Look at what just arrived! - June 28, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

mailboxmonday This meme is hosted by Marcia @ The Printed Page. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do).

I had a pretty slow week, and in fact, I hardly know where this week went. It's been so busy!

The Life O'Reilly by Brian Cohen came to me from the author. I had won this book at Cat's Tell Me a Story. I have read mostly mixed reviews of this book, so I'm not sure yet about what to expect. The premise is indeed fascinating - about a well-off lawyer, Nick, who has everything he wants, professionally, trying to understand about his life choices, through a pro bono case. Nick is asked to represent Dawn, a domestic violence victim, who is fighting for custody of her son, Jordan. I am more in love with the cover of this book. There's memories, reminiscences, choices and relationships chalked all over that picture.

Mary at Bookfan was kind enough to send me Every House Needs a Balcony by Rina Frank, after she reviewed it on her blog. Yet another case of being afflicted by the cover love bug. In this case as well, I have read mostly mixed reviews, but I'm all for giving it a try. Every House Needs a Balcony is about a young Jewish girl, who lives with her older sister and parents in a cramped apartment with a narrow balcony. This balcony becomes the vantage point from which the joys and dramas of life are played out, and from where the girl sees the emergence of a new country.


Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva @ A Striped Armchair and Marg @ The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

I really spent a good amount of time to decide which book to read for next month's Spotlight Series on Graywolf Press. After scouring through their amazing catalog, and narrowing down choices based on what I want to read (this led to tons of choices), what is available at my library (didn't help to narrow down much), and finally based on book size (I want to read shorter but really good books in July), I headed to my library to read the first few pages of the books on my list. How's that for some dedicated research? I finally came home with three books and plan to read at least two of them, but I haven't yet decided which two. Sigh..

Shyness and Dignity by Dag Solstad is the story of a man's awakening to a world that no longer recognizes what he has always stood for or his talent. Isn't that anyone's biggest fear in life? To wake up one day and see that the world has moved on without you, that no matter what you do, nobody cares about it. That you are as insignificant as a speck of sand? Although Elias, the protagonist, is well aware of his students' hostility, on this day, which is said to be the most decisive day of his life, he feels it acutely. I read a few pages of this book, and it is highly literary in nature - the kind I would be set to read in school / college. It's been ages since I read a book like that, so I look forward to the challenge.

A House at the Edge of Tear by VĂ©nus Khoury-Ghata is not a light read in any respect. Plot-wise, it is set in a city in Beirut, where five shabby dwellings circle a courtyard. The residents hear the screams of a boy who is beaten by his father. The neighbors gossip and assume that the boy tried to rape his sisters. Presentation-wise, it is written in a poetic, lyrical style. I am not exactly sure how I will like it, but I did read a few pages and found it haunting. It will definitely not be a fast read, but it's definitely captivating.

I haven't read a Joe Coomer book yet, but I did take out several of his books from the library to check out. One Vacant Chair interested me the most. I found it funny and entertaining, and the synopsis is definitely intriguing. Sarah's aunt Edna paints portraits of chairs. After Grandma Hutton's death, Sarah helps Edna to go about taking care of grandma's wishes, but in the process discovers a lot more about the quirky Edna. This should probably be a fun read, and if I had had the time, I might have sat in the library to read the book that day itself.

14 comments:

Jan von Harz said...

Looks like you had a great week and an even greater one planned for this week. Enjoy all your library finds.

Jennifer said...

Enjoy your new books. I really enjoyed The Life O'Reilly. I hope you do too.

bookfanmary said...

I can't believe you received the book so quickly!
Enjoy all your reading :)

Kaye said...

For a debut novel, The Life of O'Reilly was okay. It did have some flaws but still a solid read. I'll be interested in your thoughts on this one.

Booksnyc said...

I am going to read Life O'Reilly too - it sounds like an interesting story!

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

Shyness and Dignity looks like it is going to be a really different kind of read! Enjoy :)

~Felicia @ Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

bermudaonion said...

I'll be interested in seeing what you think of Every House Needs a Balcony. I just love the cover of One Vacant Chair.

JessiKay89 said...

Sounds like you've got some good reads coming up! I'll be looking forward to your reviews! :)

Bookventures said...

I read and reviewed The Life O'Reilly a while back and thought it was a nice read but off course everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You can check out my review for it here.

http://bookventuresbookclub.blogspot.com/2010/04/life-oreilly-review.html

Other than that it looks like you've got some really nice books this week. I hope you enjoy them
: )

Alayne said...

Great variety! Happy reading. My mailbox is at The Crowded Leaf.

Lady Q said...

Nice mailbox. A House at the Edge of Tears sounds like a real heartbreaker. I'll keep an eye out for your review.

I've got a copy of Captivity to give away over on my blog if you'd like to stop by!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

Every House Needs A Balcony sounds like an interesting read. I will be putting it on my wish list. Enjoy your new reads!

Mystica said...

Every House needs a balcony was also on my TBR after reading about it on Bookfan so I would like to see what you think of it as well.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Every House Need a Balcony does sound good :) and what a great name!