Shelf Control #319: The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

Shelves final

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!

Title: The House on the Strand
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published: 1969
Length: 352 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as a guinea pig for a new drug that Magnus has discovered in his scientific research.

When Dick samples Magnus’s potion, he finds himself doing the impossible: traveling through time while staying in place, thrown all the way back into Medieval Cornwall. The concoction wear off after several hours, but its effects are intoxicating and Dick cannot resist his newfound powers. As his journeys increase, Dick begins to resent the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before, and the home of the beautiful Lady Isolda…

How and when I got it:

I bought the e-book edition several years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve been seeing several bloggers sharing posts for Daphne du Maurier Reading Week (hosted by Heavenali) — and while I wasn’t thinking about this in time to participate, seeing the posts reminded me that I have a bunch of Daphne du Maurier books that I need to read! In fact, the only boos of her that I’ve read is the one that pretty much everyone has read, Rebecca. But I know there’s so much more to explore, and I do want to make a point of reading more of her books.

The House on the Strand caught my attention as soon as I first came across it. I mean… hello? Time travel fan here!

I’d guess time travel was a much less written-about fiction device at the time when this book was published. It was one of the author’s later books (published 30 years after Rebecca) — I’m so curious about how she portrayed the time travel elements, as well as what the overall reaction to the book was at the time of publication. (I know I could look up this piece, but would rather wait until after I’ve actually read the book).

I believe I have 4 or 5 of the author’s books sitting unread on my physical or virtual bookshelves. The House on the Strand seems like a great place for me to start.

What do you think? Have you read this book? Do you have a favorite Daphne du Maurier book to recommend?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

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.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read. I have plenty of these! (Don’t we all?)

To keep it simple, I went back through my preorder spreadsheet (yes, I keep track of my book orders via an Excel spreadsheet!), and discovered plenty of books that I ordered well in advance of the release date… and still haven’t gotten around to reading. Sigh…

I only went back through my last 4 – 5 years of book buying — I’m sure I have plenty of older books that would fit this list too!

My top 10 books (and the year each was purchased) are:

  1. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (2018)
  2. Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness (2018)
  3. Someday by David Levithan (2018
  4. Death of an Eye by Dana Stabenow (2018)
  5. The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders (2019)
  6. The Five by Hallie Rubenhold (2020)
  7. When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey (2020)
  8. Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister (2020)
  9. Ambush or Adore by Gail Carriger (2021)
  10. The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi (2022)

What books made your list this week? Are there any on my list that you think I should read ASAP?

Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

Shelf Control #318: One By One by Ruth Ware

Shelves final

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!

A scheduling note for Shelf Control: Next week, I’ll be away for a few days, and rather than schedule a Shelf Control post in advance, I’m planning to go easy on myself and skip a week! So, for May 11th, I will not have a Shelf Control post up on Bookshelf Fantasies, but if you’re participating in the meme, please add your link to this week’s post so I don’t miss it!

Title: One By One
Author: Ruth Ware
Published: 2020
Length: 372 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.

How and when I got it:

I bought a hardcover edition during a pre-Christmas book sale in 2020.

Why I want to read it:

I love snowy mountain vacations… and I also seem to be drawn to books and/or movies that feature snowy mountain disasters! What does this say about me, I wonder?

One By One caught my attention as soon as I stumbled across it and read the synopsis, and when I saw it available at a deep discount, I just had to grab a copy. Now, I’m not usually much of a thriller reader, and I’ve only read one book by Ruth Ware so far (The Turn of the Key), which I had decidedly mixed feelings about. Still, the subject matter and description for One By One make it sound like a twisty must-read for me.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

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.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Top Ten Tuesday: Two-word word association for the last 10 books I’ve read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read. I tried, but I couldn’t think about how to do this — my list would have been basically: scary! funny! sweet! etc… not very enlightening.

So, I thought I’d do a bit of word association. Remember playing word association games? Say the first word that comes to mind…

In this case, I decided to do the two words that come to mind when I think about the most recent books I’ve read. Here goes!

Hollywood & Hyenas


Narwhals & Cheese


Mule & Pajama Party


Lawyers & Scones


ASL & Anarchy


Bonedog & Dustwife


Doll-children & Surveillance


Tudors & Shapeshifters


Cake & Kissing


Dating & Demons

How did you do with this week’s TTT prompt? Did you have better luck than I did writing one-word reviews?

Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

Shelf Control #317: House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg

Shelves final

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!

Title: House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery
Author: Liz Rosenberg
Published: 2018
Length: 339 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

An affecting biography of the author of Anne of Green Gables is the first for young readers to include revelations about her last days and to encompass the complexity of a brilliant and sometimes troubled life.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Maud who adored stories. When she was fourteen years old, Maud wrote in her journal, “I love books. I hope when I grow up to be able to have lots of them.” Not only did Maud grow up to own lots of books, she wrote twenty-four of them herself as L. M. Montgomery, the world-renowned author of Anne of Green Gables. For many years, not a great deal was known about Maud’s personal life. Her childhood was spent with strict, undemonstrative grandparents, and her reflections on writing, her lifelong struggles with anxiety and depression, her “year of mad passion,” and her difficult married life remained locked away, buried deep within her unpublished personal journals. Through this revealing and deeply moving biography, kindred spirits of all ages who, like Maud, never gave up “the substance of things hoped for” will be captivated anew by the words of this remarkable woman.

