March 2010
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Winner Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2008
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Too Many Good Books…

Every day, it seems, there is another book that finds its way onto my wish list. I will never “catch up” and read everything I want to read…but it is fun to try. Lately I have been buying a few new books. It is so easy to justify these purchases (ie: I should buy books since the book industry needs to stay solvent; I need that book for a challenge; …but this is my favorite author; the reviews are crazy good). I could go on and on…

Here are the books that have found their way into my shopping cart recently:

The Girl With the Dragon Tatto by Steig Larsson

I’ve been wanting to read this book since the first glowing reviews started appearing around the blog-o-sphere. How did I justify buying the hard cover edition? It is a book in translation which would go towards my Reading Around the World personal challenge.

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

This is the sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Justification, therefore, was simple – must read ALL the books in the series (which means that when book three comes out, I will feel compelled to also purchase that one). And of course, here is yet another book that will meet my personal challenge of reading around the world. Oh, and did I mention the Suspense-Thriller Challenge as well??

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

This is Erdrich’s latest novel and it is getting some decent early reviews. Justification for paying full price for the hard cover edition: I need just one more Erdrich book for the O.A.T.E.S. Challenge, the reviews are good, I want the book.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

I read The Blackwater Lightship by this author in 2007 (read my review), and vowed to read another of his novels some day. I love Toibin’s simple, luminous prose. So when Brooklyn got short listed for the Booker Prize and the Booker Prize Yahoo group decided to read it for discussion, it was a simple decision to add this one to my cart.

Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

I have been wanting to read something by this author for quite some time and this book seems to be universally loved by readers. Why did I buy it now? The Classics Circuit is doing “Paris in the Spring” and Zola will be toured during the month of April. I’ve been meaning to add more classics to my stacks – perfect timing!

Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell

Mitchell is brilliant. I have loved every book he has ever written – and this is the last one to read (until his newest novel is released in June). You can read my reviews of Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, and Ghostwritten if you’re interested. I needed no real justification for buying this other than I love this author’s amazing gift of the written word.

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

I think this may be the book which has sat on my wish list the longest. I needed a good excuse to buy it – and I found that excuse in The Social Justice Challenge whose theme this month is Child Abuse and Domestic Violence. Look for a review sometime in March.

Lest you think I only read fiction, here are some nonfiction books which I also picked up:

I Never Told Anyone: Writings by Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, edited by Ellen Bass and Louise Thornton

I actually started reading this in the store and was so engrossed in it that I had to buy it. I usually don’t read nonfiction like this, but I was browsing for something to add to my reading list for this month’s Social Justice Challenge theme of child abuse. This anthology looks really powerful.

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, by Jacqueline Novogratz

This book looks fascinating (the cover art was what first caught my attention). My justification for laying down the cash for it? The Social Justice Challenge will be focusing on poverty in July. This book will be one of the books I’ll read…

There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing up in the Other America, by Alex Kotlowitz

In 2007 I read Kotlowitz’s book The Other Side of the River – which was a powerful expose on race and the perception of crime in America (read my review). In There Are No Children Here, he focuses on poverty, violence and racism. Once again, The Social Justice Challenge’s theme of poverty gave me just the right excuse to buy this book.

So there you have it – another book buying binge. But I refuse to feel any guilt – I had good reasons for all these purchases. How about you? Have you justified any of YOUR impulse buying lately!??!?


  1. March 3, 2010    

    You’ve just added another half-dozen books to my pile! Although I don’t know if I’m going to run out and buy them, but certainly look for them at the library.

  2. March 3, 2010    

    I’m glad that you were good to yourself and bought these books. They all sound wonderful and I hope they bring you many hours of enjoyment 😀

  3. March 3, 2010    

    And when the third Stieg Larson comes out, you will also have to purchase it in the same hardcover edition so it will match, right?!!

    And, um, how did we both manage to choose the SAME book for the Zola Classics Circuit, completely independent of one another? I know several people chose that book, but I still think it’s funny!

  4. March 3, 2010    

    I’m all about justification and wheeling-dealing when it comes to book purchases. (Though I’m in a book buying ban for the whole year.)

    I just read “Dragon Tattoo” and am almost done “Played with Fire” … these books suck you in for sure …. for reasons I’m not entirely clear about. I’m plotting how to get the third book when it comes out!

