Tag Archives: Library Loot

Library Loot: A Visit to my Local Library

Visiting my local library has been on my to do list ever since moving. I figured maternity leave would be the perfect time to explore. However, I only found time for it last week, two weeks before maternity leave ends.

Library loot, 6/11/2014. I can’t believe how bad the lighting has been this past week, so excuse the bad picture.

The local library is.. well.. not as big as I am used to, but that was hardly to be expected. I feel it is important to support these smaller branches so I was always going to become a member. They did have the Goldfinch, but that was the most recent book on the English language books shelf. (I did not pick it up because I felt reading it right now would be a bit too ambitious). They do have the possibility of putting any title available in one of the other libraries in the province on hold for free, so after I picked up these books I went home and did just that. As for the Dutch language shelves, there is quite a bit of YA (they had two copies of the Dutch translation of A Monster Calls!!) and I have some exploring left to do of the Children’s and General Fiction section.

As for the books I picked up last Thursday:

The Girl who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen: I had this on loan from the library in my former place of residence a long while back.. I picked it up back then because this is one of those titles that kept being mentioned when I first started blogging. I never got around to it. I wonder if I will this time? Somehow I keep meaning to read this but once I have it at home I lose my excitement?

Gifts by Ursula le Guin: I think I remember Ana mentioning this as the go-to book by Le Guin if you first read her. I have read A Wizard of Earthsea in January before this one, but am very curious about Gifts. Let’s hope it is a good translation.

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett: I have only ever read one of Pratchett’s titles and always mean to read more. I thought this might be a good one to begin with as it is one of his more well known titles? I have Nation (in English, woohoo!) on hold.

Aya : Life in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet: I came across this title while browsing the YA section. Again, this is one of those “I always mean to read more..” books, this time in the category graphic novels. I had never heard of this one, but it is about a girl who grows up in Yop City, a neighbourhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. This is the first in a series (which my library also owns, I found out at home), so if I like it I might pick up the other titles too.

Have you read any of these titles? Which do you recommend I read first? And did you pick up anything from the library recently?

librarylootbadgeLibrary Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Library Loot: June 2013

I am trying not to tempt myself with library books, but it is hard! This time I only picked up my holds, most of which I requested for Dutch lit fortnight.

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Boven is het stil - Gerbrand BakkerBoven is het stil (The Twin) by Gerbrand Bakker

This one is for one of the read alongs during Dutch lit fortnight. I started it and am 40 pages in at this point. I wonder how I’ll end up liking this one. It takes some concentration, but does seem to be beautifully written. I cannot decide, even 40 pages in, if “The Twin” is an adequate translation of the title. Actually, it is in no way similar, but I can see how the story is, or is about to turn into one that is, about both things.

De zwarte met het witte hart - Arthur JapinDe zwarte met het witte hart (The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi) by Arthur Japin

Another one for a Dutch lit fortnight read along. I was a little surprised to see the page count on this one (416 pages for my Dutch edition), but I was promised that this is a very interesting book: two West-African princes who are kidnapped and brought to Holland, this book supposedly discusses colonialism in-depth. Perhaps this might explain its Dutch title, which is ‘The black one with the white heart’, literally translated. One does not wonder why it was changed when published in English.

Rituelen - Cees NooteboomRituelen (Rituals) by Cees Nooteboom

Will this be the year I finally read this classic by Nooteboom? I have read a collection of travel stories and a short story collection by him before, but never the book. Or at least, that is how I think of Rituals. I hope I like it! And hey, an actual literal translation of the title for this one! Plus, it is short, so perhaps I might actually get it read before the first half of June. I do hope so as I am hopelessly behind with planning Dutch literature stuff.

Cinder - Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer

I put this on hold at the beginning of the Once Upon a Time Challenge. That hold came in now. I hope I will be able to get to this before the OUAT challenge ends, but I do not have complete faith that it’ll actually happen. This is a Dutch translation of the English book, which might explain why it took so long to come in. I was quite surprised to find they had it on order at all.

Alphabet of Thorn - Patricia A McKillipAlphabet of Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip

I was talking to Kailana and Ana on twitter the other day and we suggested reading a Patricia McKillip together. This title came up, but it now turns out that Kailana won’t be able to get her hands on this, so we settled on another title by McKillip. Perhaps I will read this anyway though? I would like to, because it does sound really interesting, but it is the same old issue of time coming up again. I find it so hard to keep on top of my reading lately.

