I have a habit. I have a very bad habit, well maybe not bad for me, but definitely bad for my wallet. There’s a point, every weekend, where you’ve spent too much time at home and you just need to get out of the house. But where to go when there’s nothing to do? To the bookstore, of course!
Luckily, my favorite place to shop is my local Half Priced Books where the clearance shelves are not just fully stocked, but overflowing, and all for under $3! This time was no exception, and quite a few of my picks were from my TBR list. Not bad for a little weekend pick-me-up.
1. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
The delightfully smart and sassy Precious Ramots, driven to help others, establishes her own detective agency in Gaborone, Botswana, but quickly finds herself in danger when she takes on the case of a missing boy.
I’ve heard great things about this series, and this was just the push I needed to work it in to my reading list.
2. The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchet
After his death, a magician’s assistant and wife uncovers shocking secrets from his past, as well as the family he left behind.
When I find an author I love, I tend to go a little overboard and read absolutely everything they’ve written. And now, Ann Patchet has been added to that list.
3. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Little Bee is a young Nigerian refugee who has just been release from a British immigration detention center, but alone and without connections in a new country she seeks a one time acquaintance. However, their past encounter had left each woman haunted, but meeting again, they have the chance to help each other to prevail.
Based on all reviews, this is sure to be an emotionally challenging and inspiring read.
4. Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Told by the grown up Icy Sparks, the novel recounts her difficult childhood in a small mountain town in eastern Kentucky, from her start as an orphan to being diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome.
I was drawn to the cover of the book, but ultimately decided to buy when I noticed it had been a one time selection of Oprah’s Book Club.
5. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
From Amazon: Beautiful Ruins is “the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962 . . . and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later.”
I’ve been reading a lot of challenging works lately, so I think it’s about time for a romance novel!
6. Run by Ann Patchett
Bernard Doyle, the former mayor of Boston, wants the best for his sons, which according to him, is a career in politics. But after an accident in a blinding snowstorm, their safety becomes his number one concern.
More Ann Patchett!
7. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
Beautiful and lively Pearl Chin and her sister May were having the time of their lives growing up in Shanghai, but after their family is left penniless, they are sold to young American suitors and embark on to start a new life in Los Angeles.
I’ve heard great things about her other novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, so this should be a good one.
8. Night of the Radishes: A Novel by Sandra Benitez
Annie Rush has an amazing life: a loving husband, beautiful children, and a rewarding job, but her mother’s death takes her back home where she must face her past and the tragic death of her twin sister as a young girl.
This novel is new to me, but the title and cover art were intriguing.
9. Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund
Based on a brief mention in Moby Dick, this novel chronicles the life of Ahab’s wife Una, from her childhood spent exiled to a lighthouse to prevailing against all odds when her husband has been consumed by madness and lost to the sea.
Una’s unbending courage and ingenuity are highly noted by every review I’ve read – I can’t wait to read this!
10. The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley
In the summer of 1998, Emilie de la Martinières has inherited the family chateau in the south of France. Once there, she’ll discover long lost secrets, as the chateau may hold the final clues she’ll need to uncover what really happened to her family during World War II.
I was drawn to this novel by the cover art, a beautiful chateau surrounded by a vineyard. I’m sure this novel is bound to be just as intriguing.
11. The Flower Boy by Karen Roberts
The Flower Boy exposes the complexities of life on a British tea plantation in Sri Lanka as cultural boundaries are crossed and deep relationships are formed.
The summaries I’ve read are quite tedious, as this is most definitely a novel spun by plot, but it’s also been said to be a heart wrenching emotional tale of friendship and triumph over tragedy.
12. Before the Frost by Henning Mankell
Before the Frost marks the collaboration between Kurt Wallander and his daughter Linda, who has just graduated from the police academy, as they work against the clock to uncover a religious fanatic on a killing spree.
No book haul would be complete without a compelling mystery-thriller. I’ve never attempted the Millennium Trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), knowing the graphic nature of the plot, but I’m not ready to give up on Swedish mysteries yet. Hopefully this will be just as good but without the hard to read details.