New Arrivals!

A lot of new review books have arrived. They were all too good to pass by. Now, since I’m in the Netherlands and I often get review books from the USA, I find myself, in August, with books that have been published in July (the postal distance causes the time gap) as well as books published in August. So, which do I read first? The ones that are to be published imminently, or the ones that have already been published? Should I cause a delay in reviewing for all books or just put the July books at the bottom of the pile so the “damage” is contained to just a few books? Luxury problems, as always! 


Books for review

Miss Me When I'm Gone by Emily Arsenault

Miss Me When I’m Gone by Emily Arsenault

A book for review from William Morrow (HarperCollins). I’ve read it and liked it so-so. I was ready to give up after 100 pages but kept going anyway and it did become a bit better. 3.5 stars only

From the publisher’s website: “Gretchen Waters is most famous for her book Tammyland—a “honky-tonk Eat, Pray, Love,” a memoir about her divorce and her admiration for Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton. When Gretchen dies falling on a set of stone steps outside of a library, everyone thinks it was an accident or a botched mugging. Jamie, Gretchen’s best friend from college, certainly has no reason to suspect foul play. That is, until she becomes Gretchen’s literary executor.

Gretchen’s latest manuscript is much darker than Tammyland—ostensibly about her favorite classic male country singers, it’s really about a murder in her family that haunted her childhood. From beyond the grave, Gretchen’s writing opens up a sinister new world, and suddenly, Gretchen’s death seems suspicious—and then Jamie finds herself in danger as well…”


What I Did by Christopher Wakling

What I did by Christopher Wakling

Another book for review from William Morrow (HarperCollins). I’m curious what happens to Billy that causes family-altering events (see below). 

From the publisher’s website: ““This is a story about a terrible thing which happens to me. I have to warn you that nobody is bad or good here, or rather everyone is a bit bad and a bit good and the bad and then good moluscules get mixed up against each other and produce terrible chemical reactions.”

Six-year-old Billy has a vivid imagination and a unique way of explaining the world. But when he runs into a busy street, ignoring his father’s commands, he sets in motion a series of unexpected, family-altering events. What I Did is an astounding and heart-wrenching reminder of how the best intentions can lead to disastrous consequences, and one bad decision can take on a life of its own.”


The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

A book for review from Harper (HarperCollins). I read the first part in this series, The Shadow of the Wind, which I loved. Somehow I never got round to read the next part, The Angel’s Game. But, at the beginning of the new book, it says that all books in the series can be read in any order. Let’s hope so!

From the publisher’s website: “Barcelona,1957. It is Christmas, and Daniel Sempere and his wife Bea have much to celebrate. They have a beautiful new baby son named Julian, and their close friend Fermín Romero de Torres is about to be wed. But their joy is eclipsed when a mysterious stranger visits the Sempere bookshop and threatens to divulge a terrible secret that has been buried for two decades in the city’s dark past.

His appearance plunges Fermín and Daniel into a dangerous adventure that will take them back to the 1940’s and the dark early days of Franco’s dictatorship. The terrifying events of that time launch them on a journey fraught with jealousy, suspicion, vengeance, and lies, a search for the truth that will put into peril everything they love and ultimately transform their lives. “


Triburbia by Karl Taro Greenfield

Triburbia by Karl Taro Greenfeld

Another book for review from Harper (HarperCollins). This sounds like a book about people’s relationships and friendships, which always makes an interesting topic.

From the publisher’s website: “Thrown together by circumstance, a group of fathers-a sound engineer, a sculptor, a film producer, a writer, a gangster-meet each morning at a local coffee shop after walking their children to their exclusive school. Over the course of a single year, we learn about their dreams deferred, their secrets and mishaps, their passions and hopes, as they confront terrible truths about ambition, wealth, and sex.

Narrated in alternating perspectives by both men and women, Triburbia shows that our choices and their repercussions not only define our own lives, but irrevocably alter the lives of those we love. Wonderfully layered and complex, these linked stories, arranged like puzzle pieces, create a powerful portrait of a group of unlikely friends and their neighborhood in transition.”


How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

A book for review from Harper Perennial (HarperCollins). I have been a woman all my life and I think I don’t really need a self-help book on the topic. OK, maybe I’m just curious about Moran’s apparently funny and honest take on being a woman!

From the publisher’s website: “Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven’t been burned as witches since 1727, life isn’t exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by choices, uncertainties, and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant noise about having babies? And do men secretly hate them?

