This Just In! The Barnes & Noble Edition (1)

Conception, by Kalisha Buckhanon

I mention it on Twitter all the time and I may have mentioned it here, but I can’t remember- I live upstairs from Barnes and Noble.  I literally walk out my door, take a right, walk approximately 10 steps and I’m at the entrance of the store.  This has probably very literally cost me a grand since I moved to this apartment in March.  I don’t want to think about it too closely, because I’m sure I will realize it’s even much more and and that will only bring me to the brink of realizing how huge my little book problem is; and we can’t have that. So anyway, let’s move along to what I picked up last time I was there and not think too much about the fact that I bought five hardcovers and two paperbacks.

Conception, by Kalisha BuckhanonI have been eyeing Kalisha Buckhanon’s Conception for the past year. Many times I have held it in my hand and almost walked out of the store with it.  It’s a contemporary fiction novel set in 1992 Chicago and it tells the story of Shivana Montgomery, who is struggling to avoid all of the stereotypes she’s heard all of her life about black women- when she becomes pregnant at 15 by an older man and finds herself attracted to someone her own age.

I was also intrigued that this book was featured in the main section of all the stores and libraries that I have seen it, especially considering that it features an African-American woman on the cover (well, a piece of her anyway) and that is by an African-American author- two things that rarely happen in publishing.  I’m looking forward to reading it.

Last year I read Ann Packer’s The Dive From Clausen’s Pier.  I had already seen the Lifetime Television movie and was very Songs Without Words, by Ann Packercurious about the book.  Even though I loved Ann Packer’s writing style and her interesting exploration into questions of loyalty and what’s owed in relationships with people whom we love- the book just didn’t live up to its promise for me.  However, her writing is so lush and gorgeous that I can’t just walk away from her after one book.

I struggled back and forth over trying another of her books and finally broke down and bought her highly anticipated second novel, Songs Without Words. In this new novel she is exploring the relationships between sisters, who are both mothers, and their daughters.  I love the topics that she chooses for her books so I am looking forward to this one.  Gail, of Every Day I Write The Book, wrote of her friend’s reaction to this novel back when it was a new release.  Seems the friend thought The Dive from Clausen’s Pier was brilliant and hated this newest one, so maybe that means I will love it.

The Natural Laws of Good Luck, by Ellen GrafI first saw The Natural Laws of Good Luck, by Ellen Graf on Kathy’s blog – BermudaOnion, and was immediately intrigued when two people who have known each other for less than a month, and who don’t speak the same language, decide to marry.  I’m surprised I hadn’t pick this up sooner and I think the only reason that I hadn’t was because I hadn’t seen it.  It caught my eye this last time that I was at the store and I snapped it up immediately.

In this day and age I think most of us have had the experience where a friend marries someone after a short Internet dating period or some other eyebrow raising circumstances.  I had a friend who went from meeting to marriage in three weeks, but at the very least they spoke the same language, so I definitely want to find out how this couple made it work.  Maybe it helps to mot be able to communicate.  I’m thinking that this might be a good Read-a-Thon pick.

I can blame Kelly, at Hachette Book Group for buying Tad Friend‘s, Cheerful Money.  It was all she could talk about at BookExpo America.  I didn’t pick up a copy then, but when I saw that Tad Friend was having reading I remembered our conversation and went to checkCheerful Money, Tad Friend it out.  True to form I started reading the book while I was sitting and waiting for the reading to start and was immediately drawn into the story of this family of WASPs who have been steadily losing money over the generations.  Though I hear it is mainly the fault of the grandfather who had too much fun partying.  Of course I didn’t get much past chapter that  read at the reading because of other reading obligations, but I can’t wait to get back to it.  His mother seems like she is going to be a real character.

I also bought two books which I zipped through, and have already read.  In both cases they are just in and already on their way out. I started Anita Shreve’s A Change In Altitude the same night and finished it the next day.  I  think the reviews on it have been mixed, but I really enjoyed it.  It was just the kind of internal and character driven novel which I enjoy.  Lenore is going to Kenya next month, where the novel is set, and I sent it to Germany for her to read. Hopefully it makes it there before she goes!  If not she can tell me how the books descriptions of the land and culture match up to what she experienced  I should have told her she had to do a guest post!

The Seance, John HarwoodI also read The Seance, by John Harwood, but have not yet posted my review.  I was so into it, and I loved the writing style, but it meandered a bit a little past the middle for me.  Jen is going to give it a try.  I also bought a book for my little cousin on the condition that she write a review for me.  She is getting to be like me, and she finished the books the same day that I bought it for her, in fact in a few hours.  I told her that I was going to return it!  I’m waiting for my review, but she keeps telling me that she has homework.  I think I’ve been taken.

Has your wallet been taken for a ride lately? What books have you bought recently?

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  1. I don’t get on Twitter much so I didn’t know you lived upstairs from a Barnes and Noble. I doubt I would be able to live there long because I’d be broke buying books and drinking lattes every day.

    I want to read The Seance because I loved Harwood’s The Ghost Writer, but I hope it doesn’t drag too much.

    I also enjoyed Packer’s The Dive from Clausen’s Pier but I can’t remember if I read Songs Without Words, I thought I had but either I didn’t or I thought it was so mediocre that it doesn’t even ring a bell.
    .-= Icedream´s last blog ..Friday Finds 10/16/09 =-.

