Thursday, October 29, 2009

Library Loot

Hosted by Eva at A Stripped Armchair and Marge at ReadingAdventures.

October has been a bust for me health wise so this is my only LL post for the month.

Library books read this month:

87.This is How by M.J.Hyland (377 pages ) UK 2009

I read Hyland's previous novel Carry Me Down****, about a troubled boy, which was nominated for several literary prizes. I really enjoyed her psychological insights into human behaviour and wanted to read more by this author. This Is How is narrated by a man who inadvertently (so to speak) commits a crime and goes to prison. It's an odd story about a not entirely likable bloke, which I found interesting and well written, but am not certain that I actually enjoyed the experience. I suspect that the failure lies with me. I'm not very sympathetic toward young people (he's 22) who expect everything in life to go their way. Hyland does seem very good at portraying the loneliness of even hardened young men though. Other opinions on this book may help you decide if it's for you.

Jonita at The Book Chick reviewed This is How more fully here and featured it in a recent My Favourite Reads post here.

88.The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly***** by Jean-Dominique Bauby (157 pages) France 1997

Translated from the French. A true story told by a paralyzed writer and editor who could move only one eyelid after a massive stroke. A remarkable memoir that is touching and as life-affirming as it gets. Highly recommended.

91.Silver Birches**** by Adrian Plass (192 pages) UK

Actually Christian fiction, which I didn't know until after I'd read it. A group of young adults who knew each other as teenagers get together for a weekend. They look at how far they've come and how they've changed (or not) in their behaviour toward the world and each other. Well written and very interesting if you don't mind references to their commitment to Christ and Christian principles.

92.All in the Mind***** by Alastair Campbell (297 pages) UK

The best thing I've read in a month. My review here. I wept near the end and that's unusual for me. A very good story about a committed psychiatrist who tries very hard to help his patients. But when troubled himself, who can he go to when everyone thinks of him as the best in the business? A story I would read again, also unusual for me. Highly recommended.

93.A Short History of Women***+ by Kate Walbert (239 pages) US

I loved her previous novel, The Gardens of Kyoto***** and just had to read her new novel. A Short History of Women is a generational tale about five American women, which was good, but it is not my favourite kind of story.

94.Novel About My Wife***+ by Emily Perkins (279 pages) UK

95.An After-Dinner's Sleep***+ by Stanley Middleton (224 pages) UK

96.The Lace Reader***** by Brunonia Barry (390 pages) US 2006

Don't miss this one, good writing and a great story.

Library books read during the weekend read-a-thon, three of which are highly recommended:

98.After the Fire, a Still Small Voice****+ by Evie Wyld (397 pages)
99.Dancing Backwards***+ by Salley Vickers UK (261 pages)

100.In the Lake of the Woods***** by Tim O'Brien US (303 pages)

101.The Music Room****+ by William Fiennes UK (216 pages)

So, fewer posts from me for the time being, but each packed with good reading ideas and recommendations.

What did you pick up at the library this week that's got you excited?

All comments, questions, opinions, reading recommendations, or links to reviews are welcomed. I'd love to read them. No Spoilers though please.


  1. I'm so sorry to see that you're not doing well. I think you got a lot read considering.

  2. you have really done well. reading this much? Well, I don't get anything from any local library. My former Univ. library stocks only text books and there is no local library in my area. So every book I read, I buy (99.99%) or (will) borrow. As of now I have not borrowed any book yet.

  3. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like "This is How"- maybe I'm just weird, LOL!!! But I'm glad that you did give it a try (and that you got it from your library, so you could just return it when you were done!).

    I love the library! Glad to see that you got lots of books there this month! I just finished reading "After You" by Julie Buxbaum from my library- it was wonderful!!!

  4. I'm sorry to hear about your health. :( I hope you feel better soon! I 've heard so many good things about The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly!

  5. Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time with your health. I hope you start to feel better soon. Some great books there. I have a couple of Hyland's books which I need to get around to.

  6. All in the Mind sounds like a great read indeed. I hope that you are feeling better and that November will be better health-wise for you!

  7. Hope you are feeling better soon!

    I have been meaning to read M J Hyland for ages. One day I might actually get around to doing so!

  8. I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well.

    It sounds like you have some good library loot. I'll be interested to see what you think of Diving Bell. :-)

  9. You've done very well considering that it really wasn't your best month health-wise. I really, really need to read All In the Mind, it sounds like a terrific book.

  10. You might like to watch The Diving Bell and the Butterfly the film. It is an excellent adaptation of the book. I've just started reading Henry James' Daisy Miller and finds it surprisingly interesting.

  11. I'm sorry to hear that your health is down. I hope everything get better soon. The Lace Reader is on my shelves now to read. I hope to get to it soon. Take care.



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