Savidge Reads Library Loot #3

So here is the third in my new series, yet first of the year, of vlog posts where I get to embarrass myself once more talk to you all about the latest books that I have borrowed from the library, and waffle a lot about why. There is a lot of waffle at the start so beware though Oscar does show his face briefly. Anyway here is the latest library loot from me, I will pop a list of the books mentioned below…

The books mentioned amidst all that rambling were…

The Chalk Circle Man – Fred Vargas
Seeking Whom He May Devour – Fred Vargas
The History of a Pleasure Seeker – Richard Mason
Tom-All-Alone’s – Lynn Shepherd
The Good Plain Cook – Bethan Roberts
The Pools – Bethan Roberts
Wonder – R.J. Palacio
Zoo Time – Howard Jacobson
A Death in the Family – Karl Ove Knausgaard

As is the usual routine I would love to know your thoughts on any of the books, have you read them, did you like them, and are you thinking of reading them etc and any thoughts on the intermingled waffle. Many thanks in advance.

41 Comments

Filed under Library Loot

41 responses to “Savidge Reads Library Loot #3

  1. Happy New Year to you toooo.
    You should do more vlogs, they’re great.

    I am, indeed, still snowed in.🙂 Damn you rural Wales! And so likewise bedding-in with books this weekend. Just finished a really weird epic-narrative poem called ‘Thaliad’ by Marly Youmans: it’s new, and great.
    The only book I’ve read from your selection is ‘Tom-All-Alone’s’, which is genuinely brilliant – highly recommended. And you’re right – beautiful cover.
    T.

    • Ha, thank you Tom. I hope great in a ‘we know you are being a bit silly’ kind of way?

      How nice to be snowed in though and have no reason than to do anything but raid the freezer and read. That is what I did pretty much all weekend, was lovely.

      Am looking forward to Tom All Alones, I will have to go and see if you reviewed it.

  2. Well I can’t say I have heard of most of those books. However I did read Tom-all-Alone’s and loved it, and have been fortunate enough to read its follow up A Treacherous Likeness which is out I think next month. I read Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question the year it won the Booker. I hated it. I have yet to meet anyone who liked it – although presumaby someone somewhere must have. However it has rather put me off ever reading anything by him again.

    • Oh how timely this comment was, A Treacherous Likeness appeared in the post today so I will read that at some point too I am sure.

      Isn’t it funny how many people had that attitude to his Booker win and yet many say, including fans of his, that it is his worst book though they were pleased he finally won. I wonder if it was one of those ‘bridesmaid’ wins – that is all I am saying.

  3. The only one I’ve heard of is Seeking Whom He May Devour – Book 2. I haven’t read that one but I’ve read #6 in the Commissaire Adamsberg series by Fred Vargas, which is called Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand. She writes mysteries like I’ve never read before. They are very literary, dark, mysterious, and intriguing. The French adore her and you probably will too. I did. However this one probably won’t be like a typical thriller, but interesting all the same. Enjoy! anxious to read your review on it.

  4. I’ve been meaning to read Fred Vargas, but my library only has the first two in English, and the rest in French, and I know it will drive me bonkers to mix and match!

    I’ve heard good things about Wonder, but the description doesn’t grab me at all so I look forward to seeing what you think.

    San Francisco has been freezing these last few weeks, but it looks like we managed to send it on to you. Stay warm!

    • Ha, at least you can mix and match though. I can only read the ones that have been translated. Think of it as an experiment maybe, not many people can do that with an author.

      The snow is still falling here in the Wirral but apparently only for a few more days thank goodness. Its pretty but also pretty irritating and disruptive lol.

  5. I’d start with the Chalk Circle Man as it’s the first one though as it’s a first novel it’s actually a bit stranger than those that follow. I think you’d really like the strange characters that inhabit it.

    I’ve read and liked The Pools – http://gavreads.co.uk/2007/10/31/debut-review-the-pools-by-bethan-roberts/ – though I couldn’t get on with The Good Plain Cook – I think it is very lit fic so you’ll probably like it😛

    Jacobson? Really?

    Great videocast by the way! Very enjoyable😀

    • Thank you for the link Gav. I will be intrigued to see what you think of My Policeman, which reminds me I need to do some pestering. I might oddly read The Good Plain Cook next as I think I will love The Pools regardless and so it will be good to have as a final treat in my Bethan binge.

