Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. I get to show off all the books I’ve gotten.
If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you know that I recently purged a lot of books. As a result, I have a ton of credits for the used bookstore. Technically, I’m supposed to be on a book-acquiring ban, but I couldn’t resist spending some of my credits. I justified my book-acquiring by only getting books written by authors who live (or lived) outside the US. It’s my goal to read more international authors this year, so this haul is helping with my New Year’s resolution. That’s a good justification for the haul’s existence, right? I also got a few classics, so I’m killing two resolutions with one haul. You should be proud of me for hauling so responsibly.
Anyway, here’s what I got:
The Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux
First published in French as a serial in 1909, The Phantom of the Opera is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well until Christine's childhood friend Raoul comes to visit his parents, who are patrons of the opera, and he sees Christine when she begins successfully singing on the stage. The voice, who is the deformed, murderous 'ghost' of the opera house, grows violent in his terrible jealousy. Christine suddenly disappears. The phantom is in love, but it can only spell disaster.
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
This is the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.
Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner, and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation, and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
In 1914 a room full of German schoolboys, fresh-faced and idealistic, are goaded by their schoolmaster to troop off to the 'glorious war.' With the fire and patriotism of youth they sign up. What follows is the moving story of a young 'unknown soldier' experiencing the horror and disillusionment of life in the trenches.
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.
Dracula – Bram Stoker
One of the most popular stories ever told, Dracula (1897) has been recreated for the stage and screen hundreds of times in the last century. Yet it is essentially a Victorian saga, an awesome tale of a thrillingly bloodthirsty vampire whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of a supremely moralistic age. Above all, Dracula is a quintessential story of suspense and horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters in literature: centuries-old Count Dracula, whose diabolical passions prey upon the innocent, the helpless, the beautiful.
Poor Things: Episodes from the Early Life of Archibald McCandless M.D. Scottish Public Health Officer – Alasdair Gray
Poor Things is a postmodern revision of Frankenstein that replaces the traditional monster with Bella Baxter—a beautiful young erotomaniac brought back to life with the brain of an infant. Godwin Baxter's scientific ambition to create the perfect companion is realized when he finds the drowned body of Bella, but his dream is thwarted by Dr. Archibald McCandless's jealous love for Baxter's creation.
Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.