New Arrivals!

Oh my! I seem to be acquiring new books at an alarming rate at the moment. And no, I didn’t go to any book exhibition! Here’s a selection, I’ll save the rest for next week.

Won in a giveaway

I won a few books recently and they all arrived within the past two weeks. I love winning books because I get to read books that I may not have bought myself (although I never enter giveaways for books that I know I wouldn’t read).

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

I won this in a giveaway by Trisha of eclectic/eccentric. She had a big giveaway and this was one of the books that I entered for. I love Thomas Hardy! I’ve read this book before but that’s at least 15 years ago, so it’s time to read it again.

It’s about a man, who sold his wife and child in a former life, who now tries to hide this fact and serves as a pillar of the community in the English town of Casterbridge.

The Surrogates by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele

The Surrogates by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele

This is a graphic novel, that I won from that same giveaway by Trisha of eclectic/eccentric. If I’m not mistaken, then this is the same story as a movie I saw a while ago with the same name. In it, people don’t leave their houses very often, but they have surrogate dolls/robots who are a younger and more beautiful version of them, that they can control from the safety of their own chair. It’s the surrogates that work, shop and play.

I loved that movie so I am excited that I got hold of this novel.

The Beauty of Human Movement by Camilla Gibb

The Beauty of Human Movement by Camilla Gibb

I won this book from Audra at Unabridged Chick. It’s a beautiful hard back copy and another book that I’m very excited about.

From Tu’ is a young tour guide working in Hanoi. As he leads bands of Westerners on ‘war tours’ through the scarred landscape of Vietnam, he wonders what it is his clients see – and what they miss entirely. Maggie is Vietnamese by birth but has lived most of her life in the US. Returning to her homeland, she sifts through history for clues as to the fate of her dissident father. Witness to both their stories, Old Man Hung has lived through decades of political upheaval. But Hung has found a way to provide hope in his waterside community: The Beauty of Humanity Movement. A keenly observed and skillfully wrought novel about the reverberation of conflict through generations, the enduring legacy of art, and the redemption, and renewal, of long-lost love.

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

This book I won from Cassandra at IndieReaderHouston. In fact, I won a Book Depository book of my choice and I chose this book as it had been on my wishlist for a long time.

This is about a Syrian-American, Zeitoun, who stayed behind during the hurricane Katrina to help those who needed it, but a week later he disappeared. This is a non-fiction book about what happened.

Bought myself (I deserved a treat!)

Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong

Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong

I heard about this book on Boof The Book Whisperer‘s blog. It’s in her top-10 for 2009. So, when I saw it for €4 in a department store, I wasn’t going to leave it on the shelf!

The story (from the back cover, translated as I have the Dutch translation): Wolf Totem is a history about the life of people and wolves on the steppes of Mongolia. Chen Zhen is 20 years old when he leave the busy Beijing during the cultural revolution to live on the steppes of Mongolia. He becomes intrigued by the simple rural life in which people and wolves have been living together for centuries in a struggle for survival.

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

When I saw this book with its beautiful cover in my local bookshop I just had to have it. Jackie of Farm Lane Books had raved about it and also carpdiemblogger of The Books of Life. Only, when I was in the shop, I wasn’t sure whether they had actually hated it or liked it. I only remembered they had a strong opinion about it. Oh well, it looked good, so I bought it.

From (Dutch online bookshop): “Skippy and Ruprecht are having a doughnut-eating race one evening when Skippy turns purple and falls off his chair’. And so begins this epic, tragic, comic, brilliant novel set in and around Dublin’s Seabrook College for Boys.

Principally concerning the lives, loves, mistakes and triumphs of overweight maths-whiz Ruprecht Van Doren and his roommate Daniel ‘Skippy’ Juster, it features a frisbee-throwing siren called Lori, the joys (and horrors) of first love, the use and blatant misuse of prescription drugs, Carl (the official school psychopath), and various attempts to unravel string theory …while at the same time exploring the very deepest mysteries of the human heart.”

When the Killing's Done by T. C. Boyle

When the Killling’s Done by T. C. Boyle

I’m a T. C. Boyle fan and since I was in that bookshop anyway, treating myself to a second book wasn’t that hard to do.

From (Dutch online bookshop): “The island of Anacapa, off the coast of California, is overrun with black rats which are threatening the ancient population of ground-nesting birds. Alma Boyd Takesue of the National Park Service is the spokesperson for a campaign to exterminate these man-introduced rodents once and for all.

Alma, highly self-disciplined with a stubborn streak, speaks as a conservationist, though the fact that her grandmother was once stranded on Anacapa for three weeks with nothing but thousands of crawling rats for company might explain some of her zeal. With days to go before the aerial rat-poisoning, Alma’s plan is in danger of sabotage.”

