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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

The last gasp before Christmas and I am certainly gasping.  This year has felt like a marathon that will never end and I so looking forward to taking some time off.  I’m working Christmas Eve morning but after that will be off until January 4th, leaving plenty of time for Christmas celebrations (which start and end on Christmas Eve in our house), lots of time outdoors (most likely in the rain, based on the weather forecast, but positive temperatures in December are a highlight of living in Vancouver), and, of course, reading.

I still have plenty of books left from recent library trips but have added still a few more (and the library will be open next week so I’ll doubtlessly find more then):

Dark, Salt, Clear by Lamorna Ash – I read about this account of life in a Cornish fishing town back in the spring and was delighted to see the library had acquired it.

Possession by A.S. Byatt – I haven’t read this in far too long and it truly is the perfect book for dark wintery nights.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend – I think I was younger than Adrian Mole last time I read this and am looking forward to some humour – if ever there was a year when we needed funny books!

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.

With just about two weeks left in 2020 (hurrah and good riddance!), I am stocking up on books for the holidays.  I’m not taking too much time off – just three working days – but the way the holidays and weekends align means I’ll have a lovely 10 and a half days without work.  With no entertaining pressures this year (no socialising outside of your household where I live), that leaves a lot of time to fill with books and walks.  Sounds perfect!

A Bite of the Apple by Lennie Goodings – the much-read memoir about the founding of Virago Press.  The Guardian described it as an “essential literary memoir” and everything I’ve heard from other readers has been enthusiastic.

Love and Freedom by Rosemary Kavan – A memoir of the sinister early years of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia by an Englishwoman married to a Czech.  This complements the extraordinary memoir, Under a Cruel Star by Heda Margolius Kovály, as both women’s husbands were persecuted during the show trials of the early 1950s.

Outpost by Dan Richards – a journey around the world in search of remote retreats.

Book by Book by Michael Dirda – Subtitled “notes on reading and life”, I’m so looking forward to this.  I loved Browsings by Dirda and think he is one of the best writers about books and the joys of reading.

Perfume from Provence by Winifred Fortescue – a 1930s  best-seller about moving to France.

The Pattern in the Carpet by Margaret Drabble – Last Christmas we pulled out some old jigsaw puzzles for the first time in years and since then have been unstoppable.  Drabble has been a more constant of lover of puzzles and here looks back on her life-long enjoyment of them.

Rachel to the Rescue by Elinor Lipman – a new book from Lipman!  A political satire/romantic comedy for the Trump era seems ambitious but I trust Lipman to always be entertaining.

Better Luck Next Time by Kate Hilton – Not a winner.  I’d heard this mentioned as a family story about the children of an activist icon and their cousins but, belatedly, also saw it advertised as a divorce romantic comedy.  It didn’t succeed as either for me but it was one of those quick books that I kept reading, willing it to get better and reward my attention.  It didn’t.

Swiss Watching by Diccon Bewes – I can’t go and observe the Swiss in person (*sob*) so I might as well read Bewes’ take on them.

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.

The Selected Writings of Sydney Smith edited by W.H. Auden – When I read The Wry Romance of the Literary Rectory back in 2013, the standout individual profiled in it – for me – was Sydney Smith, the witty essayist, diarist, and clergyman.  He was already on my radar then but the book confirmed my desire to learn more about him…so of course I did nothing for eight years.  Picking up An Englishman’s Commonplace Book by Roger Hudson recently, I was inspired the Smith quotations included there to finally track down this selection of his writings.

A Chip Shop in Poznan by Ben Aitken – Back to my favourite genre: the expat memoir.  Here Aitken moves to Poland for a year to better understand why Poles are leaving their country.

Life without a Recipe by Diana Abu-Jaber – I loved Abu-Jaber’s first memoir, The Language of Baklava, and am looking forward to this follow-up.

The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan – I borrowed this back in August as an e-book but reached a point where I couldn’t stand to use my e-reader for a while.  I’ve got this out now as a nice hardcover – much more satisfying.

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman – I finally caught up with the rest of the world and read Beartown last week and loved every page of it.  Even before I finished reading, I made sure to grab the sequel.

Sarah Morris Remembers by D.E. Stevenson – I read this in 2012 back when I was racing through all of D.E. Stevenson’s books and it stood out then as one of her best.  I’ve been struggling to find a copy of my own so am delighted the interlibrary loan system is running again and was able to lend this to me.  It’s the perfect cosy comfort read for winter.

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.

