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8th May
written by Steph

What do we have here?

Over the past few months, I’ve been fastidiously placing books I no longer wish to retain into a large bag with the intention of trading them in at McKay’s.  When I realized the bag was filled to the brim (and was pretty darn heavy, too), I figured it was finally time to make good on these babies and bring home some new ones. I think in the end, I wound up taking in 21 books (!), and here’s what I brought back with me:

  • The Group by Mary McCarthy – I think I first read about this in the “academia” section in Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust and flagged it, because I do love a good book about exploits in higher education.  It’s one of my weirder vices, I realize.  For a more in-depth look at this one, Nymeth fortuitously just posted about it, and I’m even more excited for it now!
  • The Eye in the Door & The Ghost Road by Pat Barker – I had the first book in Barker’s Regeneration trilogy here at home, so I figured it only made sense to also get its brothers. I just finished Regeneration and thought it was pretty great, so I’m glad I have these to look forward to.
  • Love by Toni Morrison – I’m always on the lookout for pristine copies of Morrison’s books to add to my collection, and this fit the bill.  I now have three unread Morrisons at home (Love, Beloved and Jazz) so I’m sure I’ll be reading something by her soon!
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – In anticipation of warm-weather poolside reading, I decided to pick up a few guaranteed page-turners.  I’ve heard good things about Flynn, namely that she writes a thriller that genuinely thrills, so I’m hoping good things here.
  • Little Face & The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah – Ditto for Sophie Hannah.  I’ve seen a lot of rave reviews for her on various blogs lately, and her books sound like mysteries that are vaguely in the style of Tana French (whom you know I love), so I thought I’d give her a go.  I’ve actually already devoured Little Face, so I’ll be posting my thoughts soon.
So there you have it!  A marginally lighter load this time, but I’m pleased with my spoils.  Anything here that catches your eye?


  1. 05/08/2010

    I picked up a copy of THE GROUP last time I was at McKay! We’ll have to have a mini book club; let me know when you start.

    Fun fact I learned when Penguin had their BAM mtg: Sophie Hannah and Tana French are friends! And Hannah is bigger than French in the UK/Ireland, but French is bigger here. Looks like a good haul!

  2. 05/08/2010

    Love Trish’s suggestion of a mini book group for The Group. Been dying to read that for a long time, and also felt reminded of that by Nymeth’s post this week. Hmm. How are you feeling about your leadership abilities right now? 🙂 Ready to lead us all in a group read?

    All in all a very nice set of new book friends. Lucky you!

  3. mee

    Been wanting to read The Group too (for me since Paperback Claire’s review), but my libraries don’t have it so I’m gonna have to hunt a copy first =|

  4. 05/08/2010

    I’ve been wanting to read the group since a more recent and well reviewed novel did an homage to it, A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff. Eye in the Door is my favorite book in the Barker trilogy, and I think Billy Prior is one of my favorite fictional characters, ever. I really enjoyed French, so may have Flynn and Hannah in my future now.

  5. 05/08/2010

    I love getting stacks of books! I read Sharp Objects a few months ago and found it deliciously thrilling. It is a great book for summer. It is a quick read but exciting all the way through.

  6. 05/09/2010

    @ Trisha: Sounds like fun! I will absolutely keep you posted!
    Also, I find that so interesting that French is bigger here than in the UK! I wonder if it’s simply because she hasn’t been publishing as long as Hannah?
    @ Frances: I could absolutely lead a group read of The Group (ha ha!), but probably not until June or so! Which is likely for the best, because then we could encourage others to get the book and join in!
    @ mee: I’m sure The Book Depository would have a copy! Thank goodness for TBD, right? 😉
    @ Girl Detective: It’s wonderful to hear that there’s so much interest in The Group! Also, not many people seem to be familiar with Barker’s trilogy, so I’m glad to hear that you are and enjoyed it. Billy was pretty awesome…
    Not to spoil anything, but having read the first Hannah I picked up, I felt it paled in comparison to French… but so many things do! We’ll see how Flynn fares…
    @ Kathleen: Yes, I felt Sharp Objects would be a good summer read! Maybe I’ll save it for Puerto Rico… though I doubt I can hold off that long! 😀

  7. I’m really pleased to see that you have the Sophie Hannah books. Your above comment makes me want to rush and read the Tana French I have – I’ll have to squeeze it into next months reading.

  8. 05/09/2010

    After reading Nymeth’s wonderful review of The Group, I went out and got a copy for myself too, so I am really glad you will be reading it as well. It sounds fascinating. I also have the first book in the Regeneration series, and am happy to hear that it doesn’t disappoint, as it’s one that I am really excited about reading. I had no idea that there were more than one book, so now I am going to have to check that out as well! I just bought a Morrison book at the used book store a few weeks ago as well (Beloved) so I will be eager to hear how your experience with her goes as well. It’s so awesome to go book shopping and get new titles, and I wish you some really good reading in the weeks to come!!

  9. i have the same three Morrison books sitting on my shelf waiting to be read!

    and i’m interested to see what you think of the Hannah books. i haven’t read anything by her yet, but i’m working up a curiosity.

  10. 05/10/2010

    @ Jackie: I’d be really curious to see how you respond to Tana French. I know that people either loved or hated In The Woods, but I loved it, and think The Likeness is even better!
    @ zibilee: It’s so nice to hear that there is all this renewed interest in The Group. I’m really looking forward to it, and I’m thinking a Group Read could be just the thing!
    @ lisa: Thanks for commenting! I guess great minds think alike when it comes to Morrison! I just read her for the first time last year, but I fell in love, so I really need to read more of her works soon!

  11. 05/11/2010

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on The Group, Steph! I should warn you that there isn’t all that much about academia in it, though, as it takes place after they graduate – but it does explore the repercussions of a higher education, and that’s in itself interesting.

    I also have Love on my tbr pile. I should get to it sooner rather than later.

  12. 05/12/2010

    @ Nymeth: Yes, I saw that it does take place after the women graduate, but I still think it’ll be fascinating! And it looks like your post generated a lot of interest in it!

  13. 05/15/2010

    Steph, Paperback Reader Claire and I will be reading LOVE in July. Care to join? 😀 We all love her, so we could just make it into a big Toni Morrison gushfest. 😀

  14. 05/16/2010

    @ claire: Count me in for a July reading of LOVE! I need to read some Morrison this year!

  15. 05/17/2010

    Yay! Looking forward to it! I’m sure Claire will be very very happy to have you along!

  16. 05/18/2010

    @ claire: Thanks for asking me to join in! I’m very excited to read more Morrison!

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