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Library Loot: November 17th to 23rd

November 22, 2010

As you shall see, I lost whatever self-control I possessed at the library this week! I’ve been reading a lot, though, so I don’t even feel bad over it. Especially since the books are free! ;) Anyway, I recorded my vlog as soon as I got home from the library, even though I’d been up for 23 hours straight at that point (don’t ask). Did you know that when you’ve gone 24 hours without sleep your brain reacts as if you’ve been drinking? Well, when I’m sleep-deprived or tipsy, I become very talkative. That, combined with the big piles of books, means my vlog this week is sixteen minutes long. I know! I meant to rerecord it in a shorter format, but my off-kilter sleep schedule right now meant I couldn’t manage to be vlog-ready at a good time of day for the light. I completely understand if you don’t want to watch me rambling for sixteen minutes, so I’ve been a bit more detailed than usual in explaining why I picked out each title. But if you want a better glimpse of my reading chair and new striped walls in my reading room, that does form the background! And the lighting makes my new red hair look much more like it does in real life than in the last vlog.

Without further ado, here’s the vlog (if you’re in a feed reader, you’ll have to click through for it to show up):

And the covers/linked titles:

Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons (I enjoyed Cold Comfort Farm so I want to read more of her; this is my favourite cover of the week!), A Human Being Died That Night by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (I could’ve sworn I read about this on a blog, but a quick search didn’t turn anything up. I’m quite interested in South Africa!), The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by Jack Weatherford (I read his first book on Genghis Khan a couple of months ago and can’t resist the idea of a nonfiction ‘sequel’.)


The Wayfinders by Wade Davis (Gavin made this sound like a must-read!), Independent People by Halldor Laxness (I’m always on the lookout for new-to-me older authors, and I’ve had a particular interest in Iceland this year.), The Scent of Desire by Rachel Herz (I was browsing the 100s in my library and this caught my eye with its lovely cover and intriguing topic.)


Why Translation Matter by Edith Grossman (I was browsing the 400s in my library, and I had to get this, since I’m interested in translations and since Grossman is one of the preeminant Spanish to English literary translators today!), In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent (I was browsing the 400s and couldn’t resist the quirkiness of this one.), In Defense of Lost Causes by Slavoj Zizek (Tiina suggested Zizek last week when I mentioned wanting to read more non-US, non-UK nonfiction authors.)


The Open Road by Pico Iyer (I was looking for a different book on Buddhism, and this biography of the Dalai Llama just sounded interesting.), Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers by Stephanie Wellen Levine (I saw this while I was browsing my library’s nonfiction section, and I remembered having put it on one of my reading lists.), Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany (I very much enjoyed The Yacoubian Building.)


It’s Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong (Her book about the DPRC, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz, impressed me.), Translation Nation by Hector Tobar (This was on my Mexico Reading Challenge list: I’m always interested in an-so type books, especially ones that look at migration.), Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (I’ve been meaning to read more of her since being blown away by Fledgling!)


The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson (I loved The New Moon’s Arms and am delighted that my new library has all of Hopkinson’s works.), Empress by Shan Sa (I enjoyed her other historical novel, The Girl Who Played Go.), Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai (I’ve been wanting to read him for years, but my old library didn’t have him. When I saw him in my new library, I immediately put his debut novel on hold!)


The Sagas of the Icelanders (Penguin edition) (I began this earlier this year, but it was an ILL and I had to return it before finishing. I can’t wait to get back into the stories!), Unburnable by Marie-Elena John (I’ve had great luck with every Caribbean author I’ve tried, so I’m always on the look out for more!), Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Maragaret Stohl (Christina’s review of the sequel made me curious: I love Southern gothic stuff and haven’t read any Southern authors this year!)


The Temptation of the Impossible by Mario Vargas Llosa (I wasn’t a fan of the Llosa novel I read-The Bad Girl-but I was curious to see what he had to say about Les Mis, a book I adored.)

Have you read any of these? Where would you start?

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70 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2010 5:22 am

    Wow… That’s a lot of books!

