Sunday, 24 January 2010

Library Loot

I've been meaning to post my latest library loot for a while but erratic blogging and internet problems have prevented me until now. Furthermore, I realise that my last three posts have been stacks of books but 1) I know how much you like looking at books 2) I have a few reviews scheduled for this week and a few more in the bag.

My last Library Loot post was in 2009 and I suggested that it may be my last for a while as I resolved to read more from my TBR; that's still my intent but the lack of borrowing has fallen by the wayside a little as I looted for a few challenges and read-alongs that I am excited about (although ultimately I am reading more for myself and have been enjoying the freed0m to read books on a whim).

I still have a few outstanding library requests but on my last visit I came away with:

Quicksand and Passing by Nella Larsen: these two texts are for The Harlem Renaissance tour for The Classics Circuit in February; I'll be picking up Quicksand later today and I am really excited as I've been wanting to read both of these novellas for some time.

Daughters of Decadence: Women Writers of the Fin-de-si├Ęcle ed. by Elaine Showalter: this collection of short stories -written by "new women" about "new women"- has been on my wish-list for the longest time, since I studied Modernism. Including one of my favourite short stories "The Yellow Wallpaper" as well as a couple by the wonderful Kate Chopin, I'm looking forward to reading this collection for the Women Unbound Challenge.

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa: I borrowed this to read for the Japanese Literature book group at In Spring it is the Dawn and you can read my thoughts tomorrow.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley: I requested this on a whim at the beginning of the month and now I can't really recall why ... perhaps to see what all the fuss is about? Now that I have it, I'm feeling less inspired to read it. A reviewer for The Guardian is quoted on Amazon as saying it is a mixture between I Capture the Castle (a beloved book of mine) and The Addam's Family; I'm going to love it, aren't I?

Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier: another book for Woman Unbound, I read about this on Eva of A Striped Armchair's blog and she completely sold me with this paragraph:

To say that I loved this book feels like a horrible understatement. I believe every single woman should read this book. If I were a billionaire, I would buy a copy for each woman who could read English, and press it into her hands with fervent good wishing.

High praise indeed (although to give credit where it is due, it was Nymeth who recommended the book to Eva); I've been awaiting a special inter-library loan request for this book since November and I hope it is worth the wait.

Have you read any of these or do they appeal?

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg encouraging library use and its promotion.


Suejustbooks said...

I absolutely loved THE HOUSEKEEPER AND THE PROFESSOR, but I now have to add WOMAN to my TBR!

Aarti said...

I really want to read Housekeeper and the Professor! And I'm excited about your Women Unbound books, too- they sound excellent :-)

Cornflower said...

I loved both The Housekeeper and the Professor (very touching, and a fascinating idea) and The Sweetness, etc. which was pure fun.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing wonderful things about The Housekeeper and The Professor so I can't wait until it becomes available at my own library!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie looks fun. My mother, generally not a great reader, got it for Christmas and enjoyed it immensely. I'm already planning to borrow her copy next time I'm home.

Jenny said...

I want to read Woman: An Intimate Biography! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. And I'm getting The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie myself tomorrow - it finally finally came in at the library! :)

verity said...

Haven't read or come across any of those, so glad that you will be supplying some reviews :)

Frances said...

Please put aside any reservations about The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. So fun. Just know you will like Flavia and all her spunkiness.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're joining in for Natalie's read-along and discussion. I hated math for most of my life but the book was just subtle and amazing.

And just like Frances said: the Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is very sweet. Flavia's the modern-day less-disturbed Wednesday Addams.

farmlanebooks said...

Great pile! I really want to read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and Housekeeper and Professor. I'm really hoping you enjoy them!

PS. Neither are avaiable in my library system yet, so I'm very jealous! said...

I agree, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is fun! Great stack, I have to add The Housekeeper and the Professor to my list!

Anonymous said...

Passing is one of the most fascinating and sad stories I've read. It's beautifully written, as was Quicksand, and I'm looking forward to hearing what you think about both of them.

