Library Loot (February 20 to 26)

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 Wednesday!

Hope you all are having a great week! It’s actually been a sunny week here in the Bay Area. Chilly still but sunny. Can’t wait for it to be warm enough for outside reading!

The Calculating Stars – Mary Robinette Kowal

Claire’s post reminded me of this new series by Kowal and I’m excited to borrow it!

A meteor decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for a climate cataclysm that will eventually render the earth inhospitable to humanity. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earth’s efforts to colonize space, as well as an unprecedented opportunity for a much larger share of humanity to take part.

One of these new entrants in the space race is Elma York, whose experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too – aside from some pesky barriers like thousands of years of history and a host of expectations about the proper place of the fairer sex. And yet, Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions may not stand a chance.

PS I Still Love You – Jenny Han

I recently watched the Netflix movie (it was cute) and thought that I should read the rest of the books!

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

 

 

The Perfectionists : How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World – Simon Winchester (audiobook)

This is the year of me listening to more audiobooks! I’ve listened to six audiobooks (all nonfiction) so far!

The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement–precision–in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future.

The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools–machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras–and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider.

Simon Winchester takes us back to origins of the Industrial Age, to England where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who later exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Winchester moves forward through time, to today’s cutting-edge developments occurring around the world, from America to Western Europe to Asia

 

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Library Loot (February 13 to 19)

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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 Wednesday you guys! How is it Wednesday again? That sure was a speedy seven days.

Claire has the link-up this week

Some things I was excited to see at the library this week…

This Black History Month display of books by women writers

This stack of books a random kid aged about 11 or 12 plonked down at the table I was sitting at. He then went to get more books! At another table this brother and sister (looked about 9 to 11) sat with a big stack of comics.

It was enough to make me feel that the kids today are alright. At least these kids were.

What I got from my library this week:

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told – Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman (audiobook)

I’m excited to get my hands on this one! Of course the hold came in when I was finishing up another audiobook (Heavy) and in the middle of another (How to be a Good Creature) – Heavy has quite a bit of words unsuitable for young ears so I only listen to it at night when the kids are asleep. And of course there’s no way to renew The Greatest Love Story because the updated Libby app is very good at letting me know that there are 17 people waiting for it – ie, renewals are not going to happen. And I really want to listen to this instead of reading it. Because it’s Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman!

The kids’ loot:

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).

Library Loot (February 6 to 12)

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 Wednesday and Happy New Year!

I didn’t get much from the library this week. The boys were sick last week (they took turns getting sick with fever and coughs), so I didn’t get to do a proper library run with them. But since we were stuck at home on Saturday (besides the sick kids, it was a rainy weekend), I had a really quick stop at the library which was somehow so crowded it was hard to find a parking space!

And here’s the link-up!

Shutter Vol 2: Way of the World – Joe Keatinge, Leila del Luca (illustrations)

I was confused by vol 2 so I’m wondering where vol 2 goes!

Kate Kristopher, once the most famous explorer of an Earth far more fantastic than the one we know, is
forced to return to the adventurous life she left behind when a family secret threatens to destroy everything she spent her life protecting. In Volume 2, Kate crosses the Earth to unlock a family mystery taking her far beyond her own reality.

 

How to be a good creature – Sy Montgomery (audiobook)

National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery reflects on the personalities and quirks of 13 animals–her friends–who have profoundly affected her in this stunning, poetic, and life-affirming memoir featuring illustrations by Rebecca Green.

Understanding someone who belongs to another species can be transformative. No one knows this better than author, naturalist, and adventurer Sy Montgomery. To research her books, Sy has traveled the world and encountered some of the planet’s rarest and most beautiful animals. From tarantulas to tigers, Sy’s life continually intersects with and is informed by the creatures she meets.

This restorative memoir reflects on the personalities and quirks of thirteen animals–Sy’s friends–and the truths revealed by their grace. It also explores vast themes: the otherness and sameness of people and animals; the various ways we learn to love and become empathetic; how we find our passion; how we create our families; coping with loss and despair; gratitude; forgiveness; and most of all, how to be a good creature in the world.

 

 

 

 

The Magician King – Lev Grossman (The Magicians #2)

I just read the first book finished and while it was still a so-so read for me (I read it ages ago, thought it ok, then just finished watching the TV series and loved it), I’m looking forward to this one which is less Q-centred.

Quentin and his friends are now the kings and queens of Fillory, but the days and nights of royal luxury are starting to pall. After a morning hunt takes a sinister turn, Quentin and his old friend Julia charter a magical sailing ship and set out on an errand to the wild outer reaches of their kingdom. Their pleasure cruise becomes an adventure when the two are unceremoniously dumped back into the last place Quentin ever wants to see: his parent’s house in Chesterton, Massachusetts. And only the black, twisted magic that Julia learned on the streets can save them.

