Library Loot (12 July 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.

So the munchkin is off in dreamland so it’s time to tell you about yesterday.


Because the husband took the day off (well, in the end he had to work from home in the morning) to spend the day after my birthday with me. We hit our favourite Japanese restaurant for some chirashi (so good on a hot day!) and did a little window shopping then headed home for wee reader’s nap. And I got to sneak off to the library for a good long browse. Unfortunately, I still had quite a few books at home so I had to reluctantly pat some all-too-eager books and leave them on the shelves.

Women of Wonder, the Classic Years: Science Fiction by Women from the 1940s to the 1970s – edited by Pamela Sargent

This was on hold. I’m guessing the end result will be new authors to add to my TBR list!

Based on one of the most popular SF anthologies of all time, which dispelled the notion that women don’t write “real” science fiction, this volume features stories by twenty-one seminal SF writers. Included are works by Leigh Brackett, C. L. Moore, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Judith Merril. Introduction and Bibliography by the Editor.

Walks With Men: Fiction – Ann Beattie
This was on my Goodreads TBR list. Not sure why but ah well, here it is.

Ann Beattie arrived in New York young, observant and celebrated (as The New Yorker’s young fiction star) in one of the most compelling and creative eras of recent times. So does the protagonist of her intense new novella, Walks with Men.
It is 1980 in New York City, and Jane, a valedictorian fresh out of Harvard, strikes a deal with Neil, an intoxicating writer twenty years her senior. The two quickly become lovers, living together in a Chelsea brownstone, and Neil reveals the rules for a life well lived: If you take food home from a restaurant, don’t say it’s because you want leftovers for “the dog.” Say that you want the bones for “a friend who does autopsies.” If you can’t stand on your head (which is best), learn to do cartwheels. Have sex in airplane bathrooms. Wear only raincoats made in England. Neil’s certainties, Jane discovers, mask his deceptions. Her true education begins.

Mister Wonderful: A Love Story – Daniel Clowes

(It’s description is really long, so here’s the last paragraph)

A captivating, bittersweet, and hilarious look at the potential for human connection in an increasingly hopeless world, Mister Wonderful more than lives up to its name.

Petrograd – Philip Gelatt

I spotted this while browsing the graphic novel shelves. I’ve always found the murder of Rasputin pretty fascinating (as I’m sure most people do)

Introducing the untold tale of the international conspiracy behind the murder of Gregorii Rasputin Set during the height of the first World War, the tale follows a reluctant British spy stationed in the heart of the Russian empire as he is handed the most difficult assignment of his career: orchestrate the death of the mad monk, the Tsarina’s most trusted adviser and the surrogate ruler of the nation. The mission will take our hero from the slums of the working class into the opulent houses of the super rich… he’ll have to negotiate dangerous ties with the secret police, navigate the halls of power, and come to terms with own revolutionary leanings, all while simply trying to survive Based on historical documents and research, Petrograd is a tense, edge-of-your seat spy thriller, taking the reader on a journey through the background of one of history’s most infamous assassinations, set against the backdrop of one of the most tumultuous moments in 20th century history.

A Writer’s House in Wales – Jan Morris

I had a great time reading Jamaica Kincaid’s Among Flowers and decided to pick up a few more books in the National Geographic Directions series

Through an exploration of her country home in Wales, acclaimed travel writer Jan Morris discovers the heart of her fascinating country and what it means to be Welsh. Trefan Morys, Morris’s home between the sea and mountains of the remote northwest corner of Wales, is the 18th-century stable block of her former family house nearby. Surrounding it are the fields and outbuildings, the mud, sheep, and cattle of a working Welsh farm.

She regards this modest building not only as a reflection of herself and her life, but also as epitomizing the small and complex country of Wales, which has defied the world for centuries to preserve its own identity. Morris brilliantly meditates on the beams and stone walls of the house, its jumbled contents, its sounds and smells, its memories and inhabitants, and finally discovers the profoundest meanings of Welshness.

Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country: Traveling Through the Land of my Ancestors (Literary Travel) – Louise Erdrich

Also from the National Geographic Directions series

For more than twenty years Louise Erdrich has dazzled readers with the intricately wrought, deeply poetic novels which have won her a place among today’s finest writers. Her nonfiction is equally eloquent, and this lovely memoir offers a vivid glimpse of the landscape, the people, and the long tradition of storytelling that give her work its magical, elemental force.

In a small boat like those her Native American ancestors have used for countless generations, she travels to Ojibwe home ground, the islands of Lake of the Woods in southern Ontario. Her only companions are her new baby and the baby’s father, an Ojibwe spiritual leader, on a pilgrimage to the sacred rock paintings their people have venerated for centuries as mystical “teaching and dream guides,” and where even today Ojibwe leave offerings of tobacco in token of their power. With these paintings as backdrop, Erdrich summons to life the Ojibwe’s spirits and songs, their language and sorrows, and the tales that are in their blood, echoing through her own family’s very contemporary American lives and shaping her vision of the wider world. Thoughtful, moving, and wonderfully well observed, her meditation evokes ancient wisdom, modern ways, and the universal human concerns we all share.

Unfortunately, the board books section had once again been picked clean by the time I got there so no wee reader loot.

I’m pretty excited to read these books. What did you get from your library this week?



  1. These all sound great! A Writer’s House in Wales has been on my TBR list for a while now and I’ll be keeping an eye out for Mister Wonderful and Walks with Men, since they sound especially intriguing. Enjoy your loot!


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