Skip to content

Library Loot: January 5th-11th and Athie Acquisitions: Vol. One

January 7, 2011

(Pssst: have you entered my giveaway? It’s open to all book bloggers anywhere in the world!)

This loot is actually quite old, from just before Christmas. But since I had a reading slump, most of it is still hanging about unread! And I haven’t really picked up any books from the library in the meantime, so with this you’re up to date again. I only ended up reading one of the Christmas books (the Poirot) and have returned the others to wait until next December. :)

Vlog (recorded pre-Christmas; I had to edit out me saying the title of Tail of the Blue Bird because you could see my whole name on the ILL label):

Covers/Linked Titles:

The Gaze by Elif Shafak (still interested in Middle Eastern lit), In the Woods by Tana French (a recommendation), An Experiment in Criticism by C.S. Lewis (Laura Miller mentions this in The Magician’s Book)

Tail of the Blue Bird by Nii Ayikwei Parkes (I heard about this thanks to Stu’s review), The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter (a Twitter conversation with Cass), An Oresteia trans. by Anne Carson (had to have it after reading Emily’s review)

Smile as They Bow by Nu Nu Yi (I was searching for Burmese fiction and this came up in my library’s catalogue), Esau and Jacob by Joachim Machado de Assis (I’ve been interested in reading more classics and am always curious about Brazil), Crossing the Mangrove by Maryse Conde (Twitter conversation with Kinna)

Damascus Nights by Rafik Schami (Middle East kick!), Naphtalene by Alia Mamdouh (ditto!), Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie (I decided it’d be interesting to read Christmas book, and I love Christie.)

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flag (Another Christmas option!), The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder (Ditto.) , Mr. Ives’ Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos (Ditto.)

Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan (Twitter conversation with Xicanti.)

I bet you’re wondering what ‘Athie Acquisitions’ in my post title refers to! (And I’m sure you’re also lamenting my childish obsession with alliteration.) Well, I’ve finally named my Nook. :D I’d been struggling to come up with the right name…I didn’t want to single out a favourite author as a namesake, and none of the human names I tried out seemed quite right. My Nook, at least, didn’t seem to have a distinct gender, and looked a bit silly with a gender-specific name. Thus, I began playing with book-themed names. For awhile, I was going to go with knizhka (an affectionate diminutive of book in Russian), but it doesn’t look that nice in the Roman alphabet and I couldn’t find a way to write it in Cyrillic (the Nook itself has a space to add its name, which then displays in the upper left corner). And then, as I was reviewing my new blogging schedule, my Assembling My Atheneum series jumped out at me. Of course! My new Nook is an atheneum. That’s far too many syllables, so since I love diminutives in any language, I promptly shortened it to Athie. And then I smiled in happiness, since that name just felt right. Thus, Athie refers to my Nook, and I thought y’all might be curious as to what titles I’ve loaded on it!

I asked for Athie for one reason only: to read free classics, especially the out-of-print or more obscure ones not easily available from the library. Since I’m picky about translations, I’ll be using it primarily for English-language books. And since a lot of these are out of print, there aren’t pretty covers for me to collage for you. :( But I love y’all so much that I’ve included links to where I downloaded each of these for free, in case you want your own copy. Aside from the Jane Austen novels I downloaded during Sourcebook’s celebration of her birthday, here’s what I’ve added to Athie since Christmas:

Including the Austen, that’s thirty books added in a fortnight. I obviously don’t expect to read all of them immediately, but it’s so lovely to know that they’re all there. :D Woohoo for obscure, older books at my fingertips! (Once Athie and I have gotten to know each other better, I’ll do a post on my impressions; we’re still in the honeymoon phase at the moment.)

76 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2011 4:16 am

    I recommend Parnassus on Wheels, about the traveling book seller. It’s a quick read and very cheering to those of us who love books.

    I’m not always enthusiastic about Hardy, but I liked Far from the Madding Crowd which I read with my book group. My brief comment:

    • January 10, 2011 1:12 pm

      I’m glad to hear Madding works even for non-Hardy lovers! And good to see another fan of Parnassus. :)

  2. January 7, 2011 5:02 am

    If you’re just adding ‘In The Woods’ to your list that must mean that you have all three of Tana French’s books to read. I am so envious. She is one of those writers who is getting better and better with each book. Her latest, ‘Faithful Place’ is superb.

    • January 10, 2011 1:12 pm

      Actually, I read The Likeness a couple years ago. :) I’ve finished In the Wood, and I just don’t think French is my style, but I’m glad you enjoy her so much!

  3. January 7, 2011 6:49 am

    I hope you like Scaramouche. It is indeed full of swashbuckling fun and if you like it, the author’s written ten zillion other books. :D

    • January 10, 2011 1:12 pm

      I hope I do too! Woohoo for ridiculously prolific authors!