At a time when more than 70 percent of American women don’t consider themselves to be feminists, award-winning writer Caitlin Moran offers a provocative, funny, and much-needed polemic on feminism and the state of women today.

Moran interweaves her funny, common-sense observations with scenes from her own life, from her terrible thirteenth birthday (“I am overweight, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me”) through the riot of adolescence to her life as a writer, wife, and a mother. With rapier wit, Moran slices right to the truth—whether it’s the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, popular entertainment, or children.”


A book I won

Reizen met Charley [Travels with Charley] by John Steinbeck

Reizen met Charley

(Travels with Charley) by John Steinbeck

This is the travel journal of the writer John Steinbeck who traveled through over 20 states in the USA in 1962. I’ve read the book already and it was a fun read. For me, it was especially interesting as it filled some of my missing states for the Reading Around the USA in 90 days challenge. 

I won this book from a Dutch publisher and I wrote a review on my Dutch blog. So if you’re interested, check it out and use google translate to get some gobble-de-gook that resembles my original review to some extend. 


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.

21 Responses to New Arrivals!

  1. Judith, I completely sympathise with you as far as your when do you review what dilemma is concerned. I keep on running into the same issue, and while I try to review books as close to the publishing date as I can I hate letting too much time pass on those books I received after they were already published. But, like you say, it’s a luxery problem and so far I’ve received no complaints about late reviews.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Marleen, I haven’t had any complaints either and I don’t think it matters too much. I just aim to post close to the publishing date. I’ve just found out that I’ll be reading 3 more (unscheduled) books before the end of August and there is absolutely no way I will be able to review all the books I am supposed to review within the same time. Oh well, it’s not a matter of life and death. And if some publisher refuses to send me any more books, I guess that would be for the better (for my better sanity!).

      • You are right, it is not a matter of life and death. And the crowd I do most of my reviews for Book Swarm) seem to be impressed with the amount of reviews I submit rather than despairing about the books I haven’t done yet. So, thus far it has all been good.

  2. I LOVED “How to be a woman”! I hope you will, too! It is so funny yet intelligently written and tackling issues that are of most importance to us. Brilliant!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Miss Me When I’m Gone sounds interesting to me, but if you weren’t impressed with it …..

    • Leeswammes says:

      Suzanne, it just wasn’t as good as I had hoped. When I looked through the book I really thought it would be a great read, but some of it I found rather boring.

  4. theonlycin says:

    Thanks for these reviews, Judith, I am reading a lot lately and will look out for these books.

  5. Care says:

    OH YEA! for the Carlos Ruiz Zafón book! Not sure about the others. I’m still trying to focus on my in house bookshelf and challenge books. I can’t be tempted by anything new.

  6. Joanna says:

    Triburbia sounds like my favourite so far. I’ve heard of a couple of the other ones and lots about the Caitlin Moran one but am unconvinced about its appeal. I’ll read it one day. Will definitely seek out Triburbia though.

  7. One of my friends has raved about the Moran. I like the look of most of those (although the cover to Triburbia could be a twin for the cover of Motherland by Amy Sohn)

  8. These all look great! I recently read “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and it definitely makes me want to buy another title of his! I hope you enjoy your new one! As for me, I’ve been very behind on all things bloggish this summer (full-time job, summer activities, etc. – just way too much going on). I have piles of read review books to post reviews on, so I’m just closing my eyes and picking one at a time from the pile 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Julie, yes, the new Zafn is great. I love the style of writing.

      It’s not a bad thing when you have things going on in your life that prevent you from blogging! Take it easy on the reading front and (hopefully) enjoy whatever you’re doing instead.

  9. Tesney Ap says:

    The Prisoner of Heaven sounds interesting 🙂

  10. Chinoiseries says:

    I’m curious about The Prisoner of Heaven (although I have to read The Midnight Palace first, it’s on the read-soon-pile) and Triburbia also has a nice ring to it. Have you decided on the order of the books to read yet? 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Chinoiseries, I finished *The Prisoner of Heaven* and loved it! I don’t know how the writing style differs from his other books but in this series is beautiful.

      I’ve actually decided to throw away my plans and read 3 Dutch books first – two for a literary prize that I follow every year (I cast my vote, too – deadline is end of August) and another book that I won and will see the author of in 2 weeks’ time. So, busy, busy!

I love comments! Let me know what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: