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Archive for the ‘Library Loot’ Category

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.

It turns out I was a little precipitous in my last Loot post when I optimistically declared that my non-reading days were over.  They were not.  I have managed to read a grand total of 0 of those books.  All I can say in my defense is that sunshine is very distracting.  Also, I have discovered The West Wing Weekly podcast, which is allowing me to obsess over the my-all-time-favourite TV show while enjoying walks in the sunshine.  It’s the definition of a win-win.  Unless you are a neglected book.

Undaunted, I have brought home more books to keep the neglected ones company.

The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson – Groundbreaking.  Radical.  Contemporary.  These are the kind of words being used to describe Wilson’s recent translation.  Shockingly, this is the first (published) English-language translation of The Odyssey by a woman.  And isn’t that a bleak thought.

The Ivory Door by A.A. Milne – more Milne for A Century of Books.

North by Brontë Aurell – continuing the publishing obsession with all things Scandinavian, this is much, much funnier than I expected from it’s hipster-aesthetic design while also managing to provide lots of fascinating info.

Honey for Tea by Elizabeth Cadell – a little something soft and undemanding.  This sounds like classic Cadell.

Green Money by D.E. Stevenson – okay, this is the one book I have managed to read lately – and one of the few D.E. Stevenson titles I had not read before.

The Tourist Guide by Jaroslav Hašek – Short stories from the author of The Good Soldier Švejk.

What did you pick up this week?

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with free international shipping.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).  

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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.

People!  How are you?  I went a full week without reading even a single page of a book and it was very, very weird.  This is what happens when a) you are learning a new job, b) you are sick, c) the weather finally turns nice after months of rain, and d) you combine a+b+c.  But my cold is gone, I’m settled at work, and we have so much sunshine in the forecast that I shall quickly learn to take it for granted.  Bring on the books!

The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer – one of the highlights of my new job is its proximity to a huge bookstore.  On rainy days (of which there have been many this year) I can duck in there and read during my lunch break.  It was on one of those rainy days that I came across this novel about a time-travelling neurosurgeon.  The start was promising and my love of Siena was enough to convince me that I wanted to keep reading (just not enough to buy it – thank you library!).

Zinky Boys by Svetlana Alexievich – Alexievich’s extraordinary oral history of Soviet women’s experiences during WWII (The Unwomanly Face of War) will undoubtedly make it onto my Best of 2018 list.  But it’s also inspired me to try more of her work, like this oral history of the war in Afghanistan.

The English Wife by Lauren Willig – I’ve enjoyed some of Willig’s books in the past so automatically placed a hold on this when I heard it was coming out.  But now that it’s here I’m a bit worried it’s too gothic for me (to be fair, my tolerance for all things gothic is extraordinarily low).  We shall see!

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern – did I know anything about this book when I placed a hold on it?  Nope.  Marketing departments take note: all I require in order to be intrigued by a book is the mention of a library.  That’s how easy it is.  Now that I’ve actually learned what the book is about, I’m even more intrigued.

Dancing Bears by Witold Szabłowski – NPR had an interesting interview with Szabłowski that got me interested in this account of people struggling to adjust to life after communism.

Emma Ever After by Brigid Coady – ever the optimist, I will always try anything Austen-related.  Particularly, as in this case, when it’s a modern retelling of Emma.  My favourite Austen book is the hardest to retell so my expectations are low.

Istanbul & Beyond by Robyn Eckhardt – a beautifully photographed collection of recipes from across Turkey.

Curries and Bugles by Jennifer Brennan – I read about this in More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin back in 2016 and, with my love of all things Raj-related, have been trying to find a copy ever since. Thanks to the inter-library loan system, I’ve finally got my hands on it.

Queen Bees by Siân Evans – to meet my never-sated appetite for inter-war gossip, I picked up this profile of six London society hostesses.

What did you pick up this week?

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with free international shipping.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).  

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.

Predictably, I am not getting a lot of reading done right now.  Starting a new job is tiring (but wonderful in every other way, I’m happy to say) plus I’m on day 10 of the head cold that will not die.  However, the shock of the new at work is slowly wearing off, my cold will presumably end at some point, and when it does I have some really wonderful books to dive into.  And even in my current pathetic state some of these are very good invalid reads: poetry and short comic essays in particular are just right for the evenings when my attention span is non-existent.

Where the Wild Winds Are by Nick Hunt – I love books about walking and I loved Hunt’s first book (about retracing Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps across Europe) so am absolutely delighted to finally have my hands on his newest book.  Here he chooses to follow very unique routes, following four winds across Europe.

Women & Power by Mary Beard – who better to write a manifesto about the historical relationship between women and power than Beard, noted classicist, public intellectual, and victim of absolutely absurd amounts of misogyny?

