Library Loot (25 April 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.

That wondrous smell of oxtail stew cooking in my crockpot is wafting around the study as I type this and it’s making my mouth water. So erm, I shall go and see whether it’s ready to eat. Meanwhile, here’s what I got at the library this week.

The Book About Blanche and Marie: A Novel – Per Olov Enquist, translated from the Swedish by Tiina Nunnally

From one of the world’s most acclaimed authors comes a tale that explores the complex relationship between Blanche Whitman, the famous hysteria patient of Professor J.M. Charcot, and Marie Curie, Polish physicist and Nobel Prize winner.

A Celibate Season – Carol Shields, Blanche Howard
It seems like ages since I’ve read anything by Shields, and this one sounded pretty interesting.

Carol Shields, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Blanche Howard, winner of the Canadian Booksellers’ Award, teamed up to write this delightful epistolary novel that probes the inner life of one couple’s rocky marriage. Faced with a job-related ten-month separation, Jocelyn and Charles choose to maintain contact through letters — an economic decision that paves the way for two very different and very entertaining sides of the same story. As the months progress, the couple’s letters grow less frequent and more revealing — and their “season of celibacy” becomes more of a challenge than either Jocelyn or Charles had imagined. Posing important and timely questions about commitment, monogamy, and the pressures of career and money, this insightful novel by two extraordinary writers offers a perceptive and hopeful look at how men and women really communicate.

The Lions of al-Rassan – Guy Gavriel Kay

This will be the second book of Kay’s to grace my shelves, and I just loved the first (Tigana) so I can’t wait!

The ruling Asharites of Al-Rassan have come from the desert sands, but over centuries, seduced by the sensuous pleasures of their new land, their stern piety has eroded. The Asharite empire has splintered into decadent city-states led by warring petty kings. King Almalik of Cartada is on the ascendancy, aided always by his friend and advisor, the notorious Ammar ibn Khairan — poet, diplomat, soldier — until a summer afternoon of savage brutality changes their relationship forever.

Meanwhile, in the north, the conquered Jaddites’ most celebrated — and feared — military leader, Rodrigo Belmonte, driven into exile, leads his mercenary company south.

In the dangerous lands of Al-Rassan, these two men from different worlds meet and serve — for a time — the same master. Sharing their interwoven fate — and increasingly torn by her feelings — is Jehane, the accomplished court physician, whose own skills play an increasing role as Al-Rassan is swept to the brink of holy war, and beyond.

Hauntingly evocative of medieval Spain, The Lions of Al-Rassan is both a brilliant adventure and a deeply compelling story of love, divided loyalties, and what happens to men and women when hardening beliefs begin to remake — or destroy — a world.

An Overdrive e-book
The Iron King – Julie Kagawa
I’m not really liking Meghan Chase but am having fun exploring the faery world.

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Wee reader’s loot!

Clifford Cares – Norman Bridwell

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z – Lois Ehlert

Hey! Wake Up! – Sandra Boynton

Mama, Where are You? – Diane Muldrow, illustrated by Rick Peterson

Grandpa Green – Lane Smith

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

What did you get at your library this week?


  1. How strange that what caught my eye in your Library Loot was not the books or the authors, but the translator of the first book, Tiina Nunnally. I’m reading her translation of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales and have been impressed, so hopefully that bodes well for your experience reading her translation of the book about Blanche and Marie.


    1. That is interesting, and a quick search of her name in my library’s catalogue finds that Nunnally has actually translated a lot of fiction, from Swedish and Danish, including plenty of new-to-me titles that sound like they might make their way onto my TBR list! Thanks for pointing her out!


  2. I remember being struck in Lions of Al-Rassan by the fact that some of the battle scenes were breath-taking. They’re the kind of thing that I’d mostly wanted to just flip through, in more traditional fantasy that i’d read, but GGK made them riveting reading for me. Completely sucked me in!

    Enjoy your loot!


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