Library Loot

With a tall stack of library books by my bed I should be content with what I’ve got and continue reading my way through it. But after returning several books to the library the other day I felt reckless and borrowed more. Will I ever learn? Probably not. 

 

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Claire’s blog.  

Library Loot

With a tall stack of library books by my bed I should be content with what I’ve got and not borrow more. Therefore, I didn’t get carried away the other day at the public library and only grabbed two. One of them, Imre Kertész’s semi-autobiographical novel Fatelessness I hope to apply to both Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge and Introverted Reader’s Books in Translation Reading Challenge. Interestingly enough, both books are by former residents of Hungary. 

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Sharlene’s blog.  

Library Loot

Every time I return a big stack of books to the public library I turn right around and grab more. That in fact is exactly what I did the other day. (And if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time I’m sure this isn’t exactly news to you!) In addition to my usual selection of books with an international focus I’ve  included a pair of intriguing memoirs. On top of that, five of the six books featured in this week’s Library Loot are by women authors. I’m hoping to apply three of these books towards Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge and one towards Introverted Reader’s Books in Translation Reading Challenge

  • Bitter Lemons of Cyprus: Life on a Mediterranean Island by Lawrence Durrell – I’ve never read anything about the island of Cyprus. Sounds perfect for the European Reading Challenge.
  • The Wrong End of the Telescope by Rabih Alameddine – Set on the Greek island of Lesbos, Lebanese doctor Mina Simpson is forced to confront a humanitarian crises at the island’s Moria refugee camp. 
  • Courage and Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson – Yet another book for the European Reading Challenge. 
  • A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande – A memoir by a woman who fled Mexico on foot at the tender age of nine years old to search of her family in the United States who later went  to graduate from UC Santa Cruz looked too hard to pass up. 
  • Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood – Just like A Dream Called Home, it was equally hard to pass up Lockwood’s memoir of being raised by a father who was, of all things, a Catholic priest. 
  • This House Is Mine by Dörte Hansen – I have a soft spot for books about refugees who fled East Prussia at the end of World War II. Translated from German, I’ll by applying this one towards the Books in Translation Reading Challenge. 

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Claire’s blog.  

Library Loot

After returning a big stack of books to the public library the other day I was ready for more. In past Library Loots I’ve tended to feature books by authors from outside the US. I’ve also spotlighted stuff by American authors either about, or set in foreign countries. This week is no exception. Much of Canadian writer Yann Martel’s novel is set in Portugal while Per Petterson’s is set in his native Norway. While James Angelos is an American, The Full Catastrophe chronicles his travels through Greece in the wake of the country’s horrible economic meltdown. Lastly, Bosnian writer Dzevad Karahasan explores the horrors inflected upon his nation’s capital during the horrific Yugoslavian Civil War of the 1990s. I’ll be applying all four of these books towards Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge and the bottom two towards Introverted Reader’s Books in Translation Reading Challenge

  • The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins by James Angelos – The worldwide recession of 2007/2008 hit Greece hard. While many nations were able to bounce back after a few short years Greece suffered catastrophic  damage that lasted a decade
  • The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel – 20 years ago Yann Martel’s Life of Pi rocked my world. If this 2016 offering of his is half as good I’ll be satisfied.
  • I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson – In 1989 as Communism unravels across Central and Eastern European a thirty-something Norwegian factory worker must come to grips with a failed marriage, cancer and the shattered illusions of his long-held communist beliefs.
  • Sarajevo, Exodus of a City by Dzevad Karahasan – I checked this one out last summer only to return in ignored and unread. I’d like to give it another shot. Just like last time I suspect I’ll either love it or hate it. Or both.

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Sharlene’s blog.  

Library Loot

After returning a small stack of books to the public library I was ready for more. In recent Library Loots I’ve been featuring a lot of fiction, much of it by authors from outside the US. This week I’ve returned to my old ways with a nice selection of nonfiction. But much like before, two of these authors are from outside the US. Helen Rappaport is from the United Kingdom while Gianni Guadalupi hails from Italy. With the exception of Rappaport’s Caught in the Revolution these books were published over 10 years ago. 

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Sharlene’s blog.  

Library Loot

Just like always I dropped by the public library to return some books and grabbed a few more. One is a novel by an Indian author now living in the United States. Once again, the other is a work of nonfiction by a British author currently residing in London. 

  • Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal – After strolling by this 2009 debut novel every week for the last month or so my curiosity finally got the better of me. I’ve had pretty good luck with Indian writers over the years and I’m hoping with this one that luck continues. 
  • Descartes: The Life and Times of a Genius by A.C. Grayling – I borrowed this one on a whim. Hopefully it will help enlighten me on the 17th century. 

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Claire’s blog.  

Library Loot

I dropped by the public library the other day to return some books only to grab a few more. Just like last time I selected a pair of books by authors from outside the United States. Penelope Lively is a British resident of London while Yasmina Khadra is the pseudonym of exiled Algerian writer Mohammed Moulessehoul who’s lived in France for years. 

