This Reader’s Dilemma

… and Vacation Update

What a whirlwind vacation!  We got to see family and many friends – some of whom  haven’t seen in 15 to 20 years.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve been around long enough to  say that, but it’s true.  I don’t have my pictures downloaded yet, but my best friend Trista took some pictures of our trip to the Frederick Meijer Gardens, which is just beautiful.  It was definitely a highlight of my vacation for me.  Here is a picture of our kids after climbing up a hill they planned on rolling down (Ally had to be coaxed down on her buttocks – her word, not mine – until nearly at the bottom before she would roll. Cute!)


And another of my family with Nina Akamu’s  sculpture The American Horse:


As you can see, the horse is huge and anatomically correct.  I’ll leave out the part about the kids splashing water underneath it…

I was able to read two of my vacation books: Scottsboro and The Shadow of the Wind.  Both were good and I wished that I could have read more, but we seemed to be on the go 24/7.  Most of my reading took place in the car.

On to my dilemma…

I came home to a king’s ransom of wonderful books!  This may not sound like a dilemma, but I want to read them all ~ and NOW!  Which would you pick?

The new Tracy Chevalier novel, Remarkable Creatures, which comes out in January of 2010 (Publisher’s description: “In the year of the 150th anniversary of Origin of Species, set in a town where Jane Austen was a frequent visitor, Tracy Chevalier once again shows her uncanny sense for the topical.”):

Cover of Remarkable Creatures

or, the latest installment of Lisbeth Salandar by Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played With Fire, which came out last week (my review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is coming up this week – quick synopsis – I LOVED IT!):

Cover of The Girl Who Played with Fire

or, Pope Joan, which Donna Woolfolk Cross sent to me with a delightful inscription (thank you so much!):

Cover of Pope Joan

or, SQUEE! SQUEE! SQUEE! The White Queen by Philippa Gregory!!!  This novel comes out on August 18th and I can’t believe I got a hold of a copy beforehand.  To me, this says that I’ve arrived.

Cover of The White Queen

Every single one of those books is drool worthy.  It’s going to be so hard to decide.  Well, not that hard to decide.  It’s just going to be hard to stop reading until they are all finished.  I wish I could take some more vacation and read for the rest of the week.  That would be bliss.

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  • At 2009.08.03 21:47, rhapsodyinbooks said:

    I do not have sympathy for such a dilemma of riches! They all look so good! I’d go with the Larsson book though while the previous one is still fresh in your mind, so you can compare.

    (And I must say, I can’t believe that horse!!!!!!!)

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    • At 2009.08.03 22:08, Jaime said:

      The picture of the kids on the hill is so cute! It must be framed.

      I don’t know what you should read, but I’m picking up The Girl Who Played With Fire as soon as I can squeeze it in!

      • At 2009.08.03 22:14, Lezlie said:

        Welcome home! That was a nice welcoming committee there for you! 🙂


        • At 2009.08.03 22:39, Amanda said:

          All of these books look great, but I personally suggest Pope Joan. I just finished it and really enjoyed it! I’m a sucker for historical fiction.

          • At 2009.08.03 22:43, Sheila DeChantal said:

            Tough choices…. I loved Pope Joan and was going to tell you to read that first – it was so good! Then I seen the new Philippa Gregory one which I have not read yet but want to so bad so maybe that one…. or…

            Oh! I am no help at all!!! 🙂

            • At 2009.08.04 00:50, Belle said:

              What a lovely dilemma to have! I’d choose Larssen’s Girl Who Played With Fire. Not that I’ve read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yet, but I’ve heard such good things about it, and figure this one will be good, too!

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              • At 2009.08.04 02:13, Elizabeth Spann Craig said:

                Great books in your line-up!

                Personally, “Girl Who Played with Fire” is on my to-read list. But I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the options you listed.

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                • At 2009.08.04 03:13, Laura @ ImBookingIt said:

                  They all look good!

                  Personally, “The Girl Who Played with Fire” is on my “read soon” as opposed to “read someday” list.

                  • At 2009.08.04 06:04, Sandy said:

                    OMG, I can only imagine what my kids would have said about the horse! So glad you had a great vacation! So, if were ME (and I will admit I’m not quite as much of a fan of historical fiction as you…you are the queen!), I would read the Larson book. I get a tremor when I think about how bad I want to read that one.

                    • At 2009.08.04 07:04, Meghan said:

                      Ooh, I’m very jealous of the new Tracy Chevalier novel! They’re a bit hit and miss for me but that doesn’t make me any less excited that she has written another book. I, however, would read Pope Joan first, because it’s a fantastic read. =)

                      • At 2009.08.04 07:32, Kathy said:

                        I love the picture of the kids on the top of the hill! I vote for The White Queen since it’s the only one you squeed over.

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                        • At 2009.08.04 08:49, Marg said:

                          Tough choice. I would choose the Larsson because it was a great read.

