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Library Loot: July 28-August 3, 2010

July 29, 2010

Library Loot is a weekly meme co-hosted by Marg and Claire to share the books you’ve gotten from the library.

When I was recording my vlog yesterday, it looked in focus on the tiny little screen, but once I had to start editing and uploading it, I realised it must not have been on focus (sometimes I have to twist the focus dealy to make it record sound). But my computer went on the fritz yesterday and it took me awhile to find the disc to fix it, so it’s either out of focus vlog or nothing! Sorry guys…at least you can hear it. ;)

Covers/linked titles:

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (just because), Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (just because), Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope (Our Mutual Read Challenge)


Africa’s World War by Gerard Prunier (World Party Challenge), The Power of Place by Harm J. de Blij (just because), The Burning Season by Andrew Revkin (Reading the World Challenge)


Kartography by Kamila Shamsie (Reading the World Challenge), Breadfruit by Celestine Hitiura Vaite (Reading the World Challenge), Sky Burial by Xinran (China Challenge)


A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit (just because), Samba by Alma Guillermoprieto (Reading the World Challenge), The Peasant Prince by Alex Storozynski (Reading the World Challenge)


Cosmos by Witold Gombrowicz (Reading the World Challenge), Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog by Boris Akunin (Colorful Reading Challenge), The Tsar’s Dwarf by Peter Fogtdal (just because)



The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them
by Elif Batuman
(just because), Biography: a Very Short Introduction by Hermione Lee (just because), My Family and Other Saints by Kirin Narayan (World Religion Challenge)


Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste (Reading the World Challenge), Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman (GLBT Challenge), Yellow Moon by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Colorful Reading Challenge)


Ice Land by Betsy Tobin (just because)

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58 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2010 6:41 am

    A lot of great titles in there – Cold Comfort Farm is the one that grabs me.

    • July 30, 2010 8:29 am

      I’ve seen nothing but praise for Cold Comfort Farm! :)

  2. July 29, 2010 6:54 am

    I read Grapes of Wrath in high school and remember very little of it. I want to read it again at some point so I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts on it. I’ve heard some good things about a few of these and the rest are all new to me. Hope you enjoy all of these wonderful finds!

    • July 30, 2010 8:30 am

      Isn’t it annoying when you read a book and can barely remember it later?! That’s why I’m glad I have a book blog now; instant memory jogger. :D

  3. July 29, 2010 7:12 am

    Wow a hefty haul! Great finds! Enjoy.

  4. July 29, 2010 7:47 am

    I enjoyed Sky Burial so I hope you do to. Much better than her most recent book, in my opinion. Enjoy your loot.

    • July 30, 2010 8:35 am

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Sky Burial!

  5. July 29, 2010 7:55 am

    I love how diverse your library loot always is. You always manage to bring home multitudes of books I’ve never even heard of before!

    I think you’ll have a lot of fun with Cold Comfort Farm. It seems like a very Eva sort of book to me! Plus you’ve read some D.H. Lawrence and the like so you’ll be sure to appreciate the satire.

    • July 30, 2010 8:42 am

      Thanks Steph! I have high hopes for Cold Comfort Farm, I’m just trying to keep them in check a bit. ;)

  6. July 29, 2010 8:36 am

    Yep, I can see my wish list growing already as you start reviewing these babies. ;)

    But you know what really made me smile during this post–how many of these books were “just because”! Of course, I know you don’t read books you don’t want to read anyway just to fulfill a challenge…but there’s just something fun about totally spontaneous reading, don’t you think?

    • July 30, 2010 8:43 am

      I definitely think spontaneous reading is fun! I really let myself put anything on hold I wanted to this past week, which made me extra excited about my loot. :D

  7. July 29, 2010 8:36 am

    Oh lots of good books. Looking forward to hearing what you think about them.

    • July 30, 2010 8:45 am

      I’m looking forward to reading them! :)

  8. July 29, 2010 8:48 am

    Yay for Cold Comfort Farm! You absolutely have to watch the movie too – mmmm Rufus Sewell mmmm…

    sorry, girly moment ;)

    I’m interested in Africa’s World War, though I’ll wait to hear if it’s readable/accessible (wary as ever of non-fiction!)

    Lots of good-lookin’ books here I haven’t heard of before – looking forward to your reviews, as always :D

    • July 30, 2010 8:46 am

      I’ll watch the movie after then! :) And I’ll be sure to let you know about Africa’s World War…I think I’m going to do a book list of nonfiction about Africa next month!

  9. July 29, 2010 9:02 am

    You look well Eva. Glad to see you smiling again. :)

    I can’t wait to hear what you think about Sky Burial. I read the Chopstick sisters and Messages from an unknown mother from Xinran, would like to read all her backlist one day.

