For a long time, Library Loot was a regular feature on my blog. Almost every week I would report to the world which books I grabbed from the public library, and in turn link that post on another book blogger’s page. This arrangement not only helped my readers get a glimpse into what I hoped to read over the coming weeks, it also gave me the opportunity to see what other book bloggers planned on reading. I discovered many a great book thanks to this little meme, including Keith Lowe’s Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II, since it was a Library Loot posting on Claire’s blog The Captive Reader that first brought Lowe’s book to my attention. But sadly, I fell out of the habit of doing Library Loot posts, with my last one appearing two years ago.
Today, on this warm and lazy July 4th holiday I’ve decided to resurrect that little blogging tradition of mine. Behold, a parade of recently acquired books, courtesy of my public library. Of course, it’s no sure thing I’ll end up reading all of them, but perhaps that’s not the point. Maybe the purpose is to share your reading ambitions with others. So, with all that in mind, here’s what I’ve brought home recently from the public library.
- The World at Night by Alan Furst – Last summer I discovered the novels of Alan Furst and never looked back. I’m hoping this one is as enjoyable as the seven others I’ve read.
- The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World by John O’ Sullivan – I was drawn to this one because I’m planning on reading Christian Caryl’s Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century. Since O’ Sullivan was Editor at Large for the conservative magazine National Review when he wrote this book I’m intrigued by what he has to say about Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II and how it might differ from my own, slightly less conservative view of the world.
- The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran by Hooman Majd – Majd’s The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran is one of the best books on Iran I’ve read. I’m hoping this one is great as well.
- Year Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Buruma – The more I read about this one, the better it sounds. I bet it will make great follow-up reading to Savage Continent.
- Gutenberg’s Apprentice by Alix Christie – Grabbed this with the European Reading Challenge in mind. Might feature it as part of my Books About Books series.
- The Family: A Journey into the Heart of the Twentieth Century by David Laskin – Laskin’s The Long Way Home: An American Journey from Ellis Island to the Great War was pretty good. Hoping I enjoy this one too.
- Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir by Penelope Lively – Another one I might read for the European Reading Challenge. Or not. We’ll just have to wait and see.
- The Genetic Strand: Exploring a Family History Through DNA by Edward Ball – Looks like many have criticized this book for its scientific inaccuracies. Guess I’ll have to read it to find out what folks are complaining about.
- The Figaro Murders by Laura Lebow – Another one for the European Reading Challenge. Since it’s a first time novel, I’m curious to see how good it is.
Well, there it is. Quite a lot of reading ahead of me. If I make it though only a portion of these of books I’ll consider it a major accomplishment. So with that in mind, maybe I need to wrap up this long overdue Library Loot post and get back to reading.