Monday, June 10, 2013

Literary Loot

Per usual, my Literary Loot is a mishmash of books from a variety of places. I'm excited about this haul, nonetheless.

My sweet haul!
Source: Heather Varanini

I found Postcards from a Dead Girl at Alexander Book Company when I popped in to pick up a title in preparation for the 82nd annual California Book Awards. It was in the bargain bin with a $3.99 sticker on the front. Score! I also picked up Mariah K. Young's collection of fictional short stories, Masha'allah and Other Stories, to bring with me to the Book Awards. I like short stories because good ones pack a lot of punch into a small amount of pages -- a feat I don't imagine is easy. While at the Commonwealth Club of California for the Book Awards event, I picked up another winner -- God's Hotel by Victoria Sweet. It is the collection of stories and insights from Dr. Sweet's twenty years working at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco. My family has been involved in health care for over fifty years, spanning more than three generations. I'm eager to read God's Hotel and share it with my family.

I was thrilled when my copy of The Year of the Gadfly arrived in the mail. I purchased it as part of the Togather Chat with Jennifer Miller event organized by our very own ShelfTator, Angie. Author Jennifer Miller is trying to attend a record-setting number of book clubs -- she's aiming for 100 book clubs in 30 days! If you would like to be part of The Month of the Gadfly, please join our event by clicking this link.

And now we're down to the book I most look forward to reading this year: Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds. I found this gem on sale at Target. It's the fictional account of two young soldiers trying to stay alive while fighting in Iraq and the subsequent attempt to adjust to life after they return home. This is the author's debut novel and it's hard not to draw parallels between his story and the one at the center of the novel -- Powers himself is an Iraq war veteran. A PBS interview with the author included a part in which he reads from the book. The passage conveys a sense of struggle between being called a hero and remembering the horrors of war. It reminded me of things I heard my grandfather say about his time fighting in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. You can watch the interview on PBS by clicking here.

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