      Definitely going to start with Chalk Circle Man and soon, See your mentioning of certain authors does make me actually go on and read them!

  6. I’ve read Wonder, I couldn’t help feeling that everyone was much nicer than they would actually be in real life. I guess it’s aimed at younger readers and it does have a great message, but my adult brain tells me it’s a bit sanitised. But it’s still worth reading and really moving in places.

    • Ahhh that is interesting. I did ‘wonder’ if Wonder might be slightly rose tinted, but I am keen to give it a whirl and see what I make of it. I wonder (I cant stop with that word now) if it is a YA book that is more Y than A?

  7. Dot

    I loved Wonder, looking forward to hearing what you think of it.

  8. Am glad other people are sitting at home wearing jogging bottoms and reading, too! I’ve spent today reading Camilla Lackberg’s The Drowning, have now read all of her books that are out in the UK.
    I really enjoy your library loot vlogs, I recently picked up Diving Belles by Lucy Wood from my library on your recommendation, so am looking forward to reading it.

    • The shame of sharing my jogging bottoms with the rest of the world, I am glad that The Beard hasn’t spotted this post as yet.

      What do you make of Lackberg? I had all of her books and then gave them away thinking I shouldn’t start a new series, now I am thinking that was fool hardy.

      Enjoy Diving Belles, I am jealous of you having that experience ahead for the first time. Report back on it please.

      • I love Lackberg, I really enjoy my Scandinavian crime and I like the way she generally interweaves the present day story with things going on in the past. I especially liked The Hidden Child as the plot included hidden clues in a box in the attic! I’d definitely give her a go.
        I briefly blogged about her here:
        https://impossiblealice.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/crime-spree/
        Thanks, will let you know what I think!

      • Are they all present and alternating past in every book? That might grate on me after a while!

      • They might well be, I’ve read the 6 of them over a couple of years so I can’t really remember. Certainly the last three are. It’s not bugged me as they’ve been in different time periods relative to the past so there is variation. Try one and see what you think.
        Not sure why it wouldn’t let me reply above…

      • Re: the past/present issue. We only have the first three here in the US😦 and all of those are structured the same way, so I’d say the answer is yes, they all do it.

  9. Sharkell

    Great vlog! I’m half way through Diving Belles, which I’m reading in between novels. Great stories! I also tried The Finkler Question – I picked it up three times and finally discarded it for good. I look forward to hearing what you think of Zoo Time if you get to it. Oh, and my library has finally got a copy of A Death in the Family (Australia seems to be so far behind the rest of the world!) and I have ordered that, too.

    • Phew!!! I am so pleased that you are enjoying it. I do get nervous when a book I love that much is read by people after I have gone on and on and on about it! I will keep you posted on when I am reading A Death in the Family, keep watching the box on the top right and maybe you can read around the same time😉

  10. Fred Vargas will fit right in with your new-found appetite for crime fiction – although hers are quite different from the usual crime thrillers. I’ve read nearly all of them, some in French, some in English, and the title translations are not always very literal, so I am sometimes confused.

    • I think the fact that people are saying Vargas is so different is what is becoming so promisingly tempting about them. I am keen to start so she will probably be my next crime read, well after Tom All Alones.

  11. I enjoyed ‘Wonder’ but it you are manipulated by it and it is a bit sanitised too – but I still teared up, and there are good lessons especially for younger readers in it.

    Haven’t read any others despite have 5 of them in my TBR (Vargas, Bethan Roberts, Tom-all-alones)

  12. I just started “Wonder” on Saturday and am loving it. While it’s YA (young adult over here), it’s still enjoyable for this “beyond YA” reader!😉 Loved the Oscar appearance. I think he was looking for what to read next on the bookshelf!🙂

    • Ha, now that you say that about Oscar it seems so obvious. He must be having a Spark phase like me as they were all on the floor this morning from a certain kitten I believe, mind you he is hardly a kitten now, he is getting huge. Pleased you are a fan of Wonder, I am unsure if should read that or John Green first. Mentally I am always comparing the two.

