Thursday, June 14, 2018

Surprise Book Haul! 6/13/2018

It's that time of year again! Half Priced Book had their massive annual sale at one of the convention centers where everything is $2 or less. I actually didn't get to go this year because I was out of town during it, but my friend Leslie who I usually meet up with during the sale was kind enough to shop for me. Thanks, Leslie! I really didn't give her any guidelines other than a few pictures of my bookshelf to show her what I already have. So, I appreciate her just going into this totally blind. I hope it wasn't too crazy. She also let me snag some of the books from her collection that she was going to get rid of. So without further ado, This year's huge book haul! Be sure to read this haul post all the way to the end, there's a special offer for those who do. ;) 

Goodreads Summary: Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Téa Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty, has spun a timeless novel that will establish her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation.

In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets are hidden in the landscape itself.

But Natalia is also confronting a private, hurtful mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. A famed physician, her grandfather must have known that he was too ill to travel. Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel.

Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather’s final state of mind, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child. On their weekly trips to the zoo he would read to her from a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which he carried with him everywhere; later, he told her stories of his own encounters over many years with “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal and appeared never to age. But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her, the one Natalia must discover for herself. One winter during the Second World War, his childhood village was snowbound, cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another, fierce presence: a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness. “These stories,” Natalia comes to understand, “run like secret rivers through all the other stories” of her grandfather’s life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for.

Goodreads Rating: 3.37 stars with over 78,000

Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository
Initial thoughts: The verbose summary on this one is a little daunting to me. I'm losing focus trying to read through it, so I'm hoping that's not an indication of how the actual book is going to be. I do think that I can fit this one on the 2018 book challenge though. I believe I still need something with an animal in the title. (You can find the challenge here.) Actually, this would work for a book about a doctor as well, so that's probably where I'll stick it. 

Goodreads Summary: 'When you read his extraordinary memoir you don't laugh, then cry, then laugh again; you somehow experience these emotions all at once.'

"Well, this was when Bill was sighing a lot. He had decided that after our parents died he just didn't want any more fighting between what was left of us. He was twenty-four, Beth was twenty-three, I was twenty-one, Toph was eight, and all of us were so tried already, from that winter. So when something would come up, any little thing, some bill to pay or decision to make, he would just sigh, his eyes tired, his mouth in a sorry kind of smile.

But Beth and I...Jesus, we were fighting with everyone, anyone, each other, with strangers at bars, anywhere -- we were angry people wanting to exact revenge. We came to California and we wanted everything, would take what was ours, anything within reach. And I decided that little Toph and I, he with his backward hat and long hair, living together in our little house in Berkeley, would be world-destroyers. We inherited each other and, we felt, a responsibility to reinvent everything, to scoff and re-create and drive fast while singing loudly and pounding the windows. It was a hopeless sort of exhilaration, a kind of arrogance born of fatalism, I guess, of the feeling that if you could lose a couple of parents in a month, then basically anything could happen, at any time -- all bullets bear your name, all cars are there to crush you, any balcony could give way; more disaster seemed only logical.

And then, as in Dorothy's dream, all these people I grew up with were there, too, some of them orphans also, most but not all of us believing that what we had been given was extraordinary, that it was time to tear or break down, ruin, remake, take and devour. This was San Francisco, you know, and everyone had some dumb idea -- I mean, wicca? -- and no one there would tell you yours was doomed. Thus the public nudity, and this ridiculous magazine, and the Real World tryout, all this need, most of it disguised by sneering, but all driven by a hyper-awareness of this window, I guess, a few years when your muscles are taut, coiled up and vibrating. But what to do with the energy? I mean, when we drive, Toph and I, and we drive past people, standing on top of all these hills, part of me wants to stop the car and turn up the radio and have us all dance information, and part of me wants to run them all over."

Goodreads rating: 3.68 stars with over 155,000 ratings
Get the book: AmazonBook Depository
Initial thoughts: I have zero clue what this book is about. I feel like the summary is just snippets of the book and don't really tell me anything. I do like the title though, and that catches my interest. It's won quite a few awards, so I'm pretty sure I can use it on the challenge somewhere. I'll probably stick it on #7, a book on a best seller list. 

