Friday, 24 July 2009

Recent Arrivals


I know how much you like to admire new books so I thought I would share the arrivals this week. Look out for reviews of these books in the coming days, weeks, and possibly months (have you being keeping count of my recent acquisitions and library loot?!)

Captivated: J. M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers and the Dark Side of Neverland by Piers Dudgeon is a book that I have been coveting for some time (since reading Daphne by Justine Picardie) and which Nymeth kindly chose from my wish-list and sent me after I won her Weekly Geeks quiz.

I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal was sent to me by Vintage Books after I requested a copy of their pretty re-issue. Hrabal is a Czech writer I studied during a Slavonic literature course (I read and really enjoyed his most famous work, Closely Observed Trains) and have been desperately wanting to read this title.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath was kindly sent by Faber at the bequest of Simon at Savidge Reads as it is the title chosen by him for next month's book group. I read this a decade ago (when I was going through my own period of teenage angst) and looking forward to a re-read. It's a lovely new cover -part of the Faber Firsts series to celebrate their 80th Birthday- and apologies for decapitating the debutante with a stray patch of sunlight!

The Wake by Jeremy Page is an ARC from Waterstone's and I am intrigued by its premise and looking forward to reading it (I intentionally sought this one out because I was excited).

The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty is both a Pulitzer Prize winner, which I need to read for my personal challenge, and a Virago Modern Classic, which I collect. Recently I have been inspired (or should that be tempted?) to buy and read more Viragoes from reading Verity's Virago Venture. I would have sought out a green copy but I found this cover too pretty and reminiscent of the cover for this book, which I also own.

Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front 1939-42 by Joyce Dennys - published earlier this month as part of The Bloomsbury Group series I could resist the temptation no longer to purchase a copy. I have read so many effusively lovely things about this book here, here, and here and with such high praise the pressure is on to read and love this book... no, really, I can't wait to lose myself in it and don't think I will... wait.

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave is a book that I first read about (in the Guardian, I think), subsequently added to my wish-list in December of last year and then promptly forgot about until I read Claire's review in May (the book is published across the pond with a different title), added the paperback to my wish-list, then read Simon's review last week and realised that I couldn't wait to purchase it any longer. Now I see that Jackie has just read it too with a review pending so it will only be a matter of time until I pick it up! It has one of those vague, intriguing, shrouded-in-mystery descriptions that always peaks my literary curiosity. I am, however, approaching it cautiously as we all know what can happen when we anticipate a book with too much hype surrounding it.

I really must go and read now.

21 comments:

verity said...

I love the way you close your post - hope you have a good day of reading.

I like the sound of The optimist's daughter...one for me to get to soon.

I have Henrietta's War but it seems to have got stuck on the TBRBC...

farmlanebooks said...

That is an impressive selection of new books!

The Other Hand is going to get a rare 5 star rating from me - it is amazing! My reviews are stacking up at the moment - other posts keep having priority, so it will probably be at least Tuesday before I post my review for it.

I am sure you will love it, but have a box of tissues handy!

Paperback Reader said...

It's true though, Verity! I really must get reading done; I'm woefully behind in everything. I have high hopes for this weekend...

I am really looking forward to The Optimist's Daughter and Henrietta's War; I'm hoping to reach the latter in the coming days.

Jackie, thanks! I'm quite satisfied with this little pile and excited about reading them.

I would like to read The Other Hand before your review but I don't think I'll get to it in time but I do intend to read it as soon as I can. Between you and Simon I am anxious to read it, especially with 5 stars!

Rachel said...

What a nice pile! How do you go about getting these free books??

I want to read The Optimist's Daughter too..I have Delta Wedding on my TBR pile so I should probably read that first before I seek out another Eudora Welty...though what am I saying?! I am not allowed to buy any more books! I keep forgetting!!

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Rachel, I am so pleased with this pile and glad I shared. Some publishers are very generous to bloggers and Waterstones have an option on their website to request review copies.

Rachel, I'd read Delta Wedding first and then perhaps you could treat yourself... how about an incentive? You could reward yourself with ONE secondhand book (no more than £3) for every month that you go without buying books! It's almost counter-productive, but not quite.

Nymeth said...

Some fantastic acquisitions! I hope you enjoy The Optimist's Daughter. I read it last year and was very impressed with Welty's writing. Also, because my library only had the Library of America edition of her works, I ended up also reading her novella The Robber Bridegroom - it's a southern Gothic fairy tale that reminded me a little of Angela Carter, and which I think you'd really enjoy.

JoAnn said...

The Other Hand (Little Bee here in the US) is going to be my next audiopook. I'm looking forward to it!

Paperback Reader said...

Ana, funny you should mention The Robber Bridegroom as I have a copy and actually think I came across mention of it through Angela Carter secondary reading. I really must read it soon (I have had it for some time). I am really looking forward to reading The Optimist's Daughter.

JoAnn, it is very popular on the blogosphere just now and seems as if everybody is reading/listening to it! I await your thoughts and am scheduling in a couple of extra days next week so I can read it.

Darlene said...

Thanks for sharing Claire, a lovely varied selection you have there. My copy of Henrietta's War is waiting patiently for the library books to go back and perhaps even the end of Persephone Reading Week (does it really ever end, I think not). Enjoy your bounty!

Paperback Reader said...

Thanks, Darlene; it is quite eclectic isn't it? It never, ever stops... I need to get on top of the reading. i read your comment on Danielle's page about stress and guilt and I'm really feeling it just now!

verity said...

It never ever stops...my feeling too...

Rachel said...

Haha! I think I shall have to make such a compromise...going without the thrill of buying books for the amount of months it will take me to read what I do have will be torturous!!!

Paperback Reader said...

Verity, I am definitely feeling the pressure this week :s.

Rachel, I tried not to buy books recently but I failed drastically. I have a horrible feeling that I am never going to manage to read all of the books that I have as it is because there are just too many and yet I insist on buying more (because there are still so many that I want to read).

Swati said...

That is an enviable pile. I have the Other Hand on my TBR pile, I look forward to your review so I can judge whether to bump it up a bit or not.

claire said...

I hope you enjoy The Other Hand.. you're so right.. try not to expect too much!!

I ordered Henrietta's War, too, couldn't resist. Should be here any day now. Maybe we should have a Bloomsbury reading week after Persephone, lol.

claire said...

By the way, I remember reading about two-thirds of The Optimist's Daughter at the library, but in snatches while I watched my son play and walk around the library, so I really didn't get much out of it. Not a good way to read a book.

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Swati, thanks for commenting.
I am hoping to read The Other Hand in a few days and review it this coming week so hopefully you'll be reading it soon too :).

Claire, I don't think I can wait until then to read Henrietta's War! Hee.
Definitely not the way to enjoy a book but sometimes it has to be done. I would have had to borrow it afterwards though to finish it!

StuckInABook said...

I do hope you like Henrietta!

Paperback Reader said...

So do I, Simon! I am planning to indulge this weekend.

Danielle said...

Lovely new books! This reminds me I've wanted to read Bohumil Hrabal! And I have Henrietta's War waiting for me, too!

Paperback Reader said...

Thanks, Danielle! It was a lovely pile and I'm feeling proud to have already read two of them and in process of reading another two!
I hope we both enjoy Bohumil Hrabal.
Henrietta's War is lovely and a very quick read.