Books That Followed Me Home

I haven’t done a “Books I Put on Hold” post in a while, largely because we haven’t been cataloging many books since the end of the fiscal year. Now they’re coming back full force, which is awesome! This time I’m not leaving them on hold forever, because then I forget why I was excited about them in the first place, so I do actually have a small stack of books to talk about today. Let’s see what they are!

The Joy of X, by Steven Strogatz. I actually put this book on the purchasing list for my academic library, but I can check it out longer from the public library so that’s where I got it! I’m a sucker for math and and especially popular math (see: The Drunkard’s Walk), and this book promises to tell me how best to flip my mattress and how many people I should have dated before I got married — I hope that answer won’t get me in trouble with Scott. 🙂 I’m excited for this one.

11/22/63, by Stephen King. I’m less excited for this one because it’s so dang long, but I’m reading it for my book club and they’re all saying that it’s fantastic and goes quickly, so fingers crossed! Even though I’ve developed a new appreciation for Mr. King since the last time he infiltrated my book club, I’m not sure I care enough about JFK to get into this one. I guess I’ll find out in a couple weeks!

How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. You won’t see a post about cookbooks around here, because I’ve never figured out how to talk about them. “These recipes look yummy!” “I made two of these recipes and one was pretty okay!” Yeah, that sounds terrible. But I do read them, and every once in a while I get around to making a recipe out of one, and sometimes they’re decent! And this one looks especially awesome, because in addition to the recipes it also tells you, well, how to cook everything so that it comes out the way it’s supposed to. I can’t guarantee I’ll do it right anyway, but now I’ll have a fighting chance. 🙂

Locke & Key, by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. This is a book I’ve been avoiding because I’m not so well-versed in the horror-y things, but I read a lot of blogs and listen to a lot of podcasts and this series has come up a lot recently with Hallowe’en and all. If fall ever comes back to Florida (today’s high: 77), I may grab some hot chocolate and try this one out.

The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Emma Thompson. I… love Emma Thompson. I also read all of Beatrix Potter’s books as a child. Is there anything else to say about this one?

What do you guys have stacked up this week?

Books I Put on Hold This Week

This week’s theme is apparently “Books I Do Not Know Anything About.” But that’s okay, because sometimes it’s the books I go into blindly that end up being the awesomest! (She said, optimistically.)

Shadow ShowShadow Show, ed. by Sam Weller. Well, so, first of all, who can resist that cover? Very cool. Second of all, who can resist the call of Ray Bradbury? Not these authors, apparently, and since I love me some Atwood, Gaiman, and Niffenegger, I can’t imagine I’m not going to have a fun time with this collection. And it’s a perfect read for RIP! Isn’t serendipity wonderful?

Cloud AtlasCloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. I think I had vaguely heard of this novel when it came out, but I had no interest in it at the time. Then I saw a blurb about the upcoming movie in an Entertainment Weekly I had bought to stave of airport boredom, and the movie looked kind of weird and not like something I would really want to see. But then I saw that the book apparently goes back and forth between time and narrator and I was like, oh, reeeaally? I am such a sucker for that, and I’m more willing to put up with weird in books than movies, so I guess I can give this one a try!

The Prisoner of HeavenThe Prisoner of Heaven, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Okay, seriously, I can’t tell you anything about this one, except that I loved Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind and thought The Angel’s Game was pretty okay, and so therefore I am reading this one. Okay, let me cheat and go look up a summary… aha! Our friend Daniel from the first novel is back in his rightful spot as protagonist, and I am promised a “mysterious stranger” and a “dangerous adventure.” Well, that settles that.

What are you guys waiting for this week?

Books I Put on Hold This Week

Wow, I feel like I haven’t been around here in ages! I just got back from a fantastic tiny-cruise-ship vacation to Glacier Bay in Alaska, which I must say I highly recommend, largely because I was too busy having fun to get any reading done. Weeeellllll, okay, I did read quite a bit, but it was in The Stand, so even though I read like 500 pages I am far from finishing that one. 🙂

But mostly I was doing this:

Kayaking in front of Lamplugh Glacier
No big.