  13. Debra

    Simon love your blog, your vlogs (you’re a hoot and I adore the accent!) and your taste in books. Have gleaned so many wonderful recommendations from your blog. I’ve just begun Robert’s _Good Plain Cook_ (having read, and loved, _My Policeman_). Too soon to tell whether or not it’ll “grab” me.

    Likewise snowed in here w/ a wind chill warning as temps are in the -35 degree (celcius) range. Not exactly balmy! Sweats, lots of tea and books are the antidote.

    Happy reading!

    -Debra

    • Awww thank you Debra. Glad you enjoyed this. Is nice for people to see the person behind the blog once in a while, mind you people probably get bored of me waffling on with the podcast an hour a week ha!

      I think that The Good Plain Cook will be my next read of Bethan’s as I am pretty sure I am going to love The Pools.

      Your weather puts me and my moaning to shame😉

  14. Martina

    Re :Howard Jacobsen

    Not a fave of mine since he lectured my undergrad Arts year more years ago than I am prepared to acknowledge

    recently discovered a discerning reader who enjoyed the Finkler Question. First of these for me! My sister protested at every page but she persevered because that’s the kind of stubborn woman she is and her dear daughter had gifted her with it for Christmas that year.

    You have made a more compelling case for Zoo Time though

    Would be intrigued to hear reports on a Death in the Family.

    Love the vlog Simon. And your mother’s stylish sweater

    • Ha, my mother will be thrilled on the compliment even if I did team it with joggers!

      I saw Jacobson talk at an event once, I thought he seemed really amiable and lovely. I just found the start of The Finkler Question really dull and didn’t read on! Zoo Time sounds brilliant though.

  15. I have Tom-All-Alones downloaded on my *whispers* Kindle, and want to read it next. You will probably have done the Readers episode by then though, so I’ll have to save listening until afterwards.

    I’ve been sceptical about ‘Wonder’ because I loose patience with YA fiction with a message, so will be interested to hear what you think of it. I’m reading Seraphina by Rachel Hartman at the moment which is very classy YA and I really recommend it.

    And you have me interested in Bethan Roberts – I didn’t realise those books were by her too, I thought My Policeman was her debut for some reason. I like it when writers have such different books, such different styles and never write the same novel twice. They promise to be full of surprises.

    • Hahaha you don’t have to whisper about it lol. Tom All Alone is my next read, I should be starting it later today.

      Interesting you mention Serephina, Gavin and I have been talking about that book a lot and I quite fancy us both reading it, especially as Gavin weirdly thought I was dragonphobic, which isnt the case.

      I am looking forward to reading more Roberts, interestingly I too thought this was her debut novel originally. Sometimes some authors change publisher, as Bethan has, and so get an almost debut like re-launch. The same happened with Susanna Jones a little last year and this year it seems James Smythe and Nicholas Royle are getting that push.

  16. Ana

    And another thing..thanks Simon for the introduction to Bethan Roberts. A Good Plain Cook is available through my local library’s audiobook collection and I am loving it!! Listening to audiobooks is my secret weapon to make me keep to a Physio program twice daily!! Find myself doing a few more sets so I can enjoy another chapter. Excellent recommendation for Roberts, many thanks again

    • An absolute pleasure Ana. I have yet to start The Good Plain Cook but the fact you are loving it already sounds promising to me. I definitely plan on reading it in the next few weeks and no mistake. I cant say any audiobook or book would make me want to go to the gym though😉

  17. Oh I am pleased you’re keeping up with the vlogs, they are fun to watch and it makes a nice change from reading through lists and lists of books on the blogroll.

    I will be very interested to hear what you think of The Fault In Our Stars – it has had almost unanimous praise but I reviewed it last week and didn’t think that much of it, found the characters annoying (http://girlvsbookshelf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-fault-in-our-stars-by-john-green.html). I read it for my YA choice as part of a multi-genre challenge and was torn between that and Wonder so I’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts on both!

    • I will be doing these for good, but very sparsely. I find them quite nerve wrecking to be honest.

      It seems both Wonder and The Fault in Our Stars have been the two big successes of last year, both YA but without wizards or magic or hungery type game aspects which I find interesting. I will be interested to see my reaction to both of them though I think I will give some space between each one.

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