Tuesday, 3 March 2015

New on the Stack in February

Linking up with the Deliberate Reader for a look at our new additions.

So this is what happens when most of my library requests become available at the same time. I become so busy reading that I don't have time for blogging about books.
That pretty much sums up my February.

Temple, Rob: Very British Problems. Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time.

Why: Saw it on the list of new titles at the library and thought it sounded interesting. What I didn't realize was that this is practically a collection of tweets. Not bad, though. Good for those "I want something to read that I can put down quickly" moments.

Louise Penny: Still Life

Why: I've read good reviews of this detective series and thought I'd give it a try. The Quebec setting was an extra incentive, as I haven't read too many books set in Quebec. (Actually, can't think of any off the top of my head.)

Anne Lamott: Bird by Bird

Why: Many positive reviews from people who love to write.
(However, as I wrote in my challenge update post, I'm not raving about this, though it was good. It's just that I'm not an aspiring writer of fiction.)

Marilynne Robinson: Housekeeping

Why: After Gilead, Home and Lila, I wanted to read Robinson's first novel, too.
My thoughts at this point (40 pages in):
- I know Robinson didn't read Lamott's Bird by Bird before writing this, but somehow the characters seem to be written in the way Lamott suggests to write them.
- I can sort of understand why many people have loved this, but I'm not fully convinced yet.
- If this had been the first book by Marilynne Robinson I read, would I have given Gilead a chance?

Alexander McCall Smith: Emma

Why: Because I am a Jane Austen fan, I've enjoyed other books by Alexander McCall Smith, and this fit nicely with the HelMet reading challenge.
(But really, why do I read modernizations of Austen's works, when I love the originals so much that nothing will ever compare? :) )

Heilika Pikkov: Minu Jeruusalemm (My Jerusalem)

Why: I've liked many other titles in this Estonian series. They're all written by people who live or have lived as expats in the country/city they write about, and the point is to give a personal perspective - their own experiences, not a tourist guide.

This writer is a young woman who lived in a convent in East Jerusalem to make a documentary film about one of the nuns. Sounded interesting to me - Jerusalem is a fascinating place, and I don't mind getting a glimpse of how documentaries are made.
(I read Estonian fairly fluently, though I probably miss a lot of nuances. One reason for me to read this series is to keep up my Estonian.)

And my only Kindle purchase was:

Katherine Reay: Lizzy and Jane

Why: It was a special offer ($0,99) and commended on Modern Mrs Darcy, so I thought I'd snap it up. See McCall Smith's Emma for other reasons... I might save this one for the summer, though.


  1. I've heard such good things about Bird by Bird. I want to write some fiction in the future, so maybe it will be a better read for me than it was for you!

    1. Thanks for your comment!
      Yes, I'd recommend Lamott to people who want to learn more about creative writing. The book is mostly a collection of advice Lamott gives to the students she teaches in a writing class. With some funny, poignant, illustrative stories.
      But right now, for me and the texts I write these days, I have more need of something like William Strunk's Elements of Style. :)

  2. I hadn't realized that Alexander McCall Smith had written a modern Emma. Not sure if I'm motivated to read it or not, but I could probably be persuaded. :)

    1. The industry of Austen spinoffs seems to grow like a weed... :)
      McCall Smith's Emma belongs to the series of Austen modernizations that Harper Collins is doing (www.theaustenproject.com). I don't know if I want to read all of those, but if I come across them at the library, well at least it doesn't cost anything to give them a go... :)

    2. It disturbs me a little to admit this, but I just laughed out loud at your funny! Thanks for the giggle Sheila :) lol

  3. I've also seen/heard some glowing reviews of the Still Life series and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

    1. Thanks for your comment. I'm in the middle of it now, so I'll write more about Still Life later. (Not sure yet if I'll be looking for other parts in the series)

  4. I am curious about the Anne Lamott one and the Alexander McCall Smith book is new to me as well. Happy reading!

    1. Thanks for stopping by!
      I've put my thoughts on those two into the very long post about February reading... (http://readgoadventure.blogspot.fi/2015/02/reading-challenge-update-february.html)