Stacking the Shelves #20

Time to look at the books I added to my shelves this week with Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews! Not necessarily books I bought - also includes books I borrowed, was given or otherwise ended up with. Weeks where I don't buy books I'll scramble around my shelves and find some books I haven't shared in a StS post yet!  

  1. Reading Lolita in Tehran - There are two reasons I wanted to read this book. The first is that a friend of mine recently traveled to Iran and told me a lot about his trip. It got me thinking - both about what it would be like to live in such a strict society as a woman, and about the things you might miss out on (like certain books) because of it. This book appealed for this reason, but also because I've been really into reading books about books and about readers lately, and this is a memoir in books. Each chapter is centred around a different book. I find this fascinating.
  2. Infinite Jest - To be totally honest, my interest in this book was piqued by seeing it as one of the books Eve packs when she is journeying to visit Adam in the movie Only Lovers Left Alive. Eve (played by Tilda Swinton) is a thousands-year-old vampire, whose apartment is full of books. They're scattered on tables and the floor, stacked haphazardly along the walls. Some of them are ancient - probably extremely valuable first editions - others are modern paperbacks. But you can tell that her interest isn't in their monetary value, she treasure the place they hold in her life and the enjoyment she gets from reading them. When she's packing to travel to her husband, Adam (also an ancient vampire, played by Tom Hiddleston), all she packs is books. Infinite Jest was one of them. I then did a bit of research, read about both the acclaim this novel earned and its author's tragic death. So I ordered it. I was actually talking to the woman at the bookstore about it, and she said that, like much of Ayn Rand's work, it's a book that should be read no more than 15 chapters at a time, and one that takes work but is worth it.
  3. A Paris Apartment - I can't honestly remember where I came across this one, but I love books about old things, and books set in Paris. This is both. I haven't heard of the author, nor have I heard much about this book, so it could go either way.
  4. Torn Away - Another gorgeous cover and what promises to be a poignant story.
  5. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - I've never actually read this book (I know, I know, you're shocked), but I've always meant to. So when I saw the gorgeous cover on this new edition, I figured it was time!
  6. We Are All Completely Beside OurselvesBarbara Kingsolver is quoted on the cover as saying that this is, "Readably juicy and surreptitiously smart." As a fan of Kingsolver's work, I feel like her recommendation is pretty much all I need - though it also sounds like a pretty great premise!
  7. All My Puny Sorrows Karen over at One More Page wrote an excellent review of this book that, after reading it, made me jump right on Chapters and order the damn thing. I swear that girl is going to be the death of me.
  8. A Tale for the Time Being - Another Karen read - and another book I'd seen around but never really noticed. I don't know what strange magic Karen wields in her fingertips, but when she writes about a book, I pretty much HAVE to read it immediately if not sooner. Girl is good, yo. (Check out her review here.)
  9. The Opposite of Loneliness - Another tragedy lies behind this book's publication. Marina Keegan was a precocious 22-year-old who had already garnered acclaim for her writing while she attended Yale and had a job already set up at The New Yorker. But just five days after she graduated she was killed in a tragic car accident. This is a posthumous collection of her essays and stories - one that has her being heralded as "a voice for her generation."
I also received my first two review books from the lovely folks over at Cleis Press. I rarely accept review copies, but I have been a HUGE fan of Cleis Press (and Viva Editions) for years. I literally have an entire bookcase of their publications. So when they contacted me to ask if I'd like to review for them... well, to say it was an honour is very much an understatement. I received my first two review copies - Kissing: A Field Guide and Never Say Never - from them yesterday!

There was one other extra special surprise this week. I ordered Since You've Been Gone awhile ago, I'll admit, partly because the cover is pretty:

Whenever I buy a hardcover book, I like to look under the slip cover to see what the actual cover looks like too. But when I peeked behind the cover of this book, I had an extra special surprise waiting for me:

Wow, right?

So that's my week in books. It was a good'un! What did you guys pick up this week? Share in the comments!


  1. Aw, you're so sweet! Thank you for linking to my reviews. Those two are my top book pushes (ie. I think EVERYONE should read them); I hope you enjoy them!! :D

    Ps. I've been meaning to check Infinite Jest out too, but the length + density scares me :P Can't wait to hear what you think!

    1. Well I wouldn't have found these ones if it weren't for you, so you definitely deserved props! I'm looking forward to them, though it may take me awhile to work my way through my stack to them!

      Yeah, it's a bit intimidating. I didn't realize just how huge it was until it arrived!

  2. Oh Torn Away! I'm so jealous! I really loved Hate List by Jennifer Brown aaand I'm really keen to read something else by her too :) I hope you enjoy them! My StS!

    1. I've got Hate List on my list as well! I'm looking forward to both of them - I've heard great things!

  3. Cool cover on Since You've Been Gone. I had the ARC and loved the story. I hope you do too. Come see what I got at Ms. Martin Teaches Media and Inside of a Dog. Happy reading!

    1. I am in love with it! I've heard fantastic things about the book, too, which is encouraging. Looking forward to reading it! Thanks for stopping by - heading over to yours now!

  4. Infinite Jest is fabulous but it's not for everyone and you have to want it ... I have a review somewhere on the blog... I'd have to dig it up. :)

    1. I feel like it's one of those books that I'll struggle with, but if I manage to get through it I'll be really glad I did. It might also be one I need to chip away at a bit at a time, though - thing is MASSIVE!!! I'll go check out your blog and see if I can find it - I haven't found that many blog reviews of it, and I definitely want to know what you thought in detail! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I am not familiar with any of these but i hope you enjoy them. Happy Reading!
    Here are my newest additions.


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