The Magician King is a grand voyage into the dark, glittering heart of magic, an epic quest for the Harry Potter generation. It also introduces a powerful new voice, that of Julia, whose angry genius is thrilling. Once again Grossman proves that he is the cutting edge of literary fantasy

 

 

Front Desk – Kelly Yang

I’ve been looking forward to this one!

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?

The kids’ loot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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). 

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). 

Library Loot Jan 23 to 29

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.

 

It’s 24in48 this weekend! I picked up lots of comics and graphic novels during my one kids-free hour in the library this week! I got to wander the comics shelves, which are upstairs in the adult nonfiction and which I don’t always bring the kids to as it tends to be a much quieter place than downstairs. And found lots of great comics.

Let us know what you got from your library this week!

Here’s my loot!

Naming Monsters – Hannah Eaton

I hadn’t heard of this book before I found it on the shelves but it sounds fascinating.

The year is 1993, as we join Fran on a wild ride around London while she navigates the grief of losing her mother. Tales of strange creatures that might have been introduced at each stage of her journey. Her adventure, often with best friend Alex in tow, is a pyschogeography of the city and its suburbs, punctuated by encounters with Fran’s semi-estranged dad, her out-of-touch East End nana, a selfish boyfriend, and the odd black dog or two.

As Fran says herself: monsters are all around us.

 

Likely Stories – Neil Gaiman, Mark Buckingham, Chris Blythe (Illustrator)
From New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman and Eisner-award winning creator Mark Buckingham comes a graphic novel anthology of four essential fantasy stories.

These dark and imaginative tales feature an odd and subtly linked world of bizarre venereal diseases, a creepy old woman who feasts on raw meat, a man obsessed with a skin model from a magazine, and a story within a story about ghosts.

Roughneck – Jeff Lemire

I really like Lemire’s work!

From the New York Times bestselling author and award-winning creator of Essex County, Secret Path, Descender, and The Underwater Welder comes an all-original graphic novel about a brother and sister who must come together after years apart to face the disturbing history that has cursed their family.

Derek Ouelette’s glory days are behind him. His hockey career ended a decade earlier in a violent incident on ice, and since then he’s been living off his reputation in the remote northern community where he grew up, drinking too much and fighting anyone who crosses him. But he never counts on his long-lost sister, Beth, showing up one day out of the blue, back in town and on the run from an abusive boyfriend. Looking to hide out for a while, the two siblings hunker down in a secluded hunting camp deep in the local woods. It is there that they attempt to find a way to reconnect with each other and the painful secrets of their past…even as Beth’s ex draws closer, threatening to pull both Derek and Beth back into a world of self-destruction that they are fighting tooth and nail to leave behind.

 

Master Keaton Vol 5 – Naoki Urasawa, Takashi Nagasaki

I’ve enjoyed the previous 4 books in this series! Lots of fun!

Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of a Japanese zoologist and an English noblewoman, is an insurance investigator known for his successful and unorthodox methods of investigation. Educated in archaeology and a former member of the SAS, Master Keaton uses his knowledge and combat training to uncover buried secrets, thwart would-be villains, and pursue the truth

T!m G!nger – Julian Hanshaw

A random pick!

The prize-winning British cartoonist Julian Hanshaw makes his American debut with the rich and meditative story of Tim Ginger. Once a government test pilot, now a widow, Tim enjoys a quiet retirement in New Mexico… until a conspiracy theorist starts asking uncomfortable questions, and the haunting reappearance of an old friend provokes some hard choices about when to let go and when to hold on.

Crossplay – Niki Smith

Another new-to-me author

Close friends and new acquaintances at an anime convention confront their crushes, challenge their hang-ups, and question their once-comfortable identities in this erotic graphic novel about discovering who you’re meant to truly be and who you’re meant to love. The debut graphic novel of creator Niki Smith, cartoonist and Smut Peddler contributor.

Three Trees Make a Forest – Enrico Casarosa, Ronnie Del Carmen, Tadahiro Uesugi

The three artists featured in Three Trees Make a Forest are professional illustrators with a penchant for travel and ambitious side projects in books and Comics. Ronnie Del Carmen is a story artist, character designer and illustrator at Pixar Animation Studios in California. Del Carmen has also worked in comics with DC and Dark Horse. Tadahiro Uesugi is a world renowned illustrator, based in Japan who creates intuitive drawings of landscapes, characters and urban scenery, all with an amazing sense of color and texture. Enrico Casarosa is also a story artist at Pixar and is the founder of Sketch Crawl, a worldwide marathon sketching event. Most of the work found in Three Trees Make a Forest was originally created for an exhibition of the same name at Nucleus Gallery in Alhambra, CA.

