Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Marg and myself that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!
My last few library visits have been very ordered. I went to pick up holds or to pull titles that I had carefully identified beforehand. Not this week. This week I just wandered through the aisles, happily browsing but with no particular intention of checking out that many new books – after all, I still have quite a lot checked out from previous trips. But these titles were either too fun (Wodehouse is irresistible to me when the weather warms up – sunshine and light comedy is such an encouraging combination) or too exciting (there is something so exhilarating in finding an much anticipated title at your local branch) to resist. So here we are!
Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons
At the outset of World War II, Jack Rosenblum, his wife Sadie, and their baby daughter escape Berlin, bound for London. They are greeted with a pamphlet instructing immigrants how to act like “the English.” Jack acquires Saville Row suits and a Jaguar. He buys his marmalade from Fortnum & Mason and learns to list the entire British monarchy back to 913 A.D. He never speaks German, apart from the occasional curse. But the one key item that would make him feel fully British -membership in a golf club-remains elusive. In post-war England, no golf club will admit a Rosenblum. Jack hatches a wild idea: he’ll build his own.
Jeeves in the Offing by P.G. Wodehouse
Anyone who involves himself with Roberta Wickham is asking for trouble, so naturally Bertie Wooster finds himself in just that situation when he goes to stay with his Aunt Dahlia at Brinkley Court. So much is obvious. Why celebrated loony-doctor, Sir Roderick Glossop, should be there too, masquerading as a butler, is less clear. As for Bertie’s former headmaster, the ghastly Aubrey Upjohn, and the dreadful novelist, Mrs Homer Cream with her eccentric son, Wilbert, their presence is entirely perplexing. Without Jeeves to help him solve these mysteries, Bertie nearly comes unstuck. It is only when that peerless manservant returns from his holiday that the tangle of problems is sorted out to everyone’s satisfaction–except Bertie’s.
Uncle Dynamite by P.G. Wodehouse
Although the story of Uncle Dynamite concerns Bill Oakshott’s struggle to find ways of getting his girl while financing his inheritance at Ashenden Manor, the real hero of the book is Frederick Altamont Cornwallis, fifth Earl of Ickenham. This noble lord describes himself as ‘one of the hottest earls that ever donned a coronet’ and he was also one of his creator’s favourite characters, featuring in three other novels. Lord Ickenham sees it as his mission to bring a little joy into the lives of others, and on this occasion he surpasses himself.
The Vinyl Café Notebooks by Stuart McLean
The first ever collection of essays from The Vinyl Cafe. From meditations on the startling honesty of children, to praise for the watermelon, The Vinyl Cafe Notebooks runs the gamut from thoughtful perspective to light-hearted opinion. Whether Stuart McLean is visiting the curling rink in Clanwilliam, Manitoba or Robert Stanfield’s gravesite in Halifax his observations are absorbing, unexpected, original and always entertaining.
One Bird’s Choice by Iain Reid
Meet Iain Reid: an overeducated, underemployed twenty-something, living in the big city in a bug-filled basement apartment and struggling to make ends meet. When Iain lands a job at a radio station near his childhood home, he decides to take it. But the work is only part time, so he is forced to move back in with his lovable but eccentric parents on their hobby farm. What starts out as a temporary arrangement turns into a year-long extended stay, in which Iain finds himself fighting with the farm fowl, taking fashion advice from the elderly, fattening up on a gluttonous fare of home-cooked food, and ultimately easing (perhaps a little too comfortably) into the semiretired lifestyle.
Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller
Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Carole King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Joni Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Carly Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of age in the late 1960s. Their stories trace the arc of the now mythic sixties generation — female version — but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliché. The history of the women of that generation has never been written — until now, through their resonant lives and emblematic songs.