Goodreads Summary: In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth. Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading armies gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take a tremendous sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe. 

Goodreads Rating: 3.55 stars with over 42,000 ratings
Get the book: AmazonBook Depository
Initial thoughts: So far, this is probably the book I'm most excited for. I've been eying this one for some time, so I'm happy that Leslie picked it out for me (without me even mentioning it, too!) I have no idea where on the challenge this one is going to fit, but I'll find a spot for it.

Goodreads Summary: The triumphant follow-up to the bestselling Bee Season, Wickett's Remedy is an epic but intimate novel about a young Irish-American woman facing down tragedy during the Great Flu epidemic of 1918. 

Wickett's Remedy leads us back to Boston in the early part of the 20th century and into the world of Lydia, an Irish-American shop girl yearning for a grander world than the cramped confines of South Boston. She seems to be well on her way to the life she has dreamed of when she marries Henry Wickett, a shy medical student and the scion of a Boston Brahmin family. Soon after their wedding, however, Henry shocks Lydia by quitting medical school and creating a mail-order patent medicine called Wickett's Remedy. And then just as the enterprise is getting off the ground, the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918 begins its deadly sweep across the world, drastically changing their lives. 
In a world turned almost unrecognizable by swift and sudden tragedy, Lydia finds herself working as a nurse in an experimental ward dedicated to understanding the raging epidemic -- through the use of human subjects. 
Meanwhile, we follow the fate of Henry's beloved Wickett's Remedy as his one-time business partner steals the recipe and transforms it into QD Soda, a wildly popular soft drink. 
Based on years of research and evoking actual events, Wickett's Remedy perfectly captures the texture of the times and brings a colourful cast of characters vividly to life, including a sad and funny chorus of the dead. With wit and dexterity, Goldberg has fashioned a novel that is both charming and grand. Wickett's Remedy announces her arrival as a major novelist. "South Boston belonged to Lydia as profoundly and wordlessly as her thimble finger. Her knowledge of its streets was more complete than any atlas, her mental maps reflecting changes that occurred from season to season, day to day, and hour to hour. Each time she left 28 D Street -- one among a row of identical triple-decker houses, the tenements lining the street like so many stained teeth -- her route reflected this internal almanac. . . . 
For ten years this was enough. Then in fifth grade, Lydia saw a city map and realized her entire world was a mitten dangling from Boston's sleeve. Across the bridge lay Washington Street -- the longest street in all New England -- which began like any other but then continued north, a single determined thread of cobblestone that wove itself through every town from Boston to Providence. Once Lydia saw Washington Street she knew she could not allow it to exist without her.

Goodreads Rating: 3.26 stars with over 1700 reviews
Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository
Initial Thoughts: I can't figure out if this is a sequel or not. It doesn't seem like it, but the words "follow-up" and "leads us back" make me unsure. If anyone's read this or Bee Season, please let me know if I need to read Bee Season first.  Starting off, I LOVE the old-timey medicinal bottle look for the cover. Such a cool cover. The story sounds really interesting, and right up my alley. So I'm pretty excited to read this one. I might be able to fit this one on the challenge for a book about a doctor, but I'll have to see if there's somewhere else it fits better.  (If you haven't noticed, where I can put it on my reading challenge is front and center this year with what books I read.)

Goodreads Summary: Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
Goodreads Rating: 4.27 stars with over 830,000 ratings
Get the Book: Amazon Book Depository
Initial Thoughts: I'm going to cry when I read this, aren't I? Yep. Definitely going to cry. I can feel it coming. Couldn't tell you why, but this already reminds me of The Fault In Our Stars, which was also recommended to me by Leslie. I'm mildly concerned that she recommends books that may make me cry. :( Of the top of my head, I have no idea where I'm going to put this on my reading challenge.

Goodreads Summary: Detective Mike Hoolihan has seen it all. A fifteen-year veteran of the force, she's gone from walking a beat, to robbery, to homicide. But one case--this case--has gotten under her skin.

