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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.

A busy week here.  I’m travelling for work (leaving behind warm, daffodil-filled Vancouver for a much colder clime), fighting a painful cough/cold, juggling lots of social commitments (tied in with the travelling), and trying to fit in time for reading in the midst of everything.  And there are lots of books to tempt me when I do find the time:

A Mad Catastrophe by Geoffrey Wawro – I went to see 1917 over the weekend and, while I enjoyed it, it did make me think about how little we see/read about what that war was like for the soldiers of the Central Powers.  I had great-grandfathers fighting on both sides but I know so, so much more about what my English-Canadian ancestor’s experience would have been like.  I’m hoping this book helps fill in some of the gaps for me.  (Book Depository)

Berezina by Sylvain Tesson – Four friends, two motorcycles (with sidecars!) and a journey in Napoleon’s footsteps from Moscow to Paris.  History, travel, adventure – an ideal combo.  (Book Depository)

Autumn Light by Pico Iyer – I always love hearing Pico Iyer talk about his books but I’ve yet to actually read one.  This, his newest release, is about his life in Japan following his father-in-law’s death.  It sounds quiet and meditative and possibly just what I need right now.  (Book Depository)

Cuckoo in June by Jane Oliver and Ann Stafford – I loved Business as Usual by Oliver and Stafford (coming soon from Handheld Press) so looked to see if I could track down anything more by them.  This was the only thing available in the interlibrary loan catalogue and I know nothing about it – always fun to have a surprise!

The Peppermint Tea Chronicles by Alexander McCall Smith – Let’s be clear: when you are feeling sick and pathetic, that is the perfect time for a new 44 Scotland Street book.  (Book Depository)

The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff – I’m on a Sutcliff reading kick right now and, having finished with the Roman Britain trilogy, am looking forward to this tale set in 8th century Britain.  (Book Depository)

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.

Business as Usual by Jane Oliver and Ann Stafford – As soon as I heard about this 1933 gem, I knew I had to read it.  It’s an epistolary novel about a young woman who, engaged to a doctor at home in Edinburgh but still a year away from getting married, moves to London and starts work in a department store library.  Handheld Press is reissuing it in March and it’s an absolute must-buy for me.  I adored it and will definitely be posting more about it closer to publication day.

Jackaroo by Cynthia Voigt – Blog reader Pam mentioned rereading Voigt recently, which prompted me to seek this out.  It’s been 20 years since I read anything by Voigt but my vague memories are positive so I’ll be interested to see how this goes.

On Foot to the Golden Horn by Jason Goodwin – I can only go so long without reading about walking adventures!  In this case, Goodwin and his friends walked across Eastern Europe to reach Istanbul.

One More Croissant for the Road by Felicity Cloake – On bicycle rather than on foot, I have been extraordinarily excited to read this chronicle of Cloake’s culinary cycling tour of France.  (Book Depository)

To Venice with Love by Philip Gwynne Jones – As always, I am certain to track down all expat memoirs, especially when one is set in my favourite Italian city.  (Book Depository)

When Miss Emmie was in Russia by Harvey Pitcher – A look at the lives of British governesses in Russia before, during, and after the Revolution.  (Book Depository)

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.

It is cold and snowy here, which is frankly ridiculous.  We do not live in Vancouver to be snowed upon in January.  The snowdrops were out and and the daffodils three inches out of the ground before this madness started.  Sigh.

But the positive of horrible weather is that it means I am not distracted by wanting to be outside and therefore have more time for reading!  Which is good because all my holds suddenly arrived at once (with more on the way for next week):

The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas – IT’S HERE!!!  I love the story of Mulan and I adore Sherry Thomas’ writing, so this seems like an unbeatable combination.  Very, very excited to start on this.  (Book Depository)

A Half Baked Idea by Olivia Potts – I spend a fair amount of time perusing the Slightly Foxed website and noticed this on there (in the books from other publishers section).  Grieving after her mother’s unexpected death, Potts left her career as a barrister and retrained at Le Cordon Bleu.  How could I not want to read about that? (Book Depository)

The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff – Slightly Foxed is reissuing this in September (my order is already placed) but I’ve been having so much fun rereading Sutcliff’s Roman books (The Eagle of the Ninth and The Silver Branch) that I couldn’t wait that long.  (Book Depository)

Eggs or Anarchy by William Sitwell – After reading A Green and Pleasant Land in 2019 (it was one of my favourites for the year), I finally tracked this down via interlibrary loan after having had it on my to-read list for years.  It’s a biography of Lord Woolton, the man who was tasked with keeping Britain fed during the Second World War.  (Book Depository)

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss – I honestly don’t know much about this but I saw people enthusing about subsequent books in the series (can’t remember where – possibly Tor.com) that I thought I’d give it a try.  (Book Depository)

