Books Brought Home November/December 2019
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I've had such a difficult time parting with some books. Recently I discarded my copy of Chang-Rae Lee's A Gesture Life, a book that touched me deeply when I first read it. But I was preparing a basket of some old favorites to place in a local community center's weekend for sharing old treasures and I hoped someone would want Lee's book. A week later there was a knock on my door and a woman I didn't know was holding that book in her hands and thanking me for donating it. She loved it, but "are you sure you want to part with it?" I said "yes" (meaning "no"). We talked about the book for awhile and discovered so many other books and authors for whom we shared a passion. So I made a new friend, and, of course, the minute I could get to the computer, I ordered a copy of Lee's book. I really do need to have a copy of that book on my shelves. My family and friends have noted that I'm not making a lot of progress discarding books. I'm doing the best I can - and I've already said goodbye to more than a thousand books - (I am hoping to part with about 500 more) - but parting is indeed such sweet sorrow.
And then there are two new books to add to my library:
10:04 by Ben Lerner
The Mutual Admiration Society by Mo Moulton
My books are palpitating in fear that I will be struck by your self-reform efforts. After hearing about your exercise in spine stiffening (heavy starch, I assume) that it took to say 'bye to hc le Carre classics and then to bid well intentioned farewell to "Gesture," I knew I must do something about my own library.
I immediately jumped up, went to all my volumes in all the bookcases and caressed the trembling friends who reside there, reassuring them that no matter what, they would always have a home with me.
Gesture Life is that beautiful, touching, lingering novel that demands rereading over the years. One of my favorites, too. It's a book that provides readers with unexpected pleasure. In your case, it knocked at the door. Lovely!
I have been acquiring. I shouldn't, but is there any joy greater than getting books delivered?
The First Signs by Genevieve Von Petzinger
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens
The Devil's Wedding Ring by Vidar Sundstol
Leona: The Die is Cast by Jenny Rogneby
Storytellers by Bjorn Larssen
ahef1963, I hope you enjoy A Gesture Life. And I want you to know I'm keeping you in my thoughts as you work through your medical issues -- bless you. dear friend.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
Remembering Denny by Calvin Trillin (replacement copy)
The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West (replacement copy)
Agree that getting books delivered is delicious! I love giving them to family because first they come to me. heh heh
>23 ahef1963:, I hope "Gesture" makes you feel better -- sorry to learn of your health challenge.
>25 mollygrace:, I hope you have a special cozy corner to curl up in and enjoy your acquisitions.
Sharing your passions, I, too, have received lovely treasures that I lust to read. Wish I had compound eyes and could read many books at once. Here are some of my latest buys.
The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch. Good old-fashioned character-driven family saga. Have been reading vit voraciously and all I can say is, "Wow!"
Little Gods by Meng Jin, my LT ER novel of identity, immigration story, and theme of efforts to impose order on a chaotic world. A little modern physics, a serving of Chinese culture, lots of unrest, political, personal, familial. Debut novel that is intelligent and important contribution to my literature by Chinese authors collection.
The Gardener of Baghdad by Ahmad Ardalan Once you read the description, you'll understand why I had to have it.
The Lost World of the Old Ones by David Roberts I've had a life-long interest in the petroglyphs of the SW, cliff dwellings, and disappeared Anasazi civilizations, as well as theories about the artists behind the cave drawing in France.
No Bone Unturned by Jeff Benedict A forensic paleoanthropologist reveals what bones tell him about the ancients, about criminals' victims, and about victims of calamitous disasters.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach for my first ex-husband, with whom I remain good friends, and who is a baseball fanatic. (My second ex is a selfish slimeball.)
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America by David Allen Sibley, bought for my brother, who broadly hinted that he was lacking this volume.
How to Speak Chicken by Melissa Caughey for my 12-year old nephew who has 14 pet chickens and has actually been trying to learn to speak chicken. There is a book for everything, if you look hard enough.
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
I don't know who recommended A Gesture Life, but I now own a copy of it. I'd always assumed that the author was female, as for some reason the name Chang-rae sounded feminine to me, but I was wrong. I also own now the second and third novels of the Regeneration series: The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road. Regeneration was such a good book; I'm looking forward to the sequels.
I liked "Gesture Life" so much, I've read it twice. And i never re-read novels! Hope you enjoy.
Two Years in the Forbidden City by Princess Der Ling
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov - which I tried to read about 15 years ago, and which I gave up in disgust, as I had no idea what was going on. I'm going to try again.
All great selections. I own them all, too. While I'm actively reading the first in your list, I haven't read the others. Maybe you could let me know when you start on them? Maybe I could try to read along with you at the same time? However, the sad truth is that I doubt I could keep up since real life interrupts me so frequently.
Apparently there was another book to trickle in: My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, whom I adore. I'm going to finish my current book and then dive right into the du Maurier - can't wait!