Turning by Jessica J. Lee – A memoir of the year Lee spent swimming in lakes in and around Berlin after a difficult time in her life, I spotted this in the bookstore just before I left for Europe last summer and have been longing to read it ever since.  Germany?  Swimming?  Written by a Canadian(/British/Chinese) author?  There are too many irresistible elements for me to ignore.  Coincidentally, Virago just released a beautiful paperback edition last week.

A Treasury of Stephen Leacock – You know what’s even more fun than one Stephen Leacock book?  Three books all in one collection.  My interest is in the first (Literary Lapses) and third (Winnowed Wisdom) since, as a good Canadian, I am more than familiar with the middle book (Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town – Leacock’s most famous work by far).

Educated by Tara Westover – I am fascinated to read this much-talked-about new memoir about Westover’s quest for education (and multiple degrees from world-renowned universities) after an isolated childhood with her survivalist family kept her out of the classroom until she was seventeen.

The Five Nations by Rudyard Kipling – One of my favourite things about A Century of Books is that it pushes me to pick up things I wouldn’t usually, like this poetry collection.  To be fair though, I don’t need ACOB to encourage me to read Kipling – just poetry.

What did you pick up this week?

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with free international shipping.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).  

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.

Well, my holiday is winding to an end, which comes with both pros and cons.  On the positive side, I get to go home and enjoy all the wonderful books that have been piling up at the library’s hold desk.  On the negative side, I will miss sunshine.  A lot.  There are a lot of grey, wet days in the forecast back home.

Next week I also start a brand new job after having taken most of the last year off to travel!  I’m going to work at a wonderful company and, most excitingly, in a role I had a major part in designing so it should be very satisfying and a great challenge for me.  But it will be busy, especially the first month or two, so I’m going to savour my relaxed reading time over the next few days!

A Positively Final Appearance by Alec Guinness – indulging in my occasional craving for celebrity with this collection of Guinness’ journals from 1996 to 1998.  It is one of the many books I added to my TBR list while reading Browsings by Michael Dirda last year and my decision to read it is based solely on that recommendation.  I know absolutely nothing about Guinness except that he starred in my favourite moving (The Bridge on the River Kwai) so this should be interesting.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – It’s not every contemporary romance novel that gets a cover blurb from Roxane Gay.  Other readers seem to be just as enthusiastic as her and I’ve seen this described glowingly by a number of newspapers and magazines.

This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff – a workplace novel about five colleagues in the HR department of a small company, this may or may not be the best choice just as I go back to work!

Happy City by Charles Montgomery – I am fascinated by the systems, processes, and infrastructure that can improve people’s lives so this analysis of the importance of urban design looks like just the book for me.  Also, a timely read as the Mercer Quality of Life city rankings were recently released (Vancouver remains steady at #5, the only North American city to crack the top ten).

The Hollow Land by Jane Gardam – I discovered Jane Gardam back in 2014 and read seven of her books in quick succession.  I’ve not read much by her since then, wanting to savour the titles I had left, so am looking forward to reacquainting myself with her genius in these stories of two children exploring the Cumbrian fells.

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig – This sounds wonderful and just the right amount of odd to be perfect for me.

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing – Loneliness is a popular and sadly critical topic these days but Laing’s much-praised book, published in 2016, seems to have been one of the first to bring the discussion into the mainstream.

Restart by Gordon Korman – when I was growing up, I adored Korman’s series about the boys of Macdonald Hall.  He’s been writing steadily for children for decades and while I don’t usually read many children’s books, this story about a bully who reinvents himself after memory loss sounds like the kind of thing Korman would excel at.

Live Lagom by Anna Brones – More secrets of why Nordic people are better than you!  I do love how defensive Swedes get when they see people swooning over the indulgent Danish art of hygge and am deeply enjoying their rebuttal with all these books about lagom (and am rather on their side).

What did you pick up this week?

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with free international shipping.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).  

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.

A last minute chance to escape to the sunny south has thrown my library habits into disarray!  Books I picked up last week expecting to have lots of time to finish have been returned unread and exchanged where possible for their e-book equivalent.  I will, of course, be taking along a few physical books but with no checked luggage you have to prioritize!  Thankfully, my library has a great e-book collection: only three of my books this week are hardcopies.

Chips: The Diaries of Sir Henry Channon – you can only keep me away from gossipy 20th century diaries for so long and here I’m reverting to my favourite sort of diarist: the socialite politician (see my love of Harold Nicholson diaries).  Chips has already appeared in my reading twice this year (he’s mentioned in The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh as well as Travellers in the Third Reich) so I’m looking forward to getting to know him better.

The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman – my reading diet has been lacking good historical fiction lately so, while I wait for my hold on The Game of Kings to come through (or fold and buy a copy), I turn to this tale of Richard III.

If Morning Ever Comes by Anne Tyler – Tyler is a bit of a new discovery for me.  I’ve read Vinegar Girl (her updating of The Taming of the Shrew) and A Spool of Blue Thread but she has so many more books for me to discover.  This one sounds really good – I love when female authors write male main characters.

