Book Fairy Struck Again!

I haven’t done Book Acquisition post for about 4 months, and now I wonder why I didn’t. Perhaps I subconsciously tried to pretend that not that many books have come into my house. Really, how bad can it be right?

Well it’s time to face reality and do a head-count. Even though I had it coming I still had the shock of my life. 50 books! Yes, 50! All I have NOT read, apart from a couple! (not all pictured below as I couldn’t bother to keep taking photos of the forgotten ones)

acquisitions 09-10

But first, I’d love to show you a couple of highlights. I got The Changeling by Nobel Laurette Kenzaburo Oe in gorgeous hardcover complete with what looks like semi-transparent Japanese rice paper for dust jacket from my book fairy Jess of friendly Allen and Unwin. It is so pretty it literally took my breath away. Gasp!

Moreover it came with The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I have wanted to read since… forever. Jess described it as “pitch-perfect”. Mmm.. delicious!

changeling - oe

To top it off, she sent me this spectacular looking graphic novel, also in hardcover, which is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet by Nicki Greenberg. It came close to my birthday, after I came back from my holiday. A nice coincidence! :)

There’s just something about hardcover that excites me so much, because we rarely have hardcovers in Australia. Most books are published in trade-paperback format. Nicki Greenberg first graphic novel was a retelling of The Great Gatsby, which I’ve seen several times at our library, but I never pick up, because I’m not fond of Gatsby (school read and all). But I’ve never read Hamlet, and in all honesty I don’t think I’ll ever read Shakespeare, so I so look forward to dip into this one!

hamlet - greenberg

It’s fully colored too!
hamlet - greenberg

So here are the 50 books in no particular order:

Books received from Publishers:
1 Hamlet by Nicki Greenberg
2 The Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe
3 The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
4 Room by Emma Donoghue

Books bought from Basement Books (all new):
5 Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry ($2.95)
6 When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne ($4.95)
7 Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ($4.95)
8 Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris ($5.95)
9 Man Walks into a Room by Nicole Krauss ($2.00)

Books bought from book depo:
10 Hunger by Knut Hamsun
11 Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
12 The Complete Polysillabic Spree by Nick Hornby
13 The Arrival by Shaun Tan (I’ve read this but would like to own it!)
14 The Red Tree by Shaun Tan (I’m on Shaun Tan’s spree since I met him a couple of weeks ago)
15 The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan (Spree!)
16 Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
17 American Gods by Neil Gaiman (bought because he visited us in Sydney a couple of weeks ago too)
18 Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle

Books bought from charity shop:
19 Echoes of an Autobiography by Naguib Mahfouz ($1) (would like to read Palace Walk first)

Books bought from the library sale ($1 each):
20 Middlemarch by George Eliot
21 The Thousand Nights and One Night Volume I (translated from French of Mardrus by Mathers)
22 The Thousand Nights and One Night Volume II
23 The Thousand Nights and One Night Volume III
24 The Thousand Nights and One Night Volume IV
(I’m quite excited to find these four volumes of The Thousand Nights and One Night. I remember devouring it hungrily as a kid, though it was the simplified possibly watered down version of 1001 Nights. But then I found out these series are not exactly the translation that’s recommended by the people of Arab Lit Challenge. What to do? Should I go ahead and read these ones?)
25 No Shitting in the Toilet by Peter Moore

Books received FREE from the library:
26 The World is the Home of Love and Death by Harold Brodkey
27 Animation: From Script to Screen by Shamus Culhane
28 Tales from the Perilous Realm by J.R.R. Tolkien
29 Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide
30 Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl

Books received FREE from the Japanese Foundation Library:
30 San’ya Blues: Laboring Life in Contemporary Tokyo by Edward Fowler
31 The Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories: Portrayals of Women in Modern Japanese Fiction, edited by Makoto Ueda
32 And Then (Sore Kara) by Natsume Soseki
33 The Incident at Sakai and Other Stories: Volume I of the Historical Literature of Mori Ogai
34 Love and Other Stories of Yokomitsu Riichi
(I had never heard of all these books here, apart from Natsume Soseki. From flipping through the introductions, they seem to be quite popular and influential in Japan, probably just not overseas.)

