June books


Or books I’ve gotten in the past month, but “late May to late June books” just doesn’t sound as nice.

Flannery O’Connor – Complete Stories
Because I love Southern Gothic and short-stories, but have yet to read any female author in that genre. Now is the time.
Flannery O’Connor – Wise Blood
Because I except to love the short-story collection so much I will need more instantly.
Philipp Meyer – The Son
Because Meyer’s style has been compared to McCarthy, Steinbeck and Faulkner. Northeastern Gothic? Great Lakes Gothic?
Philipp Meyer – American Rust
Because I pre-collect.
Denis Johnson – Train Dreams
Because when I get really into a genre, I go nuts. Western Gothic and anything wildernessy.
Bill Bryson – A Walk in the Woods
Because I too want to hike for months on end.
Peter Ackroyd – Hawksmoor
Because it had a cool cover and looked pretty bleak.
Richard Yates – The Easter Parade
Because his Eleven Kinds of Loneliness is one of the best collections of short-stories out there. And Revolutionary Road. Come on.
Daniel Woodrell – Winter’s Bone
Because… I’ll just be repeating myself here.
Anthony Doerr – All the Light We Cannot See
Because it’s getting all this praise and may make for good summer reading.
John Irving – A Prayer for Owen Meany
Because it had better ratings than The Cider House Rules.
John Irving – The Cider House Rules
Because I really want to read it.
Hilary Thayer Hamann – Anthropology of an American Girl
Because I haven’t read a lot of coming-of-age literature and this had pretty colors.
Nikolai Gogol – Petersburg Tales
Because I hope to make friends with the Russians yet. (No, not even The Master and Margarita could do that).
David Grann – Lost City of Z
Because I love South America despite the humidity and bugs of the Amazon. And archaeological mysteries are fun!
Warren Fellows – The Damage Done
Because I’ve already watched every episode of Locked Up Abroad/Banged Up Abroad.
Nathan Filer – The Shock of the Fall
Because Amazon had three paperbacks for £10 and I needed a third.
Richard Flanagan – The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Because of the rave reviews and war.

I’m sure I’ll get more before June is over. And then I’ll have to start doing my summer picks.  Sure, I won’t get through all of these this summer, but you need choices. Whenever I finish a book and am ready to start the next, I love perusing my bookcases to see what tickles my fancy. I order books that I feel like reading now. I may not feel like it in a week, but maybe in a month or a year. No, I haven’t read all of my books and no, I don’t buy them just to fill the shelves or to pretend to read more than I do. I just like having a stash, even if it is a large one and one I will probably never get all the way through, unless at some point I decide to stop buying books. I really don’t see that happening. And so what if there are books on my shelves I will never read? It’s about never running out, not about being done.

Do you guys ever get those annoying questions about your book collection? And do you feel guilty about buying more books when you have plenty to choose from already?



Book sale!


I usually buy all of my books online. Since I rarely read anything but English books, it just doesn’t make sense to buy them in local stores as opposed to ordering them from Amazon and the likes. Financially, I mean, let’s not get into a whole ethical discussion here. The main downside to this is that it’s hard discovering completely new books and authors that I haven’t first heard about somewhere else and that don’t appear in my recommendations list. So I do enjoy browsing real-life bookstores a lot more and my local book pusher’s 20% off last Thursday gave me an excuse to pick up stuff I didn’t know anything about beforehand. I had after all gone a whole day without buying any new book. OK, All the Light We Cannot See I knew about and not all of these names were new to me, but the books are. I almost never buy books that I haven’t read at least some reviews of or comments on, so I’m excited to see how I’ll feel about my almost random picks (I picked a couple of them because of pretty covers). Not that I generally rely a whole lot on the opinion of strangers, but do I like to at least make sure that hundreds of people don’t agree that it’s a 1-star experience, before I venture into unknown lands.

I tend to go for the darker books and bleaker outlook and I think (hope) that these all have some of that. Hawksmoor has a skull on the cover after all. Sure, it’s Summer and the sun has been visible a couple of times this past week, so maybe lighter reads would be in order, but I’m just not a beach-read type of person. No chick-lit here. Not that I’m fundamentally against chick-lit, I just don’t think I’d enjoy it. I am always open to recommendations, though. Summer isn’t my favorite time of the year and I do like to balance out all the brightness outside with a bit of internal gloom.
Some of these books may accompany me on my Summer travels, though probably in e-book form as I’m backpacking and won’t be able to carry as many paperbacks as I would like to. Last time we went backpacking I had eight books with me and that wasn’t an issue, but this year we’re hiking for a couple of weeks and I need to take weight into consideration. Sigh. But one or two real books can’t hurt, right? Right. At least now I have my Kindle Paperwhite as supplement. Again, Summer read recommendations are always welcome.

At the store I also wen’t looking for a very cute list book/diary I had stumbled across online the day before. I figured they probably wouldn’t have it, and I was right. They did, however, have the music version of it and were unaware of the existence of a literary one. At the bookstore. Anyway, I definitely couldn’t live without it and went straight home to order it online. So here it is:


It’s very good quality, the list topics are great and the illustrations adorable. Even Hunter S. Thompson is looking pretty cute. Apart from “Authors whose lives fascinate me”, there are “Families I spanned time with”, “Fictional characters I’d go on a date with” and the more regular ones about favorites in different genres, just to name a few. It’s 160 pages long so hours of fun list-making ahead! Now I just need to decide whether to only add books and authors I’m reading from now on, or if I can fill it out retrospectively. Maybe that would make it fill up too quickly. I’m sure I can spend a couple of weeks trying to decide. In the meantime, I’ll just look at the pictures.