Library Loot (April 24 to 30)

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!

What did you get from your library this week? Share it with us – Claire has the link-up!

 

This whole month I’ve been talking about trying to get a better grip on my library loans and reading from my own shelves. That has worked (somewhat) a little bit so far. But this week I caved!

It started with this book, a nonfiction read that I wanted to get into especially after listening to the audiobook of Crenshaw with my kids (more on that in another post). In that middle grade book, the family gets evicted and I was talking to my boys about that, explaining what that means. And it made me realise that I haven’t yet read this:

Evicted – Matthew Desmond

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America
 
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

Slow Days, Fast Company – Eve Babitz

This slim book caught my eye as I scanned the fiction shelves. I love reading books set in California, although SoCal is a far different creature from NorCal.

No one burned hotter than Eve Babitz. Possessing skin that radiated “its own kind of moral laws,” spectacular teeth, and a figure that was the stuff of legend, she seduced seemingly everyone who was anyone in Los Angeles for a long stretch of the 1960s and ’70s. One man proved elusive, however, and so Babitz did what she did best, she wrote him a book. Slow Days, Fast Company is a full-fledged and full-bodied evocation of a bygone Southern California that far exceeds its mash-note premise. In ten sun-baked, Santa Ana wind–swept sketches, Babitz re-creates a Los Angeles of movie stars distraught over their success, socialites on three-day drug binges holed up in the Chateau Marmont, soap-opera actors worried that tomorrow’s script will kill them off, Italian femmes fatales even more fatal than Babitz. And she even leaves LA now and then, spending an afternoon at the house of flawless Orange County suburbanites, a day among the grape pickers of the Central Valley, a weekend in Palm Springs where her dreams of romance fizzle and her only solace is Virginia Woolf. In the end it doesn’t matter if Babitz ever gets the guy—she seduces us.

 

Early Riser – Jasper Fforde

A new Jasper Fforde book! How exciting! Also, love that cover!

Imagine a cold, dark world where all humans must hibernate through the winter, their bodies dangerously close to death as they enter an ultra-low metabolic state of dreamless sleep where their pulse drops close to zero and nerve synapses in the brain fire only enough to prevent irreversible brain damage–all humans, that is, apart from the winter consuls, a group of officers who diligently watch over the vulnerable sleeping citizens.

When junior consul Charlie Worthing is stranded in the forgotten outpost of Sector Twelve, the new recruit hears of a conspiracy–a viral dream spreading among those in the hibernational state that causes paranoia, hallucination, and psychotic episodes that can end in murder. Worthing enters the sleepstate and experiences the dream in all its vivid glory, only to realize on waking that all the people who had known about it before have disappeared. More disturbing, Worthing can recall parts of the viral dream, which shouldn’t be possible. When the dream starts to merge with reality, Charlie begins to question just what’s real…and what isn’t. Bestselling author Jasper Fforde delivers a gripping, brilliantly imagined existential thriller in Early Riser, sure to delight his fans.

 

The kids’ loot:

 

 

Lots of Beast Quest again for the 8yo.

 

What did you get from your library this week?

 

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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One Comment

  1. The Babitz sounds intriguing! I have to admit to failure with Early Riser. There is a lot of world building going on, which Fforde always loves, and I just didn’t have the patience for it. I’ll probably try picking it up again one day when I’m in a different mood.

    Happy reading!

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