    • July 30, 2010 8:49 am

      Thanks Jo! It sounds like you’ve read quite a bit of Xinran: I hope I enjoy her too!

  10. July 29, 2010 9:46 am

    You are a library machine! I have to limit myself to 3-4 books at a time, otherwise I get overwhelmed and don’t read any of them. Can’t wait to read your reviews on these!

    • July 30, 2010 8:50 am

      I had a brief period when I tried to ‘limit’ myself to 20. But then I failed, lol, so now I’ve decided as long as I don’t go above 50 not to worry about it! I’m aware it’s irrational to have that many out at once, but I love having a variety to fulfill my moods.

  11. July 29, 2010 10:32 am

    I love Cold Comfort Farm! BTW — there is a wonderful film adaptation.

    • July 30, 2010 8:50 am

      I’m excited to hear there’s a good adaptation: I’ll definitely have to grab it post reading!

  12. winstonsdad permalink
    July 29, 2010 1:35 pm

    creat selection eva ,the possesed book does sound good remember hearing about it a while ago ,all the best stu

    • July 30, 2010 8:51 am

      Thanks stu! Doesn’t Possessed sound like a treat?

  13. July 29, 2010 1:51 pm

    Hooray for Sister Pelagia! I adore those books. I have the third (Red Cockerel) but am refusing to read it because it’s my last unread Akunin.

    And I hope you like Ice Land.

    • July 30, 2010 8:52 am

      Oh yay: I’m glad to hear good things about them! Most people I know who’ve read Akunin have only read the Erast Fadorin books. :)

  14. July 29, 2010 2:13 pm

    Watching your Library Loot posts is almost like going book shopping! Fun! Can’t wait to read what you think about Sky Burial. I’m guessing you will like it. I sure did and want to read some of Xinran’s other works, especially The Good Women of China. Cold Comfort Farm. Yay! I have that very edition and love the cover. I think I picked it up because of Ana’s post.

    • July 30, 2010 8:53 am

      Thanks Terri! :) I’m so jealous you own that edition of Cold Comfort Farm…it’s just lovely. I want to own ALL the Penguin Classics Editions one of these days.

  15. July 29, 2010 3:18 pm

    What an impressive haul, including two of my personal favourites: Cold Comfort Farm (that was predictable, wasn’t it?) and Kartography. I’ve had The Possessed on hold at the library for what feels like forever but, as of today, I am third in line! Progress! I’ll be interested to hear what you think of A Return to Modesty; I’m intrigued by the title and what little I have heard of it.

    Enjoy your loot!

    • July 30, 2010 8:56 am

      Ohh: I didn’t know Kartography was a favourite of yours. Now I’m even MORE excited to read it! I was on the list for Possessed forever too; I’m not sure if it was just recently released or what, lol.

      Crossing my fingers A Return to Modesty is worth a read. :)

  16. July 29, 2010 3:31 pm

    I hope you like The Possessed! I hope I do too–I’ve only read part of it, standing up at the Barnes & Noble and giggling my head off. There’s this bit where she goes to a Hungarian camp–well, you’ll see. I’m laughing thinking about it. Mercy.

  17. July 29, 2010 6:00 pm

    I saw you had Breadfruit on your list. I love the trilogy of which this is a part. I have read Frangipani, Breadfruit, and Tiare in Bloom–all are amazing. Hope you enjoy Breadfruit!!

    • July 30, 2010 8:57 am

      I loved Frangipani too, so I can’t wait to catch up with the characters! :D

  18. Mome Rath permalink
    July 29, 2010 9:40 pm

    How random — I just picked up The Grapes of Wrath from the library earlier this week. I’m on a bit of a Steinbeck kick this year. Glad you enjoyed East of Eden!
    And the Sister Pelagia series is a lot of fun. For me the series is a bit of a bell curve: Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk was by far the high point for the series, and one of my favorite Akunin mysteries. Incidentally, Akunin is ethnically Georgian.
    Both The Possessed and The Power of Place look like excellent books. I may have to check them out later this year. It sounds like you’re up to date on your Brazilian reading, but if you’re looking for more Brazilian books, I can recommend The River of Doubt and The Lost City of Z for non-fiction (both dealing with Amazon exploration, and one featuring Teddy Roosevelt contemplating suicide) and Machado de Assis’ Epitaph of a Small Winner (aka Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas) for fiction. Have fun reading!

    • July 30, 2010 9:01 am

      That’s a fun coincidence! :) Thanks for letting me know where Akunin was from; I knew it wasn’t Russia proper but couldn’t remember if it was the Caucasus or Central Asia. :)

      I haven’t heard of The River of Doubt, but it has a great title-thanks for the rec! I really, really want to read some de Assis, but my library doesn’t have anything of his. Maybe I’ll just ILL the title!

