I haven’t been placing many books on hold this summer due to travel and other encumbrances so I have been making do with the new book shelves at both my local branch and the main branch of the library. So far I have manged to pick up one or maybe two books but the picking has been slim especially at the main branch which generally has a lot more new books.
Yesterday I struck gold – I almost didn’t go into the main branch as the large parking lot was stuffed as was the street parking which is a good thing – it means lots of people are using the library. However someone pulled out at the end of the lot so I pulled in and ended up with five new books and leaving at least five more that I would love to read still on the shelves.
All of this is a good thing as I am still having trouble getting into The Leftovers and when I do, it just isn’t holding my interest. This will give me something to read in between Leftover moments.
So what did I get?
Clair de Lune by Jetta Carleton: I have heard many bloggers rave about The Moonflower Vine but I had not heard of a second novel by Carleton. It turns out that this manuscript was “lost” for a while after her death and some sleuthing done by her family, a copy of the manuscript was found in the possession of one of Carleton’s friends. The manuscript was polished by Ann Patty and published in 2012. Clair de Lune is the story of Allan Liles, a new young teacher at a Missouri Junior College. Lonely at first, she later strikes up a friendship with two of her students. I have just started the book and I am definitely enjoying it so far – it will be featured on tomorrow’s Words for Wednesday.
Sugarhouse by Matthew Batt: My mom and I first heard about this book through the New York Times. Sugarhouse is a neighborhood in Salt Lake City. My father used to live in Sugarhouse and I remember driving there to visit relatives when I was a small child. It is a charming area that is currently seeing a lot of revitalization. Matthew Batt and his wife are in the midst of a “quarter-life crisis” and in the middle of all that, they decide to renovate a former crack house in Sugarhouse. This is said to be a charming and funny memoir.
Self-Help: Stories by Lorrie Moore: Moore is an acclaimed short story author and she is also the author of The Gate at the Top of the Stairs published in 2009 (it was also a finalist for The Orange Prize). I have read a few of Moore’s stories in The New Yorker and thought it would be nice to get a better feel for her as an author. I have heard mixed reviews of her work. Have you read anything by Moore? If so what were your impressions?
Me and You by Niccolo Ammaniti: This short novel, translated from the original Italian by Kylee Doust, is the story of fourteen year old Lorenzo. He is a strange misfit and the worry of his wealthy appearance conscious parents. He convinces them that he has been invited to go skiing when he is really planning on hiding out in the basement. Once there, his half-sister Olivia, who has secrets of her own, finds him. They become locked together in a battle of wills as the two struggle with family secrets, alienation, and the need for acceptance. I hear they have made a film out of this that appeared at the Cannes Film Festival.
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan: This novel was short-listed for four major prizes including The Booker Prize and The Giller Prize. Hieronymus Falk is a jazz-playing trumpet genius, German, and half-black. This is not a good combination in 1939 Berlin or German-occupied Paris. Falk disappears from a Paris cafe and never heard from again. Fifty years later, two musicians, Sid and Chip, who played with Falk participate in a documentary about his life. Sid is the only witness to the disappearance and questions arise about his role.
What didn’t I pick up? The Land of Decoration, The Prisoner of Heaven, In One Person, and The Good American among others. It was hard to choose but I felt I had to limit myself to five. Now I just have to get them all read in two weeks along with The Leftovers.