Monday, August 3, 2009

Three + One

That makes 4 recent hardback additions to my Booker collection, all in fine/near fine condition and not that expensive (around $20). Three nice covers, on books that I enjoyed, arriving as birthday loot from my daughters, who know what I like! Thanks to a Barnes & Noble gift card and the B&N on-line used book department, I was able to pick out these beauties.

Usually I prefer for my on-line purchases, but the gift card steered me to B&N this time.

Isn't this just the prettiest blue? I thoroughly enjoyed this generously written novel that juxtaposes an old man, his granddaughter, their cook and her tutor living in the Himalayas with the cook's son, who is trying to survive as an illegal immigrant in New York City.

Or maybe this is the prettiest blue? The delicate cover matches the main character's beautiful, nuanced deathbed memories of a World War II romance in Cairo, which may or may not be completely accurate.

This cover is rather bland in comparison, but I still like it okay. The protagonist is a successful author on holiday to recover from a disastrous, public love affair, but even at her genteel retreat there is no escaping the messes of life, on full display in her relations with the other guests.

Then there's the one I don't like. I found this book painful to read. I didn't relate to the main character, a rich artist living in a remote castle, who I found cranky, self-absorbed, and wounded but not sympathetic. I didn't care for the writing style; the omniscient point of view, as I recall, provided way more access to the characters' thoughts than I wanted. And I found the subject matter (child abuse) very distressing.

Now that I have a hardback copy, I don't care for the cover, either. The picture is ugly, the colors are garish, and the small white stripe at the top makes me always think the cover is on crooked, or was printed crooked. I have to admit it's a very accurate representation of the contents of the book: makes me flinch, every time.

But I found it waiting for me in a shop in Savannah and what the heck? A collection is a collection. And now I pretty much never have to think about it again.


  1. Oh I do love picking up new books!!

    On a different note I posted an award for you over at my blog:)

  2. Nice reviews. Thank you!

    And thank you for the kind comment at Willow Manor today. :^)

  3. Nicely done.

    I love the title "The Inheritance of Loss." The blue is delicious, and the story sounds like something I would enjoy very much.

  4. I am embarrassed to admit how much the cover of a book entices me to pick it up. Cover #1 is lovely. Cover #2 speaks to my fondness for vintage travel prints.

  5. Ooooohhhh. . . I do like the idea of having all of them! When I was working my way through the Modern Library's Top 100 list, I gathered all of those together. Not all in hardcover, though. I may have to start on the Bookers. But where would it end? I have too many lists!

    Inheritance of Loss didn't do much for me, although I am kind of jazzed that I have a signed first edition. Random as that is.

    Loved Moon Tiger -- my into to P.L.

    Loved Hotel du Lac when I read it, but it obviously didn't stick with me because I read it all the way through a second time without realizing it. Doh!

    I wrestled with Bone People. Here is my review of that one.

    You and your collecting really feeds my list obsession.

  6. So glad y'all liked seeing these. I felt quite wealthy when they arrived in a few days' time.

    I always worry that these posts sound like bragging ("My collection" . . . "my new books" . . . blah blah blah). Thanks for your indulgence!

    After all, what's a little showing off among friends?

  7. I read that same edition of Moon Tiger and thought it looked great, and really went well with the book--which I liked a lot better than I expected to.


Talk to me! I love external validation.