When Jennifer Rockwell, darling of the community and daughter of a respected career cop--now top brass--takes her own life, no one is prepared to believe it. Especially her father, Colonel Tom. Homicide Detective Mike Hoolihan, longtime colleague and friend of Colonel Tom, is ready to "put the case down." Suicide. Closed. Until Colonel Tom asks her to do the one thing any grieving father would ask: take a second look.

Not since his celebrated novel Money has Amis turned his focus on America to such remarkable effect. Fusing brilliant wordplay with all the elements of a classic whodunit, Amis exposes a world where surfaces are suspect (no matter how perfect), where paranoia is justified (no matter how pervasive), and where power and pride are brought low by the hidden recesses of our humanity.

Goodreads Rating: 3.23 stars with over 3,800 ratings
Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository
Initial Thoughts: This seems like a really interesting mystery. I'm not quite sure where I'll put it on my challenge list, but I'm mostly glad it's only 170ish pages. It'll be a nice quick read for challenge filler, and considering I'm behind on my Goodreads challenge that's what I need. 

Goodreads Summary: With precisely 35 canvases to his credit, the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer represents one of the great enigmas of 17th-century art. The meager facts of his biography have been gleaned from a handful of legal documents. Yet Vermeer's extraordinary paintings of domestic life, with their subtle play of light and texture, have come to define the Dutch golden age. His portrait of the anonymous Girl with a Pearl Earring has exerted a particular fascination for centuries - and it is this magnetic painting that lies at the heart of Tracy Chevalier's second novel of the same title.
Girl with a Pearl Earring centers on Vermeer's prosperous Delft household during the 1660s. When Griet, the novel's quietly perceptive heroine, is hired as a servant, turmoil follows. First, the 16-year-old narrator becomes increasingly intimate with her master. Then Vermeer employs her as his assistant--and ultimately has Griet sit for him as a model.
Goodreads Rating: 3.86 stars with over 530,000 ratings
Get the book: AmazonBook Depository
Initial Thoughts: I've thought about getting this one several times when I've been at various bookstores. Not really sure why I never did. I'm pretty excited to read this one because of it. One of the later reading challenge topics is A Book with woman or girl in the title. So I'll probably stick this there once I read it. 
Goodreads Summary: Imagine you can hear everything the town of men say about you. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don't fit into their plans. Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run.
Goodreads Rating: 3.97 stars with over 123,000 ratings
Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository
Initial Thoughts: I'm pretty intrigued by this one. I've been thinking I need to pick up another dystopian series, so I'm hoping this is a good one. Not sure where I'll put this on the challenge, but I'm sure it will fit somewhere. 

Goodreads Summary: Contains the novels Wild Seed, Mind of My Mind, Clay's Ark, and Patternmaster.

In her classic Patternist series, multiple Hugo and Nebula award winner Octavia E. Butler established themes of identity and transformation that echo throughout her distinguished career. Now collected for the first time in one volume, these four novels take readers on a wondrous odyssey from a mythic, prim/ordial past to a fantastic far future.
In ancient Africa, a female demigod of nurture and fertility mates with a powerful, destructive male entity. Together they birth a race of madmen, visionaries, and psychics who cling to civilization's margins and back alleys for millenia, coming together in a telepathic Pattern just as Earth is consumed by a cosmic invasion. Now these new beings--no longer mearly human--will battle to rule the transfigured world.
Goodreads Rating: 4.32 stars with over 3,000 ratings
Get the Book: AmazonBook Depository
Initial Thoughts: This one pretty much had me at "Demigod" I love mythology and haven't read a good mythology book in a while. I really like that this is books 1-4 of the series. It should keep me busy for a while. 

I'm not actually going to do a review on this one. I saw that Leslie had a jewelry design book, and I figure I can always use more references. I'm mainly showcasing this on this post to do some shameless self-promotion of my jewelry business. I've been making jewelry for 20 years off and on, and have recently re-opened my Etsy shop where I have unique and one of a kind bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. From now until July 15,2018 and use the coupon code LINZTHEBOOKWORM at check out you'll get 15% off regularly priced items. Coupon is not valid for items in the sale/clearance album.  The Etsy shop can be found here

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