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Hastings Book Haul!

I can’t even remember the last time I did a book haul – it’s been that long! But, now that I have plenty of room in the new apartment, I can go a little crazy with my book collecting. Ok, so I could probably use a few more shelves and weed out a couple unfavorites… but even so, there’s always room for more!

While visiting some family, I was able to sneak away for a bit to the local Hastings for their going out of business sale. It’s unfortunate their stores will be closing – especially in towns where it’s the only bookstore around. That said, you can’t miss a good sale on books!

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I really hit a gold mine this time! I was able to pick up a few books that I loved reading/can’t wait to read, and a couple unknowns – definitely the best kind of book haul there is. 🙂

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A Blessing on the Moon by Joseph Skibell

Caught between an eternal limbo and the horrors of World War II, Chaim Skibelski awakes to find himself buried by bodies of friends and neighbors, brutally murdered by Nazis, but finding himself very much alone, he gathers his courage to face his own death as he searches for the souls of his lost loved ones. A harrowing tale of the unspeakable acts committed during the war, Skibell blurs the line between reality and magic with vivid imagery and robust gallows humor, weaving a tale of deem familial meaning and cultural significance. This is on of my favorite books, and I’m so glad I found a copy!

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The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Chava, a golem made by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni trapped in an ancient copper flask by a Bedouin wizard, are magically brought together in the streets of New York, forging an unlikely friendship. Though different by nature, their bond will be tested by a powerful threat, “challenging their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.” Featured on my recent Fairy Tale Reading List, this was an obvious purchase the second I laid eyes on it. I can’t wait to read this novel!

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Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

One of my favorite reads this year is undoubtedly Salt to the Sea, so of course I instantly went for her earlier novel, Between Shades of Gray, when finding it at a discount. Another YA novel following a young Lithuanian girl during the harsh winter of World War II, Lina is just like any other girl in her town, spending time on favorite hobbies and driving the boys mad, until the arrival of Soviet officers tears everything apart. Lina and her family are forced, under Stalin’s command, to cross the Arctic Circle until reaching a work camp in the far reaches of Siberia, a harrowing journey in the cruelest conditions, spanning 6,500 hundred miles in the icy snow.

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No One is Here Except All Of Us

This has been on my TBR for a while now – you know I can’t resist a beautifully written WWII novel. Another journey into Magical Realism, an eleven year old girl has escaped her remote Jewish village on the eve of WWII to find herself in a world where “danger is imminent in every direction, and the territory of the imagination and belief is limitless.” The surviving villagers ultimately decide to reinvent the world, rewriting destiny as they know it, but as the girl grows into adulthood, she’ll have to travel from one world to another in order to save her family. An inspiring and imaginative tale exploring what it is to live in a community and the power of being an individual.

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The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

I absolutely LOVE Lisa Lutz – I’ve read two of her novels this year, The Passenger, a thrilling mystery, and How to Start a Fire, an endearing and heartfelt contemporary novel. So finding the first in her YA mystery series, of course I had to get it! Isabel “Izzy” Spellman is a private investigator with a checkered past, full of booze and romantic escapades alike, but when it comes to her work, she’s absolute perfection. But when her when her own parents hire an investigator to check up on her new love interest, she’s ready to quit the business for good – at least after her last case.

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The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff’s debut novel, I’d be interested in comparing this to Fates and Furies (an earlier breakup this year). Still, I won’t let my lack of interest in her latest work deter me – the premise of The Monsters of Templeton is too intriguing. Returning one early morning to her small hometown, Templeton, New York, Willie Upton witnesses the resurgence of a 50-foot-long monster rising from the depths of the town’s lake. She’ll unearth long hidden secrets following an increasingly complicated family tree and long forgotten letters, but what other monsters will she find?

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Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

A modern portrait of family and the importance of home, Ghana Must Go is a “sweeping narrative… that teaches the truths we speak can heal the wounds we hide.” (Goodreads) The death of a renowned surgeon and failed husband, Kweku Sai, takes his family by storm, and as the family is reunited, old secrets and crimes must be dealt with. The striking cover is definitely what led to my purchase, and for less than a dollar, there’s no risk in trying a lesser known title.

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Honor by Elif Shafak

Another beautiful cover – I couldn’t help myself! Honor is a dramatic tale of family, love, and misunderstandings that ultimately change the course of destiny for twin sisters born in a Kurdish village. Following separate paths in life, the sisters will have to face the time old question: to remain loyal to tradition or follow suit with modern times?

What new books are you excited to read!?

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