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Library Loot: December 8 – 14, 2010 (and book purchase)

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.

This week Claire has the link and I hope Claire settled down in her new place and all the best with everything!

I am not doing a November wrap-up because my reading achievement is another flop last month. 😦

On the book looting and shopping department, I think I score a high. 🙂 It must be the season of Christmas shopping that sent my shopping binge to the max. These are what I have got from the library:

Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks – Book of Mee is reading this and when I found the copy sitting on my next door’s public library, I just have to have it. Geraldine went undercover, sometimes wearing a chador as a camouflage, she was granted meetings (and intimate insights) by everyone from Queen Noor of Jordan to former Iranian President Rafsanjani’s daughter, invited to homes and lives of these women where she found real stories about Muslim women that overturn Western Stereotypes, as I have witnessed, and trust Geraldine will present the truth in a tantalising way.

Being British – the search for the Values that bind the nation. Americans have a clear national value, Liberty, freedom… etc. But what are values of British? I hope this book will shed some lights, contributors includes British of all walks of life, including TV personalities and writers; and a introduction from the former PM, Gordon Brown, this book looks readable without appearing daunting.

Where in the world is Osama bin Laden? By Morgan Spurlock – Osama Bin Laden is old news, but my library put this up for “In the News” library feature month. I took a look at it and remembered in 2008 I watched the documentary DVD and enjoyed it, it was really hilarious! This is a travelogue + humour + documentary tie-in, I can’t resist this one!

The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphordite by Beatrice Colin – This book is a Richard and Judy club read in 2009, it tells a true story of illegitimate, orphaned daughter of a cabaret dancer, Lilly Nelly Aphrodite’s early life. Transformed from maid to war bride to nightclub girl, she becomes one of Germany’s leading silent stars.

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick – I reserved the book before the recent shelling at Yeonpyeong island in South Korea occurred. This book won the 2010 BBC Samuel Johnson non-fiction book prize. Demick a correspondent for Los Angeles Times draws on personal experiences of North Korean defects and tells a story which is both ludicrously painful and poignant. Ludicrous because of the many unbelievable, nonsensical repressive ways of the regime. I am reading this now and I just have to shake my head several times in disbelief while reading the book. It is a delectable read. Anyone who cares about current affairs should read this one.

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami – at 132 pages, this novella consists of 6 short stories of Murakami’s creation that relates to experience of the Kobe earthquake.

Freedom: Short stories celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – at 427 pages, the book is a rich collection of 50 stories by some of the best fiction writers in the world today, i.e. Xiaolu Guo, David Mitchell, Ali Smith, Kate Atkinson, Banana Yoshimoto, Helen Dunmore, Paulo Coelho, Yanni Martel, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nadine Gordimer, Rohinton Mistry, Marina Lewycka and Henning Mankell to name a few who contribute to this amazing collection. All royalties are donated to the Amnesty International.

On top of my library loot, it is worthy to mention that I found a copy of A fine balance by Rohinton Mistry and Moby Dick – in half the timeJill of Rhapsody in Books who has read Moby Dick in full length will probably scorn at me for reading this in half the time! 😀 Yes there is such thing as half the time series. Published in 2007, only 7 classics are featured in the series, suitable for readers who want to know the gist of classics but do not want to go through the pain of reading the entire book. More about this, please click the following links:

Not in the order of the book stack in the picture, here are what I have purchased on the last week of November:

  • Nothing to Lose by Lee Child,
  • Hold Tight by Harlan Coben,
  • Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz,
  • Star Wars – The attack of the clones.

I am shopping for a friend who reads mystery and thrillers. So the 4 titles up there is not something I would normally read, but I’m definitely curious about Lee Child, Coben and Koontz. If I am not uptight about needing to read books which are 100,001 books you need to read before you die, these are great for my guilty pleasure reading.

Budapest by Chico Buarque – I like this one. Ex-library copy. 6 fiction books for £1 withdrawn from library shelf. Just got to have it.

Alice’s adventures in Wonderland and through the Looking glass by Lewis Carroll – I have an older Penguin edition, thought I get the Vintage version to compare, since it’s a new copy.

The September Girls by Maureen Lee – Ex-library copy. Not my kind of read, but just trying to make up the numbers to 6 fictions books for £1. There wasn’t anything left that is worth looting, so I pick this up.

The Secret Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miller – Ex-library copy. I have read this last year.

Budapest, Lonely Planet – Ex-library copy. 3 non-fiction books for £3, add this one in my basket.

