Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Library Loot: Back from the Library With Too Many Books!

Speaking of books languishing on shelves: Went to the library a little while ago and now I'm back with a bunch of books, most of which were recommended to me by friends and/or other bloggers. I have high hopes I'll like at least half of them. That's usually the most I can expect. But you never know, this time out I may just like them all. I'm always hopeful when I open the covers of an unread book.

In no particular order of priority, here's what came home with me from the library today:

  • THE UNCOMMON READER by Alan Bennett
  • THE CIPHER'S GARDEN by Martin Edwards
  • HAVE MERCY ON US ALL by Fred Vargas
  • LEARNING TO SWIM by Sara J. Henry
  • VOICES by Arnaldur Indridason
  • THE SPANISH GAME by Charles Cumming
  • ALL SHALL BE WELL by Deborah Crombie
  • A SHARE IN DEATH by Deborah Crombie
  • DAZZLER: The Life and Times of Moss Hart by Steven Bach
If I can't find something I really like on this list all I have to say is: What the heck is wrong with me? Ha! (A link to some other wonderful posters - vintage ones refitted with 'save our libraries' messages. Like the one I've used at the top of this post, they are fabulous.)


  1. I really loved THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY. Reading another one of his at the moment. He is one of my favourite writers!

  2. One of the bloggers recommended it, Lorna. I forget who. But someone who's reading taste I trusted. It did win the Pulitzer - didn't it? One of the BIG prizes, at any rate. I really should make a note when someone recommends a book. This way in case I like it I'll have someone to thank for the recommendation. :)

  3. I've read four of these books. All excellent. I recognize at least two recommendations from me (unless VOICES came from someone else). Chabon's book is amazing! It was supposed to be a movie years ago but it got held up in the Hollywood machine. It spun-off a whole series of comic books about THE ESCAPIST. You'll have to track down those too, as I did, because I know you will eat up that book.

    Fred Vargas is brilliant. Her books are in the traditionalist vein but have quirky characters and bizarre elements like the bubonic plague thing going on in the one you picked up. I read four of her books last year and have three left to read before her next one comes out later this year. I like THE CHALK CIRCLE MAN the best and although it's the most recently published in the US it's the first book choronologically in the Adamsberg series.

    VOICES is my favorite among Indidrason's bleak but hauntingly poignant Icelandic detective novels. HYPOTHERMIA is my second favorite.

  4. Oh, I do hope you like Kavalier & Clay, Yvette! A very important book for me - I'm not exaggerating when I say it changed my life (but that's another story...). I mentioned the book recently when I blogged about Will Eisner.

  5. John, I'm definitely going to start making note not only of book titles, but who recommends them so I can thank the right person. Definitely.

    Fred Vargas I know was recommended by Kathy D. My library is limited on her titles, though.

    I'm not sure about reading VOICES. I'm not really fond of 'bleak' but everyone talks about these books so I thought I'd take a look.

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to love Kavalier and Clay. :)

    LEARNING TO SWIM is one I read a review of recently and wow, it just seemed like a terrific plot device. Something new and different. Tonight I'll surround myself with all these books and decide what to start first. But I have to fit them around other books I'm currently reading.

    I'm not really sure how that works, but somehow I always manage to get it done. Ha!

  6. Okay, so it was you, Nicolas. That's where I must have seen it. Although the title has been on my radar for awhile. I just needed that extra 'oomph' to try it. I wish I could read as quickly as I used to. :)

  7. Changed your life - did you say? Wow. I've read books like that. It's amazing how a book can open a window and make you see things in a different way. :)

  8. I have only read The Uncommon Reader - a smallish book - and it was very interesting.

  9. Mystica: That's one I'm looking forward to, for sure. I've heard some very nice things about it. It looks like a short evening's reading.

  10. I always enjoy the Hazel Holt Mrs. Malory stories. I hope you enjoy that one. And The Herring-Seller's Apprentice is a wonderfully fun book. Have fun!

  11. What a fantastic load of books! Have a great time! Make sure to have tea and cookies, though.

    And I love that poster: It was made for me. But I add when reading a good book: Forget the housework--the dishes, cleaning, dusting. Even forget bill paying (yes, I do that when immersed in good books), and even errands unless they're crucial to your existence.

    Cannot wait to read your comments. "Voices" isn't the Indridason I'd pick--and I like his books. I liked "The Silence of the Grave," "Arctic Chill," "Jar City" (somewhat), and "Hypothermia," one of my favorite 2010 reads.

  12. Ha, I came here to comment that Kavalier and Clay is amazing and I really hope you enjoy it...looks like I'm not the only one who thinks so ;) I'm still going to chime in anyway! I've read it twice and always look out for a copy in second hand bookshops so I can have my own instead of borrowing it from the library repeatedly. Awesome, incredible book. Enjoy your haul! xx

  13. Bev: I think I'm going to like those in between reading the 'grimmer' stuff. It all depends on my mood. ;)

  14. Kathy: I didn't know which one to pick and my library didn't have a lot. If I don't like this one, I'll try and find HYPOTHERMIA. And even if I do like VOICES, I'll still try and find the others. Yeah, good list I think. I'm always hopeful - at least when it comes to books. Ha!

  15. rachel: Thanks for dropping by and joining in. Yes, everyone tells me how great KAVALIER AND CLAY is, can't wait to read it. I wonder why I haven't read it until now. Oh well, better late than never. ;)

  16. Wallace: Yeah, isn't it? A designer recently took the vintage posters and refitted them to be used to help save Britain's libraries. Been trying to find his name for a credit line, but so far haven't located it. I'm going to post a slide show showing all the posters involved in this new campaign. It's a disgrace what's happening to libraries in G.B. as well as other countries, including this one.

  17. I think you'll have a good time with that armload, Yvette. I've only read a couple of them. I enjoyed L. C. Tyler's THE HERRING-SELLER'S APPRENTICE, which is a good, funny takeoff on the genre (it's the first of three, so far, in the series). And I read Martin Edwards' THE CIPER GARDEN a couple of years back and enjoyed it thoroughly - he's an excellent writer. Sounds like you're going to be busy reading for a while...

  18. Les: And that's not even counting the books I'd already started before I even went to the library, Les. But somehow, it all gets done. Not as quickly as it used to, but quick enough. I don't expect that I'll read every single one, but you never know...

  19. The Uncommon Reader seems a most interesting title. Happy reading.

  20. Thanks, neer. It's a novella, really. The main character is the Queen of England, from what I understand.

  21. Must get Sara Paretsky at the library and Donna Leon.


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