I wasn’t going to do it – I swear. I have enough books to read at home and received a very nice selection for Christmas from my dad. So I don’t need any more books and I was planning on avoiding the two books stores in Salem I like going to. But then I had to go to the post office and The Reader’s Guide is on the way back to my mom’s – not the regular way to go but I decided not to be picky and spent a delightful hour or so browsing their bookcases. They had a lot of new material so I had to go through them all. But they didn’t have the one book I really needed which meant while running errands my first day back home, I had to check out Second Look Books and since I have never looked at their fiction I had to check out both their classic section and their general fiction. So now I have eleven new books to add to the stacks of not-yet-read books I already have on my shelves. I ended up leaving the Salem stack with my mom to read as I was flying home and didn’t want to add to my luggage. I will pick them up in May when I drive down with youngest. But the other stack is sitting by the couch waiting for me to find a little reading time…
Here is what I added to my stacks:
The All of It by Jeannette Haien: This is the only book I bought that I did not know either the title or the author. I picked it up on a whim and liked what I read about it on the back, “..a deceptively simple story that has the power and resonance of myth.” A priest is fishing in Ireland and contemplating the recent deathbed confession of a man who, with his wife “…have been sweetly living a lie for some 50 years…” How could I resist.
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore: This book was selected as one of The Guardian’s 1000 books to read before you die. Set in the 1950′s, Moore explores the life of an ordinary woman, a Catholic spinster of diminishing means living in a boarding house in Belfast.
Dagmar’s Daughter by Kim Echlin: I loved Echlin’s last novel, The Disappeared and Dagmar’s Daughter, her second novel, draws upon the myth of Demeter and Persephone. This is the first book my mother has read from the stack and she enjoyed it.
Mrs. Bridge – Evan S. Connell: I mentioned this book in my March 3rd post Sunday Caught My Interest.
The Storm at the Door by Stefan Merrill Block: I read Block’s first book, The Story of Forgetting (my review can be found here)and have had his second, The Storm at the Door, on my to-be-read list and grabbed at the chance of picking it up. As the first book explores the effect of Alzheimer’s Disease on both the people who have it as well as their caretakers, this novel focuses on the effects of mental illness. I liked how Block could find hope in a seemingly bleak situation so I have high hopes for his latest.
The Bent Twig by Dorothy Canfield (Fisher): Understood Betsy is one of my favorite childhood books and I was please to find out Fisher was also an accomplished writer of novels for adults. I read The Brimming Cup not too long ago and really want to read The Home-Maker so I was pleased to see this book on the shelf. Fisher was very interested in the Montessori method of education and the heroine of this novel is a strong, independent, passionate young woman raised in a Montessori home. Please note this book is available free for electronic readers.
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok: My mother’s book group read this book and had a really interesting discussion so I choose it as my pick for my book group next month. Asher Lev is a young Hasidic boy with a passion for art and this passion leads to a conflict with his family and his religion. The tension between art and religion and tradition and individualism is a subject rife with discussion topics and I wanted a copy of my own to ease note taking.
Fear and Trembling by Amelie Northomb: I have mentioned Northomb a few times lately (here and here). While Fear and Trembling was not on my radar, her books can be hard to find so I picked it up. Set in Japan, this novel is about a young Belgian woman spending a year in Japan trying to navigate a very different culture than the one she was raised in.
The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds: I also mentioned this book March 3rd and Diane (Bibliophile from the Sea) commented that it was one of her favorite books. A fundamentalist church run by the family patriarch, a young girl struggling not to sin, judgement, and God – what a great combination.
The Soul of Kindness by Elizabeth Tayler: Taylor is a novelist often mentioned by other bloggers and other writers. Antonia Fraser called her “one of the most underrated writers of the 20th century.” Flora believes herself to be “the Soul of Kindness” and works hard to make sure that others also perceive her that way. Liz, a painter, fails to fall into line with the other worshipers. The blurb on the back calls it “a study in deception”.
Embers by Sandor Marai: This 1942 novel by Hungarian writer and journalist first caught my notice in May 2011. Two elderly men, once the closest of friends, meet after 41 years of estrangement. In the conversation, the two exhume their friendship through “a duel of words and silences, accusations and evasions.”