Books brought back from Indonesia: (most of these I bought when I was in Singapore a couple of years ago)
35 The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
36 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
37 Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich
38 Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
39 The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
40 Brick Lane by Monica Ali
41 A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
42 The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe
43 Losing my Virginity: The Autobiography by Richard Branson
44 The Cave of the Yellow Dog by Byambasuren Davaa & Lisa Reisch
45 When Madeline was Young by Jane Hamilton
46 First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung
47 Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia by Louise Brown
(The two books above I bought when I visited Cambodia. Being quite cheap I took the chance. After browsing around, the first one should be good as it gets lots of praise, but the second one seems to be very flawed.)
48 Laskar Pelangi by Andrea Hirata (In Indonesian. This is a bestseller in the country!)

Bookcrossing books from lovely azuki (who I met once in Hong Kong):
49 Golden Boy (also known as Gweilo) by Martin Booth (very fitting as this is a book set in Hong Kong)
50 After Quake by Haruki Murakami

If you’re still reading, is there any book that caught your eyes? Any that I need to bump up my to-be-read-immediately pile?

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26 thoughts on “Book Fairy Struck Again!

  1. Michelle (su[shu])

    My reader says you just posted this one second ago. =)

    I’m jealous.You know that. Haha.SO awesome that you got Oe’s new book! It looks absolutely stunning. And Hamlet looks super beautiful. Jess is definitely a book fairy!!

    Reply
    1. mee Post author

      Michelle, The Changeling is published in Japan in year 2000, so it’s not really new new, but I’m not sure whether this is the first time it gets published in English or if they republish/repackage the book. Either way, it looks special from the look of it, so I hope their selection of Oe is a good one to start with!

      Reply
  2. M. Lynx Qualey

    Go ahead and read that one. :-)

    And I echo Michelle: I’m jealous, too. Although I think if I had FIFTY new, unread books in the house, that I might close myself in my bedroom and tell my children to feed and bathe and care for themselves. So it’s probably better this way.

    Reply
    1. mee Post author

      M, haha thanks for visiting! Sorry, I’ve been just lurking around your Arab lit challenge. There was no way I could’ve joined within that time frame, but the recommendation lists have been a great resource! It’ll be something that I will refer back to quite often. I just started to become aware of Mahfouz for example, since I checked out your page. I may just follow your advice and read my version of 1001 Nights!

      Reply
  3. Novroz

    I didn’t finished the remain of the day…for me it’s a plain boring book. I only reached page 50-something and returned it to the library.

    50 books to read…that’s quite a lot…hope you’ll enjoy them all. You’ll enjoy Laskar Pelanggi for sure :) I love that book so much…it really touches my heart deeply

    Reply
    1. mee Post author

      Novroz, oh no, too bad it’s not a book for you. I’ve read 2 Ishiguro’s books so I kinda know what to expect, at least style-wise, and I love his writing.

      I hope to get to Laskar Pelangi soon. I’m so curious of what the fuss is all about!

      Reply
      1. Novroz

        I might try another Ishiguro’s book one day. Remains doesn’t make me hate Ishiguro’s style, it’s just not my kind of story.

        I hope you’ll like Laskar pelangi, I never been interested with any Indonesian writer before…Andrea is the 1st snd still the one who can make me spend my money on Indonesian writer.

        Reply
        1. mee Post author

          Novroz, I used to read quite a lot of Indonesian books/writers (I read everything that was available at the libraries really). Some good, some bad, as expected. A memorable one is one by NH. Dini called Namaku Hiroko. You might like that one. I brought back a few books that I intend to read, like Pramoedya Ananta Toer and Arswendo Atmowiloto (just knew about them recently). I think there are gems in Indonesian literature, you just need to look for the right ones. I look forward to reading Laskar Pelangi!

          Reply
          1. Novroz

            I guess you’re right, I should try more Indonesian Authors. Most books I encountered lately belong to my students and always about romance, I couldn’t stand reading romance.

