelaert's Unknown (previously published as Out of My Head). It was likened to a Twilight Zone-ish yarn. Doesn't this sound good? "Martin Harris returns home after spending three days in a coma, to find that his wife doesn't recognize him and another man is living in his house under is name. The imposter shares all of Martin's memories, experiences, and knowledge down to the last detail. Is it conspiracy? Amnesia? An elaborate hoax or his own paranoid delusion? Part moral fable, part thriller, Unknown is a fast-paced tale of one man's desperate attempt to reclaim his existence--even at the cost of his own life."
And a few more books that came in the mail . . . Remember how much I liked Attia Hosain's short story, "Time is Unredeemable" (one of my favorites in the collection)? I knew right away that I wanted to read more and have added a couple more Viragos to my collection--Sunlight on a Broken Column and a collection of short stories, Phoenix Fled. For the former--"With its beautiful evocation of India, its political insight and unsentimental understanding of the human heart, Sunlight . . . is a classic of Muslim life." And about those short stories--"To each episode Attia Hosain brings a superb imaginative understanding and a sense of the poignancy of the smallest of human dramas."
And the very bottom book is Mariana by Katherine Vaz. I am not sure how I came across this one, but it sounded really intriguing. "This novel is based upon the true story of Mariana Alcoforado, sent to a convent during Portugal's revolt against Spain in the seventeenth century, where she conducts an all-consuming love affair with a French cavalry officer. After being abandoned, she writes him five passionate letters--translated and included here--that become famous throughout Europe in her lifetime and thereafter. Artists from the poet Rilke and the novelist Stendhal to the painters Matisse, Modigliani, and Braque have helped make her one of the world's great romantic icons." The book was published in the US in 2004 and the author is Portuguese-American. I hope it is as good as it sounds!
In search of more reading time . . . You, too?