Library Loot (24 May 2010)

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

It was a quick stop at the library before an early dim sum lunch at Asian Pearl (you need to get there before 1130 if you don’t want to wait). I was there to pick up a couple of holds and of course couldn’t resist getting myself a few more.

The Sparrow – Mary Doria Russell
A classic that I probably should have read already.

From Good Reads: In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listenin

g post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-

person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being “human.” When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wr

ong… Words like “provocative” and “compelling” will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.

Anil’s Ghost: A Novel – Michael Ondaatje

My first read for the Sri Lankan leg of the Reading the World Challenge (Challenge page) wasn’t such a fantastic one, so hopefully this will be better. I’ve only ever read Ondaatje’s The English Patient.

With his first novel since the internationally acclaimed The English

Patient, Booker Prize—winning author Michael

Ondaatje gives us a work displaying all the richness of imagery and language and the piercing emotional truth that we have come to know as the hallmarks of his writing.

Anil’s Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity, about the unknown enemy, about the quest to unlock the hidden past–a story propelled by a riveting mystery. Unfolding against the deeply evocative background of Sri Lanka’s landscape and ancient civilization, Anil’s Ghost is a literary spellbinder–Michael Ondaatje’s most powerful novel yet.

The Honorary Consul – Graham Greene
And this is for the Argentinian leg of the Reading the World Challenge (Challenge page)

In this later novel by Graham Greene, the author continues to explore moral and theological dilemmas through psychologically astute character studies and exciting drama on an i

nternational stage. In The Honorary Consul, a British consul with a fondness for drink is mistaken for an American ambassador and kidnapped by Paraguayan revolutionaries.

Wonder Woman: Love and Murder – Jodi Picoult
This was actually  one that my husband picked up, and I decided to read this last night, but wasn’t really  fond of it. This by the way is the first I’ve ever read anything from Picoult. I tend to veer far away from her books.

Best-selling author Jodi Picoult, the writer of best-selling novels The 10th Circle and Sister’s Keeper, takes Wonder Woman on a collision course with her long-missing people, the Amazons.

The action begins when Wonder Woman is assigned the task of capturing Wonder Woman while in her disguise as Special Agent Diana Prince of the Department of Metahuman Affairs.How will she be able to accomplish the impossible task of capturing herself without revealing her secret identity? This is just the start of the Amazon Warrior’s problems, as Diana must relearn how to exist as a human woman while a deadly foe begins closing a net on her that will lead to a catastrophic outcome!

Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure – Cheryl and Bill Jamison
I hadn’t heard of Jamisons before this, but it sounds like a fun read.

Join Cheryl and Bill Jamison, James Beard Award winners of The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining, on a gastronomic tour around the world

After years of writing award-winning cookbooks, renowned culinary experts Cheryl and Bill Jamison were ready to take a break. So in the fall of 2005 they packed their bags, locked up their house in Santa Fe, and set off on a three-month-long visit to ten countries—all on frequent-flier miles.

Among their stops were:
Bali: Where they celebrated a second honeymoon in Ubud and encountered a rogue monkey

Australia: Where they found the world’s best breakfast sandwich and visited family-owned wineries

Thailand: Where they took a wild ride on an elephant in an enormous forest reserve

India: Where they found themselves in the midst of Diwali, the Festival of Lights

China: Where they attended a banquet of local Chiu Chow cuisine that required hours of preparation by the “Emeril of Chaozhou” and forty cooks

South Africa: Where they went on a safari among rhinos, giraffes, and very hungry lions

Brazil: Where they soaked in the sun and Creole flavors of the coastal town of Salvador

Combining the intelligence and humor of Anthony Bourdain with the charm and insight of Frances Mayes, Around the World in 80 Dinners transforms traveling into an unforgettable odyssey.

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food– Jennifer 8 Lee

If you think McDonald’s is the most ubiquitous restaurant experience in America, consider that there are more Chinese restaurants in America than McDonalds, Burger Kings, and Wendys combined. New York Times reporter and Chinese-American (or American-born Chinese). In her search, Jennifer 8 Lee traces the history of Chinese-American experience through the lens of the food. In a compelling blend of sociology and history, Jenny Lee exposes the indentured servitude Chinese restaurants expect from illegal immigrant chefs, investigates the relationship between Jews and Chinese food, and weaves a personal narrative about her own relationship with Chinese food. The Fortune Cookie Chronicles speaks to the immigrant experience as a whole, and the way it has shaped our country.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
What did you get from your library this week?

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