Wishes for My TBR Pile: 6 Books Added

Ahh…books. I can’t help my attraction to books, especially new titles with tantalizing covers. So far my new year is going well but financially, it’s a bit shaky so there’s no telling if I’ll be able to afford those listed here when they’re released. Of course, I could just go to the library but I’m a horrible library patron. I tend to highlight passages and forget to return what I borrow; or I’ll borrow a book and forget to read it. For me, it’s best I purchase my own reads since my library fee will probably be the same amount. So here are the books I’ll simply add to my Goodreads TBR list:

In Search of Lost Dragons

In Search of Lost Dragons by illustrators Elian Black’Mor and Carine-M (Dynamite Entertainment, February 2, 2015)

“On the trail of dragons forgotten, an intrepid illustrator and reporter journeys from Europe through the Middle East and finally to Saigon in search of the dark caverns and mountaintop perches where the elusive winged serpents dwell. With the gift of seeing the invisible, our explorer friend records each encounter in a journal of gorgeous, fully painted artwork, capturing every majestic and fearsome visual detail of the scaly behemoths, and accompanies his findings with snippets of local lore as evidence that these hidden beasts continue to shape the world in ways we may never expect!”

Okay, so this one I have to purchase somehow because—dragons! That’s all that was needed to draw me to this book but the trailer sold me. It’s awesome! I considered preordering a copy but whenever I preorder a book, my copy doesn’t arrive at the store until the day (or couple days) after the release. 😦 So I decided to wait instead. Two days to go!

Related YouTube video:

The Thickety

The Thickety: The Whispering Trees by J.A. White; illustrated by Andrea Offerman (Katherine Tegen Books, March 1, 2015)

“For fans of Neil Gaiman, The Whispering Trees, book two in the Thickety series by J. A. White. It is the story of a good witch, a bad witch, and a forest demon, trapped together in a world that is both enchanting and dangerous.

After Kara Westfall’s village turns on her for practicing witchcraft, she and her brother, Taff, flee to the one place they know they won’t be followed: the Thickety. Only this time the Forest Demon, Sordyr, is intent on keeping them there. Sordyr is not the Thickety’s only danger: unknown magic lurks behind every twist and shadow of the path. And then Kara and Taff discover Mary Kettle, an infamous witch with an unspeakable past—she is everything their village fears about magic.

When Mary shows them the path leading out of the Thickety guarded by Imogen, a creature more monster than human, Kara is hesitant to trust her. But then she offers to help Kara learn to cast magic without a grimoire…and this could be Kara and Taff’s only chance to escape.

Or the first step down a dark and wicked path.”

I like the cover. That’s the only reason why I’m adding this book. It seems that there will be illustrations throughout the book as well so I look forward to that. I haven’t read the first in the series so I’ll have to purchase that one before this (I guess this entry is a 2 in 1). The summary of the story sounds good—witch, magic, bad, good, scary forest: perfect ingredients to interest me.

Related review on Publishers Weekly:

The Thickety: The Whispering Trees

Queen Sugar

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (Penguin, January 27, 2015 (reissue))

“A mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana.”

“When Charley unexpectedly inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land, she and her eleven-year-old daughter say goodbye to smoggy Los Angeles and head to Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart.”

I liked the ad. I can’t help it, art and color always attract me first. I saw a banner ad for Queen Sugar in one of Shelf Awareness’ newsletters and I had to click on it. It was bright and yellow but not overpowering. I was then directed to Natalie Baszile’s website, where the book’s cover lured me to click on it to discover what it is about. The summary sounds good. I’m not blown away but I’m interested enough that I might purchase it to read.

Related website:

Natalie Baszile

Guantanamo Diary

Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Little, Brown and Company, January 20, 2015)

“Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. A federal judge ordered his release in March 2010, but the U.S. government fought that decision, and there is no sign that the United States plans to let him go.

Three years into his captivity Slahi began a diary, recounting his life before he disappeared into U.S. custody, “his endless world tour” of imprisonment and interrogation, and his daily life as a Guantánamo prisoner. His diary is not merely a vivid record of a miscarriage of justice, but a deeply personal memoir—terrifying, darkly humorous, and surprisingly gracious. Published now for the first time, GUANTÁNAMO DIARY is a document of immense historical importance and a riveting and profoundly revealing read.”

The first thing I read this morning was David Burr Gerrard’s review of this memoir on Biographile’s website. Gerrard discusses the memoir’s content and gives some background on the author and the production of the memoir. It’s Slahi’s strong spirit despite his circumstance that makes me want to read his memoir, as well as my curiosity about how the government could have made such a grave mistake. I can’t help being a bit skeptical, though, since the author is still imprisoned and there were difficulties while trying to secure it for publication.

Related article on Biographile:

Inside Guantánamo Bay: Detainee Mohamedou Slahi’s Harrowing Memoir

A Short History of Myth

A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong (Canongate US, September 28, 2006)

“’Human beings have always been mythmakers.’ So begins best-selling writer Karen Armstrong’s concise yet compelling investigation into myth: what it is, how it has evolved, and why we still so desperately need it. She takes us from the Paleolithic period and the myths of the hunters right up to the “Great Western Transformation” of the last five hundred years and the discrediting of myth by science. The history of myth is the history of humanity, our stories and beliefs, our curiosity and attempts to understand the world, which link us to our ancestors and each other. Heralding a major series of retellings of international myths by authors from around the world, Armstrong’s characteristically insightful and eloquent book serves as a brilliant and thought-provoking introduction to myth in the broadest sense—and explains why if we dismiss it, we do so at our peril.”

I learnt of this book while reading Michelle Valois’ article in which she dicusses the importance of the arts and humanities to human nature. I enjoy reading mythological stories as well as texts that discuss the origin of various myths so this one is definitely going on the TBR pile.

Related article on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s website:

From Imagination to Truth

Creatures of a Day

Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom (Basic Books, February 24, 2015)

“’All of us are creatures of a day,’ wrote Marcus Aurelius, ‘rememberer and remembered alike.’ In his long-awaited new collection of stories, renowned psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom describes his patients’ struggles—as well as his own—to come to terms with the two great challenges of existence: how to have a meaningful life, and how to reckon with its inevitable end. In these pages, we meet a nurse, angry and adrift in a morass of misery where she has lost a son to a world of drugs and crime, and yet who must comfort the more privileged through their own pain; a successful businessman who, in the wake of a suicide, despairs about the gaps and secrets that infect every relationship; a newly minted psychologist whose study of the human condition damages her treasured memories of a lost friend; and a man whose rejection of philosophy forces even Yalom himself into a crisis of confidence. Their names and stories will linger long after the book’s last page is turned.”

Here’s another Shelf Awareness discovery, this time in the Maximum Shelf newsletter in which a review of the book is given followed by a Q&A with its author. Psychological reads are another favorite of mine so I was easily drawn to this book. I the part that hooked me was when the reviewer mentions that though Dr. Yalom tries to help his patients as best he can, he has limitations, such as his death anxiety. I think this will be illuminating.

Related article on Shelf Awareness:

Creatures of a Day: And Other Tales of Psychotherapy


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