Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vacation Recap plus New Release Excitement

Back from vacation! And what a busy vacation it was! We usually spent a lot of time at our hotel just relaxing, and I catch up on all my reading. This year, however, was quite different. We stayed right in the center of downtown Newport, RI, and were within walking distance to everything! Needless to say, we spent almost NO time in the hotel room. We did tons of walking, including a Cliff Walk (which was awesome), of which I will be posting photos as soon as I get them uploaded. I had a real blast.

And of course, the highlight of my trip:

Driving to Warwick, RI to snap a couple photos of the TAPS building!! Quite the success, if I do say so myself!

I actually did not wander into any bookstores this trip, as we didn't really hang out around the shops. There was too much other stuff to do. My little sister did pick up a book that I think is called Folklore and the Sea or something like that. It's got short legends about the ocean, and it looks like a fun read.

As far as actual reading goes, I got a good chunk of my audiobook The Year of the Flood done and will finish it this week. I also have just half of The Book Thief completed. As for The Constant Gardener, I've decided to put it on hold for a while. It's a good book, and my family is always raving about it, but maybe it's just not my kind of book. I'd like to pick it up again someday and I haven't given up all hope for it. There are just other books I'd rather be reading right now and I don't want to force myself to read something I'm not feeling.

Now for some books I am just dying to get my hands on!

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel

I saw this book for the first time while browzing's new releases. Then I kept seeing rave review after rave review, and decided it is definitely a must-read. Here is the book description from the author's website,
The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the “high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island” that is the Japanese Empire’s single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiancĂ©e back in Holland.
But Jacob’s original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city’s powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacob’s worst imaginings. As one cynical colleague asks, “Who ain’t a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life?”
A magnificent mix of luminous writing, prodigious research, and heedless imagination, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is the most impressive achievement of its eminent author.

Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo
Pray for Silence: A Thriller (Kate Burkholder)

Murder mystery but seems way better than a lot of them. It's an Amish family that gets murdered. Why would anyone want to kill an Amish family?? It looks pretty awesome. You can read an excerpt at the author's website, Here is the plot:

In the quiet town of Painters Mill an Amish family is found slaughtered on their farm. Kate Burkholder and her small police force have few clues, no motive and no suspect. Formerly Amish herself, Kate is no stranger to secrets, but she can’t get her mind around the senseless brutality of the crime.

State agent John Tomasseti arrives on the scene to assist. He and Kate worked together on a previous case, and they’re still setting the limits of a complex, difficult relationship. They soon realize that the disturbing details of this case will push those boundaries to the breaking point.
When Kate discovers a diary, she realizes a haunting personal connection to the case. One of the teenage daughters kept some very dark secrets and may have been leading a lurid double life. Driven by her own scarred past, Kate vows to find the killer and bring him to justice—even if it means putting herself in the line of fire.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
Still Missing

I think this looks pretty awesome. Check out the author's site at for more info on Stevens. She has a blog too, which is at the site. Plot from website:

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a thirty-two year old Realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever- patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor of the day pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.
Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive of a sadistic psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered spirit back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.
The truth doesn’t always set you free.

Possibly a trip (or two!) to the bookstore this week. We will see. I'm still waiting to get my work schedule so I have NO idea what my week looks like! They better email it soon because I'd like to know now if I have to work tomorrow.
It was so nice to get away, but I am happy to be back with my friends, my dog, and of course, my blog ;)

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