Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New books and travels in Europe

A day late but what else is new these days!
A couple of weeks ago, when I saw, via Twitter, that The Book Depository (@bookdepository) was having a limited time offer of 10% off everything, I jumped at the chance to order a few books.

So here's what I got:

What the Birds See by Sonya Hartnett
(original Australian title: Of a Boy)
This went right on my wishlist after reading Sarah's glowing review over at A Devoted Reader.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
I've been wanting to get this one since I first heard about it, but I'm kind of glad I waited as I do really prefer the UK paperback cover (left) to the American one (right).

Which one do you like better?

The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
I heard about this one on Simon Mayo's Book Review podcast, which I listen to religiously every week, and thought it sounded really good. I'd intended to put it in a Book Coveting post but I haven't got around to doing one recently and here I've already gone ahead and bought it. LOL.

I also got a copy of Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman that I'm planning to give to a friend who has a baby girl. And one more book that hasn't shown up yet, but I'll tell you about it when it arrives. I do hope it hasn't got lost.

Plus I received Amorous Woman by Donna George Storey, from the author herself. It's actually erotica, not a genre I've ever really read before, or been particularly inclined to read before, but it's about an American woman's sexual awakening in Japan, that pays homage to Ihara Saikaku's classic, The Life of an Amorous Woman, which was written in 1686. I'm curious about the "floating world" and everything to do with Japanese culture or society though so I decided to give it a try.

Have you got any new books lately?

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

Last week I left Sweden and spent a few harrowing days in Riga, Latvia, in the winter of 1991, trying to uncover the corruption in the highest ranks of the police, and learning what life is really like under the ever watchful eye of the Soviet Union, constant police suveillance, and living with the lies and the fear.
[The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell]

Now I'm in Paris in the late nineteenth century. I started to write a novel but my main character has disappeared. I've hired a detective to look for him but so far he has eluded us. The problem is I just can't bear to go on with my book without him. Where can he be?
[The Flight of Icarus by Raymond Queneau]

It's Tuesday, where are you? is hosted by raidergirl3 at an adventure in reading.


  1. I took advantage of that 10% offer, too! Got Maugham's Of Human Bondage, Proust's The Guermantes Way, Yates' Revolutionary Road, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Dennys' Henrietta's War, and my first Persephone, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Whew! They're all worth it!

    I loved The Elegance of the Hedgehog, hope you enjoy it! And the Paolo Giordano book I really want, too, lol. Book coveting is dangerous! :D

  2. Hmm, I actually like both covers. The US version is a little weird, though. When Dewey died, she had a completely different cover from those two posted at her blog (as her current read) and I remember I liked that one but not what it looked like.

    Yes, sigh, of course I've gotten some books. Recent arrivals sitting in front of me are Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain and The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips. I also got a huge, gorgeous picture book that you'll probably see everywhere -- Visions of America by Joseph Sohm. And, a friend sent me four ARCs because she occasionally receives extras and I'm available to dump them on. LOL

  3. haha, I took advantage of the 10% off too. They know just how to hook us, don't they? :P

    I like the UK cover of Hedgehog better too.

  4. Disappearing characters, huh? Sounds a bit like The Eyre Affair.

    The UK copies always seem to be so much more appealing to me. Wonder why that is? Yay for 10%. Glad I didn't know about that otherwise I would have gone crazy. :)

  5. I like the UK cover too. Where you are sounds pretty intriguing!

  6. I managed to not be lured in by the sale - this time!

    You've got some books that just sound great. I do have The Elegance of the Hedgehog waiting for me so we'll have to share notes on it one day :)

  7. I am hoping that FIRE by Kristin Cashore appears in the mail before the week is over, but nothing so far...

  8. I agree, the UK cover for that book is much better. The US one is cute, but I like the style and design of the UK one much better.

    By the way, great button you designed for the Japanese Literature Challenge 3!

  9. I like the elegance of the UK cover and also the whimsy of the American cover - the young girl wit the odd title of " The Elegance of the Hedgehog." I thought it might have been symbolic. But then we read all sorts of things into books! I haven't read the book as yet, but am looking forward to it.

  10. I have the U.S. printing of The Elegance of the Hedgehog and like that cover, but oh, the UK version is also very nice! I had a customer recommend the book to me last year and it's been languishing on my nightstand ever since. Sigh. I'm glad to hear from various bloggers that it's a winner. I'll have to remember, though, that it's a bit slow out of the gates. I'd hate to give up on it too soon.

    I agree with Carl. Very nice widget/button for Bellezza's Japanese Lit Challenge!

  11. I enjoyed Hedgehog. I like both covers but the shot of the Paris apartments tips the scales for me toward preferring it. Yes, the challenge button is great, nice to think it's your own photo too. I'm almost sure I have a copy of Hartnett's What the Birds See somewhere, must check the shelves. I love Aussie lit. You've got some great new reads there. Enjoy.

  12. Your new books look good!

    The Dogs of Rita sounds interesting. I am going to read your review of it. :)

  13. claire - Book coveting is very dangerous! But you got lots of classics to sink your teeth into! I still haven't bought a Persephone because I just know that once I have one, I'll want ALL of them. LOL.

    Nancy - Yes I remember that there was a different cover when it first came out, but I can't remember exactly what it looked like either. I really have the worst memory sometimes. Oh well. Enjoy your new books! :)

    Nymeth - They certainly do know how to hook us. I was kinda hoping they'd do a 10% off when they officially launched the new US site, but it's probably a good thing if I stay away for a while. :P

    Trish - I was thinking that it sounded like Jasper Fforde's books too, especially since I just mentioned them in my Reading Retrospective. Funny how reading can go in cycles sometimes.

    I often prefer the UK cover but sometimes I like the US one better. It's kind of nice being able to choose between them sometimes. :)

    Staci - The UK cover seems to be the general favourite so far. And yup, it was a pretty interesting place to be for a few days!

    Iliana - The Elegance of the Hedgehog has had so many great reviews, I'm really looking forward to it. Of course I have no idea when I'll actually fit it in but you know how that goes.. :)

    Kailana - I keep hearing that title lately on Twitter. I must look it up to see what it's about.

    Carl V. - Aww, thanks! I'm glad you like the button.
    I love European architecture and am not crazy about pictures of people on covers so it's not too surprising really that I prefer that UK one.

    Book Bird Dog - It is quite the quirky title, isn't it? I'm really looking forward to reading it too, now just to figure out when.

    Les - I'd had it on my wishlist since sometime last year and now that I have it I wonder how long it will sit there unread. So many books! And thanks! :)

    Sandra - Thanks. Yes, the Parisian apartment buildings easily won me over too. I haven't read a whole lot of Aussie lit but have enjoyed what I've read.

    Rebecca - The Dogs of Riga is the 2nd in a mystery series but there's only a little reference to the past so I think it could stand on its own. I hope to get the review up later this week.


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