            If I find Indonesian Book that is not romance centered, I will try reading it.

            Reply
            1. mee Post author

              Oh yea, I wouldn’t go near the juvenile novels lol. I used to read Lupus by Hilman as a teenager. Those were pretty good for young people! :)
              You should try NH Dini. She has an interesting background: marrying a French consulate and lived in Japan. That’s why some of her books are set in Japan.

              Reply
  4. Iris

    I can’t even begin to comment on the seperate titles, since I would love to own them all! They look so beautiful and lovely. I know, that might seem like a shallow reason to want to read those books, but it is how it works for me, I guess?

    Reply
  5. JoV

    As always, expect myself to drool all over on your book collection. I have Such a Long Journey on my pile now and I thought your Arabian Nights collection is awesome!!

    Changling cover took my breath away too. It is one of those books you flip and read every page with care because it is so beautifully bound. ;)

    Reply
    1. mee Post author

      JoV, I was so relieved to know that you thought highly of The Changeling. I look forward to reading it. I would love to know what you think about Mistry as well!

      Reply
  6. Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

    Wow! Fantastic selection of books! I love that you have so many Japanese books and graphic novels. There are so many that I want to read, but I’m especially pleased that you have another Rohinton Mistry – I’m a bit scared that it wont live up to A Fine Balance and so haven’t read any others. I’m hoping that you’ll reassure me that it is worth reading :-)

    Reply
    1. mee Post author

      Jackie, thanks! I don’t expect Mistry’s other books to be as good as A Fine Balance, but even if they’re pretty close I will be happy. Moreover Such A Long Journey won a couple of prizes including Commonwealth Writers Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker. It looks promising!

      Reply
  7. Steph

    You have so many great books in this pile, but if I do say so myself, two of my absolute favorites are Then We Came to the End by Josh Ferris and Remains of the Day by Ishiguro. So you should definitely bump those ones to the top of the pile! They are so good and both are 5-star reads as far as i am concerned!

    Great haul! I’m completely envious of your spoils!

    Reply
    1. mee Post author

      Steph, those are exactly the two that I’m thinking to read immediately! So happy to know they have your vouch!

      Reply
  8. sakura

    Amazing haul! I also loved The Remains of the Day and American Gods is also one of my favourites. But I’m particularly interested in The Mother of Dreams and Other Stories – I’ve seen it around but have never read it. Have fun reading:)

    Reply
    1. mee Post author

      sakura, nice to hear that someone actually has heard of those obscure Japanese books! This is why I love book bloggers! :)

      Reply
  9. claire

    Oooohhh… drool drool. That Changeling cover is so pretty. It only came out in English recently so it’s new to the English-speaking world. I’m not sure about the Arabian Nights translation that you have, I read Burton’s awhile back, so good, but I still want to read Haddawy’s translation. Hmm.. Remains of the Day so beautiful, and Half of a Yellow Sun, also great. Man Walks into a Room is no History of Love, but still has its moments and still worthy for Krauss fans (I think we are doomed to follow Krauss whatever she publishes no?). When We Were Very Young is an old fave of mine! Of course, bump up to the top LOVE in the Time of Cholera!!

    I would love to read Such a Long Journey.. did you get the Faber First edition? I’d also love to read Hunger and the Polysyllabic Spree and Pyongyang and Middlemarch and the TOlkien!!

    So which one did you pick up first, Di?? :D

    Reply
    1. mee Post author

      Claire, yes I did get Faber First edition for Such A Long Journey, the one I told you I got for $2.95 hahaa. For Arabian Nights, I’m not sure about the translation too, but the edition is published by Penguin, so at least it’s from a trusted publisher. Maybe they had some reasons to publish that translation? I still want to read Haddawy’s translation too, as it’s the most recommended.

      It’s good to know your opinions on the books so I know which ones you’ve read and liked and which you’re interested in. I have strong memory on this kind of thing :D. Mmm which one first, that’s the big question!

      Reply

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