How and when I got it:

I bought a hardcover edition just over a year ago.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve been a voracious reader from childhood onward, but it’s only been in the last few years, as a (ahem) mature adult, that I’ve filled in a major gap in my childhood reading — the works of L. M. Montgomery!

How I managed to get through my younger days without someone pushing a copy of Anne of Green Gables into my hands, I just can’t quite understand. But that’s how things stood until about three years ago, when I finally read AoGG and then proceeded to read the seven following books in the Anne series. By now, I’ve also read the three Emily Starr books (loved them!) and one of the author’s rare books for adults, The Blue Castle. (Loved that one too!)

But what do I actually know about the author? Not very much, other than that she was a beloved Canadian children’s author who grew up on Prince Edward Island — so I was eager to get my hands on this biography of L. M. Montgomery, which has some truly stellar reviews on Goodreads and elsewhere.

House of Dreams is marketed as a middle grade book, although from some comments on Goodreads, it sounds like it deals more directly with the author’s depression than might be expected in MG.

I know I’ve commented at least a thousand times (grain of salt applied here…) that I tend not to read non-fiction, but this book is one I think I’ll make an exception for. I’ve gotten so much joy from reading L. M. Montgomery’s books over the last few years. I think it’s about time for me to get to know the author herself.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

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.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with BOOKS on the cover

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Books with [___] On the Cover (Pick a thing (a color, an item, a place, an animal, a scripty font, a sexy person, etc.) and share covers that have that thing on the cover.). I took what seemed like an easy-ish approach and went with books!

I love books about books and readers — how about you? Do you have a favorite?

What was your TTT theme this week? Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

Shelf Control #316: Joe Golem and the Drowning City by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

Shelves final

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!

Title: Joe Golem and the Drowning City
Author: Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Published: 2012
Length: 272 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

In 1925, earthquakes and a rising sea level left Lower Manhattan submerged under more than thirty feet of water, so that its residents began to call it the Drowning City. Those unwilling to abandon their homes created a new life on streets turned to canals and in buildings whose first three stories were underwater. Fifty years have passed since then, and the Drowning City is full of scavengers and water rats, poor people trying to eke out an existence, and those too proud or stubborn to be defeated by circumstance.

Among them are fourteen-year-old Molly McHugh and her friend and employer, Felix Orlov. Once upon a time Orlov the Conjuror was a celebrated stage magician, but now he is an old man, a psychic medium, contacting the spirits of the departed for the grieving loved ones left behind. When a seance goes horribly wrong, Felix Orlov is abducted by strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits, and Molly soon finds herself on the run.

Her flight will lead her into the company of a mysterious man, and his stalwart sidekick, Joe Golem, whose own past is a mystery to him, but who walks his own dreams as a man of stone and clay, brought to life for the sole purpose of hunting witches.

How and when I got it:

According to my Amazon records, I bought the paperback edition in 2014.

Why I want to read it:

You know, I honestly don’t remember how this book came to my attention! Chances are, I either saw a recommendation on another book blog or, possibly, this was an Amazon recommendation that popped up for me after I read The Golem and the Jinni!

In any case, when I first bought this, I thought it would be a graphic novel, but it’s not. It’s an “illustrated novel”, so the plot is told in narrative form, but there are illustrations to go with. I think that because I didn’t pay attention to what I was buying and had incorrect expectations, I may have been feeling let down when the book arrived, and so ended up shelving it and never picking it up again.

The are some pretty positive reviews on Goodreads, and I’ve enjoyed (and/or been creeped out by) other books by Christopher Golden, so I’m inclined to eventually read this book rather than putting it on the donation pile.

Apparently, the story continues past this book via comic books. According to Wikipedia:

Joe Golem is a novel and comic book series created by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. It began with a promotional short story, Joe Golem and the Copper Girl, followed by an illustrated novel, Joe Golem and the Drowning City in 2012, both published by St. Martin’s Press. The series was expanded as a comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics from 2015 to 2019. The series follows Joe, an occult detective in New York City during the 1960s and ’70s. The Joe Golem series is set in The Outerverse, a shared universe with Baltimore (a 2007 novel by Mignola and Golden and its comic book continuation), and other series.

I’m very on the fence about the whole thing.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

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.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #315: Happy Doomsday by David Sosnowski

Shelves final

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!

Title: Happy Doomsday
Author: David Sosnowski
Published: 2018
Length: 445 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

The end of the world is the weirdest time to come of age.

Welcome to the end of the world. One minute, people are going about their lives, and the next—not. In the wake of the inexplicable purge, only a handful of young misfits remains.

