Quick Lit December 2018
Kingdom of the Blind (A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel)

Kingdom of the Blind (A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel)

I couldn't update you on my recent reads without including the latest Inspector Gamache novel, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Kirkus review made me laugh out loud: "Penny has upped her thrills-to–pain au chocolat ratio." This new installment in the series picks up where Glass Houses left off, with Gamache on suspension from the Sureté and the deadly opioid that he failed to recover expected to hit Montreal's streets any day. The story opens on a dark and stormy night—although in Three Pines, the storm is a blizzard—and while the murder mystery is solid, Gamache's interior journey is even more compelling. If you're gifting this, start with book #1, and check out this list if you're on the hunt for another unputdownable series. More info →
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Leaf Supply: A Guide to Keeping Happy House Plants

Leaf Supply: A Guide to Keeping Happy House Plants

I checked this out of the library earlier this fall, and knew it was a keeper. (Wild Geese Bookshop gave it to me as a gift when I visited for book tour—thank you!) I've put it to good use. This beautiful coffee table-worthy book is packed with practical tips and plenty of inspiration for bringing houseplants into your home. If you love Leaf Supply, definitely check out Urban Jungle—it might be my favorite in this category. More info →
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Walkable City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places

Walkable City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places

Walkable City was one of my favorite nonfiction books of years gone by—it's a book I can't stop talking about. So of course I couldn't wait to get my hands on Jeff Speck's latest, devoted to "everything that people tend to get wrong these days when designing pieces of cities." I was pleased to see it's not a retread of Walkable City, and contains overwhelmingly new content. In his author's note, Speck says he considered calling this book Walkable City Patterns, as a tribute to Christopher Alexander, so it's no coincidence that Alexander's A Pattern Language would also make an excellent book for anyone interested in this subject. More info →
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1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List

This fun doorstop of a collection (and I say that with affection) was fourteen years in the making, and includes titles I expected (all six Austen novels) and titles I didn't (Make Way for Ducklings, Into Thin Air, The Hunt for Red October). The book includes numerous shorter reading lists, thorough indexes, and a checklist so you can see how many on the list you have read. (My current total is 168.) Stay tuned: I'm chatting with Mustich on a special New Year's episode of What Should I Read Next?. More info →
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The Diary of a Bookseller

The Diary of a Bookseller

I'm spending part of this December in Wigtown—in Bythell's own bookshop—so of course I had to read this. This is Bythell's actual year-long diary of his days at the helm of The Bookshop, complete with daily customer count and till totals. But the real focus is on the customers: Bythell documents the unusual, eccentric, and often irksome behavior he witnesses every day in his shop. As for my own visit, I'm especially interested in seeing the Kindle Bythell describes shooting and wall-mounting with my own eyes. More info →
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