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Library Loot: June 2-8, 2010

June 2, 2010

library-lootLibrary Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by myself and Marg 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!

Want to share your loot?

I promise; I totally intended to do a vlog today and make a nice list of covers and linked titles, but I’ve been unexpectedly watching my niece pretty much all day, so I haven’t had time. :) (I’d love to include her in the video, but both my sister and I don’t want her image freely available on the internet, since there are some creepy people and we’re pretty protective.) So, with any luck, after dinner I’ll manage to get a vlog up. :) For now, I wanted the Mr. Linky available for participants! ETA: Post-dinner making and clean up, I had time to update the post with covers/titles. Still not sure when I’ll have the living room to myself to vlog, so I decided to do a rambly text style LL. Plus, in keeping with my new ‘Library in Moderation’ goal, I have a reasonable about of books to type about. hehe

I’m been on a bit of a nonfiction kick, so it outnumbers fiction a bit in my loot this week. :) I guess I’ll start with two books I put on hold do to fellow bloggers:

Ana’s book coveting post included Bachelor Girl by Betsy Israel. I love everything about it, from the premise to the title! As someone who not-so-secretly thinks spinsterhood sounds like fun, this was irresistable. I’m totally calling myself a bachelor girl from now on. :D Meanwhile, Shelf-Love-Jenny’s review of Two Lives by Vikram Seth convinced me that it should be second foray into Seth-land. I adored A Suitable Boy, which I read last year, so I’m hoping I enjoy his nonfiction as much. :)


I picked up Body Drama by Nancy Amanda Redd mainly so that I could casually leave it lying on the coffee table in the hopes that my 13-year-old cousin (she’s visiting until mid-July) will pick it up. Dewey was a big fan of this book, and since my cousin (like all middle school girls) has some body issues, I think it’d be really good for her. I think just leaving it in the open will work, because in the past couple of years, she’s become a big reader; in classic bookworm style, she arrived on Sunday night and Monday morning asked me if I wanted to take her to Barnes & Noble! Anyway, I plan to read it too…especially since now I’m working on my certification in grades 4-8, I think knowledge like that is important. :)


Aphrodite’s Island by Anne Salmond is for my Oceania bit of the Read the World Challenge. I loved the Tahitian novel I read (Frangipani), and this brand-new pop history book about when Europeans first arrived on Tahiti just sounds marvelous. I haven’t read a nice, thick, meaty history book in awhile, and I was starting to crave one. :)
I was originally going to read Alone! Alone! by Rosemary Dinnage for Spotlight Series‘ NYRB Classics tour. Unfortunately, since May became a blogging blackhole month for me, I didn’t get to participate. BUT, I’m still going to post my planned discussion (this and a fiction book, Season of Migration to the North, which I already read). I think NYRB Classics has one of the most tempting catalogues of any of the small presses, and I fully intend to read all of thirty-five posts of the tour so I can find lots more future reading! ;) Oh, I should probably tell you what Alone! Alone! is about. It’s subtitled Lives of Some Outsider Women, so it’s basically a collection of mini-biography essays on various ‘interesting’ women who felt deeply lonely. Interesting, right?


Finally, Starter Vegetable Gardens by Barbara Pleasant is because my mom and I hope to have a bit of a veggie garden this summer. I say a bit, because we’re limited by a) not being able to just rip up large amounts of grass, since we don’t own our house and b) the many, many deer that like to come roam in our yard. But with any luck, we’ll be able to overcome that…I already flipped through this one and found it quite inspirational.


On the fiction side, I’ve got The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey, which I shall be reviewing tomorrow for the Classics Circuit’s Golden Age of Mystery tour. I did a paper in high school on the evolution of the British mystery novel, so I’ve read quite a few of the Golden Age authors (and fallen in love with some, like Sayers), but I haven’t tried Tey before. Since I just recently finished PD James’ Talking About Detective Fiction, I’m more than happy to curl up with a good, classic mystery. :D
Speaking of mysteries, I can’t wait to read Malla Nunn’s second book Let the Dead Lie! Nunn is South African, and I adored her debut novel (despite it being far more hard-boiled than my usual favourite mysteries), the first in a historical mystery series set in 50s South Africa, A Beautiful Place to Die, so I’m delighted the second novel is out so soon.


