Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (33)

At the beginning of the week, I was so very glad to be back home in Texas. It was just a short stop-over, since I traveled to Virginia on Thursday to cheer my nephew on as he graduated from his training as a Surgical Technician. (And we're celebrating that he has already gotten a job!)

New books this week were from the library and the weekly SYNC audiobook downloads. It was week 2 at SYNC Audiobooks—the program that offers free weekly downloads of audiobooks throughout the summer. Pairing one contemporary young-adult book with a classic, this week was all about Charles Dickens. (see below)

Borrowed from the library:

Book Cover: So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba So Long a Letter, written as an extended letter, is a sequence of reminiscences—some wistful, some bitter—recounted by recently widowed Senegalese schoolteacher Ramatoulaye Fall. Addressed to a lifelong friend, Aissatou, it is a record of Ramatoulaye’s emotional struggle for survival after her husband betrayed their marriage by taking a second wife.

While I was in Las Vegas, I received a notice from my local library that a book I had requested through InterLibrary Loan had arrived. I'll be reading So Long a Letter to satisfy the “book set in a country starting with the letter ‘S’” (Senegal) category in the Eclectic Reader Challenge.

Book Cover: The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson Charlie is a senior in high school. Though he'd like to be popular, he just doesn't fit in. He joined the soccer team, but is ignored on the field by his teammates. He's failed his driving exam six times. He's tall and gangly—the poster boy for “geek”. And, he's gay.

This is the second of the InterLibrary Loan books I had requeted. Told through entries in Charlie's journal, I'll be reading The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second to satisfy the “Epistolary Fiction” category in the Eclectic Reader Challenge.

Book Cover: Dead Man's Ransom by Ellis Peters In the fighting between the forces of King Stephen and his rival Empress Maud, Sheriff Prestcote was captured by Maud' supporters. A young Welsh prisoner, Elis, is delivered at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul by Steven's troops and a prisoner exchange is negotiated between the two. But in his time at the Abbey, Elis has fallen in love with the sheriff's own daughter. Shortly after the ailing sheriff is brought to the abbey, he is murdered and suspicion falls on Elis. It falls to Cadfael to discover the truth and acquit his fellow countryman in Dead Man's Ransom, the ninth book in the Brother Cadfael mysteries.

Book Cover: The Pilgrim of Hate by Ellis Peters In late May, pilgrims are gathering at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul for the annual Feast of Saint Winifred. Word reaches Shrewsbury that a knight was murdered in Winchester. Why was he killed? Is it because he supported Empress Maud's claim to the throne? As usual, Brother Cadfael must track down the killer among the gathering pilgrims.

This book and the other Cadfael book above were borrowed as eBooks through the library's subscription to

For Review:

Book Cover: The Lost Concerto by Helaine Mario A young mother and her son have sought refuge in a convent on a remote island. When the mother mysteriously dies, her son disappears. Maggie O'Shea is a concert pianist, grieving the death of her husband, and godmother of the missing boy. When Maggie goes looking for her missing godson, she finds herself tangled up with terrorists as well as stolen art and musical artifacts.

A week ago, I listed The Lost Concerto as a book that I was very interested in reading. I had seen it in the “Coming Soon” listings at Freading and was a bit piqued that it wouldn't be available until July 1. Then I discovered that an advance copy was being offered by the publisher (Oceanview Publishing) through NetGalley. And, I was thrilled to see that my request to receive a copy had been granted.


Book Cover: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl The second week at SYNC was all about Charles Dickens. The YA title this week was Dodger by Terry Pratchett. Read by Stephen Briggs, this title was made available by HarperAudio .

Seventeen-year-old Dodger is content as a sewer scavenger. But he enters a new world when he rescues a young girl from a beating, and her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England. Beloved and bestselling author Sir Terry Pratchett combines high comedy with deep wisdom in a tale of an unexpected coming-of-age and one remarkable boy's rise in a fantasy-infused Victorian London.

Book Cover: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Paired with Dodger is Dickens' own Great Expectation, the classic coming-of-age novel and classic work of Victorian literature. Narrated in the first person, Great Expectations tells the story of Philip Pirrip (known as Pip) from his disadvantaged start as an orphan in the Kent marshes to the improvement in his position following an anonymous allowance. Pip moves to London where, only after many trials, does he learn humility and the value of loyalty. The novel was first published in serial form in Dickens' weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861.

This recording comes from Naxos AudioBooks and is read by Anton Lesser. In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birth, Naxos AudioBooks released newly recorded editions of all 16 of Dickens’s major novels in both unabridged and abridged form.


How about you? Any new books? You're invited to tell us all about it by joining the fun at Stacking the Shelves. According to the reviewers at Tynga's Reviews who host the meme:

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which the BookObsessed online community will receive a few cents if you make purchases.

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