Shelf Control #117: Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Slammerkin
Author: Emma Donoghue
Published: 2000
Length: 410 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Born to rough cloth in working-class London in 1748, Mary Saunders hungers for linen and lace. Her lust for a shiny red ribbon leads her to a life of prostitution at a young age, where she encounters a freedom unknown to virtuous young women. But a dangerous misstep sends her fleeing to Monmouth and the refuge of the middle-class household of Mrs. Jones, to become the seamstress her mother always expected her to be and to live the ordinary life of an ordinary girl. Although Mary becomes a close confidante of Mrs. Jones, her desire for a better life leads her back to prostitution. She remains true only to the three rules she learned on the streets of London: Never give up your liberty; Clothes make the woman; Clothes are the greatest lie ever told. In the end, it is clothes, their splendor and their deception, that lead Mary to disaster.
Emma Donoghue’s daring, sensually charged prose casts a new sheen on the squalor and glamour of eighteenth-century England. Accurate, masterfully written, and infused with themes that still bedevil us today, Slammerkin is historical fiction for all readers.

How and when I got it:

I bought this book several years ago, after first “meeting” this author through Room.

Why I want to read it:

I’m always up for some good historical fiction, especially when the central figure is a woman with a fascinating story. After reading Room, I was interested to see what other types of books this author had written. Slammerkin sounds completely different, but I’m intrigued enough by the synopsis to want to find out more about it!

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Shelf Control #116: Silver (Return to Treasure Island) by Andrew Motion

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Silver: Return to Treasure Island
Author: Andrew Motion
Published: 2012
Length: 416 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

A rip-roaring sequel to Treasure Island—Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved classic—about two young friends and their high-seas adventure with dangerous pirates and long-lost treasure.

It’s almost forty years after the events of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island:  Jim Hawkins now runs an inn called the Hispaniola on the English coast with his son, Jim, and Long John Silver has returned to England to live in obscurity with his daughter, Natty. Their lives are quiet and unremarkable; their adventures have seemingly ended.
But for Jim and Natty, the adventure is just beginning. One night, Natty approaches young Jim with a proposition: return to Treasure Island and find the remaining treasure that their fathers left behind so many years before. As Jim and Natty set sail in their fathers’ footsteps, they quickly learn that this journey will not be easy.  Immediately, they come up against murderous pirates, long-held grudges, and greed and deception lurking in every corner. And when they arrive on Treasure Island, they find terrible scenes awaiting them—difficulties which require all their wit as well as their courage.  Nor does the adventure end there, since they have to sail homeward again…
Andrew Motion’s sequel—rollicking, heartfelt, and utterly brilliant—would make Robert Louis Stevenson proud.

How and when I got it:

I bought this book two years ago, after (finally!) reading the original Treasure Island for the first time.

Why I want to read it:

I really enjoyed Treasure Island, and was looking for a way to continue the adventure when I stumbled upon a recommendation for this book. It does sounds like fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing if the author can capture the flavor and excitement of the original!

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

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Shelf Control #115: Shifter’s Wolf by Patricia Briggs

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Shifter’s Wolf
Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: 1993 (Masques), 2010 (Wolfsbane)
Length: 544 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Includes her debut novel Masques and its sequel Wolfsbane—together in one volume

Before there was Mercy Thompson… In a world far removed from the Alpha and Omega werewolves… There was the shapeshifting mercenary Aralorn. 

Masques 
After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn has fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. Her latest mission involves gathering intelligence on the increasingly charismatic and dangerous sorcerer Geoffrey ae’Magi. But in a war against an adversary armed with the power of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is—or where he will strike next?

Wolfsbane 
For the last ten years, Aralorn has led a dangerous existence. Now she must return home, for her noble father, the Lyon of Lambshold, has passed away. But when Aralorn and her companion Wolf arrive, they find that not only is he not dead, but a darkness is very much alive within him…

How and when I got it:

I bought this book several years ago, after binge-reading the Mercy Thompson series.

