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badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

I’m off on holiday, which means time to overload my e-reader with far, far, far more books that I will ever get to.  I will spare you the full list of 20+ titles I’ve loaded for a two week holiday and share these highlights only, as they have probably the best chance of actually being read.

Horizon by Helen MacInnes – I have had a strange introduction of MacInnes.  She’s known for her spy thrillers (like this one, set in the South Tyrol – exactly where I’m headed) but I’ve only read one very tedious romance and a delightful story of worldly women who end up on a ranch in Wyoming.  Time to see what’s she’s really about!

Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters – I adore Amelia Peabody and have enjoyed some of Peters’ stand-alone books but have never tried any of the Vicky Bliss books.

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler – I continue my discovery of Tyler.

And three brand new releases from some of my favourite authors:

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson – Atkinson never disappoints and reviews for this novel set in 1920s London have been excellent.  I’ll be surprised if this isn’t started (and possibly finished) on the plane.

Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie – Zahra and Maryam have been best friends since childhood in Karachi, even though—or maybe because—they are unlike in nearly every way. Yet they never speak of the differences in their backgrounds or their values, not even after the fateful night when a moment of adolescent impulse upends their plans for the future.
 
Three decades later, Zahra and Maryam have grown into powerful women who have each cut a distinctive path through London. But when two troubling figures from their past resurface, they must finally confront their bedrock differences—and find out whether their friendship can survive.
 
Thought-provoking, compassionate, and full of unexpected turns, Best of Friends offers a riveting take on an age-old question: Does principle or loyalty make for the better friend?

The Winners by Fredrik Backman – the third book in Backman’s excellent Beartown series.

What did you pick up this week?

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

I’m enjoying some of the non-fiction I picked up in recent weeks (Ravenna by Judith Herrin is fascinating and The Naked Don’t Fear the Water by Matthieu Aikins is proving almost impossible to put down) so clearly the library gods knew I would need some palate cleansers for after with these three lighter reads.

What did you pick up this week?

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

Sharlene has the Mr Linky this week.

Jane’s Country Year by Malcolm Saville – I trust Kate’s taste so asked the library to purchase this as soon as I saw Handheld Press was releasing it earlier this year.  Since then, I also listened to an old episode of Ramblings with the members of the Malcolm Saville society, which has me even more intrigued by him.

The Naked Don’t Fear the Water by Matthieu Aikins – A first-hand account of travelling the refugee route from Afghanistan to Europe.

Taken by the Hand by O. Douglas – I love this quiet, cosy novel about a young woman who, after a lifetime of being guided by her adored mother, is left adrift following her unexpected death.  This is my favourite of O. Douglas’ novels and everything I wrote about it back in 2012 remains true.

Mika in Real Life by Emiko Jean – a recent release about a woman in her mid-thirties who tries to mask her chaotic life when the daughter she gave up for adoption sixteen years before re-appears.

Spring in September by Essie Summers – my approach to Summers is to get whatever I can via ILL, in whatever order the library gods decree.  This is from 1978 and linked to several earlier books, at least one of which I’ve read, which makes it enjoyable to see familiar characters again.

Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough – this delightful comic memoir about two young women touring Europe in the 1920s was a favourite of mine in my teens but I let go of my copy years ago and haven’t reread it in at least a decade.

What did you pick up this week?

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

I always forget how much I love September until it arrives again.  The days are annoyingly short, yes, but after a long hot summer how nice it is to feel a chill in the morning, and know that it will soon be time to wear sweaters.  Glorious!  And my optimism for the season is complimented further by a great selection of newly arrived library books.

Just William by Richmal Crompton – I have a read a fair amount by Crompton (generally the same story told over and over and over again under different titles) but have never tried her most famous creation.

Keeping Up Appearances by Rose Macaulay – Between Simon and the British Library Women Writers series and Kate and the Handheld Press releases, there is no shortage of things to read by Macaulay!  I’ve only read a couple of her books so far but I’m intrigued by this one.

Ravenna by Judith Herrin – I’m getting ready for my second visit to Ravenna later this year and eager to learn more about it’s history before I go.

The Lovers by Paolo Cognetti (translated from Italian) – a beautiful short novel about two lovers and mountain life in Northern Italy.

The Last Goddess by Kateřina Tučková (translated from Czech) – Last in a centuries-old lineage of healing women, Dora Idesová was raised by her aunt Surmena in the White Carpathians. Resistant to superstition, Dora grew up hearing stories of the “goddesses” who were said to conjure love and curses and, through divine connection, cure the spirit and the body. Now an academic, Dora is researching the tales that for generations spellbound the hillside where she grew up. As the mysteries become truths, they reveal a stunning discovery that reaches back from the witch trials of the seventeenth century through Nazi-occupied Germany. Embarking on an emotional journey, Dora is about to find out how deeply and fatefully she is entwined with secret tradition.

The Tower of Fools by Andrzej Sapkowski (translated from Polish) – the first in a historical fantasy trilogy set during the Hussite wars.

