Feeds:
Posts
Comments

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.

Nothing particularly bookish to report this week because, finally, inevitably, I have Covid.  After two years of heroic efforts, I have finally been brought low by my plague-ridden parents.  They are both now recovered and bouncing around in the world while I’m at home with a chest cough, fever, and several more days of isolation.  It’s not fun but neither is it awful, though I can only imagine how painful more severe strains would be or the experience of an unvaccinated and unboosted person.

Unable to leave the house, I’ve been postponing library holds and focusing on my own books with their comforting familiarity.  By this weekend I know I’ll be eager to get my hands on a fresh supply when I’m released back into the world but for now it’s nice to limit myself to only what is close at hand.

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.

Flowers in the Rain by Rosamunde Pilcher – I mentioned in my April reading round-up my great discovery: while I hate pretty much every novel I’ve tried by Pilcher, I can tolerate and even enjoy her short stories.  I confirmed my earlier findings by reading this quickly and with pleasure over the weekend.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel – The publisher modestly describes this as “a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.”  I thoroughly enjoy Mandel’s writing and am always delighted by the glimpses she includes of British Columbia, so am looking forward to this.

Remains to be Seen by Elizabeth Cadell – despite having gone on a Cadell binge a few years ago, there are still some titles I’ve never read, including this later novel.  It promises archaeology, a dash of mystery, and, of course, romance.

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.

I had a weekend adventure only other library-lovers may be able to appreciate.  For the first time, I am using InterLINK, which allows patrons from linked public libraries to a) visit other library systems and use their usual card to borrow items and b) return the items to their home library.  The inter-library loans remain incredibly slow (1-3 months right now) so I can bypass that waiting period by hoping on the bus for – in this case – an hour, enjoying a wander through a new neighbourhood and lovely library, and getting what I want.  Even better, while ILLs are restricted to older items (nothing published this year or last) and books only, InterLINK allows you to borrow anything.  A few of my items below were picked up this way, along with lots of obscure foreign language DVDs.

I am doubtlessly going to go mad with this new power.

Memory Speaks by Julie Sedivy – Sedivy, a language scientist, explores the connections between language and memory from both a scientific and personal perspective.  Sedivy left Czechoslovakia and came to Canada as a small child, gradually losing most of her mother tongue but then reconnected with it as an adult.  I’m reading this right now and finding it so fascinating.

Overdue by Amanda Oliver – Based on Oliver’s experiences as a librarian in Washington, DC, this promises to “highlight the national problems that have existed in libraries since they were founded: racism, segregation, and class inequalities. These age-old problems have evolved into police violence, the opioid epidemic, rampant houselessness, and lack of mental health care nationwide—all of which come to a head in public library spaces.”

The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard – I am working my way backwards through Hazzard.  Having started with The Great Fire (2003), I moved on to The Transit of Venus (1980), and now I’m back to 1970 with this novel about a young Englishwoman in Naples.

The Radical Potter by Tristram Hunt – Practically everything I know about Josiah Wedgwood has come at me sideways through books about Charles Darwin, his grandson.  Everything I’ve read about the man and his achievements has impressed me and I’m looking forward to learning more.  This was well-reviewed in the Guardian.

The Frequency of Us by Keith Stuart – In Second World War Bath, young, naïve wireless engineer Will meets Austrian refugee Elsa Klein: she is sophisticated, witty and worldly, and at last his life seems to make sense . . . until, soon after, the newly married couple’s home is bombed, and Will awakes from the wreckage to find himself alone.

No one has heard of Elsa Klein. They say he was never married.

Seventy years later, social worker Laura is battling her way out of depression and off medication. Her new case is a strange, isolated old man whose house hasn’t changed since the war. A man who insists his wife vanished many, many years before. Everyone thinks he’s suffering dementia. But Laura begins to suspect otherwise

Stepping Up by Sarah Turner – an utterly familiar plot – an irresponsible woman finds herself as guardian to her niece and nephew after a family tragedy – that is supposed to be well-done.

The Gran Tour by Ben Aitken – When Ben Aitken learnt that his gran had enjoyed a four-night holiday including four three-course dinners, four cooked breakfasts, four games of bingo, a pair of excursions, sixteen pints of lager and luxury return coach travel, all for a hundred pounds, he thought, that’s the life, and signed himself up. Six times over.

Windswept by Annabel Abbs – This was what prompted me to test the InterLINK system as my pleas for my library to buy its own copy have gone unheeded.  I am SO excited to start reading this memoir/group biography.

How We Met by Huma Qureshi – a short, gentle memoir about Qureshi’s experiences growing up in a family and culture that shaped her approach to finding a romantic partner – and how she eventually chose a different path and a very different sort of husband.

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.

New Zealand Inheritance by Essie Summers – my encounters with Summers have bounced around through her five decade career but I’ve finally got my hands on this, her very first novel from 1957.

Mr Finchley Discovers His England by Victor Canning – the 1934 bestseller about a middle-aged clerk trying to take his first holiday.  Barb reviewed this a few years ago and it’s been at the back of my mind since.

Borders by Thomas King, illustrated by Natasha Donovan – a graphic-novel adaptation of an old short story by King, about a boy and his mother who get caught in limbo at a quiet border crossing between Canada and the US when they assert their identity as Blackfoot instead.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan – Sharlene’s library was WAY faster to add this to their collection – she reviewed it back in March but I’ve only just got my hands on it.

After the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport – a new release from Rappaport is always something to be excited about and this look at Russian exiles in Paris is no exception.

The Meet Cute Method by Portia MacIntosh – I thoroughly enjoyed my first encounter with MacIntosh (Will They, Won’t They) and look forward to reading more of her romantic comedies.

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.

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.

