Last week I told you how Barnes & Noble is a non-negotiable whenever I go to the US, so of course this week I have to show off my book haul :). I came back with ten new books, eight I bought and two I got. This wasn’t meant to be a book buying trip, but when I’m in my happy place I really just can’t help myself.
I love Lisa See, and had just started rereading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan before I went on my trip, so I was determined to find some new ones by her to come home with. Other than that, and a Spanish copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I didn’t go in with any plans or a list of books I had to have. I did what I usually do and just waited to see which books spoke to me.
These are the ones I came home with:
- China Dolls – Lisa See
- Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal – JK Rowling
- If Beale Street Could Talk – James Baldwin
- The Other Alcott – Elsie Hooper
- The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane – Lisa See
- The Woman in the Photo – Mary Hogan
- Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
- The Librarian of Auschwitz – Antonio Iturbe
- Becoming – Michelle Obama
- An American Marriage – Tayari Jones (not seen here)
Becoming and An American Marriage I got from a family friend and the others were from Barnes & Noble. So far I’ve read If Beale Street Could Talk, The Other Alcott, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, The Woman in the Photo, Pachinko and An American Marriage.
Since my goal is to actually do proper reviews for these books and put them on Goodreads at some point, I’ll just give my two cents here without going into too much detail. The Other Alcott and The Woman in the Photo were nice and interesting but definitely didn’t rock my socks off. If Beale Street Could Talk was really good, but kind of in an esoteric way…I don’t know if it’s for everyone.
An American Marriage was good, so well written, but also a depressing reminder that life sometimes sucks and things just aren’t fair. Pachinko was what White Teeth by Zadie Smith wasn’t for me, meaning that it follows multiple generations of a family through their struggles and triumphs and life experiences, but while I just couldn’t get into White Teeth (still going to try and finish it one of these days) Pachinko had me and held me until I was done.
And now, my favourite…The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. So many times when a book ends, whether due to my own curiosity or the author’s intent, I’m left with questions about what would, could or should happen next for the characters, but not this time. Reading this book and seeing how the characters weave in and out of each other’s lives until finally things come full circle was just so fulfilling. This is easily the most satisfying book I’ve read in a long time (and it’s also about tea…I love tea) and it’s just reinforced Lisa See’s standing in my world.