Saturday, January 7, 2017

The “Based On Your Recommendations” Book Haul

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. I get to show off all the books I’ve gotten recently. A few weeks ago, I asked you guys for book recommendations, and you delivered. I decided to spend my bookstore credits on some of the things you told me to read. I plan on acquiring more of the books you recommended in the future, so if you have more recs, I’d love to hear them. These are just the books I could find right now.

Guts: The True Story Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books – Gary Paulsen

Here are the real events that inspired Gary Paulsen to write Brian Robeson’s story in Hatchet, The River, Brian’s Winter and Brian’s Return: a stint as a volunteer emergency worker; the death that became the pilot’s death in Hatchet; plane crashes he’s seen; and his own near misses. He takes readers on his first hunting trips, showing the wonder and solace of nature along with his hilarious mishaps and mistakes. He shares special memories, such as the night he attracted every mosquito in the county, and how he met the moose who made it personal. There’s a handy chapter titled “Eating Eyeballs and Guts or Starving: The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition.” Recipes included.

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague – Geraldine Brooks

When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders."

Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guterson

San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Piedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries—memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched.

Sex with Kings: Five Hundred Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge – Eleanor Herman

Throughout the centuries, royal mistresses have been worshiped, feared, envied, and reviled. They set the fashions, encouraged the arts, and, in some cases, ruled nations. Eleanor Herman's Sex with Kings takes us into the throne rooms and bedrooms of Europe's most powerful monarchs. Alive with flamboyant characters, outrageous humor, and stirring poignancy, this glittering tale of passion and politics chronicles five hundred years of scintillating women and the kings who loved them.

Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a series of essays, written as a letter to his son, Coates confronts the notion of race in America and how it has shaped American history, many times at the cost of black bodies and lives. Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, from his time at Howard University to the Civil War, the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society.

Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival – Joe Simpson

Touching the Void is the tale of two mountaineers’ harrowing ordeal in the Peruvian Andes. In the summer of 1985, two young, headstrong mountaineers set off to conquer an unclimbed route. They had triumphantly reached the summit, when a horrific accident mid-descent forced one friend to leave another for dead. 

James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl

You will never forget resourceful little James and his new family of magically overgrown insects—a ladybug, a spider, a grasshopper, a glowworm, a silkworm, and the chronic complainer, a centipede with a hundred gorgeous shoes. Their adventures aboard a luscious peach as large as a house take them across the Atlantic Ocean, through waters infested with peach-eating sharks and skies inhabited by malevolent Cloudmen, to a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

Adam of the Road – Elizabeth Gray Vining

“A road's a kind of holy thing,” said Roger the Minstrel to his son, Adam. “That's why it's a good work to keep a road in repair, like giving alms to the poor or tending the sick. It's open to the sun and wind and rain. It brings all kinds of people and all parts of England together. And it's home to a minstrel, even though he may happen to be sleeping in a castle.” 
And Adam, though only eleven, was to remember his father's words when his beloved dog, Nick, was stolen, and Roger had disappeared, and he found himself traveling alone along these same great roads, searching the fairs and market towns for his father and his dog.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?


  1. I remember loving Snow Falling on Cedars many years ago, and Between the World and Me was a favorite last year. Great book haul!

  2. Year of Wonders and Touching the Void are good books. I have paperback copies of both of them. I loved Roald Dahl...James is one of my favourites, behind Fantastic Mr Fox!

  3. All of your books are new to me. I hope you love all of your new books.

    Grace @ Books of Love

  4. I read Year of Wonders several years ago, and loved it.

    Enjoy your new books!


  5. James and the Giant Peach is a great read. Enjoy!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  6. Well GUTS is going on my TBR right now. I didn't know he wrote about his real experiences! That's awesome. Hatchet is one of my favorite books. I read it a million times as a kid.

  7. My kids loved Hatchet and I think my son would enjoy Guts (but probably NOT the recipes!). Have fun reading your books.

  8. Great haul. All new books to me will have to check some of them out.

    Megan @reading away the days

  9. Can't wait to see what you think of Sex With Kings. Enjoy them all!!

  10. I think I'm one of the people who recommended J and the G P.

    I haven't heard of any of the others.

    Some authors who have written a few books I liked: Kurt Vonnegut, John Le Carre, Raymond Chandler, Eric Ambler, John Updike, Vladimir Nabokov, Bernard Malamud.

  11. I haven't heard of a lot of these. You always seem to pick the most interesting books. I am curious about Snow Falling on Cedars. I have heard of that book but don't remember what I heard so I am looking forward to your review. Have a great week!

  12. I hope you enjoy James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl is a wonderful children's author.

    Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague sounds like it could be a really interesting read.

    I hope you enjoy all your new titles.

  13. Enjoy your books, and have a great week!
    Diane @ Diane’s Book Blog

  14. Yay, yay, yay! What a terrific list! I've read and LOVED Guts, Year of Wonders, James & the Giant Peach, Touching the Void, and Snow Falling on Cedars. Well, I guess you already knew that since I recommended several of them! I really want to read Between the World & Me also. I suspect I read Adam of the Road as a kid--it sound vaguely familiar, but I must have only read it once, unlike the multiple readings I did of a lot of my favorites then. I really hope you enjoy them--now I'm feeling the pressure of having recommended titles.

  15. James and the Giant Peach was such a large part of my childhood. Anything Roald Dahl goes along just fine with me. I pretty much love them all!