Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Holiday Haul and Carry: Part 2--Books I Acquired

Part One, in which I share the books I gave as gifts this year, is here.

As for me, I didn't get many directly bookish gifts, although the super soft sweatshirt that says "Coffee Till Cocktails" on it is a great thing to wear while reading, and the See's candy is a great thing to eat while reading.  But I DID get a gift card to Powell's from my darling winemaker, and of course I had to rush right out and use it today.

Even though I have:

  • 33 items checked out from the library
  • 16 more requested or on hold
  • easily 50 books from my classroom library lurking in various corners of the house
  • about a dozen books I own but haven't read
  • and I just re-joined Book of the Month and got a FREE BOOK with my renewal, so I have two brand new books that arrived on my porch today. 

What was I saying?

Oh yeah, my book haul.

With just a little help from my own wallet, I was able to get three books.  Yes, I wrote this whole big post about what cool things I'd get at Powell's besides books, but I just didn't feel like knick-knacks were what this gift was intended for.  Although I did linger for a few moments beside these glorious mugs.

First I pulled about 20 books off the shelf to consider.  These were books that I want to read, books that seem substantial enough that I might actually read more than once, books I want to support, books that I think I can re-sell if I DON'T want to re-read them, books from my TBR that were on sale, etc.  I sat down with all of them, handed my daughter the latest Phoebe and Her Unicorn to read while I sorted and decided, and got to work.  First, look it up on my library catalogue.  How many holds did it have?  If none, then I don't need to buy it.  I also looked at Goodreads--how long had I been wanting to read it?  What was its rating?  I found a few more books I specifically wanted to look for and went back out into the stacks.  By the time I got back, the kid had switched to Subway Surfer on her device.  I continued on, undeterred.

These are the books I eventually put back:

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven--Sherman Alexie (The only one I've read before.)
The Reader--Traci Chee (Put it back because it used up my entire gift card and because I was trying to NOT get a book that was really for my classroom.)
All the Things we Never Knew--Sheila Hamilton
Shadow Tag--Louise Erdrich
A Gentleman in Moscow--Amor Towles  (Put it back when I remembered I'd just ordered it from BOM!)
The Underground Railroad--Colson Whitehead
Moonglow--Michael Chabon
The Best American Mystery Stories 2016--edited by Elizabeth George.  (Put it on hold at the library instead.)
The Master and Margarita--Mikhail Bulgakov
In a Dark, Dark Wood--Ruth Ware
The Paris Wife--Paula McClain
Reservation Blues--Sherman Alexie (Okay, I might have read this too, when I first discovered Alexie in about 1991)
A Spool of Blue Thread--Anne Tyler
Avenue of Mysteries--John Irving

I think any of these would have been good choices, but I went with these.

Girl Waits With Gun because Lory at Emerald City Book Review really liked it, and it's been awhile since I've read a 1920s mystery.  Plus, the cover is terrific, and it has like a million holds at the library.

The Almost Nearly Perfect People because I've never heard of it before, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Scandinavia, and the blurb compares it to Bill Bryson's writing.

The Year of Reading Dangerously because it's the one I could afford after choosing the first two, adn I have been wanting to read it, and again--I'm a sucker for black and white and red and vintage-y.  

You may notice that all of this is more serious, more literary, more nonfictional, and just generally more adult than most of what I read.  But that's the thing about buying books for myself.  I can't justify it for something I'm going to spend a few hours one afternoon on.  

Oooh, and as I was wandering the store, I came across these beauties:

You can't tell from my photo, but they are massive, and gorgeous, and I really, really want both of them.  But alas, they were not in today's budget.

Also, have I ever told you about the time I was doing a massive shelf cleaning, took a bunch of books to Powell's, and accidentally sold my signed, personalized copy of her book of essays reflecting on her own writing?  I feel like I don't deserve any other books by MY FAVORITE AUTHOR after doing that.

(Oh, and when I got home today, I opened my BOM box and saw that I'd gotten The Sun is Also a Star and A Gentleman in Moscow.)

Coming very soon: a survey in which you tell me what to read next.  Sheesh.


  1. This post was not good for my TBR! Girl Waits with Gun is on my TBR but the other two are new to me. I can't resist books about books so A Year of Living Dangerously is definitely one I need and I love Bryson so I'm intrigued by that comparison in The Almost Nearly Perfect People. Enjoy your reading!

  2. I'm feeling almost paralyzed by the great choices!

  3. I'm reading Nearly Perfect People right now, and the author is very close to Bryson. Hope you love it, too.

  4. You’re so organized about book shopping. I just go insane and grab armfulls of books. Then I remember that I’m poor and start putting them back.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Well, that's basically what I do, there's just a long pause in between the grabbing and the putting back.


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!