No Fond Return of Love – Barbara Pym

Been ages since I’ve read Pym!

Dulcie Mainwaring, the heroine of the book, is one of those excellent women who is always helping others and never looking out for herself- especially in the realms of love. The novel has a delicate tangle of schemes and unfulfilled dreams, hidden secrets and a castle or two. Told wonderfully in the deadpan honesty that has become a Pym hallmark, this book is a delight.

Fifth Chinese Daughter – Jade Snow Wong

I picked this up for the Back to the Classics challenge

Originally published in 1945 and now reissued with a new introduction by the author, Jade Snow Wong’s story is one of struggle and achievements. These memoirs of the author’s first twenty-four years are thoughtful, informative, and highly entertaining. They not only portray a young woman and her unique family in San Francisco’s Chinatown, but they are rich in the details that light up a world within the world of America. The third-person singular style is rooted in Chinese literary form, reflecting cultural disregard for the individual, yet Jad Snow Wong’s story also is typically American.

We first meet Jade Snow Wong the child, narrowly confined by the family and factory life, bound to respect and obey her elders while shouldering responsibility for younger brothers and sisters – a solemn child well versed in the proper order of things, who knew that punishment was sure for any infraction of etiquette. Then the schoolgirl caught in confusion between the rigid teaching of her ancestors and the strange ways of her foreign classmates. After that the college student feeling her was toward personal identity in the face of parental indifference or outright opposition. And finally the artist whose early triumphs were doubled by the knowledge that she had at long last won recognition from her family.

The Sealed Letter – Emma Donoghue

I picked this up for several challenges I’m working on! It fits the Lambda Literary Award winner category for the Reading Women Challenge, the “Irish author” category for the Litsy challenge,

Miss Emily “Fido” Faithfull is a “woman of business” and a spinster pioneer in the British women’s movement, independent of mind but naively trusting of heart. Distracted from her cause by the sudden return of her once-dear friend, the unhappily wed Helen Codrington, Fido is swept up in the intimate details of Helen’s failing marriage and obsessive affair with a young army officer. What begins as a loyal effort to help a friend explodes into a courtroom drama that rivals the Clinton affair –complete with stained clothing, accusations of adultery, counterclaims of rape, and a mysterious letter that could destroy more than one life.

Based on a scandalous divorce case that gripped England in 1864, The Sealed Letter is a riveting, provocative drama of friends, lovers, and divorce, Victorian style.

And PHEW that is it for my loot! That was quite a haul for me this week!

Kids’ loot this week:

What did you get from your library this week? 

Best of the kids’ reads this week

Drawn Together – Minh Le and Dan Santat

Here’s the 5yo’s review:

I like the story of the grandpa and the boy. I also like the dragon fighting part the most. Because these two people think the dragon is a mountain! The scales look like a mountain.

 

Kikuchi’s Sushi – Myung Sook Jeong,Sul Hee Kook (Illustrations)

5yo’s review: I love sushi! Especially salmon sushi.

 

 

Moon Watchers: Shirin’s Ramadan Miracle – Reza Jalali, Anne Sibley O’Brien  (Illustrator)

I love how through picture books my boys can learn that the world is full of diverse people who may look different from them, who may be of a different religion, but are just like them, kids growing up in the world, facing similar problems like, in this book, a young girl wanting to prove that she’s old enough (in this case, to fast during Ramadan).

 

Catstronauts – Drew Brockington

This was a fun graphic novel series that both boys enjoyed. And it’s so cute to boot. There are four books so far in this series, this is the first book.

Library Loot January 16 to 22

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! The link-up is with Claire this week.

The Library Book – Susan Orlean

I’m intrigued by this one. Also it’s by Susan Orlean!

On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

 

Check, Please! Vol 1 – Ngozi Ukazu

I came across this book via Jenny’s post and to be honest thought it might be a book about restaurants. Obviously it’s a book about hockey. And what do I know about hockey? NOTHING. But I am really liking this book because of its main character who’s a former figure skater and pie baker. It’s surprisingly cute for a hockey comic!

Helloooo, Internet Land. Bitty here!

Y’all… I might not be ready for this. I may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It’s nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking. And then, there is Jack—our very attractive but moody captain.

A collection of the first half of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.

The kids’ loot this week:

 

Also, I borrowed the audiobook of Moon Rising by Tui T Sutherland, which is the sixth book in the Wings of Fire series, which they adore.

Have you read any of these books? What did you get from your library this week?