Showcase Sunday: Another Severe Case of Book Acquisition…

I am supposedly on a book buying moratorium, but this week I cracked and completely forgot about it. After the Chateau de Lavigny readings that I attended last Sunday, I could not resist buying  paperback books by at least two of the authors present there.

glowJessica Maria Tuccelli: Glow – five unforgettable voices weaving over a century of Southern life in America; slave plantations have been built adjacent to the glades of a razed Cherokee nation. An epic novel, filled with many personal, intimate stories.



ChokeChainJason Donald: Choke Chain – Nelson Mandela said: ‘There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.’ In 1980s apartheid South Africa, bad parenting seems to be rife, as two young boys find out about deceit, violence and petty crime from their volatile father.


Then I made the mistake of reading some reviews I trust and following some writers’ Twitter stream… and got excited about the following two books, which I downloaded in electronic format.

 Anne Fine: Taking the Devil’s Advice – already read and reviewed here

BecauseSheLovesMeMark Edwards: Because She Loves Me – a psychological thriller, filled with passion, obsession, jealousy and murderous intent. I’ve previously enjoyed the build-up of suspense in Edward’s novel ‘The Magpies’, so am curious to see what he does next.


I also borrowed a book in French from the library: Susie Morgenstein: Confession d’une grosse patate – a half-serious, half-humorous look at the plight and self-flagellation of an overweight woman. I later discovered it was not by a French writer at all, so there were no loving descriptions of foie gras and wine…

Finally, yesterday I attended the literature festival ‘Le Livre sur les Quais’ (Books by the Quay) in Morges in Switzerland. I had the pleasure of meeting several writers I know, admire, have read or am currently reading: Louise Doughty, Noami Wood (of ‘Mrs. Hemingway’ fame), Val McDermid, Nathan Filer. I was with a German/Swiss friend who introduced me to some German-speaking writers, while I introduced him to some French and English-speaking ones. So of course I had to buy a few books and get them signed… Sadly, none of them are yet available in English.

FouadLarouiFouad Laroui: L’étrange affaire du pantalon de Dassoukine (The Strange Affair of Dassoukine’s Trousers).

A short story collection which won the Goncourt novella prize last year, this is a wonderful mix of surrealism, absurdity and cross-cultural comparison written with great humour and compassion. I previously read and briefly reviewed this Moroccan-French writer’s wonderful book about a year in the French education system. And doesn’t this one have an irresistable cover?


IncardonaJoseph Incardona: 220 Volts

I love the noirish style of this Swiss-Italian writer (who writes in French) and hope he will soon get translated into English. This is the story of writer’s block mixed with marital block – a couple go on holiday in an isolated mountain chalet to try and rekindle both their relationship and their artistic inspiration. Of course, things don’t go according to plan…


SwissTrafficMary Anna Barbey: Swiss Traffic

The latest book by this American-turned-Swiss author, it is crime fiction with an extra literary dimension. It also bravely examines human trafficking in this wealthiest, most peaceful of Alpine countries. It is also the book that I saw several French writers reading while they were waiting for their book signings to start: always a good sign!


This post is linked up to the Showcase Sunday meme hosted by Vicky at Book, Biscuits and Tea. A great chance for us to oooh and aaah over our latest acquisitions. And remortgage our house to buy some more!

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15 thoughts on “Showcase Sunday: Another Severe Case of Book Acquisition…”

  1. Both of those two Swiss/French titles look really great. What a shame they’ve not been translated. (What a shame I didn’t pay attention in French classes at school, yes, I know . . .)

    1. There was also a really interesting book in Italian by a Swiss writer – sort of crime fiction, but with an enigmatic message from the painter Paul Klee. I was almost tempted to get it and to attempt to read it with a dictionary, but then reality set in…

  2. Marina Sofia – You’ve got a lovely lot of books there! And who needs a moratorium anyway, right? I’ll be particularly interested in your thoughts about the Edwards and the Donald. Both look quite interesting to me.

  3. Severe Book Acquisition is probably the best phrase I have ever read when it comes to the “accidental” purchases of mine!

    You have some lovely books there. I love the look of Glow. Maybe it is the cover that just has me?

    Thanks for sharing & I hope you enjoy all of your books! 😀

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries

  4. I recently read “The Magpies”, quite randomly as it was on offer for silly money on Kindle… I *almost* loved it, but not quite… Interesting ideas in there about what it means in the present day to “be a man”.

    1. I read so many crime novels and psychological thrillers that it takes something very, very special to make me ‘love’ one. So yes, I did not *love* it, but I thought it was well written, suitably tense, escalating nicely and … hmm, yes, interesting your observation about gender roles.

      1. Yeah, the gender roles thing annoyed me – the way the main character was so hung up on “protecting” his partner, rather than treating her as an equal – but then I suppose that was part of the author’s plan in isolating him and driving him slowly crazy throughout the book. I wanted her to turn round and tell him to get a grip and talk to her!

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