April Book Haul

Happy Easter! These are some books that I bought with my own damn hard earned money came in a basket this morning!

Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow


This brilliant new novel by an American master, the author of Ragtime, The Book of Daniel, Billy Bathgate, and The March, takes us on a radical trip into the mind of a man who, more than once in his life, has been an inadvertent agent of disaster.
Speaking from an unknown place and to an unknown interlocutor, Andrew is thinking, Andrew is talking, Andrew is telling the story of his life, his loves, and the tragedies that have led him to this place and point in time. And as he confesses, peeling back the layers of his strange story, we are led to question what we know about truth and memory, brain and mind, personality and fate, about one another and ourselves

I got this one from my internship. It’d been marked on my too-read list for a little while so I was excited when it came in. This will probably be one of the ones I read first.

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld


The enchanted place is an ancient stone prison, viewed through the eyes of a death row inmate who finds escape in his books and in re-imagining life around him, weaving a fantastical story of the people he observes and the world he inhabits. Fearful and reclusive, he senses what others cannot. Though bars confine him every minute of every day, he marries magical visions of golden horses running beneath the prison, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs, with the devastating violence of prison life.

Two outsiders venture here: a fallen priest, and the Lady, an investigator who searches for buried information from prisoners’ pasts that can save those soon-to-be-executed. Digging into the background of a killer named York, she uncovers wrenching truths that challenge familiar notions of victim and criminal, innocence and guilt, honor and corruption-ultimately revealing shocking secrets of her own.

I got this one from my internship as well. I didn’t really want to read this upon first seeing it, despite the beautiful cover design. But it has been gaining more & more popularity & sometimes the books I gave a second look at end up being my favorites so I took this baby home.

The Rock Star in Seat 3A by Jill Kargman


The morning after her birthday, Hazel boards a flight to L.A. only to get the surprise of her life. When she’s bumped up to first class, extra legroom and free drinks are absolutely the last things on her mind when she catches sight of her seatmate: her all-time biggest celebrity crush, rock star Finn Schiller! Only the night before she’d confessed her infatuation with the gorgeous musician, and her boyfriend joked that she had a free pass if she ever met him. Hazel can’t believe fate has actually thrown them together.

Even more unbelievable is that during the flight they genuinely connect. Finn likes her uncensored cursing and wicked sense of humor, and that she’s unlike all of his groupies; Hazel likes his killer looks, ripped physique, and soulful music. But what started as a fantasy quickly becomes a real attraction, and after a dream date and taste of the rock-star life with Finn in L.A., Hazel is forced to examine the track her life is on. Indulging in a passionate affair with a rock star seems crazy—but could she ever forgive herself if she walked away from her wildest dream coming true? And is her wildest dream the stuff that happiness is made of?

I first saw this book on display where I intern, but I didn’t have a desire to read it, but then I saw it on sale online so I just added it to my cart. I think it’ll be a quick & fun read. Who wouldn’t want to meet their favorite rockstar? I’ll indulge.

Cold Type by Harvey Araton


In times of change, American novelists return to old themes. In Cold Type—as in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman—a son and his father struggle to hold onto what they think is right. It’s mid-1990s; and “cold type” technology, aka computerized typesetting, wreaks havoc among workers in the newspaper industry. A fabulously wealthy Briton buys the NYC Triband immediately refuses to negotiate with the truck drivers’ union. In solidarity, all the other blue collar unions take to the streets. Jamie Kramer is a reporter for the Trib. His father is a hardcore shop steward (unusual for a Jew in Irish-dominated unions) from the old day of “hot type,” but who has become a typographer in a world he doesn’t understand. His father expects Jamie not to cross the picket line. It would be an act of supreme disrespect. But that’s not so easy for Jamie. His marriage has fallen apart, he desperately needs his paycheck for child support, and he needs to make his own life outside the shadow of his father.

Another one I picked up through my internship. I took a media studies class last semester where we discussed the end of the printing era & the rise of technology & what not. I thought this would be an interesting read.

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein


In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.