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Library Loot is a weekly meme co-hosted by Claire (The Captive Reader) and Marg (The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader) that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

Library Loot: Rumer Godden

I have not been visiting the library much, as I am trying to read more of my own books this years (so far I have only read 5 so it is not going all that well). But when I saw a message about the rerelease of some of Rumer Godden’s books with new covers by Virago Modern Classics, I was intrigued. I had never heard of this author before (shame on me, I guess), but some of the descriptions did sound fascinating. A quick browse through my library catalogue revealed that they owned two books by the author:

Picture from the LittleBrown website

Picture from the LittleBrown website

A Penguin version of Black Narcissus, a novel about a school run by Sisters in India. Book about mission in Southeast Asia is an instant topic of interest for me, of course! I cannot wait to get to this one.

The other one is a Dutch translation of Thursday’s Children, which is about a boy who always has to accompany his sister to ballet classes, and then decides he wants to be a dancer himself when he quickly encounters cultural prejudice against boys dancing.

Have you read any of these books? I admit I have no clue whether or not Rumer Godden is for me, but I am impatient to find out. I admit, if it turns out I like them, I am very tempted to buy a set of these books. They look so lovely.

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Library Loot is a weekly meme co-hosted by Claire (The Captive Reader) and Marg (The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader) that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

Library Loot: November 2012

It has been a while since I wrote a Library Loot post. Then again, it has been a while since I visited the library for new books, since so much of my reading has been slow and focused on books I already own. This past week, however, I have picked up a few new copies from the local library.

First, I came across a small list of Indonesian authors that might be of interest to students of Dutch colonial history. I cannot tell you how happy I was to finally discover a few titles, as I had tried to search for them before, but without a proper starting place it really is quite difficult to find what you’re looking for. In the end, I picked up these two copies. I have listed the English titles, but of course my library had the Dutch translation of said books. Funny how both feature “An Indonesian novel” in large letters on the cover. Anyway..

This Earth of Mankind - Pramoedya Ananta ToerThis Earth of Mankind – Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Penguin, 1981

This is the first installment of a tetralogy (The Buru quarted) written during the time he was a prisoner on Buru island on charge of being a communist according to Suharto’s regime. This book is set during the final years of Dutch colonialism and tells the story of a Javanese boy Minke, who is educated at a Dutch elite school. He becomes involved with the daughter of Nyai Ontosoroh, who is a concubine of a Dutch man. Apparently, Toer was critical of Dutch colonialism and was imprisoned by the Dutch during the war of independence. According to wikipedia, Toer both incorporates the power of Islam as a power of resistance, but also criticises the way religion is sometimes used to deny critical thinking. While I am pretty sure I will encounter a lot of insecurities about how to formulate an opinion about a book in such a complicated setting, I cannot help but be very curious.

The Weaverbirds – Y.B. Mangunwijaya
Lontar Foundation, 1991

About Y.B. Mangunqijaya wikipedia tells me that he was a Catholic religious leader, architect and writer. I am quite interested if that makes a difference in how he portrays Dutch colonialism in the novel? Anyway, the weaverbirds, about which I can find surprisingly little information online (plus, no cover image!) is the story of the love between a Dutch KNIL soldier and a Javanese women who supports the Indonesian Republic.

84, Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff
Viking Press, 1975

To be honest, I do not have a clue what this novel is about, but I remember that I have heard the name repeatedly. Then, when Hannah mentioned it in my last post about Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day I couldn’t wait to get it from the library. So here we are. And the idea of a book about a letter exchange and friendship between Hanff and a bookshop owner? Sounds right up my alley.

The Book of Night Women - Marlon JamesThe Book of Night Women – Marlon James
Riverhead Books, 2009

I don’t exactly remember where I have seen this title before, I think it might have been over at Buried in Print or Amy Reads? The plot summary reminded me a little of Allende’s Island Beneath the Sea which I loved earlier this year. The Book of Night Women is about Lilith, born on a sugar plantation in Jamaica at the end of the 19th century. She joins a group of women who plan to revolt, but as she discovers her own identity and desires she also threatens to become a weak link in the conspiracy.

