Library Loot (10 January 2012)

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.

Wee reader had his usual awesome time at the library’s baby lapsit programme. Songs, storytime, playtime! And of course, picking up plenty of books for the both of us!

Sinner (Wayfarer Redemption, Book 4) – Sara Douglass
Yup more Sara Douglass!

The land of Tencendor has been united for more than forty years, thanks to Axis, who is the legendary Starman. He defeated Gorgrael and brought peace to the three races–and upon fulfilling his destiny, Axis and his consort Azhure retired to the ethereal sphere in the heavens, and ceded his authority to their son Caelum.

But the path of the son is not necessarily that of the father. Caelum is untried and has known nothing but peace during his lifetime. And while the three races seem to be at peace, there are undercurrents of jealousy and bitter memories buried just beneath the surface.

So when strange powers begin to manifest in their world, and threaten the destruction of all he holds dear, Caelum will have to find the strength to fight this threat–and to fight his mortal brother Drago, who is not as powerless as he appears to be. Something killed their sister, and Caelum knows Drago is the culprit–but the Supreme Ruler of the land must have proof, and Caelum has none.

Caelum desperately tries to juggle saving the world with proving his brother killed their sister, but time grows short and the demons are drawing near…

Pilgrim: Book Five of the Wayfarer Redemption – Sara Douglass

The Star Gate is destroyed and the Star Dance is dead. Icarii Enchanters, gods, and humans alike are helpless as the TimeKeeper Demons lay waste to Tencendor.

There must be hope left, but no one knows where to find it. Death lurks in every twist of the Maze, but only those who have the courage to endure death can learn the secrets of the ancient enemy.

Caelum SunSoar and his parents know that the only way is to discover the ancient secrets that lay trapped in the mountain Star Finger, and Faraday, martyred heroine, grows ever fearful — and ever bitter. Must she lose everything to the land?

Beggars in Spain – Nancy Kress

In a world where the slightest edge can mean the difference between success and failure, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent … and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep.

Once considered interesting anomalies, now Leisha and the other “Sleepless” are outcasts — victims of blind hatred, political repression, and shocking mob violence meant to drive them from human society … and, ultimately, from Earth itself.

But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her “gift” — a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom … and revenge.

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword – Barry Deutsch

Recommended by Buried in Print

Spunky, strong-willed eleven-year-old Mirka Herschberg isn’t interested in knitting lessons from her stepmother, or how-to-find-a-husband advice from her sister, or you-better-not warnings from her brother. There’s only one thing she does want: to fight dragons!

Granted, no dragons have been breathing fire around Hereville, the Orthodox Jewish community where Mirka lives, but that doesn’t stop the plucky girl from honing her skills. She fearlessly stands up to local bullies. She battles a very large, very menacing pig. And she boldly accepts a challenge from a mysterious witch, a challenge that could bring Mirka her heart’s desire: a dragon-slaying sword! All she has to do is find—and outwit—the giant troll who’s got it!

A delightful mix of fantasy, adventure, cultural traditions, and preteen commotion, Hereville will captivate middle-school readers with its exciting visuals and entertaining new heroine.

The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food – Adam Gopnik
For the Foodies Challenge

Never before have we cared so much about food. It preoccupies our popular culture, our fantasies, and even our moralizing—“You still eat meat?” With our top chefs as deities and finest restaurants as places of pilgrimage, we have made food the stuff of secular seeking and transcendence, finding heaven in a mouthful. But have we come any closer to discovering the true meaning of food in our lives?

With inimitable charm and learning, Adam Gopnik takes us on a beguiling journey in search of that meaning as he charts America’s recent and rapid evolution from commendably aware eaters to manic, compulsive gastronomes. It is a journey that begins in eighteenth-century France—the birthplace of our modern tastes (and, by no coincidence, of the restaurant)—and carries us to the kitchens of the White House, the molecular meccas of Barcelona, and beyond. To understand why so many of us apparently live to eat, Gopnik delves into the most burning questions of our time, including: Should a Manhattanite bother to find chicken killed in the Bronx? Is a great vintage really any better than a good bottle of wine? And: Why does dessert matter so much?

Throughout, he reminds us of a time-honored truth often lost amid our newfound gastronomic pieties and certitudes: What goes on the table has never mattered as much to our lives as what goes on around the table—the scene of families, friends, lovers coming together, or breaking apart; conversation across the simplest or grandest board. This, ultimately, is who we are.

Following in the footsteps of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Adam Gopnik gently satirizes the entire human comedy of the comestible as he surveys the wide world of taste that we have lately made our home. The Table Comes First is the delightful beginning of a new conversation about the way we eat now.

And for wee reader:

My Friend Rabbit – Eric Rohmann

All Fall Down – Helen Oxenbury

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What would you suggest I read next?

See more Library Loot here.

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6 Comments

  1. Hereville is such a sweet, and surprisingly gentle — even the apparent need for dragon-slaying — story; I think you’ll like it quite well.
    I’ve had Nancy Kress’ novel on my TBR stack for ages; I’m hoping that the Speculative Fiction Challenge will knock some of those off my stack this year, so I’ll be watching to see what you think of this one…

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