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Library Loot: December 15th to 21st

December 16, 2010

Well, in my poll (which over 100 of you took the time to vote in: y’all are the best!), I was surprised to see how popular my Library Loot posts are! LL posts require quite a bit of time on my part (especially now that I’m linking to publisher’s pages; let me tell you, a lot of publishers need much better search engines…or in some cases, any search engine at all), so the posts I sometimes see complaining about memes had made me wonder if I should cut back on their frequency. But LL had the biggest majority (70%) in favour of weekly appearances, so there you go. I’ll continue to ramble about the absurd number of books I get on a regular basis. ;)

Vlog, and only eight minutes this time! (Also, for some reason, probably because I’d just said Adam Bede, I refer to George Eliot as ‘Adams’; please ignore this. And She’s blog is A Book Blog. Period., not Books of She. I think I was thrown off since her address is historyofshe. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! ;) ) (Also, remember, if you’re reading this in a feeder you’ll have to click through. Blame it on Vimeo!)

Covers/linked titles:

Adam Bede by George Eliot (because I heart Eliot!), Banewreaker by Jacqueline Carey (after reading Clare’s review, I decided to give it a go; hopefully I like it more than She!)
A Border Passage by Leila Ahmed (I thought it’d be a neat read after Dream Homes.)

Forget Sorrow by Belle Yang (Started this earlier in the year and had to return it, so I want to finish it up!), The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings by Olaudah Equiano (More of my new attraction for 18th century books, as well as classics by authors from the African diaspora.), I am an Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler (Feminist monologues aimed at younger girls? Yes please!)

Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame (I haven’t read any New Zealanders this year, as Maree reminded me!), Photo Finish by Ngaio Marsh (See the thing about New Zealanders; also, I’m always up for a Golden Age mystery.)
The Prophet of Zongo Street by Mohammed Naseehu Ali (Amy wrote a great review last month.)

Sugar Street by Naguib Mahfouz (I heart Mahfouz and have read the first two books in the trilogy.), Sugar Cage by Connie May Fowler (I’ve barely read any Southern authors this year!), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales by Washington Irving (Curious about older American classics.)

When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka (Mainly on a whim: it’ll be my second book by a Japanese-American that I’ve read recently!), The Siege by Ismail Kadare (Feeding into my current Middle East phase, this time about Albania during the Ottoman invasion.)

(P.S.: Since I know at least some of you will ask, the books on the end table behind me are: Freedom from Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi, Without a Name and Under the Tongue by Yvonne Vera, Egg on Mao by Denise Chong, and Penguin’s edition Sagas of the Icelanders. I’m drawing out the latter, since it’s such a treat, but I’ve finished the other three since recording the vlog. Shall talk about them soon!)

54 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2010 6:31 am

    Thanks for introducing “The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings by Olaudah Equiano” A writer of African diaspora in the 18th century?! Who would have thought? you read so widely!! and that Siege by Kadare looks interesting. glad to know you read the first two of Cairo Trilogy, so this will be the last.

    You look well!! Enjoy your wonderful loot! :)

  2. December 16, 2010 7:31 am

    Almost all of the books you’ve brought home (except Adam Bede, the Ngaio Marsh and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow) are books I’ve never even heard of, much less read, so this is like browsing and pulling out something unexpected and wonderful. And speaking of unexpected and wonderful, I hope you like the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I just read it, on a lark, and after growing up with the story, if not the book, I was enchanted with it.

    • December 19, 2010 3:43 am

      What a nice comment Audrey! I hope I’m as enchanted by Irving as you. :)

  3. December 16, 2010 7:46 am

    I think you’re in a great position to read Banewreaker, having done the The Lord of the Rings readalong earlier this year—it makes the deconstruction even tastier.

    I’m a Clare without an i, by the way. ;) I’m named after the Irish county, not the… actual name, heh.

    • December 19, 2010 3:44 am

      Argh! I know your name isn’t spelled with an ‘i’: I’m sorry I added one this go round! It’s so annoying to have your name misspelled, as I well know. Sorry again!

  4. December 16, 2010 8:21 am

    Mmmm, love your Library Loot posts. I had a pretty good trip, yesterday. I’ll have to write it up, today. Enjoy your reading!

  5. December 16, 2010 8:27 am

    what an incredible selection of books…you must have an awesome library!! How in the world can you read all these before you have to return them. My youngest and I take a weekly trip to the library and I am constantly paying overdue fines…which I don’t mind actually…if I’m going to give money to something, I’d certainly rather it was the library :)

    • December 19, 2010 3:46 am

      I do have an awesome library! :) And as I mentioned at the end of the vlog, I don’t read all of the books. Some don’t work for me, others I’m not in the mood for, others I can’t renew…I figure I can always check them out again. ;) I go weekly too, but I’m trying hard to avoid fines here, since my new library is much harsher than my old one!

