Feeds:
Posts
Comments

design credit: Beata Heuman (via Desire to Inspire)

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?

We’re less than a week away now from the start of the 1954 Club and I can’t wait!  For those not familiar with it, Simon and Karen host twice-yearly reading weeks to encourage us to try books from a specific year.  It’s always a lot of fun to see what people pick and the clubs are really the only things that can predictably stir me from my sloth and get me to post new book reviews.

Being a planning-focused (some might say obsessed) person, I always enjoy pulling together ideas of what to read.  There were lots of interesting releases in 1954 (including my mother, who was born at the end of October 1954) so we are spoiled for choice.  Here are some suggestions if you’re still deciding what to read:

The Usual Suspects
When it comes to mid-century fiction, there are a handful of ridiculously prolific authors that I know I can always turn to and trust that at least one of them will have had a release that year.  In 1954, they all did.  These are all middling offerings from these authors but entertaining nonetheless:
The Toll-Gate by Georgette Heyer
Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie
What Did It Mean? by Angela Thirkell
Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit by P.G. Wodehouse
Charlotte Fairlie by D.E. Stevenson

Children’s Books
What a year for children’s historical fiction!  Both The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff and Knight Crusader by Ronald Welch were published and they remain wonderful no matter the reader’s age.

A Bit of Non-Fiction
Non-fiction (like poetry) doesn’t get much love during these clubs but maybe 1954 will be the year everyone embraces it!
The Wilder Shores of Love by Lesley Branch
Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford
Slide Rule by Nevil Shute
(1954 was also a big year for cookbooks, including The Art of Eating by MFK Fisher, Italian Food by Elizabeth David, and The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book)

Happy reading!

Hordern House (via Desire to Inspire)

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?

Berlin home of Emmanuel de Bayser (photo credit: Manolo Yllera)

Elle Decor (photo credit: Ricardo Labougle)

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?

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.

Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron – a modern retelling of Emma and by a Canadian author no less?  No surprise I’ve been waiting for this release for a while.

Jameela Green Ruins Everything by Zarqa Nawaz – another anticipated release from another Canadian.  First time novelist (but excellent memoirist and television writer) Nawaz gives us “a hilarious black comedy about the price of success, and a biting look at what has gone wrong with American foreign policy in the Middle East”.

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune – I finally read The House in the Cerulean Sea and was happy to find this tale of finding family and love after death just as sweet and warm.

Whistle and I’ll Come to You by Agnes Sligh Turnbull – I’ve had one success with Turnbull and one failure.  Here’s hoping this lands somewhere in between!

Out of the Rain by Elizabeth Cadell – I went through a Cadell kick a few years ago but hadn’t read this light romance about a lawyer and a young widow before.

A Strange Enchantment by Mabel Esther Allan – For such a prolific author, it’s surprisingly hard to track down Allan’s books through ILL here.  This slim children’s novel looks at a young woman’s experiences when she joins the Women’s Land Army during WWII.

What did you pick up this week?

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 weather here has been distractingly beautiful lately and I’m having trouble settling down to other books after rereading The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley (as predicted, after reading A Desperate Fortune the only thing that would do was more Kearsley), so, basically, I’ve given up reading.  Let’s see if any of these can tempt me back into my regular habits.

Five Red Herrings and Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers – Looking back on my reading logs, I seem to make a habit of rereading Sayers in February.  This year looks to be no exception.

Love in the Time of Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith – the most recent installment in the 44 Scotland Street series is either a really good, comforting thing to slip into during a reading drought or so mild it will drive me up the wall.  We shall see!

The Golden Maze by Richard Fidler – an Australian broadcaster’s “biography” of Prague.

Graduates in Wonderland by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale – an epistolary memoir between two friends who found themselves on different continents after graduation but determined to stay in touch.

Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy – a cute graphic memoir aimed at the YA market about Fahmy’s experiences during high school.  This came in over the weekend and I read it quickly and with pleasure.  If you haven’t tried her already, her other books are also great!

What did you pick up this week?