Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Library Loot

Hosted by Eva and Alessandra.

This Week's Loot

Onitsha by J.M.G. Le Clezio (1992) Nobel Laureate 2008

206 pages pb. translated from the French

"Onitsha tells the story of Fintan, a youth who travels to Africa in 1948 with his Italian mother to join the English father he has never met. Fintan is initially enchanted by the exotic world he discovers in Onitsha, a bustling city prominently situated on the eastern bank of the Niger River. But gradually he comes to recognize the intolerance and brutality of the colonial system. His youthful point of view provides the novel with a notably direct, horrified perspective on racism and colonialism. In the words of translator Alison Anderson, "Onitsha" is remarkable for its "almost mythological evocation of local history and beliefs." It is full of atmosphere - sights, sounds, smells - and at times the author's sentences seem to flow with the dreamy languor of the river itself. But J. M. G. Le Clezio "never lets us forget the harsh realities of life nor the subsequent tragedy of war." A startling account - and indictment - of colonialism, "Onitsha" is also a work of clear, forthright prose that ably portrays both colonial Nigeria and a young boy's growing outrage."

I read The Interrogation and thought it was nothing to write home about. It wasn't really my choice, it was what the library had on hand until they purchased more of his work-at my request-which they did. I rarely do enjoy books written by people when they're 23 years old. This is one of his mature novels so I'm still hoping he can dazzle me.

Asta In The Wings by Jan Elizabeth Watson (2009)

This caught my eye on a book blog and I'm sorry I don't remember whose.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button*** by F. Scott Fitzgerald (completed)

I suspect this may be the one instance of a film making a better story than the book. I haven't seen it, I'm just guessing from what people have said. For its time it certainly would have been different and "curious". I've only read The Great Gatsby but Button doesn't seem representative of his better works. Still glad I read it though.

The Winner of Sorrow by Brian Lynch

The Music Teacher**** by Barbara Hall (completed)

They sent me the wrong book. I wanted The Piano Teacher by Janice. Y. Lee but my son who picks up my books at the library had no way of knowing that. I decided to read it anyway after seeing the opening lines and I'm glad I did.

"I am the mean music teacher. I am that cranky woman you remember from your youth, the one whose face you dreaded seeing, whose breath you dreaded smelling as I leaned over you tugging at your fingers."

And some mysteries because I was in the mood for some one evening and ordered them. Now I just have to hope the mood hits again before my three weeks are up.

The Angel of Knowlton Park by Kate Flora
Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs
The Silver Needle Murder by Laura Childs

Comments pro or con, links to reviews, and reading recommendations are welcomed. No spoilers please.

What did you bring home from the library this week?


  1. There's nothing I know in your libray pile this week, but don't they look like a great set of books?! I'll be interested to know how you get on with them. Happy reading!

  2. You got some good ones. I'm glad to see you liked The Music Teacher since it's in my TBR pile.

  3. I loved The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night, but have never read The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (or any of Fitzgerald's other stories).

    I'd like to read The Piano Teacher, too. Glad the 'mistake' turned out to be a good one!

  4. Sometimes the mistakes can be the best ones ever!! I've not read any of the books on your list but Asta's cover I like and The Music Teacher does sound interesting!!

  5. I haven't read any of these but they do sound good. Enjoy ;)

  6. Onitsha sounds great - I'll be adding it to my TBR list!

  7. That first book looks awesome!!

    I got the wrong book from the library this week too, but it was my fault. I thought I was getting the 2nd in a trilogy but I got the 3rd! I think these things need to be clearly marked on the cover. :D

  8. Onitsha sounds like a good read. I did see the movie. It was very good. Happy reading.



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