Tag Archives: general fiction

[TSS] A Little Bit Holds Happy

These past six months or so, I’ve really been getting a lot of use out of my library card. Ever since I signed up for Library Elf, that wonderful service that sends out reminder emails about books coming due or overdue, I’ve even managed to keep my library fines down to a minimum (you don’t want to know about the arm and the leg I paid to my library before I discovered Library Elf – and I have no excuse, not really, because there’s a branch of the library within a few blocks of my house).

(If you’re not using Library Elf, I definitely recommend you check it out and see if your library is listed with them.)

I discovered a few months ago that my library offers monthly newsletters that feature their latest acquisitions in a variety of genres. I’ve signed up for several of these newsletters, and always look forward to getting these emails – I’m always sure to add a few more holds to my library account.

Yesterday came with a flurry of these emails. The books listed in them aren’t necessarily new releases – often they are just “new to us” acquisitions. And of course, I placed several holds!

The Crossroads

The Crossroads, by Chris Grabenstein. I’m not sure why this showed up in the new books for teens newsletter, actually, as I’d already borrowed it once previously (but then got stuck under an avalanche of deadlines and had to return it unread). It’s by Chris Grabenstein, who writes the John Ceepak mystery series for adults, which I really enjoy.

Zack, his dad, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father’s hometown, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took 40 innocent lives….

The Brightest Star in the Sky

The Brightest Star in the Sky, by Marian Keyes. I think I’ve read one Keyes novel in the past – I seem to remember I enjoyed it. The storyline in The Brightest Star in the Sky sounded very intriguing. Since Keyes is such a popular author, it will be a while before I get my hands on this one.

The Brightest Star in the Sky follows seven neighbors whose lives become entangled when a sassy and prescient spirit pays a visit to their Dublin townhouse with the intent of changing at least one of their lives.

But what will this metamorphosis be and who will the sprite choose? There’s Matt and Maeve, the newlyweds struggling to overcome the first obstacle in their storybook romance; Lydia, the brassy but vulnerable cabbie; Katie, the just-turned-forty PR executive searching for a more gratifying life; and the eldest resident, Jemima, currently playing hostess to her son Fionn, who is in town to star as the hunky gardener in a hot new television show.

The Book of Tomorrow

The Book of Tomorrow, by Cecelia Ahern. I haven’t read Ahern’s P.S. I Love You, but I did enjoy the movie (much more so the second time around, when I knew what had happened – I think I went through a whole box of tissue paper that time). The Book of Tomorrow sounds quite interesting:

Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she’s ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes, a large four poster bed complete with a luxurious bathroom en-suite. She’s always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country to live with Tamara’s Uncle and Aunt. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara’s childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin. When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. She needs a distraction. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. With some help, Tamara finally manages to open the book. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core.

Murder at Longbourn

Murder at Longbourn, by Tracy Kiely. I couldn’t resist this cozy-sounding murder mystery, although on reading the summary, I’m not sure where Jane Austen comes into play …

A die-hard fan of Jane Austen novels and the traditional English mystery, Tracy Kiely has combined elements of both for this truly delightful and witty debut. Planning New Year’s resolutions to rid her life of all things unhealthy, Elizabeth Parker has dumped fatty foods, processed sugar, and her two-timing boyfriend. Indeed, the invitation to join her Aunt Winnie for a How to Host a Murder Party on New Year’s Eve at Winnie’s new Cape Cod B and B comes just in time. But when the local wealthy miser ends up the unscripted victim, Elizabeth must unearth old secrets and new motives in order to clear her beloved aunt of suspicion.

The Taken

The Taken, by Inger Ash Wolfe. This is the sequel to The Calling, which I haven’t read yet either – a copy of The Calling is available on the shelves, so I’m going to get a hold of it and get it read before this hold on The Taken comes my way. It was actually the summary of The Calling that made me decide to give this series a try.