Goblin Hill by Essie Summers – I have literally no idea what most Essie Summers books are about when I beg the ILL folks to track them down for me (New Zealand!  Romance!  This is generally enough) but that’s okay because 90% of them are all the same story, just with minor variations!  This definitely sounds like one of the 90%: On the death of her parents, Faith discovered that she was not their real daughter at all, but adopted, and her real parents were still alive. Her father was now in New Zealand, and Faith could not rest until she had gone in search of him. Yet Gareth Morgan, her father’s grim stepson, could not forget the old family scandal that had almost ruined his own parents’ life – and he could not forgive Faith for it either.

A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich – I read and enjoyed A Lantern in Her Hand for the first time this year and was intrigued to discover it had a sequel.

We Don’t Know Ourselves by Fintan O’Toole – a personal history of modern Ireland

Free by Lea Ypi – I read this memoir about growing up in Albania in the 1980s and 1990s as soon as I picked it up on the weekend and it’s excellent.  The writing is very good (as you’d expect from a professor at LSE) and it was fascinating to hear about life during and after communism in a country I know far too little about.

The Authority Gap by Mary Ann Stieghart – Wonderful look at how and why women are taken less seriously than men and what can be done about it.  Just as enraging as it is informative, I wish I could press copies of this onto everyone I know (certainly most of the men – for the women there won’t be many surprises, but lots of validation).

And then a lot of books that make it look like I’m planning a trip to Europe.  I am!  I have even booked it!  Except I am going to Northern Italy.  But trip planning is so much fun that I thought I’d get started on planning future travels and France is a lovely large country that I’ve visited far too little.  One More Croissant for the Road by Felicity Cloake is a favourite and I dived right into rereading it while I’m enjoying flipping through the rest.

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.

Bachelors Galore and To Bring You Joy by Essie Summers – after a lull, the ILL system is again feeding my great appetite for Essie Summers novels.  These travelled over 1,100 kilometers to make it to me!

The Queen of Everything by Deb Caletti – I first heard about Caletti earlier this year, thanks to Nancy Pearl’s Book Crush, and am enjoying sampling her work.

Dedicated by Pete Davis – this came out last spring but I saw it mentioned recently and was intrigued. Davis makes a case for why it is more rewarding and fulfilling to commit to things (and people) rather than keep your options open.  Perhaps a case of preaching to the choir, but that’s always satisfying.

Dark, Salt, Clear by Lamorna Ash – I’ve borrowed this look at life in a Cornish fishing village before (back in 2020 when it was released to widespread praise) but didn’t manage to read it.  Hoping to remedy that this time!

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary – O’Leary is a bit hit-or-miss for me but I thought I’d try her newest release.

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 link this week.

Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes – a new release from Keyes is always exciting but the fact that this is a sequel to 1998’s Rachel’s Holiday (one of the greatest uses of an unreliable narrator I’ve ever read) only amped up the excitement.  I put down everything else when this came in on Thursday and sped through it.

Sea State by Tabitha Lasley – a messy-sounding memoir about life on a North Sea oil rig.

Reputation by Lex Croucher – Sarra Manning was very enthusiastic about this Regency novel with modern sensibilities (“think Bridgerton meets Fleabag”) when it was released in the UK last year so I thought I’d give it a try.

A couple of DVDs this week as well: I’ve been looking forward to the Czech film Charlatan and picked up Der Rosenkavalier on a whim.  I reread A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson over the weekend and, inevitably, all its mentions of the Strauss opera had me wanted to listen to it again.  My usual reaction is to borrow CDs so I thought I’d vary it up this time.

Which Way is Home? by Maria Kiely – Constance included this children’s book about a family fleeing Czechoslovakia in 1948 in her March reading round up and it immediately caught my eye.  How had I missed it before?!?  I am always interested in anything Czech-related and while my mother left in 1968, several family members were part of the 1948 exodus.

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.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – I’ve just started this new release and am loving it!

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results. 
 
But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

French Braid by Anne Tyler – a new release from Tyler about a Baltimore family from the 1950s to the present.

Wild Child by Patrick Barkham – I was intrigued by the Guardian’s review of this back in May 2020 and have finally got my hands on a copy!

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.

Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman – Cheating a bit by getting this pick in early for the 1954 Club in April.

Losing Eden by Lucy Jones – a look at how important access to nature is for well-being.

The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard – Hazzard’s The Great Fire was my favourite book of 2021 but I’ve heard from others that this novel about two Australian sisters, published in 1980, is their favourite so my expectations are raised!

In Kiltumper by Niall Williams with Christine Breen – a chronicle of a year in Williams and Breen’s Irish garden.  I know Williams is a wonderful writer (if you haven’t read This is Happiness yet, get on it!) and I do love anything about gardens.

The Sea Gulls Woke Me by Mary Stolz – I was flipping through Nancy Pearl’s Book Crush a few months ago and couldn’t resist the section on nostalgic teen novels from the 1950s and 1960s.  There are a few Stolz titles mentioned and I was able to easily track down this one about timid Jean who blossoms during a summer in Maine.

The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz – this adventure tale, about a Polish officer’s escape from a Soviet gulag during WWII and journey on foot from Siberia to India, has been on my TBR list for years.  The truth of it has been contested but a gripping adventure is just as fun if fictional.

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung – Sharlene just reviewed this and I’m taking her advice to read it slowly. The author went to my school and the story, told in vignettes, is about a young woman who grew up in Vancouver with an “astronaut” father who remained in Hong Kong (a very common arrangement here).

Where We Swim by Ingrid Horrocks – I’m a sucker for any book about swimming.

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir – extraordinarily good (in the running for my top books of the year) YA novel about two Pakistani-American teens struggling in a dead-end Californian town.

What did you pick up this week?

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »