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 went a little used-book crazy this past week. Between my library and the Half Price Books clearance section, I managed to acquire five new-to-me books, each for $2 or less. Here they are:


From the top down (click titles for GoodReads summaries):

  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: No review I’ve ever read has quite managed to to make me understand this book’s plot. But! I’ve had so many people whose opinions I trust tell me they loved The Sparrow that, for $1, I couldn’t pass it up.
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman: Look at me, buying nonfiction! I’ve been told The Spirit Catches You an You Fall Down is absolutely fascinating. It tells of the clash between the medical and Hmong communities over how to treat a baby girl who suffers from seizures.
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides: I had planned to listen to Middlesex on audio, but then I found this used copy making eyes at me from its spot on the library’s for-sale shelf. It follows a Greek American family through three generations and has a wonderful opening line:

“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.”

  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: I’m rather picky about which fantasy novels I’ll read, but The Name of the Wind comes very highly recommended by someone who’s as picky about her fantasy as I am. It’s the first (and only, to date) in the Kingkiller series. That’s all I know about it!
  • Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir: This one is narrated by 15-year-old Lady Jane Grey, great-niece of King Henry VIII. I’ve not yet read Alison Weir, but I love good historical fiction and am looking forward to digging into Innocent Traitor!

Have you read any of these? Have I made sound choices?

Read This Week

As October transitioned into November, I finished up last month’s books and started on some new projects. I finished The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa for my book group and wrapped up Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett on audio. I also read, in a day, the newest from Dennis Lehane, Moonlight Mile.

The rest of the week was taken up by two bigger projects. First, I’m hoping to finish Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours by its release date on Tuesday. I think I’ll make it! It’s pushing 700 pages, but I have thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve read so far and can’t wait to review it. I also started–tentatively!–listening to The Odyssey, read by Ian McKellen (how cool is that?) for Trish’s readalong. I was beyond hesitant to join, because I hated slogging through The Odyssey in college, but Trish suggested giving the audiobook a chance. I’ve made it through the first few books, and I am shocked to admit that I am actually enjoying it! Woo hoo!

Erin Reads Recap

Your Turn!

How was your reading week? Did you acquire anything you can’t wait to read? Start or finish anything exciting? I’d love to hear about it!

Join the Conversation


  1. I have only read Middlesex and it’s a fantastic book! I think, I hope you’ll really enjoy it.

    I haven’t read The Sparrow either but it has been recommended to me numerous times and is on my tbr list. I’d say for $1 you were smart not to pass it up!

    I wish I could participate in the Odyssey readalong with you. I will be reading the posts though!

    I hope you’re enjoying The Distant Hours as I very much want to read this book!

    Enjoy your new books and have a great weekend!
    ~ Amy

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Amy! I’m really looking forward to Middlesex, especially. I don’t think I’ve heard a bad word said about it!

  2. The Spirit Catches You is AWESOME! It’s a fascinating case study of cultural misunderstandings, and I wish it was required reading for social workers and health care professionals and teachers…okay, everybody. It’s a little dry in parts, but very worth sticking with it.

    I adored Middlesex, too.

    1. Yay, I’m so happy to hear from another person that The Spirit Catches You is good! Dry is ok, as long as it’s only here and there and the rest is really good.

  3. So excited that you picked up Middlesex! As I noted on the Literary Blog Hop, it is one of my favorites.

    I didn’t like reading The Odyssey in high school, too. Maybe I’ll try listening to it on audiobook since you seem to like it so far.

    I just finished Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier and was less than impressed–I’m hoping to get a book review up at some point this week!

    1. Everyone seems to have loved Middlesex. I’m happy I finally got my hands on a used copy!

      I’m kind of amazed what a difference the audiobook is making for me with The Odyssey. I’ll be posting weekly updates for the readalong, but I’m through book 7 now, I think, and I can’t believe how much more I’m enjoying it!

      I’m looking forward to your thoughts on Night Train to Lisbon. It’s one I’ve been curious about.

  4. That first line of Middlesex is brilliant! Can we look forward to a review?

    I’ve read Innocent Traitor and it’s very good, makes you feel lost for not being able to stop something that happened so long ago.

    I received a law novel this week which is a new genre to me and I’m enjoying it so far, Murder On The Down Low by Pamela Samuels Young.

    The Odyssey is a book my friend told me never to read so I’m not sure I’d get round to it in any form. But we’ll see.

    1. Yes, at some point I will review Middlesex! I have no idea when that will happen, though. But someday 🙂

      Law novels aren’t a genre I read often, either. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.

      I’m rather shocked by how well The Odyssey is going for me, but I know it’s not for everyone.

    1. Glad to have another recommendation for Name of the Wind! I’m looking forward to it, though it’s a bit thick (and intimidating!).

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