Anyway, my point is that when I got back to the library there were tons of new books to put on hold, and so I did just that! Here is a sampling of interesting things:

The InvestigationThe Investigation, by Philippe Claudel. Well, so, first, that cover! So cool. And then there was the description, which sounds incredibly boring: “The Investigator is a man quite like any other. He is balding, of medium build, dresses conservatively—in short, he is unremarkable in every way. … The Investigator’s train is delayed, and when he finally arrives, there’s no one to pick him up at the station. It is alternating rain and snow, it’s getting late, and there are no taxis to be seen.” Are you yawning yet? But the book jacket also promises me something akin to Kafka, Beckett, and Huxley, so I’m pretty sure that tedium is going to lead to something quite intriguing.

The Other Woman's HouseThe Other Woman’s House, by Sophie Hannah. I feel like I’ve heard of Sophie Hannah before, and I feel like whatever I heard of her made me not want to read her stuff. If that’s the case, don’t tell me, because this book sounds really interesting and I’d like to give it a fair shot. In this one, some lady is browsing real estate listings when she comes across an image of a horribly dead person in one of the houses. But when she tries to show someone else the picture, it’s mysteriously devoid of dead body. What the what?? Tell me more!

Other Worlds Than TheseOther Worlds Than These, by John Joseph Adams. I love me some parallel world stories, and someday I am going to read another short story collection — hey, maybe it’ll be this one! I love the theme, and I am intrigued to see what these authors have to offer. I obviously enjoy me some Stephen King, but I’m more excited about the authors I’ve been meaning to get around to reading but haven’t: George R.R. Martin, Ursula K. LeGuin, Catherynne M. Valente.

What books or kayaking adventures are you looking forward to this week?

Books I Put on Hold This Week

Okay, none of these are technically from this week, because there haven’t been a lot of books coming through cataloging lately and also I’ve been busy reading actual books, what? Craziness.

RedshirtsRedshirts, by John Scalzi. This is one from a while ago that I thought I’d have devoured by now, but it hasn’t even been delivered to my library yet so who knows. I actually had a dream the other night that I bought the book when I found it unexpectedly in paperback (I love me some trade paperbacks), and was a little disappointed when I woke up! Why do I want this one? Well, it’s John Scalzi, whom I love for Zoe’s Tale and the rest of the Old Man’s War series, doing a parody of Star Trek and its friends. Red shirts, people, what could possibly go wrong?

BlackbirdsBlackbirds, by Chuck Wendig. Just look at that cover! It’s so pretty! Also, the plot — there’s a girl who can see how people die, and she meets a dude whose death is gruesome and murder-ful and while he’s dying he’s calling her name. She’s all whatever about other people dying, but when she might be the next victim, she starts to care a bit.

Gone GirlGone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. So I read Flynn’s first novel, Sharp Objects, a couple years back, and it was icky and gross and weird and I didn’t particularly like it. But I did like the writing, and I was willing to give her another chance (though I never did), and I’ve heard so many good things about this book from people I trust that I guess it’s time to hang out with Flynn again.

What are you guys waiting on?

Books I Put on Hold This Week

I have this pile of books in my house and I don’t even want to read anything out of it. I mean, I do, but not enough to actually pick up a book and open it. I need an exciting book in my life… perhaps one of these will do?

Broken HarborBroken Harbor, by Tana French. Seriously, is it the end of June yet? I absolutely loved French’s books, and though I was underwhelmed by the third because of its different tone, I am more than willing to give French another chance. If you haven’t read any of French’s previous books, you’re in luck, as this “series” is more a collection of standalone books with common characters, so you’ll be coming into the book with about as much knowledge as anyone else.

The Man from Primrose LaneThe Man from Primrose Lane, by James Renner. I actually put this on hold a while ago, but apparently I never mentioned it! I saw this cover and I was like, hmmm, interesting, okay, but then I saw that this book is set in my beloved Northeast Ohio and it was over, I was sold. Well, okay, it also helped that it’s a mystery and apparently a bit sci-fi as well, and that the title character is apparently a man who wears mittens all the time. You know I like a weirdo.

This Is HowThis Is How, by Augusten Burroughs. I know next to nothing about Augusten Burroughs, but Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog had a few “Ask Augusten” columns by him last month and the answers he gave were highly amusing and useful. So when This is How ended up in my hands for cataloging, I was like, fine, universe, I’ll read this book. Eventually.

