February 10, 2016

February Book Releases to Watch For

Good thing we get an extra day to read this February - because there are a bunch of awesome books coming out this month!

Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Kinky Crustaceans, Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep

I read a review of this that said, "I have spent precisely zero percent of my life being curious about the sex lives of sea creatures... until now!" Which basically sums up my feelings about this book. I find the subtitle so intriguing!

The Opposite of Everyone

I know I've raved about this one already; but it was really, really good. I highly recommend you get on your library hold list now, or just buy it! It's good enough to own.

Cook It In Cast Iron: Kitchen Tested Recipes for the One Pan That Does it All

I don't have a cast iron skillet yet. But after flipping through this cookbook, it's on my list for Mother's Day! (Hint, hint Noel!)

Bears in the Bath

We are big fans of Bears in Chairs and Bears in Bed around here! We're going to be checking the library for the latest book with these fun characters.

Glass Sword

I'm already on the library hold for this one! I read Red Queen last month, and really enjoyed the ending. So I'm excited to see where the story is headed. (Although I'm gonna have to wait a whole year till the third book comes out!)

Morning Star

Hooray, hooray, hooray! The final installment in the Red Rising trilogy is finally coming out. I canNOT wait. I'm a little concerned, since this author is clearly unafraid to kill off characters I like; but I'm hoping for a semi-reasonable ending!

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde

Eleanor really liked the first Princess and Black book last year. It's a great easy series, for someone who is almost ready for chapter books. It's a perfect segue between picture books and chapter books, with a cute little heroine.

In Other Words

I've been meaning to read Jhumpa Lahiri for years, and I'm really intrigued by the dual-language format of this, her first nonfiction book. I love travel memoirs anyway, and this one is a mix of travel and language, which I think I'll love.

Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War

I've been meaning to check out the show Mercy Street anyway, but now I really want to read this book too, because my fellow Shelf-Awareness reviewer Pamela Toler wrote it! I'm so excited for her.

Stars Above

I just realized that this came out last week - and now I'm wishing I'd gotten on the library list sooner! It's a collection of short stories set in the Lunar Chronicles world, and it looks so fun. (Although: do you think the same artist did the covers of Glass Sword and Stars Above??)

What books are YOU looking forward to this month?

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February 7, 2016

Book Review: The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson

I've gushed before about my love for Bill Bryson, so I was beyond excited when Shelf Awareness sent me his latest book for review!

Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods, One Summer) returns to what he does best in The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain, in which he documents a follow-up journey around England, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Notes from a Small Island. For the first chapter or so, Bryson seems almost alarmingly elderly, ranting about the terrible spelling and rudeness of the British youth of today, until it becomes clear that "grumpy old man" is his shtick. His hilarious gripes about parking lot litter, unhelpful store clerks and people who let their dogs poop on public pathways will have the reader chuckling aloud.

Scattered among these funny anecdotes are truly fascinating historical tidbits about Victorian railways, the construction of Stonehenge, 1960s economic development and city planning, obscure marathon races and more. Bryson is an expert at making history come alive, and a little well-timed profanity makes even the driest subject quite funny.

Bryson lived in England for four decades, and his particular perspective on the country is perfect--mixing an outsider's objectivity with a lifelong resident's detailed knowledge. And although Bryson laments the slow decline of English culture, his spot-on reminiscences about local history and beautiful scenery will have Anglophiles checking airfares to Heathrow. Sure to send new readers rushing to their library in search of his older books, The Road to Little Dribbling will also be adored by long-time Bryson fans.

Are YOU a Bryson fan?

February 5, 2016

New on the Stack: My February Reading Plan

Since I did so well after planning out my reading last month, I decided to do the same thing again this month! Here are the books next up on my radar.

Coming Clean by Seth Haines

Where did I get it? Kindle sale.
Why? I've heard great things about this memoir of faith & sobriety. And when the Kindle version went on sale, I couldn't resist snagging it.

Modern Eclairs by Jenny McCoy

Where did I get it? Shelf Awareness
Why? For review. And because I love reading cookbooks when I need something that doesn't require too much brain power. Also - hello? Did you see that cover? Who's not going to read that?!

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Where did I get it? Inching my way up the library hold list!
Why? Well, I know I said I was going to take a celebrity memoir break. But I've heard this one isn't really a memoir. And I've been on hold for about 5 months, so I'm going to listen to it when I get it!

Cambodia Noir by Nick Seeley

Where did I get it? Shelf Awareness
Why? For review. I decided to select this one from the choices Shelf Awareness sent me, because it's set in Cambodia, the premise seemed fairly interesting, and I'm trying to read more books set in Asia this year.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Where did I get it? It's in my Overdrive! I totally forgot about it, but I'm pretty sure I downloaded it for free last summer from SYNC.
Why? Finishing Rebecca is one of my reading goals for 2016. I'm about 45 minutes in - it's pretty good... although the nameless heroine thing is kinda bugging me a little.

The Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon

Where did I get it? Shelf Awareness
Why? For review. And because I LOVE Donna Leon's books. Spoiler alert: I'm already just about done with this one. And it's really, really good! I wish I could go to Venice right now. It moves higher up my bucket list with every Leon book I read.

The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth

Where did I get it? Borrowed it from my friend Meghan.
Why? It's a whole book about etymology! And it's laugh-out-loud funny in an intellectual, British sort of way. I keep randomly texting people info from it. (Sample text: Did you know that the words testament, testify, and testicle are all from the same root? In Old Testament times people testified/swore oaths by putting their hands under each other's testicles! HA!) I'm sure everyone around me is going to be sick of it before I'm done, but I'm loving it. 

What are YOU planning to read this month?

Speaking of plans - I'm planning to link up with New on the Stack at The Deliberate Reader. And possibly Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy too, if I remember. Oh - and the book images are affiliate links. If you use them to buy anything (at no additional cost to you), I'll earn a few cents on the transaction. Thanks for supporting Quirky Bookworm!