                          • At 2009.08.04 09:53, Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) said:

                            Looks like you had a great vacation. Hmm…those are some great sounding books, but I would go with The Girl Who Played With Fire.

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                            • At 2009.08.04 09:54, Tracie said:

                              I wish that I had this problem 🙂 One of my favorite books is Girl With a Pearl Earring, so I’m really excited to read anything new by Tracy Chevalier. I read in People magazine that The Girl Who Played With Fire is better than The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I haven’t read either…but they are on my to read list. I agree with Marg, I would start with Larson 🙂

                              • At 2009.08.04 10:09, caite said:

                                A lot of votes for The Girl Who Played With Fire…but having just finished it, I might suggest another book first.

                                I LOVED his first book (and must get the review written tonight…) but I did not love the second as much, contrary to People Mag. I guess. I actually though a break between the two might have given me a better perspective on the two books.

                                • At 2009.08.04 13:21, Literate Housewife said:

                                  Thank you so much for your comments. I feel a little guilty now even asking the question because I dove right into The White Queen last night. I couldn’t help myself.

                                  Tonight I’m going to download The Girl Who Played With Fire on audio because that’s how I read the first novel. I loved the narrator. I’m going to make the hard cover book part of my giveaway. That way I can go to work on both at the same time. Anyway, be on the lookout for a giveaway in conjunction with my review of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo!

                                  • At 2009.08.04 14:35, Ti said:

                                    My vote is for Girl Who Played with Fire but they all look good. Good luck to you. I know how hard it can be to have to choose just one!

                                    • At 2009.08.04 14:48, Jemima said:

                                      Your vacation pics are great! Nice blue skies. I didn’t know there was a new Tracey Chevalier coming soon! I love her writing (well, most of it). Where did you get your review copy from?

                                      The White Queen looks great. The cover is lovely. I hope that you are enjoying it so far.

                                      • At 2009.08.04 16:46, Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf said:

                                        Well, I am obviously a little late in the discussion, but you started reading the book I would have picked for you! 🙂 I haven’t read any of them, but I’ve been intrigued by The White Queen when I’ve seen it on other blogs. What a great dilemma to have 😀

                                        Thanks for sharing the pics from your trip, too. Looks like you all had a great time!! LOL about the splashing under the horse, too.

                                        • At 2009.08.04 16:47, Darlene said:

                                          Sounds like a great vacation Jennifer – the pics are awesome! Now sinceI I just finished Pope Joan and absolutely loved it, that would be the one I’d pick.

                                          • At 2009.08.04 20:15, lauren said:

                                            Thanks for the great book ideas that you suggested when you, Kathy and I were talking (pre-Ektron meeting) today. I’m so excited to read all of your suggestions and I now have a long list of books saved at the library for me. 🙂

                                            • At 2009.08.04 23:04, Veens said:

                                              Lovely pics!
                                              Wow! you have some wonderful books. I started on the 2nd installment of the Millennium Trilogy already 😀

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                                              • At 2009.08.05 09:34, Bonnie said:

                                                Your vacation pics are just great! The horse picture is too funny! You hit the motherlode with wonderful books!! I didn’t know that Tracy Chevalier had a new book coming out!!! I am adding that one to my wishlist for sure. I would have suggested starting The White Queen as you squeeled over it and you are such a fan of Philipa Gregory. Pope Joan is the only one on the list that I’ve read and I highly recommend it! Enjoy your books.

                                                • At 2009.08.05 20:12, Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said:

                                                  That picture of the girls is wonderful – they look triumphant! You must enlarge and frame it; so empowering!

                                                  Now, your dilemma … not a bad dilemma to have 🙂 I have POPE JOAN waiting for me, too, but I haven’t read any on your list. Enjoy them all!

                                                  • At 2009.08.05 22:47, softdrink said:

                                                    Welcome back! I’m still playing catch-up from being gone…as usual, I need a vacation to recover!

                                                    I didn’t know Tracy Chevalier has a new book coming out…I love the cover!

                                                    • At 2009.08.07 16:49, bookworm said:

                                                      Great pics! Looks like you had a nice vacation.
                                                      I’d read the Phillipa Gregory book right away 🙂

                                                      • At 2009.08.08 11:01, Nikola said:

                                                        Wow, I didn’t even know Tracy Chevalier published a new one! Although I wasn’t really impressed with Burning Bright, I always check out her novels, Falling Angels being one of my all-time favorites.

                                                        I love your blog btw! If you ever want to exchange links, I would be the happiest person in the blogosphere! 🙂

                                                        • At 2009.08.10 20:28, Penny said:

                                                          My best friend had wedding pictures taken at Meijer Gardens. It was so beautiful! We have a pic of hubby and I under the horse as well, but since it was pre-kids (and my hubby still thinks he’s a teenager sometimes), some of the pics wouldn’t be appropriate to post. 🙂

                                                          I’m all for Pope Joan. It looks so good! Of course, all your book choices look good!

                                                          (Required, will not be published)

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