The Book Shopaholic

Be warned: Do not enter my home. Not if the thought of seeing stacks and stacks of books, piled three and four feet high, terrifies you.  You see I have a penchant for buying books. Every time I see or read about a book that piques my interest in any way, I have to have it. I think I have a deep down fear that, if I don’t purchase the book, by the time I am ready to read it, it’ll be out of publication.  So, I add it to my pile, because when push comes to shove, the pile’s the thing until I find the time to read.

Which is why, this year for my birthday, I’m putting 20 hours more each week, on my wish list. Yes, I want 20 more hours per week for my birthday!  Please note, that’s in addition to the 168 hours I already get each week. I need the extra 20, and preferably not all in one day.  But attached to the weekend would be perfect. Oh, and I’m not greedy. Heck, I’d take 10.  So, what would I do with this time?

Satisfy my addiction to books. I’d read the books on my to-do list.  Here it is, but again, be warned:  My taste in books runs the gamut.

Adventures By the Book Experience:  How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

My friend, Leah, was the first to recommend this book to me. Then my friend, Susan, who runs the remarkable Adventures By the Book, told me about her upcoming event with Margaret Dilloway, which is set to take place August 26th in San Diego’s Japanese Friendship Garden, complete with a Japanese lunch and intimate conversation with the author.  I, of course, adore the idea of an after-lunch constitutional through the historical Friendship Garden. It all sounds too divine, if you ask me. If you’re in the area, be sure to reserve your spot, by visiting the Adventures By the Book website.

As for the book? I’m already halfway through it, as I love learning about other cultures. Margaret Dilloway’s How to Be an American Housewife, which brings thoughtful insight into the Japanese way of life, is largely set in my neck of the woods, San Diego. It is about Shoko, a Japanese woman who marries an American GI and, as a result, struggles to be a proper, American housewife. It is also about Shoko and her relationship with her decidedly American daughter, Suiko.  Leah calls it “a wonderful story, especially if you like tales of mother-daughter relationships.” She also points out that People magazine gave the book four (out of four) stars! And that’s good enough for me!

Other books that have piqued my interest:

The Creepy:  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The rights for this book, which was released in June, have already been sold to 20th Century Fox to be made into a movie. It is a sinister, spine-chilling tale about a 16-year-old who witnesses his grandfather’s horrifying death and, in searching for the truth, finds himself in an orphanage populated by children with incredible powers, including levitation and invisibility. The book is sprinkled with photos of these children, adding to the realism.  I’m already shaking in my boots.

The New Generation of Nancy Drew’s:  The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley

Move over Nancy Drew! There’s a new girl-sleuth in town and her name is Flavia de Luce. I read the first book in this exciting series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and found Flavia to be quick-witted, clever and cunning, served up on a platter of genuine humor.  She’s a real kick and an empowering sort of girl.

Social History:  At Home by Bill Bryson

Bryson dissects what many of us take for granted, our homes, and sheds light on how our homes came to be how they are today, including the conveniences that seem routine today, but were once considered only for the very rich.  All in all, Bryson has developed a fascinating social history of the home.

The Dog Lovers’ Book:  Dog Sense by John Bradshaw

Now, when it comes to my relationship with my dog, Henry, I know we’re not perfect. There’s room for improvement—Henry tells me that everyday. Bradshaw’s book addresses just that, how we treat our dogs versus how we really should be treating them, showing us, as best he can, life from a dog’s perspective.

The Environment:  The Big Thirst, The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water by Charles Fishman

Our most precious resource can also be the most fascinating. Fishman pours through our strange and complex relationship to water and makes you appreciate just how precious it really is. Water, life’s elixir!

Romantic Fun:  The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman

I actually read this book several summers ago and plan to read it again. It’s so entertaining, right from the very first page, reading like a frothy romantic comedy.  Set in the early sixties, it’s about young love, the Catskills and anti-Semitism.

I have many more books on my list, but I’ll save them for another time. Now, what’s on your reading list?

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35 thoughts on “The Book Shopaholic

  1. I’ve got a large number of books on my reading list – and I have so many books already lying in a pile by the side of my desk! It is a sin I am definitely going to book lover hell for.

    I recommend Jodi Picoult to you if you don’t mind a sad, suspenseful, winding plot. She writes like a master, weaving her way in and out of life’s problems, legal drama, and everything. Just brilliant.

    Also, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert! I’d been meaning to read this book for a while, and now that I have, I’m honestly going to recommend it to everyone interested in reading! It’s an absolutely fantastic book. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the mention! Glad you enjoyed HOUSEWIFE.
    The Peculiar Children one looks wonderfully creepy! Can’t wait! Ah, these all look good. Gotta have different books for different moods, I say.

  3. Hhhmmm, Monica, I’m sort of in this club except I don’t shop- I just covet. All my books come from the library but if you get those extra hours let me know how you did it because my stack is getting way too tall!
    Non-fiction: Power Formula for LinkedIn Success (ugh), Writing Freelance, Copyediting for Dummies, Where Women Create, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, and Inventing the Rest of our Lives: Women in Second Adulthood

    Fiction: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Rodin’s Debutante, Little Pink Slips, and (gulp) War and Peace. I’m hitting a milestone birthday and feel like I should tackle a big book as well!

