Saturday, April 30, 2011

Consider Yourself Checked Out: Saturday April 30, 2011

How to Participate: For all you library and book store employees, give us a sampling of 10 or so books in any of the following categories from the past week:
a) Books that were requested
b) Books that you recommended
c) Books that are currently on the "holds" shelf
d) Books that are on currently the "returns" shelf (in the case of libraries)
Remember, respect patrons' privacy and don't give out any identifying information about who you helped.  Just tell us what books went out the door this week.  Please link to your specific post, not to the front page of your blog.  Don't have a blog? Feel free to post in the comments section below.  This link will be up every Saturday and will be open for the entire week. Feel free to participate any day you want!

Lots of good ole lit'ry fiction this week.  Hooray!

Censoring an Iranian Love Story
     by Shahriyar Mandanipur
I've heard good things about this one.  It's about a writer hoping to pen a prize-worthy novel while trying to evade the Iranian censors. It's billed as a postmodern, multi-faceted romance.  Sticking it on the TBR pile.

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
I really enjoyed Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen.  Sarah Addison Allen is a fluffier version of Alice Hoffman.  I have to admit, I enjoy Allen's brand of magical realism/romance better.  To me, Hoffman's characters can be insufferable. I'd much rather spend my time with the people in Allen's novels.  And, truth be told, if I'm reading a romantic book, I want a happy ending.  So sue me.

Songs Without Words by Ann Packer
I had The Dive from Clausen's Pier on my bookshelf for years and finally weeded a few months ago in a move to cut down on the stacks and stacks of books around the house.  (I figured either read it or weed it and I just couldn't get myself excited about reading it.)  I imagine the same thing would happen to this poor book at my house.

The Sweet Relief of Missing Children
     by Sarah Braunstein
This one got great reviews in both  Library Journal and Booklist.  I'm not sure if that will make me be able to subvert my maternal instincts and read about children being hurt or kidnapped, even if some of them are teenagers.  Man, having kids can really screw up your reading life.

Eve by Iris Johansen
Detective series complete with serial killer. You get the picture.

Freaks and Revelations by Davida Hurwin
This won the Stonewall Book Award for GLBT lit and follows two boys involved in a hate crime, both the victim and the attacker.  Twenty-five years later, they meet again. . .is reconciliation possible?  Strangely enough, this is based on a true story. Sounds intriguing.

Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Another angst-ridden YA novel where a girl must learn to cope after her best friend commits suicide. 

The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton
This begins the non-fiction segment of our meme today. I've never heard of this author, but apparently he's the go-to guy if you're looking for an accessible guide to literature, philosophy, and now architecture.

The Natural History of Palms by E. J. H. Corner
Written in1966 it's still oh-so-relevant today.  I think I would go to An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms by Robert Lee Riffle (c)2004 for all my personal  palm needs.

Scissors Sam Says Be Sharp: An Authentic Manual on the Sharpening & Care of Scissors & Tools Prepared Personally by the Nationally Famous Scissors Doctor, Sam Long by Sam Long
Now this book is just a cool little piece of Americana put out by an independent publisher back in the 1972.  According to the introduction, Sam Long a long-time hobo tinkerer turned up at this publishing house in California one day and presented them with his handwritten manuscript on how to most effectively sharpen knives.  It's a really fascinating little book with hand-drawn illustrations, too.  Look for it online--you never know when you may need lessons on sharpening scissors and other sharp, pointy objects.

That's it for this post--time to go camping!


  1. I've seen The Peach Keeper quite a bit around the book blogosphere. If I'm remembering correctly, it has a really nice cover. I read one Alice Hoffman novel last year and did not enjoy it.

  2. For some reason, every time I go to a Friends of the Library book sale, I end up with another Alice Hoffman book. I don't know why I keep buying them (at least they're only a quarter). Each time I start with high hopes and always end up frustrated. I need to stop torturing myself. She's obviously just not for me.

    I don't think The Peach Keeper is super duper highbrow literature or anything--but Sarah Addison Allen always tells a good story.

  3. I'll take a good story over super duper highbrow any day. I don't know if that was always the case for me, but I'm learning that it's okay for books to be fun.

    I really can't imagine reading another Alice Hoffman book after Skylight Confessions. Like you, I had such high hopes and felt very let down.