my latest library haul.

MYTHOLOGY by Edith Hamilton

Edith Hamilton’s Mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths that are the keystone of Western culture–the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present. We meet the Greek gods on Olympus and Norse gods in Valhalla. We follow the drama of the Trojan War and the wanderings of Odysseus. We hear the tales of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Cupid and Psyche, and mighty King Midas. We discover the origins of the names of the constellations. And we recognize reference points for countless works of art, literature, and cultural inquiry–from Freud’s Oedipus complex to Wagner’s Ring Cycle of operas to Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra. Praised throughout the world for its authority and lucidity, Mythology is Edith Hamilton’s masterpiece–the standard by which all other books on mythology are measured.

Back when I was a bookseller, Mythology sold like hotcakes, even decades after its 1942 release. It wasn’t until last month when my book club discussed Jennifer Saint’s Ariadne that I fell down a mythology rabbit hole and haven’t yet climbed back out. I had originally planned on grabbing whatever copy was available at my library – until I saw this gorgeous illustrated 75th anniversary copy.

RAZORBLADE TEARS by S.A Cosby

Ike Randolph has been out of jail for fifteen years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a Black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid. The last thing he expects to hear is that his son Isiah has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Ike had never fully accepted his son but is devastated by his loss.

Derek’s father Buddy Lee was almost as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed his father was a criminal. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.

Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, hardened men Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices about their sons and each other, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.

This novel has been taking the book community by storm, a highly anticipated follow-up to last year’s Blacktop Wasteland. Last month I was taking a drive, something I started doing on my lunchbreaks as I was getting some serious cabin fever since I’m still WFH. I had been listening to an episode of Fresh Air and Cosby was a guest. His interview, combined with heaps of praise from readers resulted in this #bookstagrammademedoit library grab!

OLYMPUS, TEXAS by Stacey Swann

The Briscoe family is once again the talk of their small town when March returns to East Texas two years after he was caught having an affair with his brother’s wife. His mother, June, hardly welcomes him back with open arms. Her husband’s own past affairs have made her tired of being the long-suffering spouse. Is it, perhaps, time for a change? Within days of March’s arrival, someone is dead, marriages are upended, and even the strongest of alliances are shattered. In the end, the ties that hold them together might be exactly what drag them all down.

Small towns, family drama, I’m HERE for it. Even better: Swann straight up said this is her riffing on Greek gods and myths. Very relevant to my interests right now!!

APPLESEED by Matt Bell

In eighteenth-century Ohio, two brothers travel into the wooded frontier, planting apple orchards from which they plan to profit in the years to come. As they remake the wilderness in their own image, planning for a future of settlement and civilization, the long-held bonds and secrets between the two will be tested, fractured and broken—and possibly healed.

Fifty years from now, in the second half of the twenty-first century, climate change has ravaged the Earth. Having invested early in genetic engineering and food science, one company now owns all the world’s resources. But a growing resistance is working to redistribute both land and power—and in a pivotal moment for the future of humanity, one of the company’s original founders will return to headquarters, intending to destroy what he helped build.

A thousand years in the future, North America is covered by a massive sheet of ice. One lonely sentient being inhabits a tech station on top of the glacier—and in a daring and seemingly impossible quest, sets out to follow a homing beacon across the continent in the hopes of discovering the last remnant of civilization.

Though Appleseed‘s sheer size (clocking in at just shy of 500 pages) and massive scope and more than a little intimidating, this book sounds fascinating. ALSO, there’s a 100% chance this caught my eye because of its title. For several years I was a Johnny Appleseed nerd.

CARRY ON by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

An oldie! But now the trilogy is complete and ready to be binged. This grab was entirely due to book club: several of my friends are big fans of this series and their gushing and love for these books gave me FOMO!

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