  4. Read The Big Thirst for a class, LOVED IT! Also– thank u for reviewing the Alan Bradley new gen Nancy Drew books, I poured over that sleuth-rific series when I was younger and so far, only John Gresham has served my mystery buff niche– i’ll give this series a try!

  5. I want two extra hours a day for reading. I’m not asking for much. I have a friend who reads 40 pages a day, Most days during the week I am lucky if I read 3 or 4 before falling asleep.
    Thanks for sharing another great book list. I am adding “How to be an American Housewife” to my TBR list.

    • I think two hours more each day is a quite reasonable request. I’m totally with you on the amount of pages I can read per day. If only blogging wasn’t so consuming. If only we didn’t love it as much as we do. lol!

  6. Monica, what a delightful post! I’m always on the look out for book recommendations and this is such a wonderful list! I smiled at the mention of Henry in this post! When do we get to see my furry friend? 🙂 Methinks it’s time for a “Henry” post. Roxy agrees! Better yet, methinks it’s time Henry has his own blog. I’m seriously thinking of starting Roxy’s soon. Are you game? Come on, I dare ya! 🙂

    • Hola, Bella! Henry gets a shout out in a post I have coming out very soon. He’s been enjoying the summer in his new Yul Brenner look. Which means, we pretty much shaved off all his long hair. So it’s a lot cooler for him and less shedding around the house. (I swear I could’ve made a rug using the hair from all the shedding he does!)

  7. I would love 20 more hours too. But I would probably spend it blogging. HA! I love to collect books too and lots of dust on top of them as they sit on my shelf waiting to be read. I wish I had more time to read. It’s sad.

    Those book suggestions sound fab! Thanks for the list!

    • It’s great to know that I’m not the only one with this bad habit of buying books, then not reading them. Sheesh. And, frankly, you’re right. If I had 20 more hours, I’d no doubt be blogging! 🙂

  8. Hi, I landed here from the Lady Blogger Social Tea Party. I love reading about your love of books. I too haven’t had much time to read this summer. Although, I’ve been reading more online.

    Have a nice weekend.

    • Yes, come to think of it, I’ve been reading more online too these days. Ah, the world of blogging. You can really lose yourself in the blogosphere! And so much good stuff to read, to boot!

  9. I too have “book issues” and my to-read list seems to grow like a kudzu vine! I discovered a local (Baltimore) place to donate (tax deductible) my already-read books. A volunteer run organization, they redistribute (for free!) donated books to the community. You can donate and/or take as many books as you like. Really. It’s a great way to share books with others and I’ve found some real gems that I’ve taken home with me.

  10. I have a serious book buying problem. People scold me for not using the library, but for some reason, I just can’t deal with a book with a plastic cover. I’m also horrible about returning things like books, videos, etc. And if I love a book, there’s no way I’m going to part with it anyway! I gaze upon my beloved books as I write. I’m now reading Water For Elephants, which I resisted. Then I plan to dive into East of Eden, on a friend’s recommendation. So many books, so little time! Thanks for a great post.

    • June, I have Water for Elephants in one of my piles and one of these days (when I finally retire) I will be sure to read it. 🙂

      Glad to know I’m not the only one with this problem!

  11. Thanks for the mention. As you know, I’m a big fan of Margaret and her book. I also LOVED The Inn at Lake Divine. In fact, I saw it used at a Goodwill Bookstore last week for only 50-cents. Seeing as I read the book from your borrowed copy, I knew I had to add it to my collection. Thanks for the other recommendations too. That child one looks eerie!

  12. So glad I found your blog! I can’t wait for the one book, one San Diego! I am obsessed with the San Diego library. I seriously go there every week and order way too many books:) Anyways, glad to have found another San Diego reader! 🙂

  13. oh wow! you too? only thing with me is that I have shelves and a ton of books which I can’t stop collecting or reading. I will read every chance I get and order books like I buy groceries 🙂 I just finished this book called ‘Juliet’. It’s fabulous.

    • Well, frankly I was too embarrassed to say how many books I really, really have, that I still need to read. Let’s just say, they need an AA meeting for folks like us. See you there! 😉

    • Meditating mummy, I’m in awe of your avatar. I do jigsaw puzzles with similar designs, including a few pieces by Escher. Anyway, an avatar like that and a penchant for buying books like groceries is a winning combo in my book,

  14. –Monica,
    your reviews were excellent. Ahhhhh, that’s another gift you have, my dear.
    Lets see, my top pick to read would have to be” An American Housewife.” Yes.
    And “Home for Peculiar Children” Scaaaaaaaaaaares me.
    Can you hear my bones clattering?
    xxx Thanks, M.

  15. How to Be an American Housewife, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Dog Sense are all on my To Read list. I Love Bill Bryson, so I’ll have to add that one, too. I love books!

  16. I have the same disease of book collecting as you Monica. And I’m glad to see that you are enjoying How to Be an American Housewife. I just passed thru the JFK Airport on my way home from my Adventure Under the Tuscan Sun and saw Margaret’s book on the bestseller shelf there; so exciting! Look forward to seeing you at her lunch in San Diego.

    • I am loving it! I’m just not as fast a reader as I was in my youth, when I could lay in bed for hours and just read, read, read! Sigh. Maybe when I retire, I’ll finally have more time. 🙂

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