  4. January 7, 2011 7:08 am

    Your Middle Eastern books look great. I’d love it if you posted your reviews to the Middle East Reading Challenge when you’re finished so they’ll be in the “database”.

    • January 10, 2011 1:13 pm

      Hi Helen! I’ll be doing a geographical round-up of my 2010 reading soon, which will provide links to Middle Eastern books that I read and reviewed. That might be an easy way for you to add them to your database. :)

  5. January 7, 2011 7:11 am

    Elizabeth Armin free! I am so excited as I can’t get this one from the library. I will have to book mark this page for the links. LM Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott too.

    • January 10, 2011 1:14 pm

      Sounds like you need to check out!

  6. January 7, 2011 8:22 am

    Re L.M. Montgomery, growing up I loved both Kilmeny of the Orchard and Jane of Lantern Hill, both of which I read multiple times.

    • January 10, 2011 1:14 pm

      I read Jane of Lantern Hill as a girl, and I didn’t love it as much as Anne. But I’ll have to look into Kilmeny!

  7. January 7, 2011 8:50 am

    I’m interested in reading The History of White People as well; I look forward to your review!

    • January 10, 2011 1:15 pm

      Hopefully I’ll get to it in a reasonable time period! lol

  8. January 7, 2011 8:52 am

    It looks like you’ve got a lot of great titles both from the library and for your Nook. I love Elizabeth and her German Garden so hope you enjoy it too! O, Pioneers! and the The Story Girl are also great.

    • January 10, 2011 1:32 pm

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed all three of those! :D

  9. January 7, 2011 8:57 am

    O! Pioneers and Treasure Island would be my suggestions. As usual, you have a fantastic pile of books from the library. My library does not have Tail of the Blue Bird (Thanks, Stu!) so I am searching for a used copy. Great vlog!

    • January 10, 2011 1:33 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion! I had to ILL Tail of the Blue Bird, so I feel your pain.

  10. January 7, 2011 9:03 am

    Wow, a personal recommendation from Laura Miller! I’m so impressed! I actually have In the Woods on my bookcase, so I’ll have to try to get to it soon.

    • January 10, 2011 1:37 pm

      I know, right! I was shocked when she e-mailed me. :)

  11. January 7, 2011 11:45 am

    Scaramouche is very fun. Hope you like it. I have a $1 e-version of all of Montgomery’s novels and a large portion of her short stories. It is a Kindle version, but maybe there is something out there like that in Nook-land? The Story Girl is a good one (um… obviously I liked it, hence the blog title. Haha) but the sequel, The Golden Road, is even better. Have fun with all your books!

    • January 10, 2011 1:38 pm

      I’ll have to look for a Nook version; I’d happily pay a dollar for The Blue Castle. :) Good to know re: Golden Road!

  12. January 7, 2011 2:54 pm

    thanks for the kind mention Eva ,a wonderful selection as ever ,all the best stu

  13. January 7, 2011 3:46 pm

    I’ve read Naphtalene before but somehow I don’t remember anything about it. I’ve also just read Treasure Island recently and it was very fun! Mr Ives’ Christmas is the most beautiful story about forgiveness that I’ve read.. love it. And thanks for all the links, Eva.. can you download ebooks from The Book Depository onto your Nook? They have free ebooks too. (Btw, you’re right about your first pronunciation of Jorge. :) )

    • January 10, 2011 1:38 pm

      I didn’t know Book Depository has free ebooks! I’ll have to check it out. :) I hope Naphtalene leaves more of an impression on me than you!

  14. January 7, 2011 4:42 pm

    So many interesting books here! And I’m glad you posted so many Middle Eastern titles. I just finished “Late for Tea at the Deer Palace,” and it put me in the mood to read more ME lit this year.

    • January 10, 2011 1:39 pm

      Ohh: will you be blogging about that one? I haven’t heard of it!

  15. FleurFisher permalink
    January 7, 2011 4:53 pm

    Wow, you and Athie are going to get on like a house on fire. She has a wonderful library already!

    • January 10, 2011 1:39 pm

      We’re definitely off to a wonderful start!

  16. January 7, 2011 6:34 pm

    Yay, you got MIDNIGHT NEVER COME! I’m so with you on the cover. I kept closing the book just so I could stare at the gorgeous coverness. I hope you’ll enjoy the insides too; it’s my least favourite of Brennan’s Onyx Court novels, but still a good read. And you do need it under your belt if you want to read the others to maximum effect.

    BTW, it’s pronounced zick-AN-tee. :)

    • January 10, 2011 1:39 pm

      Thanks for the belated pronunciation guide. ;) And good to know that the series improves over time!