    Now if only my daughters would give me enough time to read that much :(

    • November 29, 2010 4:41 am

      But daughters come with their own advantages. ;)

  2. November 22, 2010 5:26 am

    Wow – you are definitely on a reading roll. I loved Nightingale Wood when I read it earlier this year. I hope you love it too.

  3. November 22, 2010 5:35 am

    I read about half of The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by Jack Weatherford before it was due back at the library, and I thought it was excellent. I do plan to finish the book, which told me more about the time of Genghis Khan and the years that followed than I had ever known.

    • November 29, 2010 4:41 am

      Isn’t it annoying when you have to return a book half read?! Did you read his first book about Genghis Khan?

  4. She permalink
    November 22, 2010 6:47 am

    I’m interested to see what you think about Beautiful Creatures. I was a bit let down with it all and the forced Southern-isms, but I do hope you enjoy it!

    • November 22, 2010 7:13 am

      Even though I warned you! ;)

      • November 29, 2010 4:42 am

        It sounds like it might not be the book for me then…

  5. November 22, 2010 6:53 am

    Fascinating collection of books as always Eva! My library has almost none of them – and none of the really interesting sounding ones! I’m not sure that you will like Beautiful Creatures, I was rather meh about it (found the second one more interesting but still not super awesome), but I do hope that you don’t hate it at least :S I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on a lot of these books!

    • November 29, 2010 4:43 am

      Hmmm: I might just end up not reading Beautiful Creatures then. Life’s too short! :)

  6. November 22, 2010 7:11 am

    I just added so many books to my queue at the library! Especially Translation Nation, I have to read that and fortunately my library has it. They don’t have Why Translation Matters, unfortunately. I also put In the Land of Invented Languages on hold!

    • November 29, 2010 4:43 am

      I really enjoyed Translation Nation! And I’ll get to The Land of Invented Languages soon. :)

  7. November 22, 2010 7:40 am

    Glad I’m not the only one who finds orthodox religions interesting. My friends think I’m a freak.

    • November 29, 2010 4:43 am

      Really?! I guess your friends would think I was a freak too then. lol

  8. November 22, 2010 7:57 am

    Your reading room looks lovely! Dig the stripes. :)

    I can’t wait to see what you make of In the Land of Invented Languages; it sounds great.

  9. November 22, 2010 8:03 am

    Eva! First, girl, you look awesome for being up 23 hours straight. I think I’d be drooling and in a near vegetated state with muffled mumblings that sounded more like a foreign language than English. :P

    I do hope that you like Beautiful Creatures and continue with the series. It is such a quick read. It does mirror the whole Bella & Edward drama, so I just sorta compartmentalized they love story from the rest of the book. I’m still a fan. I love that BC has a male narrator and no one is a werewolf, vampire, or zombie. :))

    Have a happy Turkey Day!

    • November 29, 2010 4:57 am

      lol: thanks Christina! As long as there’s not creepy stalking/rigid gender roles in Beautiful Creatures, I should be good. At the very least, I’ll give it the old 20 page try! :)

  10. November 22, 2010 8:16 am

    I can’t believe you look that awake and talk in complete sentences after having been up for 23 hours straight! :D Your loot looks amazing, can I loot from it? ;) I loved Cold Comfort Farm and want to read Nightingale Wood, too. In the Land of Invented Languages looks amazing, and so does the Grossman book. Hope you enjoy the Zizek book, I’m slowly making my way through “Welcome to the Desert of the Real”.

    • November 29, 2010 4:59 am

      It’s called caffeine. ;)

      The Zizek book was making me cranky at first, but now that I’ve started looking at it as an essay collection rather than a cohesive book, I’m liking it more.

  11. November 22, 2010 8:50 am

    Yeah, I would be snoring while taping this vlog if I’d been up for 24 hours; I don’t know how you’re still going! The stripes look great…and well, obviously so do the books. The Open Road is calling to me. We’re in Atlanta and the Dalai Lama just came ot visit Emory and was on our street! It was great.