From The Calling:

Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef has lived all her days in the small town of Port Dundas, Ontario and is now making her way toward retirement with something less than grace. Hobbled by a bad back and a dependence on painkillers, and feeling blindsided by divorce after nearly four decades of marriage, sixty-one-year-old Hazel has only the constructive criticism of her mother (the former mayor) and her own sharp tongue to buoy her. But when a terminally ill woman is gruesomely murdered in her own home, Hazel and her understaffed department must spring to life. And as one terminally ill victim after another is found, Hazel finds herself tracking a truly terrifying serial killer while everything around her spins out of control.

Through the cacophony of her bickering staff, her unsupportive superiors, a clamoring press, the town’s rumor mill, and her own nagging doubts, Hazel can sense the dead trying to call out. Will she hear them before it’s too late?

From The Taken:

Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef is having a bad year. After major back surgery, she has no real option but to move into her ex-husband’s basement and suffer the humiliation of his new wife bringing her meals down on a tray. As if that weren’t enough, Hazel’s octogenarian mother secretly flushes Hazel’s stash of painkillers down the toilet.

It’s almost a relief when Hazel gets a call about a body fished up by tourists in one of the lakes near Port Dundas. But what raises the hair on the back of Micallef ’s neck is that the local paper has just published the first installment of a serialized story featuring such a scenario. Even before they head out to the lake with divers to recover the body, she and DC James Wingate, leading the police detachment in Micallef ’s absence, know they are being played. But it’s not clear who is pulling their strings and why, nor is what they find at the lake at all what they expected. It’s Micallef herself who is snared, caught up in a cryptic game devised by someone who knows how to taunt her into opening a cold case, someone who knows that nothing will stop her investigation.

Don’t you love placing holds on books at your library? I like adding to my holds list – it’s like having a guarantee that I’ll always have something good to read. If I’m lucky, the books trickle in at a nice, steady pace … (if I’m not so lucky, I come home with 20+ books and no time to read them all!)

Comfort Reads (42nd Bookworms Carnival)

imageI’m just tickled to be hosting this 42nd Bookworms Carnival! Thank you to everyone who sent in their links on such short notice.

I chose the topic of Comfort Reads because there are always those times in life when a much-loved, well-read book is exactly what I need, and I’m hoping you all feel the same, too.

The desire for a spot of comfort reading hits me most often during the winter: usually at night, when it’s toasty warm inside and bitterly cold outside. I look at my special reading armchair and thoughts of a good, familiar book and a mug of hot tea come to mind.

I’ve enjoyed seeing the titles my fellow bloggers turn to when they’re up for some comfort reading; there are many old favorites of mine in the group, plus some new titles that of course I’ve now added to my list of books to get my hands on. All I can say is, it’s a good thing Christmas is just around the corner!

Classics

Ah, the classics! I have quite a few classics on my own list – especially Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, A Room with a View, by E. M. Forster, and The Good Soldier, by Ford Madox Ford. Only one person submitted a classic, but it’s a lovely one for reading on a cold night, all warm and cozy in front of the fire.

Heather from Age 30+ … A Lifetime of Books submitted Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. If you’re like me, whenever you think of Wuthering Heights you think of Heathcliff. I also tend to think of dark and glowering brows, too! Heather has included a great detailed list of the cast of characters that does a wonderful job of refreshing your memory about this classic if it’s been a while since you’ve read it.

Fantasy

There’s something about a good fantasy that gives that old favorite one an edge when it comes to being a comfort read. I think it’s because the world you dip into is so different and all-encompassing (with the best fantasies, anyway), that you literally are swept away for those few hours you’re re-reading.

Heather submitted as another comfort read, Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley, one of my own favorite reads. I’ve always had a fondness for retellings of the King Arthur story, and I read this when I was a teen and just adored it. Heather says, “I guess I’d have to say that if you DO find it challenging, it is VERY worth the effort you put into it. For me, this is a “must read” for just about everyone.” And I agree totally!

Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series is another series I turn to in my own comfort reading, so I was pleased to see it showing up in the submissions. Zee at Notes from the North recommends listening to the Dragonsinger series in audio, which sounds like a great idea. Jemi at Just Jemi has also included the Pern series in her list of comfort reads, and I am in complete agreement with her! I recently bought the first three books in the series in ebook format, so that I’ll always have them to dip into.

Zee also includes in her list a fantasy series by David Eddings, the Belgariad and Mallorean series; I’ve read a few books by Edding, and she’s reminded me it’s time for a revisit.

Jackie at Literary Escapism submitted three urban fantasy books that sound like fantastic reads; I haven’t read any of them, and have added them to my list. There’s Friday Night Bites, by Chloe Neill, a novel about the Chicagoland vampires, and Destined for an Early Grave, by Jeaniene Frost, another novel about vampires. And I’ve had the Riley Jensen series, by Keri Arthur, on my list for a while now; the latest installment, Bound to Shadows, sounds so good.

Sheila, from One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books, picks The Three Sisters Trilogy, by Nora Roberts as her comfort reads; I haven’t read very many books by Nora Roberts, but as soon as I read Sheila’s post, I immediately added these books to my list – I love the concept of three independent women who are all witches. In her email to me, Sheila wrote, “These three books are favorites of mine and are always a “go to” series if I need to just sink into characters that are like old friends to me. Even talking about them now makes me want to go visit them between the pages of these books.”

Mysteries

There’s nothing more perfect than curling up with a good mystery, and with the passage of time, I find that my memory of exactly whodunnit has dimmed enough for old favorites to be just as enjoyable as they were the first time I read them.

For Aarti, at Booklust, Footsteps in the Dark, by Georgette Heyer, is a favorite read. She says, “Footsteps in the Dark is a thriller mystery of the first order, complete with secret passageways, priest holes, skeletons and a cowled monk.” She definitely has me sold on this one! I’ve never read a Georgette Heyer, and one of her mysteries seems like a good place to start.

Candace, at Beth Fish Reads, submitted a book from one of my new personal favorites: the Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton. In her review of Death of a Travelling Man, she notes that she started this series in audio mainly because of the narrator, Davina Porter. Candace likes to read her series in order, but I tend to grab hold of whatever I can find; I seem to have started the series at the opposite end, and the majority of the ones I’ve listened to have been narrated by Graeme Malcolm. I like Porter’s narration a bit better, but Malcolm does some great accents.

Zee’s picks include J.D. Robb’s In Death series. This is a series I’ve been meaning to read for a while; Zee writes, “This series makes me laugh and the characters feel very real …”

And I’m very glad Jemi included Agatha Christie in her list. She says, “Agatha Christie’s mysteries are kind of like chocolate for me,” and that’s such a perfect description of how the Christie books feel to me, too. My memory isn’t as good as Jemi’s, though – I’ve been rereading Christie in audio, and I find that I’ve forgotten who the culprit is in most of the novels!

Children’s Books

The books I read as a child will always hold a special place in my heart; one of the first things I did as a “real grown-up” holding down a job (ie finally having a bit of money to spend) was to start buying copies of all the old favorites that I’d borrowed time and again from the library when I was little.

I grew up with Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery, so I was so glad to see that Jessica, of The Bluestocking Society, and Jemi both chose Anne Shirley as one of their favorite comfort reads. I have read and reread the whole Anne of Green Gables series so many times, I can quote whole sections from the book. Jemi writes, “As a shy, serious girl, I wanted to be Anne’s friend.” I could have written that! I remember wishing I knew someone like Anne, too; the term “kindred spirits” will always hold a special place in my heart.

Jemi also includes The Hobbit in her list of comfort reads – another one of my favorites! I couldn’t decide whether to put this under Fantasy or children’s books, but since I’ll always associate The Hobbit with childhood, I decided this was the proper place for it. (I read The Hobbit long before any of other The Lord of the Rings books.)