I was already planning on reading Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift this year for my Decades Challenge (which I’m using to explore 18th century literature), so Allie’s June read-a-long feels serendipitous!
Finally, Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh, which I had put on hold waay back on the first of May thanks to Bybee’s review, arrived. Her description made me desperately want to read it, so I was extra happy to find it on the holds shelf. :)

And now, I’m off to finish The Man in the Queue, so I can write up my review for tomorrow! This week has been a bit crazier than I expected (gee…having a four-year-old and thirteen-year-old in the house tends to steal my alone time…who would’ve guessed?), but I do intend to get another couple of reviews done. Thanks so much for everyone’s who’s voted in the poll so far. It looks like I’ll be rambling first about the two classics (Dracula and Till We Have Faces)! I’m still not caught up on comments (and I’m about two days behind on my Google Reader), but I’m hoping that once everyone has settled in, my free time magically comes back. Otherwise, my strongly introspective self might end up a bit mad. ;)

Have you read any of the books I got this week? Where would you start?

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32 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2010 4:33 pm

    It’s sad the internet’s so creepy. I have lots of adorable cousins myself, but I have to confine myself to posting pictures of my puppy. :/ Also, I am way jealous you have a niece. I wish my sisters would start breeding so I could have lots of little nieces and nephews to play with.

    • June 4, 2010 11:33 pm

      Isn’t it frustrating?! I love being an aunt, but my sister has told me I’m not getting any more nieces or nephews, so I have to content myself with the one! ;)

  2. June 2, 2010 8:04 pm

    I had a copy of Bachelor Girl back in the day, and for some reason it and I didn’t get along so well. I think I could never get into it but now I can’t remember why. I hope you have a much more enlightening time.

    Starter Vegetable Gardens looks GREAT. We planted herbs and peppers, and I’m so excited!

    • June 4, 2010 11:33 pm

      Aww; that’s too bad re: Bachelor Girl. I hope your herbs & tomatoes thrive!

  3. kadybug permalink
    June 2, 2010 8:45 pm

    I think Bachelor Girl looks great. try that one first.

  4. June 3, 2010 4:38 am

    I’m intrigued by Alone! Alone!

    • June 4, 2010 11:34 pm

      I’ve started Alone! Alone!, and it’s not what I expected but still lovely. Does that make sense?

  5. June 3, 2010 5:17 am

    Bachelor girl has caught my eye too! Off to add it. Two Lives has been staring at me for the past 7-8 years? At least ever since it released. Looking forward to what you think. Vikram Seth and Amitav Ghosh are authors I have to read.

    • June 4, 2010 11:34 pm

      That Ana! She can get people even with her books coveting posts. ;) Vikram Seth is awesome, and I’m not 50 pages into Sea of Poppies and LOVING it. So yep: get to Ghosh too! ;)

  6. June 3, 2010 7:41 am

    I really enjoyed Gulliver’s Travels. Remember it’s satire so it’s supposed to be funny. Don’t take it seriously. I wish I was more familiar with 1700s politics so it would be even funnier.

    • June 4, 2010 11:35 pm

      I think I’ll really enjoy it, since I love Satire! Except for Candide…*shudder*

      Maybe I’ll see if there’s a concise 18th cent British politics nonfic book for me to read as a companion piece.

  7. June 3, 2010 9:18 am

    I read Bachelor Girl and used it when I wrote my Master’s thesis a few years ago. I really enjoyed it although as a feminist, I typically diverge a bit from the author’s ideology when reading feminist texts. That’s ok by me, though.

    Gulliver’s Travels is a great read, particularly if you know some of the background. The man was a brilliant satirist.

    • June 4, 2010 11:36 pm

      I tend to never completely agree with the feminist authors I’m reading either. Which I think makes the reading actually a bit more fun! Any recs on some background for Gulliver’s Travels?

