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Archive for the tag “PaperBackSwap”

Mailbox Madness: July 22-28

These past two weeks I haven’t been posting my usual Library Loot because, I haven’t actually been to the local library. <Insert looks of shock and horror here> But my mailbox has been surprisingly full of new reads. Here’s the madness:

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay”. fictionalizes the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations, in which thousands of Jewish families were arrested, held at the Vélodrome d’Hiver outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. Forty-five-year-old Julia Jarmond, American by birth, moved to Paris when she was 20 and is married to the arrogant, unfaithful Bertrand Tézac, with whom she has an 11-year-old daughter. Julia writes for an American magazine and her editor assigns her to cover the 60th anniversary of the Vél’ d’Hiv’ roundups. Julia soon learns that the apartment she and Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers—especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive—the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself. ” from Amazon.com

This one has been recommended to me several times, and I have picked it up, looked at in the bookstore, and put it back down at least half a dozen times. When it was recommended again more recently, I decided to take a chance and order a copy on Paperbackswap.com.

Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Bk. 2) by Alexander McCall Smith. This series came out while I was in grad school, and was wildly popular…but I was just too knee deep in required reading to take a look. My roommate saw the television series developed, and loved it, and wondered what the books were like. Enter the nerdy roommate who will always read the book before watching the movie (me, just in case that’s not obvious), who then decided to read her way through the series. Fortunately, their is Paperbackswap.com.

Reality Check by Karen Tuft is a book I received from a book blog giveaway. It was fun receiving a signed copy shipped directly from the author. The book, a fictional spin on the Bachelor, is about Lucy Kendrick, who finds herself signed up to be a contestant on the reality television show Soulmates, the result of some friends matchmaking mischief. What she doesn’t anticipate is being pursued by millionaire bachelor Ethan Glass. Thanks for the copy Karen, I can’t wait to read it!

The End by Mark Hitchcock was sent to me by the Tyndale Media Network for review. Addressing the Biblical prophecies and the end of days, The End intends to be a comprehensive look at the topic. I will admit, I tend to be rather put off by end times literature. To often, it has been a make or break topic in the theological discussions, and to me, that seems slightly over the top. There are a variety of views on the matter, but its not a make or break issue for the Christian faith.

So why am I reading this? Because I think it will be challenging for me, and possibly for those that read this blog. As its a topic I generally avoid, I don’t actually read much about the subject, nor do I really consider my own theological view on the matter. Hopefully, I’ll learn some things and have a chance for reflection.

My final book is A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. I love Mark Twain. His writing is witty and insightful, and I’ve had just a taste of this book. Just enough of a taste that I can’t wait to finish it. I was thrilled when I was able to get a copy off of Paperbackswap.com, as I am pretty convinced this is one I want to own.

Wow. That’s alot of books. No guarantees on the timetable for completion, but know that I will be posting reviews as I finish them.

Mailbox Madness

With my new membership on Paperbackswap.com and two recent purchases on Amazon (something that is incredibly rare for me these days) I have found myself with a mailbox full of books which is, in my humble opinion, a happy problem. (Although I am not sure my roommates would agree, considering the incredibly large pile of books in our living room that are waiting for me to finish re-constructing my bookcase.)

In any case, I’ve had quite a few books come my way recently, and I thought I’d share. Here’s the madness:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

from Paperbackswap.com

I don’t remember exactly how I discovered Lisa See…but I think it was the suggestion of Shanghai Girls on Amazon that I subsequently purchased and then inhaled before buying the sequel Dreams of Joy. See is a fantastic writer, and reading those two made me want to work through a few more  all of her novels.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

from Paperbackswap.com

I honestly can’t explain my recent obsession with the Lost Generation writers. Maybe its my viewing of Midnight in Paris and the sheer number of literary references I missed. Maybe its my recent brush with World War I literature, and my interest in the way it subsequently shaped the thinking of those impacted by it. Either way, I found myself ordering a few of Hemingway’s novels, and that first that arrived was A Farewell to Arms. I also received a copy of The Sun Also Rises last week.

          Inescapable by Nancy Mehl

from Amazon.com

I read a review of Inescapable over at www.5minutesforbooks.com and found myself curious, however, it was not available at my local library, nor coming soon, so I took a risk and ordered a copy. The premise is interesting: the story is about Lizze Engel and her daughter Charity who return to Lizzie’s hometown of Kingdom after losing her job, hoping to escape a man stalking her. What awaits her in Kingdom is her incredibly strict father, an Old Order Mennonite resistant to change, and a flood of memories. In spite of Kingdom’s off the map status, Lizzie’s stalker manages to track her down.

I must confess: as soon I opened this one I knew I would end up reading it immediately, casting aside the six other books I am reading…and I did. So far, I feel sadly disappointed though. I am about a third of the way through, and it has not been nearly as gripping as I had hoped. I will continue on, however, and let you know what I think.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

from Paperbackswap.com

In case you didn’t believe me about my obsession with writers from the Lost Generation, I present to you further evidence in the form of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I would be a little bit of a liar, however, if I didn’t admit that part of my reason for reading The Great Gatesby which I somehow managed to avoid all the way through middle school and clear through high school, is in anticipation of the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  I am curious to see how it would be adapted on screen.

The Elusive Mr. McCoy by Brenda Baker

from Amazon.com

This is another book I just couldn’t help but purchase after I found out it would not be at my local library any time soon. I was fascinated by the double life presented, and by the idea that the “offender” as Jennifer from 5 Minutes for Books refers to him, is decidedly absent from the story as it focuses on his families. I am looking forward to reading and reviewing this one.

As always, I have so much to read and so little time. 🙂

An experiment in book swapping

As you may have observed already, I am a pretty avid reader, and while I greatly appreciate the services of my local public library, I find sometimes that either don’t have a book that I am looking for or I prefer to own a copy. As someone on a rather limited book budget and severely lacking in shelf space I need to find a way to obtain books as well as get rid of books.

I’ve gotten quite a few suggestions on how to go about this- donate and purchase from library book sales, donate and purchase books from Goodwill, visit used book shops, or solely utilize the local library. I’ve done alot of those things. I’ve even swapped books or borrowed books from friends, as well as loaned a few copies out. But I find that for acquiring specific books it can be a little challenging. I don’t keep a mental list of the books I am looking for  in my head and no matter how hard I try, I don’t always have my list of books to find in my head. Or, as I mentioned, occasionally the library doesn’t have something I’m looking for…so what then?

One of the alternatives that I have found is paperbackswap.com. After you enroll, you list 10 books that you’re looking to get rid of …er…swap, and then you get two credits just for signing up. Every time you send a book to someone and they confirm they receive it, you get points, which you can use to get books back. I only had four books handy, but immediately after posting them I already had two of the four requested. I confirmed that I could mail them in the next 48 hours (one of the rules), printed the mailing pages, and I’ll go by my local post office this afternoon to mail them.

The cons as I see it so far:

  1. They may not have any of the books that I am looking for.
  2. The site is a little confusing to navigate.
  3. I may wind up with more books than I started with.
  4. I have to pay for postage.

The pros as I see it so far:

  1. I’ll be getting rid of a few books that have lying around too long.
  2. I can get a few new books to read.
  3. There’s a review site if I want to post reviews. (Although I do most of my review posting here and on Goodreads).

Once I’ve explored the process a little more and have had success or failure, I’ll be sure to report back. Have you given programs like paperbackswap or bookmooch a try? Do you like them? How do you manage your reading habit and your budgeting issues?

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