Monday, October 24, 2011

Mailbox Monday: Seattle Skedaddle Edition

So, I've just flown in from Seattle, and boy are my arms tired.  Well, all of me is tired, but what a lovely few days I had up north!  The university business that took me up there was both pleasant and productive.  The weather wasn't quite as dreadful as I feared it would be.  I spent the most wonderful time visiting with good friends who were so kind to me!  I saw an entertaining musical which may some day be on Broadway.  I shopped til I dropped.  And I ate my way through the entire Pike Place Market.  In fact, I brought back lots of yummy stuff to San Francisco.  So, in honor of all of the above, today's mailbox is--yes--a ferry boat!

There's some literary stuff on the horizon this week.  I was hoping to attend a staged reading of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, but I think I need to sleep.  There will be a fully-staged production playing San Francisco in January, and I will make sure to see it.  Also under the literary/theatrical overlap is the fact that I need to go see Kevin Spacey perform Richard III this week.  And finally, I should be fairly busy this weekend at the Northern California Independent Booksellers' Association trade show.  Hopefully I'll have a few interesting stories and/or galleys to share next week.

And speaking of sharing stories, sorry I dropped the blogging ball in Seattle.  I left the laptop at home.  More Litquake posts and video to come...

by Haruki Murakami
Release date: October 25, 2011
Source: Finished hardback from publisher

My friend Nicole, who knows well my literary proclivities, has been urging me to read Murakami for years--in the strongest possible terms.  And for the past year or two, I've been dabbling with the Murakami and loving his work!  Assuming I finish this epic, nearly 1,000-page novel, I'll have entered the big leagues.

Why Read Moby Dick?
by Nathaniel Philbrick
Release date: October 20, 2011
Source: Electronic galley from publisher

I read Moby Dick for the first time within the past ten years.  I loved it!  I can think of many reasons why this great American novel should be read.  I'm looking forward to hearing Philbricks' undoubtedly excellent argument.

The Free World
by David Bezmozgis
Release date: March 29, 2011
Source: sale

I've been wanting to read this novel, shortlisted for Canada's Giller Prize for a while. 

The Lost Throne
by Chris Kuzneski
Release date: July 23, 2009
Source: sale

It's been far too long since I've read my old friend Chris Kuzneski.  Of all his recent Payne and Jones thrillers, the plot description of this one has grabbed me the most.  And the price was right...

Countdown: A Newsflesh Novella
by Mira Grant
Release date: August 1, 2011
Source: sale

Ever since I heard Mira Grant read from this zombie series, I've been more intrigued than I expected/wanted to be.  This brief prequel was a nice way to get a taste without plunging into yet another Zombie apocalypse.  It was the perfect length for a flight between Seattle and San Francisco, and I have to admit it was entertaining.

by Ian McEwan
Release date: November 28, 1999
Source: sale

This is a polarizing literary novel that I am long over-due reading.  I am really looking forward to it!

Goodbye, Columbus
by Philip Roth
Release date: September 12, 1966
Source: Library

Hold on to your hats, because this may be my most shocking admission ever:  I have never read a Philip Roth novel.  There is no excuse.  It was certainly not intentional.  There are plenty of them on my shelves.  I don't know what to say.  I guess if I can read Moby Dick in my 30's and love it, there's still time to keep exploring and discovering classic literature.

Books finished this past week:

When She Woke - Hillary Jordan
Countdown - Mira Grant
Replay - Ken Grimwood - Talk about "replay," I first read this novel nearly 20 years ago.  I remember absolutely loving it!  I hardly ever re-read books.  Who has time?  But sometimes when I see a cheap audio book, I can't resist revisiting an old favorite in a new way.  I was listening to this one as I strolled the streets of Seattle.  Invariably, when I have such fond memories of a book from long ago, usually there is a degree of let-down upon revisiting.  I'm happy to report that was not the case here.  I still really loved this novel!  It's nothing fancy, just great story-telling, but I was captivated all over again.  I'm really glad I took the time to revisit.

Currently reading:

1Q84 - Haruki Murakami

So, what have you been reading?  What books have you acquired this week?  Please let us know in the comments!


  1. Reading some horror stuff for Halloween. The Guardians by Andrew Pyper, Dust by Joan Frances Turner, a teen book called Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. Now reading The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan -- received their third book, The Night Eternal, and Joan Frances Turner's second, Frail, so I'm trying to catch up now!

  2. Yeah, I have the same impulse to read horror this time of year. And also the same impulse to catch up on the del Toro/Hogan trilogy. Perhaps I'll be able to fit in The Fall or Colson Whitehead's The Zone before the month is out.

  3. Hi Susan!
    How are you? I just came back from my vacation in Mexico, in which I read about 5 awesome light-read books, which I'll share in the next book-crossing. Right now, I'm reading In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez for my book club coming up this weekend. She writes a lot of historical fiction based in the Dominican Republic.

    I've only read one Philip Roth book and it was Indignation - I thought it was incredible and would highly recommend it.

    I've never read Moby Dick, so your blog has encouraged me to read it, as it is on my bookshelf. Reading classic lit at an older age is just better - that's how I read Anna Karenina and Jane Eyre.

  4. I finished White Witch Black Curse and have started The Waters Rising. I just love Tepper's writing and am enjoying it so far. I've started The Magicians on my iPad and have fallen in love with this book! Waiting in the wings are The Story of Beautiful Girl and the last unread Kim Harrison, Black Magic Sanction.

  5. Hey Kat,

    Welcome home! I hope you had a great visit with your family. I will look forward to hearing more about your vacation reading. Alas, I won't make it to the next book club meeting. Business trip. But perhaps we'll get together before December? We'll both read more Roth. I'm pretty sure I have a copy of Indignation at home. I really have so many. There's no excuse for not having read them! Finally, glad to have moved Moby Dick up your TBR list. Truthfully, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.


    I have always heard good things about Tepper, and know that I have at least one of her novels on my shelf. And so glad you're loving The Magicians! It's a realy polarizing title, and you might as easily have hated it.