Thursday, September 03, 2009

Library Loot: September Scores!

Library Loot is hosted by Eva and Marg each week, and this week I really had to participate as I brought a bagful of great items home with me. (though never as many as Eva finds!)

Here is what I have to read in the upcoming weeks:

Family Album / Penelope Lively

I have been waiting for this one for ages and am so excited it is finally here. Although the cover is rather dull, nowhere near as delightful as the British cover, all I need to know is that it's the new Lively. Excellent!

The cover on the right is the one I am reading: I am also appending the British cover and an alternate North American cover. Which would make you pick this up?

Gourmet Rhapsody / Muriel Barbery

And another new book by a great author...I read Elegance of the Hedgehog a few months ago and simply LOVED it. How can I resist another book about a food critic who was one of the characters in Hedgehog? And the cover is in the same style as well, very charming and very appetizing. :)

Reckless Appetites / Jacqueline Deval

This novel from 1995 intrigued me because it is about food -- Pomme is French and the daughter of a chef. It is packed with historical recipes (fascinating!) and is written in what seems to be a bit of a pastiche of correspondence, Pomme's own essays, and told in different voices... it looks very interesting and could be either really good or not so good. We'll have to see.

Spilling Clarence / Anne Ursu

The odd title caught my eye, and when I saw it was a novel about memory, I was hooked. Reading so much Penelope Lively lately has attuned my reading eye to the vagaries of history and memory; this one promises a modern, American take on what purpose memory serves in our lives, and what and how we remember. The town of Clarence is split in two between a university on one side and a pharmaceutical factory on the other -- as the book opens there is a chemical spill at the plant. After a few hours, the townspeople are told all is well, nothing to worry about. But the spill has released deletrium, a chemical which allows all your memories to resurface, and it is affecting everyone in town...

Read for Your Life: Literature as a Life Support system / Joseph Gold

I just ran across this again and since I've been meaning to read it for ages, I brought it home. This sounds like a definite must read: Dr. Gold is a former literature professor and family therapist who is talking about literature's role in self therapy. As the blurb says: "both a self-help guide and a testimonial to the power of literature. Offering a wide range of familiar books and clinical examples, Dr. Gold illustrates the ways our daily reading can lead to sound mental health and personal empowerment." Sounds delightful!

And my last library find was a cd: Oliver Schroer's Camino: Solo Violin and Ambient Recordings from the Camino de Santiago. On his website it's described as "the musical and photographic record of a thousand kilometre trek along the Camino de Santiago." It is utterly gorgeous, and you can listen to clips at the website. Sadly, Oliver has passed away due to leukemia, but he has left a beautiful legacy in his stunning music.


  1. I almost bought Gourmet Rhapsody last weekend...I'll be looking for a full report. ;-)

  2. lol; it's just a natural gift that I always bring home way too many books from the library. What can I say? :p You're making me want to go on a Penelope Lively reading streak too! And the British cover is definitely the best. I'm disturbed by the cover of Reckless Appetites; that woman looks like she's been doing a bit too much opium. Read for your Life sounds fascinating; I hope my library has it!

  3. Penelope Lively is an author I have been interested in for a while now.

  4. Read for Your Life looks very intriguing! I'll have to keep my eye out for that one.


  5. Lots of books I haven't heard of her, cool :D

  6. What a tantalizing lot of books! I'm especially looking forward to your views on Gourmet Rhapsody.

  7. A great set of books. Penelope Lively is on my "really must read one day" list and I am a touch envious of the new Muriel Barbery. I'll be back to find out what you think!

  8. These all sound really interesting...hope you enjoy!

  9. I haven't read any of those books, but there are some beautiful covers there.

  10. These look great! So many of my pals are foodies and I'm constantly looking for books to give them. :)

  11. Spilling Clarence is such a great book - a bit odd but cool. I hope you'll enjoy it!

    I'm definitely intrigued by Reckless Appetites so looking forward to your review. Isn't that a great cover too?

  12. Wow, I want to read every single book you got out this week! I'm looking forward to your reviews.

  13. I'm very curious what you will think of the Barberry book -- I'd like to read that one when I get a chance. I loved the Hedgehog book so much I'm sure I will enjoy the earlier one too.

  14. softdrink, Kate, Dorothy - I have read only one chapter of Gourmet Rhapsody so far; I'm rationing it as I don't want to run out of Barbary books! ;)

    Eva, Marg, fleurfisher - I think you should pick up some Lively! :) I am obsessed with her work lately.

    Lezlie, Eva - I am halfway into Read for your Life and he brings up some intriguing ideas about emotional responses to reading rather than using literary criticism alone - lots to talk about!

    Bloddeud, Samantha, Charley, avisannschild - I really lucked out with this batch of books, they are all lovely and all interesting going so far.

    Rosemary - I didn't realize until I posted this that I had so many food-ish books. Fun. Another foodie novel I love - it's quite delightfully grim - is John Lancaster's Debt to Pleasure.

    Iliana - I've just finished Spilling Clarence and I agree with your assessment; odd but really great. And I still love the cover of Reckless Appetites even if she does look like a bit of an opium addict ;)

  15. Spilling Clarence looks really interesting- I'll be looking for your review to learn more!


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