When You Work Near Three Bookstores (a book haul)

You read that right. I work near three bookstores.

When I’m strapped for cash, I can control myself. But when I’m getting a steady flow of money, my self-control is pretty much nil. There were points I tried to reign myself in. As you can probably tell, it didn’t always work out.

Oh well, I got new books. Pretty new books for you guys to look at.


A Gushing Fountain by Martin Walser, translated by David Dollemayer


I found A Gushing Fountain inside the free books cart at the library I work in. It follows a young boy growing up in small-town Germany trying to live a normal life when Hitler comes into power. Though the people around him whisper Hitler can save them, the reality of what is happening does not fully hit the main character, Johann, until his older brother dies on the battlefield.


The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace

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These two books were some of my most anticipated releases of 2019. I wasn’t going to buy The Testaments right away, then I saw it for 30% off at one of the bookstores and hesitation went out the window. As for To Drink Coffee with a Ghost, I had planned on reading this right as I bought it, as I usually do when I get a new Amanda Lovelace book. But once I realized this book was about the her tumultuous relationship with her late mother, I had decided it might be better if I put this one off. (You will find out how that went in a reading wrap-up.)


A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams

The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

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The next six books I bought at the used bookstore. All of these were in amazing condition, and most of them new released hardcovers. I read Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale a few years ago and heard good things about The Great Alone. Jacqueline Woodson is an author I have heard so many great things about, yet I read only one of her books since middle school. I had been seeing Red at the Bone everywhere; the cover is too pretty to ignore.

A Certain Age is the third book I own written by Beatriz Williams and is an adult historical fiction featuring an age-gap romance. A Single Thread, The Night Tiger, and The Map of Salt and Stars were books I had been planned on getting from the library, eventually. I jumped at the chance to buy them when I saw them at such low prices.


The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

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In my favorite bookstore near my work, they have a section where they sell discounted books in new or good condition. The Dollhouse was on sale for five dollars and I had ten….But I genuinely wanted it. Fiona Davis is a women’s fiction/historical fiction author I want to read more of. I really enjoyed her book The Address. The synopsis of all the books she has published thus far, as well as the next one she has coming out this summer, promise her a spot on my favorite historical authors list, right along with Ruta Sepetys.


Through the Woods by Emily Carroll


I originally read Through the Woods Halloween 2016 from the library. I finally got around to buying my own copy, intending to reread it Halloween 2019. That didn’t happen, but I did reread it. Through the Woods was my first read of 2020, and I’m glad I did it was. (More on that in a future wrap-up.)


The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

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One of the most hyped-up books of the 2019, The Fountains of Silence is set in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. I want to read this book right now, but so many other books on my TBR have priority right now, including Ruta Septeys’s debut novel, Out of the Easy.


Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

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I’ll admit…these three were impulse buys. Well, two of them, really. My school’s bookstore was selling some books 50% off. I was only going to get An American Marriage, as it was the one I wanted the most. Swing Time was on my radar, yet a book I kept forgetting about. Then, I read the synopsis more closely, realizing it follows an adult female friendship tested by a competition. Reading more diverse authors is something I need to work on. As for Warlight, it was a World War II mystery. That’s all I needed to know.


Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco


The final novel in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and will definitely be reading within the first six months of 2020. This series ending is both bitter and sweet. Thankfully, I have Kerri Maniscalco’s next book, Kingdom of the Wicked, to look forward to.


Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia

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In a past post, I said Francesca Zappia could probably write magical realism well. Now Entering Addamsville, which I found out was coming out after publishing that blog post, is a horror/mystery novel following a girl that can see ghosts and is being blamed for a series of murders. I have had a good track record with Francesca Zappia, so I’m hoping it stays that way with Now Entering Addamsville.


I, Claudia by Mary McCoy

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I, Claudia was one of the recommended books for my young adult literature class. I picked up to read from the library, except failed to finish it before it was due back, even after renewal. What I did read, however, I really enjoyed. I probably would have bought a copy anyway, if I had read it all the way through the first time.


The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

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The Library of Lost Things was a book I was low-key anticipating for 2019. It came out in October, and follows a teenaged girl trying to lead a normal life while hiding her mom’s extreme hoarding. My mom was a hoarder. Maybe not as bad as ones you might have seen on Hoarders, but the fact that it took such a big dumpster to clear out most of her stuff was enough to confirm it. Also, lately I’ve noticed I am more drawn to books, either young adult or adult, that center on relationships between mothers and daughters. Mostly bad ones, obviously.


Girls Like Me by Lola St. Vil


Girls Like Me was a book I had my eye on for months after casually finding it on the shelf at one of the bookstores. Told in verse, the book follows a plus-size girl grieving the death of her father and dealing with bullying at school. Then, she falls for a boy online and wonders if she dares to open herself up to a new person.


Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

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Invisible Ghosts was one of my favorite reads of 2019 and one I originally read from the library. I loved the book’s portrayal of grief and coming out of one’s shell. I saw so much of myself in Rose, the main character. I still think about it often, too.


Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

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 These last four books were on a “20% off” table at the bookstore where I eat at least once a week. Look Both Ways I bought because I had just read and loved Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. I have already read it, but more on that in a wrap-up. The Last True Poets of the Sea I knew about since late 2018 or early 2019, as it is a queer intergenerational magical realism story about women on the sea, and it’s been a high priority to buy since then. Same for Patron Saints of Nothing, which follows a teenaged boy travelling to the Philippines to investigate the suspicious death of his cousin. Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All has the kind of synopsis that leads me to think I’m better off going into it blind.


If you worked near a bookstore, what would you do?

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