    1. It is very hard and mostly an all or nothing proposition. Sometimes I am strong enough to avoid it for weeks at a time.

      The Seance was a mixed bag for me. I absolutely loved the writing but the story did wander. I was a little disappointed rom when I first started the book.

  2. I’m still stuck on the first part of your post. You live that close to a Barnes and Noble? I would be in sooo much trouble if that were me.

    I don’t buy too many books but when I do, I obsess over them. I print out my coupon, I look at it online, I make a big deal about getting into the car to drive there. You get the point. And then, it takes me MONTHS to read them. I am sitting here right now with 6 books staring at me that were purchased months ago yet I have not read them yet. But I had to have them right then. I know you understand.
    .-= Ti´s last blog ..Confessions of a Reader: Telling it Like it Is =-.

    1. Yes! Totally! You do have to savor the book buying experience. What’s nice about it being right downstairs is that sometimes I cam talk myself out of buying something by saying that I can always just run downstairs again if I change my mind.

  3. Well I think you are a beautiful person for buying all these books and blogging about them! Think of all the women we know who are bankrupt over Starbuck’s and expensive handbags and pat yourself on the back for constantly feeding your brain and your soul. I just went to my local bookshop in London and picked up Sarah Dunant’s Sacred Hearts, which was lusciously readable though it all happened within a convent. Also bought Mad, Bad, and Sad, an engrossing “history of women and the mind doctors from 1800 to the present.” Got a biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Ralph V. Turner because her family may figure in my next book. Bought and tried to read AS Byatt’s The Children’s Book but found it meandering, confusing, and encyclopedic. Couldn’t resist a new edition of Daphne du Maurier’s jamaica Inn with an intro by the aforementioned Ms. Dunant. If we don’t buy books, then authors, self included, can’t keep writing them! Keep fighting the good fight.

    1. Thanks so much Karen! I’m not a big spender in a lot of areas, not that big into clothes, but I have to have my books- an of course, more than I can possibly read.

      I have tried to read Byatt before and just wasn’t able to get into her at the time and her books look so good. I will try again. I think I tried with Possession. I have Sacred Hearts, so I am so excited to hear that it is a good one. All of your selections sound great and I will keep them in mind for the next time I’m downstairs.

  4. Ditto to Ti…living that close to a bookstore for me would be disastrous. I’m still sitting here imagining what that would be like! That is almost as instantaneous as buying things on the Kindle. I want it now? No problem! Ack!

    You mentioned the book that was written by an African-American author with an African-American woman on the cover. My book club just selected such a book for next month called Changing Faces by Kimberla Lawson Roby. (And how cool was it to sit at the book club meeting and buy it RIGHT THERE on my Kindle?) One member of the club has already read it three days after it was announced (!) and said it was terrific. Have you read any of her books? Any insights? Great links? I can always use good material to throw around at the next meeting!

    I just read and reviewed The Seance as well, and I would agree with your statement. It was fun to read, a little creepy, but had a few flaws. Great reading for RIP though!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Proximidade Fantastico =-.

    1. That name sounds familiar but I haven’t read any of her books. I’ll definitely have to go and pay her a visit the next time that I am downstairs. The joys the the Kindle. I’ve been good on that front so far, although it really might help me with my space issue.

      I really like John Harwood’s writing so I have been going back and forth about trying the Ghostwriter, but I don’t want more if the same flaws.

    1. I have ti stay out of there for awhile. I started organizing my books yesterday and that helped because I was overwhelmed by the number if books I have in a 400 sq foot apt.

    1. I try to just stay out of there. I do hit certain periods where I feel like everything I see I either have or have seen reviewed somewhere and I am able to leave w/o buying. Those times are very rare.

  5. I’m very envious that you live so close to a bookstore (my wallet, on the other hand, is relieved it’s not me living there). What fun you must have! I would love to be so close – even if the weather’s bad, I gather it’s not a problem for you to run down quickly and browse? I would love that. (it bears repeating, you see!).

    The Seance sounds good, although the tricky middle might put me off.
    .-= Belle´s last blog ..Some Saturday Ramblings =-.

      1. I really like it. I can type in a personal introduction and check a box so that I can post to twitter and it does it as soon as I post my post, no waiting around. It’s so easy!

    1. I want to try John Harwood’s other book, but I am afraid that the structure might be like this one, I think I will wait until the memory of this one has faded a little.

  6. If I lived that close to a bookstore I would never want to add up how much I had spent there!!! Sounds like you brought home a ton of great reads!!! Now crush up the receipt and burn it!! 🙂

  7. Very fun write up and a great list of books. You already know what I think about living above a bookstore. I would be totally broke. Really. But what fun to be able to run downstairs and take a few steps to calm yourself when you’re jonesing for a read.
    .-= Beth F´s last blog ..Awarded Three Times Over =-.

  8. I’m honestly going to love reading this every time you post it! It makes me feel all that much better that I’m not alone in my “little book problem”. The only difference is that I have to drive miles to get to my bookstore intead of feet. I can only imagine how bad it would be if I were in your position. haha
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..FTC Guidelines – Kidlitcon Session Recap =-.