Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August Book Haul

I was so naughty in August.  Between Book Outlet sales and a trip to the States, I managed to add 20 books to my shelves!  That isn't even counting the books I bought for others.

I am turning into a book buying glutton, so I'm going to try to slow down after this month.  I'm not putting myself under a book buying ban; don't get crazy.  But I am going to try to work through my TBR shelf without adding massively to it.

So, let's get into my last (for awhile) large book haul.

 The first set of books I got I ordered from Book Outlet.  They had several sales in August, and I had coupons, so I went a little crazy.

I have been wanting to read Let the Right One In, by John Ajvide Lindqvist, ever since the movie came out in 2008 (the Swedish movie, not  the American remake).  The movie was one of my favorites of the year, and I loved the fresh take on vampires.  Some booktubers read it last month and loved it, so I am looking forward to it.

In line with Let the Right One In, I finally bought a copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula.  I am not sure how I have managed to put off reading this, but I will forestall no longer!  It's time for me to read the original vampire story.  Plus, the edition I bought has a beautiful cover!

I know that everybody loves The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon, so when I saw it on Book Outlet for $6, I decided to get it.  I'm always pretty wary of hyped-up books, but this way I won't be too disappointed if I don't like it because I didn't spend much on it.

I also picked up The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson.  I've never read anything by him, but a lot of bloggers and booktubers I follow are fans of his.  I saw this and was immediately interested in the plot, so this was an impulse buy that I hope is fruitful.

Another book I got purely because it sounded interesting is Dancing on Broken Glass, by Ka Hancock.  It's about two people who have several genetic issues, including bipolar disorder, who fall in love and get married.  To keep from passing on their genes, they decide to abstain from having children.  But, of course, something happens that totally redefines their lives.  It has a ridiculously high rating on Goodreads, so I am expecting great things from this read.

I added to my Asian and Indian libraries with Samuel Park's This Burns My Heart, Gus Lee's China Boy, and The Space Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar.  The first explores Korean culture and romance, the second what it's like to be American-born Chinese, and the latter two women of separate castes in modern-day India.  Asian literature is one of my favorite genres, and I love books about India, so I can't wait to read these.

The last book I purchased from Book Outlet explores a topic that is heavy on my heart but which I am not the most educated about.  The Lemon Tree, by Sandy Tolan, explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the rocky and controversial friendship of two young men.  From reading the back, I have high hopes for this book, not just to be good in a literary sense, but to also carry a message of hope.

My local bookstore had a $5 hardcover sale, so I was able to pick up In the Shadow of the Banyan, by Vaddey Ratner.  This is my first book about Cambodia, and I know very little about the country outside of their clashes with Thailand.  I really want this book to enlighten me about the country and the people.

I spent the first week of the month helping my mom, who is a grade school teacher, set up her classroom.  In gratitude, she gave me a gorgeous children's book called The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat, by Catherine Ann Cullen with illustrations by David Christiana.

The cover of this book is so vibrant and beautiful.  The illustrations inside are not all as colourful, but they are still pretty.

It's a story about a colourful coat with magic buttons that each fulfill a different purpose.  It's a whimsical story with a happy ending, and I'm sure that children would love it.  I only wish that it had a stronger moral running through.

Toward the end of the month I flew off-island to another island, Hawaii, to attend a church conference.  This was my first time back in the States in five years, which also means it was my first time in a Barnes and Noble in five years.  Oh, what a joyous reunion was had.

My husband and I landed on Oahu on Friday night, and I was in Barnes and Noble by Saturday evening.  For four hours (or so my husband says).  I wandered through the shelves, deliberating about which books I was going to grant my limited luggage space.  I actually bought a basket full of books, but only three were for me.

Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite authors, and I had been waiting for Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage to make it to Guam.  So, when I saw a lovely display of Murakami novels, I grabbed it.  To be honest, I don't even know what this book is about, but it really doesn't matter.  I will buy anything that Murakami writes.

I also picked up a copy of Wuthering Heights.  When I read this Emily Bronte novel, I did so on my Nook.  However, it became one of my favorite classics, so I needed my own copy, and I always like Barnes and Nobles' hardcover classics, so I bought one of theirs.

Finally, I spent about 45 minutes amongst the graphic novels and manga.  I was frustrated because they didn't have complete series of any of the mangas I wanted to buy, and I didn't want to buy just a few volumes because I hate having to wait to read the next one.  But I really wanted to buy some sort of graphic novel or comic.  I ended up purchasing Alan Moore's Watchmen because it is such a classic, and I haven't read it yet.  It's another book that I've been looking for on Guam but haven't been able to find, so I'm satisfied.

The conference I went to was at Calvary Chapel Honolulu, which has a Calvary Chapel bookstore.  Needless to say, I was in there every morning, during break, during lunch, and every night.

A.W. Tozer is such an inspiration to me.  His faith, his wisdom, his writings...he was truly a man who loved God.  Knowledge of the Holy is one of the most important books I've ever read.  So, I picked out The Pursuit of God while scanning the bookstore's classic section.

The continual walking with God, through the busyness of life, loss, joy, and distractions is something that I need to improve on.  Not just being obedient but spending time reading the Bible, praying, and worshiping every day are all things that I don't always makes a priority.  I know that Tozer will have many challenging and encouraging things to say about this, so I will definitely be reading this book soon.

Along those same lines, I bought Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by Joanna Weaver.  Mary is the sister who sat at the feet of Jesus while her sister, Martha, ran around the house preparing food.  When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary not helping, Jesus told her that Mary had chosen the one necessary thing - Him.  I desire to be a better Mary.

My husband and I like to go through Christian marriage books together.  It keeps us connected and spiritually in check, and in our five years, we have never had a serious marital issue.  Just recently, we finished the book we were going through.  So, my husband picked out A Couple After God's Own Heart, by Jim and Elizabeth George.  We both really like the Georges' books, so we are excited to go through this one together and let it strengthen and purify our relationship.

One of the workshops I attended at the conference was for children's ministry.  My husband and I run the children's ministry at our church, so we went to gain wisdom and new ideas.  Somewhat surprisingly, the main focus of the workshop was security, and one of the books that was recommended was Policing Innocence by Rebecca Andrews, which is all about profiling child predators.

This is not at all something that I want to think about, but it is reality.  The woman who wrote this book was a police officer and the head of her church's security team in the U.K.  She writes from personal experience, which is perhaps the most horrifying thing.  I have already started this book, and it is not an enjoyable read.  It's an easy read in that it is simply written, but it is really disturbing.  However, if you have children or are in charge of children, I would recommend this book just to make you more knowledgeable and on-guard.

Skip Heitzig is one of mine and my husband's favorite teachers, and we were blessed to hear him teach multiple times during the conference.  We were tempted to buy all of his books, but we settled on a devotional collection he wrote, The Daily God Book.  It's really supposed to be my husbands since I have several devotionals, but I have been "borrowing" it on a daily basis.

Lastly, I picked up a little pamphlet by Lenya Heitzig, Skip's wife, called Don't Tempt Me.  I am giving a message about resisting temptation to the women in my women's ministry this month, so I thought I would see if she had any pearls of wisdom for me to add.

Twenty books.  Aren't they beautiful?

What did you buy in the month of August?  Have you read any of my recent purchases?  Tell me about it in the comments below.

Happy reading!