Claire’s Week In Books, 2nd-9th August

Forgive me, readers, for I have, well – not sinned, exactly, but not finished a book in long time. I’m not entirely sure where my reading mojo has gone, though it did disappear around the time I got my iPhone 6, so maybe we’ll blame social networking.

I did, however, acquire some books this week. I finally signed up for Scribd the other week – kind of like Netflix, but for books, although it’s actually more like Hulu in that you have to wait a bit before the newest stuff comes out. Mostly, I’d love to be able to use it to read the books I already own in hardback because they are signed but I don’t want to carry them around with me. Sadly, though, there’s not a lot of frontlist on Scribd – though they do have a lot of audiobooks, and newer books are more often to be found in that format.

I also acquired the following eclectic little collection, all at low, low, prices (thank you, BookRiot!)


The girls from corona del marThe Girls from Corona del Mar, by Rufi Thorpe

I picked this up a few times last summer, each time hoping it was about girls in Spain. It isn’t, but I have it on good authority from my friend Joellyn Powers who has excellent booktaste that this is worth it even without a Spanish setting. (Remember her name, she is also a great writer and it’s only a matter of time before you see it in the bookstores.) We both like novels about female friendship and this one is “a fiercely beautiful debut blazing with emotion: a major first novel about friendships made in youth and how these bonds, challenged by loss, illness, parenthood, and distance, either break or sustain”. Sounds like the $1.99 I spent on it was more than worth it! I’ll report back in due course.

Neanderthal Seeks Human, by Penny Reidneanderthal

This bills itself as a “smart romance”, and NPR’s Linda Holmes seems to agree – it was featured a while back on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. I don’t read a lot of romance (though I make exceptions when there is politics involved) but this sounded like something I would enjoy. I love the quirk and charm of a series called Knitting in the City, and it was free on Amazon, so I decided to give it a try.

modern romanceModern Romance, by Aziz Ansari

And speaking of romance, this book has had quite a lot of buzz (and no doubt a huge advance) lately. I nabbed it for $3.99, and also have the audio on Scribd, which in theory at least may mean that I’ll get through it quicker as I alternate mediums. (When I’ve had to get through long books fast for book club – Life after Life and The Goldfinch – the Whispersync feature on Amazonhas proved very useful. It syncs between book mediums so you can pick up where you left off, in whichever way is most convenient. This way won’t be quite as seamless, but still.) Anyway, talk of format aside, this book is full of witty insight on, well, modern romance and its mores. He co-wrote it with Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist, and I’ve heard there’s a crunching gear shift between the sections rather than a seamless transition between the sections. That’s put me off, but maybe the audio is the solution: since it will all be in Aziz’s voice, maybe I won’t notice so much when it’s not in his, well, voice.


Shamefully empty.


I’m going on a long holiday soon that’s going to involve lots of travel and lots of beach time, so I’m hoping this will help me get my reading mojo back. I’m looking forward to reading these:

Tiny Pretty Things, by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton Tiny Pretty Things

“Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.” What’s not to love about THAT?

Oh! You Pretty Things, by Shanna Mahin oh you pretty things

I do love a good Hollywood novel, and this seems to be a promising one. Side note: what is it about all the pretty things and tiny things and beautiful things in titles at the moment? I plan to read this while I’m in Southern California. Iideally, while I’m on the train going past – but, for once, not stopping in – Los Angeles. This books might make me regret that decision, though.

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