I am nothing if not tenacious. When I really set my mind to something I sometimes surprise even myself by what I can accomplish. I only wish this was the case with books. I'm an easy sell when it comes to books--both borrowing and buying. I often find myself feeling overwhelmed by them. But does that stop me from accumulating them. No, of course not. You would think I would arrive at a point of satiation--at least when it comes to how many stacks seem to pop up in my house (like mushrooms on a soggy lawn), but not yet anyway. Not that I am complaining per se. I mean look at that lovely stack and the promise it holds for many hours of pleasant reading. They mostly elicit contented sighs and wishes for more time to read them in. Still, as slow as I go, it is always nice to have a good choice of reading material.
It's been a while since I have shared my new discoveries. I had to do some serious weeding of library books over the weekend, but I did keep a number of them back. These are the highlights (if I shared all my new books this post might get a little too unwieldy and the sheer number might raise a few eyebrows).
Top to bottom:
I'm a great fan of Mary Wesley. I went through a phase some years ago where I read everything by her I could get my hands on. So when I came across Patrick Marham's biography of her Wild Mary: A Life of Mary Wesley, I had to snap it up. The only problem is whether to just dive right in or go back and do a little rereading. Enough time has passed to ensure I have sufficiently forgotten most of the book plots. The other 'problem' is that biographers often discuss the author's works, which makes me hesitate--thinking I should read/reread the works so the stories aren't 'ruined' for me. Such a dilemma!
I think I mentioned that my library owns most of the Criterion Collection's films. A recent acquisition was a set: David Lean Directs Noel Coward. All the films in the set caught my eye, but I discovered that my library owns the script which is included in Three Plays (perhaps I should search out the scripts for all the movies in the set) which includes Blithe Spirit. I thought it would be fun to read the script and then see the film. And I have always been curious about Noel Coward--it sounds like he was quite a personality in his time.
I've heard many good things about Lily King's Euphoria. "From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the ‘30’s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives." Has anyone read it? Is it as good as they say?
Litlove recently had a good reading experience with Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. She compared it to Carol Goodman (another author whose books I have read nearly all of). "Suspenseful and cinematic, Bittersweet exposes the gothic underbelly of an idyllic world of privilege and an outsider’s hunger to belong."
Sometimes I think books follow me about begging me to buy them (it's always the books' fault and never my own). I always take pity on them and do so. Is it good or bad when even books in the supermarket start sounding good? Some of these are new books and a few recent finds when I stopped by my favorite used bookstore.
From top to bottom:
The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe since there should be at least one beach book in every reader's pile come summertime.
Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton since I have long wanted to read the first Aunt Dimity book, it is called a charming read and it is one of the "100 Best Mysteries of the Century"!
Hugger-Mugger in the Louvre by Elliot Paul since it has one of the best titles I've come across in a long time, it's pulpy cover is priceless and it sounds like a fun read.
A Hank of Hair: An Exquisite Danse Macabre by Charlotte Jay since I need to read more Australian authors. Bonus since it is a woman AND a mystery. It sounds very creepy, too.
The Last Days of Il Duce by Domenic Stansberry since it was a finalist for both the Edgar Award and the Hammett Prize. Mostly because it is set in San Francisco's North Beach, and I am likely to get no closer to my (well one of) favorite city than through the pages of a book this year.
Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence by Joseph J. Ellis since it was staring me in the face when food shopping last weekend. And it is related to other reading I am doing at the moment (see below).
I have to start at least one of these--I can't keep buying books (or bringing new ones home in any case) and then ignoring them. It makes me feel like a bad hostess. Part of the pleasure of new books is deciding which one to read first, don't you think?