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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.

Sharlene has the Mr Linky this week.

A week of very new reads for me: five of these have been published within the last four months.  For once I get to feel up-to-date!  I’m not feeling well (probably not Covid but who’s to say these days?  We’re encouraged to stay at home rather than get tested if symptoms are mild and no medical help is needed) so have plenty of light reading here (definitions of “light” may vary) to keep me distracted.

The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews – a brand new release from Matthews, whose historical novels I only discovered last year.

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske – much-praised historical fantasy debut that I’m excited to get in to.

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon – colleagues scheming to set up their bosses sounds like solid rom com material (and was, in fact, in Netflix’s forgettable but economically-named Set It Up).  I enjoyed The Ex Talk by Solomon last year so am hoping for good things with this.

The Kill, After the Fire, and Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey – my obvious obsession to kick off 2022 is this crime series from Jane Casey, centered around detective Maeve Kerrigan.  I cannot read them fast enough (which I both love and hate because the series is only 9 books – plus a few stories – long) and am so impressed that they are all so good.  Good enough to have me turning away from all other books, despite this being a genre I usually run away from.

100 Things We’ve Lost to the Internet by Pamela Paul – Paul (who also wrote My Life with Bob) looks – sometimes comically, sometimes sadly – at all the ways our lives have changed since the internet became widely available.

Royal Flash by George Macdonald Fraser – I’m trusting that the adventures of Flashman will provide the right comic balance to all the crime novels I’m reading.

Let’s Get Physical by Danielle Friedman – I’d prefer to have this in physical rather than ebook form but am too excited to wait.  This is a history of women’s exercise culture and it looks great.

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.

As promised last week, my holds have all arrived so there is no shortage of things for me to read now!

The Good Companions by J.B. Priestley – a 1920s novel about a theatrical group sounds like a recommendation from Simon but this actually came from checking through a list of James Tait Black award winners.

The Two Bishops by Agnes Sligh Turnbull – I thoroughly enjoyed my first encounter with Agnes Sligh Turnbull last year when I read The Gown of Glory, about a minister and his family in Pennsylvania in the early 20th century, so am looking forward to reading more by her.

The Kew Gardens Girls by Posy Lovell – a recent historical novel about young women working as gardeners at Kew during the First World War.

Strangers in Skye by Mabel Esther Allan – Given what a ridiculously large number of books Mabel Esther Allan wrote, it’s remarkable that I haven’t read anything by her before.  Or perhaps not when you consider how many months it took to get my hands on just one of her books, but it was worth the wait.  This is a fun 1950s story of a young woman who – ordered by her doctor to spend the summer resting her eyes and not reading before starting university in the fall – joins her brother on Skye where he is the warden of a newly opened youth hostel.

The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter and The Work of Art by Mimi Matthews – I discovered Matthews’ gentle romances last year and have been enjoying working my way through them.  These are the last I have left to read – just in time to enjoy her new release which came out yesterday, The Siren of Sussex.

The Burning and The Reckoning by Jane Casey – I’ve been hearing good things about this crime series for a few years and finally am giving it a try with the first two books.  It’s not a genre I usually read but I’ve just finished The Burning and can confirm it was excellent.  I’m feeling very clever that I checked out book number two so I could jump directly into it after finishing the first.

Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King – like crime, I don’t often read short stories so clearly I’m feeling open to the unfamiliar as we start 2022!

What did you pick up this week?

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Library 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.

Here’s a shocking way to start the new year: I haven’t been to the library yet.  Don’t worry, this isn’t a trend – god forbid – but I did manage my holds over the holidays so there was nothing lingering on the shelves.  They are all enroute now so I’ll have lots to share next week.

Until then, I thought it would be fun to look back on some library stats for 2021:

88% of the 289 books I read last year were from the library.

Of my Top Ten Books of 2021, 9 were library loans.  My lovely Slightly Foxed edition of Love and War in the Apennines was the only exception.

I borrowed 53 books via the inter-library loan system.  There were only 11 requests they were not able to fill.  Given how many libraries have suspended ILLs during Covid and how logistics have been challenged by horrific flooding and mud slide damage since November (for a while, all roads linking Vancouver to the rest of the mainland province/Canada were closed and you could only access the city through the US.  We’re still not fully restored and won’t be for some time), this is amazing.

The library purchased 35 of the 65 books I recommended.  And I haven’t given up on some of the requests made later in the year (since purchases slowed when supply chains halted).  They haven’t taken up my suggestions for the British Library Women Writers titles or anything from the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint at Dean Street Press (the only mark against them) but hope survives – and it doesn’t hurt me to buy my own books every now and then.  They have been adding Handheld Press books both with and without my prompting, so clearly there are great minds at work in the acquisitions team.

A very good record, I think!  No wonder I love my library so much.