Last week didn’t go quite as planned for me.  I’d been looking forward to taking Thursday and Friday off work (following the Wednesday holiday for Remembrance Day) and escaping to Vancouver Island for a little break.  I’ve only left Vancouver twice in the last year and was eager to be anywhere that wasn’t my house for just a couple of days, even a place that I’d usually visit as a day trip.  But alas, the COVID numbers are rising dramatically here so they’ve sensibly asked us to avoid non-essential travel from the plague-ridden metropolis.

Instead, I spent my time off doing lots of walking, gardening, and, to a surprisingly small extent, reading.  I’m deep into The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili, which is a wonderfully absorbing Georgian family saga, though I’m picking up a few shorter books to give myself little breaks from it (it’s over 900 pages).  I couldn’t resist starting in on one of my most recent library books as soon as I picked it up…

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson – yes, I’ve finally gone and read this beloved Pulitzer-prize-winning novel!  And very suitably it’s also the subject of Simon and Rachel’s most recent podcast episode.

Frederick the Great by Nancy Mitford – Obviously better known as a novelist, I’m intrigued by the non-fiction books Mitford wrote.  This will be the first one I’ve actually read but where better to start than with one of the most fascinating of enlightened despots?

Fabulous Monsters by Alberto Manguel – I’m in the mood for books about books and it’s hard to be in safer hands than Manguel’s.  Here he takes “an original look at how literary characters can transcend their books to guide our lives.”

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – This sounds wonderful and like just the right thing to read in these dark days.  I know I’m in safe hands with Haig.

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.

November seems to be off to a bumpy start, which seems the perfect excuse (as though an excuse were ever needed) to stockpile a ridiculous number of books.

Too Marvellous for Words! by Julie Welch – the inter-library loan system is running again!  Sort of.  To the extent that other libraries around the province/country are open and sufficiently staffed to participate.  It may be back in only a small way but it meant I was able to finally get my hands on this memoir of 1960s boarding school life that I’ve been trying to track down since first hearing about it in early 2017.

An Accomplished Woman by Jude Morgan – I never, ever get tired of reading this Heyer-esque tale.

A Rage for Rock Gardening by Nicola Shulman – I’ve not been able to escape the plant collector Reginald Farrer this year, mainly because I keep reading Ursula Buchan and she keeps mentioning him.  There was a piece about him in a collection of her garden writings, then he appeared in her biography of her grandfather John Buchan, and finally there was an essay about him in the Summer 2020 edition of the Slightly Foxed quarterly.  Clearly, Buchan finds him interesting and I’m intrigued to learn more about him in this slim biography.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman – I had my first encounter with Backman last month when I read his newest novel, Anxious People, which I loved.  I’m intrigued to start on this soon.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – I’ve had this on hold for ages but have been leaving it paused (a wonderful feature!  Bless all libraries that allow this), waiting for the right mood to hit.  As the days grow darker and shorter, now seems like the right time to pick up this latest offering from the always dependable Patchett.

The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke – I was surprised in the spring by how much I enjoyed Darke’s first novel, Star-Crossed, a romantic comedy centered around astrology.  Happily, I didn’t have a long wait before this, her second book, came out and I sped through it right away and with great satisfaction.

Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee – In Lee’s first book, Turning, she combined memoir and nature writing beautifully as she wrote about her experiences swimming in the lakes around Berlin.  Here she explores Taiwan to discover the land her family came from.

Ask Me Anything by P.Z. Reizin – I’m fairly skeptical of “smart” technology but what if it were plotting to help you?  I’m looking forward to Reizin’s take on that in this “romantic comedy for the technology age“.

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher – I read September by Pilcher when I was on holiday at the end of the summer and while I had my quibbles with it I can’t deny that it was absorbing.  I know this is many people’s favourite of her works so thought I’d give it a try.

Something of His Art by Horatio Clare – It’s here!   I have been waiting years for the library to get hold of this (truly, it appeared in the catalogue so long ago that my first hold expired – which means I’d had it on hold for more than a year and a half).  It’s a slim book to carry the pressure of so much anticipation but it was worth the wait for just the beautiful cover design alone – Little Toller have done a stunning job.

Finally, the remaining two titles from Handheld Press that I’d asked the library to buy have come in: Kingdoms of Elfin by Sylvia Townsend Warner and The Runagates Club by John Buchan.

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.

When I have two behemoths waiting for me (Stalingrad at 961 pages and The Eighth Life at 934 pages), is it responsible (or realistic) to keep checking things out?  Let’s not answer that.  Wish me speedy reading instead as I am excited about all of these new arrivals.