Food Writing

There’s something just so comforting to me about reading about food; I go on occasional food-writing splurges, during which time I’ll read nothing but food writing. I also come out of these splurges with a few extra pounds, I think, because one thing about good food writing – it makes you hungry!

Margot, of Joyfully Retired, has submitted a book that’s one of my personal favorites: Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen, by Laurie Colwin. As Margot points out, “Her tone is strictly conversational – just as if you are sitting in her kitchen talking about food.” That’s what makes this book such a charming book for me; I loved Margot’s example of having a conversation with the author as she was reading it!

General Fiction

A lot of the books in my own comfort reading pile fall into a general, non-genre category. When I look at them, I see that a charming, cozy feel is a common element.

I loved Jessica’s review of 84, Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff. This is a book that has long been on my “I really want to read that” list, and her review is a good reminder that I really do need to get to it.

Amy, from Amy Reads Good Books, submitted Trouble, by Kate Christensen. I’ve never read any novels by Christensen, but Amy’s caught my attention with this: “it was a thoughtful meditation on how we do or do not bounce back from trauma as we age.” Another interesting book!

Jackie at Farm Lane Books has chosen The Nutmeg Tree by Margery Sharp as her comfort read – Sharp’s books are out of print, but she was lucky enough to find three of them! Ever since I read Jackie’s review of The Nutmeg Tree, I’ve been on the lookout for books by Sharp. They sound like the perfect comfort read.

Myrthe, at The Armenian Odar Reads, submitted The Chosen, by Chaim Potok. This is a lovely review; she writes, “It is the one book that still makes me cry all through the last chapter, a book that I immediately want to start again when I finish it.” I haven’t read The Chosen yet; it sounds like such a beautiful coming-of-age story.

I was also thrilled to see that Melanie, at The Indextrous Reader, submitted Alexander McCall Smith: “My version of comfort reading must always include Alexander McCall Smith,” she says in her post. Me too! She has great things to say about both the Mma Ramotswe series and the Scotland Street series. I haven’t yet fallen under the allure of the Mma Ramotswe series yet, but McCall Smith’s Scotland Street and Isabel Dalhousie series are both very near and dear to me.

Melanie also submitted The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, by Eva Rice. The title is so charming. Melanie writes, “Full of eccentric English characters, revealing social conditions, ancient houses, True Love, teatime and Selfridge’s, I greatly enjoyed this lovely and unusual novel.” I think it will be one I’ll enjoy too.

Finally, Meg’s review of The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen, at Write Meg is so enticing; this is another book I’m adding to my burgeoning list of books to get my hot little hands on. Meg calls The Sugar Queen a “seriously delightful, magical story”, and reading her review, it sounds absolutely charming and whimsical, with dashes of mystery and magic.

This ends the Comfort Reads edition of the Bookworms Carnival! I hope you’ve rediscovered some old favorites in this list, and perhaps added a few to your list that you haven’t read before.

Play along with us! What are some of your comfort reads?

Reading Temptations

I really hate when this happens.

The LikenessI’ve had Tana French’s The Likeness out from the library for a while now. It’s on its last renewal legs, so to speak, so I’ve got to either finish it up in the next few weeks or it has to go back to the library until I can check it out again.

I really liked French’s In The Woods (my review is here) – despite the ending – and everyone I know who’s read In The Woods tells me that The Likeness is even better. But for some reason, I’ve been having trouble getting into it. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it when I do sit down with it, because I am. But for some reason, the book hasn’t hooked me in quite that way yet.

When I was reading In The Woods, I couldn’t put the book down, and if I had to, I could think of nothing else but picking it back up again. This hasn’t happened for me yet with The Likeness. But with only a couple more weeks left for me to finish it, I will need to buckle down and make sure that it’s the book I pick up to read whenever I’m in the mood for reading.

