Thursday, January 15, 2015

Getting Around to Them in 2015

Long post - skip to the bottom for books, stick around for a...not-so-interesting tale of auto-renew ;) 

When I first moved here, I had the idea that I'd be buying a bunch of books from Barnes & Noble to prepare for a program that I was interested in, so I became a member of B&N for the discount(s).  As it turned out, I decided not to pursue that program....aand....I didn't buy a single book after the ones that I'd purchased with the membership.  I felt sort of weird about the whole thing and was planning on canceling it this year.  One thing led to another (working, applications to grad school, traveling, etc.) and I forgot.  So, due to blasted auto-renewal (*fist-shake at the heavens*), I am once again a member of B&N.

Rather than getting miffed, I decided to make the best of it. I looked at their discounted books (! genius, why did I never consider that before?).  For this year, at least, I plan on purchasing some books that I really want to read.  I'll still be using my library and swapping with friends and family, but I'll also shell out some freaking cash.  None are coming out this year (I'm not that kind of reader), but it's high time I read them, and they all look exciting.

How to Be Both by Ali Smith
I've read so many good things about this book, from NPR to Twitter to Oprah (yes, Oprah).  It sounds like a really interesting concept (the connection between an Italian Renaissance artist and a teenage girl in the 1960's), and it checks off two boxes for me: historical fiction and female protagonists.  Blammo. 
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
This is another book I heard a TON about last year, but didn't look too much into.  Once I read an excerpt, I knew I wanted to read it.  A story about rural families, responsibility, and sacrifice.   
Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
As I was perusing the B&N website to try to assuage my money-spending guilt, I saw this - and first, didn't notice it.  The second time around I read the first few pages, and will certainly be picking it up.  Again, historical fiction and female protagonist.  Win win. 
Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung
I found this one on a list written by Roxane Gay and was hooked as soon as I read the blurb.  A story about two sisters in Korea, one of whom disappears and the other goes looking for her.  It sounds lush, rich with details and history and family stories, and I'm really excited to read it.
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
Another find from Roxane Gay, about a family that comes to the United States from Mexico, hoping to help their daughter.  It's a story of family and neighbors, what it means to be an immigrant, and the complexities of family relationships.  ...Are you picking this one up yet too?!
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
Goodreads is to blame for this one - it's been on my TBR shelf there for ages, and I've never picked it up.  I think everyone and their mother has read this book, but I've never gotten around to it.  It seems like the kind of book that people either LOVE or don't, and I guess I'll have to wait and see...
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
My college roommate read this book for an economics class - or an anthropology class? - and raved about it to anybody who would listen.  It's something I've been meaning to read, but have always had something else before it.  I hope it will be engaging and help me get back into non-fiction. 
I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson
I've been wanting to dive into some of Bill Bryson's books since high school.  Uh, why haven't I? I have no idea.  This year I want to change that, and this one, about Bryson's return to the USA after 20 years in Europe, looks like just the thing to start with.

What are you reading this year? What have you been meaning to read for ages but never gotten around to?

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