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Library Loot : 22 – 28 September 2010

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

I have been trying to plough through the last big library loot last month. So I have been restraining myself from bringing back a big pile home when I visit the library every week.

Over the month I have brought back some books from the library, so here they are:

From top to bottom:

  • Great Expectations by Charles Dicknen– I especially reserved the Penguin Red copy because the typesettings are neat and the layout is tidy. I am picky about the type and size of fonts and I get agitated if I have to read sentences which are cluttered. Do you feel the same?
  • The Maid by Yasutaka Tsutsui – Packaged as new release I was misled to think that Tsutsui was a new author, imagine my surprise when I discovered this one was published in 1972!! It is about the hilarious experience of a live-in maid who could read minds and this supernatural gift led to many hilarious experience and scandals.
  • Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry – Found this on shelf and thought I should start reading Mistry with this one. All three of Rohinton Mistry’s novels, A Fine Balance, Family Matters and this one was shortlisted for Man Booker Prize but didn’t go on to win any. I like to leave the best book of a (favourite) author to the last if I can, that way I can be wowed as I move up the good book ladder.
  • The Power and Glory by Graham Greene – Moving up the good book ladder works on this one too as I have read 3 books of Graham Greene and this one is listed in The 1001 books you must read before you die. So I hope this is good if not better than the other 3 I have read.
  • Temple of the Golden Pavillion, Spring Snow and Runaway Horses by Yukio Mishima – These 3 books are collected from a library where I work. After reading two of Mishima’s books last month I am determine to set out to read his Sea of Fertility tetralogy. No libraries that I know stock up the last 2 books of the tetralogy so I might have to cave in and resort to buying them from Amazon.
  • Love in the Headscarf by Shelina Zahra JanMohammed – A memoir with a hilarious twist from one of Britain’s leading female Muslim writers. It promises an entertaining, fresh and great insight into a young British Muslim woman out to seek love. Torn between the Buxom Aunties, romantic comedies and mosque Imams, she decides to follow the arranged-marriage route to finding Mr Right, Muslim-style.

I really really must stop looting any further. I already feel a lot of pressure with the mounting library pile. I also need to get on and read books that will complete the remaining reading challenges.

How about you? What are you reading now?


About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


40 thoughts on “Library Loot : 22 – 28 September 2010

  1. Great haul! My loot mound is also ever expanding. And of course right now I’m reading books I own…. eek! A reader’s job is never done! 😉

    Posted by Mollie | September 22, 2010, 3:00 pm
  2. What am I reading now? I am still stuck at that Tragic Universe. Ha ha ha. And meanwhile, I have already finished reading two other books. I am very determined to finish that tragic book.

    Posted by Wilfrid | September 22, 2010, 4:05 pm
    • Oh dear this is so tragic Wilfrid. Just abandon it. 😉

      Posted by JoV | September 22, 2010, 9:06 pm
      • Nooooooo! I will not abandon … hahaha.

        OK. Thank God I have finished reading it this morning. I think I will jump the queue and publish the book summary for that tragic book rather than some other book summaries I have scheduled to publish.

        Posted by Wilfrid | September 23, 2010, 2:18 pm
        • Can’t wait to read your “tragic” review Wilfrid. Since you have gone through such a pain to read it, I am expecting a tragic review. 😉

          Posted by JoV | September 23, 2010, 10:09 pm
          • Yes, the tragic book summary is out … kekeke.

            I notice that you give “Our Tragic Universe” a 4.5. I wonder what you would give for “The End Of Mr. Y”, which I think is a much better book. It is what “Our Tragic Universe” could have been. But then again, since you love “Tragic”, I suspect you may not like the mathematical / scientific fantasy of “Mr. Y”.

            Posted by Wilfrid | September 24, 2010, 4:47 pm
          • Ahh.. refer to my earlier comment to Mee, Wilfrid. I’ll leave her best work for the next read. I’ll definitely read “The End of Mr. Y” and we’ll see how I feel about scientific fantasy, although I don’t mind mathematical fantasy.

