Library Loots & Latest Incomings

I do find it odd that only a few months when my ‘refurbished’ local library reopened its doors I was a little bit snobbish about it. I didn’t like the fact that it was self service and though the building still has its old exterior I weirdly missed the old interior and the fact that trying to find a book published after 2000 was pretty much impossible. However over the last week or two I have been converted and have been visiting a lot.

Unlike the library I did like (especially as it has a new swanky supermarket next door killing two birds with one bus journey) one tube stop away the one just down the road now always seems to have just the books I want or have been mulling over. It also helps they have been lottery funded and so they keep getting the latest books in pristine condition. It’s almost like going into a book store which as I am on a book buying ban and can cart a load off for free is ideal. This week I got four new ones to read…

  • The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington – I had not heard of this Penguin Modern Classic until I got an email from a reader last weekend telling me that the tale of Marian Leatherby’s committal to an institution by her family would be just my cup of tea, low and behold the library had it in pristine condition.
  • Solo by Rana Dasgupta – Libraries are great for taking risks with books and I have been watching the Not The Man Booker Prize with interest this year and was actually going to see if I could get any of the books listed for this year, I couldn’t but I did get last years winner which I have mulled over before.
  • The City &The City by China Mieville – I asked you all if I wanted to read this, pretty much all of you said I did and the library had it so it seemed like fate.
  • The Big Four by Agatha Christie – A graphic novel of Agatha Christie which sounds like it could be a James Bond novel only with Poirot. I think I will either love this or hate it but its something different to try.

I have also been lucky enough to get some more unsolicited books in the last week or four. Actually no I tell a lie two of these books I had emails asking if I fancied and indeed I did (I will pop a star next to those) but that’s not asking which I have banned myself from. A few I had already but are now in lovely new editions (such as the Atwood) or paperback editions have come out, so maybe I will do some more giveaways over the next few weeks – don’t forget there is a giveaway here at the moment.

  • Angels of Destruction by Keith Donoghue
  • Ransom by David Malouf
  • Waiting For Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk*
  • London Labour & The London Poor by Henry Mayhew
  • The End by Salvatore Scibona
  • The Alchemasters Apprentice by Walter Moers
  • To The End of the Land by David Grossman
  • Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason
  • Small Memories by Jose Saramago
  • Begginers by Ramond Carver
  • Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London by Julia Stuart*
  • The Complete Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Dogs & The Wolves by Irene Nemirovsky

The David Grossman has a bit of a funny story attached to it, not as in the story of the book which is apparently heartbreaking… let me explain. I was banging on about ‘To The End of the Land’ to one of my friends saying how much I wanted it and how I couldn’t ask for it or buy it myself only when I then, less than 24 hours later, finally sorted through all my latest books and other books I had been moving around the last week or two proceeded to discover I did indeed have it already! Oh dear, a sign of too many books on the TBR? Actually I don’t think you can have too many books on a TBR.

So what lovely library loots have you got recently? Been bought any books or treated yourselves to any? Have you read any of the above?


Filed under Book Thoughts

26 responses to “Library Loots & Latest Incomings

  1. I have also got Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London by Julia Stuart but I think I got it purely for the front cover as I have no idea if its any good or not.

  2. gaskella

    I’ve been sent a few of those as well, but the book I’d love to hear your views on is ‘Solo’by Rana Dasgupta. I loved this book, as well as his first novel ‘Tokyo cancelled’, and think he is an author to watch out for.

  3. I have had as a review copy Julia Stuart – it is a great book, very quirky like her first one, but strangely enjoyable and very interesting subject, espcially Balthazar Jones wife’s job!

    Look forward to hearing what you think.

  4. I’ve got The City and the City loaded on my iPod for Carl’s RIP…hope to get to that next week! What a wonderful pile of books! Waiting for Columbus? Hell yes. Saramago? Bring it on. YOu shan’t want for anything soon.

  5. I’ve read both The Handmaid’s Tale and Waiting For Columbus and enjoyed both of them a lot. And I’ve been wanting to read The City and The City myself but ended up taking it back to the library unread. It looks like you’ll have plenty of good books to read. Enjoy!

  6. I’m very intrigued by The Big Four. I’ve been rereading a lot of Christie lately but had no idea there was a graphic novel floating about. I still have mixed feelings about graphic novels but I am trying to at least attempt some to broaden my perspective.

    Just saw a review of To the End of the Line yesterday and am very excited to read it for myself. The Handmaid’s Tale is a favourite.

  7. A big YAY for the Atwood. Interested to see how you get on with the China Mieville – it’s been on my TBR for a while, too.

    I’ve just acquired a whole wheelbarrow full of books, including the collected works of Lydia Davis, which I’ve been lusting after for a while, Skippy Dies, and the new David Vann! So I’ve got some major reading on my hands for the next little while.

  8. A great selection, as always. I really loved Waiting for Columbus and The Handmaid’s Tale. The Perrault collection also sounds delightful!

    • I have read the Atwood and the Perrault these are just lovely new editions which I am very pleased to have adorning my shelves now. I have heard soooo many good things about Waiting for Columbus.

  9. a wonderful selection simon ,I m looking forward to the grossmann have ordered it from library so will have it soon I hope ,all the best stu

  10. I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale, and have been wanting to read The Hearing Trumpet for forever!

  11. Jon Appleton

    RANSOM by David Malouf is a short masterpiece. But possibly not the best Malouf to start with? My favourite is HARLAND’S HALF ACRE, though THE GREAT WORLD and REMEMBERING BABYLON are pretty gosh-dark brilliant to. He’s Australia’s finest writer. It’s official. Read RANSOM anyway!

  12. The Hearing Trumpet is a Virago Modern classic too and one I have my eye out for – looking forward to your thoughts.

  13. Nice, nice, nice!! The Handmaid’s Tale is a FANTASTIC book, Simon, I insist you read it! 😉

    And I see that you are reading Jane Eyre right now – my favourite book. I love Charlotte Bronte – she is my girl crush. Villette is amazing too but not as easy to get in to at the start (worth it though). I hope you love it.

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