Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Library Haul

I dropped by my library branch this morning to pick up the books from my "hold" list that were waiting there to come home with me.  It turned out to be an even better haul than I figured it would be:

Eka Kurniawan's Beauty Is a Wound is described as an "epic Indonesian novel," and coming in at just under 500 pages, that seems appropriate.  It's first sentence reads,"One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for twenty-one years."  Say what?  The book's author is a young man from West Java and it is translated by Annie Tucker, an award winning translator from Los Angeles.

The Autumn Balloon is a memoir from Kenny Porpora whose most vivid childhood memory is every autumn watching his mother "scribble heartbroken messages on balloons, one for each family member they'd lost to addiction, and release them above Long Island."  Kenny found a way out, somehow, and eventually graduated from an Ivy League university.  The books is described as "a beautifully written testament to the irreplaceable bonds of family."

Whistling in the Graveyard is set in 1963 and tells the story of a nine-year-old little girl who runs away from her grandmother's Mississippi home.  She has not seen her mother since she was three, and is trying to get to Nashville where she believes her mother lives.  When Starla accepts a ride from a black woman traveling alone with a white baby, she learns what "life really is."  This one is from 2013, and I see that one New York Times critic even compared it to To Kill a Mockingbird.

And lastly, it's Michael Punke's The Revenant, a novel given a second life by the highly successful film of the same name.  The copy I have here was purchased by the library in September 2002, and I suspect that it has seen more daylight in the last 90 days or so than it saw in the previous decade.  It begins this way: "They were abandoning him. The wounded man knew it when he looked at the boy, who looked down, then away, unwilling to hold his gaze.

That's it.  Four more books to add to an already overburdened TBR list.  And I love it.


  1. Nice library haul. I've heard good things about Beauty is a Wound. Happy reading!

  2. Thanks, Stefanie. I'll let you know about that one. I like good "serious" westerns, too, so I'm looking forward to The Revenant...and you know how I feel about memoirs. The one I'm least sure about is the one about the little runaway girl...