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Library Loot: June 29th to July 5th

July 1, 2011

Vlog (those viewing via feed reader, click through!):

Titles Mentioned:
Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall
Bruised Hibiscus: A Novel by Elizabeth Nunez
The Children of Odin: The Book of Northern Myths by Padraic Colum
Evening Is the Whole Day: A Novel by Preeta Samarasan
Forgetful of Their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society, ca. 500-1100 by Jane Tibbetts Schulenburg
He Drown She in the Sea: A Novel by Shani Mootoo
The Ice Princess: A Novel by Camilla Lackberg
Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan Culler
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: How Violence Develops and Where It Can Lead by Heinrich Böll
Lust, Caution: The Story by Eileen Chang
Tale of a Certain Orient by Milton Hatoum
Wandering Stars by Sholem Aleichem
Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers by Lois-Ann Yamanaka
Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier
Zia Summer by Rudolfo A. Anaya
The Zigzag Way: A Novel by Anita Desai

See them all at LibraryThing! (I’m trying out using one of my LT collections for Library Loot. All I have to do is copy & paste the ISBNs from my library catalogue, so it’s much easier for me, but you can see the covers/descriptions and follow the link to a store if you want. Let me know if this is helpful, so I know if I should keep doing it!)

Also, last week Kathleen asked me how I choose books from the library: if I browse, etc. The vast majority of books I get from the library I’ve put on hold (holds are free) so I just go over to the section and pick them up (incidentally, I don’t have that common of a last name but there must be at least one other family of bookworms in town who shares it, since there are quite a few others with holds on the shelf!). As far as which books I choose to request, that’s a combination of impulse-clicking following a book blogger’s recommendation or me finding it in a catalogue search, planned choices to ensure I have a diverse balance of reads, random holds I’ve had for awhile finally becoming available, and me pursuing various ‘sudden interests’ of my own. I can only have 20 holds at any one time (including the ones I have to wait ages for), so I do pause and think for a few moments before putting a request in. I don’t usually browse, because I already have too many books to read just from what’s arrived in the holds! ;) I suppose I’d sum up my strategy as ‘structured whimsy’; I have some overarching trends I like to see my reading follow (including a good distribution of poc and international authors, an attempt to read more published before 2000, and general fifty-fifty split between fiction and nonfiction, though I always end up with a bit more of the former), but how I get there depends on my mood.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2011 7:27 am

    Another great selection! I’m also reading Culler’s book ;) That is the only overlap this week though!

  2. July 1, 2011 1:12 pm

    I choose books in a similar fashion. If I browse the shelves, I always bite off more than I can chew. Great selection this week. Enjoy!

  3. July 1, 2011 2:02 pm

    Thanks for answering my question Eva! I love the idea of the “structured whimsy” approach!

    • July 2, 2011 1:23 pm

      You’re weclome Kathleen: thanks for asking! :)

  4. July 1, 2011 2:16 pm

    “Structured whimsy” is such an excellent coinage!

    I’m interested in picking up some medieval women’s writing soon as well. I picked up the correspondence of Heloise & Abelard when I was in France, and have been meaning to read Christine de Pizan and Hildegard of Bingen for YEARS now; I should really get on that.

    I’ve also been curious about Eileen Chang since Claire (Kiss a Cloud) posted about Love in a Fallen City a while ago, so thanks for that reminder. :-)

    • July 2, 2011 1:24 pm

      I read Love in a Fallen City last year and loved it; Chang’s the only Chinese author I’ve really fallen for. :)

      And I’ve got a little list of medieval women authors I want to start tracking down! Let’s hope my library has them. hehe

  5. July 1, 2011 2:26 pm

    As always, I so loved this!

  6. July 1, 2011 4:20 pm

    I love that I’ve never heard of most of your books for this week! I particularly can’t wait to hear what you think of Forgetful of Their Sex. Enjoy your loot!

    • July 2, 2011 1:25 pm

      I’m almost halfway through Forgetful of Their Sex and it’s wonderful! Definitely one to track down. :)

  7. July 1, 2011 6:24 pm

    Oooh I have the Lackberg to read very soon, maybe we should read around the same time and send each other little email notes, kinda like a mini read-a-long… but not quite. What do you think? I have been hitting a swedish crime blockof late, have gone of Menkell, liked Nesbo but not that much. Hmmm.

    • July 2, 2011 1:25 pm

      I’d be all for that Simon, except that I tried the Lackberg yesterday and had to put it down after 13 pages because the writing was driving me crazy. Oh well!

  8. July 1, 2011 6:25 pm

    I like your phrase “structured whimsy.” May I also say how lucky you are to have 20 holds at a time. My library only allows three at the most. :(

    • July 2, 2011 1:26 pm

      Wow! My old library didn’t have any limits, so it took me awhile to adjust to only 20. Sometimes I cheat and use my mom’s account too. ;)

  9. July 1, 2011 6:48 pm

    I’ve read Structuralist Poetics (well parts of it) by Culler and VSI: Literary Theory. The latter is alright but Culler’s writing style is detrimental to the readers’ comprehension of rather complex theories. It’s not the greatest introductory text but you will get someone out of it I suppose. If you’re looking for a good all-rounder than I suggest reading Beginning Theory by Peter Barry.

    didn’t enjoy Lust, Caution but the film is quite decent although over long (warning it does feature some reasonably explicit sex scenes)

    haven’t read The Children of Odin but Willy Pogany was quite a good artist at times.
    have you ever read any of the Irish myths such as mythological cycle (Children of Lir etc) or the Ulster cycle (Cúchulainn etc)

    it’s pronounced Kat-ah-ree-na :)

    • July 2, 2011 1:29 pm

      I loved the other Chang writing I’ve read, so I hope I get along better w Lust, Caution than you! Thanks for the advice on the Barry: if I find myself frustrated by VIS I’ll definitely give it a go. And neat that the German pronunciation is almost the same as the Russian: I’ll keep that in mind in the future!

      I have read the Ulster cycle, back in high school. Loved it! :)

  10. July 1, 2011 6:49 pm

    something* not someone that would be strange if someone popped out of the book

  11. July 2, 2011 3:28 am

    Great list as usual. You mentioned A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you MUST, MUST, MUST get it and read it. I read and loved it earlier in the year.

  12. July 2, 2011 10:41 am

    I use a similar method when I go to the library but I also browse a little too. Happy reading.

  13. July 2, 2011 4:32 pm

    Thanks so much for visiting my book blog and posting your suggestion.

    Following you always,

    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

  14. July 5, 2011 10:07 am

    LOOOOVE Culler’s Lit Theory book. I used it as an undergrad when I was in a literary theory class and it gave me a good grasp to start with. :D Enjoy your books!

  15. July 12, 2011 2:28 am

    I have Evening is the Whole Day on my stacks, will probably get to it in August. Paule Marshall… haven’t read her in ages. Good list.

  16. July 22, 2011 10:17 pm

    This is a late comment, but I’ve been unable to read blogs and comment on posts for the last month or so, and I’ve been saving up your Library Loot posts in great anticipation.

    For a long, long time, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was my all-time favorite book. Not saying it isn’t anymore, it’s just so hard to pick one (or even some definitive list of ten or so). But the book is very special to me, and I also love another book by Smith, Joy in the Morning. I hope you get to read one (or both) soon.

    I *love* fairy-tale retellings, but I’ve never heard of a “twelve dancing princesses” retelling. As a child, someone gave me a collection of “original” fairy tales, and though some were quite traumatizing, that was one I really liked. So I’ve added Wildwood Dancing by Marillier to my to-read list.

    Evening Is the Whole Day has been popping up in my Google Reader a lot for the past few weeks (in blogs and traditional review sites), so I added it on a whim. But I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts.

    • July 23, 2011 7:06 am

      That’s goo to know about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! I’ve read Evening in the Whole Day, and it’s definitely worth a read. :)

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