Which will really be difficult, because I’ve got some very interesting books that are calling to me right now. No, really, they are. They’re all making those funny squeaky noises, the ones that my booklover’s discerning ears can hear all too clearly. And those voices are saying, “Pick me up! I’m the one you should be reading right now. Pick me up! I’m so interesting. You won’t regret it …”

First, there’s French Milk, by Lucy Knisley, which I talked about in my last Incoming! new book arrivals post. Since this one is in graphic novel format, it would be so easy to pick it up, because I know it will be a quick and lovely read.

Wait Until TwilightAnd then there’s Wait Until Twilight, which author Sang Pak sent to me in the summer. I read the first chapter online at Sang’s site before the book arrived, and if the book had only arrived shortly after, I would have finished it by now. The first chapter was really eerie and gothic and had me wanting more. So now I keep looking at the book and thinking, yes, I really should see what happens next.

But wait, there’s more (isn’t there always, though?). I also just picked up a whole slew of books from the library that I’d put in requests for.

Most of these books ended up on my library list because I saw it on a blog somewhere, by the way. So we know who’s to blame, don’t we?

KitchenThere’s Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto; this is the product description from Amazon: “Mikage, the heroine, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, Mikage is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who is really his cross-dressing father) Eriko. As the three of them form an improvised family that soon weathers its own tragic losses, Yoshimoto spins a lovely, evocative tale with the kitchen and the comforts of home at its heart.” Doesn’t it sound so interesting?

We Have Always Lived in the CastleAnd then there’s Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, an eerie little book that looks like a wonderfully creepy read.

This one was a rather embarrassing find – I’d quickly skimmed through a review on a blog I frequent (I can’t remember which blog it was – I really need to start jotting down where I find my reads) and for some reason I thought it was “in the style of Shirley Jackson”.

Well, I loved The Haunting of Hill House, and “The Lottery” is one of my favorite short stories, so I quickly chirped in the comments something about being a Shirley Jackson lover, so if this was in her style, it definitely was my kind of book. Then I hopped over to my library’s website, typed in the title, and discovered that We Have Always Lived in the Castle wasn’t “in the style of Shirley Jackson” – it’s written by Shirley Jackson.

Sigh. Did I ever feel stupid for making that comment. (Do you ever make commenting blunders like this, by the way? Just asking. Would love some company on this one …)

The SummoningAnd after reading so many really good reviews online, I also put in a request for The Summoning a while back; it’s the first book in Kelley Armstrong’s YA paranormal series.

There was a bit of a wait for this one, but at long last, it’s my turn – but it also means this is yet another book I’ll have to read within the next few weeks, because I’m pretty sure there’s still a wait list for this one.

See my growing reading dilemma?

Little BrotherAnd it doesn’t quite stop there. When I dashed into the library to pick up my holds, I saw Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow, and couldn’t resist getting it after I read the synopsis:

Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

I know that I shouldn’t do things like this; I should be disciplined enough to be able to pop into the library to pick up an armload of holds without looking around at the shelves to see if something else will catch my eye.

But I’m not disciplined at all when it comes to books and reading.

So there you go. So many reading temptations. But yes, I’m going to finish The Likeness first. I know it’s going to be good – I’m at page 110 and those hooks are finally starting to sink into me.

At least I know it’s going to be a pretty good reading month this month, right?

What about you? Is there a book you absolutely must finish right now, for whatever reason? Are you oh, so tempted by other books like I am, or do you possess the iron will and discipline that I lack?

Mailbox Monday – A Big List

It’s Mailbox Monday again – this is where I get the chance to list all the books that came into the house this past week.

This past week, I more or less made up for the the sparse new arrivals a few Mondays ago

I made the mistake of ambling over to Chapters.ca to buy a few non-fiction titles I’ve been really wanting to read. “Mistake” I say, but of course, my bookish heart doesn’t really mean it! I had a load of fun (I ended up spending a very long time in the bargain section, too), and it was kind of like Christmas all over again when the two big boxes of books were delivered. Then, a little later in the week, my husband and I popped into Sam’s Club for a look, and I couldn’t resist a few more books.