  6. December 16, 2010 8:49 am

    Eva you always have such interesting books which is why I love your LL. Plenty of interesting choices I haven’t heard of before. Enjoy your loot!

  7. December 16, 2010 9:04 am

    I’m always amazed at what fabulous looking books you find!

  8. December 16, 2010 9:37 am

    As a writer, I heart Eliot too, above all for her dedication to just keep doing what she was called to do, and for her deep concern with the broad kind of morality, not the narcissistic kind.

  9. December 16, 2010 10:44 am

    I agree with you about the cover of The Siege. I could stare at that for quite awhile! This one is on my list to read. Been on a bit of historical fiction reading lately (Black Tower by Louis Bayard – really enjoyed!) and The Siege will fit into the latest “bee in my bonnet” :)

    • December 19, 2010 3:47 am

      Isn’t it lovely? I’m always extra-reluctant to return my favourite covers to the library. lol Isn’t it fun to get into kicks?

  10. December 16, 2010 11:33 am

    love your cute polka-dot shirt! :)

  11. December 16, 2010 12:49 pm

    Wonderful Library Loot, Eva! I am really curious about Olaudah Equiano’s book – looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. ‘Owls do cry’ is an interesting title. I loved the cover of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ – so beautiful! Hope you enjoy Naguib Mahfouz’ ‘Sugar Street’. My favourite comment of yours (from your vlog) was – “I don’t read 60 books a month. I read 30 books a month” :) Both of them are amazing numbers for me!

    • December 19, 2010 3:48 am

      Well, 30 books in a good month! And I’m unemployed, remember? ;)

  12. December 16, 2010 3:38 pm

    Ooh, I’m pleased to hear you loved the first two Mahfouz books. A bunch of us are having a readalong of the trilogy in December/January/February, so I just started the first book. 50 pages in and it’s just OK for me so far, so I’m encouraged to hear that you ended up loving it. Also, on a shallow note, the copies I own are the series of covers like the one you linked in the body of your blog post; aren’t they beautiful? I was on the fence about whether to read along, but when I saw those covers it tipped the scales, haha.

    • December 19, 2010 3:49 am

      I remember the first one started out slow, but by the end I was really interested. Mentions of your readalong is what made me decide to pick up the third one now, so I can read y’all’s posts without worrying about spoilers! lol

      And yes, those new covers are sooo pretty. My library edition is the only one, which makes me feel a bit gypped. ;)

  13. December 16, 2010 3:46 pm

    I love ‘Adam Bede’ (in fact, I love George Eliot – I only have ‘Felix Holt’ to read now!). As I mention in my ‘Middlemarch’ review, she’s a local author; in fact, ‘Middlemarch’ is based on my home town :) Adam is such a great character and contrasts with those around him nicely: enjoy it!

    • December 19, 2010 3:50 am

      You’re farther along into her books than I am then! That’s so neat that Middlemarch is based on your home town. :)

  14. December 16, 2010 3:50 pm

    P.S. I’m impressed you got about 15 books into 8 minutes – as I recall, that’s how long it took me to discuss the Gaskell book ;)

    • December 19, 2010 3:50 am

      Lol! Practice. ;) I’d love to blather on about the individual books more, but then I feel bad as to how long the video ends up being.

  15. December 16, 2010 5:21 pm

    Clare’s review of Banewreaker intrigued me as well. I’ll have to go read She’s and compare. I’ve heard Ngaio Marsh is excellent and await your thoughts on Photo Finish! (I almost just spelled “finish” with a “ph,” as in “photo”…kind of like your Adams thing!)

    • December 19, 2010 3:51 am

      Heehee: Photo Phinish would be a kind of awesome title. I was not overly impressed with the book, though…I’ve read a couple other Marsh’s, and I don’t think she’s up to Christie’s standards.

  16. December 16, 2010 6:00 pm

    the interesting narrative looks good and is new to me I ve the siege on my tbr pile have read couple Kadares and like his books ,look forward to your review,all the best stu

    • December 19, 2010 3:52 am

      I thought of you when I requested The Siege! :)

  17. December 16, 2010 6:17 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading your post on When the Emperor was Divine.