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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.

We made it!  2021 is almost at an end and, I think we can all agree, good riddance.  I am seeing out the final days of this year very, very quietly.  I’m off work (hurrah) but between the explosion in Omicron cases and the icy cold snap we’re experiencing here, spending lots of time at home reading seems like the best plan.

Cordelia Underwood, or the Marvelous Beginnings of the Moosepath League by Van Reid – I revisited Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust books recently and this comic novel, set in late 19th Century Maine, sounded delightful: When the young, beautiful, redheaded Cordelia Underwood inherits a parcel of land from her seafaring uncle, it sets in motion a chain of events that leads to the unearthing of a family secret two centuries old. Cordelia soon crosses paths with Mister Tobias Walton and finds herself aided in her quest by the warmhearted gentleman, who has never heard of an adventure he isn’t eager to join. Together with his hapless trio of friends, the Moosepath League, they embark on an entertaining and audacious adventure.

Eternal Boy by Matthew Dennison – a well-reviewed biography of Kenneth Grahame.

The Republic of Love by Carol Shields – I needed prompting from Book Lust to finally pick up this CanLit classic.

Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough – Another Book Lust find, this is a biography of Teddy Roosevelt, which is focused on his youth.

The Whispers of War by Julia Kelly – Kelly’s The Last Garden in England pulled me out of a reading slump earlier this year so I’m looking forward to this WWII-era story of three friends.

150 Glimpses of the Beatles by Craig Brown – I haven’t watched Get Back yet but picked this up to whet my appetite for all things Beatles-related.

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.

The last library haul before the Christmas break!  It’s always a serious moment: time to consider how much time can be allotted to reading versus socializing (lots thanks to Omicron!) and how many books you can reasonably expect to read during that period (and then double it).  I have eight more books waiting for me at the library right now so don’t worry, the six here aren’t expected to last me through the holidays (especially as I’ve already devoured one) but they should be a good start.

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon – let’s be serious: I was never going to have the willpower to save this for holiday reading when it arrived at the library late last week.  I sped through (as much as you can speed through almost 900 pages) the newest addition to the Outlander series over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed being back in Claire and Jamie’s world.  The cast of characters is obscenely large and we don’t actually need to follow them all on all their independent adventures but the lack of judicious editing just means you can stay in their world that much longer.

A Divided Heart by Mathew Thorpe – I’m extremely excited about this account of walking the Jakobsweg (the way of Saint James, leading to Santiago in Spain) through Austria.

Dressed for War by Julie Summers – a biography of UK Vogue editor Audrey Withers, which I’ve been looking forward to since Sarra Manning named it her favourite non-fiction read of 2020.

And, for absolute mindless escapism over the holidays, I have a steady supply of Essie Summers romances: A Mountain for Luenda, No Orchids by Request, and The Lake of the Kingfisher.  I have a dream of the world being open enough that I can spend next Christmas and New Years in New Zealand but for this year books set there will have to suffice.

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 have a lot of interlibrary loans enroute to me – which is of course exactly when all my other holds descend.  Time for some intense reading (though, really, when is it not?) to clear the decks before those arrive.

These Precious Days by Ann Patchett – a new collection of essays.  You can read the title essay – about Patchett’s friendship with Tom Hanks’ assistant, Sooki – here.

Noble Ambitions by Adrian Tinniswood – Tinniswood has written extensively about the history and significance of the English country house and here he moves out of the age of nostalgia to look at what happened to them in the post-war period.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – This is my year to finally discover Adichie.  I started with Americanah (superb), teared up through Notes on Grief, and am looking forward to this historical novel about the Biafran war.

Sushi for Beginners and The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes – Is now – with library holds raining down on me – really the time to pick up two 500+ books for rereads?  Obviously yes.  Keyes is ridiculously readable and always a delight to return to.

The Singles Table by Sara Desai – a cute looking rom-com.

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang – book three in Hoang’s romance series, following The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test.

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan – a bit of seasonal cheer.

Alone in an Untamed Land by Maxime Trottier – part of the “Dear Canada” series (there is a twin “Dear America” series), this children’s book looks at the experience of a girl who was one of the Filles du roi – young women who left France to marry settlers in Quebec – in the late 1660s.  I read an awful book about the Filles du roi earlier this year and wanted something to cleanse my palate after that.

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 December!  I know I say this every year but, truly, how did the year pass that quickly?  Clearly I passed the time by reading – I’ve already read one hundred more books than I do in a usual (meaning pre-Covid) year.  That’s…alarming.  But I think we can all agree it’s been another weird year and there are worse things than having read too much.  So why stop now?

