Every now and then I get greedy when it comes to books.  We'll get a shipment of new ones for the library and they sound good and I want to be the first one to read them and I get flustered when I can't pick just one, so I go and pick way more than is possible to read at one time and confuse the hell out of myself with all the different characters and plot-lines and I just don't care because as long as they're all good, I'm happy.

This time around, I've got 4 books. Three recent arrivals, and one I picked up that we've had for a while and I've been meaning to read, and now I feel guilty if I return it to the shelf. (Sometimes I think that books have feelings...) The four books are all really different, which is helpful when you're reading more than one book at a time.  I've got a romance novel (not usually my style, explanation to come), an adult fiction novel about a bookstore (precisely my style), a YA dystopian sort of novel, and a YA novel that will probably make me feel all the feelings, a la The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. 


Reading: links will take you to Google Books Preview of each novel
The Best Man by Kristan Higgans (Romance novel, set in the Finger Lakes. Hammondsport's name has been changed to Manningsport.)
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (this is the one about the bookstore, in case you couldn't tell...)
The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski (YA Dystopian-ish)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (YA feelings....also, the author's name is Rainbow....just in case you glossed over that, I felt as though it should be brought to your attention)

What They're About:
The Best Man: While Romance novels aren't normally my cup of tea, I think that a little trashy mass-market reading every now and then is good for the soul. Or the mind.  Or your love life. Whatever. I picked this one up because the author set the entire thing here in our backyard.  She thanks Fulkerson Winery and its owners (I graduated high school with the owner's son, NINE years ago, god I'm old), as well as Heron Hill winery (the winery in the novel is called "Blue Heron").  So, this book is about Faith (her sisters are Prudence and Honor, and secretly I love those kinds of names) and how she's inevitably attracted to the wrong men, whether they be gay, married, drug dealers, etc.  She decides to move back home for a few months to do some work on the family winery (she's a landscape architect...I swear, people in romance novels and romantic comedies have the most awesome sounding jobs) and once home, she ends up falling for the best friend of her former (and gay) fiance. 

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore: I'm making a point of not reading about this book because it was one of those things where the title grabbed me and after reading the first two pages, I was in love with the writing and the circumstances. But basically, an unemployed graphic designer type person in their mid-twenties finds a job at aforementioned bookstore.  I'm a sucker for books about books (Glaciers, The Borrower, The Shadow of the Wind, The Broken Tea Glass, etc) and that's what brought me to this novel.  Here's a paragraph from chapter 2 that describes the bookstore, and kind of the novel, also. 

"Penumbra sells used books, and they are in such uniformly excellent condition that they might as well be new.  He buys them during the day--you can only sell to the man with his name on the windows--and he must be a tough customer.  He doesn't seem to pay much attention to the bestseller lists.  His inventory is eclectic; there's no evidence of pattern or purpose other than, I suppose, his own personal taste.  So, no teenage wizards or vampire police here.  That's a shame, because this is exactly the kind of store that makes you want to buy a book about a teenage wizard.  This it he kind of store that makes you want to be a teenage wizard."

In the same way that the store makes you want to enter it and search for books, Sloan's writing makes me want to fall into this story he's created. 

The Shadow Society: I don't know much of anything and I haven't even started reading this, so you're getting jacket copy here:

Darcy Jones doesn't remember anything before the day she was abandoned as a child outside a Chicago firehouse.  She has never really belonged anywhere--but she couldn't have guessed that she comes from an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire didn't happen and deadly creatures called Shades terrorize the human population.  Memories begin to haunt Darcy when a new boy arrives at their high school., and he makes her feel both desire and desired in a way she hadn't thought possible  But Conn's interest in her is confusing. It doesn't line up with the way he first looked at her.  As if she were his enemy.
When Conn betrays Darcy, she realizes that she can't rely on anything--not her self, not the laws of nature, and certainly not him.  Darcy decides to infiltrate the Shadow Society and uncover the Shades'  latest terrorist plot.  What she finds out will change her world forever. 

The book is described as "compulsively readable", and let's face it, it sounds pretty badass. This is the one I've picked up multiple times only to end up putting it back on the shelf when something else comes along. I can't keep hurting its feelings, you guys.  I will read this. Unless it's terrible, but somehow I don't think that's the case.

Eleanor & Park: This grabbed my interest because of the quotes on the cover.  I'm a sucker for quotes from authors I love, so when I saw that Gayle Forman (author of If I Stay and Where She Went, two beautifully written YA novels) said "This sexy, smeart, tender romance thrums with punk rock and true love. Readers will swoon for...", and that John Green (author of the INCREDIBLE The Fault In Our Stars, as well as Looking For Alaska, two huge favorites of mine) said that it "reminded [him] not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book", I realized I had to read this immediately, because their opinions are gold in my world. 

Thoughts: I obviously can't review anything yet because I've just started reading all of them, but I will tell you that I'm really enjoying all of them, enough so that I don't even mind the extra weight of 4 books in my bag everywhere I go.  I carry large purses for a reason, people.  I will post reviews as the books are finished, and if anyone is interested in picking up one of the four, I'd love to talk to you about it when we're both done!

 


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