Book Hunting Expeditions Picture Books

In My Mailbox (10): Treasure Trove from the Biggest Little City in the World

A week ago, my boyfriend, Mikey, and I made a trip to Reno, NV to visit his family. Coined as the ‘biggest little city in the world,’ Reno welcomed us to its week-long celebration of Hot August Nights, brimming with car shows, special casino offers and discounts, and a scorching hundred-degree weather. Here are a bunch of pictures taken from the trip.

A big little city indeed
Random shops
Reno’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame – except that these ones were handprints on the walls!
I don’t gamble, but I definitely love the buffet!!
After about 9 hours of driving – whole trip took 10 hours – we welcomed the sun’s glory.
After passing Rainbow Road, we spotted this river.
It doesn’t matter where I go. I will always love love love scenic routes best of all.

Aside from the breathtaking scenic route and delicious buffet, any trip is not complete without a quick stop to a book store. This is our 10th contribution to The Story Siren’s weekly meme, In My Mailbox.

(1) Young Adult Fiction

Slam is my first Nick Hornby book. After Iphigene’s wonderful review (hyperlink) of Hornby’s YA fiction, I wanted to get a copy. Thankfully, there was a Borders store in Meadowood Mall, a few miles away from where Mikey’s family lives. I bought this hardcover for only $2.99.

(2) Mystery and Detective Stories

I’ve read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons, but Mikey has not, so this $2.99 copy in the clearance section is a perfect addition to our growing shelf. I learned about Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next through Iphigene when I told her that I bought a copy of The Fourth Bear, another Fforde novel. Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was, I believe, an entry to our Whodunit Reading Challenge. I didn’t realize that it was a Flavia de Luce mystery until I got in the car. I grabbed it because of its beautiful red cover with black-and-white print.

Of the four books, Zoe Ferraris’s Finding Nouf is my ‘experimental read.’ I always think that stories set in the Middle East have a dark tone, and this psychological suspense is not spared from it. I’ve seen glimpses of Afghanistan through Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. I’m curious to know what Saudi Arabia has to offer in this novel. (This reminds me of my journey to Turkey through Elif Shafak’s The Bastard of Istanbul.)

(3) More Picture Books for the Child-at-Heart

Two classic picture books that are a MUST in your shelf: Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Margery Williams’s The Velveteen Rabbit. I read Sendak’s picture book to Mikey when we stopped at a Rest Area on our drive back to San Diego, and the poor fella was fast asleep. When we got back from our trip, I didn’t realize that The Velveteen Rabbit was already our 2nd copy! I saw Mikey’s hardcover copy in our shelf that night. Oh well. The more, the merrier, I guess.

When I saw Judi Barrett’s Pickles to Pittsburgh: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, I just HAD to buy it because I just recently purchased the prequel. David Melling’s The Kiss that Missed, on the other hand, is an adorable picture book meant more for parents, and teaches the value of spending time with your family.

I have a strange fascination for pigs, so I was immediately drawn to Kate DiCamillo’sMercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes. It tells the story of Mercy, the porcine wonder who loves toast and butter popcorn. This is also the first Kate DiCamillo’s picture book that I’ve seen, so it’s definitely a good buy. The last picture book in my loot is Ayano Imai’s The 108th Sheep. I have the same fascination with sheep as I do with pigs. Ayano Imai’s beautiful pencil art complements the simple story of a girl who can’t sleep and a sheep that can’t jump.

(4) Stories of Treachery and Thievery

Aside from Borders, we also visited – upon my insistence, of course – a book store just three blocks away from Mikey’s mom’s place. It’s called Zephyr Books, and they sell used and rare books which are in still in good condition. Much as I’d love to shop in nontraditional book stores, the books I’ve browsed through were mostly 50% off publisher’s price. Not quite the thrift stores that I was used to. (I did like the free bookmark they give their customers.)

While I found several books I wanted to take with me, I decided to grab only two: Cornelia Funke’s The Thief Lord and Elizabeth Haydon’s The Thief Queen’s Daughter (the second book in The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme). Half off of a hardcover is better than no discount at all. It’s like a buy one, get one deal. I’m not familiar with Elizabeth Haydon nor with her Ven Polypheme series. I’m glad I found one, even though it happens to be the second book in the series. While the stories were not directly related, I would have loved to read The Floating Island because the second book was making references to the first one. Needless to say, that would be my next target.

Happy reading everyone!! =)

Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

11 comments on “In My Mailbox (10): Treasure Trove from the Biggest Little City in the World

  1. Reno looks like a fun time, and you took some great photos. You found some good book deals too. I’m a fan of Nick Hornby but haven’t read Slam. Hope you enjoy it!


    • Hello thereadingdate (^.^)

      Thank you! We actually had to cut our trip short, but we did have some fun. I especially liked getting lost in that tiny square of shops and inside casinos. Who does that?? Haha. I’ve always wanted to buy a Nick Hornby book but for some reason I always put it off. When I finally did, it turned out to be a YA fiction. Lol!



  2. Ah Reno. I haven’t been there in years. Happy reading!


    • Hi TBM ^^

      While it sounds cliche, I still prefer Vegas. A lot more stuff to do and see, and it’s closer to San Diego. Road trips are always fun, though. Thank you! I’m hoping to finish these before the year ends, so good luck to me with that. Ha!!



  3. Love the photos – and the 108th sheep. We have David Melling’s the kiss that missed in our library, i’ve seen it around. Looks like a fun read.

    I also have Funke’s Thief Lord – we haven’t had a book club discussion in AGES! There should be that kind of option here in wordpress. =(


    • Hello mademoiselle 😉

      The 108th Sheep is adorable. Have you read it? Really simple story, but the sheep are so fluffy! Haha. The Kiss That Missed really addresses the parents more than the children. It is sweet and simple.

      ZOMG. I know. =( At least live chat. Then again, I don’t even do Skype. Haha.


  4. The Thief Lord is good. There is a movie version as well which is actually pretty good too (not amazing but if you’re craving a visualization of the book, it’s definitely worth it!). Loved the pictures of your trip. Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing your link.


    • Hi Erika =)

      You’re welcome! And glad you loved the pictures!

      I read the first chapter of The Thief Lord when I bought it. I liked the mystery embedded in the story so far. It actually reminded me of the narrative style of F.E. Higgins, the author who wrote The Black Book of Secrets. Have you read that?



    • Hi Sash and Em! I enjoyed Angels & Demons over The Da Vince Code but both are good reads. Thanks for dropping by and for sharing the links! =)


  5. Pingback: Carnival of Children’s Literature and Round-up for August |

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