Library Loot (May 19)

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

Another speedy library run while on the way to pick up a prescription for the little guy’s rash (poor thing) and a grocery run.
Eucalyptus: A Novel – Murray Bail

The hold shelves are located near the fiction shelves so I did a quick scan of the As and Bs for anything of interest. And Australian writers always interest me.

Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year

On a property in New South Wales, a widower named Holland lives with his daughter, Ellen. Over the years as she grows into a beautiful woman, Holland plants hundreds of different eucalyptus trees on his land, filling the landscape, making a virtual outdoor museum of trees. When Ellen is nineteen, Holland announces that she may only marry the man who can correctly name the species of each and every gum tree on his property. A strange contest begins, and Ellen is left unmoved by her suitors until she chances on a strange young man resting under the Coolibah tree whose stories will amaze and dazzle her. A modern fairy tale, and an unforgettable love story, that bristles with spiky truths and unexpected wisdom about art, feminine beauty, landscape, and language. Eucalyptus affirms the seductive power of storytelling itself.

The Bottle Factory Outing– Beryl Bainbridge

A reloot – I never got to opening it the last time. I was overambitious as usual!

Freda and Brenda spend their days working in an Italian-run wine- bottling factory. A work outing offers promise for Freda, and terror for Brenda, passions run high on that chilly day of freedom, and life after the outing never returns to normal.

Zuleika Dobson, or, an Oxford love story – Max Beerhohm
Nearly forgot about this one. It’s an ebook from the Singapore library.

Zuleika Dobson is a highly accomplished and superbly written book whose spirit is farcical,” said E. M. Forster. “It is a great work–the most consistent achievement of fantasy in our time . . . so funny and charming, so iridescent yet so profound.”
Originally published in 1911, Max Beerbohm’s sparklingly wicked satire concerns the unlikely events that occur when a femme fatale briefly enters the supremely privileged, all-male domain of Judas Col-
lege, Oxford. A conjurer by profession, Zuleika Dobson can only love a man who is impervious to her considerable charms: a circumstance that proves fatal, as any number of love-smitten suitors are driven to suicide by the damsel’s rejection. Laced with memorable one-liners (“Death cancels all engagements,” utters the first casualty) and inspired throughout by Beerbohm’s rococo imagination, this lyrical evocation of Edwardian undergraduate life at Oxford has, according to Forster, “a beauty unattainable by serious literature.”
“I read Zuleika Dobson with pleasure,” recalled Bertrand Russell. “It represents the Oxford that the two World Wars have destroyed with a charm that is not likely to be reproduced anywhere in the world for the next thousand years.”

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?
See more Library Loot here

6 Comments

  1. Well Zuleika Dobson sounds incredibly fantastic. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! I read Eucalyptus earlier this year and found it beautifully written but had difficulty getting emotionally involved in the story. Enjoy your loot!

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    1. I am having the same problem with Eucalyptus. The writing is indeed lovely but I’m not really absorbed in the story… at least not yet (am about a third of the way through).

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  2. I read Eucalyptus in a very still, peaceful January one year and absolutely loved it. It moved everything of Murray Bail’s onto my mental reading list, but it is a rather quiet tale I’d say. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the Beerbohm novel. And Overambitious As Usual would make a great name for a bookblog, wouldn’t it!

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    1. Eucalyptus does require quiet reading time, so I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I should have. It has made me interested in his other works too, although I’ll have to save them for a quieter time (will that ever come? :))

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