  19. July 30, 2010 1:03 am

    I recently bought Cold Comfort Farm and am looking forward to your thoughts. And can I say that I like that you have so many just because books this time? I used to feel I was super unorganised in comparison to you because you always have so many books for challenges. (I am probably still unorganised compared to you :P)

    • July 30, 2010 9:02 am

      Aww: don’t feel unorganised! I just use my challenge lists to get my TBR to a manageable number, which is why I usually request library books off of them. :)

  20. July 30, 2010 2:54 am

    Ooh, I’ll be looking for your Grapes of Wrath review, I want to read it but keep getting too intimated by it to pick it up.

    • July 30, 2010 5:03 pm

      Don’t be intimidated! If it helps, a lot of Steinbeck’s critics said he was too low-brow, lol.

  21. July 30, 2010 3:34 am

    Oh I am SO glad you have picked up Sky Burial! It’s one of the most haunting books I have read and it stayed with me for the next few days even after I finished reading… Will be waiting for your review!

  22. July 30, 2010 6:33 am

    Oooooh thank you Eva, I have to get both ‘Samba’ and ‘The Burning Season’ as they are about Brazil and ones I had never heard of until you lovely latest library loot post!

    • July 30, 2010 5:04 pm

      No problem! I always feel silly suggesting Brazil books to you. :)

  23. July 30, 2010 7:15 am

    I really loved Iceland so I hope you do as well. It is a lighter, fluffier book but it also has some great Norse mythology built in to it which I really liked. Other than that, wow, incredible list of books. These posts always make me jealous of your library ;) I am going to have to move to a bigger city sometime soon. I really can’t wait to hear your thoughts on a lot of these.

    • July 30, 2010 5:05 pm

      I’m ALL about light/fluffy + mythology! And if it helps any, I feel very grateful for my library. :)

  24. July 30, 2010 3:08 pm

    What an absolutely wonderful loot you have here! I hope you’ll like Ice Land. I love Akunin’s Erast Fandorin series, but have not read any of the Sister Pelagia books. I’ll look forward to your review on it, as well as your opinions on Lee’s book of biography, The Tsar’s Dwarf and The Peasant Prince. And Cold Comfort Farm goes into my TBR list. :)

    Greetings,
    Tiina

    • July 30, 2010 5:06 pm

      I thought of you with all of those Scandinavian books I got this week! :)

  25. July 30, 2010 7:31 pm

    I’m afraid I’m doing the reverse. I had a good look at my library pile and decided I could keep only a third, so I sifted through to choose what I really want to read (I have far too many–more than 20!–than I can read in the next month, so it’s time to be realistic). But I do enjoy seeing other reader’s library loot–I just need to keep my own under more control. I read Ice Land a few years ago and enjoyed it–I loved reading about the myths and folklore and I need to dip into it again (the myths that is). And I keep saying I’m going to read The Grapes of Wrath this year….(or something by Steinbeck anyway)! Enjoy your books.

    • July 31, 2010 4:05 pm

      I admire your willingness to be realistic! I have about 50 checked out right now (although I do have more time to read than you and only read library books)…my concession to realism is that I’ve decided NOT to renew books. If I don’t get to them in 3 weeks, it’s not the right time, and I can always check them out later!

  26. July 31, 2010 1:33 am

    I gotta lotta Steinbeck love, so I’m glad you’re reading Grapes of Wrath.

    That Penguin cover rocks! Perfect for this novel! You are in for such a treat.

    I think there might be 1 Trollope novel in the Bybee-ary. Next time I’m there, I’ll make a note of it and get back with you about it.

    I’m warming up to the idea of doing a vlog from time to time, but I’d want to be shot through gauze…or perhaps linoleum…who said that? Some ageing film star, I think.

    • July 31, 2010 4:07 pm

      I know: you’re part of why I want to read more Steinbeck now! :) Ohhh: do read the Trollope. I lurve him!

      And I would be SOOO excited to see a Bybee vlog: do it! Even through gauze, lol. That sounds a bit like a Bette Davis quote, but I have no idea. ;)

  27. July 31, 2010 3:22 pm

    Library Day for me today! Funny – I almost got Grapes of Wrath – I was thinking about how relevant it is right now. Here’s my post.

  28. July 31, 2010 4:25 pm

    Cold Comfort Farm is terrific. Well written, funny and all those wacky people are oddly endearing. It was one of my best finds of the year. Have fun!

  29. August 1, 2010 6:37 am

    Such beautiful covers. I can’t wait to hear the review for the Modesty book. :)

  30. August 1, 2010 11:15 am

    I love your Vblogs ! I’ve been thinking about doing my own someday.
    The Power of Place has been on my TBR for a about a year or so after I read his earlier book Why Geography Matters. Africa’s World War sounds REALLY good ! I will be putting that on my TBR list, too.
    I hope you like Andre Aciman’s book. I rather liked his memoir Out of Egypt.

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