  17. January 7, 2011 6:53 pm

    Aren’t ereaders fun? I love that you can download so many great books for free!

    • January 10, 2011 1:40 pm

      Oh yes: great fun! I think it’s already made up its cost. ;)

  18. January 7, 2011 7:13 pm

    I’m so glad you decided to give Hardy a second try. I think I told you that Madding Crowd was the book that converted Jenny after she couldn’t finish Tess. I look forward to seeing if it works for you too!

    The idea of free classics is one of the things that tempts me about e-readers. I very nearly got a Sony last weekend. (Happened across an excellent deal.) The idea of free classics that don’t take up space in my tiny condo certainly appeals!

    • January 10, 2011 1:40 pm

      You did tell me that, which is why I’m hoping I’ll like it more! And yep: free classics is the only thing I wanted an ereader for. It’s nice to not have to worry about shelf space!

  19. January 7, 2011 7:53 pm

    Smile as They Bow was one that I found on a library wander as well; if you do a search you’ll find one or two short interviews done with the author (she’s a prolific writer but this is her first work that has been translated into English) that I found really added to my reading experience of the novel. Actually, I’m sure I wouldn’t have appreciated it half as much without them!

    • January 10, 2011 1:41 pm

      Oh: thanks for letting me know! Would you rec reading them before or after the novel?

  20. January 7, 2011 8:46 pm

    As always a lot of new to me and interesting loot. Enjoy your haul.

  21. January 7, 2011 9:10 pm

    Such a good list. My favorite Nesbit is The Magic City and then you could read Edward Eager’s take on it called The Knight’s Castle. Eager was one of my favorite authors when I was a child and he was heavily influenced by Nesbit.

    Happy reading.

    • January 10, 2011 1:42 pm

      Thanks for the recommendations! I’ve never even heard of Edward Eager before.

  22. January 8, 2011 12:33 am

    ATHIE! Love it. I’m a firm believer in waiting to name things until the perfect name comes along. :-)

    Psyched that you agreed with me about the marvel that is Anne Carson’s An Oresteia. Fan-freakin’-tastic.

    • January 10, 2011 1:42 pm

      Thanks Emily! And yep: Carson’s one of my new fave translators. hehe

  23. Sujiko permalink
    January 8, 2011 3:39 am

    Hi Eva,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while but have been too shy to comment before. But I’m delurking to let you know where I found an ebook of The Blue Castle!

    There’s a great website called Mobileread with free downloads of public domain books, here’s the link to the Blue Castle –

    This is for the Kindle/mobi format, I’m not sure if you can read it on your Nook? If not, you might be able to convert it using Calibre software? Anyway I hope this helps :)

    • January 10, 2011 1:43 pm

      Hi Sujiko! Thanks for delurking and sending me the link. :) I’ll have to see if I can convert the file somehow. But even if I can’t, it’s lovely to ‘meet’ a new blog reader!

  24. January 8, 2011 5:28 am

    I am so jealous that you got to download the Sourcebook books. It was international, but the only site that allowed international downloads was amazon (I think, I haven’t tried), and I cannot read the kindle format on my ereader. One of the many frustrations of owning an ereader outside of the US. But, like you, I use mine mostly for classics. It’s just that somehow free books appeal so much and I rarely am allowed to download them.

    From your library loot, I had never heard of most books. I have seen good reactions to In the Woods though, so I hope you enjoy it.

  25. January 8, 2011 7:55 am

    I’m glad you’re getting on so well with your ereader! I love mine, but surprisingly haven’t spent much time looking around for free books aside from using Netgalley, and since I keep a balance between ebooks and my normal TBR / review books, I don’t actually read on it as much as even my husband does. I have just gone and changed that thanks to you; I hope you keep sharing with us the awesome free classics you’ve downloaded!

    The only two books I’ve read out of your list (of library and Athie books) are Treasure Island and Far from the Madding Crowd. The first was okay, but isn’t going on my list of favourite classics. Didn’t seem like anything special to me. I read Far from the Madding Crowd a couple years ago, though, and really loved it. I’d hated Jude the Obscure in high school, so this came as a complete shock to me. I didn’t much like Tess when I read it later on, either, so this may be a Hardy aberration for me, but I’ll definitely be interested in what you think of it.

    As a final aside, thanks to that person who found and shared The Blue Castle! I’m saving it for my flight in a week, it’s the perfect timing.

    • January 10, 2011 2:29 pm

      I will keep sharing my downloads, and I’m happy I could inspire you! :) I’m glad you hear you loved Madding Crowd: sounds like it’s the best one for me to give a ago. And I’m jealous The Blue Castle works for you. :p

  26. January 8, 2011 10:14 am

    Ah, I’ve always thought it was “maddening” too! Heh.