Patronage - Maria EdgeworthPatronage – Maria Edgeworth
Sort of Books, 2011 (orig. 1814)

I was browsing and came across a title by Maria Edgeworth. There is no way I could skip it and not take it home, right? According to the back cover this book is “a controversial, hugely entertaining novel by a woman who dared to explore the masculine as well as the feminine worlds of her protagonists” and is “a critique of the way young men gained careers and young women gained husbands.” Um, colour me intrigued.  Of course, in true Edgeworth fashion (except that Castle Rackrent was quite short so I guess I am undermining my own point), it is a long novel: 668 pages of not all that large print. I hope it’s worth it.

Did you pick up any books at the library recently that you are excited about?

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Library Loot is a weekly meme co-hosted by Claire (The Captive Reader) and Marg (The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader) that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

Library Loot: 20 September 2012

Ah yes, more books – even now that I find myself with very little time to read them. But who can resist putting pretty books on hold for RIP VII? Or looking through the shelves for hidden gems on a Friday afternoon after work?

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The Suspicions of Mr Whicher - Kate SummerscaleThe Suspicions of Mr Whicher – Kate Summerscale
This year I read Kate Summerscale’s newest book, Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace. I loved it for its manner of making history come to life. And yet.. I couldn’t be quite as enthusiastic as I had seen everyone be about her previous title. And so, when RIP VII season came around at the beginning of September, I couldn’t help but put this on hold. I’m not sure if I’ll get to it, but I sure hope to. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher features a reconstruction of a shocking murder in 1860 that inspired many English detective stories at the time.

Dark Matter: A Ghost Story – Michelle Paver
To be quite honest, this is probably the book I am least likely to read. I added it to my RIP VII reading pool on impulse after seeing it on So Many Books‘ blog. It is a story about an expedition to the north pole where a man starts to become terrorized by a ghost in the dark of the winter. Even reading that description has me feeling all claustrophobic. Perhaps I am really not made for the scary. Or perhaps I’ll push myself to read this anyway and find it lovely? Sometimes I wish I were a little braver..

Wicked – Gregory Maguire
When I visited London last fall (which I never wrote about – I really should have), Amy told me how much she enjoyed this book. We came to talk about it because there were posters for the musical version of Wicked all over London. Or perhaps there were posters for other musicals and Wicked was a huge musical in the Netherlands at the time, and so we talked about it. Me, I’ve never been to a musical, and although this surprises most when I tell them, I do not think that is a loss. Because if anything makes me cringe it’s a movie or play interrupted by sudden singing and dancing. But yes, I remembered Amy’s remark. And I remembered countless others mentioning the book before her. And so this year, I plan to finally read it. And perhaps this really is the perfect time, as I recently – finally – read The Wizard of Oz.

Girl Reading - Katie WardGirl Reading – Katie Ward
High expectations. Such. High. Expectations. I am afraid they might be so high that I’m sure to be disappointed. One of the reasons I am so excited about reading this book is that I have been looking to get my hands on a library copy for the longest time. It frequently occurred that the system had it listed as available, only to be unfindable on the shelves. But now my hold has finally come in. And I can finally read this book that so many of my favourite bloggers have already read. I am aware that they did not all love it. I’m aware that most had mixed feelings. And yet I cannot but look forward to it. Especially because it seems such an original idea, seven stories about seven portraits of girl’s reading.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories - Salman RushdieHaroun and the Sea of Stories – Salman Rushdie
I picked this one up for Aarti’s A More Diverse Universe blogtour. I admit it was more a necessary pick, as it seems to be the only title available at my library apart from a few Allende’s. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to it. It is to be my first Rushdie too. Please tell me this is a good place to start? Haroun and the Sea of Stories is about a storyteller who loses his gift of storytelling, and ends up making a trip to the source of all stories with his son. Sounds wonderful, no?

The Song of Achilles - Madeline MillerThe Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
Ah, this year’s winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction. I have incredibly high expectations. My hold *finally* came in. And now I have to hurry and read it before I have to give it up to the next reader at the beginning of October. Do you ever feel so pressured to read something soon that you lose all anticipation for it? I rather feel like that now. And I do so love the idea of a retelling of Greek myth, in this case, the story of the Trojan War.

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Library Loot is a weekly meme co-hosted by Claire (The Captive Reader) and Marg (The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader) that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.