Library Loot (31 May 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 just came down with his first ever fever (somehow we managed to make it through his first year with nothing more than a little stomach bug – well plus his allergies and eczema) so routines have been all in a disarray since last evening. But we did manage to make it to the library just after lunch yesterday (his fever only hit after his afternoon nap).

The Girl From the Coast – Pramoedya Ananta Toer
I’ve been wanting to read something by this Indonesian author for a while now.

The Girl from the Coast tells the story of a beautiful young woman from a fishing village who finds herself in an arranged marriage with a wealthy aristocrat. Forced to leave her parents and home behind, she moves to the city to become the ‘lady’ of her husband’s house. Pramoedya’s breathtaking literary skill is evident in every word of this book, one of his classic works of fiction made especially poignant because it is based on the life of his own grandmother.

The Good Earth – Pearl S. Buck

Another book set in Asia.

Wang Lung, rising from humble Chinese farmer to wealthy landowner, gloried in the soil he worked. He held it above his family, even above his gods. But soon, between Wang Lung and the kindly soil that sustained him, came flood and drought, pestilence and revolution….
Through this one Chinese peasant and his children, Nobel Prize-winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life, its terrors, its passion, its persistent ambitions and its rewards.

Beyond Black: A Novel – Hilary Mantel
I recently listened to CBC’s podcast with Hilary Mantel and was quite fascinated with among other things, Mantel’s voice (as in the sound of her voice when she spoke) and her own brushes with the spiritual world. I knew I had to read this.


Colette and Alison are unlikely cohorts: one a shy, drab beanpole of an assistant, the other a charismatic, corpulent psychic whose connection to the spiritual world torments her. When they meet at a fair, Alison invites Colette at once to join her on the road as her personal assistant and companion. Troubles spiral out of control when the pair moves to a suburban wasteland in what was once the English countryside. It is not long before the place beyond black threatens to uproot their lives forever. This is Hilary Mantel at her finest–insightful, darkly comic, unorthodox, and thrilling to read.

A Flight of Angels – Bill Willingham et al, illustrated by Rebecca Guay
Had this on hold for a while now and it just came in. Yay! Don’t you just love that cover?

Deep in the woods outside of a magical kingdom, a strange group of faeries and forest creatures discover a nearly dead angel, bleeding and unconscious with a sword by his side. They call a tribunal to decide his fate, each telling stories that delve into different interpretations of these winged, celestial beings: tales that range from the mystical to the mysterious to the macabre.

An e-book for the iPad
Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya (National Geographic Directions) – Jamaica Kincaid

In this delightful hybrid of a book—part memoir and part travel journal—the bestselling author takes us deep into the mountains of Nepal with a trio of botanist friends in search of native Himalayan plants that will grow in her Vermont garden. Alighting from a plane in the dramatic Annapurna Valley, the ominous signs of Nepal’s Maoist guerrillas are all around—an alarming presence that accompanies the travelers throughout their trek. Undaunted, the group sets off into the mountains with Sherpas and bearers, entering an exotic world of spectacular landscapes, vertiginous slopes, isolated villages, herds of yaks, and giant rhododendron, thirty feet tall. The landscape and flora and so much else of what Kincaid finds in the Himalaya—including fruit bats, colorful Buddhist prayer flags, and the hated leeches that plague much of the trip—are new to her, and she approaches it all with an acute sense of wonder and a deft eye for detail. In beautiful, introspective prose, Kincaid intertwines the harrowing Maoist encounters with exciting botanical discoveries, fascinating daily details, and lyrical musings on gardens, nature, home, and family.

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

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