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In My Mailbox: February 2015

After being (relatively) responsible with my book purchases in January, I went pretty bonkers with new books this month. I don’t feel guilty about it, exactly, but I do have some concerns about shelf space.

I do, however, have an embarrassing excuse for some of this. My sister and I recently got new credit cards with some airline mile perks to help offset a trip we’re planning this fall. We have to put a certain amount on each card in two months to get our bonus. I thought this would be easy… then discovered my grocery store and pharmacy don’t take American Express! I used this little setback as an excuse to buy a bunch of books — I need them for my miles, right? Yes, I know this is a terrible excuse.

Anyway, on to the books!

february bought books

Books I Bought

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs — I made a trip to Barnes and Noble at the beginning of the month and this is all I bought. That is crazy! The book was on several bloggers best of 2014 lists, and is the story of a journalist reporting on the life of his college roommate who was killed.

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud — I adore Scott McCloud’s nonfiction about comics, so it was pretty much a no brainer to buy this book, a fictional story about an artist who makes a pact with Death.

Alex + Ada, Pretty Deadly, The Wicked + The Divine, The Unwritten — I wrote about a couple of these in my post on first volumes of comics. I still haven’t read the others, but I plan to soon.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee — After the news came out that there will be a second Harper Lee novel, I decided that I need to reread To Kill a Mockingbird. I didn’t like this book in high school, but I think that was the fault of the class and not the book.

The Book of Salt by Monique Truong — Someone mentioned this book and the description — a story about Paris in the 1930s told through the eyes of the Vietnamese cook of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas — caught my attention.

The Monopolists by Mary Pilon — How could I not buy a book about the secret history behind the board game Monopoly? Especially when it includes the story of the lost female originator of the game.

Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel — Some work at my day job has me thinking a lot about soldiers and the sacrifices they make. I’ve heard many good things about this book, so I added a copy to one of my recent online orders.

The Night of the Gun by David Carr — I was really sorry to hear about journalist David Carr’s death last week. He was a fierce reporter who really showed what being a journalist is when he was included in the documentary Page One. The subtitle of his memoir, “a reporter investigates the darkest story of his life, his own,” sounds so sad and wonderful.

february review copies

Books I Received for Review Consideration

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman (Feb. 3 from William Morrow) — Neil Gaiman short stories! Yay!

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs (May 12 from Quirk Books) — This book from Quirk Books, all about how young girls can become fangirls and celebrate geeky things, looks totally delightful.

The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me by Sofia Zinovieff (March 31 from Harper) — I got curious about this one because of the title. The fact that it’s about some strange and scandalous aristocratic love triangle sold me on it.

Water and What We Know by Karen Babine (Feb. 15 from the University of Minnesota Press) — I’m trying to read more books by Minnesota presses and with Minnesota settings, so this essay collection about the complexities of water seemed right up my alley.

That’s Not English by Erin Moore (March 24 from Gotham) — “The seemingly superficial differences between British and American English open the door to a deeper exploration of a historic and fascinating cultural divide.” Sounds so good!

The Listener by Rachel Basch (March 15 from Pegasus Books) — This book arrived unsolicited, but I’m very curious about it.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading February 26, 2015, 7:06 am

    I was surprised by how fascinating The Monopolists was and hope it ends up being a good read for you! I totally know how the chasing points game goes! My husband and I keep passing the same card back and forth when paying for gas and groceries to try to squeeze some in.

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 11:45 am

      I’ll be doing a bit of the card passing in the next few weeks too… credit card rewards make us do crazy things.

  • Kailana February 26, 2015, 8:43 am

    I am currently eyeing the Kindle edition of The Monopolists… (For some reason the hardcover takes 1-2 months to ship..)

    • Kailana February 27, 2015, 9:05 am

      I totally just bought it. Hopefully it is good!

      • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 11:46 am

        I’m about 100 pages in and I really like it so far. The twisty way the game came into pop culture is so interesting.

        • Kailana March 1, 2015, 2:41 pm

          Oh, good! I love anything to do with Monopoly!

  • BermudaOnion(Kathy) February 26, 2015, 8:49 am

    You gotta do what you gotta do to get those miles! I’m really interested in The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace.

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 11:47 am

      That was on a bunch of “best of 2014 lists” from other bloggers — hoping to get to it in a reasonable amount of time!

  • tanya (52 books or bust) February 26, 2015, 9:12 am

    I didn’t realize David Carr had died. That’s the end of an era. Such a great journalist.