Something Wholesale by Eric Newby – before he was a famous travel writer and following his harrowing experiences during WWII, Eric Newby worked in the family business: the rag trade.  I’m excited about this one, especially since it’s quality seems preconfirmed: it was just released by Slightly Foxed and they have flawless taste.

Love and War in the Apennines by Eric Newby – Speaking of those harrowing days, this is Newby’s famous memoir of his wartime imprisonment in Italy and eventual escape, after which he was sheltered for months by anti-fascists (including his future wife, Wanda).

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya von Bremzen – a food memoir and an immigrant memoir all in one convenient package!  I started this back when it was first released and was loving it but had to return it before I finished.  This time I’m determined to read it all the way through.

Flâneuse by Lauren Elkin – as a woman who walks (extensively, exclusively, enthusiastically), I’ve been intrigued by this history/memoir of women as walkers since it was released to much praise a few years ago.

Morgan’s Passing by Anne Tyler – continuing my exploration of Anne Tyler’s backlist.  This one sounds…odd.  But intriguing.

 George and Lizzie by Nancy Pearl – Nancy Pearl, the hero to librarians and library-lovers everywhere, has written a novel!

Painted Hands by Jennifer Zobair – This showed up on a diversity-focused reading list I saw somewhere and as it was one of the few books on there I hadn’t read – and I’d loved the ones I had read (like Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, and Alif the Unseen) – I thought it was worth trying.  The rather detailed publisher blurb certainly has me intrigued.

Dream Hoarders by Richard V. Reeves – In my ridiculously overpriced city, it’s impossible to go out these days without talking to someone about growing inequality and stagnating social mobility so this seems like a very timely read.

A Secret Garden by Katie Fforde – Fforde’s last four or five books have been awful but I retain hope that she’ll return to form, maybe with this gardening-themed tale.

What did you pick up this week?

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with free international shipping.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).  

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.

Linda has the Mr. Linky this week.

The Extra Woman by Joanna Scutts – I am so excited this is finally here!  Scutts’ analysis of the life and influence Marjorie Hillis, author of the 1930s bestseller Live Alone and Like It, is easily one of my most anticipated books of the year.  I love Hillis’ practical, humorous books (also including Bubbly On Your Budget – originally published as Orchids on Your Budget) and adore her blunt delivery.  I can’t wait to learn more about her.

Bears in the Streets by Lisa Dickey – Lisa Dickey travelled across Russia three times over twenty years and this book chronicles her experiences and the changes she saw in the country over that time.  I was fascinated when I heard her speak about the book last year and the glowing review at What’s Nonfiction? cinched it for me.

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders – as I mentioned on the weekend, I picked this up on Saturday from the library and immediately sped through it.  Flanders is a Canadian writer who focuses on personal finance and has for years chronicled her own financial experiences on her blog.  A few years ago she decided to try and curb her spending habits by going on a year-long shopping ban and the book is an account of what that year was like, and how she got to that place in her life.

What did you pick up this week?

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with free international shipping.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).

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.

Four Gardens by Margery Sharp – after my success with The Flowering Thorn last month, I am looking forward to reading more by Sharp.  I am assured this is one of her best.

Mackerel Sky by Helen Ashton – my experience with Ashton last month was less successful than with Sharp (I did not love Yeoman’s Hospital), but a blog reader recommended I try this hard-to-find story of a troubled marriage instead.  I read it quickly and am split on whether or not to review it – on the one hand, I found it mediocre and not worth spending too much time on.  On the other, there is practically no information about it anywhere on the internet.

Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser – Flashman!  I am loving this book so, so, so much.  Nothing quite like a humorous adventure story with a cowardly and caddish anti-hero.  And it’s the start of a lengthy series!

Russian PoetsKaren’s post about poetry books last week spurred me to check this one out.

Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris – I am incredibly excited about this travel memoir recounting a bicycle journey along the silk road.  I first heard about it from CBC’s Spring 2018 Canadian Non-Fiction preview, which includes a lot of other great-sounding books.

Things That Happened Before the Earthquake by Chaira Barzini – I read a lot of great things about this novel when it came out last year and was hooked by the idea of both the heroine – an Italian teenager (written by an Italian, thank god) – and the setting – early 1990s LA leading up to the big 1994 earthquake.

Three Mercer Plays by David French – There are two David French plays on in Vancouver right now and, having seen one of them, I became interested in his other works.  These three plays about the Mercer family are probably his most famous.

The Husband Hunters by Anne de Courcy – I always have fun with de Courcy’s books and am excited about this social history of American heiresses and their quest for titled husbands.

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin – yet another set of personality profiles to add to the world (I enjoy learning about them all).

Cookbooks galore!  Roast Figs, Sugar Snow by Diana Henry (winter comfort food at its best), The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan (delicious-looking Persian food), and In a Polish Country House Kitchen by Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden (self-explanatory, no?)

What did you pick up this week?

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with free international shipping.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).  

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