A Castle in Wartime by Catherine Bailey – Praised by Kate Atkinson as a book that contains “more tension, more plot in fact, than any thriller”, I’m so looking forward to this.  It has also been published in the UK as The Lost Boys. (Book Depository)

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters – A good rom-com is a very welcome distraction at any time of year but especially when it is absolutely vile outside and you want to forget everything else.  It’s been ages since I read a book in a single evening but I raced through this fun story about a young woman whose famous screenwriter client is months behind on his promised rom-com script.  To help inspire him, she sets about engineering meet-cutes of her own and reporting back on her progress. (Book Depository)

In a Land of Paper Gods by Rebecca Mackenzie – Sarra Manning put this on her best books of the year list back in 2016 (!!! How have three years passed so quickly?) and I’ve finally been organized enough to track it down via interlibrary loan.  (Book Depository)

Salt on Your Tongue by Charlotte Runcie –  Another discovery on the Slightly Foxed website.  (Book Depository)

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.

Happy New Year!  I hope 2020 is off to a great start for everyone.  Our family traditions here don’t allow much time for reading (lots of outdoor time to ensure the year gets off to a healthy start, followed by cooking time to ensure it also begins with lots of leftovers) but I’ve got plenty of books ready to go.  (So I am, of course, starting the year by reading something off my own shelves.  Oh well.)

Here’s what I’ve picked up most recently:

The Seine by Elaine Sciolino – I loved Sciolino’s last book, The Only Street in Paris, about the rue des Martyrs and can’t wait to revisit Paris in her company.  (Book Depository)

Brief Flower by Dorothy Evelyn Smith – I am happy to report that my interlibrary loan copy of this has no dustjacket and therefore no extremely creepy child.  I’m trying to track down another of Smith’s books (O, The Brave Music, which Simon raved about last year) but in the meantime thought I’d try one of her other books.  There’s a little info on it on Goodreads and I thought I’d give it a try.

Poems of Arab Andalusia translated by Cola Franzen – My big travel plan for 2020 is to spend a couple of weeks in Andalusia next autumn.  It’s a long wait so until then I’ll content myself by reading as much as I can about it.  The main reason I’m interested in going is the region’s Arab history so this volume of poetry seemed perfect.  It will also inevitably remind me of how much I need to reread The Lions of Al-Rassan (which I am 100% okay with).  (Book Depository)

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali – In my last Library Loot post, I mentioned picking up a different YA book by Ali, which I haven’t actually read yet.  But at the same time I’d placed a hold on this, her newest release about two Muslim teens who meet in Qatar.  I read it just after picking it up and really enjoyed it.  And I don’t think I’d ever read something set in Qatar before! (Book Depository)

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion – Like everyone who read it, I adored The Rosie Project and can’t resist its sequels (even though I though the second book wasn’t very good).  Hoping for better things with this one! (Book Depository)

Less by Andrew Sean Greer – The time has finally come.  I have heard so many glowing, enthusiastic things about this novel from readers I trust that I am finally overcoming my completely illogical bias against Pulizter Prize-winners to give it a try. (Book Depository)

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.

December is always a bit mad but this year seems even busier than usual.  But the end is in sight: only one week left until Christmas!  I’m looking forward to having a little time off and spending almost all of it reading.

Bagehot by James Grant – IT IS HERE!!!  This is probably my most anticipated book of the year and I’ve been saving it for holiday reading – who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas reading about the Greatest Victorian?  (Book Depository)

How to Live by Sarah Bakewell – Montaigne has been coming up in my reading a lot lately so it felt like time to finally read this much-praised biography from a few years ago. (Book Depository)

Mozart by Paul Johnson – I was rereading Eva Ibbotson novels in November, which are always full of passion for music and especially for Mozart.  I felt inspired to read more about the man himself so placed a hold on this slim biography.  (Book Depository)

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – I’ve heard nothing but praise for this novel about a count confined to house arrest in a grand Moscow hotel through some of the most eventful decades of the 20th Century. (Book Depository)

A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar – I’m intrigued to see what I’ll make of this.  It’s a slim volume about a month (funnily enough) Matar spent in Siena immersed in Sienese art. I love Siena but definitely do not love the Sienese School so we’ll see how I get on with it.  Maybe he’ll inspire in me a love of almond-eyed Madonna’s with eerily long fingers.  We’ll see.  (Book Depository)

The Girl Who Reads on the Metro by Christine Feret-Fleury – A tiny little novel for book lovers. (Book Depository)


All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West – I’ve not had much luck with Sackville-West’s writing but I’ve always wanted to read this novel, about a widow who surprises her family by reviving old dreams and embracing new opportunities rather than fading into sedate old age.  (Book Depository)

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland – I have already teared up reading this and I’m only two chapters in. This story of a young woman figuring out her life after receiving a heart transplant seems ideal for unwinding.  A little crying, a lot of heartwarming…perfect. (Book Depository)

Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams – I will always have time to try a recommendation from Sarra Manning (Book Depository)


The Perilous Sea and The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas – As soon as I started The Burning Sky, I placed holds on these remaining books in the trilogy.  I raced through them over the weekend and enjoyed the series immensely.  As always, Sherry Thomas is fantastic.  No matter what genre she writes, I am delighted to read it.

