January Book Haul

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Here are the books I’ve picked up in January! Some are from this wonderful used bookstore in Washington D.C. (Carpe Librum), some are from a library used book sale, some are from Book of the Month Club, and I picked one up at the Strand’s pop-up store in New York.

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit – I picked this one up while visiting a friend in New York at one of the Strand’s pop-up locations; I figured that it would be a timely read given the current political situation. It’s a very short collection of essays discussing violence against women, misogyny, and the importance of feminism.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – I picked this as an extra selection in my Book of the Month box for January. This was chosen as BotM’s Book of the Year, and it’s described on Goodreads as “a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.” I’ve seen a lot of amazing reviews, and feel like this is something I’m really going to like.

Lucky You by Erika Carter – this was my Book of the Month Club pick for January–it’s the story of three friends who decide to go live off the grid. I’ve been hearing from reviews that the characters are very unlikable and that it’s quite a sad story, but as I tend to have unpopular opinions about a lot of books, it may just work for me.

The Incarnations by Susan Barker – this was a used bookstore find that I’ve been hearing great things about. It was published in 2014 and is about a man who finds a series of letters that seem to be about his past lives and believes he is being watched by someone who has known him throughout all of these lives.

The Lover by Marguerite Duras – this is a very short novel (I think I heard about it on Flavorwire’s list of recommended short books) that focuses on an affair between a young French girl and an older Chinese man. Also, Roxane Gay gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, so there’s that.

Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett – I saw this in a used bookstore and remembered that I really wanted to read it, but had no memory of what it was supposed to be about. Goodreads says: “Feverish and forthright, Pond is an absorbing chronicle of the pitfalls and pleasures of a solitudinous life told by an unnamed woman living on the cusp of a coastal town.

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – this one sounds amazing, and I’m so excited that I found a copy at a used bookstore. From Goodreads, it’s “a reimagining of the world-famous Indian epic, the Mahabharatβ€”told from the point of view of an amazing woman. Relevant to today’s war-torn world, The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the legendary Pandavas brothers in the Mahabharat, the novel gives us a new interpretation of this ancient tale. “

And Yet They Were Happy by Helen Phillips – I was browsing the sites for a few independent publishers that I like and stumbled across this book which was on sale for $5 (shipping included!) on Leapfrog Press’s website. It’s a collection of short stories, all of which are only two pages long, which are supposed to be quite weird, creative, and varied. I’m really looking forward to this one.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn – this novella was a freebie in this month’s Book of the Month Club box. I’ve read all three of Gillian Flynn’s previous books–Gone Girl was by far my favorite–and I’m looking forward to picking up this little book, probably during the next Dewey’s Readathon.

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I also picked up these four books at my library’s used book sale for $1 each. This book sale was actually kind of a letdown for me; I feel like I usually have better luck and find more books that I’m super interested in. Instead, I really wasn’t finding anything, but I did pick up these four, which were more impulse buy-ish compared to the books I typically pick up. However, after asking around on Bookstagram I’m especially glad I picked up It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, as a lot of people seem to really love it and it sounds like a book I’d really like. The others I’m more on the fence about, but will definitely give them a shot.

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Also, my friend got me these two awesome-sounding books: one is a collection of literary-inspired cocktail recipes, and the other is a recipe book inspired by Gilmore Girls.

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