Hot Books for the Cold Months

Posted: October 10, 2006 in Current Reading

This time of year is positively deadly for me…

It’s the fall, and that means the hot books are coming out like mad, in anticipation of the holiday rush. I can’t NOT know about them, thanks to the many nefarious email and postal mail newsletters being sent to me by the publishers themselves (foul enablers!), and unfortunately for my bank account, I can’t NOT buy at least some of them, either. Well, I CAN, but I frankly don’t like listening to that little voice of reason.

That being said, I have a husband at home who asks, in continual exasperation, “If you work at a library why do you need to BUY BOOKS?!”

The question may be bigger than the both of us.

Here are a few new books that have caught my eye so far (don’t worry, I actually haven’t bought any of them!)(yet):

americanbloomsbury.jpgAmerican Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work by Susan Cheever

I’m not sure Cheever could have packed anything else into this title to make me find the dratted thing more irresistable. All of these people fascinate me, even the lesser-known Margaret Fuller. She used to hang out with The Transcendentalist Bunch, and spent some time carrying their message to Europe. Unfortunately, she was killed in a boat wreck on the way back so we’ll never know what she could have accomplished had she lived.

leonard Woolf a biography glendinning.jpgLeonard Woolf: a Biography by Victoria Glendinning

Okay, I did actually pre-order this one, but I’m such a fan of all things Woolf. Plus, it may wind up coming out around the holidays, in which case Santa can wrap it up and put it ‘neath the tree. He truly is a jolly old elf and I firmly believe in saving him a little shopping time.

thirteen moons.jpgThirteen Moons: a Novel by Charles Frazier

I read and loved Cold Mountain, so I was glad to hear Frazier had finally published another book. Reviews on this one have been a little mixed, though, so it’s looking doubtful this effort will be as stellar as his last. What that translates to for me is interlibrary loan, the two words my credit card company most loathes…

thunderboltkid.jpgThe Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson

If you haven’t read any of Bryson’s books I recommend you rectify that oversight, starting with Notes From a Small Island and proceeding through A Walk in the Woods. His memoir is all but guaranteed to be just as fantastically funny and entertaining as the rest of his books, maybe even more so as it will be all about him (one of his favorite topics).

humantraces.jpgHuman Traces by Sebastian Faulks

I wasn’t really crazy about Birdsong, and didn’t even get near Charlotte Gray, but this latest effort by Faulks sounds pretty interesting, at least enough to interlibrary loan. It involves psychiatry in the 19th century, which in itself is enough to perk up my ears. Anything that promises to be about madness, especially set in the Victorian era, is generally something I enjoy reading. I should probably be disturbed by that, but who has the time?

fragilethings.jpgFragile Things by Neil Gaiman

I haven’t read an awful lot by Gaiman, but what I have read has been impressive. This one also satisfies my reading needs for the short segments of time everyone needs to fill, either while waiting for children or doctors or what not. I can’t imagine this one won’t be good reading, judging by his reputation.

thunderstruck.jpgThunderstruck by Erik Larson

Here’s another historical narrative from Larson, to follow up his first two titles (that sold in the bazillions, by last count). This time his subject is Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, the first murderer to be caught with the aid of wireless communication, set against the backdrop of Marconi and the invention of the electronic telegraph. I sense another bestseller in the making here.

Well, that’s enough to keep me going a while. Hope I’ve added to a lot of other people’s reading lists, as well, and if so I’ll consider that a job well done.

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