When it all went down, “Wizard of Odd” Dev Brinkman was seeking shelter from the taunts of his classmates. Goth girl Lucy Abernathy had lost her best friend and had no clue where to turn. And Twinkie-loving quarterback “Marcus” Haddad was learning why you never discuss politics and religion in polite company—or online.

As if life when you’re sixteen isn’t confusing enough, throw in the challenges of postapocalyptic subsistence, a case of survivor’s guilt turned up to seven billion, and the small task of rebuilding humankind…

No one said doomsday would be a breeze. But for Dev, Lucy, and Marcus, the greatest hope—and greatest threat—will come when they find each other.

How and when I got it:

I picked up the Kindle edition a couple of years ago.

Why I want to read it:

This book came to my attention thanks to social media praise and a blurb by one of my favorite authors, Maria Doria Russell. Not only that, but David Sosnowski wrote one of the most inventive yet under-the-radar vampire novels I’ve read in the last 20 years (Vamped, published 2004). So how could I resist?

Now, you may be tempted to shrug and say, “seen one apocalypse novel, seen ’em all”. Fair. I do feel like I’ve read my share (and then some) of end-of-the-world books, filled with plucky survivors, weird post-apocalyptic new realities, and the fate of humanity at stake.

Still, the synopsis sounds pretty charming and funny, and — this can’t be emphasized enough — Mary Doria Russell loved it! So it must be pretty darn awesome.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

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.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To, and I definitely have a bunch of those!

In no particular order, my list includes:

  1. Jess Kidd: I own two of this author’s books, and I’m especially interested in reading Things in Jars, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

2. Jesse Q. Sutanto: The “auntie” books look so cute!

3. Stacey Lee: I have one of her books, and love the sound of at least one more.

4. Mike Chen: I keep picking up Kindle books by this author because they sound so good, yet I haven’t read any of them (yet).

5. Elizabeth Acevedo: I own one of her books, and know there’s another that I need to read as well.

6. Sarah Pinsker: The sci-fi award-winning author’s books sound really intriguing to me.

7. Sarah Moss: Another author where I own one book, and have another on my wishlist.

8. Peng Shepherd: And again — I have the first book below (unread), and I’m wishing for the second.

9. Kate Quinn: I feel so behind when it comes to this author! I have copies of three of her books, and have yet to read a single one.

10. N. K. Jemisen: I’ve been wanting to read both her Broken Earth and Inheritance series, but have never quite found the right time to start.

Have you read books by any of the authors on my list? If so, which do you think I should make a priority? What authors were on your TTT list this week?

Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

Shelf Control #314: Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco by Alia Volz

Shelves final

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!

Title: Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco
Author: Alia Volz
Published: 2020
Length: 436 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

A blazingly funny, heartfelt memoir from the daughter of the larger-than-life woman who ran Sticky Fingers Brownies, an underground bakery that distributed thousands of marijuana brownies per month and helped provide medical marijuana to AIDS patients in San Francisco—for fans of Armistead Maupin and Patricia Lockwood

During the ’70s in San Francisco, Alia’s mother ran the underground Sticky Fingers Brownies, delivering upwards of 10,000 illegal marijuana edibles per month throughout the circus-like atmosphere of a city in the throes of major change. She exchanged psychic readings with Alia’s future father, and thereafter had a partner in business and life.

Decades before cannabusiness went mainstream, when marijuana was as illicit as heroin, they ingeniously hid themselves in plain sight, parading through town—and through the scenes and upheavals of the day, from Gay Liberation to the tragedy of the Peoples Temple—in bright and elaborate outfits, the goods wrapped in hand-designed packaging and tucked into Alia’s stroller. But the stars were not aligned forever and, after leaving the city and a shoulda-seen-it-coming divorce, Alia and her mom returned to San Francisco in the mid-80s, this time using Sticky Fingers’ distribution channels to provide medical marijuana to friends and former customers now suffering the depredations of AIDS.

Exhilarating, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartbreaking, Home Baked celebrates an eccentric and remarkable extended family, taking us through love, loss, and finding home.

How and when I got it:

I picked up the Kindle edition about a year ago.

Why I want to read it:

Just last week, I mentioned that I often add non-fiction books to my shelves, yet somehow never find myself motivated to read them. And yet here I go again, featuring a non-fiction book as this week’s Shelf Control book!

This book got a lot of buzz here in San Francisco when it came out in 2020. I remember seeing not just reviews in the arts section of the paper, but also profiles, interviews, etc. And honestly, doesn’t this just sound fascinating?

San Francisco is not my hometown, but I’ve lived here since the mid-90s. Since moving here, I’ve been eager to learn more about SF’s recent and more distant history — and what better and more exciting times to read about than the 70s and 80s? The blurb mentioning Armistead Maupin (author of Tales of the City) doesn’t hurt a bit, and I’m also eager to see how this edibles business transformed into a cause supporting AIDS patients needing medical marijuana.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

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.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!