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali – Inspired by my success with Sherry Thomas’ YA series, I thought I’d read a little more YA and this has been on my radar since it was released to widespread praise in 2017.  (Book Depository)

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.

Advent started this weekend and so, of course, did the Christmas baking.  It is vitally important to a) bake as many types of cookies as you can, b) make them as small as humanly possible while still being visible the human eye (and mouth), and c) have them available to show off to other competitive Czech women who come to judge you (also known as feeding the neighbours).  Since I live in Canada, this last point is less vital but I need to feel that I am not letting my heritage down.  So far, I’ve baked 443 cookies (numbers are important in competitive sports) but that’s only the first six varieties.  This is basically how my evenings will be spent for the next week: work, then 4 hours of baking until bedtime.  But the glory at the end will be great (hopefully).  At least my colleagues, friends, and neighbours (and, to a much lesser extent, family) will be well-fed.

Since there is no reading happening after work, I’m sneaking in as much as I can on my commute and during rainy lunch hours.  Right now, I’m rereading Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin with great pleasure.  It came out last year (this year for American readers) and it was one of the rare times when I dashed out to buy the book on publication day.  It’s probably the best Pride and Prejudice-inspired book out there and this is now the third time I’ve read it.

Does that mean I haven’t picked up anything from the library?  Of course not.  What a ridiculous idea.  Some people shop to kill time – I drop by the library.  There is one dangerous near my work (a very fortunate alternative to the massive bookstore that is actually IN my office building) and another by my house.  I stop by, I stroll through, and I end up leaving with armfulls of books.

Here’s what I dragged home this week (no photos this week – all excess energy is being focused on baking):

Middlemarch by George Eliot – I’ve never read this classic but was recently listening to an audiobook where the young characters are studying it in school and one character was so enthusiastic I felt I had to try it.  And December is always a good time for big Victorian novels.

Lent by Jo Walton – I’m not entirely sure I’m in the right mood to appreciate this right now but I am eager to read it.  A fantasy novel focused on Savonarola cannot be missed.

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff – Slightly Foxed has started to reissue Sutcliff’s books as part of their “Cubs” series and seeing it mentioned so frequently had me longing to revisit it.

A Single Thread by Tracey Chevalier – Very excited about Chevalier’s newest release.  So many of the elements – the 1930s!  Needlework!  Surplus Women! – appeal and her writing is usually (not always, but usually) very engaging.

Heartland by Sarah Smarsh – subtitled “A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth“, I’m really intrigued by this.

You Must Change Your Life by Rachel Corbett – No idea.  This is the fruit of a lunchtime wander through the library, when I was clearly inspired by hunger pangs to pick up things I never would have otherwise.  It looks at the friendship between Rodin (who I know nothing about) and Rainer Maria Rilke (who I would usually have said I don’t need to know anything about).

The Familiars by Stacey Halls – A witchhunt!  This is all I know.  This is all I need to know in order to be intrigued.

Good Poems edited by Garrison Keillor – Another random grab during that lunchhour wander.  I don’t usually read poetry but have been dipping into this and really enjoying it, proving that random grabs are a good idea

What did you pick up this week? (And what intense holiday traditions do you engage in?)

 

 

 

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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 fled south last week for a quick and very warm holiday in Southern California.  While I was gone, a few holds piled up so I had the very satisfying experience of lugging a full bag home from the library yesterday.

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer – I was reading Jo Walton’s October reading list on Tor.com and her incredible enthusiasm for Palmer convinced me that I have to try this.  (Book Depository)

The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es – This won the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography prize and sounds excellent.  (Book Depository)

The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking – Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, has written fun books on hygge and lykke and now looks at how memories – and the art of making them – can enhance our happiness too. (Book Depository)

Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen – Sharlene borrowed this a few weeks ago (and looks like she is reading it now) and it sounded so interesting that I wanted to try it for myself.  (Book Depository)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo –  This showed up on a list of Russian-inspired fantasy novels I read a while back (I am such an easy target for these) and, with winter closing in, I’m in just the right mood for it.  (Book Depository)

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker – I read a review of this in the Globe and Mail during the summer and was intrigued enough to place a hold.  3 months later (almost to the day), here it is!  In the meantime, I had a chance to read one of Tucker’s earlier books, The Simple Wild, which I really, really enjoyed.  Light reading, absolutely, but well done. (Book Depository)

Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard – While on vacation, I ended up spending far too much time reading old food columns on the Guarding website and remembered how much I enjoy Lepard’s writing and recipes.  I’m not sure I’ll actually bake much from this but it’s always fun to look through.  (Book Depository)

Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan – A fun and tempting change from Greenspan’s usual baking books. (Book Depository)

One Magic Square by Lolo Houbein – A new community garden has opened near me (this sounds like a good thing but it actually a very frustrating tax dodge by real estate developers) and I’ve nabbed some space.  I’m having lots of fun starting to plan my plot and this book looks like it should give me plenty of ideas. (Book Depository)

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.

Beth Chatto: A Life with Plants by Catherine Horwood – This was happily sitting on the new arrivals shelf when I went for a browse and I snapped it up.  It’s impossible to be interested in gardening and not have heard of Chatto, though I’ve actually read very few of her books.  The one I did read – Dear Friend and Gardener – was excellent and I’m looking forward to learning more about the woman herself.  (Book Depository)

The Way We Eat Now by Bee Wilson – I have been so looking forward to this.  Wilson is an amazing food writer and this book, released earlier this year, looks at the way food systems have changed and how that has changed how we – all of us, all around the world – eat.  (Book Depository)

Wilding by Isabella Tree – This book was so in demand last time I had it out that I had to return it when I was only part way through.  I can’t wait to pick it back up and learn more about the rewilding project Tree and her husband undertook at their West Sussex farm. (Book Depository)

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.

The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas – Any new book from Sherry Thomas is worth celebrating! (Book Depository)

London Belongs to Me by Norman Collins – How can it already be 3.5 years since Rachel first raved about this book?  It’s also a favourite of Darlene‘s and with such strong endorsements from two of my favourite readers I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get around to it.  (Though, to be fair, the delay was assisted by the fact that my library didn’t own it for most of this period.)  (Book Depository)

Fresh from the Country by Miss Read – Last month, Scott announced the nine titles that will be reissued by Furrowed Middlebrow in January and this was the one that intrigued me most.  The cover of the edition I have is horrendous and very much at odds with the sweet original illustrations inside.  (Book Depository pre-order)

After rereading Strong Poison last week for the 1930 Club, I’m eager to continue getting reacquainted with Lord Peter.  I have some of the books at home but they either too fragile or heavy for daily commuting use.  Thankfully, my library had these three in stock:

Clouds of Witness 

Five Red Herrings

The Nine Tailors

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.

It’s a tale of two halves today.  Half of my books are ones I’ve looked forward to for months and months (and sometimes years).  I know about them, I’ve been anticipating reading them, and I am delighted to finally have my hands on them.

The other half, I know nothing about.  I saw them sitting on a shelf and thought ‘why not?’

Piglettes by Clementine Beavais – Novelist Sarra Manning enthused about this when it came out (in English in 2017) and I’ve been wanting to track it down since then.  I read it the moment I picked it up from the library and adored it so much I may need to read it again before I return it.  (Book Depository)

Joining the Dots by Juliet Gardiner – Back at the end of 2017, I made a list of the new releases from that year that I wanted to read.  This is the very last book off that list for me to try and I can’t wait. I love Gardiner’s histories (The Thirties and The Blitz especially) and am intrigued to see how she approaches her own history. (Book Depository)

From Scratch by Tembi Locke – I returned to my default position of placing library holds on any book that vaguely sounds like an expat memoir.  And then, in the months of waiting that followed, I heard excellent things about this memoir by an actress who, once rejected by her husband’s Sicilian family, was brought close to them through shared grieving following his early death.  (Book Depository)


Farm from Home by Amanda Brooks – I briefly flicked through this and thought it seemed like great escapism.  Now that I’m starting to read the text, I’m not so sure I can take the extraordinary number of “rich people discover the country” cliches it contains.  We shall see.  Not having heard of her before, I quickly googled Brooks when I realised the text was clearly written by someone living in la-la-land and discovered she is former NYC socialite and current Instagram maven, which makes everything make SO much more sense.  (Book Depository)

Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett – I will always read the jacket of any Europa book I see and this one immediately grabbed me.  The format is intriguing – a singer-songwriter picks sixteen tracks that define her and we learn the stories around them, thereby learning about her life – and I’ve been feeling in the mood for something music-related after being thoroughly disappointed by Daisy and the Six this summer. (Book Depository)

Love in Row 27 by Eithne Shortall – Shortall has a new book out so I recognized her name when I saw this on the shelf.  It looks light and a bit silly but perfect for filling the gaps between heavier reading.  (Book Depository)

What did you pick up this week?

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