A Place in France by Nigel Farrell – The blurb says: An immensely humorous and original tale of Englishmen abroad, inspired from the hit Channel 4 series of the same name. Charting the adventures of affable Nigel, looking for a place to renovate in the deepest Ardeche, this compelling, original and slightly bonkers tale sees him first foray to France with the common-sensical Nippy, and later take up partnership with the truly eccentric Reza, as the pair decide to open up an Indian restaurant. Perfectly capturing the cultural and emotional wrangles of moving abroad, the book is bursting with character; featuring mad estate agents, a love triangle between Nigel, a pretty French girl – and her boyfriend – the trials of persuading people that Indian cuisine is what is needed in the French countryside, a chef that pulls out of the project a week before the grand opening, and of course Reza’s recipes (which appears in the back of the book), this is a great stand alone read that also enjoys television support with the transmission of the new peak-time series.

Norway – DK witness travel guide – For a time I really look forward to go to the Nordics, Sweden or Norway. The Northern Light and the Fjords are two compelling reasons to do so, and also to see the beautiful national costumes of Norwegian, Bunad, complete with head gears. 😉

Photo credit

Last but not least,

Solar by Ian McEwanSolar is an engrossing and satirical novel which focuses on climate change. Michael Beard is in his late fifties; bald, overweight, unprepossessing – a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. An inveterate philanderer, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering. When Beard’s professional and personal worlds are entwined in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself, a chance for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster. I read On Chesil Beach, and definitely like to read Saturday and this one next. I got this Hardback for 50p or less.

There are four more books coming from Amazon UK, including 3 more books I received today as Christmas gift. More about this later. 😉

In the meantime, what about you? What have you loot or bought this week?

About JoV

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


20 thoughts on “Library Loot: December 8 – 14, 2010 (and book purchase)

  1. That’s… a lot of books!

    I’m waiting on a few (a lot of) books to get here from the Book Depository, but I think the Christmas post is going to delay them somewhat – bah, humbug!

    Posted by Tony | December 8, 2010, 11:43 am
  2. Great loot. Enjoy!

    Posted by Linda | December 8, 2010, 2:36 pm
  3. great haul ,Jo I m looking at envy at Budapest had that on order since august at my library but they’v e lost it ,the north Korean book looks good ,I enjoyed solar when I read it ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | December 8, 2010, 6:47 pm
  4. not with current cutbacks may see if I can find a cheap copy on amazon

    Posted by winstonsdad | December 8, 2010, 10:39 pm
  5. I’m just zipping around the blogosphere, reminding bloggers…If you have read any wonderful literary books
    published in 2010, I urge you to nominate your favorites
    for The Independent Literary Awards. The awards
    include categories of Literary Fiction and Literary Non-Fiction.

    I’m especially interested in having some great nominees for nonfiction!

    Posted by debnance at readerbuzz | December 9, 2010, 12:49 am
  6. Nothing to Envy looks great and has been on my TBR list for a while. Hope I’m able to get around to it soon!

    Enjoy your loot!

    Posted by Claire (The Captive Reader) | December 9, 2010, 2:03 am
  7. I had a bad reading month in November too…I only read…3 or 4 books. That’s pretty bad for me! I’ve also been cutting down on my library expeditions b/c I end up checking out WAY more than I could ever read during the check out period! I hope you enjoy all your loot!

    Posted by Mollie | December 9, 2010, 3:57 pm
  8. Very cool LL and book pile! 🙂 The Geraldine Brooks book looks interesting, can’t wait to see what you make of it. Did you enjoy reading Pippa Lee? I’ve been considering giving it a try. Hope you have a great reading month, I have no idea how you keep up with everything! 🙂

    Posted by Bina | December 10, 2010, 9:04 pm
    • Bina, keep up with buying books you mean? hahaha 😀 I haven’t been reading much. I was a bit ambivalent about Pippa Lee, but it’s a girlie, woman book, so in some ways as a woman you may relate to her feelings… a cosy read, but nothing memorable. 😉

      Posted by JoV | December 11, 2010, 12:53 pm
  9. I read Nine Parts of Desire earlier this year – it is excellent. One of my favorite books this year!

    Posted by Colleen (Books in the City) | December 11, 2010, 3:39 pm
  10. Can’t wait to read your review of Nothing to Envy. With North Korea constantly in the news i think it would be a great book to read right now.

    Posted by maphead | December 13, 2010, 1:05 am
    • Maphead, this surpass my expectations. Besides North Korea in the news, this is human tragedy of vast proportion. I finished it yesterday and I was going to head straight to your blog and tell you that you must, you simply must read this book. You will enjoy and appreciate it. It’s the best non-fiction, or book that I have read this year!

      Posted by JoV | December 13, 2010, 9:04 am

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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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