  12. November 22, 2010 8:51 am

    Browsing the 400s always adds to the library stack, doesn’t it! I have a copy of Grossman’s book waving at me from one of those sessions too. I loved The Salt Roads (though now I’m itching to reread her Midnight Robber) and Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy. I hope you enjoy them too.

  13. November 22, 2010 9:03 am

    I really like the stripes! And your hair colour, but I think I’ve said that already..

    I did enjoy how excited you are about the library and the browsing! I can’t even begin to comment on all the books, as usual, too many to remember or it woud become a very very long comment. Anyway, I really enjoyed your vlog.

  14. November 22, 2010 11:04 am

    I’m curious to know about the Sagas of the Icelanders. I am doing a mythology challenge starting in January and I want to get into some of the Nordic myths. I took a CS Lewis class last year and he was in love with what he called “Northerness” so I want to see what all the fuss is about. :) Have fun with your loot!

    • November 29, 2010 5:00 am

      Sagas of the Icelanders is more about adventures than mythology. But it’s fun! :)

  15. November 22, 2010 11:20 am

    I want to read Beatiful Creatures. Lots of good books though. Enjoy!

  16. November 22, 2010 11:44 am

    I LOVE the walls in your room – they look spectacular. Your books look great too – I hope you enjoy them.

    • November 29, 2010 5:06 am

      Thank you! I love how the stripes turned out. :)

  17. November 22, 2010 12:26 pm

    great selection as eva ,I loved the zizek I read earlier this his prose are wonderful ,all the best stu

    • November 29, 2010 5:07 am

      I’m slowly getting into the Zizek; I hope I end up loving it. :)

  18. November 22, 2010 12:29 pm

    Wow, what a vlog! I can’t wait to see more of you reading room — it looks really cool.

    I get into trouble when I browse at the library. There are so many books…all freeeee! Thankfully, I usually walk there, so I can only check out what I can carry. You have some really interesting books out this time, and I look forward to hearing how you like them!

    • November 29, 2010 5:07 am

      Thanks Erin! lol: walking would definitely limit how many books I stuffed in my bag!

  19. November 22, 2010 1:42 pm

    I made it through the whole vlog and enjoyed it tremendously. Enjoy being surrounded by books!

  20. November 22, 2010 5:55 pm

    If you’re on an Iceland kick, go for Independent People… it was a favorite when I read it almost ten years ago.

  21. November 22, 2010 6:07 pm

    Having to carry all my books back on the subway and bus has made me much more restrained about my library visits. I’ve only got, I think, ten or so books checked out right now, if that. It’s sort of sad. I like coming and going with tremendous big bags of books.

    That Nightingale Wood cover is indeed gorgeous! It’s exactly the kind of thing I like, stylized silhouettes.

    • November 29, 2010 5:16 am

      I’d be more restrained w/ subway considerations too!

  22. November 22, 2010 6:27 pm

    Your reading room walls look great. I like the stripes.

    From your loot, I’ve read Independent People and The Scent of Desire.

    My favorite part of Independent People was the title. Unfortunately, the actual reading of the book felt like a chore.

    But I enjoyed The Scent of Desire. I regret giving up my galley copy of it, because it had some interesting tidbits that I would like to revisit.

    Enjoy your loot!

    • November 29, 2010 5:16 am

      Thanks Charley! That’s too bad you didn’t enjoy Independent People more…I hope I have better luck with it!

  23. November 22, 2010 7:01 pm

    Evaaaaaaa, your library loot posts always make me add a bunch of books to my hold listttt. NOT FAIR. :D

    (Only now I can’t remember which ones I added. Chicago was one, definitely.)

    • November 29, 2010 5:17 am

      lol! I actually abandoned Chicago about 20 pages in, so I hope you have better luck with it. ;)

  24. November 22, 2010 8:43 pm

    Awww, sometimes I really don’t like reading your Library Loot posts as we don’t have a public library system here like the ones in the States :) I need to read more Butler books. And I haven’t read my copy of Hopkinson’s book (forgot the title) and I think she also has a short story in a compilation of eh, fantasy or horror fiction I have with me.