  8. June 3, 2010 1:10 pm

    Sheesh. Just when I’d gotten my own Library Loot-ness under some semblance of control. Your lists are filled with way too much temptations. ::grumbles her way over to the library catalogue to place more holds and virtually add to the stack::

    • June 4, 2010 11:36 pm

      lol! But I have so many fewer books than usual!

  9. June 3, 2010 6:11 pm

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list though I will recommend starting with Gulliver’s Travels first. Why? Because I’ve always wanted to read it. Happy reading!

    • June 4, 2010 11:37 pm

      You should join the read-a-long Vasilly! :) Speaking of which, did you finish Grapes of Wrath? I’m ashamed to say it fell by the wayside for me. Going to get it from the library again though!

  10. June 3, 2010 6:25 pm

    The Vikram Seth book is first rate. I also liked A Suitable Boy. This one is a different set of characters — it’s really a memoir of his experiences with his dentist uncle (cousin?) and wife — but somehow I would many echoes from the earlier book.

    I probably read Gulliver’s Travels as a teen ager. You are reminding me that I ought to try it again.

    • June 4, 2010 11:38 pm

      I’m glad this one has echoes of A Suitable Boy, since I loved it. :) I’m always curious about classics I read for the first time as a teenager, and how I’ll react to them on rereading.

  11. June 4, 2010 2:01 am

    I’ve not read any of them, but I’m completely taken by the cover of Aphrodite’s Island, it’s gorgeous!

    • June 4, 2010 11:38 pm

      Isn’t the cover perfect?! From everything I’ve seen, Tahiti is pretty gorgeous too. :D

  12. June 4, 2010 4:57 pm

    I haven’t read any of them but I think I’m going to check out Body Drama.

    @Silverseason- You make me ashamed. LOL! A Suitable Boy has been in my TBR pile for a minute. I think I might start it this weekend.

    Happy reading ya’ll!

    • June 4, 2010 11:39 pm

      A Suitable Boy is awesome! You should definitely start it. :)

      Body Drama was really neat, although I do have a couple reservations. I left it out on the coffee table as planned, and my cousin got completely absorbed in it earlier today. Success! ;)

  13. June 5, 2010 6:50 am

    Great loot, Eva!
    I´ve been eyeing Bachelor Girl as well (Ana is hell on my tbr list), so I´m looking forward to your thoughts on it.
    Writing a paper on British mystery authors sounds so fantastic to me, I love cosy crimes. I´ve also put Talking About Detective Fiction on hold, very excited about it.
    Happy reading! :)

    • June 8, 2010 8:21 am

      I’ve begun Bachelor Girl now and it’s great fun! And tell me about Ana and her bookpushing ways. lol I think you’ll love Talking About Detective Fiction!

  14. June 5, 2010 9:41 am

    ‘Bachelor Girl’ sounds like a really interesting book! Vikram Seth is a wonderful writer. Have you read his ‘An Equal Music’? I liked it even more than ‘A Suitable Boy’ :) ‘Aphrodite’s Island’ sounds like a beautiful work of history – the cover is beautiful too! Looking forward to reading your review of it. I love the fact that deer roam into your garden :) Are they nice or do you have to keep your distance from them? I would love for deer to roam into my garden :)

    • June 8, 2010 8:22 am

      The deer are nice. :) I mean, I’ve never tried to pet them, but they don’t charge or anything! I do love seeing them, even if they thwart my vegetable garden plans. ;) Sounds like I need to read An Equal Music!

  15. June 5, 2010 12:08 pm

    Bachelor girl sounds a whole lot better than spinster! And even though I’ve been married over 27 years, I’m not so sure being a bachelor girl would be such a bad thing!

    • June 8, 2010 8:24 am

      I’m trying to take back the word spinster, lol, but bachelor girl does have more appeal!

  16. June 6, 2010 8:12 am

    Aphrodite’s Island looks really great. Happy Reading! It looks like your library loot will keep you busy!

    • June 8, 2010 8:25 am

      Aphrodite’s Island is living up to its promise! And yep, just enough books to keep me on my toes. :)

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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