  • Dancing Fish and Ammonites by Penelope Lively – I’ve borrowed this book several times only return it ignored and unread. Needing something representing the United Kingdom for Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge I’m hoping this time I finally read it. 
  • The Attack by Yasmina Khadra- Always hard for me to resist novels set in the Middle East, especially by native authors. Harder still if it’s deckle edged

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Sharlene’s blog.  

Library Loot

I finished Keith Gessen’s A Terrible Country and still making my way through Karl Tobien’s Dancing Under the Red Star: The Extraordinary Story of Margaret Werner, the Only American Woman to Survive Stalin’s Gulag. Last night I started Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters Street. Yesterday, I drove into town to get my second booster shot and on the way back stopped by the library to return a book. Even though I have a big stack of library books next to my bed I was is still in the mood to grab a few more, especially stuff of an international flavor.  

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Sharlenes’ blog.  

These two authors hail from outside United States and are expats. Heather Morris was born in New Zealand but now resides in Australia. Borris Akunin, Russian-Georgian author and longtime resident of Moscow moved to London in 2014. 

  • Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris – While it seems like everyone is gaga over Morris’s The Tattooist Of Auschwitz I’m going to start with her 2019 follow-up. Looks like a good companion to Dancing Under the Red Star
  • Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel by Boris Akunin – A Russian cult leader is murdered aboard a steamship en route from Imperial Russia to Ottoman Palestine and it’s up to Sister Pelagia, a Russian Orthodox nun to catch his killer. A historical whodunnit set against the backdrop of 19th century Russian religious millennialism was too much to pass up.

Library Loot: A World of Fiction

I’m almost done with Keith Gessen’s A Terrible Country, I’m a third of a way into Karl Tobien’s Dancing Under the Red Star: The Extraordinary Story of Margaret Werner, the Only American Woman to Survive Stalin’s Gulag and even though I haven’t touched any of the books from my last library trip I still found myself wanting more. Not just any books, I wanted novels by authors outside the United States, or set in countries outside the United States. Around here we’re starting to hit a stretch of nice spring weather and I’d like to relive those pleasant evenings and weekend afternoons I spent on my porch or deck reading great International fare like Vendela Vida’s The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty, Jennifer Clement’s Prayers for the Stolen or Mahi Binebine’s Horses of God. With that in mind I went looking for fiction of an international flavor.  

Each of are by authors residing outside the United States. Two are American expats, one a native Japanese and the other a Nigerian immigrant living in Belgium. As far as settings go, it’s a fairly diverse lot set in the Jordan, Japan, Belgium and a purposely unspecified “old European city.” 

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Claire’s blog.  

  • On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe – A novel about African women forced to work as prostitutes in Antwerp’s red light district doesn’t sound like cheery reading. But the reviews are glowing so I’ll give it a try. 
  • Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino –  I’ve never read anything by a Japanese writer so this will be a first. I’m a sucker for anything set in the early 1970s. 
  • The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon – Set in Amman, Jordan during the early days of the Arab Spring this mystery/thriller involving the wives of two American military personnel sounds promising. 
  • The Apartment by Greg Baxter – An Amazon “Best Book of the Month” for December 2013, this slim 200 page novel set in a Prague-like city sounds like the perfect thing to read on a lazy weekend afternoon. 

As I’m writing this on a Sunday morning the weather looks amazing. I can’t wait to get outside and start reading. 

Library Loot

As the first quarter of 2022 came to a close I realized I haven’t been devoting much attention to my one of my favorite reading challenges. For the better part of a decade I’ve eagerly taken part in Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge. Each year I’ve read and reviewed at least a dozen, sometimes two dozen books with each one about, or set it a different European country, or by a different European author. Sadly, for this year’s iteration of the challenge I’ve read just two books: Andrey Kurkov’s  Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches From Kiev and Cristina García’s Here in Berlin. Feeling the need to step up my game, I dropped by the public library and grabbed a small stack of books, each applicable towards the challenge. 

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted Claire from The Captive Reader and Sharlene from Real Life Reading to encourage bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write-up your post, steal the Library Loot icon and link your post using the Mr. Linky on Claire’s blog.  

  • A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen – I’ve been hankering to read some fiction set in Russia. Time Magazine called Gessen’s novel “hilarious” and essential reading for understanding today’s Russia. 
  • A Hero of France by Alan Furst –  As far as historical fiction goes Furst’s Night Soldiers series of novels are my all-time faves. 
  • The Hundred-Year Walk: An Armenian Odyssey by Dawn Anahid MacKeen – I’ve been wanting to read something on the Armenian Genocide for a long time. This book might count as Turkey towards the reading challenge. 
  • Encounters and Destinies: A Farewell to Europe by Stefan Zweig – As I continue to read about Central Europe’s Interwar period, I keep coming across references to Zweig. Originally, I thought I’d start with some of his short stories but I found this recently published collection of essays hard to pass up. 

This weekend the rain has returned and believe it or not, we’re expected to experience colder temperatures and even snow flurries. With a forecast like that I think I’ll just hunker down and read a few good books. Maybe even one of these.