  27. January 8, 2011 10:56 am

    As always, what a fantastic list of library books! So many that I would love to pick up myself. And fun books for Athie (love the name)! Happy reading :)

  28. January 8, 2011 10:57 am

    lol @ the History Of White People discussion in your vlog. Luckily for me and my jealousy, my copy is finally in transit so I should have it soon! So excited to (finally!) read it.

    • January 10, 2011 2:30 pm

      Woohoo! We should do a read-a-long. :D

  29. January 8, 2011 6:41 pm

    I love the name you picked out for your Nook. I’ve been taking a look at ereaders and I think that if I decide to get one, the Nook would be it. Are you loving yours?

    You have some great titles here. I’ve read a bit of Nesbit, and some as a child, but not that particular title. I’m looking forward to your thoughts.

    I am so glad we both gave Willa Cather a second chance. :) I read O Pioneers! sometime last year and loved it. I hope you do too!

    Story of an African Farm is excellent. I read it in a college class (the same class as the Equiano narrative) and absolutely loved it. I still have my copy somewhere.

    • January 10, 2011 2:31 pm

      I am loving my Nook so far! I’m planning on doing a post about it, probably in another month or so. :)

      That college class sounds awesome! Do you remember the reading list? I’m be very curious to know everything that was on it.

  30. Debbie permalink
    January 8, 2011 10:07 pm

    “Return of the Native” is my favourite Thomas Hardy, maybe that would be worth giving a go if you haven’t. Also, given your Scottish heritage, if you have read Robert Louis-Stevenson’s “Kidnapped”, that might worth a go too. As for me, back to “Dorian Gray” or “The Brothers Karamazov” ? Given how humid it is here today, I think maybe Karamazov, and I can imagine Russian snow to try and cool down.

    • January 10, 2011 2:31 pm

      Thanks for the recs! I ended up not being a huge fan of Dorian, which is weird since I love Wilde. I haven’t read Brothers Karamazov myself: I want to this year though!

  31. January 9, 2011 12:02 am

    I also thought it was Maddening until I bought the book, maybe I’ll have to read along with you. Also, Elizabeth & Her German Garden, the Miles Franklin book and the Willa Cather are all Virago Modern Classics, so clearly you need to join in on Virago Reading Week! Treasure Island and The Story Girl are also really fun.

    • January 10, 2011 2:32 pm

      I had planned on joining Virago Week: I’m going to read Welty’s The Robber Bridegroom. :) And I’m glad you thought it was Maddening too, hehe. Let me know when you’d be interested in reading it!

  32. January 9, 2011 10:05 am

    Have you gotten to In the Woods? I hope you’ll enjoy that one. I did love Tana French’s The Likeness but I think I loved In the Woods just a tad bit more :) I still need to read her third book.

    • January 10, 2011 2:32 pm

      I just finished In the Woods yesterday. I didn’t end up loving it, but I can see why other appreciate her. :)

  33. January 9, 2011 12:26 pm

    Oh I hope you love In the Woods! I just finished Faithful Place, French is just such a great writer in my opinion! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!

    • January 10, 2011 2:33 pm

      *cough* I didn’t end up loving it, so I don’t think you’ll be too excited to read my thoughts. ;)

  34. January 9, 2011 10:27 pm

    Athie DOES seem the perfect name for your Nook. I’ll be interested to see what you think of it after you been reading on it for awhile.

    • January 10, 2011 2:33 pm

      I’ll be sure to update everyone. :)

  35. January 9, 2011 11:07 pm

    Great-looking books as usual, Eva! Sadly, I’ve been absent from the library lately except when I pack up my laptop and go there to work. My nook has been my best buddy, though. :)

    • January 10, 2011 2:34 pm

      There’s no way I could go to the library and not bring home at least a couple books. lol

  36. Marg permalink
    January 10, 2011 3:52 am

    Normally I don’t read a lot of Christmas stories, but I really enjoyed The Redbird Christmas when I read it a few years ago.

    • January 10, 2011 2:34 pm

      Good to know! I think I’ll read it next Christmas.

  37. January 10, 2011 9:24 pm

    I heard of Tail of the Blue Bird on Vulpes Libris sometime last year and they had an interesting interview with the author, if I recall correctly. I look forward to your thoughts on it!

  38. January 12, 2011 10:18 am

    The Christmas Mystery… now where was that book when I was looking for festive reads? I’ll have to remember that one!


  1. The Sunday Salon: Failing already! « Medieval Bookworm
  2. Thinking of E-Readers | Of Books and Bicycles

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.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: