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Library Loot: April 8th to 15th

April 8, 2011

A little late, because my mom’s laptop took ages to save the video file, and then Vimeo took ages to process it, but here’s my loot for the week. :D I’m actually going to the library today (so effectively I’m a week behind on my LL posts) and have quite a few books waiting for me. As this isn’t a small week either, I’m feeling a bit paralysed by all of the choices I have.

Vlog (sorry feed readers-you’ll have to click through; blame Vimeo not me):

Cover/linked titles:

Taking Back God by Leora Tanenbaum | 2009 (random choice from browsing; I’m interested in the intersection of feminism and Christianity), Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid | 1990 (I’m slowly working my way through Kincaid’s writings and have yet to be disappointed!), The Siege by Ismail Kadare | 1970 (Trying to read more continental European authors this year)


Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak | 1957 (I’ve been waiting for my library to get the Pevear & Volokhonsky translation in!), The Carbon Age by Eric Roston | 2008 (Always trying to find another good popular chemistry book), In Search of the Golden Frog by Marty Crump | 2000 (I find the combination of science and travel almost irresistable.)


Daughters of the Stone by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa | 2009 (I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel set in Puerto Rico.), The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings by Olaudah Equiano | (Always interested in reading more classics!), The Small House at Allington by by Anthony Trollope | (I can’t believe I’m almost at the end of the Barsetshire books.)


In the Land of God and Man by Silvana Paternostro | 1998 (A book about machismo by a feminist Colombian author? I couldn’t hit the hold button quickly enough.), Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray | (I’m going to give a library book club a try, and this is their April selection; it will be a reread for me.), Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones | 1985 (Reading all of the posts in honour of DWJ have made me crave a rereading!)


Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat | 1983 (I was searching for something in my library’s catalogue and the African Writers Series popped up; I’m especially interested in Egyptian women authors of fiction.), The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong’o | 1965 (Another African Writers Series I couldn’t resist.), Kehinde by Buchi Emecheta | 1994 (Ditto!)


Video Night in Kathmandu by Pico Iyer | 1988 (My second Iyer, after loving his travelogue/biography of the Dalai Lama), The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown | 2011 (Beth Fish Reads highly recommended it to me on Twitter.)

Where would you start?

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56 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2011 8:30 am

    Lots of excellent choices! You’ve had the Equiano out before, haven’t you? ;) It is really good!

    I’m debating reading a DWJ title tomorrow for the readathon. I haven’t read Fire and Hemlock, but it is one I really want to read. My library’s copy is out, otherwise I would go and get it today. I do have The House of Many Ways sitting on my shelf (a friend lent it to me), but I might read The Chrestomanci Tales instead. So many choices! :)

    I can’t wait to get my hands on that edition of Doctor Zhivago. I own an edition, but it is rather battered (I bought it used at a library sale) and when I flipped through on a whim, I noticed it is missing a bunch of pages.

    (every time Thistle popped her head up, one of my cats meowed at the screen. :) he knows a reading buddy when he sees one!)

    • April 9, 2011 2:52 am

      Yep! I’ve definitely getting to it this time, hehe.

      For the readathon, I think Chrestomanci would be a great choice; I read the first volume (omnibus of Charmed Life and Lives of Christopher Chant) all in one go, staying up past my bedtime. Of course, I did the same thing w Fire & Hemlock! ;)

      lol @ your cat

  2. April 8, 2011 8:38 am

    Eva, you always have such an interesting mix of books! I love listening to your library finds videos. I hope your library book group works out. If not, you’re welcome to trek up to Austin and come to mine! I’m not the moderator anymore, but I always made it my job to help everyone feel included and welcome regardless of their opinion on the book. VANITY FAIR is a long book to read for a monthly book group. LOL

    • April 9, 2011 2:53 am

      Thanks Kay! If gas was free, I’d definitely join your club. :)

  3. April 8, 2011 8:52 am

    The Olaudah Equiano is edited by my dissertation advisor, and he’s a funny guy, so you might actually want to read the intro.

    I didn’t like The Weird Sisters that much, but talk about how my expectations for it might have been too high in my review of it. Also, I don’t have sisters. People with sisters like it better.

    • April 9, 2011 2:54 am

      Oh neat! I usually do read the intros, once I’ve read the book. ;)

      You know, I read the first 20ish pages of Weird Sisters this morning and felt a bit meh about it. And I have a sister. The plural first person narration is a bit annoying.

  4. April 8, 2011 8:55 am

    You have some great book choices! The only one I’ve read was In Search of the Golden Frog, which I read quite a few years ago. I think you will find it very interesting — it covers a lot of conservation biology issues.

    Enjoy your library book club – I went to my very first book club meeting a few weeks ago and it was a pretty fun experience for me.

    I still can’t get over how adorable Thistle is.

    • April 9, 2011 2:55 am

      Oh good; glad to hear Golden Frog covers interesting issues! And yay for first tries at book clubs; it’ll be my second.

      Of course, I’m grinning at your sweet words about Thistle. :D

  5. April 8, 2011 10:28 am

    Oh, sweet puppy!
    What a fantastic selection you have here. I’d start with The Weird Sisters, it sounds like a good intro to a giant reading fest. :)

    • April 9, 2011 2:56 am

      I tried Weird Sisters this morning but couldn’t get into it, so I’ve switched to Fire & Hemlock! ;)

  6. April 8, 2011 10:57 am

    I’m with you Eva. Feminism first. Religion second. If I cannot find one that allows the two to coexist, then I’ll pass. Looking forward to reading your review on Taking Back God. I remember you having Olaudah Equiano’s memoir on your library loot before so I hope you are finally able to read it. Hopefully the book group will be a success!

    • April 9, 2011 2:57 am

      I hope Taking Back God is good! I’ll definitely get to the Equiano; it feels embarrassing when I post about books more than once, lol. And I’ll report back on the book group. :)

  7. April 8, 2011 11:22 am

    I know where I ought to start and that is with ‘Dr Zhivago’. It’s one of those books which I talk about as if I’ve read and yet I never have done. Shame on me!

    • April 9, 2011 2:57 am

      That’s funny Annie! I don’t know anything about it, hehe.

  8. April 8, 2011 12:17 pm

    I always enjoy your Library Loot. You have very eclectic reading tastes just like my own. And Thistle is so adorable!!

  9. April 8, 2011 12:30 pm

    I always love to see the books you’ve checked out, even though I’m intimidated by a lot of them.

    • April 9, 2011 2:58 am

      Really?! I promise they’re not intimidating. :)

  10. April 8, 2011 12:36 pm

    Wow, Vanity Fair strikes me as an ambitious choice for a library book group. And by “ambitious” I mean “long.” And dark. I’m not sure I would read it again, but I’m glad I did once. Anyway, hope that works out well for everyone in your club!

    I keep meaning to get into Jamaica Kincaid’s work…

    • April 9, 2011 3:00 am

      Maybe they skipped their March meeting? Or maybe it’s just an ambitious group! lol

      Kincaid is so good, and her books tend to be short. So it’d be easy to get going with her. ;)

  11. April 8, 2011 1:24 pm

    Lots of good books there. I can see why you wouldn’t know where to start. Easy answer, start anywhere. Enjoy!

  12. April 8, 2011 1:29 pm

    Great loot! Seeing you mention Dr. Zhivago I realized that I have never read it and immediately reserved the Pevear & Volokhonsky translation from the library. :) I usually read originally Non-English language books in Finnish, but I’ve heard good things about these translators & decided to take a look. I love the 1965 film with Omar Sharif & Julie Christie. Have you seen it?

    Also, I’m especially looking forward to your thoughts on Taking Back God & also The Siege.

    • April 9, 2011 3:01 am

      I haven’t seen the movie, no; I try to avoid movie adaptations if I know I want to read the book. ;)

  13. April 8, 2011 2:04 pm

    What great choices, no wonder you don’t know where to start! ;) Carbon age and Lucy appeal to me the most though. By the way, Thistle is so cute!

  14. April 8, 2011 2:11 pm

    Your gorgeous dog! How adorable. I love your book selection. I have the Weird Sisters and need to read that soon. I want to read more Diana Wynn Jones now too.

  15. April 8, 2011 5:31 pm

    I have an arc of the P & V translation of Doctor Zhivago that you are welcome to if you want it. Just email me your shipping address? It did not work for me but did work very well for others.

    • April 9, 2011 3:02 am

      Oh thanks Frances! I’ll e-mail you soon. :)

  16. April 8, 2011 5:40 pm

    I called my husband over, and we watched the whole video. What a dear, dear person you are, Eva. I was glad to hear the correct pronunciation of your name. I so admire your range of reading – you try all kinds of authors that I’ve never heard of. I will be interested to hear which ones you liked, loved, didn’t like, didn’t finish. Thank you for showing us your sweet Thistle. I’m so happy you two are together.

    • April 9, 2011 3:03 am

      Thanks so much Nan. Your comment made my month. :D

  17. Caroline permalink
    April 8, 2011 6:42 pm

    Lots of great books, as always, Eva. Just wanted to say, don’t be sad that you’re nearly at the end of the Barsetshire books – the Palliser novels kind of follow on from Barsetshire, and there’s six very chunky books in that series – enjoy!

