Here's a novel idea. Writing down titles to add to my wishlist rather than buying everything in sight that caught my eye. I dropped by the bookstore yesterday and knowing I couldn't leave with a stack of books (I was going somewhere after and couldn't lug a bag of books about), I jotted down titles and limited my purchases to just one book and one magazine. That's all I could fit into the small bookbag I was carrying.
I have to say I am quite proud of myself to have shown such restraint. And I am pleased with the lone selections I made, too. I had looked at Crossbones Yard by Kate Rhodes when it first came out in hardcover. Now it is out in paper and I brought home a copy. Louise Penny calls it "an atmosperhic, smart, often terrifying read." As I am on a mini--thriller/suspense/mystery binge at the moment, it was the perfect fit for my mood.
I also just discovered a British magazine called The Simple Things. It's already well-thumbed and I like the content so much I am considering subscribing to it. The January issue offers "the simple things to buy, cook, read and do". I was especially interested in an article on "living mindfully" which is something I am trying to do right now. They shared ten books to read and recipes I could happily try. Will have to share more of the things I discovered in those pages.
It's been ages since I have visited a bricks and mortar (new books that is) bookstore. While I didn't browse as long as I might have I still enjoyed looking at all the new releases--or new in paperback releases. This is the list I came away with to either check out more carefully and order or borrow from the library (some are new and some might be older):
How It All Began by Penelope Lively -- "A vibrant new novel (actually from 2012) from Penelope Lively—a wry, wise story about the surprising ways lives intersect ."
The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch -- "The Last Enchantments is a powerfully moving and lyrically written novel. A young American embarks on a year at Oxford and has an impassioned affair that will change his life forever."
The Rules of Inheritance: A Memoir by Claire Bidwell Smith -- "A powerful and searingly honest memoir about a young woman who loses her family but finds herself in the process."
The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister -- "Mixes gorgeous prose, luscious detail, and heartfelt characters—new friends and old—to reveal just how colorful and warm life in the rainy Pacific Northwest can be." This is a sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients, so I should probably start there! I like the sound of the setting.
Adore: A Novella by Doris Lessing -- "Roz and Lil have been best friends since childhood. But their bond stretches beyond familiar bounds when these middle-aged mothers fall in love with each other's teenage sons—taboo-shattering passions that last for years, until the women end them, vowing to have a respectable old age. With Adore, Doris Lessing, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, once again proves her unrivaled ability to capture the truth of the human condition."
From Nottinghill With Love . . . Actually by Ali McNamara -- "Movie fanatic Scarlett O'Brien dreams of a life as glamorous and romantic as all the big screen flicks she worships. When a chance house-sitting job in iconic Notting Hill comes along, she knows living in one of her favorite movie settings is an opportunity too good to pass up."
The Lifeboat by Charlottte Rogan -- "The Lifeboat is a page-turning novel of hard choices and survival, narrated by a woman as unforgettable and complex as the events she describes.
Brava Valentina by Adriana Trigiani -- "Award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker Adriana Trigiani returns with Brava, Valentine, continuing the heartwarming and hilarious story of Valentine Roncalli, her family, her love life, and the Angelini Shoe Company. Following on the heels of the New York Times bestseller Very Valentine." (I think this is the second book of a trilogy--she's a fun comfort read author for me--always good to have one of her books on hand).
An Irish Country Wedding by Patrick Taylor -- "A spirited and compassionate story filled with pastoral Irish imagery, cheerful village life, and heartwarming romance." I think this is the 7th in the series and I have often looked at these books--they look quite entertaining. I might have to go back and start with the first. With March and St. Patrick's Day just around the corner I think I need a good book with an Irish destination.
He's Gone by Deb Caletti -- "From National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti comes an intensely gripping story about love, loss, marriage, and secrets." Once again, this is set in Seattle--a setting with much appeal for me.
Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon -- "Who is Pietr the Latvian? Is he a gentleman thief? A Russian drinking absinthe in a grimy bar? A married Norwegian sea captain? A twisted corpse in a train bathroom? Or is he all of these men? Inspector Maigret, tracking a mysterious adversary and a trail of bodies, must bide his time before the answer comes into focus." Have you seen these new editions/translations of the Maigret books?
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling -- "In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka."
Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman -- " Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there." Yes, I am the last person to have discovered this.
Not Without You by Harriet Evans -- "Sophie Leigh’s real name is Sophie Sykes. But she hasn’t been called that for years, not since she became an A-list movie star. Living in Los Angeles, she can forget all about the life she left behind in England. But she’s lost something of herself in the process, too."
Not that I need help finding more books to read, but I really do need to get out more when it comes to bookstores. And it is sort of liberating to limit myself to just one book but endless titles on a list--then I can decide at leisure what I really want to read.