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Books In My Shopping Bag: July 2015

Not reading all month has definitely not stopped me from buying books… you’re welcome, publishing industry. Here’s a little recap:

book purchases

I did a less than stellar job keeping my impulsive book buying to a minimum this month. But July is my birthday month, so I guess I get a pass? Eh, whatever, these all look awesome.

  • Factory Man by Beth Macy – The true story of a furniture maker who works to keep his business in America despite the economic pressures to do otherwise. Reviews have praised the reporting on this one, so I’m definitely in.
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee – I preordered this one after finishing To Kill a Mockingbird and, to be honest, all of the buzz after the release has soured me on reading it. I’ll probably shelve it for awhile to come back with fresh eyes.
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates – This is the other big, buzzy book I got this month. I am hoping to jump into it soon.
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert – This book has been on my “books to watch for” list for a long time. It was on the “Summer Reads” table at Barnes and Noble, so I grabbed it!
  • The Weather Experiment by Peter Moore – This book, about the first pioneers who first tried to understand the weather, was a total impulse buy. I can’t even remember where I heard about it!
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henríquez – Another impulse buy, this time from Target where I was walking around and wasting time.
  • 11/22/63 by Stephen King – Sheila (Book Journey) highly recommended this one, so I bought it. I’m only like 25 pages into this chunkster (880 pages!), but so far it’s fun.

library book sale

Each July my local library holds its annual book sale. While this year’s sale was a little smaller than usual, and I was rushing through on my lunch break because I had to get back to work, but I still managed to snag quite a few interesting looking books.

  • The Other Side of the River by Alex Kotlowitz – I’ve been meaning to read Alex Kotlowitz forever. This book is about two towns in southern Michigan, one white and one black, and what these racial divisions mean to each community.
  • Henry VIII: The King and His Court by Alison Weir – Ever since I finished watching The Tudors, I’ve been on the lookout for books on the time of Henry VII. Although Wolf Hall is high on my list, I love finding some nonfiction too.
  • Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Katy Butler – I read this one awhile ago and gushed about it, but didn’t have my own copy. This was an excellent grab.
  • When Invisible Children Sing by Huang Tang – A random grab that seemed up my alley, a doctor writing about his work with homeless children in La Paz, Bolivia.
  • Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work) by Michael Goodwin and Dan E. Burr – I’m totally in for an illustrated book about the economy.
  • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama – Normally I’m not into political memoirs because I don’t care about politicians… but I actually like Obama and I’m curious about this one.

Yes, yes, I know I have a book buying problem. There’s got to be a word for this, right?

I’m in the middle of the Steven King book, but not sure which of these I should grab next. Maybe Ta-Nehisi Coates? The Alison Weir is calling me too. Or Elizabeth Gilbert. That one just sounds awesome. So many books, so little time!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Diane July 28, 2015, 6:33 am

    What a nice variety. I saw Factory Man on the display shelf at the library and I’m sorry I didn’t check it out –it does seem fascinating.

  • Priscilla July 28, 2015, 8:22 am

    The Coates would probably be great because it’s timely, but after you read that one I definitely suggest The Signature of All Things. It was so much better than I even expected. Enjoy 11/22/63–it’s a lot of fun.

    • Kim August 2, 2015, 12:25 pm

      I’ve heard very good things about The Signature of All Things — it’s high on my list after I got through the monstrosity that is 11/22/63 🙂

  • BermudaOnion (Kathy) July 28, 2015, 8:43 am

    Nice stacks of books! We had a new indie bookstore open here yesterday so I suggested Carl and I have lunch at a nearby restaurant and then popped in as we happened to stroll by the bookstore. I came home with 3 new books.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB July 28, 2015, 8:47 am

    I really loved The Book of Unknown Americans. It reminded me a lot of TC Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain or even Hector Tobar’s Barbrian Nurseries.

  • Justice @ manuscripts & marginalia July 28, 2015, 9:38 am

    I loved the Coates book, but it’s (understandably) pretty heavy. I really enjoyed reading it, but I had to go for something light-hearted as soon as I finished it.

    • Kim August 2, 2015, 12:26 pm

      Yeah, I can definitely see that. Gotta find reading balance 🙂

  • Jennifer July 28, 2015, 10:44 am

    Kotlowitz is fantastic. I use There Are No Children Here in my classes, so check that one out if you like The Other Side of the River. He also produced The Interrupters, which is a documentary about violence in Chicago.

    • Kim August 2, 2015, 12:27 pm

      I’ve had There Are No Children Here sitting on my TBR shelf for years and just never got around to picking it up. It’s one of those books I know is going to be great, just never seem to grab.

  • Julie @ Smiling Shelves July 28, 2015, 11:49 am

    The birthday month excuse sounds like a great one to me – I’m totally going to use it in August! I haven’t read that one by Alison Weir, but I’ve really enjoyed her other books about British history that I’ve read.

  • Teresa July 28, 2015, 5:41 pm

    I have got to get around to reading Factory Man. The factory it’s about is not far from where I grew up. And more important to me, I took a couple of writing classes/workshops with Beth Macy years ago. She was a great reporter for our local paper, and she encouraged me to pursue writing more seriously. It’s thanks to her that I got my first newspaper job, which then led to my getting into editing. I was so excited to see that she’d written a book, and it’s been great to see it getting so much praise!

    • Kim August 2, 2015, 12:28 pm

      Part of what intrigues me about that one is that it comes out of local newspaper reporting. It’s so cool that you got to learn from her — that’ll make the book so much more interesting, I’m sure!

  • Sarah's Book Shelves July 28, 2015, 5:44 pm

    You’ve got some great ones – worth springing for! 11/22/63 is definitely a chunkster, but I loved it so much…one of my all-time favorites! And I’ve heard really good things about Factory Man and have The Book of Unknown Americans on my list as well.

  • Jennine G. July 29, 2015, 8:30 am

    oh, I loved 11/22/63! My favorite Stephen King! Can’t wait to see what you thought.

  • Michelle July 29, 2015, 10:25 am

    Great lists, lady! I really need to get my hands on a copy of the Coates novel. I haven’t heard a single negative thing about it.

    Enjoy 11/22/63. It is such a great book and proves that King is more than just a master of horror. The man knows how to tell a story!

    • Kim August 2, 2015, 12:36 pm

      That’s basically what Sheila told me about it. I’m just getting into part two and SO excited to see where the story goes.

  • tanya (52 books or bust) July 30, 2015, 10:48 am

    If you buy a book at a library book sale it doesn’t really count. You’re just helping the library with an overstock problem and a little cash. You’re just helping out a friend.

    • Kim August 2, 2015, 12:37 pm

      Thumbs up to that logic 🙂

  • Stephanie July 30, 2015, 1:46 pm

    We are “biblioholics”!!

  • Shaina August 12, 2015, 4:33 pm

    A birth month book sale? Sounds like my idea of heaven. Also, yay for fellow July babies!

    I’ve only read one book by Alex Kotlowitz—Never A City So Real—but I really enjoyed it. It was one of our campus-wide reads at Northwestern (just north of Chicago).

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