Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Library Loot

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

This week's loot:

3.So Many Ways to Begin**** by Jon Mcgregor UK 2006

Completed during The New Year Read-a-thon, also for the Typically British challenge. I loved If Nobody Speaks of remarkable Things so I just had to have more by this author. So Many Ways is a good story, well written. I enjoyed it very much. It did not have the emotional impact of If Nobody Speaks but that was a perfect five star for me. I recommend this one too.

4.Black Swan Green****by David Mitchell UK 2006

Completed during The New Year Read-a-thon, also for the Typically British, Colorful Reading,
LibraryThing Authors and Booker Challenge.

An older reader from my previous litblog said
it was the best thing she'd read in ages, and like me, she is particular about what she reads. His second novel, Number9Dream, was shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize as well as the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His third novel Cloud Atlas was shortlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize. And Black Swan Green was longlisted for the 2006 Booker Prize. Thirteen year old male protagonists don't often click with me but this one did so bravo to David Mitchell for pulling that off. It takes place in the 1980's, Thatcher's era, and follows a boy through one year of his life. This book has won or been nominated for so many awards I don't know what I can add except to say I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

5.The Blue Flower***** by Penelope Fitzgerald UK 1995

Completed. This is the third of her books that I've read, after The Bookshop**** (Booker Prize shortlist) and Offshore***** (Booker Prize winner 1979). Highly recommended. My next Fitzgerald book will probably be The Gate of Angels, but I am open to suggestions. I'm considering writing a brief review of The Blue Flower (Orange Prize longlist nominee 996). If any one is interested, just say the word. Completed for Orange January, the Colorful Reading, and the Typically British challenges.

Loot TBR:

The Land of Green Plums by Herta Müller Germany/Romania 1993/English
translation 1996

I enjoyed The Appointment**** by this Nobel 2009 author very much and had to read more. The Land of Green Plums is probably her best known if not her best novel from what I've read. I'm hoping for a good experience with this one. Also part of the Read the Nobels, Global Challenge, and the Colorful Reading challenges.

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist Sweden 2006/English translation 2008

I became intrigued by this story after reading a review by my friend Mark David at Aborbed in Words. He has such a nice way with words.

Harry Revised by Mark Sarvas US 2009

Some of you will recognize the author as the host of the litblog The Elegant Variation. I've been reading it daily for three years now. I find some good reading recommendations there. This is his first book and it is is doing well. I thought it was time I read it myself.

Currently reading:

Moby Dick by Herman Melville US 1851

at verbose, as some say, but I happen to enjoy long descriptions and very detailed prose. I'm just barely into the story as I spent some time perusing the 51 page introduction (I love those). But I'm so glad I finally got around to this 19th century classic.
My opinion on this book will be posted next Monday for Moby Dick Mondays hosted by Ti at Book Chatter. The book is also part of the 1% Well-Read Challenge (1001 Books You Must read Before You Die). A real doorstopper at 664 pages so it will be part of the Chunkster Challenge too.

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

Comments, questions, opinions, reading recommendations, or links to reviews are welcomed. I'd love to read them. No Spoilers though please. And I am always open to writing up a brief review of any book mentioned, for any reader who asks.


  1. I really struggled with Black Swan Green, I just couldn't get into it. I think it was too British for me and I don't remember that period of time with fondness, due to having lots of trouble at school. I might try it again some day.

  2. I really enjoyed The Unit and I hope you do too.

  3. Some great sounding books you picked up at the library!!

  4. I'd love to read a review of The Blue Flower. I think I need to try her books out!

  5. Oh sandra, every time I read your blog I find more books to add to the pile! :-)

  6. *Vivienne: I can hardly believe I related to this very young character myself. I rarely do, with boys anyway. And I was ready to put it down the minute he got into cursing or nasty behaviour but that didn't happen-nothing that would frighten the horses anyway. And I've run into books and said to my husband and son "I lived through all that crap (pardon my French), I don't need to read about it. So I understand. Thanks for giving us your thoughts on it.

    *avisannschild: I'll write one up just for you and let know when it's posted. Thanks for asking- the old body's not cooperating at all lately and I need some incentive.

    *Staci: Thanks, it's nice to get you comments. I'll be over later today to see what's new.

    *Marie: That thrills the heck out of me. The whole point of my blogging about what I read is to recommend good books to others. You've made my day.

  7. You've made me want to give David Mitchell and Herta Muller a shot! I'm really enjoyed Moby Dick, which I'm reading for the same read-a-long. :)

  8. Thanks, Sandra, I'll keep an eye out for it!

  9. You've got lots of interesting sounding loot there. Black Swan Green has been on my TBR list for a while now.

    Enjoy your loot.

  10. Great loot, Sandra! I would be interested in your review on Blue Flower and Black Swan Green.



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