Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2016

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief 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 been struck with a bad case of bookish indecision.  I was reading like a whirlwind but suddenly, over the last week or two, I find it impossible to match my reading to my mood.  I’ve started and abandoned a dozen books (generally after reading them for far too long) in my quest for just the right thing.  I have found a few good fits – anything Patrick Leigh Fermor-related seems to suit me perfectly just now – but mostly I’m stumbling around in the dark.  I’ve picked up a suitably broad array of books this week on the assumption that there must be something here for every mood.

Library Loot 2

All Strangers Are Kin by Zora O’Neill – I love books about learning a foreign language.  And – for once! – rather than Italian or French or Greek or Latin, the language at the heart of this memoir is Arabic.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – there have been some medical scares among friends and family lately – some happily resolved, some unlikely to be – so Kalanithi’s memoir of his short life after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer seems like an appropriate choice.  It’s been effusively reviewed by everyone and every publication I’ve come across and I except there will be lots of tears.

The Lark Shall Sing by Elizabeth Cadell – my first three Cadells were all fun and I’ve tasked the library’s inter-library loan system with tracking down many more for me.  This is the first of a trio about the Waynes of Woodmount.  If you’re interested, all three books are now available as e-books.

Library Loot 1

The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec – in her early 30s, Klinec went to Iran hoping to learn more about Persian cooking.  Instead, she fell in love with a young Iranian and discovered the complexities of cross-cultural romantic relationships in such a rigid society, where family traditions and expectations weigh heavily on young couples.

Who’s That Girl? by Mhairi McFarlane – newest Chicklit novel from McFarlane.

Palladian Days by Sally Gable with Carl I. Gable – summer (and autumn and winter and spring…if you’re me, that is) is always the right time for memoirs about buying and restoring homes in foreign countries.  In this case, it’s a historically-important Palladian villa – not exactly a crumble farmhouse – so the level of fantasy involved for me will be greater than ever.  I can handle it.

What did you pick up this week?

Read Full Post »

P1110001

I popped over to Victoria this weekend for a mini summer holiday.  It only lasted from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon but it was a wonderful break and incorporated all the things I love about going to Victoria: stunning island scenery from the ferry, amazing floral displays at Butchart Gardens, excellent food in Victoria, and, of course, fabulous book shopping.

Russell Books, one of my all-time favourite bookshops, is located in central Victoria and I spent a happy couple of hours there on Saturday afternoon, sifting through my favourite sections.  Every fifteen minutes or so you would hear another delighted patron exclaiming over some find or the sheer variety of books on offer.  Deservedly so.  My hard work was rewarded and I can home with a respectable haul:

P1110008

Window on My Heart by Olave, Lady Baden-Powell – how to resist something this random?  The autobiography of the wife of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, who was herself very heavily involved in the Scouting and Guiding movements.

A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor – PLF’s travel memoir about his time spent in monasteries.

P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters edited by Sophie Ratcliffe – There were shelves and shelves and shelves full of Wodehouse but I chose to go with a collection of Plum’s letters.

Nairn in Darkness and Light by David Thomson – a memoir about growing up in Scotland in the 1920s.

An Italian Odyssey by Julie A. Burk and Neville J. Tencer – I am fascinated by the Via Francigena but there are so few books about it.  This memoir about walking the Italian portion of the route is one of the few out there (alongside Like a Tramp, Like a Pilgrim, which I picked up earlier this year).

Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay – slowly building up my collection of GGK, having read them all first from the library (as usual).

The Pebbled Shore by Elizabeth Longford – I learned about this when reading My History by her daughter, Antonia Forest.  Longford sounds absolutely fascinating and I can’t wait to learn more about her life.

The Smell of Summer Grass and The Gentry by Adam Nicolson – both excellent books that I’ve been meaning to add to my library since I first read them. 

A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry – I can now safely return the library copy that I keep checking out.

A very good day’s work, as far as I’m concerned!  And also just a nice summer break in a lovely city.

Sunset Outer Harbour

Read Full Post »

Library Lust

credit unknown

credit unknown

Read Full Post »

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief 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 feeling poorly right now, which has made it difficult to focus on reading for the past few days (or anything, for that matter).  Hopefully, I should be through this bout in the next day or two and able to concentrate on the excellent books I’ve picked up recently from the library:

Library Loot 2

Shanghai Grand by Taras Grescoe

The Only Street in Paris by Elaine Sciolino

Frederick the Great by Tim Blanning

In Europe’s Shadow by Robert D. Kaplan

Library Loot 1

So much Elizabeth Cadell!  All inter-library loans.  I’ve never read anything by her so we’ll see how these go.  I only have the GoodReads summaries to go on but from those alone they look like delightful light reading – no wonder so many D.E. Stevenson fans have recommended Cadell to me.

The Friendly Air

The Marrying Kind

Round Dozen

What did you pick up this week?

Read Full Post »

Moonlighting

via here

via here

While browsing at my favourite local bookshop this afternoon, a woman came in and started talking with the salesperson.  She was looking for a book for her twenty-seven year old son.  Her parameters were vague but historical fiction was preferred.  Something set in Asia would be nice.  And if it involved armies and war, even better.

It was at this point I had to step in.

It’s not that I don’t trust trained sales people to do their jobs.  I do, especially at this particular store where the selection seems very carefully curated to consist 90% of books that appeal to me personally.  I just happened to be uniquely qualified to make this particular sale.

After all, there was a copy of Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay directly in front of me.  It not only matched her particulars, it also happens to be one of my favourite books (confirmed when I reread it last year).

I plucked it from the shelf, passed it to the woman, and told her it was everything she was looking for.  The saleswoman had never heard of Kay (though thankfully she stocks his books) and certainly did not have my trump card – the last person I recommended it to was also a twenty-seven year old male and he loved it.

I am delighted to say I made the sale.  It is in fact the second time this year I have been able to hand-sell that particular book.  Book sellers of Vancouver, beware!  I am roaming the streets, ready to pounce on your customers and make passionate recommendations.

 

Read Full Post »

Library Lust

via Desire to Inspire

via Desire to Inspire

Read Full Post »