Here’s the list of what I bought this past week:

Non-fiction titles:

Memoir: Yes Man, by Danny Wallace. I just couldn’t resist this one – it sounds like such a happy, fun read.

Spirituality: Wisdom of Florence Scovel Shinn, by Florence Scovel Shinn. This book, and the following five titles are on the recommended reading list of a course I’m taking.

Spirituality: Awakened Imagination, by Neville Goddard

Spirituality:Bridging Science and Spirit, by Norman Friedman

Spirituality: Miracles of Mind, by Russell Targ and Jane Katra

Spirituality: Three Magic Words, by U.S. Andersen

Spirituality: Your Faith is Your Fortune 1941, by Neville Goddard

Children’s books/Non-fiction: The Cranium Big Book of Outrageous Fun, by Cranium Inc. This was on sale, and I couldn’t resist. (Note: I’m not sure how many more times you’ll read “I just couldn’t resist” in this post. No need to count, though. Seriously. I already know I’m letting my book-a-holic status out in the open with this post.)

Fiction titles:

General fiction: Thanks for the Memories, by Cecelia Ahern (I see that Amazon has this listed as Hardcover, to be released in April 2009, but the copy I have is a UK paperback version, published 2008). I enjoyed the movie PS I Love You (although I haven’t read the book), so I thought I’d give this one a try.

Children’s books/Mystery: The Dollhouse Murders, by Betty Ren Wright. This is a book I talked about in a recent Friday Finds post.

Chick Lit: Diary of a Blues Goddess, by Erica Orloff. Couldn’t resist this one.

Chick lit: My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great, by Dixie Cash. Couldn’t resist this one, either.

Chick Lit/Mystery: The Prada Paradox, by Julie Kenner. I read the Givenchy Code and enjoyed it, and this one was listed at a bargain price, so I thought, why not? (Those two little words lead me into trouble a lot). I also recently discovered I had The Manolo Matrix in my stash, unread, so the timing seemed right.

Children’s books: The Private Notebooks of Katie Roberts, by Amy Hest. This book combines the two diaries of Katie Roberts (age 11, and then age 12) set in the years after World War II.

Young adult/Fantasy: The Kingdom Keepers, by Ridley Pearson. I haven’t read this series yet, but it’s been on my i-want list for a while. What exactly happens at Disney after dark? What a great premise!

Young adult: Chloe Leiberman (Sometimes Wong), by Carrie Rosten. I simply could not resist this one.

Children’s books/Mystery: The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas (Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars), by Tracy Mack and Michael Citrin. This looked good, and is a great fit for the Baker Street reading challenge I’m doing this year.

But wait! There’s more!

A few weeks ago Michelle from Random Reading and I arranged to do an exchange of books, although it was a lopsided exchange, to say the least, as I got a whole bunch of Ngaio Marsh books plus a Donna Leon book, and Michelle only wanted two of mine in return! As luck would have it, Michelle’s package arrived last week too:

Mystery: A Venetian Reckoning, by Donna Leon – I have read one previous book by Leon and enjoyed it very much, so I’m thrilled to have this one in my stash now.

Mysteries, all by Ngaio Marsh (the links are to the only versions that Amazon has; they aren’t the versions I received): Death in a White TieVintage Murder, False Scent, Scales of Justice, Died in the Wool and Singing in the Shrouds. If you enjoy British mysteries you’ll probably like Marsh’s Scotland Yard detective, Roderick Alleyn. It’s been a while since I last read a Ngaio Marsh mystery, so I’m definitely looking forward to rereading these.

Last but not least (if you’re getting this vague picture of me drowning in books, you’d be pretty close …) the library also called with a few more holds that I had requested:

Mystery/Suspense: The Pagan Stone, by Nora Roberts. I haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy yet, but this is the one that arrived first, so it looks like this will be the one I’ll read first! I haven’t read a lot of Nora Roberts, but this series sounds interesting.

Mystery: Christmas is Murder, A Rex Graves Mystery, by C.S. Challinor. I can’t remember why I put a request in for this one – I’m sure it was something I read on someone’s blog, somewhere! But now that I have it, It does sound good – kind of Agatha Christie-ish.