Blitz Writing by Inez Holden – early this year I asked my library to purchase a number of titles from Handheld Press and, to my delight, they did!  This volume consists of both a novella and a memoir and I’m still kicking myself for not attending the launch party when I was in London last year.  In this year of no social commitments I regret all the things I passed on in the Before Times.

Out of Istanbul by Bernard Ollivier – I picked up Walking to Samarkand a couple of weeks ago only to realise it was the continuation of a journey which started with this book.  Luckily, it was easy to grab this so I’ll be able to read them in order.

Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession – I’ve so been looking forward to this.  The Guardian described it as “a charming, warm-hearted celebration of all that is treasurable about everyday life.”  Who wouldn’t want to read that, especially these days?

Off the Deep End by W. Hodding Carter – Is it truly never too late to follow your dreams?  Hodding Carter, a competitive swimmer during his university years, sets out in his early 40s to see if he can make it to the Olympics.

The Habsburgs by Martyn Rady – I am always here for a book about the Habsburgs and have been looking forward to this for ages.

To the Lake by Kapka Kassabova – This sounds wonderful.

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.

Just one book to share this week: Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas, the just-released fifth book in her “Lady Sherlock” series.  Thomas is good at writing any genre she turns her hand to (romance, mystery, YA, fantasy) so it’s exciting any time she has a new 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.

Love in the Blitz by Eileen Alexander – Sarra Manning flagged this collection of letters from the Second World War back in March in her list of 2020 non-fiction releases, describing it as “It’s like somebody put all my favourite things into a magical book-making machine and this is what came out.”  Sold!

Love from Boy edited by Donald Sturrock – I am so in the mood for letters or diaries but haven’t found anything to suit me yet.  I have high hopes for the Eileen Alexander book (above) but am also excited about this collection of letters from Roald Dahl to his mother.

Walking to Samarkand by Bernard Ollivier – I love books about walking and books about the Silk Road (have you read Lands of Lost Borders yet?) so this seems ideal for me.  I have only just realised that it is actually the second volume, the first being Out of Istanbul so now I’m off to find that too.

Women and Their Gardens by Catherine Horwood – I read Horwood’s excellent biography of Beth Chatto earlier this year and was delighted to see the library had this earlier book, a survey of female British gardeners from the Elizabethan period onwards.  It seems to have originally been published as Gardening Women if you’re looking for it in the UK.

The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili – I love a family saga and I’m always interested in books from Eastern Europe so this doorstopper (well-reviewed in the Guardian last year) seemed ideal.  But is it ever huge – thank goodness the library has extended its loan periods and eliminated late fines during the pandemic.

Angels by Marian Keyes – After reading a few of Keyes’ books over the summer (Grown Ups and Rachel’s Holiday) I’m not ready to let go so it’s back to the Walsh family series.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman – People are so enthusiastic about Backman’s books but I’ve never read any of them.  But I’ve broken that curse and am now halfway through this touching story about a bank robbery turn apartment-viewing-hostage-situation and loving it.

One Game at a Time by Harnarayan Singh – Bit of a niche interest this.  For my non-Canadian readers, Singh is a sports announcer for the Punjabi broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada (because yes, that is something we have).  In his newly released memoir, he tells his story of growing up on the prairies and pursuing his dream of working in a sport where no one else looked like him.

Can’t Even by Anne Helen Petersen – There has been press about this everywhere (did you see it in the Guardian?  Or NPR?) and as a millennial I feel I should at least give it a try to understand what the rest of my generation is apparently feeling.

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 finally happened: after more than six month, my local library branch is now open for browsing.  They opened yesterday and, no surprise, I made a point of going there on my lunch break just to embrace the joy of being back in familiar surroundings.  I am so thankful the library has made it possible to pick up holds over the last few months and to browse at other branches but there is so much comfort in having this branch reopened.

And of course it makes it even easier for me to comfort myself with many, many books.  Here are some of the new ones I’ve picked up:

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 on vacation this week and computer time has now been replaced entirely by books.  It is glorious.  I sleep, I hike, I swim, and I read.  Repeat.  Here are some of the titles (both new to me and rereads) I have checked out to help keep me entertained:

Indiscretion by Jude Morgan (Book Depository)

The German Heiress by Anika Scott (Book Depository)

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore (Book Depository)

The Summer of Kim Novak by Hakan Nesser (Book Depository)

Dear Life by Rachel Clarke (Book Depository)

Cleopatra’s Sister by Penelope Lively (Book Depository)

September by Rosamunde Pilcher (Book Depository)

Come from Away by Genevieve Graham (Book Depository)

Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes (Book Depository)

What did you pick up this week?

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