Outlandish by Nick Hunt – This is one of the 2021 releases I’ve most been looking forward to!  I’ve loved Hunt’s two earlier books – Walking the Woods and the Water, where Hunt follows Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps from Holland to Istanbul and Where the Wild Winds Are, in which he tracks on foot the pathways of four European winds – so I’m delighted to follow this latest installment in his travels.  Here, he walks through four of Europe’s most unexpected wildernesses: the Arctic tundra in Scotland, primeval forest in Poland and Belarus, Europe’s only desert in Spain, and the grasslands of Hungary.

The Cabin in the Mountains by Robert Ferguson – a “charming, affectionate” history of the role cabins hold in Norwegians’ hearts.

The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik – I started November by racing through A Deadly Education by Novik and was delighted to end it with this sequel.  Now to wait a painful year for the final book in the trilogy – an especially cruel delay given this book’s cliffhanger ending.

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.

Why the Germans Do it Better by John Kampfner – This was on a number of “Best of 2020” lists and it’s taken me a year to finally get my hands on it so I’m very excited.  The comparison of the title is to the UK – not the entire world – and while the reasons seems clear and plentiful to an outside observer I can’t wait to read about them in detail.

Bellwether by Connie Willis – The consequence of revisiting Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust books is that I inevitably end up with more books to read.  To be fair, this has been recommended so often and by so many people that Pearl can’t take all the credit for making me want to read it.  I’ve had mixed experiences with Willis – after reading only To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout, and All Clear, I was ready to write her off.  But then I read the superlatively good Doomsday Book and laughed all the way through Crosstalk so am keeping an open mind.

100 Poems to Break Your Heart by Edward Hirsch – My father chats regularly with his elder sister and mentioned recently that her reading project for this winter is to read poetry.  Feeling inspired, I thought I’d add some more to my own reading diet.

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’s been an awful last few days here in BC, where torrential rains have caused flooding and washouts that have forced thousands to evacuate their communities and shut down major transportation routes.  Living in Vancouver, I am happily safe and the only inconvenience I’ve experienced has been a few hours without power but it’s still been upsetting for everyone.

At least there are always books to depend on.  I have all these intriguing books below to read but, to be perfectly honest, I’m currently curled up with Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin because I love it and know it will make me happy (for the forth or fifth time) and can also be found flipping through Nancy Pearl’s Booklust books for the gazillionth time since I find the act of list-making (as in, “ooo, I need to add these few hundred more books to my TBR list”) soothing.

Bookworm by Patricia Craig – someone somewhere mentioned Barbara Fitzgerald recently, which led me to Somerville Press.  I’m intrigued by Fitzgerald and will likely get to her one day but was immediately distracted by this memoir of childhood reading.

River Kings by Cat Jarman – so excited to read this “brilliant and unusually wide-ranging new history of the Vikings” (according to the Financial Times).

One of Them by Musa Okwonga – Woven throughout this deeply personal and unflinching memoir of Musa’s five years at Eton in the 1990s is a present-day narrative which engages with much wider questions about pressing social and political issues: privilege, the distribution of wealth, the rise of the far right in the UK, systemic racism, the ‘boys’ club’ of government and the power of the few to control the fate of the many

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid – I’m dipping back into fantasy and the Tor review of this has me intrigued.

Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Is grief really what I what to read about right now?  When Adichie is the writer, yes is obviously the only answer.

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles – I loved Towles’ last book, A Gentleman in Moscow, so was excited to quickly get ahold of this new release about a young man looking forward to making a new life with his young brother after being released from a juvenile work farm – and the two runaways from the farm who upset his plans.  It is extraordinarily readable – I read it Sunday afternoon – but didn’t move me in any way.

How Did Lubitsch Do It? by Joseph McBride – for a change, a little bit of cinematic history about one of my favourite directors.

Miss Moriarty, I Presume? by Sherry Thomas – the 6th book in Thomas’ Lady Sherlock series is here!

Sway with Me by Syed M. Masood – I was far too silent when I read Masood’s first two books – the YA novel More Than Just a Pretty Face and the adult novel The Bad Muslim Discount – earlier this year but I loved them both.  And the best time to discover a new favourite author is just before they have a new book come out, in this case a YA novel about matchmaking, dancing, family and love.  Very excited to start reading!

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 Deadly Education by Naomi Novik – For once I was reading something suitably spooky on Halloween!  I saw this recommended a while back by Nancy Pearl and am always willing to try anything she loves.  It’s the first in a new trilogy (book two came out recently) about magical students fighting to survive their monster-infested school.

The Only Gaijin in the Village by Iain Maloney – I’m looking forward to this memoir about life as an outsider in rural Japan.

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth – This is a bit of a cheat as I’ve had it out from the library for almost two weeks now.  And I’ll probably continue to have it out for a long, long time (renewals are wonderful things) given that it is 1,400 pages.  I’m thoroughly enjoying it but pacing myself.

What did you pick up this week?

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