Saturday, March 8, 2014

Open Books Warehouse Haul

In my last post, I kicked off a new feature, Heaven is a Place on Earth, and the first heavenly place I decided to spotlight was the Open Books Warehouse. Not only does it promote literacy programs within the city of Chicago, but they have a wonderful selection of books! So when my tax return came in, I knew that I HAD to go back. Last time, I was able to walk out with only four books. Today, I tried to make it out with as few as possible, because I have the tendency of going WAY overboard in bookstores, but I snagged seven!

In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell: This book title is as long as a mid-2000's pop-punk song title, and given that it is an ARC, it was only $1! I put my feelers out on Facebook a couple of weeks ago for book recommendations, and this was one of them. This magical realism novel is about a married couple who set out to live a more simple life, and things are not as they had hoped.

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb: Last time I went to the warehouse, I picked up I Know This Much is True, and at this point I think I have a pretty solid Wally Lamb collection that is only missing  maybe one or two of his novels. I read this coming of age novel in high school and remember absolutely loving it. Time has worn down my memory of what exactly happens in this book, so I've been thinking about rereading it very soon, and naturally had to have a copy.

Keeping the House by Ellen Baker: At first intrigued by the lovely floral cover, this book seems like it will sing to my Mad Men-loving heart. Taking place in the 1950's, this is the story of a woman who moves to Wisconsin with her husband and learns that making a marriage work is not as easy as it seems in the magazines. She then becomes obsessed with the history of another family, while trying to support her husband, and be the perfect wife.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: I watched the movie adaptation of this book a few years back and remember trying not to cry in front of all of my classmates. There's family, loss, tragedy, and of course, friendship. I've been wanting to read the book ever since I saw the movie, and Open Books Warehouse had many copies.

Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir by Janice Erlbaum: I have had this memoir on my TBR list for along time. At fifteen, Janice Erlbaum left her increasingly dangerous home and took to the streets. With her best friend, she prowls the New York City nightlife and scores drugs and boyfriends, and despite this, still manages to go to high school and participate in the spring musical. Very interested in reading this story of survival!

The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner: I think just about everyone has seen the film adaptation starring Will Smith. Chris Gardner moved to San Francisco for a career in medicine, and the set his sights on high finance. After scoring an entry-level position, he gets caught in a whirlwind of unfortunate circumstances and becomes a working homeless man with his toddler son. Gardner refuses to give up though, and pushes his way out of being homeless to being at the top of the finance game.

Graceland by Chris Abani: There is very little that I know about this book, but I was pulled in by the first few pages that I read in the warehouse while deciding to buy it. 'Graceland' is about Elvis, a Nigerian teen who is an Elvis impersonator hoping to make it out of the ghetto.

I would say that today was definitely a successful trip!

Have you read any of these? Any that I should start with?


  1. Great haul. I really want to read She's Come Undone.

  2. Kite Runner is a phenomenal story, and well written I'd say. I haven't seen the movie yet, but would love to soon. I've heard his other novels are just as good, if not better, and plan to pick them up soon as well. A couple others you mentioned definitely intrigue me, great selection!