Just another book haul. SMH.

Yes, again, I was unsuccessful in overcoming the temptation to buy more books *tsundoku*. So instead of imposing on your time, I am going to skip on the preliminaries and go directly to my book purchases for the month. Without any more ado, here they are:


Title: Out of Africa (and Shadows on the Grass)
Author: Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen
Publisher: Vintage International Publishing
Publishing Date: October 1989
No. of Pages: 462
Synopsis: “At the age of twenty-seven, Isak Dinesen (nee Karen Blixen) left Denmark and sailed for East Africa to marry her Swedish cousin, Baron Bror Blixen. Together they bought a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in Kenya. From 1914 to 1931 she managed the plantation, even after she and her husband separated. Her account of those years Is transformed by the magic of her prose and her supreme gift as a storyteller into a vibrant re-creation of Africa, filled with her affection for and understanding of the land and its people.”


Title: The Shack
Author: WM Paul Young
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publishing Date: 2008
No. of Pages: 246
Synopsis: “Mackenzie Allen Philip’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment, he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant, THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him.”


Title: Memories of My Melancholy Whores
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Translator: Edith Grossman
Publisher: Viking International Publishing
Publishing Date: November 2006
No. of Pages: 115
Synopsis: “On the eve of his ninetieth birthday a bachelor decides to give himself a wild night of love with a virgin. As is his habit – he purchased hundreds of women – he asks a madam for her assistance. The fourteen-year-old girl who is procured for him is enchanting, but exhausted as she is from caring for siblings and her job sewing buttons, she can do little but sleep. Yet with this sleeping beauty at his side, it is he who awakens to a romance he has never known.”


Title: The Sun Also Rises
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Publisher: Charles Scribner’s Sons
Publishing Date: 1954
No. of Pages: 247
Synopsis: “The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpieces, and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.” (Source: Goodreads)


Title: The Farm
Author: Joanne Ramos
Publisher: Random House
Publishing Date: May 2019
No. of Pages: 321
Synopsis: “Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, daily massages -and all of it for free. In fact, you’re paid big money to stay here – more than you’ve ever dreamed of. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds, your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a “Host” at Golden Oaks – or the Farm, as residents call it. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on the delivery of her child.”


Title: Botchan
Author: Soseki Natsume
Translator: Umeji Sasaki
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Publishing Date: 2013
No. of Pages: 192
Synopsis: “Botchan is the youngest son in a middle class Tokyo family. His elder brother is the obvious favorite of both parents, and Botchan grows up demanding attention for himself – yet succeeding only if he misbehaves. Following the early death of his mother, his servant Kiyo provides the only love and understanding he knows. When his father dies, Botchan’s brother gives him a small portion of the family inheritance and disclaims further responsibility for the boy.

So Botchan’s story begins. He drifts through college into his first job – as a math teacher in provincial Shikoku Island, far from Tokyo and the life he has known. Botchan’s concerns for Kiyo, the only real person in his life, travel with him as he tries to apply what she has taught him in his new surroundings. Thrust into the alien realm of a country school, Botchan finds nothing but trouble – with his nosy landlord; his students, who delight in tormenting him; his fellow teachers, each of whom he christens with a scornful nickname – Porcupine, Green Squash, Badger, Red-Shirt – and others who insist on complicating his life.”


Title: Homegoing
Author: Yaa Gyasi
Publisher: Vintage Books
Publishing Date: April 2017
No. of Pages: 300
Synopsis: “Ghana, eighteenth century: two half-sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid of her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.

Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem, Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed – and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.


Title: Gravity’s Rainbow
Author: Thomas Pynchon
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 2006
No. of Pages: 776
Synopsis: “Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity’s Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the 20th century as Joyce’s Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative, and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.” (Source: Goodreads)

Title: The Grapes of Wrath
Author: John Steinbeck
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 1999
No. of Pages: 455
Synopsis: “First published in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath is a landmark of American literature. This Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads – driven from their homestead by the “land companies” and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. A portrait of conflict between the powerful and the powerless, the novel captures the horrors of the Depression and probes the very nature of equality in America.”

Nine new books. Six new authors. These comprise my May purchase. How about you fellow reader, what books were you able to nab during the previous month? Share it in the comment box.