Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Library Loot

Hosted by Eva and Alessandra.

This Week's Loot:

The Accordionist's Son by Bernardo Atxaga (2004)

Historical fiction, centered on the Basque region of Spain, translated from the Spanish, awarded the Mondello Award for literature in 2008.

Publisher's comments:

"In this very personal novel we cross, as in a collage of different times, places and styles, the story of two friends: Joseba and David, the son of the accordionist. From the Thirties to the end of the 20th century, from a happy childhood to the hells of a violent war, Atxaga approaches, in a brave manner, memory, nostalgia, friendships and the sadness of leaving a mother country never to return again. And in the center of these ramifications, the only possibility of salvation for these dramatic circumstances is love."

The Winner of Sorrow by Brian Lynch (2009)

Pubisher's Weekly said:

"Irish poet and filmmaker Lynch's first novel is an engaging fictional account of the life of the little-remembered 18th-century English poet William Cowper. Told primarily in flashback, Lynch introduces Cowper as an old man, plagued by self-loathing, sickness and hallucinations. His formative years are marked by the death of his mother and early inclinations toward poetry, contemplating the taste of words. Along with the major figures in Cowper's life—the charismatic Rev. John Newton, real-life author of Amazing Grace; John Johnson, Cowper's young cousin; and Mary Unwin, the love of his life—Lynch also lends Dickensian detail to minor characters, using them skillfully to provide an orbiting view. Lynch takes a serial approach, managing to take readers by surprise in every short chapter, whether terrifying (as in the height of Cowper's hallucinations) or hilarious ([p]oetry and puking were hardly ideal companions). This curious novel captures the sad poet from all angles, reimagining his life in a gracefully sprawling epic."

Booty returned unread:

Yes, you read that right, a rarity with me I know.

Sleepwalking In Daylight by Elizabeth Flock

I loved Emma & Me. I recommend it very highly, more than most adult books I've read with children as protagonists. I also read Everything Must Go and it was an average story, decently written, but not nearly up to par with Emma & Me. But I can't read an entire novel with a miserable female teen who isn't getting along with her mother no matter how good the author may be. I tried a couple of chapters, but I could barely stand teenage girls when I was one of them. I am not entertained by them or sympathetic toward them- the whining, anti-social, misery guts type who make a family's life unpleasant for years just because they can. Three hundred pages of that isn't worth it for me, even if the brat does redeem herself in the end. I have to assume she does or who'd enjoy reading the novel? Nobody likes you and you have no freedom? Go read Ann Frank's Diary and get over it.

The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers

Fantasy is not my thing. I don't even enjoy magic realism, although I have tried some of the better stuff. I knew what this book was going in, and I read a couple of chapters. I just can't relate to made-up worlds and names-too much like science fiction which I also don't enjoy at all. I was trying to branch out and it is about books. Lest you think I'm really narrow minded, I did read and enjoy Firmin by Sam Savage recently. Yup, fantasy fiction- with a rat protagonist no less. It was about books too but all were recognizable to me as existing books.

I have been miserably sick and in pain all month and couldn't even read most of the time but I don't think that affected my decisions here. If you've read any of these books or have an opinion about them, I'd love to hear it.

What treasures did you dig up at the library this week?


  1. I totally understand. I struggle with fantasy too.

  2. I'm really picky when it comes to fantasy, so I'm with you on that.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  3. I am so glad that I'm not the only person to take books back unread. there are too many great books out there to spend time with the ones you don't care for. Your new books sound great - I hope they both live up to their blurbs.

  4. THE ACCORDIANIST'S SON looks good. I enjoyed Dave Boling's GUERNICA and would like to learn more about the area.



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