Library Loot (July 31 2013)

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.

I decided to spend a little time alone with Wee Reader and took him to the library while the grandparents watched the baby. He played with the puzzles and bead mazes at the kids’ corner, watched the geese strutting in the field, looked around for the cranes that he saw last week when they were doing some work on the exterior (to his disappointment, there weren’t any!), and had fun checking out his picture books on his way home.

Here’s what I got:

The scent of the gods — Fiona Cheong

Hmm according to Goodreads I read this book several years ago! Erm, can’t quite remember it though so I might as well read it again for my Reading Southeast Asia in August!


The Scent of the Gods tells the enchanting, haunting story of a young girl’s coming of age in Singapore during the tumultuous years of its formation as a nation. Eleven-year-old Su Yen bears witness to the secretive lives of “grown-ups” in her diasporic Chinese family and to the veiled threats in Southeast Asia during the Cold War years. From a child’s limited perspective, the novel depicts the emerging awareness of sexuality in both its beauty and its consequences, especially for women. In the context of postcolonial politics, Fiona Cheong skillfully parallels the uncertainties of adolescence with the growing paranoia of a population kept on alert to communist infiltration. In luminous prose, the novel raises timely questions about safety, protection, and democracy–and what one has to give up to achieve them.

The Lizard Cage – Karen Connelly

Also for Southeast Asia in August


Beautifully written and taking us into an exotic land, Karen Connelly’s debut novel The Lizard Cage is a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit.

Teza once electrified the people of Burma with his protest songs against the dictatorship. Arrested by the Burmese secret police in the days of mass protest, he is seven years into a twenty-year sentence in solitary confinement. Cut off from his family and contact with other prisoners, he applies his acute intelligence, Buddhist patience, and humor to find meaning in the interminable days, and searches for news in every being and object that is grudgingly allowed into his cell.

Despite his isolation, Teza has a profound influence on the people around him. His very existence challenges the brutal authority of the jailers, and his steadfast spirit inspires radical change. Even when Teza’s criminal server tries to compromise the singer for his own gain, Teza befriends him and risks falling into the trap of forbidden conversation, food, and the most dangerous contraband of all: paper and pen.

Yet, it is through Teza’s relationship with Little Brother, a twelve-year-old orphan who’s grown up inside the walls, that we ultimately come to understand the importance of hope and human connection in the midst of injustice and violence. Teza and the boy are prisoners of different orders: only one of them dreams of escape and only one of them will achieve it—their extraordinary friendship frees both of them in utterly surprising ways.

Last week I got:

Loki’s Wolves – K.L.Armstrong and M.A. Marr

I first heard of this from Linda at Silly Little Mischief


In Viking times, Norse myths predicted the end of the world, an event called Ragnarok, that only the gods can stop. When this apocalypse happens, the gods must battle the monsters–wolves the size of the sun, serpents that span the seabeds, all bent on destroying the world.

The gods died a long time ago.

Matt Thorsen knows every Norse myth, saga, and god as if it was family history–because it is family history. Most people in the modern-day town of Blackwell, South Dakota, in fact, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke.

However, knowing the legends and completely believing them are two different things. When the rune readers reveal that Ragnarok is coming and kids–led by Matt–will stand in for the gods in the final battle, he can hardly believe it. Matt, Laurie, and Fen’s lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team to prevent the end of the world

The wee readers’ loot:

Truck stuck – Sallie Wolf, Andy Robert Davies
Lost sloth – J. Otto Siebold
What is your dog doing? – Marilyn Singer; Kathleen Habbley
Construction kitties – Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges; Shari Halpern
Where do diggers sleep at night? – Brianna Caplan Sayres; Christian Slade
Octopus alone – Divya Srinivasan
Off go their engines, off go their lights – Janice Milusich; David Gordon
Phoebe and Digger – Tricia Springstubb; Jeff Newman

Last week’s loot:

The city by the bay: a magical journey around San Francisco – Tricia Brown
Baby bear, baby bear, what do you see? – Bill Martin Jr, Eric Carle
Two at the zoo – Danna Smith, Valeria Petrone
Slow Snail – Mary Murphy
Zoom, rocket, Zoom! – Margaret Mayo, Alex Ayliffe
One moon, two cats – Laura Godwin; illustrated by Yoko Tanaka

What did you get from the library this week?



  1. It’s nice to have some alone time with big brother, isn’t it? We have been up to our ears in Transformers and Star Wars books, but it is finally our turn for the newest Magic Treehouse book. Thanks goodness!

    I hope you enjoy all of your books – The Lizard Cage sounds intriguing.


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