My Week in Books: November 14-20

My Week in Books

Welcome to my weekly Saturday feature here at Erin Reads, where I highlight new books that have entered my life, what I’ve been reading, and what’s happened on Erin Reads over the past week.

New Acquisitions

I’ve decided to continue with the vlog format for My Week in Books, since it seemed many people enjoyed it. I’ll also include a little more about each book in text form, as several readers don’t or can’t watch vlogs.

I had way too many books come into my life this week to share them all, so I split them into books I bought (this week’s video) and books I won/was given/was sent for review (next week’s video).

If you’re not a vlog person, here’s a summary of the books I talked about. If you watched the vlog, you’ll probably find the rest of this section pretty redundant! Titles link to GoodReads summaries.

Purchased new:

  • Shakespeare Wrote for Money by Nick Hornby: the third of three compilations of Hornby’s essays for Believer magazine. I adored the first installment (The Polysyllabic Spree) and already own the second (Housekeeping vs. the Dirt), so now I have them all. Don’t you just love the titles?
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: I’ve never read this classic! I know…shameful! I plan to read it very soon, and now that I have an edition I really like, I have no excuse.

From a library sale where you paid for your stack of books by the inch (cool!):

  • Don’t Look at Me Like That by Diana Athill: I don’t know anything about this one except that Athill is supposedly a good writer. The book is very thin, so at $1 per inch, it probably cost about a quarter.
  • Three Junes by Julia Glass: I’ve never read Julia Glass, but every review that mentions one of her books says “It was good, but not as good as Three Junes.”
  • The Linnet Bird by Linda Holeman: Recommended by a bookstore coworker and compared to Sarah Waters’s novels, this one is set in Calcutta and England in the 1800s.
  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre: Classic spy fiction recommended by The Literate Man, and my first le Carre.
  • The Anglo Files by Sarah Lyall: Nonfiction written by an American who’s lived in Britain since the 1990s. The back of the book calls it “part anthropological field study, part memoir.”
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin: Another classic I haven’t read! It’s on my list for my upcoming, not-yet-revealed classics project, though.
  • Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith: I loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and have always wanted to read Smith’s other famous novel, about a young couple’s first year of marriage.
  • The Appointment by Herta Muller: When Muller won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2009, I hadn’t even heard of her. This was the first of her novels I’ve come across at a library sale, so I picked it up.

Read This Week

This week has been devoted to getting through The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk for the World Party Reading Challenge and Burning Valley by Phillip Bonosky which I’m reading because it’s set in western Pennsylvania, where I now live. Neither is a particularly fluffy read, so it’s taking me a while. I made it through Burning Valley, but I’m going to need some more time for The Black Book!

On audio, I got through another chunk of The Odyssey for Trish’s readalong. To keep myself from getting too far ahead, I switched to Roald Dahl’s The Witches for the second half of the week. It’s one of the few Dahl novels I hadn’t read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Now I’m working on Jean Kwok’s Girl in Translation.

Erin Reads Recap

  • I started the week with a Sunday Salon post in which I talked about my experience vlogging and asked others to share their experiences. I’d still love to hear more points of view, so feel free to head over and add your thoughts!
  • On Monday I reviewed the new YA novel Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. I really liked it, except for one big spoiler-y problem.
  • Tuesday I posted my second check-in for The Odyssey readalong. The books for week two were the ones that recount Odysseus’ famous adventures, so it was fun to revisit them. (There was also a bonus video at the end!)
  • I reviewed To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf on Wednesday, which I listened to on audio. I loved the audio production, but I wasn’t too keen on the book itself; I liked Mrs. Dalloway much better.
  • Thursday I posted my entry for Chronicle Books’ Happy Haul-idays contest. If you leave a comment on the entry post, you’ll be automatically entered to win all the books on my list!
  • Finally, yesterday, I continued my audiobook miniseries by talking about some of my favorite young adult and middle grade audiobooks.

Your Turn!

How was your reading week? Do tell!

Join the Conversation

16 Comments

    1. I’m really looking forward to Jane Eyre! My mother and sister both loved it and were shocked when I recently told them I hadn’t read it.

      It’s the first library sale I’ve been to that charged by the inch, but it was wonderful! Though I found myself forgoing the heftier hardcovers in favor of slim paperbacks ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. I am so excited about Jane Eyre, The Awakening, and Joy in the Morning!! The first two are two of my favorites. The Awakening in particular is so easy to read and feels extremely modern in the prose. I’ve read it twice and both times was really moved. Jane Eyre I’ve only read once but loved it so much I incorporated it into one of my novels. I plan to reread it soon, probably in January. I’ve not read Joy in the Morning, but I have it on my shelf and definitely plan to read it next year in my classics project!!

    1. I’m excited you’re excited! I was surprised by how not lengthy The Awakening is. I don’t know why I was expecting something longer. I think Jane Eyre, The Awakening, and probably either Hedda Gabbler (a reread) or Doll’s House will be my first three for my classics project. It sounds like there are a ton of bloggers planning to (re)read Jane Eyre in the near future, so I’m expecting to see lots of posts about it soon!

    1. I think it’ll probably be one of the first few I read, after Jane Eyre, which I really must get to ASAP! I’ll let you know when I have a better sense of when that might be. It’d be fun to semi-coordinate readings!

    1. It sounds like a bunch of bloggers are in the same place. I feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one! I’ve had an old crappy copy that I never really wanted to read, but now that I have a nice edition, I have no more excuses.

  2. I have Three Junes as well, but I am really looking forward to her latest one as well. I guess I am a collector. I haven’t read Jane Eyre recently, but I will be reading it again in the next couple of months. I know I read it, but I really don’t remember it at all.

    1. It sounds like a lot of bloggers have plans to read or reread Jane Eyre in the near future! As for Julia Glass, I’ll have to read one of the books I have and see what I think. I do like to collect all the books from authors I suspect I’ll like, but I’ve been trying to control myself lately and just buy a few until I find out if I actually like the author ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Awakening, but it was a fast read and I’m glad I read it for its importance. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Squee for le Carre! I haven’t read anything by him in ages, but I used to love him.

    1. I really don’t know what to expect with The Awakening, but it’s so often referred to and so slim that I thought I’d best give it a shot! I never thought le Carre wrote the sort of books I’d enjoy, but The Spy Who Came in from the Cold sounded really good.

  4. Enjoy Jane Eyre! I also waited to find an edition I liked before reading it. I love the sound of Joy In The Morning, I went to look it up on GoodReads after watching your vlog.

    1. It’s nice there are so many editions of Jane Eyre to choose from! I couldn’t believe the variety. I’m looking forward to Joy in the Morning–Smith is a lovely writer!

  5. I really love Jane Eyre, so I hope you enjoy it. Sounds like your library sale has classics! My library sale doesn’t have many, mostly modern lit ๐Ÿ™ I’d love to read Herta Mueller too. Very interested in giving her a try.

    1. I’ve been to three different library sales in the past month and a half, and each one was totally different! The last one I went to did have more classics. The first, though, was mostly contemporary and YA fiction! I think that’s what I love so much about library sales — you never know what you’ll find.

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