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Library Loot: February 23 to March 1

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. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries! This week Marg has the link.

Two weeks ago I took my boys to Reading Town Centre to see my banker and also paid a visit to the Reading Central Library.

The local library left much to be desired, but whenever I am in the Central library I usually see a lot of books that caught my attention. I have been very good in keeping my library books down to two at one time, but responding to the call of maxing out my library loans (due to the recent threat of the government to close down a few), I said to myself what the heck, lets do this for the local libraries even if I take out books that I wouldn’t have time to read anyway.

So here are some of them….

Pile 1: Pile of books that may go great with my Cornish Butter and Sultana Scones would be:

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles – The blurb offers no spoilers. One of Paul Bowles’ famous work, the Sheltering Sky is about two couples who wander into the Sahara desert and face the undercurrent of an alien culture and dangers of the desert. Bowles went to Tangier, Morocco in 1947 and live there until his death in 1999. Many of his novels are set in Morocco, which piques my interest no end.

The Last Orders by Graham Swift and Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively are two Man Booker Prize Winners 1996 and 1987 respectively. I am doing quite well on the Man Booker Prize reading, although I don’t like most of them but I am determine to try to read them all anyway. Perverse, I know.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – I have mix feeling about this book, yet this may be an intriguing, horrifying?, sci-fi read about the famous monster that I have heard so much about. Have you read this? If so, what do you think about it? Should I read it?

Then comes a book I couldn’t pronounce both the title and the name of the author, here goes: One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I applaud you if you manage and will kiss your leg if you manage to spell it after the first glance! The novel is a product of poor Solzhenitsyn’s 8 years (1945 – 1953) in the Russian gulag because he was charged for making derogatory remark about Stalin. That was not to be the end of his tribulation, in 1974 he was deported from the country for publishing “The Gulag Archipelago”, and it wasn’t until 1994 that he was allowed to return home. At 143 pages, the least I can do is get to know this great courageous man who wrote the book.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell – again another mix feeling about this one. Some love it, some hate it, but I heard more people who hate it than loving it. This is going to be made a movie, if I heard it right. I like Ghostwritten a lot, let’s see what I make of this.

Hell by Yasutaka Tsutsui – Read The Maid last September, kind of like it. Hell is his better known one. Easy read, won’t take long.

The Boat to Redemption by Su Tong – this book is the winner of Asian Man Literary Booker Prize 2009. First book on my mission to complete all the winners on the prize list. The shortlist for 2010 is out and the winner will be announced in March.

Pile 2: Pile of books that may go great with a mango, except I am nowhere near one:

Earlier that week, I took home two other books from the library.

A Case of Exploding Mangoes – I have heard so much about this book and wanted to read it for awhile. It’s a political satire and speculation about the cause of a Hercules C130 plane that went down together with Pakistan’s military dictator General Zia ul Haq and the American Ambassador in 17 August 1988. Promise to be both witty and hilarious, I am sure this book would be a joy ride.

I can’t help picking this book up, because HG Wells’ Kipps is presented in this new edition of a very unique cover.

The book cover was designed by both graduates of Norwich University College of the Arts Luke Roberts and Simon Harry Cox is on the shelves of bookshops nationwide after their hardback cover concepts for a set of novels by H G Wells were commissioned by Orion Publishing Group.

The five book series covers some of Wells’s non-science-fiction work: Tono-BungayAnn VeronicaThe History of Mr PollyLove & Mr Lewisham and Kipps. The books have been released under the publisher’s W&N imprint.

The book cover is like a retro newspaper, with everything that you would expect from a book, i.e. the title, reviews from publishers, the introduction, the blurb, and even the bar code and price of the book are placed strategically (and traditionally placed on all hardback books) on the newspaper article that serves its purpose.

If you don’t know about Kipps, Artie Kipps is a poor orphan who inherited a fortune, and was catapulted into the high society and has to learn to be a proper gentleman overnight. Of course there is a lot more to being a gentleman than it would first appear….

A copy of Kipps’ e-book can be downloaded from here. Please help yourself to it.

Not sure if I would read all of my library loot, what with work, home, TBR dare (I am suppose to read more from my own shelf) and all, but this lot from the library sure looks very, very enticing!

About JoV

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


11 thoughts on “Library Loot: February 23 to March 1

  1. Excellent loot ! Years ago a former co-worker of mine introduced me to the writings of Paul Bowles and since then I’ve always enjoyed his writing. The Sheltering Sky in one of my favorite novels of all time. I hope you enjoy it. One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is a short but incredibly powerful book. I read it a few years back and enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy it too.
    Happy reading !!!

    Posted by maphead | February 26, 2011, 4:58 pm
  2. That is enviable loot indeed! Shelley, Swift and Solzhenitsyn. You are gonna love those three, I can vouch for it. I read the Solzhenitsyn last month and I swear that same thing went through my head when I saw ‘Ivan Denisovich’. I had to get to know this writer, and 143 pages is nothing really.

    Hope you enjoy your reads!

    Posted by mywordlyobsessions | February 26, 2011, 9:51 pm
  3. Envy your loot! I just returned from the library myself and I had to stop myself at five books (er, not enough time to read, already heaps of books on my bookshelf to read…), but now I just want to turn around and go back again! I’m looking forward to your review of Hell (I read his “Paprika”, which was much better animated than written) and Su Tong’s book!

    Posted by Chinoiseries | February 27, 2011, 4:01 pm
  4. A bit late to the party! I met Mohammed Hanif when he visited Sydney Writers’ Festival and thought he was very funny. I’ve been wanting to read A Case of Exploding Mangoes but it keeps pushed down the priority. Will be interested to know what you think of it. Su Tong’s book too. Also I’ve been meaning to read Frankenstein and Cloud Atlas forever. Sigh.

    Posted by mee | March 10, 2011, 3:30 am
    • Mee, it’s always the case of looking at ppl’s pile and go “I want to read this, this and this”, and wish we have a reading speed of lightning and could read All of them! I know how you feel. 😉 It must be so cool to meet Hanif. I can’t quite make anything out of the exploding mangoes yet, but I will make sure my head doesn’t get exploded by trying to read on the train and working in the office! 🙂

      Posted by JoV | March 13, 2011, 3:32 pm


  1. Pingback: It’s a Wrap: February 2011 « Bibliojunkie - February 28, 2011

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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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