Why I want to read it:

It’s so frustrating to binge on a favorite series… and then run out of books to read! I read all of the Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega books pretty much straight through, and then found myself at loose ends, wanting more. The two novels in Shifter’s Wolf are not connected to the world of the Mercy books, but when I realized that there were more Patricia Briggs books out there, I pounced.

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

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Shelf Control #114: Yarrow by Charles de Lint

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Yarrow
Author: Charles de Lint
Published: 1986
Length: 256 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Cat Midhir lives in a land of dreams, crossing nightly over the borders of sleep into a magic realm. A land where gnomes hide among standing stones and shelties dwell beneath the waves, where the harper Kothlen tells tales of the ancient days and the antlered Mynfel walks by moonlight…

When Cat wakes she weaves stories around the Otherworld. Her books are labelled as fantasy, but Mynfel’s domain seems more real to her than the humdrum streets of the city.

Until a thief comes stalking—and steals Cat’s dreams away…

How and when I got it:

I have no idea where or when I picked this book up… but it’s been on my fantasy shelf for years.

Why I want to read it:

Maybe this is partially the influence of the Faerie world I’ve been inhabiting through other reading lately, but I love the sound of the plot, especially the idea of a fantasy writer who actually dwells in an Otherworld in her dreams. I’ve been wanting to read more by Charles de Lint (so far, I’ve only read The Mystery of Grace, which was amazing). His Newford series has so many books that I keep hesitating to dip my toes in, but Yarrow is supposed to be a stand-alone, so it could be a great choice.

Have you read any of this author’s works? Any you particularly recommend?

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Shelf Control #113: The Terror by Dan Simmons

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: The Terror
Author: Dan Simmons
Published: 2007
Length: 769 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

The bestselling author of Ilium and Olympos transforms the true story of a legendary Arctic expedition into a thriller worthy of Stephen King or Patrick O’Brian.

Their captain’s insane vision of a Northwest Passage has kept the crewmen of The Terror trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw. But the real threat to their survival isn’t the ever-shifting landscape of white, the provisions that have turned to poison before they open them, or the ship slowly buckling in the grip of the frozen ocean.

The real threat is whatever is out in the frigid darkness, stalking their ship, snatching one seaman at a time or whole crews, leaving bodies mangled horribly or missing forever. Captain Crozier takes over the expedition after the creature kills its original leader, Sir John Franklin.

Drawing equally on his own strengths as a seaman and the mystical beliefs of the Eskimo woman he’s rescued, Crozier sets a course on foot out of the Arctic and away from the insatiable beast. But every day the dwindling crew becomes more deranged and mutinous, until Crozier begins to fear there is no escape from an ever-more-inconceivable nightmare.

How and when I got it:

I’ve had this on my shelf for years — I’m not even sure at this point where or when I picked it up.

Why I want to read it:

Stories of Arctic exploration fascinate me, and add to that a terror element — well, I’m sold! I just rediscovered this on my bookshelf after seeing a trailer for the upcoming TV production, which looks awesome. Either I’ll read the book and then watch… or more likely, I’ll start watching, then decide if I’m interested enough to finally pick up the book.

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

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Shelf Control #112: Wizard and Glass

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower IV)
Author: Stephen King
Published: 2003
Length: 700 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

In 1978, Stephen King introduced the world to the last gunslinger, Roland of Gilead.  Nothing has been the same since. More than twenty years later, the quest for the Dark Tower continues to take readers on a wildly epic ride. Through parallel worlds and across time, Roland must brave desolate wastelands and endless deserts, drifting into the unimaginable and the familiar. A classic tale of colossal scope—crossing over terrain from The Stand, The Eyes of the Dragon, Insomnia, The Talisman, Black House, Hearts in Atlantis, ’Salem’s Lot, and other familiar King haunts—the adventure takes hold with the turn of each page.

And the Tower awaits….

Roland and his band of followers have narrowly escaped one world and slipped into the next. There Roland tells them a tale of long-ago love and adventure involving a beautiful and quixotic woman named Susan Delgado. And there they will be drawn into an ancient mystery of spellbinding magic and supreme menace…

How and when I got it:

As with so many of the books on my shelves, I picked up my copy of Wizard and Glass at a library book sale several years ago, soon after starting The Gunslinger.

