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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 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.

Lots of recent releases for me this week and inadvertently in a very consistent colour theme.  I’ve had some trouble settling down with books recently but this batch has helped me break through that – I’ve already read four of them and enjoyed every single one.

Chums by Simon Kuper – Kuper was at Oxford with many of the men who have led Britain in recent years and looks at how the school’s culture helped shape them and their worldview.

Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie – I miss new books from Crusie but am always happy to return to her backlist.

Hither, Page by Cat Sebastian – I’ve seen Sebastian’s name mentioned regularly as the author of queer historical romances but they didn’t seem like my thing.  However, this cosy mystery set in a small village shortly after WWII and focused on the local doctor and the spy who comes to investigate a recent murder was just delightfully warm and satisfying.  I’m delighted to know there’s a sequel.

Blackwater Falls by Ausma Zehanat Khan – I have been so looking forward to this first book in a new crime series from Khan after discovering her work last year (The Unquiet Dead made my list of favourite books for 2021) and am happy to report it’s her best book yet.  And it was even reviewed in the NYT recently!

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade – Dade’s “Spolier Alert” romance series about the stars of a Game-of-Thrones-esque show has been surprisingly delightful, with the first two books heavily focused on fandom antics.  This deviates from that formula by focusing a romance between costars and I loved it.  This was the light but still emotionally relatable book I needed to break my reading drought.

The Candid Life of Meena Dave by Namrata Patel – Meena Dave is a photojournalist who, after losing her adoptive parents as a teen, has never had a true home.  When she is left an apartment in Boston by a women she didn’t know, she discovers a co-op that runs like a family and begins to uncover her own history and culture, as well as learn how to connect again with others.  I read this over the weekend and really enjoyed it.  The characters felt realistically complicated, as did the loneliness Meena struggled with.

What did you pick up this week?

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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.

A Village in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd – several years ago, Boyd wrote Travellers in the Third Reich, an interesting look at the rise of Nazis through the eyes of visitors to Germany.  I had my quibbles with it but overall found it fascinating so am excited to read this follow-up, where she focuses on the villagers of Oberstdorf (which has coincidentally been on my list of travel destinations for several years – as are most places in the Alps).

The Ghost and Mrs Muir by R.A. Dick – a long-awaited ILL hold!  Kate’s write up caught my eye last February and, nine months later, here we finally are.  I’ve seen the movie numerous times but have never read this.

One Day I Shall Astonish the World by Nina Stibbe – I’ve been a latecomer to Stibbe but have loved everything I’ve read by her so far.

Home is the Hunter by Helen MacInnes – I’ve read a couple of MacInnes’ spy novels recently and was sad to find how few of her works the library has in stock.  Intriguingly, one thing it has held on to is this comic play about Odysseus’ return home.

Not Far From Brideshead by Daisy Dunn – a strangely slim look at Oxford between the wars.

The Movement by Ayisha Malik – Malik’s Sofia Khan is Not Obliged delighted me back in 2015 (it was one of my favourite books that year) and I’ve happily scooped up everything she’s written (or ghost-written) since then.

What did you pick up this week?

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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.

A big week for Essie Summers novels via inter-library loans here – all the way from Newfoundland!  That’s a lengthy journey, about 5,000km by plane, and I am endlessly amazed and appreciative that they all come at no cost to me.

What did you pick up this week?

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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.

Sharlene has the Mr Linky this week.

After putting library holds on pause while I was on vacation, they came rushing at me last weekend.  Between two different library systems I picked up more than 20 items on Saturday, including these recent releases:

The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi Matthews – Matthews has been a relatively recent discovery for me but I’m loving her gentle historical romances.  This is the second in her “Belles of London” series, which started earlier this year with The Siren of Sussex.

The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik – the end to Novik’s Scholomance trilogy.

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn – I’m hearing only good things about this.

The Reindeer Hunters by Lars Mytting – Mytting’s The Bell in the Lake was one of my favourite books I read last year so I’ve been waiting impatiently for this second book to appear in translation.

Super-Infinite by Katherine Rundell – Rundell, best known for her childrens’ books, has been getting heaps of praise for this biography of John Dunne.

Lore Olympus, Volume Two by Rachel Smythe – an enjoyable continuation of the webtoon about Hades and Persephone.

Iron Curtain by Vesna Goldsworthy – I’ve been looking forward to this since reading the FT review last February.

Gifts by Laura Barnett – are you ready for Christmas reading yet?  I’m not sure I am but let’s find out.

Ducks by Kate Beaton – There are 320 people in the library line behind me waiting for this graphic memoir about Beaton’s time working the oil sands, which gives you some idea of how much buzz there is around this.  I read it instantly and it’s superb.

What did you pick up this week?

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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 back!  I had a wonderful holiday (and might even be organized enough to share some photos in the next week) and, despite spending hours each day walking/hiking, did manage to fit in a fair amount of reading.  One highlight of being home is being reunited with physical books after two weeks of exclusive e-reader use and I had these three inter-library loans ready to welcome me back.

The Trials of Topsy by A.P. Herbert – I tracked this down as soon as I heard that Handheld Press would be issuing a collection of the Topsy books next summer.  It had been on my radar for a while and, having woken unnaturally early on Tuesday morning, I read through it with delight before work.  Place your pre-orders now!

Miss Bishop by Bess Streeter Aldrich – My fourth encounter with Bess Streeter Aldrich this year, after having loved both A Lantern in Her Hand and A White Bird Flying (but finding The Rim of the Prairie disappointing).

The Villa Girls by Nicky Pellegrino – encouraged by Jo Walton’s enthusiasm for Pellegrino (in her monthly reading list posts), I’ve thoroughly been enjoying discovering her Italian-set novels for myself.

What did you pick up this week?

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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?

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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 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?

Read Full Post »

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?

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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 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?

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

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