Monday, July 27, 2009

Kinda Small Haul

Is it possible? I must be reaching a saturation point, because yesterday, when I counted up all the books I bought while on vacation, the number was a shockingly low 26. Here are the newest additions to my groaning shelves:

1. Brother One Cell - Cullen Thomas. [For a couple of years, I've been circling this memoir of a young English teacher doing time in Korean prison for a crime involving drugs, but I finally capitulated at the price: $3.99.]

2. The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan. [This is a BOOKLEAVES read for August. I'd never even heard of this book before, but I'm glad to have a chance to read more children's lit.]

3. Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously - Julie Powell. [I'm hoping the movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams will play in South Korea. I've been saving back Julia Child's My Life In France and have plans to read these two books together. I adore Julia Child...while at the Smithsonian earlier this month, I insisted on going to see the display of her TV kitchen. They've added even more stuff since I was there on July 5th.]

4. All The King's Men - Robert Penn Warren. [One for the Pulitzer Pile. It's a Chunkster.]

5. The Year of Fog - Michelle Richmond. [I don't know anything about this book. According to the cover, if you like Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard, you'll like this book. Hmm...]

6. Winter At Valley Forge - Matt Doeden & Ron Frenz. [Part of the "Graphic Library" series for young readers. I bought this while touring Valley Forge. Very cool place.]

7. Audrey Hepburn - Barry Paris. [Gorgeous pictures of the star and the price was right.]

8. Public Enemies - Bryan Burrough. [The story of how the FBI struggled with growing pains right about the time that a gigantic crime spree was taking place back in 1933-34. The movie version seems a little muddy, but the book is a wealth of information -- sometimes overly rich; Burrough is a thorough researcher -- written with great enthusiasm. I loved how Burrough showed the faults and foibles of both the "good guys" and "bad guys".]

9. George Washington: Leading A New Nation - Matt Doeden & Cynthia Martin. [Another in the "Graphic Library" series. I love the art in these books!]

10. Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet: The Manga Edition - Adam Sexton, Yali Lin. [I can't really warm up to the look of manga characters, the big eyes, etc, but I like the retelling of this famous play using comic book form. I wish I could've found Macbeth.]

11. Barack Obama: United States President - Roberta Edwards, Ken Call. [A biography for younger readers, but the authors don't "write down" or condescend to their age level. Seems to slightly lose focus for a couple of pages, but that's a minor beef.]

12. The Yearling - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. [For the Pulitzer stack, but I may try to find a different copy. I don't like how the margins extend so far into the binding that the book's spine has to be cracked to read it comfortably.]

13. Tales Of The South Pacific - James A. Michener. [Same concerns as with the previous book.]

14. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee. [I can't believe it took me so long to add this to my Pulitzer pile. I found a really nice trade paperback copy -- the 40th anniversary edition.]

15. So Big - Edna Ferber. [I haven't read this since middle school, so I'm excited about reading it again after *mumble* years.]

16. Ironweed - William Kennedy. [I read this for my 1980s book group, but remember almost nothing of it except that it was bleak and depressing. Wonder how it'll strike me this time?]

17. Breathing Lessons - Anne Tyler. [Someone bookmooched me a copy of this novel, but it looked like mass market crap, so I decided to donate the crap copy to the free table at the library and treat myshelf to a new trade paperback edition. It's not my favorite of Tyler's novels, but it's right up there.]

18. The Color Purple - Alice Walker. [I was almost out of a Borders in Pennsylvania when the checkout person asked me routinely if there would be anything else. I looked up and to my right and saw this book on display. "Yes," I gasped. "I want that!"]

19. Foreign Affairs - Alison Lurie. [I bought this in a HUGE Barnes & Noble in St. Louis. I was finding *everything* for the Pulitzer shelf. As I staggered through the store, arms blissfully full, a clerk asked me if I needed a basket. "What I need is an intervention," I told him.

20. The Reivers - William Faulkner. [Big score. I never expected to find this. A Fable still seems to elude my grasp, though.]

21. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck. [I'm a little surprised that I haven't picked up this book before now. I've seen many nice copies.]

22. The Keepers Of The House - Shirley Ann Grau. [Another big score! More reasons to heart St. Louis!]

23. House Made of Dawn - N. Scott Momaday. [I never wanted to leave that B&N in St. Louis. I was having to put books back, which pained me dreadfully. I'm sorry, Bernard Malamud! I'm sorry John Updike!]

24. Independence Day - Richard Ford. [My reasons are twofold for nabbing this book. Sure, it's a Pulitzer, but I'm also hoping to get all the books in the Frank Bascombe trilogy and read them. This is the middle book.]

25. The Hours - Michael Cunningham. [I finally found a copy without the movie tie-in cover. I like Meryl Streep, but that cover annoys me.]

26. The Caine Mutiny - Herman Wouk. [I've seen the movie with Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg, but haven't read the book. I've never read any Wouk. I started Marjorie Morningstar when I was a teen, but it didn't hold my interest, although now I think I'd like it.]

So that's the result of my cavorting around in bookstores across my native land. Now that vacation's over, I need to buckle down and write my reviews for June and July. I've almost forgotten how. Luckily, I'm teaching that this week in the reading class.


Heather J. said...

"Reading With Becky" is doing The Lightning Thief in August as well - you should join our Google Group and chat with us!

And I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I've never read To Kill A Mockingbird or The Color Purple ...

Tammy said...

Wow, do we have similar bookshelves. I've either read or own and plan to read a number of your Pulitzer titles. I don't have The Reivers, but I do have A Fable -- think I found it at a Goodwill. I've also got My Life in France on my TBR pile, having already read Julie & Julia.

Enjoy your reading!

joemmama said...

sounds like terrific reading! SO glad you are back, you were missed!

Nymeth said...

Well, 26 is not that bad :P And they sound like good ones!

I read Manga Hamlet a while ago and it was a let down :( I hope s Romeo & Juliet is better!

Bookfool said...

SMALL haul? Babe, I think that qualifies as staggering.

Sue F. said...

I love the books that you got! Have read and liked many of them! I will be anxious to hear your reviews of them all!

Valerie said...


I wouldn't mind borrowing the K prison book, if u could allow me to foster it a while :)

Susan said...

I want to read Julie and Julia too! It looks fun and interesting, doesn't it? And I like to cook, too. Hmmm, maybe that can be another 'beach' read for me.....

26 books to haul across the ocean? Isn't that about what I brought back from England? Also across the ocean? See? Book-twins!!

I love how you describe that B&N in St Louis. I want to go there!!!