    • April 9, 2011 3:03 am

      I’ve actually read one of the Palliser ones! But at least I have the rest of them to look forward to. ;)

  18. April 8, 2011 6:44 pm

    That’s some loot! You should start with Fire and Hemlock. Happy reading!

    • April 9, 2011 3:03 am

      I did end up with F&H, after an abortive attempt to get into Weird Sisters!

  19. April 8, 2011 7:19 pm

    My library copy of FIRE & HEMLOCK had the same cover. I was shocked when I saw how recently it was commissioned–the early 2000s! I thought for sure it was some throwback to all those trashy gothic novels that cropped up in the 70s and 80s, but no. How ghastly. Plus, it makes Tom look about seventy years old, which makes certain parts of the book seriously creepy.

    And yay, Thistle! So cute.

    • April 9, 2011 3:04 am

      Really: it was that recent?! Inexcusable on the publisher’s part then.

    • April 10, 2011 11:20 pm

      Same here! Except I OWN a copy with that cover. I blame that cover for making me so grossed out by Tom and Polly’s relationship. Even when it’s revealed he’s really in his twenties or something, I kept picturing that cover and GAH. It’s horrible.

  20. April 8, 2011 7:44 pm

    I hope you enjoy The Weird Sisters. It’s the only book in your library loot for the week I’ve already read. I actually read it when a friend gave it a great review. Here’s my review if you’re interested (http://livethroughbooks.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/the-weird-sisters-by-eleanor-brown/)

    • April 9, 2011 3:05 am

      Thanks for linking to your review! I tried Weird Sister this morning and didn’t get into it, but I’ve set it aside in case I want to pick it up again later.

  21. April 8, 2011 7:48 pm

    Love the books, love the puppy. That’s great that the library club is reading Vanity Fair. As for your stack, I’m drawn to the women/religion book for nonfiction and The Weird Sisters for the fiction.

    • April 9, 2011 3:05 am

      I was impressed with the selection of Vanity Fair too!

  22. April 8, 2011 8:16 pm

    Lots of good choices there! I am looking forward to reading Weird Sisters eventually too!

  23. April 8, 2011 9:11 pm

    Selfishly, I want you to start with the Iyer book, because I loved The Open Road, too.

    • April 9, 2011 3:07 am

      I’m all for selfish motivations, when it comes to reading at least! ;)

  24. April 9, 2011 2:12 am

    What a great selection of books, I’ve added a few to my amazon wishlist – which I just use to keep track, rather than to buy, and two to my library reservations list.
    I loved Kincaid when I read Annie John last year so this has gone straight to my library reservations. I’d be interested to see what the Emecheta is like, I read The Bride Price at university for a great course about foreign literature and women.
    Good luck with the reading.

    • April 9, 2011 3:07 am

      Thanks Katrina: that’s a smart way to use your Amazon list!

  25. April 10, 2011 9:10 am

    daughters of stone eva looks interesting ,all the best stu

  26. April 10, 2011 11:31 am

    Thistle is adorable!

    What a great mix of books you have there. I totally crack up over how much you love chunky books and I’m sitting here trying to find slimmer books :) Have fun with your reads and good luck with the library book group. Keep us posted on that.

  27. April 11, 2011 4:40 am

    Can I just join with everyone else in saying how much I look forward to your Library Loot posts? It makes me want to take loads and loads of books out from the library, just so I can do the same thing! :-) This week I’m really curious to find out what you think of the African Writers Series – I’ve been collecting them steadily from second hand book shops and have quite a few now. Buchi Emecheta was one of the original Granta 20 Young Writers under 40 in 1983 – the only African writer on the list I think – and I’ve been wanting to read her for ages.

  28. April 12, 2011 1:46 pm

    Thistle is just far too cute!

    I have just started playing catch up with all my fav blogs after being let out of the hospital for a week and you know that I love, love, love your Library Loot posts. So naturally this was a joy to find today, thanks as always Eva!

  29. April 12, 2011 2:46 pm

    I have The Weird Sisters on request from my library. I read a review of it it in People magazine and it sounded interesting. Can’t wait to read what you think!

  30. April 12, 2011 3:06 pm

    i don’t have a chance to watch the video as my son is watching a show right now, but I just wanted to jump in and say I read JOY OF MOTHERHOOD by Buchi Emecheta and really enjoyed it. And I really do want to read WIZARD OF THE CROW soon. I hope you enjoy Thiong’o’s other novel that you have up there.

  31. April 14, 2011 8:15 am

    As always a fantastic list of books, I’m intrigued by quite a few of the titles. Happy reading! I hope you enjoy Kehinde.

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