Tag Archives: Library Loot

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.

Library Loot: 16 August 2012

I am trying to limit the amount of books I can take out at the library at once. I have to admit that I am failing miserably, and that there is a large pile of books sitting on my “library shelf” at home. But because I am lazy, and because I have finished reading most of these – I have limited the books listed below to the most recent arrivals and the ones I haven’t read yet. This makes for a rather surprising assemble, or so I think.

Juliet Naked - Nick HornbyJuliet, Naked – Nick Hornby
I was looking for a new audio book as I am planning on picking up walking before I turn to running again with my sprained ankle. I have a reread of Persuasion waiting on my iPod, and I am *still* in the middle of Brave New World (which I am not enjoying on audio, perhaps it’s better in print?), but when I saw this I simply couldn’t not take it home with me. I usually enjoy Hornby’s books, but I always feel High Fidelity is his best. When reading reviews, many have compared this one favourably to that title, saying that with Juliet, Naked Hornby brings back some of his former magic. I’m really looking forward to starting on this one.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
I remember Ana’s review of this, and I remember wanting to read it because of that review and because it features music. And I love books about music. And I trust Ana’s opinion. So there. And also, I saw the movie, which I enjoyed. I feel like this does not cover my excitement about seeing this book on the shelves of the library at all – I honestly had never expected to find it there and I was so happy when I came across it by accident. So yay! Can’t wait to read this. Unfortunately, my library only had the Dutch version..

Daughter of the Forest - Juliet MarillierDaughter of the Forest – Juliet Marillier
The hold for this one finally came in. I admit I am not sure what to make of the Dutch cover (not pictured), but this came recommended by Ana for my fairy tale project, which makes me eager to dive in. I rather hope I enjoy it, because it appears my library owns at least 10 more titles by Marillier. Doesn’t it always make you feel so happy when you notice a potential treasure of an author’s books on the library shelves? Another reason I’m looking forward to this is that its description tells me it is about a daughter, instead of her brothers, destined to protect her father’s land. And it involves travel to a foreign land. And.. I don’t know, the description just promises what could be a great story.

The Vampire Diaries The Awakening - LJ SmithThe Vampire Diaries: The Awakening – L.J. Smith
Yep, I can see you all laughing from a mile off. But given my constant annoyance at the authors of the TV series during season 3, and seeing as I always used to say that the TV series is so much better based on my sampling the first 30 or so pages of the books, I felt I had better give the books another go now that I no longer know if I truly love the TV series. And also, the show’s on hiatus and I kind of need my TVD kick. I am so pathetic. I should probably admit that this book has been in my possession for the past 2 months or so, and I can never quite get myself to read it.

The Ice Queen - Alice HoffmanThe Ice Queen – Alice Hoffman
Another hold that came in at the library after Ana recommended it for my fairy tale reading project. Here comes confession number one: I have never read anything by Alice Hoffman before. Confession number two: I am a little nervous about what I’ll find inside. It’s labelled as a psychological thriller and I’m not always the best person for those. I see that bloggers are quite divided about this one. But anyway, I’ll give this a go and see whether I enjoy it or not.

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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.