From the Library

I got one book from the library. I try to go in and get just one book at a time. It doesn’t always work, but this time it did. I need one book a week for my Dutch blog, and this book is what I read for this week (review (on the Dutch blog) coming up later this week).

De Schoonmaker [The Cleaner, Dutch] by Judy Westerveld

The cleaner turned out to be a really fun book. It’s about a civil servant who is in a job that doesn’t seem right for him. He is in a well-paid position but he fears he may be fired in the next round of yearly job evaluations. Then he begins to find handwritten notes on texts that he has prepared.

Several mornings a week, useful notes have been added to work he has prepared the previous day. When he follows up the ideas, his colleagues are pleasantly surprised and before he knows it, he’s in a high-level meeting with the Minister in The Hague. But is this really a good thing for him? (5-stars from me).

Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

36 Responses to New Arrivals!

  1. Cindy says:

    I’ve read The Mayor of Casterbridge, beautiful.

    • Leeswammes says:

      CIndy, it’s too long ago for me: I really want to read *Casterbridge* again. Have you read any other books by Hardy? I think I must read about 6 or so.

  2. Uniflame says:

    I only know Wolf Totem since I am interested in reading this myself 🙂 I saw people blog about the book before. From the others I hadn’t heard so far, or maybe I did, but they didn’t stick with me.

    • Leeswammes says:

      That’s why New Arrivals/LIbrary Loot and that sort of posts are interesting, don’t you think, Uniflame? It’s a quick way to learn about a number of books that may potentially be interesting to read.

      • Uniflame says:

        That is so true 🙂 I have found most of the books I want to read that way. If I am in doubt I will mostly wait till a review is up, but if it sounds interesting enough, I just add it to my list 🙂

  3. Yaaaaayyyyyy!! Woop woop – you bought Wolf Totem! Not only is it in my top 10 for 2009 but it is actually my favourite book of all time. I love, love, loved it! Hope you do too 🙂

    Talk about me and my new books – you’re surely catching up here 😉 Enjoy!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Ha ha! Boof, I believed you loved the book, now I believe you’re completely mad about it. We’ll see. I check and saw that Jackie liked the book too, but not quite as much asyou. I often share her taste and I often share yours. So… we’ll see.

  4. I’ve looked at Skippy Dies several times at the library so I’ll be curious to see what you think about that one.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Diane, I love the cover and covers are very important to me. But of course the content is what really counts. I’m looking forward to it, for sure.

  5. curlygeek04 says:

    Enjoy the Hardy book! I love him too. I’m also looking forward to reading the TC Boyle book.

  6. Lusty Reader says:

    i just watched The Surrogates and LOVED the movie, well i generally love anything with Bruce Willis 😉 and i could definitely see the graphic novel influence so i hope you enjoy reading it!

  7. Suzanne says:

    I listened to the audiobook of Zeitoun and loved it. A great story and proof that truth is often stranger than fiction.

    I have Skippy Dies on my nook reader but I haven’t started it yet.

  8. Carol says:

    Enjoy all your books! I haven’t read any of them, but a couple look really good.

  9. Audra says:

    Oooh, some fabu arrivals! Can’t wait to see what you think of the TC Boyle and Skippy Dies!

  10. dixie says:

    I currently have a copy of When the Killling’s Done borrowed from the library! I just have to find a way to fit it in. Also, Skippy Dies has been on my to read list forever. I’m interested to see what you think of it.

  11. I’ve wanted to read Zeitoun for a long time — I hope it’s good!

  12. Trisha says:

    I hope you enjoy the books!

  13. Kat says:

    Big fan of Dave Eggers! I read Zeitoun for my book club and it was amazing. Wonderful selection of reads you have here – enjoy!

  14. Tes says:

    I am thinking of getting Wolf Totem when I spotted it at the book store yesterday 🙂 It sounds very interesting 🙂

  15. Nadine Nys says:

    I’ve read The mayor of Casterbridge and I know I liked it, but it was a long time ago, so maybe I should re-read it too. But I am excited to see that you bought Skippy dies, because it is soooooo good.

  16. De Schoonmaker sounds wonderful!

  17. Christine says:

    I have heard interesting things about Skippy Dies. I think the review I read was not favorable, but the book still sounded curious. I hope you enjoy it, nonetheless!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Christine, I haven’t seen a negative review on Skippy Dies, but as with most books, not everyone will like it. We’ll see. For now, I expect to enjoy it.

  18. Aths says:

    Those are some fabulous books! I loved Humanity Movement! And I really want to read Skippy Dies – it sounds epic! You really got some fabulous books!

    • Leeswammes says:

      I don’t know many people that read *Humanity Movement*, Aths, so it’s good to know that you enjoyed it a lot. I really want to read it soon, but that’s the case with quite a few of my TBR books. Oh, what to read first? 🙂

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