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 11:47 am

      It seemed sudden and surprising, from what coverage I read. He was a great critic.

  • TJ @ MyBookStrings February 26, 2015, 10:45 am

    Any excuse to buy books is a good excuse! Looking at your purchases, I would say your miles are well earned. 🙂 I hope you like To Kill a Mockingbird better this time around. I read it for the first time last summer and suffered a very serious book hangover when I was done.

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 11:48 am

      I have to think that reading it when I want to read it, not when I was forced to read it in school, will improve the reading experience 🙂

  • Leah @ Books Speak Volumes February 26, 2015, 1:17 pm

    Great haul! I’m also due for a re-read of To Kill a Mockingbird, and I’m excited for That’s Not English!

  • Athira February 26, 2015, 2:48 pm

    Great haul! I would love to get my hands on The Sculptor – that one is high on my wishlist. Trigger Warning too. Hope you enjoy your books!

  • Amanda February 26, 2015, 3:33 pm

    I love your shopping logic! The Sculptor was my first graphic novel and I thought it was fantastic. I was kind of in awe while reading.

    The monopolists is also high on my list to find soon! Sounds so interesting.

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 11:48 am

      I loved McCloud’s nonfiction on how to read and make comics. I’m excited to see what he does with fiction.

  • Andrea (aka rokinrev) February 27, 2015, 7:15 am

    Any Troung book is great! I LOVED the Book of Salt! To Kill a Mockingbird is also fantastic, and I highly recommend reading the book before you see the film. I am also looking forward to “To Set a Watchman”…imagine, Scout, at 20 coming home to Dad….

  • mary armentrout February 27, 2015, 11:24 am

    I was just introduced to That’s Not English! when you mentioned it in this post. I would like to read it! Thanks for bringing it to my attention…

  • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf February 27, 2015, 1:47 pm

    Ohhhh I have The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy coming my way, and That’s Not English is already here. Both sound really fun, in different ways. 🙂

    I hope you enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird this time around!

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 11:52 am

      Yes — they’re very different, but I think both fun, accessible nonfiction — my favorite.

  • jilllora February 27, 2015, 9:30 pm

    No judging here, as I’ve done the same thing (bought books for points). It’s for a really, really, really good cause! (And where are you going?!?)

    I always use To Kill a Mockingbird as my out when people ask my my favorite book (because it saves me from looking like an idiot, otherwise there would be a ridiculously long pause I thought over all of the books I could answer with), but I really do love it. Print, audio, film…they are all awesome.

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 11:52 am

      London! And Greece! That’s the plan anyway, we’re still in the research and figuring out how much vacation we can take phase 🙂

  • Christine @ BookishlyB February 27, 2015, 10:56 pm

    I remember reading The Book of Salt in college and liking it, and I read the Carr book a few years too. What is it about points that totally suckers us in? Marketing win, I guess.

  • Belle Wong February 27, 2015, 11:19 pm

    You gotta do what you gotta do, right? Great way to earn those points, and what a great haul! I’ve been wanting to read Alex + Ada but not ready to buy any more books just yet, so I was really pleased when my library finally got it in. And Trigger Warning is a real treat.

    • Kim Ukura March 1, 2015, 11:53 am

      My library is more into stand alone comics that trades, so I’ve been buying a lot of those myself. They’re fun to see lined up on a bookshelf!

  • Shaina March 1, 2015, 9:06 pm

    Best of luck getting those points – it’s so satisfying when you do, and, I bet, even more satisfying when you get them buying books. 😉

    I listened to an interview with David Carr and it made me *really* want to read The Night of the Gun. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

    • Kim Ukura March 2, 2015, 8:26 pm

      Getting those miles is definitely going to be satisfying!

  • Care March 3, 2015, 4:24 pm

    The Book of Salt!! I’ve read it! Actually, a funny story… I was at the bookstore trying to find Kurlansky’s book Salt and found this instead NOT REALIZING I didn’t have the right book. Obviously I am not very discerning or I was in a hurry. I only know I was supposed to get a book about Salt based on a recommendation… VERY different books, enjoyed them both. (I ended up reading Kurlansky’s almost immediately after Truong’s)

    • Kim Ukura March 3, 2015, 8:41 pm

      That is funny! I grabbed The Book of Salt because someone on Book Riot said they really liked it and would like nonfiction recommendations. I’m on a kick with books in the 1920s, etc, so it seemed like a good one to read and then pair up!

      • Care March 4, 2015, 6:15 am

        I know I was inspired to read more abt or by Gertrude Stein but I haven’t yet.