First, I would like to apologize for not posting that often here in my blog. Life has caught up on me again and I had a hard time balancing my time between working and blogging. And in between, basically, I just don’t feel like doing anything. You know that feeling when you’re so optimistic about the coming week, always reminding yourself that you’ll do this and you’ll do that but when you’re already on that time, you find yourself so lazy to do anything. Well, that explains my procrastination. I’ve been reading here and there and trying to get back into that blogging vibe.
What better way to pump things up than a book haul. Here are the books that I got late last year to mid-February. Yeah, I’m still constantly buying books. There were a lot of book sales the past months that I was not able to control myself (again). I got all these books from bargain sales so be rest assured that I did not pay that much. I consider this haul as one of my best.
Let’s start with the paperbacks:
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Spiegel & Grau
Synopsis: A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Stevenson into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
I saw good reviews of this book in Booktube last year so when I saw this book I immediately grabbed it. This book was also listed by Carolyn of A Hundred Thousand Stories as one of the best books that he read last year whom I really trust when it comes to books. This is probably one of my best finds in this lot.
Thank you for Smoking by Christopher Buckley
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 14th 2006 by Random House Trade Paperbacks
Nick Naylor likes his job. In the neo-puritanical nineties, it’s a challenge to defend the rights of smokers and a privilege to promote their liberty. Sure, it hurts a littIe when you’re compared to Nazi war criminals, but Nick says he’s just doing what it takes to pay the mortgage and put his son through Washington’s elite private school St. Euthanasius. He can handle the pressure from the antismoking zealots, but he is less certain about his new boss, BR, who questions whether Nick is worth $150,000 a year to fight a losing war. Under pressure to produce results, Nick goes on a PR offensive. But his heightened notoriety makes him a target for someone who wants to prove just how hazardous smoking can be. If Nick isn’t careful, he’s going to be stubbed out.
Bought this book because of the title. Saw some reviews and I guess I was not wrong in buying it. 🙂
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 2nd 2014 by Atria Books
In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Those twenty-three hundred words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community. In these pages, she offers a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America.
Welcomed into the world as her parents’ firstborn son, Mock decided early on that she would be her own person—no matter what. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving yet ill-equipped family that lacked the money, education, and resources necessary to help her thrive. Mock navigated her way through her teen years without parental guidance, but luckily, with the support of a few close friends and mentors, she emerged much stronger, ready to take on—and maybe even change—the world.
This powerful memoir follows Mock’s quest for identity, from an early, unwavering conviction about her gender to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that saw her transitioning during the tender years of high school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world alone for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. With unflinching honesty, Mock uses her own experience to impart vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth and brave girls like herself.
Despite the hurdles, Mock received a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned a master’s degree, enjoyed the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. She remained deeply guarded until she fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams. Love fortified her with the strength to finally tell her story, enabling her to embody the undeniable power of testimony and become a fierce advocate for a marginalized and misunderstood community. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness provides a whole new outlook on what it means to be a woman today, and shows as never before how to be authentic, unapologetic, and wholly yourself.
This is one of books that I’ve been meaning to read this year. I’m was so thrilled when I saw it on sale at Fully Booked!
Fathers and Sons By Ivan Turgenev
Paperback, 168 pages
Published 1998 by Dover Publications, Inc.
Bazarov—a gifted, impatient, and caustic young man—has journeyed from school to the home of his friend Arkady Kirsanov. But soon Bazarov’s outspoken rejection of authority and social conventions touches off quarrels, misunderstandings, and romantic entanglements that will utterly transform the Kirsanov household and reflect the changes taking place all across nineteenth-century Russia.
Fathers and Sons enraged the old and the young, reactionaries, romantics, and radicals alike when it was first published. At the same time, Turgenev won the acclaim of Flaubert, Maupassant, and Henry James for his craftsmanship as a writer and his psychological insight. Fathers and Sons is now considered one of the world’s greatest novels.
A timeless depiction of generational conflict during social upheaval, it vividly portrays the clash between the older Russian aristocracy and the youthful radicalism that foreshadowed the revolution to come—and offers modern-day readers much to reflect upon as they look around at their own tumultuous, changing world.
It’s hard to find a classic Russian book at local thrift shops here so when I saw this, I grabbed it on a whim.
The Things they Carried by Tim O’Brien
Paperback, 246 pages
Published December 29th 1998 by Broadway
They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated bibles, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb. Since its first publication, The Things They Carried has become an unparalleled Vietnam testament, a classic work of American literature, and a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul.
The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three.
Bought this book out of curiosity since I’ve been hearing good things about it. This book is quite rare at local thrift shops here so I decided to get it. 🙂
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
Paperback, 447 pages
Published February 10th 2004 by Vintage Books
Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book’s categorization to be sure that ‘The Devil in the White City’ is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair’s construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.
Burnham’s challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous “White City” around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair’s incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.
The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World’s Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.
Another book in my wishlist of to-buy books that I found at a very cheap price. 🙂
Secret Son by Laila Lalami
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Algonquin Books
Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in another world. Suddenly his dreams are within reach when he discovers that his father?whom he?d been led to believe was dead?is very much alive. A wealthy businessman, he seems eager to give his son a new start. Youssef leaves his mother behind to live a life of luxury, until a reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends. Trapped once again by his class and painfully aware of the limitations of his prospects, he becomes easy prey for a fringe Islamic group.