What are you guys waiting on?

Books I Put on Hold This Week

I say this week, but I really mean “at some point since the last time I did this.” You know how it goes. 🙂

Dead HarvestDead Harvest, by Chris Holm. I absolutely loved the cover on this one, which is all fancy and retro and cool. And then it had an awesome back-cover description about a guy what collects souls and takes them to Hell, except for this one time when he’s like, how about not this girl? The jacket doesn’t say, but I’m guessing this involves a little bit of running and adventure and badassery. We shall see!

ImagineImagine, by Jonah Lehrer. I read another one of Lehrer’s books a couple years ago, and I found it pretty interesting if repetitive. I imagine (ha!) this book will go the same way, but I’m intrigued to learn more about creativity and imagination and chemist bartenders and autistic surfers.

Let's Pretend This Never HappenedLet’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson. I probably could have read this book already if I hadn’t put myself on the audiobook list, but like many humorous memoirs before it, I feel the need to hold out for the author-read version. I am continually amused by Lawson’s blog, The Bloggess, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to adore this.

What are you guys waiting on this week?

Books I Put on Hold This Week

I have too many things on hold. I’ve had to actually wait for books to come in so that I can free up space on my holds list! (I definitely didn’t add a few things surreptitiously using my override code…) This is good, though, since I was running out of things to read at home. Well, where “running out of” means “only having several.” Look, I’m just going to stop contradicting myself and tell you what cool books I’ve found recently.

Wild ThingWild Thing, by Josh Bazell. Well, I mean, really, I had to. I rather enjoyed his first novel, Beat the Reaper, and this second novel once again follows the erstwhile Pietro Brnwa and I have got to see what happens to him next. This one promises a “sexy paleontologist,” which, blech, but with any luck we’ll see her tearing out someone’s, um, lower-leg bone (tibia? fibula? I never took A&P shutup). And if you don’t know what I’m talking about go read Beat the Reaper right now. You probably won’t be disappointed.

GirlchildGirlchild, by Tupelo Hassman. I may have been ready to sneak this one onto the order list for my academic library if my public library didn’t hurry up and add it to theirs. We’ll never know, because they did and now it’s on my holds list. I have basically no idea what this book is about, but I do know that the protagonist is a girl who keeps checking the Girl Scout handbook out of the library and as a lifetime member of that wonderful organization you know I’m intrigued. It’s also apparently about class and overcoming adversity but blah blah whatever Girl Scouts rule!

The Gone-Away WorldThe Gone-Away World, by Nick Harkaway. This is another book I don’t know much about, but I have heard so many good things about Harkaway’s new book that’s coming out, Angelmaker, and even though I’m pretty sure they have nothing to do with one another I’m still compelled to read the first book first. It’s a disease, I know. Besides, I just looked it up and The Gone-Away World promises “love, pirates, mimes, greed, and ninjas.” I’m in.

Books I Put on Hold This… Month

True story: I got to work the other day and was summoned to the branch next door, where the books I check out wait for me. Apparently there’s a list of things that have been on hold for more than 60 days without being filled and my name was on it several times. The circulation supervisor was like, “Are you having problems getting your books?” and I was like, “No, I just like to put things on hold and then suspend them,” and she was like, “That’s fair; also this book you have on hold sounds interesting so I put a hold on it, too!” Darn tootin’.

Anyway, I haven’t put a lot of stuff on hold since the last time I did this post like a month and change ago, because I am trying to if not succeeding in reading all these dang books I have checked out. But here are a few things I found of interest:

No One Is Here Except All of UsNo One Is Here Except All of Us, by Ramona Ausubel. This is one that I cataloged; I was intrigued by the cover and title but turned off by the World War II subject heading because there are just so many of those books and I’ve read a lot of them. But then I read the description, which told me that the story takes place in remote Romania and features an eleven-year-old girl and a “mysterious stranger” and I was like, okay book, you win.

Blueprints of the AfterlifeBlueprints of the Afterlife, by Ryan Boudinot. I heard about this book on a recent Bookrageous podcast, and as soon as I heard “senient glacier” I was sold. There’s also apparently an Olympic champion of dishwashing and a dead clone or two and it’s post-apocalyptic and aside from the fact that I don’t have it in front of me I’m not sure why I’m not reading it right now.

