Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Okay, first, yesterday was May 1, the day of many releases.  I hopped right in and bought Bitterblue and The Killing Moon, just like I thought I would

But that's just the tip of the iceberg.  Sometimes you just get an itch, and you end up driving all over town to get all the books you're thinking of at all the different libraries that have them, just so you can hold them in your hands RIGHT NOW.  And sometimes those books are ones that barely registered on your radar months and months ago, and suddenly you HAVE to have them right now for no reason you can quite figure out.  You know what I mean?  This is what a compulsive shopper or gambling addict feels like--it's a craving that almost itches till you scratch it.

Which is how I ended up at Malden last night, because I needed a copy of You Against Me, by Jenny Downham, for some reason.  This was the trigger, the book I needed, for some reason.  It's a teen love story (I wouldn't call it a romance, but still,  not my wheelhouse) about a guy whose sister has reported a rape, and the girl whose brother is accused.  I get the impression there's a strong element of "what really happened, and what does that mean about the people involved?" which seems like a really interesting question.  But at the bottom, it's a high school love story.  I kind of hate high school love stories.

So why, in particular, did I need to get The Catastrophic History of You and Me?  If anything, it's MORE of a goopy romance--narrated by a girl who died of a broken heart after being broken up with, I don't see why I think I'm going to like it, except that all the people I know who've read it have said they cried.  And these are people whose taste I generally trust, so here we are.  The reason I desperately needed it right now, though is--let's not kid ourselves--because the title sounds slightly like the first book I was obsessing over, and I have a very twitchy stream of consciousness.

At the COMPLETE other end of the WTH? spectrum is A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812.  I've flipped through this book before, and while the premise sounds cool, it reads like what it is--a nonfiction book about history based around a very dry journal kept by someone with a brusque writing style.  I believe the original journal was part of the inspiration for The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, but the original lacks any juiciness that the novel may imply.  So years ago, I flipped through this, and it didn't really go anywhere.

But then Aarti reviewed it recently.  And she has convinced me that this is just what I'm looking for in good nonfiction--someone has done all the hard work of research, putting together and fleshing out the details of this dusty-dry diarist's life.  She completely convinced me that I want to read this book.

I had to run to a different library to get Daughters of the North, by Sarah Hall.  I can't even remember why I wanted to, though I'm glad I did.  It's a literary dystopian novel that has something to do with feminism and maybe Scotland?  Anyway, it's in my head, and now it's in my hands, and it's actually quite good.  I'm having a little fun reading it out loud to myself--the narrator has a very strong voice, and I like to imagine myself as the audio book reader.

Wow, that might have been a little TMI.

This is getting long, so I won't go into the impulse check-outs that I picked up while I was at these many libraries.  I'll only say that there were some, and I'm set for--well, ever.  I have so very many good books that I want to just curl up with them all and sink down into a sweet jumble of stories.  In fact, that's what I'm off to do--ta!

1 comment:

Aarti said...

Oh, I love this post! It seems almost like a quest for quality reading :-) I am excited to hear your thoughts on Bitterblue. I haven't ordered the book yet, but it's only a matter of time. I really enjoyed Fire, even more than I enjoyed Graceling (which I think suffered a bit from over-hype for me), and so I hope Bitterblue is very good, too.

And I am SO GLAD you got A Midwife's Tale to read. I was really pretty heartbroken when that post got only two comments because it's such a wonderfully insightful work. My very few reviews of YA literature get dozens of comments, but the books that I REALLY love (particularly the non-fiction ones) get hardly a murmur. Sigh. So- thanks for making my day!