A weekly features celebrating unread books on our shelves! Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up.
My Shelf Control picks will be books that I already own — either physical copies from my overflowing shelves, or one of the many unread titles elbowing each other out of the way on my Kindle.
So, although Bookshelf Fantasies is only counting actual books I’m also going to add in any books that I’ve received from authors and Netgalley that need to be read… so, here goes!
This is another book that I’m a little ashamed of not having read yet.
I talked my family book club into reading this after I found it at the bookstore for a deal. It was like 50% off and I just could not NOT buy it. I had seen it a few times and I’ve been wanting to read it anyway, so why not for book club?
Then I went to my family’s and wound up having a lot less time than I imagined I would! After a month there we all talked and they all read it and I had not even started! After many frowns my way (which I admit to deserving) we decided on reading another book since they had not really enjoyed this one and I had yet to start it.
I do still want to read it, even after they said they did not entirely love it but I think it’s because I’m in love with the cover.
Paperback, 499 pagesPublished June 24th 2014 by Riverhead Books
In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.
Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.