Square One by Nell Frizzell – Sarra Manning flagged this as one of the best July releases.

Double Lives by Helen McCarthy – a fascinating cultural history of working women’s lives since the 19th Century.

Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater – “It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul.”  Who wouldn’t want to read more?

What did you pick up this week?

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

I’m in obsessive travel research mode.  Can you guess where I’m planning to go next year?

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

Princess Puck by Una L. Silberrard – the highlight of having Covid in June was having just the right book to hand: Desire by Una L. Silberrard.  I loved it and am intrigued to read more by Silberrard so tracked this down via ILL, despite having no idea what the story is about.  Time for a surprise!

The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken – I mentioned in my last post that I had picked up a collection of McCracken’s short stories (The Souvenir Museum).  They were excellent and I’m now keen to read this, her debut novel from 1996 about a boy growing into the world’s tallest man and the librarian who falls in love with him.

Prague by Chad Bryant – I’m so intrigued by Bryant’s way of approaching Czech history here: “A poignant reflection on alienation and belonging, told through the lives of five remarkable people who struggled against nationalism and intolerance in one of Europe’s most stunning cities.”

A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You by Amy Bloom – a collection of short stories recommended by Nancy Pearl.  

Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister – aside from reading Desire while I was sick in June, I also spent significant time combing through the archives of a couple of my favourite bloggers.  I came across Kate’s old review of this and was so intrigued I placed an ILL hold immediately.

The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson – a new novel from the always funny and observant Mendelson.  

What did you pick up this week?

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

Some Body to Love by Alexandra Heminsley – I loved Leap In, Heminsley’s memoir about embracing swimming and IVF treatment, and have been looking forward to this further memoir about how her family changed when her husband announced he was transgendered and going to transition.

The Souvenir Museum by Elizabeth McCracken – Nancy Pearl is a great fan of McCracken and I chose to start with this collection of short stories.  I read it over the weekend and thought it was excellent.

The Beloved Girls by Harriet Evans – I used to love Evans’ light books but she is getting more and more gothic with every new one.  I picked this up reflexively when I saw it on the shelf and we’ll see how I get on with it.

The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler – The best thing about Tyler is that she has such a huge backlist to work through!

Dear Reader by Cathy Rentzenbrink – always game for a bookish memoir.

Grounding by Lulah Ellender – a well-reviewed and unique-sounding gardening memoir.

What did you pick up this week?

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

It finally feels like proper summer has arrived here: things are slowing at work as people take vacations, the sun is shining not just once a week but every day, and it’s warm enough to laze in parks or the backyard morning, noon and night – with books, obviously.  Perfection.

The Rim of the Prairie by Bess Streeter Aldrich – this has been my year for discovering Bess Streeter Aldrich.  I’ve loved what I’ve read so far (A Lantern in Her Hand and A White Bird Flying) and look forward to reading more.

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin – a newly released Regency romance about a young woman on the hunt for a rich husband to save her family.  This came out a few months ago in the UK and lots of my favourite fellow readers have had only good things to say about it.

A Year of Living Simply by Kate Humble – it’s always good to be reminded that it’s only the simple things that matter.

Alice, I Think by Susan Juby – Nancy Pearl is fan of this YA novel about fifteen-year-old Alice as she makes the transition from homeschooling to high school.  There’s usually a lengthy waitlist for this during the school year (it’s by a BC author so I assume it’s on school reading lists) but apparently teens become illiterate during the summer so I was able to grab it on a whim.

The Suitors by Cécile David-Weill – a French comedy of manners about two sisters on the hunt for a husband wealthy enough to purchase the family’s summer estate that means so much to both of them.

Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley – a cupcake-baking football player, a reality tv star, and a fake dating ploy – clearly the stuff of summer reading.

What did you pick up this week?

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

Sharlene has the Mr Linky this week.

Accent on April by Betty Cavanna and In a Mirror by Mary Stolz – two retro teen reads recommended in Nancy Pearl’s Book Crush.

My Place at the Table by Alexander Lobrano – I don’t officially participate in Paris in July but it strikes me this memoir by food writer Lobrano about his life there would be a perfect pick!  I started it as an e-book a few months ago but only just before it expired.  What I read then was excellent and I’m looking forward to getting back into it.

Legacy by Thomas Harding – Harding’s excellent history of his family’s one-time holiday home outside Berlin, The House by the Lake, looked at his father’s German branch of the family.  In Legacy, he turns his attention to his mother’s far more famous family, the Salmons and Glucksteins who started as tobacconists and then founded J. Lyons and Co, of the famous tea rooms, food brands, and hotels.  I read this in one day and found it absolutely fascinating.

Anna of Strathallan and No Roses in June by Essie Summers – more Summers!

What did you pick up this week?

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading 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.

I have this week off work so have stocked up on lots of interesting things to read, with my only goals for my vacation being to read, swim, walk, sleep, and repeat as often as possible.  Living the dream.

What did you pick up this week?