            To each his own. The world would be a boring place if we love the same thing. 😉

            Posted by JoV | September 24, 2010, 8:16 pm
          • Indeed. Life would be boring if so 🙂

            In fact, I was trying to be in your shoes. It does make sense that “Tragic” may appear different and fresh. And if I was to read “Tragic” first, my expectation for her other books may follow what I like in the first read. It happens in the music review scene too! More so I think. And we always end up with some very interesting debates.

            Posted by Wilfrid | September 25, 2010, 4:51 am
  3. I’ve enjoyed discovering your blog tremendously! Yes, fonts and typeset are important, I agree. To enjoy a book to the fullest, it must look and feel right in every aspect, absolutely.

    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

    Posted by Judith (Reader in the Wilderness) | September 22, 2010, 9:25 pm
    • Hi Judith, why, thank you! Nice having you here. A book must look and feel right, I just don’t know how I feel about switching to e-books. Call me archaic, but it won’t be some time soon! 😉

      Posted by JoV | September 23, 2010, 8:16 am
  4. I’m incredibly jealous that your library has a copy of Love in a Headscarf! It’s one of those titles that I’m eager to read but not enough to buy it for myself.

    Enjoy your loot!

    Posted by Claire (The Captive Reader) | September 22, 2010, 10:19 pm
  5. I’m glad to announce I just finished the last of my library books…which obviously means I’m allowed to go back now and take more out 🙂

    Posted by jessicabookworm | September 23, 2010, 8:11 am
  6. Well done Jessica 😉 I should be more like you, I should really really finish ALL of them before going back for more. 😦

    Posted by JoV | September 23, 2010, 8:57 am
  7. I love, love, LOVE Yukio Mishima, though I’ve only read two of his novels. I think Temple of the Golden Pavilion is a masterpiece, so you are in for a real treat there. I too want to read his Sea of Fertility series at some point – if only the books weren’t so hard to come by!

    Posted by Steph | September 23, 2010, 3:17 pm
  8. Now that’s what I call ‘loot’! I like what you’ve picked out there. Nice array of genre’s. I read Graham Greene’s ‘The Quiet American’ for 1001 books this year, I didn’t know there was another one on the list. Must make a note of that. Have a great time reading them!

    Posted by mywordlyobsessions | September 23, 2010, 9:25 pm
  9. Nice haul ! I’ve been wanting to read that particular Graham Greene book for a long time. Can’t wait to read your reviews !

    Posted by maphead | September 24, 2010, 1:15 am
    • Thanks for dropping by Mark! It’s something about Graham Greene, I love his novels. So easy to read and so deep in observation and reflection. The Quiet American is my favourite. I’m just at awe at writers who could write a short book and give such BIG impact. 😀

      Posted by JoV | September 24, 2010, 8:08 pm
  10. Jo I found it interesting that you would read an author’s lesser works first and save the best for last. For me I always go for the author’s magnum opus first, because if I don’t like it, I wouldn’t have any pressure to read any more of their works (I’ve read their masterpiece after all, so what else is left?). And if I love it, I’m already a fan, so even though their other books are not as great (in fact I never expect them to be), I’m still in for a good treat. Too many authors and all you know. Gotta be selective. 😉

    Posted by mee | September 24, 2010, 3:55 am
    • Of course we have to be selective Mee! 🙂 I won’t do this for all authors, but those which heralded as great and I think whose work I would love, I’ll reserve the best for last. Say for example everyone says Murakami’s Norwegian Wood is good right? Imagine I read this and felt indifferent for the rest of his novels, it would spoilt it for me! The same goes for Mistry and Mishima and other greats that can’t come to mind right now… 🙂

      Posted by JoV | September 24, 2010, 8:11 pm
  11. Great list of books. I usually go for the latest and work my way to the oldest.

