Library Loot (January 30 to February 5)

badge-4Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Happy Library Loot Day!

I’m always excited to share my library haul with you all. Here’s what I got this week:

Why I Wake Early – Mary Oliver

I haven’t read much of the late Mary Oliver’s work so I’m trying to correct that!

The forty-seven new works in this volume include poems on crickets, toads, trout lilies, black snakes, goldenrod, bears, greeting the morning, watching the deer, and, finally, lingering in happiness. Each poem is imbued with the extraordinary perceptions of a poet who considers the everyday in our lives and the natural world around us and finds a multitude of reasons to wake early.

The Magicians – Lev Grossman

The first time I read this book (Goodreads tells me it was in 2012!) I liked it ok enough to continue reading all three books to finish the series. But I didn’t like it that much, in fact, I rated it only 3 stars. But then I watched the SyFy series (available on Netflix) and I fell in love with it! I know that some who are fans of the book have despaired over the various changes made, for eg, the characters are older, and they focus quite a bit on Julia who has her own proper storyline throughout the series. And for me, these changes make a huge difference. Maybe the books were just too male-oriented and angsty. To be honest I didn’t really remember very much except for Fillory. And so I’ve decided to reread the books, but keeping wholly in mind the TV series that I have come to adore (that music episode! And of course, High King Margo)

A thrilling and original coming-of-age novel for adults about a young man practicing magic in the real world.

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin’s fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.

At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price

The Family Trust – Kathy Wang

 

I’m always a sucker for a Silicon Valley story, since I live in the area

Meet Stanley Huang: father, husband, ex-husband, man of unpredictable tastes and temper, aficionado of all-inclusive vacations and bargain luxury goods, newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For years, Stanley has claimed that he’s worth a small fortune. But the time is now coming when the details of his estate will finally be revealed, and Stanley’s family is nervous.

For his son Fred, the inheritance Stanley has long alluded to would soothe the pain caused by years of professional disappointment. By now, the Harvard Business School graduate had expected to be a financial tech god – not a minor investor at a middling corporate firm, where he isn’t even allowed to fly business class.

Stanley’s daughter, Kate, is a middle manager with one of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious tech companies. She manages the capricious demands of her world-famous boss and the needs of her two young children all while supporting her would-be entrepreneur husband (just until his startup gets off the ground, which will surely be soon). But lately, Kate has been sensing something amiss; just because you say you have it all, it doesn’t mean that you actually do.

Stanley’s second wife, Mary Zhu, twenty-eight years his junior, has devoted herself to making her husband comfortable in every way—rubbing his feet, cooking his favorite dishes, massaging his ego. But lately, her commitment has waned; caring for a dying old man is far more difficult than she expected.

Linda Liang, Stanley’s first wife, knows her ex better than anyone. She worked hard for decades to ensure their financial security, and is determined to see her children get their due. Single for nearly a decade, she might finally be ready for some romantic companionship. But where does a seventy-two year old Chinese woman in California go to find an appropriate boyfriend?

As Stanley’s death approaches, the Huangs are faced with unexpected challenges that upend them and eventually lead them to discover what they most value. A compelling tale of cultural expectations, career ambitions and our relationships with the people who know us best, Family Trust skewers the ambition and desires that drive Silicon Valley and draws a sharply loving portrait of modern American family life.

The kids’ loot:

The Terrible Two Get Worse – Mac Barnett and Jory John (audiobook)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). 

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6 Comments

  1. I pretty much borrowed all of Mary Oliver’s E-Books on Overdrive from NLB when I heard of her passing, and I have read LOTS of her recent works (including Devotions). Do add A Thousand Mornings to your list as well, and yes, Devotions. I will miss her poems, that’s for sure.

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