Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Week or So in Books

Argh! It's been a week since my last post. Where does the time go? Seriously? D'oh, I've got to get rid of this job and this social life, really. No, just kidding. I actually rather enjoy making an idiot of myself attempting to learn to country line dance despite my lack of any dancer-ish skills. I'd do it again in a heartbeart or a week. But I digress.

Last weekend, I took a chunk out of my precious reading time to go more books. Oops. Well, the Barnes & Noble gift card was burning a hole in my file cabinet drawer right next to the Old Navy gift card that I...ahem...forgot that I had. Isn't that great? Finding money (or equivalent) that you totally forgot you had? That Old Navy Gift Card brought a smile to my face and some pants to my butt. Really, though, we all know you're not here to hear about pants, so I'll get to the goods. Yes, everybody, I popped over to Barnes & Noble and bought some books that, well, everyone else already has. Without intending to, I also went all Sesame Street and stuck with the theme letter "R."

Let's see, I picked up a copy of Cormac McCarthy's The Road which I've wanted since before it was an Oprah book, I'll have you know. Everybody's forever talking about this and how awesome it is. Even the people who didn't think it would be awesome. So I had to have it, of course. Besides, I've got to read it before the movie comes out now, don't I?

Then, another that I had my eye on, Run by Ann Patchett. I don't count myself a "fan" of many authors because I don't revisit many authors. This is not intentional, it's just the way things usually shake out. Anyhow, Ann Patchett is among my favorite authors. I really liked Bel Canto, The Magician's Assistant, and even Truth & Beauty, so Run was obvious pick for the unintentional "R" themed book shopping day.

In keeping with said "R" theme, the four dollar copy of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid on the remainder table jumped into my hands despite the fact that I'd already used up my gift card money. It's been on my wish list for a while, and I think the concept sounds very interesting.

So, that's all of the book purchasing. I also got a few oldies but goodies in the mail from some lovely Bookcrossers - Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes, Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult (one of the titles that has been languishing on my wishlist the longest!), and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.

Election night was a challenge for me because I was just about to finish the first book I've really loved in quite awhile. So I had to alternate myself between watching the election returns and devouring the last 50 or so pages of Sweetsmoke by David Fuller. I was so in the mood to read some historical fiction and this was the perfect selection. Yes - I really liked this one, which serves many purposes. It provides a brilliant exit from my stay on the book blogger leper colony, breaks me out of my book funk, and gives you a break from my grinchy "this was just okay" book reviews. So yeah, look for that this week.

I'm also reading another book sent to me via the Early Reviewer program at Library Thing - In the Country of Brooklyn by Peter Golenbock. It's quite a tome, weighing in at about 300 more pages than I could ever have expected at a vast 661 or so pages. It's oral history about the significance of Brooklyn in, I don't know, say, the social evolution of the United States. It's an interesting concept letting the people tell their own stories, which are very engrossing, but all the filler narrative is badly in need of an editor to cut out all the redundancy and maybe give Golenbock some tips on organization. The jury's still out on this one, as I've still got oh, two thirds of it to go. But I will review it. Someday. When I finish it. I promise.


  1. Well, I can take your place in the leper colony for Sweetsmoke - boy, that book just did not hold my interest.

  2. I really enjoyed Run. I'd probably rank it as one of my favorites of the year. It was my first time reading Ann Patchett, but I'll definitely be looking for more of her work.

  3. I came very close to stopping in at the bookstore this morning after my stop at the post office, but I refrained. Just because I have a coupon doesn't mean I need to go to the bookstore. I'll probably cave tomorrow.

    I bought my copy of The Road before Oprah but I still haven't managed to read it. Before the movie, I keep telling myself. Let's hope it lives up to the hype! The Reluctant Fundamentalist is another one waiting on my shelf to be read (You have good taste!)

    Run is another one I've been curious about. And Sweetsmoke. I am glad to hear you are enjoying that one so far.

  4. Elizabeth - Sorry that one didn't do it for you! I found it to be a little bit slower of a read, but I think that might have been because I was taking my time to enjoy the descriptions... That old leper colony seems to be a more popular place than I'd expected! ;-)

    Ruth - Glad to hear it! I'll have to get to it sooner rather than later before it disappears into the vast recesses of my unread book pile like so many that have gone before...

    LF - It's so hard to resist the pull of book shopping! I'd been good for quite a while, so it had gotten to the point that every time I drove by a bookstore or even a Goodwill or Salvation Army store I'd be thinking about stopping drooling about the possibilty of buying a few books. I really needed a fix, I guess! LOL. And FWIW, I think having a coupon *does* mean that you need to go to the bookstore.... =P

  5. I've picked up The Road several times, but I've always put it back. Somehow, it scares me to read. Maybe one day I'll take the plunge. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on it.

  6. Yeah, I'm one of the reluctant bunch about The Road. I have no doubt that the writing is first-rate. It sounds a bit grim and depressing for me to pick it up. Maybe the time is not right.

  7. I LOVED The Road, though it was very sad. The writing blew me away, though, and I gave it as a gift. My highest complement. ;)

    I just finished Run last week, and I liked it a lot. I haven't written my review yet.

    You've got me all intrigued with Sweetsmoke now. And I've thought of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, but I haven't decided if I want to add it to my list or not.