Recent Arrivals and a Bookstore Story

The local public library is my primary source for books, but I do buy or otherwise acquire books from time to time.  These are new arrivals to the apartment over the past month:

On Memorial Day weekend, I spent a little time at Shiretown Books in Woodstock, VT.  The atmosphere was friendly and I liked the selection.  I ended up purchasing three books: The Places In Between by Rory Stewart, A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute, and Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.  I’ve read A Town Like Alice before, when I was in high school.  This edition’s cover is quite attractive, and the cover of Cranford even more so.  Both the woman working at the store (who may have been the proprietor) and I admired it.

On the subject of covers, she mentioned that she really liked Europa Editions, which I had never heard of, but looked up when I returned home from vacation.  Here is their website:

I received Valeria’s Last Stand by Marc Fitten from Goodread’s First Reads.  I entered into the giveaway because I was intrigued by the story’s setting in a Hungarian village after the fall of the Soviet Union.  I started reading the first chapter while waiting for my car’s oil change, and it’s quite funny.  I look forward to returning to it in the near future.

Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young arrived thanks to Tracee of Pump Up Your Book Promotion.  I’ve never participated in a virtual book tour before, but I was intrigued by the premise and the author’s bio and thought I’d check it out.

The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore arrived courtesy of the publisher, NYRB.  I had participated in the Spotlight Series when NYRB was the selected small press, reviewing Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book.  [Note: The Summer Book came from the public library, not the publisher.]

It’s not an expectation that publishers provide Spotlight Series participants with anything.  So it was a pleasant surprise when I heard that NYRB was going to give a little gift package to all those who posted reviews as part of the Spotlight Series.  A copy of the New York Review of Books and a NYRB shopper bag were also included in the package.

The back cover summary of The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne gives little away, but as I’ve loved the previous two NYRB books I’ve read, I have high hopes for this one.

Which brings me to two books that just came today!  I really want to read current “it” book, The Passage by Justin Cronin, and I know there’s no way I can read all of this chunkster during one library loan period.  So I decided to go ahead and buy it when I saw it in the bookstore today.

Thanks to some credit card reward points that can take the form of Amazon gift cards, Sara Wheeler’s Evia: Travels on an Undiscovered Greek Island arrived today in the mail.  Seems like a perfect summer book!


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12 responses to “Recent Arrivals and a Bookstore Story

  1. A fellow blogger with a kind heart took mercy on me and sent me her ARC of “The Passage.” I’m excited to dive into it … it does seem like the “it” read right now!

  2. I read The Places in Between a few years ago and found it fascinating. There are a few dry spots, but it’s amazing to think about how much guts it took to set off on foot through areas that aren’t exactly westerner friendly!

  3. I was excited to receive my NYRB package in the mail this week too! Such a pleasant treat.

    I think Europa Editions are gorgeous! The pages are nice and thick, and the covers too, and I love that the covers have those little flaps. Europa makes pretty, sturdy books – perfect!

  4. I love your cover of A Town Like Alice. And such a good book. I also love your copy of The Lonely Passion, which is kind of a bleak book if my memory serves.

  5. i’m excited about The Passage and can’t wait to pick it up soon.

    i also read Buying Time and it was an absolute page-turner, so i hope you enjoy it.

  6. The Places In Between is a wonderful read. I just received a gift card to my favorite book store and may indulge in The Passage.

  7. Jenners – aw, that was nice of her!

    softdrinks – I’ve read Stewart’s The Prince of Marshes and it too had some dry spots, but Stewart is an engaging writer overall and I think I will like The Places in Between much better. There’s more traveling, less of the bureaucratic tales.

    Jenny – Your description of the Europa Editions ‘feel’ sounds lovely. I saw them on a display behind the counter, but didn’t actually pick one up. I’ll have to keep an eye out for them in the future.

    Thomas – I actually first saw this cover of A Town Like Alice on the Book Cover Archive website. The designer, Jamie Keenan, also did my favorite cover of Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, the one with a close-up of a girl’s face.
    From the brief description of Lonely Passion, I’m not surprised that it would be a bleak book.

    lisa – that’s great to hear re: Buying Time. It’s a thriller, so a page-turner is a plus. 🙂

    Gavin – I’ve been looking forward to The Places In Between for a while now. Glad to hear a good report. The Passage seems like a good use of a gift card!

  8. great books!

    the passage, buying time, and valeria’s last stand are all on my tbr list. good luck getting through the passage! i couldn’t believe how big it was when i first saw it in the bookstore. it was quite intimidating.

    happy reading!

  9. I have that addition of Cranford and its such a beautiful book I love the feel of the cover.

  10. I love that edition of Cranford! And off to explore the Europa site now.

  11. olduvai

    Now that’s a great haul of books and it sounds like a great bookstore. Yay to The Places in Between!

  12. Buying Time is wonderful- I really enjoyed it!

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