Tuesday, January 12, 2010

shiny new books (or, my TBR pile continues to grow)

These are some books that I bought (mostly) or acquired (one) near the end of last year.  The last new books for 2009, which means that a total of 92 books entered my house last year through various means.  It's the first year I've kept close track of the books I acquired each month so I'm not really sure how that compares to previous years but I actually tried to be more restrained in my book buying last year, and for the most part, except for a couple of splurges, stuck to a monthly budget for books.  However, considering I only read 71 books in 2009, I've made negative progress on my To Be Read stacks in the last year.  Sigh.  But who can resist shiny new books!?

The Girl Who Played with FireThe Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
I haven't even read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yet but plan to this year for sure, and had to pick this up when I saw that it was out in paperback* and so reasonably priced.
*Even though I know the British editions were published earlier, I have to admit I really prefer the US covers and my copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the US paperback so I'm going for consistency here.

Wolf HallWolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Bought in a weak moment at the bookstore, again because the paperback was quite cheap, plus it did win the Man Booker Prize after all.  I'm not really up on my Tudor history though so I'm a little intimidated by it.

We are the Friction: Illustrations vs. Short Fiction, edited by Sing Statistics.
Like the special cloth-bound Penguin classics that she forced me to buy, this is another book purchase to blame on Frances at Nonsuch Book. Her book lust posts are dangerous!  Fun concept for a book though:
The book paired writers with illustrators, both established and emerging in their disciplines. Each then produced new work inspired by the work of their partner: stories from illustrations, and illustrations from stories. The result is an erratic, eclectic collection of work that takes in space travel, Japanese deities, monster husbandry, and the Marx Brothers. We hope you'll like it.

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima
Lena of Save Ophelia suggested this one, and I've visited Kinkaku-ji, the temple of the title, in Kyoto a few times. Since the story is also loosely based on a real event, I decided I simply had to add this one to my Japanese literature shelves.

ShiverShiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Lots of raves about this one on Twitter so I caved.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Received from the publisher for the TLC Blog Tour later this month.  I'm so glad to finally have a copy of this book as I've been wanting to read it since it first made the blog rounds when it came out in hardcover.  I'll be starting it very soon.

Battle Royale: The Novel by Koushun Takami
I read the first volume of the manga, based on the book, in December but that made me want to read the novel first. I'm quite looking forward to it and hope to read it before too long. 

As an aside, I thought it was interesting that all the books are combinations of red, white and black. I love red so am I subconsciously drawn to the red covers? Or is it simply coincidence? Hmmm...

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  1. I onlyu bought one book oer the holidays, but I have lots from last year to read, plus some new ones being mailed. Happy reading! Would love to join your discussion of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - am slowly reading it.

    Do think there will be a Japanese Literature Challenge 4 this year?

  2. Battle Royale and the Girl who played with Fire are both FANTABULOUS!!!! Shiver has been in my TBR pile for a while now, and the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Wolf Hall, and the Temple of the Golden Pavillion have been on my wishlist for a while. I've never heard of We are the Friction, but seeing how much I love all those other books, I'm thinking I might have to check it out!
    I wish you much luck on making positive as opposed to negative progress this year! :-)

  3. OOoooOOooh!! I loved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet! It was such a beautiful story.

    ONLY 92 books? That's self control ;-) You made more progress (or, less NEGATIVE progress) on your TBR pile than I did. I've never even tried to keep track of how many books I brought into the house! Shiny new and new-to-me books are sirens, aren't they?

  4. I am definitely making negative progress on my TBR pile, I really need to leave home because the bookstore is too close to me here. Pretty stack!

  5. I will get my hands on Battle Royale soon! Soon!

  6. Oh I totally love the picks and I am drawn to covers that have red on them. I did that at a bookstore a while back...picked out three or four and came home to realize they all had similar red covers.

    BTW, love your header with the red flowers!

  7. I really want to read Shiver and will probably pick up a copy of it once it's out in paperback here in the states.

  8. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is aMAZing!

  9. 92 books. I wonder how many books I acquire in a year. I definitely need to read more of my own books though. Goal for 2010 right there.

    Anyway, I've only read Shiver from your stack there, and it was really lovely. I have Battle Royale, Golden Pavilion and Wolf Hall on my wishlist though.

  10. Funny you mentioned the red covers -- that is the first thing I noticed in the picture (maybe because my favorite color is red). It would be interesting to analyze what type of books get certain colors (other than pink for chick lit).

  11. Book Dilettante - I have lots and lots of books from last year and previous years still to read, and still ordered a few more this month. But now I need to get back to my monthly book budget.

    Bellezza has said that she'll most likely be hosting the Japanese Literature Challenge again later this year. It usually runs from July to January so watch out for announcements in the summer.

    brizmus - Fantabulous, eh? Well, they're both very near the top of the pile and I can't wait to read them. All of them in this pile actually!
    And thanks, I don't think I can stop buying books so I need to figure out a way to read more, or faster. :P

    thekoolaidmom - I'm really looking forward to Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

    Yes, I'm powerless over the allure of shiny new books! It was the first year I kept track of the number of books I acquired. I think I'll do so again in 2010 and see how it compares. I probably should've kept track earlier as when we lived in England I bought ridiculous amounts of books. On second thought, I'm kind of glad I don't know.. ;)

    Ash - I was forever buying books when we lived in England so I suppose it's a good thing that it's a bit harder to find reasonably priced English books here in Japan. However, there's always the online shops to tempt me!

    Lightheaded - If you're interested we'll be discussing it together here in July. I'm really looking forward to reading it too.

    Amanda - So, red covers are actually a clever marketing ploy? :P
    Thanks for your comment on my header. I do love my red! I'd actually like to change it to something more season but haven't found the time.

    Stephanie - I hadn't realized it was still in hardback in the US until I looked it up for the link. You could always order the UK paperback from The Book Depository if you can't wait. :P

    claire - Well that recommendation is good enough for me!

    Clover - Yes, reading more of my own books is one of my goals for 2010. We'll see how I do. Good luck yourself!

    Valerie - It's funny because until a couple of years ago I was indifferent to red but now it's one of my favourite colours and I always seem to be drawn to it!
    That would be interesting to see if certain genres (other than the standard pink for chick lit like you said) often get a similar cover/colour treatment.

  12. I'd love to hear what you think about Stieg Larsson's novels. I've been seeing mixed reviews lately, and it's a genre I'm not accustomed to but the story still sounds interesting.

  13. This is a lovely pile of books! Enjoy them.

  14. I'm about a quarter of the way through Hotel, and I'm loving it so far. Looking forward to your tour post.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  15. Mark David - I'm not sure yet when I'll get to the Stieg Larsson books as I have quite a few others higher up on the pile to be read. But whenever I do I'll definitely review them here. Stay tuned.

    Jenny Girl - Thanks, I'm looking forward to reading them!

    Anna - Sorry, I'm so behind on replying to comments that I've since finished the book and posted my review. It was a great read and I'm now looking forward to his next book!


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