Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Library Loot

Hosted alternately by Eva at A Stripped Armchair and this week by Marge at Reading Adventures.

Forgive me, it's been a month since my last confess...er, LL po


6. The Unit**** by Ninni Holmqvist Sweden 2009

I enjoyed this a lot
more than I thought I might. My personal experience of organ transplantation added a great deal to the interest for me. A very enjoyable story. Highly recommended.

9.Random Passage***** by Bernice Morgan 1992 Canada 269 pgs.

A very good historical fiction about a f
amily in Ireland who are forced into exile to Newfoundland's most isolated outpost two hundred years ago. A truly great read. I cannot wait to read its sequel Waiting for Time. Both books are bestsellers here in Canada and I can see why.

10.What the Birds See***** by Sonya Hartnett (Of a Boy***** in Australia)

Will break your heart. The original title in Australia is OF A BOY. A shy but obedient little boy who feels unwanted tries to interpret the world around him and finds it a daunting task. Don't miss this one if you can get your hands on it.

11.Nikolski**** by Nicolas Dickner Canada 2005 (290 pages)

A French Canadian
story about three Montrealers that David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green) called “Stylish, offbeat, poignant and perceptive.” An enjoyable read.

12.The Housekeeper and the Professor***** by Yoko Ogawa Japan (204 pages)

A wonderful story of a mathematician with brain
damage, and how the maid deals with the fact that he does not recognize her every morning when she arrives at his home. A truly original and touching story. HIghly recommended.

13.Blacklands***** by Belinda Bauer UK 2009 (225 pages)

A psychological suspense that was so tense I had to finish it to get relief. A boy writes
anonymously to a child killer in prison hoping the man will help him find the body of one of the local boys he's murdered. He's a very serious little boy and has deeply personal reasons for wanting to locate this murdered child. Eventually the killer figures out that he's communicating by letter with a twelve year old boy...talk about cat and mouse. Don't miss this one.

14.The Outcast****+ by Sadie Jones (347 pages)

A young man, 19, gets out of prison and returns home to his English village and a demanding and
unforgiving father. He tries to cope with all the negative attitudes and expectations around him but it's a difficult road. Well written and highly recommended.

15.Good To a Fault**** by Marina Endicott

A woman take in a homeless family after hitting their car
and putting the mother in the hospital. This creates a great upheaval in her life as these people are typically undisciplined, demanding and not always to be trusted. A very interesting story about motives for giving, guilt, and the limits of generosity. Well worth reading and highly recommended.

16. The Swan Thieves***** US 2010 (564 pages)

I love stories with
psychiatrists and their patients in them. Lot's of artists' work and literary references here as the doctor's patient is a painter. A marvelous story as the doctor goes to unusual lengths to work out why his patient attacked a painting in the National Gallery of Art in New York. Great writing, smooth dialogue, Kostova is so easy to read. This is a must read.

Gave up on:

Before I Awake by Robert Wiersema 2006 Canada

Young daughter is in an irreversable coma after an accident. I'm 90 pages in and not sure I like where this story is going. People are starting to think the girl can heal people-while comatose you understand. Someon
e please tell me this story will be a satisfying one without getting weird.

Harry Revised by Mark Sarvas US 2009

It just wasn't grabbing me but I will try again when I'm in the
right mood.

Currently Reading:

The Practice of Perfection by Mary Frances Coady Canada 2009

onnected short stories set in a convent. I've always loved stories about nuns. I'm enjoying it immensely.

Rain and Other South Seas Stories by W. Somerset Maugham UK 1921

I loved this man's short stories when I discovered them as a girl, and the fact that he was a doctor intrigued me as well. The title story is one that I've always liked but had not read in 40 years. I was shocked by the ending back then. It was filmed at least twice with Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth in the starring role. Both films were excellent. I highly recommend this and any of Maugham's short stories.