    Posted by Natalie | September 24, 2010, 2:27 pm
  12. What a fascinating selection of books you borrowed. I personally think The Maid by Yasutaka Tsutsui sounds REALLY fun. Enjoy!

    Posted by Christine | September 25, 2010, 12:49 pm
    • You will love “The Maid” by TsuTsui Christine. I have bumped it up on my TBR pile and reading it now, it’s thought provoking and scandalous! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by JoV | September 25, 2010, 9:56 pm
  13. The Power and the Glory is one of my favorite books. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

    Posted by Megan | September 25, 2010, 2:45 pm
  14. Wonderful loot, Jo! Hope you enjoy reading all of them! Would love to hear your thoughts on the Yukio Mishima books.

    I love the fact that you are reading ‘Camus : A Romance’ now 🙂 I love this photograph of Camus – this guy is cool and stylish, isn’t he 🙂 He would have put some movie stars of his era to shame! And he fought with the resistance, was underground during the second world war, distributed pamphlets, was one of the founders of existentialism and then won the Nobel prize! How more adventurous can life get 🙂

    Posted by Vishy | September 27, 2010, 7:42 am
    • Hi Vishy, you know Camus well!! I’m impressed! He done all you have mentioned and more in poor health condition (Tuberculosis)! Isn’t that just simply awesome?? Such a short and full life he lived. 🙂

      Posted by JoV | September 27, 2010, 12:35 pm
      • I fell in love with Camus’ works after I read ‘The Outsider’. I didn’t know that he had tuberculosis though – to have achieved all these with poor health is really amazing! Another writer whom I can think of, who led a rich life was Ernest Hemingway.

        Posted by Vishy | October 1, 2010, 9:35 am
        • @Vishy, Interestingly I haven’t read Hemingway. Although I owned a copy of a translated copy of The Old Man and The Sea translated in another foreign language which I could read when I was very very young! 😉 I got to, got to, read a novel by Hemingway soon.

          Posted by JoV | October 3, 2010, 8:34 pm
  15. Stumbled upon this blog and was delighted to find some lovely reviews here! Just dropped in to say great blog and keep it going 🙂

    Posted by Birdy | September 27, 2010, 9:30 am
  16. I absolutely loved this loot of yours! I am very interested to see how you find The Maid – I think the last Japanese authored book I read was NP by Banana Yoshimoto. Lovely blog you have – and oh, I picked up Mohsin Ahmed – have you read any of his? His Reluctant Fundamentalist is one of the best I read from the Asian subcontinent! 🙂

    Posted by SoulMuser | September 27, 2010, 2:38 pm
    • Nice to have you here SoulMuser! I am excited about my loot too!! I’m reading the Maid now, so far so good. I’d like to read all Banana Yoshimoto’s novels. Such great compliments from you (make one blush). I read The Reluctant Fundamentalist in 2008 (pre-blogging days) and felt ambivalent about it, perhaps I have missed the point, but will surely try reading it again one of these days. What other books you read from Asian subcontinent? I love to read books from both Asian subcontinent and Asia proper too and have read lots of them! 😀

      Posted by JoV | September 27, 2010, 9:54 pm
  17. Oh great loot! I am picky about the size of the text cause I’m blind! ;P But penguin often hjas really small print which makes me think about getting a magnifying glass 😀 Hope you’ll enjoy the Dickens, I really liked it.

    Your loot always makes me want to read more Japanese lit. Will have to remeber to take the list with me to the library, I always forget that and can never remember their names. You know I love Yoshimoto, so which Japanese author should I read next? 🙂

    Happy reading, Jo!

    Posted by Bina | September 27, 2010, 8:55 pm
    • @Bina, Thanks! Have you read Haruki Murakami? I think you do. Try Yasutaka TsuTsui too, a rare find without too much violence or sex. Since the blogosphere has been raving about it, I think you should pick Yukio Ogawa’s novels (any one of them) first! 😉

      Posted by JoV | September 27, 2010, 10:25 pm

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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