In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami?s debut novel looks at the struggle for identity, the need for love and family, and the desperation that grips ordinary lives in a world divided by class, politics, and religion.
I have an ebook of Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account so when I saw this other book by her, I know I have to get it. Probably reading this book first.
Beijing Doll by Shun Sue
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by Riverhead Books
Banned in China for its candid exploration of a young girl’s sexual awakening yet widely acclaimed as being “the first novel of ‘tough youth’ in China” (Beijing Today), Beijing Doll cuts a daring path through China’s rock-and-roll subculture. This cutting edge novel — drawn from the diaries the author kept throughout her teenage years — takes readers to the streets of Beijing where a disaffected generation spurns tradition for lives of self expression, passion, and rock-and-roll. Chun Sue’s explicit sensuality, unflinching attitude towards sex, and raw, lyrical style break new ground in contemporary Chinese literature.
“Banned in China”, just that line. Consider it sold.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Paperback, 489 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Perennial Classics
A profoundly moving novel, and an honest and true one. It cuts right to the heart of life … If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you will deny yourself a rich experience … It is a poignant and deeply understanding story of childhood and family relationships. The Nolans lived in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn from 1902 until 1919 … Their daughter Francie and their son Neely knew more than their fair share of the privations and sufferings that are the lot of a great city’s poor. Primarily this is Francie’s book. She is a superb feat of characterization, an imaginative, alert, resourceful child. And Francie’s growing up and beginnings of wisdom are the substance of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
Finally found a cheap copy of this book!
For the hardbounds:
Fathers and Sons By Ivan Turgenev – It’s hard to spot a classic Russian book in a second hand book shop at a cheap price. So this is definitely a steal.
Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by HarperCollins
Will Caynes never has been good with girls. At seventeen, he’s still waiting for his first kiss. He’s certainly not expecting it to happen in a drunken make-out session with his best friend, Angus. But it does and now Will’s conflicted—he knows he likes girls, but he didn’t exactly hate kissing a guy.
Then Will meets Brandy, a cute and easy-to-talk-to sophomore. He’s totally into her too—which proves, for sure, that he’s not gay. So why does he keep hooking up with Angus on the sly?
Will knows he can’t keep seeing both of them, but besides his new job in a diner, being with Brandy and Angus are the best parts of his whole messed-up life. His divorced parents just complicate everything. His father, after a series of half-baked business ventures and endless house renovations, has started drinking again. And his mom is no help—unless loading him up with a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need plus sticking him with his twin half-sisters counts as parenting. He’s been bouncing between his mom and dad for years, and neither one feels like home.
Deciding who to love, who to choose, where to live—whichever way Will goes, someone will get hurt. Himself probably the most.
This book was quite big when it was released. I saw it being sold on sale at Fully Booked so I bought it.
Ash & Bramble (Ash & Bramble, #1) by Sarah Prineas
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by HarperTeen
A glass slipper left behind at the stroke of midnight.
The tale is told and retold, twisted and tweaked, snipped and stretched, as it leads to happily ever after.
But it is not the true Story.
A dark fortress.
A past forgotten.
A life of servitude.
No one has ever broken free of the Godmother’s terrible stone prison until a girl named Pin attempts a breathless, daring escape. But she discovers that what seems to be freedom is a prison of another kind, one that entangles her in a story that leads to a prince, a kiss, and a clock striking midnight. To unravel herself from this new life, Pin must choose between a prince and another—the one who helped her before and who would give his life for her. Torn, the only thing for her to do is trade in the glass slipper for a sword and find her own destiny.
Bought this book at Fully Booked. This is one of the newly released YA book so I reckon I can give it a try. 🙂
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Crown
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. “World War Z” is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”
I have a mass market copy of this book but who would pass up a hardbound copy for a very cheap price. 😉 Not me, that’s for sure.
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Random House
Following a scalding row with her mother, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: a sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.
For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.
A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting from occupied Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.
One of the books that I was not expecting to find that is on 80% off sale at Fully Booked.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Hardcover, 477 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Knopf
From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.
As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.
Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives.
Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet.
Finally found a physical copy of this book! And it’s hardbound!
A Christmas Carol and other Short Stories by Charles Dickens
Hardcover, 768 pages
Published December 13th 2013 by Fall River Press
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Classics brings together all five Christmas books that Charles Dickens wrote between 1843 and 1848. In addition to the title tale–one of Dickens’s best-known works and a beloved classic of nineteenth century literature–it includes “The Chimes,” “A Cricket on the Hearth,” “The Battle of Life,” and “The Haunted Man”–stories that Dickens hoped would, as he wrote, “awaken some loving an forebearing thoughts” in his readers. Through these immensely popular tales Dickens’s name became synonymous, in the minds of his audience, with the warm tidings of the Christmas season.
This volume also collects “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton,” an early sketch that was Dickens’s model for “A Christmas Carol.” And it includes another fifteen stories, three written in collaboration with Wilkie Collins, and all published in the Christmas issues of the two magazines Dickens edited between 1850 and 1870, Household Words and All the Year Round. These works also celebrate the virtues of home, hearth, and holiday cheer.
So here are the book that I recently got. What were the most recent books that you bought? What books from above have you read and enjoyed? Let me know your thoughts. 🙂