Fantasy: Anathem, by Neal Stephenson. This book is huge – 960 pages. I suspect I will dip into the library version, and then if I get into it, I’ll just buy it so I don’t have to rush through it.

Finally, I’m all done! If you’re interested in adding new titles to your own list of books you’d like to read, head on over to the Printed Page for more of other book bloggers’ Monday Mailbox titles.

Friday Finds: Another Eclectic Assortment

It’s Friday Finds again! Here are the books I’ve added to my “i-want” list this week:

Mystery: And Justice There is None, by Deborah Crombie. I read a review of this book at Kittling: Books and remembered how much I had enjoyed the first book in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James series I had read last summer, A Share in Death. I’ve put the remaining books in the series on my i-want list – I had enjoyed reading A Share in Death very much.

Food Writing: The Language of Baklava, by Diana Abu-Jaber, which I discovered while browsing through Beth Fish’s Weekly Discoveries (this is a wonderful feature at Beth’s blog – she posts her discoveries every Sunday). I’ll likely be getting a copy of this to review at Muse in the Kitchen, the food blog my husband and I have (he cooks, I eat – life’s pretty wonderful, isn’t it?).

World Lit: Family Planning, by Karen Mahajan. This is one of the reasons I love book blogging so much – Family Planning is normally a title I would have passed by, but I read the review of this book at She Is Too Fond of Books, and realized it was a book I’d probably love.

General Fiction: The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington, by Brian Francis. This is another book I would have missed if it weren’t for the book blogosphere – Joanne from Book Zombie has a great review of this book, and I immediately added it to my i-want list.

General Fiction: The End of East, by Jen Sookfong Lee. Joanne from Book Zombie mentions this book in her review of Fruit, and I knew I wanted to read this one too. It’s a generational story about a Chinese family in Vancouver, and since I am a Chinese daughter of immigrants who settled in Vancouver, I knew it was a book that I couldn’t resist adding to my TBR pile.

Urban Fantasy: Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead. I didn’t make a note of where I came across the Vampire Academy series, but it sounds like a whole load of fun – and I’m hoping Bookmooch will come through for me with this one (I find my library isn’t quite as up-to-date as I would like when it comes to urban fantasies).

So these are my finds for the week – make sure to check out what other book bloggers discovered this week at Friday Finds. It’s a great resource when you’re looking to add to your TBR pile. Now that I’ve signed up with Bookmooch – my username is msbookish and I’ve added a short list of books so far and two have been “mooched” already (both going to Germany! so I’ll be weighing the pros and cons of international shipping …) – I’ll probably add whichever titles on my i-want list that my library doesn’t have to my Bookmooch wish list.

Mailbox Monday: Another Eclectic Mix

It’s Mailbox Monday again, and here’s what arrived in Ms. Bookish’s household this past week:

Mystery/Thriller: The Book of Lies, by Brad Meltzer.

Chick Lit/Mystery: Big Boned, by Meg Cabot

General fiction/Holidays: The Christmas Train, by David Baldacci

Young adult/Fantasy: The Dragonfly Pool, by Eva Ibbotson

Thriller/Suspense: The Fire, by Katherine Neville

Romance: Sundays at Tiffany’s, by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

Graphic novel/Children’s book/Mystery: Max Finder Mystery Collected Casebook Volume 2, by Liam O’Donnell and Michael Cho

Paranormal/Urban fantasy: Personal Demon, by Kelley ArmstrongYoung adult: Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Children’s book: Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, by Lenore Look

Mystery: Santa Clawed, by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

Chick lit/Romance: Daring Chloe, by Laura Jensen Walker

Mystery: Not in the Flesh, by Ruth Rendell

Children’s book/Fantasy: The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick

I suspect I’m going to have to start reading just a little bit faster to get through my TBR pile. Reviews on each of these will be upcoming as I get through them.