Why I want to read it:

I never really meant to quit reading The Dark Tower series. I read the first three books, took a break to focus on other things for a while, and somehow never got around to going back. Now, it’s been a few years since I finished the 3rd book, and I’m a little nervous about continuing without a good refresher (or a re-read) of what’s come before. Still, I know the series is supposed to be amazing, and I really enjoyed the books I’ve read, so I just need to commit to returning to the Dark Tower world and seeing if it still speaks to me.

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
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Shelf Control #111: The Replacement

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Published: 2010
Length: 343 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.

Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate’s baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs.

How and when I got it:

I really have no idea. I probably picked up my copy at a library sale, but it’s been long enough that I don’t remember actually buying it.

Why I want to read it:

Okay, number one? That cover! I mean, creepy — right? I’m pretty sure I grabbed a copy based on the cover alone, but the description sounds aewesome too. I’ve read other stories about changelings traded for human children, and they’re never not scary.

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
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Shelf Control #110: Our Song

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Our Song
Author: Dani Atkins
Published: 2016
Length: 512 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

The stunning new emotional drama from ebook phenomenon Dani Atkins, author of Fractured – perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson.

This is the story of Ally and Charlotte, whose paths have intersected over the years though they’ve never really been close friends. Charlotte married Ally’s ex and first true love, David. Fate is about to bring them together one last, dramatic time and change their lives forever.

Full of Dani’s signature warmth and emotion, this is a gripping and emotional family drama. With breath-taking plot twists, Dani explores themes of serendipity, friendship and love. She fully engages the reader in the dilemmas faced by her characters. What would you do if your husband was the love of somebody else’s life? And when faced with an agonising decision, could you put the past behind you and do the right thing?

How and when I got it:

I bought it via Book Depository when it came out in 2016, as I didn’t see it available through my usual US book sources.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve read the author’s previous novel, Then and Always (published in the UK under the title Fractured), and loved it — a contemporary love story with unusual twists and the ability to yank on my heartstrings. Once I heard about Our Song, I knew I had to give it a try.

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
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Shelf Control #109: A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding
Author: Jackie Copleton
Published: 2015
Length: 292 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

In the tradition of Memoirs of a Geisha and The Piano Teacher, a heart-wrenching debut novel of family, forgiveness, and the exquisite pain of love
 
When Amaterasu Takahashi opens the door of her Philadelphia home to a badly scarred man claiming to be her grandson, she doesn’t believe him. Her grandson and her daughter, Yuko, perished nearly forty years ago during the bombing of Nagasaki. But the man carries with him a collection of sealed private letters that open a Pandora’s Box of family secrets Ama had sworn to leave behind when she fled Japan. She is forced to confront her memories of the years before the war: of the daughter she tried too hard to protect and the love affair that would drive them apart, and even further back, to the long, sake-pouring nights at a hostess bar where Ama first learned that a soft heart was a dangerous thing. Will Ama allow herself to believe in a miracle?

How and when I got it:

I bought it about two years ago, after seeing it mentioned in a magazine.

Why I want to read it:

It just sounds so heartbreaking! I love the description, with a long-lost grandson turning up after so many years, after enduring so much. The synopsis makes me want to know more about the family’s secrets and why they’ve been separated for so long.

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
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Shelf Control #108: Wonder

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Wonder
Author: R. J. Palacio
Published: 2012
Length: 316 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

‘My name is August.
I won’t describe to you what I look like.
Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’

Ten-year-old August Pullman wants to be ordinary. He does ordinary things. He eats ice-cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, he has been home-schooled by his parents his entire life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, Auggie’s parents are sending him to a real school. Can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches, Wonder is a frank, funny, astonishingly moving debut to be read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

How and when I got it:

I bought it… years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I know, I know… absolutely everyone has read this book, and it’s supposed to be amazing! There’s no good reason why I haven’t yet, except, well, I just haven’t gotten around to it. I’m determined to finally make time to read Wonder this year, and then I’ll watch the movie. I’m not made of stone, people — of course I’ll read this book!

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
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