Hey Friends, hope you are well it’s been a minute since we talked about thrift books. I recently visited the bookstore and found some amazing titles so without too much rumbling…
Tell me if you’ve read any of them.
P.S. All the book info will be linked down below
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Genre: Historical Fiction, Cultural Japan
The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the “high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island” that is the Japanese Empire’s single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiancée back in Holland.
If you’ve been here for awhile you know my obsession with Mitchell (Book Reviews for David Mitchell) so this will be another addition to my collection. I hope I enjoy it just as much as his previous 3 books.
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Genre: LGBTQ+, Literary Fiction, Historical
Thomas McNulty, aged barely seventeen and having fled the Great Famine in Ireland, signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s. With his brother in arms, John Cole, Thomas goes on to fight in the Indian Wars—against the Sioux and the Yurok—and, ultimately, the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, the men find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.
Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize this has been a really buzzy book this year, especially with the subject matter and great depiction of war scenes. I can’t wait to read this really soon been eagerly anticipating it.
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Genre: Asian Culture, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary
The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared the State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers–a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village–will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future.
As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.
This is such an iconic book and I feel gutted that I haven’t read it. I’m really interested to see the exploration of Indian culture, beautiful landscape descriptions and an epic tale. A big tome that will be tackled next year.
Dubliners by James Joyce
Genre: Short Stories, Classic, Irish-lit
This work of art reflects life in Ireland at the turn of the last century, and by rejecting euphemism, reveals to the Irish their unromantic reality. Each of the 15 stories offers glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners, and collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.
One of my friends over at Instagram told me to this was a great gateway to Joyce so I went out and got it. Planning on diving into more Classics next year so I will eventually get to this.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Genre: True Crime, Classic, Non-Fiction
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
This particular book influenced (book) and people have been recommending this as the ultimate true crime book, can’t wait to read this one and see if the hype is real.
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Pulitzer prize 1995 (See more Pulitzer Prize project)
Genre: Classic, Canadian Lit, Historical Fiction
The Stone Diaries is one ordinary woman’s story of her journey through life. Born in 1905, Daisy Stone Goodwill drifts through the roles of child, wife, widow, and mother, and finally into her old age. Bewildered by her inability to understand her place in her own life, Daisy attempts to find a way to tell her story within a novel that is itself about the limitations of autobiography.
Following a woman, as she narrates her own life, birth, death and relationships that literally sounds like my kind of book plus I are always drawn to Canadian writers for some weird reason.
The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
Genre: Contemporary, China Cultural, Historical Fiction.
Ruth Young and her widowed mother, LuLing, have always had a tumultuous relationship. Now, before she succumbs to forgetfulness, LuLing gives Ruth some of her writings, which reveal a side of LuLing that Ruth has never known. . . .
In a remote mountain village where ghosts and tradition rule, LuLing grows up in the care of her mute Precious Auntie as the family endures a curse laid upon a relative known as the bonesetter. When headstrong LuLing rejects the marriage proposal of the coffinmaker, a shocking series of events are set in motion–all of which lead back to Ruth and LuLing in modern San Francisco. The truth that Ruth learns from her mother’s past will forever change her perception of family, love, and forgiveness.
I really hope I enjoy The Joy Luck Club so I can get to this. They both touch on a mother and daughter relationship which just sound interesting.
Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye
Genre: German Lit, Horror, Mystery, Short Stories.
The village of Hemmersmoor is a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition: There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age—in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-to-face with the village’s darkest secrets in this eerily dispassionate, astonishingly assured novel, evocative of Stephen King’s classic short story “Children of the Corn” and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm
The cover! That Cover! I just want to read it because of that creepy cover. Twilight zone meets Shirley Jackson HECK YES!
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Genre: Book about Books, Contemporary
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, but after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything; instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behaviour, seeking help from his variously talented friends, but when they bring their findings to Mr Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.
I honestly want to read this because of the Bookstore setting. (Book about Books Blog Post) It’s one of the few tropes that just get me.
Thank you for reading, If you have read any of these books please let me know which ones I should prioritize.
So until next time stay Bookish 😉