I’ll be honest, I read “Riddell House” & immediately just thought Harry Potter & I wanted it. But then I started reading a few pages & I actually really enjoyed the beginning. I got this one from interning as well. Perks!

The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley


It’s 1993, and Generation X pulses to the beat of Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is uprooted from big-city Chicago to a windswept town on the Irish Sea. Surviving on care packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she’ll ever find her place in this new world. When first love and sudden death simultaneously strike, a naive but determined Maggie embarks on a forbidden pilgrimage that will take her to a seedy part of Dublin and on to a life- altering night in Rome to fulfill a dying wish. Through it all, Maggie discovers an untapped inner strength to do the most difficult but rewarding thing of all, live.

I had never heard of this one before I saw it in the piles at work, but once I read the premise I thought that it was one YA book that I couldn’t pass up. Really excited for this one. It looks like it should be a quick read. Plus it won a Printz award, so there’s that.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman


From the beloved, bestselling author of The Dovekeepers, a mesmerizing new novel about the electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century.Coney Island: Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a boardwalk freak show that amazes and stimulates the crowds. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father’s “museum,” alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man photographing moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father’s Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as an apprentice tailor. When Eddie captures with his camera the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the mystery behind a young woman’s disappearance.

Have we noticed my obsession with stories that take place in New York yet? This one has mixed reviews, but the concept is great. I picked this one up at my internship as well.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Everybody has already read this & moved on to The Girl on the Train but I still have yet to even see the movie. I’m a bit behind here… Luckily, a friend of my mother’s gave her this copy & she regifted it to me. Yay for mothers who don’t read that much!

Theo by Ed Taylor


Ten-year-old Theo lives with his grandfather and a minder in a vast, decrepit Long Island mansion said to have inspired The Great Gatsby. His English father, a world famous rock musician, spends most of the year away on tour. His mother, beautiful and fragile, is in and out of his life amid bouts of rehab.
Alone for much of the time, Theo takes refuge in his attic bedroom, among his collection of live butterfly pupas and the tales of piratical adventure that fire his imagination.
Then, a fax arrives: ‘Reef the mainsail.’ It seems Theo’s father is coming home to record a new album, and he’s planning to stay the whole summer. Along with the rest of the band, managers, PR people, agents, and countless hangers-on good, bad and downright ugly…
Over two life-changing days, Theo captures the mind and voice of a ten-year-old boy at the far edge of innocence. At once a tender coming-of-age story and an exploration of the radioactive effects of the rich and famous on those who love them, it peels away the image to look into the dark heart of fame and fortune.

I bought this one online completely based off of the blurb. I’m really excited to read it because I haven’t seen it around as much as the others. It reminds me a lot of another story, but I can’t remember the title? If you know the one I’m talking about, please comment! Plus I love the name Theo.

& finally, The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson


Once, a hero arose to save the world. A young man with a mysterious heritage courageously challenged the darkness that strangled the land. He failed. For a thousand years since, the world has been a wasteland of ash and mist ruled by the immortal emperor known as the Lord Ruler. Every revolt has failed miserably. Yet somehow, hope survives. Hope that dares to dream of ending the empire and even the Lord Ruler himself. A new kind of uprising is being planned, one built around the ultimate caper, one that depends on the cunning of a brilliant criminal mastermind and the determination of an unlikely heroine, a street urchin who must learn to master Allomancy, the power of a Mistborn.

I only included the blurb for the first one, confusingly named, The Final Empire. I ordered this specific edition (I believed it’s published by Gollancz) because I haven’t seen it in any stores. I’ve heard a lot of booktubers rave about Sanderson & I’ve never read anything by him. These have excellent reviews & I think it’ll be a good escape.

I also purchased some audiobooks, but I’ll probably review those separately in a post I want to do about how much I love Audible.

So those are my books I bought recently! Hopefully I’ll read most of them before May, but I also want to knock off a bunch that have been on my shelf for a few years now. Comment on any you’ve heard of, or haven’t heard of, or sound interesting to you. Also comment on any books you’ve bought recently!


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