It was a scorcher of a morning, so the cool library was quite a relief! Wee Reader got a bingo in the summer reading programme game – for every 30 minutes of reading, you get a chance to spin the wheel – and picked up a frisbee and some coupons for admission to some museums in the Bay Area and one for Legoland!
Just one book for me from the library this time, along with several e-books.
White Bone – Barbara Gowdy
Plunged into an alien landscape, readers orient themselves in elephant time, elephant space, and elephant consciousness, and begin to feel, as Gowdy puts it, what it would be like to be that big and gentle, to be that imperiled, and to have that prodigious memory.
The Stranger’s Child – Alan Hollinghurst
In the late summer of 1913, George Sawle brings his Cambridge schoolmate–a handsome, aristocratic young poet named Cecil Valance–to his family’s modest home outside London for the weekend. George is enthralled by Cecil, and soon his sixteen-year-old sister, Daphne, is equally besotted by him and the stories he tells about Corley Court, the country estate he is heir to. But what Cecil writes in Daphne’s autograph album will change their and their families’ lives forever: a poem that, after Cecil is killed in the Great War and his reputation burnished, will become a touchstone for a generation, a work recited by every schoolchild in England. Over time, a tragic love story is spun, even as other secrets lie buried–until, decades later, an ambitious biographer threatens to unearth them. “The Stranger’s Child” is a tour de force: a masterful novel about the lingering power of desire, how the heart creates its own history, and how legends are made
Barbary – Vonda N. McIntyre
Orphaned Barbary finds a new home on a space station but runs into difficulties trying to protect her pet cat Mickey.
(Ok that’s all that Goodreads has to say about this book
I’ll be right there – Shin Kyung-Sook
Set in 1980s South Korea amid the tremors of political revolution, I’ll Be Right There follows Jung Yoon, a highly literate, twenty-something woman, as she recounts her tragic personal history as well as those of her three intimate college friends. When Yoon receives a distressing phone call from her ex-boyfriend after eight years of separation, memories of a tumultuous youth begin to resurface, forcing her to re-live the most intense period of her life. With profound intellectual and emotional insight, she revisits the death of her beloved mother, the strong bond with her now-dying former college professor, the excitement of her first love, and the friendships forged out of a shared sense of isolation and grief.
Yoon’s formative experiences, which highlight both the fragility and force of personal connection in an era of absolute uncertainty, become immediately palpable. Shin makes the foreign and esoteric utterly familiar: her use of European literature as an interpreter of emotion and experience bridges any gaps between East and West. Love, friendship, and solitude are the same everywhere, as this book makes poignantly clear.
The kids’ loot includes White Swan Express, a book on adoptive families that was recently banned from Singapore libraries and was to be pulped, along with two other books, Who’s in my family? and And Tango Makes Three. But it is now to be placed in the adult section of libraries. While I’m glad that readers in Singapore will still be able to borrow this book, I still do hope that one day they will be placed in the children’s section, to be stumbled upon by curious young minds who want to read and learn more about the world and its diverse lives and different types of families.
What did you get from your library this week?