What would a vacation be without also acquiring a few new books? I didn’t get a lot, I restrained myself, and only have four books to add to my shelves. But there are few things as wonderful as even one new book, am I right?

I already mentioned early in my vacation that I used a gift card and coupon for Barnes and Noble to get Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I read Wolf Hall at the end of last year and really loved it. The book arrived in my mailbox lickety-split by Friday. Those of you who have read and loved Wolf Hall will understand my reaction of disappointment when I removed Bring up the Bodies from the box: it’s so small! I was expecting another big doorstop, but no. I am sure I will love the book, couldn’t it have been longer?

Then yesterday Bookman and I ventured to a real bookstore where I found three lovely books:

  • Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf. I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it. It looks at a few of America’s founders, George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, through the lens of the farmers and gardeners that they were.
  • The Other by Thomas Tryon. I got the 2012 NYRB edition. Twin thirteen-year-old-boys, a recently deceased father, a large summer-long gathering at the family’s ancestral farm in New England. Billed as psychological horror worthy of Shirley Jackson and Patricia Highsmith. Bring it! I am totally going to read this in the fall for Carl’s annual RIP Challenge!
  • The Judges of the Secret Court by David Stacton. Another NYRB edition. I think I could spend the rest of my life reading NYRBs almost exclusively. This one is about the American Civil War and John Wilkes Booth and his brother Edwin. According to the back cover description it is about “how the roles we play become, for better or for worse, the lives we lead.” Doesn’t that sound like historical fiction yumminess?

Hooray for new books!