  5. March 3, 2010    

    There Are No Children Here is a very powerful and thought-provoking book! I can’t wait to see what you think of it. It had a big impact on me when I read it but also made me think a bit more about family planning…

    Brooklyn was just today chosen as the One Book, One Chicago selection for the spring! It was a bit contentious as it, er, has nothing to do with Chicago…

  6. March 3, 2010    

    I just put There Are No Children Here on a list of books and I really want to read it. I hope it’s a good one.

  7. March 4, 2010    

    Great loot!!! I really liked Shadow Tag…hope you enjoy it, too! Looking forward to your thoughts…

  8. March 4, 2010    

    I always try to find ways to justify buying books. Like you, I will feel compelled to buy the third Stieg Larssen book because I have the first two!

  9. March 4, 2010    

    LOL, great post! I tried to justify buying an e-book yesterday that I’ve been drooling over (Confections of a Closet Master Baker)…until I saw that the publisher had bumped the price up to SEVENTEEN DOLLARS. It was originally eight dollars. UGG.

    Enjoy your new goodies.

  10. March 4, 2010    

    Many of those books are also on my wish list. I’ll be looking forward to your reviews!

  11. March 4, 2010    


    I met you at Book Group Expo last year and emailed a couple of times after (when I was writing a travel blog). Now my daughter and I are writing a mother-daughter blog and list yours on our side panel. Thought you’d like to know. Hope you check it out — and comment back.

    I also have a question for you regarding Book Give-aways. What is the etiquette or general thinking about passing along ARCs?


  12. March 4, 2010    

    I love that I am not the only justification queen around. I can justify almost any book purchase I make. It’s truly a talent and one my husband still hasn’t learned to appreciate. 😉 Have a ball with all your new (and necessary) books!

  13. March 4, 2010    

    Great wish list! They all look good. Brooklyn’s on my wish list too.

  14. March 5, 2010    

    I read Ellen Foster a long time ago, and it has really stuck with me. It’s a fantastic book!

  15. March 6, 2010    

    Jeane: I probably should use the library more – but my problem is that I don’t like to be under the time constraint to read them!

    Staci: Thanks 🙂 I love just touching them *laughs*

    Laura: But OF COURSE I will need the hardcover of the third book *laughing* and the reason you knew that is that you would do the same thing 😉 I am looking forward to comparing notes on the Zola book!

    Jenners: Glad to know I am not alone! I don’t think I’ve heard a bad thing about the Larsson books 🙂

    Aarti: Did you review There are no Children Here? I love to compare thoughts on reviews after I’ve read a book. Re: Brooklyn being the Chicago One Book pick…huh!??! *laughs* I bet there are some people not happy about that!

    Kim: I hope it is good too – I have high hopes because I liked a previous book by the same author.

  16. March 6, 2010    

    Jill: Shadow Tag was one I was really excited about – glad to know you liked it!

    Stephanie: I am so obsessive about buying ALL the books in a series, or ALL the books by a favorite author. It is sick – but I’m glad I’m not alone 😉

    Andi: What is the deal with the e-books getting so high priced? I have a problem with that since you are not really getting a solid product in your hand – which is why I am digging in my heels and not buying e-books!

    Lori L: Great minds think alike? *laughs*

    Barbara LH: Hi! I remember you! Thanks for dropping by and giving me a link to your blog. Re: giving away ARCs – I do it all the time. I’m not sure there is a protocol. I know that selling them is an absolute no-no, but passing them along for another reader to enjoy seems to be okay (at least I’ve never had anyone come along and tell me not to do it!)

    Kristen: Thank you for the validation (as if I needed it – Ha!!!). Good to know there are other like-minded readers out there who barely need an excuse to drop a few bucks on a new book 🙂

    Kathy: Will look forward to seeing what you think about Brooklyn!

    Allie: I am excited to finally get around to reading Ellen Foster – glad to know it was a book which resonated with you.

  17. March 24, 2010    

    I often wonder how I will read all the books I want to read.

    National Poetry Month is around the corner, and I’m drumming up support from bloggers and hoping you’ll want to be on my blog tour.

    Here are the details:

  18. March 24, 2010    

    Serena: I need to post that on A Novel Challenge for you, don’t I? I’ll try to get to that soon. Not sure I can participate – I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with commitments lately…but I’ll announce it for you!

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