    • December 19, 2010 3:52 am

      I’ll have to make sure I read it then! ;)

  18. December 16, 2010 7:28 pm

    Oh I love Eliot and Adam Bede remains the one novel by her I haven’t picked up yet. I always find it funny that I love most Victorian authors, but hate Dickens. :)

    I read the Equiano narrative back in college. I really enjoyed it and read it one more time since. I think you’ll find that its different from American slave narratives (he’s British if I recall correctly) and he travels quite a bit. It definitely gave me a different perspective on the slave trade outside the United States. Its funny that I don’t know a lot about abolition movements in other countries (I should). But yeah, it is definitely an interesting tale, and quite different from both narratives by Douglass. I hope you enjoy it!

    I haven’t read any Irving yet, but that title is on my shelf. I wish mine had such a pretty cover. Out of curiosity, which editions of classics do you prefer, if any?

    • December 19, 2010 3:56 am

      After this, I’ve got Mill on the Floss and some of her less-well-known stuff. Yep: looking at the cover blurb he’s British, so I’m quite curious about that perspective. I know the basics of the British abolition movement…have you read Oroonoko? I found that really interesting.

      You know, I don’t have a strong preference for any one classics publisher. If I’m reading a translated classic, I just follow my preferred translator (for instance, P&V editions are published by Vintage), but otherwise I’m quite easygoing. I always link to Penguin if they have an edition in my Library Loot posts, because their site is one of the easiest to use. But for actual books, a) I usually get them from the library so don’t have much choice and b) if I’m buying, I’ll decide based on the nicest cover and/or price. I’m impressed with Penguin, Vintage, OUP, and Modern Library as far as their current aesthetics go! So I can’t choose a favourite. :p

  19. December 16, 2010 7:30 pm

    Oh I forgot. I love your top! So cute!

  20. December 16, 2010 9:05 pm

    Yay!!! I hope you like Janet Frame. I’m excited for the NZ mini-challenge again :D

    • December 19, 2010 3:57 am

      I hope I like Frame too! And I’m excited for the Kiwi challenge…despite the lack of jaffas…heehee

  21. December 16, 2010 10:05 pm

    I love these posts. You always find the most interesting titles.

  22. December 17, 2010 9:43 am

    I do love your library loot posts. It’s another week without loot for me (yesterday was moving day) and seeing all of this is making me that much more excited to head to the library this weekend!

    • December 19, 2010 3:58 am

      I went through a sans-library period too, Claire, so I can imagine your excitement! :D

  23. December 17, 2010 12:05 pm

    Equiano is fabulous! I read it along with a lot of American slave narratives, and it has some fascinating differences–as Allie points out. If you haven’t see the film _Amazing Grace_, you might enjoy his part in that story. Also, if you get on a slave narrative kick, see if you can get a volume of the WPA slave narratives–or check out some of the ones that have been put online at

    • December 19, 2010 3:58 am

      I have seen Amazing Grace: I found it quite interesting! And as I told Allie, I’ve read Oroonoko too, so I expect that’ll make my reading of Equiano even more special. Thanks for the link!

  24. December 17, 2010 12:33 pm

    I love two or three of Irving’s stories but other than that, I’m not a huge fan.

    • December 19, 2010 3:59 am

      Interesting! I wonder if I’ll agree with your or not. :)

  25. December 17, 2010 2:24 pm

    What an exciting list of books! Especially Eve Ensler and Naguib Mahfouz! I can’t wait, as always, to hear your thoughts :)

    • December 19, 2010 3:59 am

      Doesn’t the Ensler look great?! And Mahfouz is always so dependable.

  26. December 17, 2010 3:46 pm

    I hope you like it better, too!!!

  27. December 20, 2010 9:35 pm

    The Moon Bridge was one of my favorite books as a kid! And I’ve been meaning to read When the Emperor Was Devine for many years–you’re posting about it just reminded me of it and it’s moved higher up my TBR list :) I’ve never read any books about Canadian internment, but would be really interested if you have suggestions! I love to see differences between the US and Canada in these sorts of respects.

    Equiano is always mentioned in history books where I’m from–I should know, I have to look at quite a few (I’m a licensed social studies teacher). But I’ve never read his narrative–though I understand the book caused quite a stir and was a major influence in the anti-slavery movement in Great Britain.

    I added Forget Sorrow and The Seige to my TBR list :) I find it interesting though, that Forget Sorrow is a graphic novel and is a memoir-ish book. I’ve only read 4 graphic novels–all (3) of Marjane Satrapi’s and another one–but all are memoirs. I wonder if there is a reason for this. It’s probably just the way I choose books haha


  1. December 2010 in my reading world « live through books…

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