I seem to be in the minority here, but I didn't like Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Or, rather, I thought it was vastly overrated.

Anonymous said...

*Squeal*! Daughters of Decadence is an utterly marvellous collection! If you like it, I can also recommend a collection called Women Who Did, edited by Angelique Richardson.

Marg said...

I salute bloggers who have the self control to only read their own books, and forsaking the library! I so couldn't do it!

Enjoy your loot.

Sophie said...

I really loved /The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie/ when I read it last summer, so I hope you do enjoy it in the end! It was a lot of fun. I'm interested to see your mention of Kate Chopin as I picked up a collection of her short stories in the bookshop the other day, but then put it down again. Maybe I should return to the shop!

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Sue, thanks for commenting. I shall be reviewing The Housekeeper & the Professor later today. I hope that we enjoy Woman.

Aarti, I'm sure my review later will make you want to read it more! I'm excited about my Woman Unbound books too; I have some great books lined up for it.

Karen, pleased to read that you enjoyed The Sweetness; I'm sure that I will. I'll be posting my thoughts on The Housekeeper and the Professor today.

Claire, I hope The Housekeeper and the Professor becomes available soon! This is actually the second time I borrowed it but didn't have a chance to read it last time it was out.

I'm glad that your mother enjoyed The Sweetness; most people seem to.

Jenny, I hope to read Woman soon but I have a few other nonfiction books from the library that have been languishing and continually renewed so I'll be reading those first! I look forward to your thoughts on Sweetness too; you'll probably read it before I do.

Verity, I will indeed be providing reviews - starting today :).

Frances, thanks for the reassurance! I knew you would be for it after mentioning the follow-up and its lavender cover :).
I feel better now.

Paperback Reader said...

Lena, I look forward to joining in the discussion with you about The Housekeeper and the Professor!

Okay, now I want to read The Sweetness immediately! I'm glad that I don't regret my 50p request ;).

Jackie, I love your enthusiasm! I'll be reviewing The Housekeeper and the Professor today and think, after everyone's warm praise, I'll read The Sweetness soon.

Hi NovelWhore, thanks for commenting. I hope that you enjoy The Housekeeper and the Professor and I'm sure I'll enjoy The Sweetness now that everyone has commenting how much fun it is.

makedo, so pleased to have found someone who has read both Passing and Quicksand and confirm my preconceptions. I've had high hopes for those two for some time.

You are indeed in the minority but I appreciated the leveled response as now I'm prepared to be potentially disappointed, which I need reading a book that (mostly) everyone raves about.

Kirsty, thanks for the rave review and recommendation! My library has a copy of Women Who Did! If I may return the favour, I have an amazing collection that is out-of-print but worth hunting down, entitled That Kind of Woman: Stories from the Left Bank and Beyond (Virago) ed. by Bronte Adams.

Marg, I can't stick to my resolve! I'd love to read solely my own books but there are so many others that tempt me and at least I'm supporting my local library and my bank account by borrowing them.

Sophie, you should! Kate Chopin's short stories are wonderful but her novella, The Awakening (which is often included in collections of her short stories) is truly amazing and I HIGHLY recommend it.

I'm sure I will enjoy The Sweetness now that it comes so highly endorsed by fellow bloggers!

Anonymous said...

I'm off to hunt down 'That Kind of Woman' (so to speak) immediately - thanks!

Paperback Reader said...

Oh yay, I hope you find it (her)!

Carl V. said...

Sweetness is great, read it! :)

Paperback Reader said...

Thanks, Carl! I think I will :).

C.B. James said...

I read Daughters of Decadence for my Master's Thesis and enjoyed it. Like most collections, some stories are better than others, but these are all interesting, at least, for the historical perspective they provide.

Paperback Reader said...

Hi C.B. James, thanks for commenting. I am looking forward to the short stories, expecting that some will be stronger than others, and especially interested in that period of history.