  25. November 22, 2010 9:08 pm

    The hair is so red in this! I love, love, love it!

    Great selection, as always. I’m particularly intrigued by The Sagas of Icelanders and Chicago.

    Enjoy your loot!

    • November 29, 2010 5:18 am

      Thanks Claire! :) I ended up abandoning Chicago: it just felt too stereotypical. But Sagas is awesome!

  26. November 23, 2010 12:50 am

    Dear Eva,
    It’s been such a long time since I’ve visited and here you are “vloging” and all! Wow! And, I love the stripes of your room, too.
    The books you list are interesting…I have to go through those.
    Thanks for the new vlog information link. I’ve signed up, ‘though I don’t know how to use it, yet. I think it’s an awesome idea.
    I’ll be back to see you more frequently as I know you’re always on the cutting edge of things, dear girl.
    Take care and come see my new and floundering bookish blog….
    http://abookishlibraria.blogspot.com

    Hugs,
    Your Bookish Dame/Deb

    • November 29, 2010 5:21 am

      Thanks for visiting Deb! I’m excited that you have a new book blog. :)

  27. November 23, 2010 12:54 am

    BTW, and speaking of Southern Gothic…have you read “Backseat Saints?” You’ll find more than enough of your fill there. It’s original and wonderful. One of my favorites of 2010. You’ll be craving more of Joshilyn before you know it!

    BookishDame/Deb

    • November 29, 2010 5:21 am

      I haven’t read Backseat Saints yet, but I’ve read two of Jackson’s other novels and enjoyed them both!

  28. November 23, 2010 4:06 am

    I wasn’t really aware of any other Gibbons novels…but I want to read more by her since I loved CCF so much. I’m totally entranced by the cover of Nightingale Wood.
    Tasty stack there, Red.

    • November 29, 2010 5:22 am

      lol @ Red (that’s what my dad has started calling me too)! Penguin is starting to re-issue Gibbons stuff, so I hope the rest of the covers are gorgeous too.

  29. November 23, 2010 10:24 am

    The Wayfinder. What a beautiful title.

  30. November 23, 2010 3:12 pm

    Yay for going overboard on library books. I just did the same thing but haven’t posted my loot yet :)

  31. Selena permalink
    November 23, 2010 11:55 pm

    Annnnnnnd she’s back!! I’m really curious to read your review of the Grossman book – I love all of her translations and I’d love to see what she has to say on the art of translation and just how she does it in general.

    • November 29, 2010 5:36 am

      The Grossman book wasn’t as wonderful as I’d hoped. It still might work for you, though.

  32. November 24, 2010 12:36 pm

    Thanks for the link! As usual, you have a great pile of books here. I have read Jack Weatherford’s books on Native Americans and enjoyed them, and want to try the Mongol books. And I have to read “A Human Being Died That Night”, it sounds amazing.

    • November 29, 2010 5:36 am

      I started A Human Being Died That Night, and it’s as amazing as it sounds like!

  33. November 24, 2010 6:33 pm

    Your red hair does pop out more in this vlog – it looks great!

    Of the books you picked up, I’m particularly interested in It’s Our Turn to Eat and Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers (that *is* such a great title.)

    I read Hunchback of Notre Dame this year and really enjoyed it despite a couple of pace-slowing tangents from Hugo. I hear many prefer Les Mis over Hunchback so I think maybe I’ll read Les Mis next year.

    • November 29, 2010 5:37 am

      Thanks Christy! Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers was awesome. I haven’t picked up It’s Our Turn to Eat yet.

  34. November 25, 2010 5:55 am

    OMG — I can’t believe you got Independent People. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. I read it a long while back, but I still think of it.

    I have Octavia Butler on my list too.

    I think that Khan movie is based on an HF book I read and covers his childhood up to his marriage.

    • November 29, 2010 5:37 am

      That makes me even more curious to read Independent People!

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