Library Loot (January 12 to 18)

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Library 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! Claire has the link-up this week.

So my last few Library Loot posts were really short, without any synopses. The main reason is that I was in Singapore – more on that another time. And it was hard to copy/paste using a phone or tablet. So I did super short posts. I don’t know if you guys actually read these synopses?

What I got from the library this week:

The Woman in the Purple Skirt – Natuso Imamura, translated by Lucy North

lmost every day, the Woman in the Purple Skirt buys a single cream bun and goes to the park, where she sits on a bench to eat it as the local children taunt her. She is observed at all times by the undetected narrator, the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. From a distance the Woman in the Purple Skirt looks like a schoolgirl, but there are age spots on her face, and her hair is dry and stiff. Like the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan, she is single, she lives in a small, run-down apartment, and she is short on money. The Woman in the Yellow Cardigan lures her to a job where she herself works, as a hotel housekeeper; soon the Woman in the Purple Skirt is having an affair with the boss. Unfortunately, no one knows or cares about the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. That’s the difference between her and the Woman in the Purple Skirt.

Studiously deadpan, highly original, and unsettling, The Woman in the Purple Skirt explores the dynamics of envy, the mechanisms of power in the workplace, and the vulnerability of unmarried women in a taut, voyeuristic narrative about the sometimes desperate desire to be seen. 

This must be fated. I was just opening my Libby app to see what other ebooks I had borrowed earlier this week… and hello, I saw the notification that my hold on this book had come in.

This Must Be The Place – Maggie O’Farrell

Daniel Sullivan, a young American professor reeling from a failed marriage and a brutal custody battle, is on holiday in Ireland when he falls in love with Claudette, a world-famous sexual icon and actress who fled fame for a reclusive life in a rural village. Together, they make an idyllic life in the country, raising two more children in blissful seclusion—until a secret from Daniel’s past threatens to destroy their meticulously constructed and fiercely protected home. What follows is a journey through Daniel’s many lives told in his voice and the voices of those who have made him the man he is: the American son and daughter he has not seen for many years; the family he has made with Claudette; and irrepressible, irreverent Claudette herself. Shot through with humor and wisdom, This Must Be the Place is a powerful rumination on the nature of identity, and the complexities of loyalty and devotion—a gripping story of an extraordinary family and an extraordinary love. 

Three Bedrooms in Manhattan – Georges Simenon

Two people who didn’t know each other and who had come together by a miracle in the great city, and who now clung desperately to each other, as if already they felt a chilly solitude settling in. A divorced actor and a lonely woman, both adrift in New York, meet by chance in an all-night diner.

It is the start of something, though neither is sure what.

As they move through neon-lit streets, bars, rented rooms and cheap motels, these two lost souls struggle to understand what it is that has brought them, in spite of themselves, inexorably together. 

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