14 new books!

By Caitlin Kelly

I’ve never been someone who likes online shopping which the pandemic has forced most of us into.

New York State now has one of the U.S.’s lowest rates of infection, so some retail stores are now open again as long as everyone is masked and usually limited to three people in a store at once.

On a recent short break upstate, thanks to two very good bookstores in Woodstock, NY, I splurged on fourteen new books, the largest such purchase I’ve made in many years:



From left to right, top row…

A collection of essays by an Irish writer whose work I don’t know at all.

A novel by the British author Alan Hollinghurst, whose Line of Beauty is one of my favorite books.

How to Write a Book Proposal — since I have done nothing at all on two  book ideas I keep talking about and never working on.

A collection of essays by Rebecca Solnit who seems to get rave reviews from everyone and who I have never read.

Have heard great things about Lanier’s book — and as someone who spends a lot of time on Twitter, very curious to read this.

More fiction.

All my Facebook friends — many of them fellow writers — raved about this when I posted the photo of Beryl Markham’s book.

bottom row, left to right:

Another much-praised novel.

Don’t know this Norwegian’s work at all!

Time to explore New York state much more locally since almost no other country will let us in right now.

Lab Girl is a science memoir — as I’ve recently been interviewing scientists for a variety of stories, this seemed timely.

Have no idea about this book at all!

Big Magic is a book about creativity and I can always use a boost of inspiration.

That last book was staring out at me on a display and simply looked lovely.


Recently read:

All The Light You Cannot See, a novel by Anthony Doerr (liked it)

A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles (loved it)

Daily Rituals, How Artists Work

Keep it Moving!, Twyla Tharp


Any great new books you’re reading?

27 thoughts on “14 new books!

  1. I just read Gone at Midnight by Jake Anderson, about the Elisa Lam case in California. It was really interesting. I’m close to finishing The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle on audio book and a book on the hauntings of the USS Yorktown, which I just visited. The new Paul Tremblay novel Survivor Song has come in at the library for me, so I’m going to read that next. And after that, I’ll be reading the book by Ron Chernow that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write Hamilton. I’m looking forward to them all!

  2. I am very familiar with Beryl Markham’s story. She was an interesting but quite difficult person, I think.
    I am reading a couple books from the Canada Reads Indigenous list: Son of a Trickster and From the Ashes. Also re-reading The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments (for the first time). Trying to get my reading in now before returning to work in a couple of weeks. 🙂

  3. That looks like a great collection of new books. I know quite a few of them. Rebecca Solnit is excellent, and The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is beautifully illustrated and very soothing.

    I’m currently reading a 1,000-page fiction book in Spanish about a journalist who is investigating his great-grandmother’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War (Dime quién soy, by Julia Navarro). I’m learning lots of new words, like “limosnas” (“alms”), and enjoying the story.

      1. It’s definitely a challenge! A friend sent me it as a gift and he’s reading it at the same time, so I have motivation to keep going (we’re having our own mini-reading group). It’s a bit easier for him, though, as he’s a native Spanish speaker.

  4. Susan Dunphy

    I saw that you’re doing some work in the area of scientists. Here’s a book you might find interesting: The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boy’s Club by Eileen Pollack.

    I hate to shop on line for books too; I’ve been hitting up Barnes and Noble since they’ve reopened. Here’s a couple of the books I purchased recently: The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull, Privilege by Mary Adkins, The Operator by Gretchen Berg, Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters by Jennifer Chiaverini, Terry McMillan’s It’s Not All Downhill from Here, The Turnaway Study by Diana Greene Foster, Ph.D., A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein, “Don’t You Know Who I am? How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility by Ramani S. Durvasula, Ph.D., and Assume Nothing: A Memoir of Intimate Violence by Tanya Selvaratnam.

    1. Margaret

      This is a great list of books. I haven’t heard on anyone these, so it’s good to get some recommendations beyond the usual books that are hyped in the best-seller lists.

      1. I read a lot of book reviews, but am too often disappointed by what I read (looking at YOU Rachel Cusk and Salley Rooney) afterward if I follow their rave recommendations.

        This was the result of finally being able to enter a very good bookstore and browse slowly…bliss!

  5. it looks like a wonderful mix, certainly something for every mood. from your recent reads, i’ve also read ‘a gentleman in moscow’ as well as ‘all the light you cannot see’ which i loved. i’m just about to begin ‘a month in the country’ after having seen the highly underrated film, starring a very young kenneth branaugh and colin firth, both beautiful performances.

    1. I tend to buy Serious Books — that I never read. These feel more accessible!

      Today and tomorrow am GULPING down the new Alex Trebek memoir as I have to write about it by Monday.

  6. I’ve been assigned, “Designing Your Life: How To Build A Well-Lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, by a career counselor. I have some other books I’m reading for work. Those are all on my Kindle. I have too many “for fun” books downloaded on my laptop, on my Kindle, and hard copy.

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