Lifespan of a FactLifespan of a Fact, by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal. I have seen this book almost literally everywhere because it’s so insane — it’s the story of a guy who wrote an ostensibly non-fiction article for The Believer and the other guy assigned to fact check it. Normally not an exciting thing, I’d imagine, but in this case the non-fiction article was more of an essay very loosely based upon a possibly true story, and so the fact checking took a while. Like, years. I’ve heard mixed things about this book, but I’m definitely interested in checking it out.

Books I Put On Hold This Week

My shelves are filling up with library books again, which is a shame because I have so many choices that I just can’t commit to reading any of them. I need a very special book, I think, to kick me back into the reading habit. Perhaps one of these will do?

Mr gMr. g, by Alan Lightman. I am embarrassed to admit that I have no idea how this ended up on my holds list… a search of Google Reader brings up no mentions and, I mean, it’s not like I get my news anywhere else. So… yeah. But I know why it’s on my list — this is a novel about the creation of the universe (a universe?) as told by the dude what created it. It promises to be a little… heady? Philosophical? Fancy-pants?… but I’m definitely intrigued to see how this goes.

The BookmanThe Bookman, by Lavie Tidhar. I actually cataloged the book that comes after this one, Camera Obscura, and was intrigued by the cover (which is similar to this) and the description of a steampunk London and a locked-room murder. I’m not sure if it’s necessary to read them in order (it doesn’t seem quite like a sequel thing), but, I mean, it’s got the word “book” in the title. I’m not going to say no.

Books Burn BadlyBooks Burn Badly, by Manuel Rivas. I mean, again, look at that cover! I love covers. And titles with the word “book” in them. And yes, I was like, “A book about books? Sold,” but then I looked at the back and I guess it’s not really about books. It has a book burning in it, though, which intrigues me, and is actually about the Spanish Civil War, which I know almost nothing about and therefore should look into. And while I’m not really a historical fiction buff, if you wind the story around books and hidden libraries (see The Book Thief), I’m in.

Books I Put on Hold This Week

At some point over the last couple months I discovered an amazing thing that I can do at my library, and which you can probably do at yours, which is to put books on hold but then suspend the holds so that I don’t end up with a million books in my house and my husband giving me looks and all the books sitting there sadly as I neglect to read them within six weeks.

On the downside, it doesn’t really allow for loot posts like I was doing, so we’ll have to settle for some internet-found covers and vague recollections of why I put things on hold.

I have a lot of stuff held over from last year, so I’ll split those up among the next few weeks’ posts in an attempt to keep everyone whelmed.

Onto this week!

Notes From an Accidental Band GeekNotes From an Accidental Band Geek, by Erin Dionne. Please. I was and am a less-than-accidental band geek, and the girl protagonist and I both play the horn. And I totally wore those shoes the first year I was drum major/field commander. I didn’t even catalog this — the cover just called to me from across the processing room and I said, oh, this is going on the list.

American NationsAmerican Nations, by Colin Woodard. I am a transplant from, if I am looking at this cover map correctly, a Yankeedom/Midlands line-straddling city to the Deep South, which has for the most part been a pretty smooth transition but still sometimes leaves me baffled as to what the heck anyone around here is thinking. I am very intrigued to learn more about both of my regional cultures and see if we can’t, like, gang up against New France or something.

Girl SleuthGirl Sleuth, by Melanie Rehak. Speaking of my Yankeedom/Midlands roots, did you know that some of the research for the early Nancy Drew books was done at the Cleveland Public Library? I mean, why wouldn’t you do research there, it’s awesome, but I did not know that the lovely ladies who wrote about lovely ladies solving mysteries even spent any time in Cleveland, so this makes me very happy. And maybe reading this book will make up for my utter failure at the Nancy Drew Challenge?

The RookThe Rook, by Daniel O’Malley. This one I didn’t see at the library, but instead over on Whatever as a Big Idea piece. I’m not always sold on these pieces, but I really liked The Rook‘s premise, which involves a woman who has lost all of her memories pretending to be… herself, with all her memories. What. I want this book to be all crazy Inception or Before I Go to Sleep shenanigans, but as long as it does a better job than Face/Off in being remotely plausible, I’ll consider it a success.