The I feel like an idiot stack: (had to be returned before they got read and I know they are really good)

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese US

Still Alice by Lisa Genova US

Fugitive P
ieces by Ann Michaels Canada
The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy Canada

To be read (the it don't rain but it pours stack, when they finally arrive they all come at once):

The Return by Victoria Hislop
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery

Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips

The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak

The Comedians by Graham Greene

The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller
In The Wet by Nevil Shute

In my defense I did read two books from my own shelves as well.

Which of these have you read? What did you think? Leave me links if you've reviewed them. Which would you like to read?


  1. I read the Housekeeper and the Professor and Swan Thieves and loved them both!

    The Outcast sounds wonderful - and I feel I must add it to the TBR list!

    I also read Gourmet Rhapsody - but did not find it nearly as wonderful as Elegance of the Hedgehog. The Love We Share Without Knowing is one of those books that has grown on me since I reviewed it.

    Several of your listed books I am hoping to read soon, most notably Cutting for Stone and Still Alice. I look forward to reading your reviews!

  2. You've made me anxious to get to my copy of The Housekeeper and the Professor!

    I enjoyed The Unit, but for totally different reasons than you - I was 50 when I read it. I loved The Swan Thieves too.

  3. Wow!! You had a great library loot week and I want to read all of them!!!I have to go to my Goodreads account now and make some notes!!!

  4. The Housekeeper and the Professor and Blacklands were ones I enjoyed. I do want to read Swan Thieves and The Unit as well. You must have been doing the Happy Dance when you brought these home?

  5. Isn't it awful having to take them back unread!I haven't read any of these although I have several on my TBR list and I'm really interested in Random Passage. My hubby is of Irish heritage and when our son went to Newfoundland on an Air Force exercise he reckoned every second person had the same surname as we do.

  6. Interesting list! I finished reading 'The Housekeeper and the Professor' yesterday and loved it! I have read Elizabeth Kostova's 'The Historian' before and I agree with you on her prose style - it is very readable. I have 'Cutting for stone' on my reading list too :) I will add Sonya Hartnett's 'What the Birds see' / 'Of a boy' to my 'TBR' list.

  7. Blacklands and Random Passage sound absolutely irresistible!

  8. I haven't read any of these myself but a bunch of them sound interesting. I'm hoping to read The Outcast soon as it sounds really good. And I just won a copy of The Swan Thieves so I'll be picking that one up as well. Enjoy your finds ;)

  9. Ooh, a few more books for the wishlist. I'm pleased to read another good report of The Swan Thieves. And I admired The Outcast but I couldn't really say I like it. Such a bleak view of human nature.

  10. I loved The Outcast, although I think I remember saying that it wasn't a novel I could say I'd enjoyed.
    I want to read Cutting for Stone, and I'm considering something by Neville Shute, I'm just not sure what yet.

  11. I want to read all the books in your 1st section. All of them sound so good!!

    i am not looking for Rain and Other South Seas Stories by W. Somerset Maugham! I will surely read it if I can find it here!

  12. I'm really glad you liked The Unit! I'm looking forward to reading The Swan Thieves. Right now, it's length is the only reason why I'm delaying it. I also plan to read Piano Teacher one day :)

  13. Your confession/post was worth the wait - you've been busy!

    I picked up THE HOUSEKEEPER AND THE PROFESSOR last month, but haven't read it yet. I did read another Victoria Hislop, THE ISLAND, about a Greek leper colony. I liked it, but didn't love it (very interesting link to history, but I didn't need the love story ...)

    Enjoy your books, Sandra.

  14. I hate having to take books back unread, but it happens all the time!

    Enjoy your loot!

  15. I read the Unit and loved it! I'm even worse than you about LL - I haven't posted in many months.

  16. The Outcast is one I've had my eye on; I'm glad you liked it. Also, glad ot hear you liked The Unit. I've heard a lot about it! :-)

  17. You have some great books out there! Enjoy the loot!!

  18. Random Passage was a miniseries on CBC- have you seen it?

  19. I have Swan Thieves but haven't read it as yet. Your review makes it sound interesting, so I might move it up on my TBR list.



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