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.
Whee! Fridays at the library are back on again. We get there when it opens at 11, browse the picture books or sometimes play with the puzzles/bead mazes or just people-watch. Then it’s preschool storytime at 1130, a very well-organised session of three to four short picture books, with plenty of songs and music in between. Lots of fun.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 1 – Hayao Miyazaki
Unfortunately I ran out of hold space (the library limit is just 10!) so I could only get three of the Nausicaa books. The film adaptation was my first Miyazaki. And I was smitten ever since!
Nausicaä, a gentle but strong-willed, young princess, has an empathic bond with the giant insects that evolved as a result of the ecosystem’s destruction. Growing up in the Valley of the Wind, she learned to read the soul of the wind and navigates the skies in her glider. Nausicaä and her allies struggle to create peace between kingdoms torn apart by war, battling over the last of the world’s precious natural resources
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 2 – Hayao Miyazaki
Princess Nausicaä has left the Valley of the Wind to join Princess Kushana’s forces. However, Nausicaä gets separated from the Torumekian fleet and finds herself face to face with the mysterious Ohmu, who open their hearts to her. But will Nausicaä be able to interpret their urgent warning about the southern forest? And what of the war which rages all around her?
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 3 –
Nausicaa finds herself on the edge of despair as she comes to realize the full extent of the ecological destruction that’s ravaging Earth. Meanwhile, Queen Kushana of Torumekia plots to lead her troops back to the imperial capital and seize the crown. Nausicaä agrees to join Kushana and her people in the fight against the Doroks and her scheming brothers.
Touch not the cat – Mary Stewart
It was Mary Stewart reading week in September. So that’s why I kept seeing blog posts about Mary Stewart’s books! This is the first of hers I’ve ever picked up, thanks in part to Melwyk’s review in which she mentions that it has to do with a maze. I’m kind of fascinated by the cover art.
Bryony Ashley knows that her family’s grand estate is both hell and paradise; once elegant and beautiful, yet mired in debt and shrouded in shadow. Devastated by her father;s sudden strange death abroad, she is nonetheless relieved to learn the responsibility of running Ashley Court has fallen to a cousin. Still, her father’s final, dire warning about a terrible family curse haunts her days and her dream
The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer
Its colourful stripes called out to me. It was meant to be.
The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.
The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. Jules Jacobson, an aspiring comic actress, eventually resigns herself to a more practical occupation and lifestyle. Her friend Jonah, a gifted musician, stops playing the guitar and becomes an engineer. But Ethan and Ash, Jules’s now-married best friends, become shockingly successful—true to their initial artistic dreams, with the wealth and access that allow those dreams to keep expanding. The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken.
Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life
The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt
Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living–and whom he does it for.
With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters–losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life–and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love
Boxers – Gene Luen Yang; Lark Pien
Andi’s review made me request this series immediately!
Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants.
Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers – commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from “foreign devils.”Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of “secondary devils” – Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity.
Saints – Gene Luen Yang; Lark Pien
China, 1898. An unwanted fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn’t even given a proper name by her family. She finds friendship—and a name, Vibiana—in the most unlikely of places: Christianity. But China is a dangerous place for Christians. The Boxer Rebellion is murdering Westerners and Chinese Christians alike. Torn between her nation and her Christian friends, Vibiana will have to decide where her true loyalties lie . . . and whether she is willing to die for her faith.
Sunny, Vol. 1 – Taiyo Matsumoto
The latest manga masterpiece from the Eisner Award-winning creator of Tekkonkinkreet.What is Sunny? Sunny is a car. Sunny is a car you take on a drive with your mind. It takes you to the place of your dreams.
Sunny is the story of beating the odds, in the ways that count. It’s the brand-new masterwork from Eisner Award-winner Taiyo Matsumoto, one of Japan’s most innovative and acclaimed manga artists.
My ideal bookshelf – Thessaly La Force (editor); Jane Mount (illustrator)
This post by Buried in Print reminded me that I’ve yet to check this book out.
The books that we choose to keep –let alone read– can say a lot about who we are and how we see ourselves. In MY IDEAL BOOKSHELF, dozens of leading cultural figures share the books that matter to them most; books that define their dreams and ambitions and in many cases helped them find their way in the world. Contributors include Malcolm Gladwell, Thomas Keller, Michael Chabon, Alice Waters, James Patterson, Maira Kalman, Judd Apatow, Chuck Klosterman, Miranda July, Alex Ross, Nancy Pearl, David Chang, Patti Smith, Jennifer Egan, and Dave Eggers, among many others. With colorful and endearingly hand-rendered images of book spines by Jane Mount, and first-person commentary from all the contributors, this is a perfect gift for avid readers, writers, and all who have known the influence of a great book.
Over the past week I’ve also downloaded some e-books:
Hikikomori and the rental sister – Jeff Bauhaus
hikikomori, n. h kik mo ri; literally pulling inward; refers to those who withdraw from society.
Inspired by the real-life Japanese social phenomenon called hikikomori and the professional rental sisters hired to help, Hikikomori and the Rental Sister is about an erotic relationship between Thomas, an American hikikomori, and Megumi, a young Japanese immigrant hiding from her own past. The strange, insular world they create together in a New York City bedroom and with the tacit acknowledgment of Thomas s wife reveals three human hearts in crisis, but leaves us with a profound faith in the human capacity to find beauty and meaning in life, even after great sorrow. Mirroring both East and West in its search for healing, Hikikomori and the Rental Sister pierces the emotional walls of grief and delves into the power of human connection to break through to the world waiting outside.
Touchstone – Laurie R King
I always enjoy reading King’s works and Bones of Paris, while readable by itself, was part two of this series starring Harris Stuyvesant and left me wondering about the history that Bennett Grey and Harris had. So here’s the first book.
It’s eight years after the Great War shattered Bennett Grey’s life, leaving him with an excruciating sensitivity to the potential of human violence, and making social contact all but impossible. Once studied by British intelligence for his unique abilities, Grey has withdrawn from a rapidly changing world—until an American Bureau of Investigation agent comes to investigate for himself Grey’s potential as a weapon in a vicious new kind of warfare. Agent Harris Stuyvesant desperately needs Grey’s help entering a world where the rich and the radical exist side by side—a heady mix of the powerful and the celebrated, among whom lurks an enemy ready to strike a deadly blow at democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.
Here, among a titled family whose servants dress in whimsical costumes and whose daughter conducts an open affair with a man who wants to bring down the government, Stuyvesant finds himself dangerously seduced by one woman and—even more dangerously—falling in love with another. And as he sifts through secrets divulged and kept, he uncovers the target of a horrifying conspiracy, and wonders if he can trust his touchstone, Grey, to reveal the most dangerous player of all …
Wee Reader’s Loot
Raise the roof – Anastasia Suen; Elwood H. Smith
Digger and Tom – Sebastien Braun
Ok that was a long list! What did you get from the library this week?