Library Loot and Friday Finds

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I blame it on my library. They have warnings on the website sharing that all hold request functions will be disabled next week. What would you do? Exactly. I requested a lot of holds this week.

In the following vlog, I talk about some of them. I also talk about Spotlight Series (particularly the upcoming highlight of the classic books publisher New York Review Books), Persephone Week, the Orbis Terrarum Challenge (which is my new favorite challenge), and some other challenges (too many to link to!)

Bloggers Mentioned

Claire, Richard, Amateur Reader, Jason.

Books Mentioned

Asterisk means I don’t yet intend to read and I haven’t yet checked it out, but I’d like to read it in the future.

  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson (Persephone Week)
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe [Nigeria] (Orbis Terrarum Challenge) I own this one.
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [Nigeria] (Orbis Terrarum Challenge) I own this one.
  • God’s Bits of Wood by Ousmane Sembène [Senegal] (Orbis Terrarum Challenge)
  • Hunger by Knut Hamsen [Norway] (Orbis Terrarum Challenge)
  • The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric [Yugoslavia/Balkans] (Orbis Terrarum Challenge)
  • The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim (Spotlight Series on NYRB)
  • The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares [Argentina] (NYRB, Orbis Terrarum )
  • Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez* [Colombia] (Orbis Terrarum)
  • El Lazarillo de Tormes [Spain] (NYRB in English at least)
  • Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang [Asia] (NYRB, Orbis Terrarum)
  • Emma by Kaori Mori [Japan] (Orbis Terrarum, Graphic Novel Challenge)
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens* (Our Mutual Read) I own this one.
  • Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones* [Oceania/New Zealand] (Orbis Terrarum)
  • The Makioka Sisters by Junichuro Tanizaki (Women Unbound, JLit Personal Challenge) I own this one.
  • The Two Towers and The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein (Once Upon a Time , Tolkein Read-along) I own these books.


I had intended to write a blurb about why I want to read each of these. But instead, go read the blogger’s posts and you can see why they caught my attention!

  • The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar. Eva.
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisia. Nymeth.
  • The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Nymeth.
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Nymeth.
  • The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine. Valerie.
  • Germinal by Emile Zola. Lots of people have discussed this, but Amanda got it on my list.
  • So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ. Jenny at Shelf Love.
  • Deaf American Poetry (anthology). Valerie.
  • A Woman’s Story by Annie Ernaux. Jenny at Shelf Love.
Reviewed on April 16, 2010

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • Why, why, why would they stop allowing holds? Oh why would they do that? I would perish if my library did that! It’s just temporary, right, while they switch to a new system or something?

    P.S. I am jealous of your hair. Would you care to swap? Mine is long too but it is blonde instead of red.
    .-= Jenny´s last post on blog ..I love y’all =-.

  • The Bridge on the Drina sounds SO interesting! I have to force myself to start reading when a book has small print too. I did my honours thesis on the reconstruction of Bosnia, so I don’t know why it never occured to me to read Balkan fiction! lol

    I loved Love in a Fallen City. 🙂 It took me almost the whole volume of Emma to get used to reading it backwards. I couldn’t figure out what order to read the panels in! I’m a total graphic novels dunce though. lol
    .-= Eva´s last post on blog ..Troll: a Love Story (thoughts) =-.

    • Eva, this is from the 60s(?) and covers 300 years before that, so it would be even more interesting if you know the history of the era. I feel quite embarrassed that despite the fact that grandpa and his family were from there, I know nothing!

      I’m glad you loved Love in a Fallen City and I’m a bit worried about the backwards thing in the manga, but I’m hoping it’s rewarding in the end too. I read a total of two GN last year so I’m a “dunce” too. Although already I’ve doubled that number for 2010!

  • I’m Norwegian as well and while I’m drying to visit Norway, I’ve never felt any inkling to read about Norway. I guess that may be because my grandparents and my mom speak Norwegian, and we celebrate/incorporate a lot of Norway in holiday celebrations and our cuisine.

    I would, however, love to read books about the Balkans. There’s one nonfiction book about the former Yugoslavia that caught my eye back in December that I’m going to try and read this summer — Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West. But it’s 1,181 pages with tiny print so I get overwhelmed every time I see it.
    .-= Christina´s last post on blog ..Flood =-.

    • Christina, wow, that’s awesome that you still keep some of the Norwegian traditions. My Norwegian roots are more than 100 years old, so really I just say I’m American. lol.

      Bridge on the Drina mentions Rebecca West’s book. Although this one is much shorter at only 315 pages of tiny print. I don’t think it’s as comprehensive.

  • First – I love the vlog! I love vlogs so much. 😀

    Second – Kafka and Camus together? I think I must check out that book. I’ve never been interested in it before, but I need to see what it’s about now.

    Third – I hope you like Germinal better than The Masterpiece!

    • Amanda, I’m very glad you love the vlog. I mispoke a number of times and was quite tempted to just write it out. (That’s the good thing about writing: the ability to edit).

      Second — I thought of you when I read the back cover of the Hamsun novel! I thought “Amanda would love Kafka and Camus together!” I have not yet read Kafka and Camus was not a favorite but the concepts in the novel have intrigued me all the same.

      Third — I really feel the need to read Germinal. Maybe I can convince my classics book group? But I’m still a bit worried since I’m not sure Zola is for me. I’m hoping it blows me away like it did you!

  • Rebecca, your vlogs are so infectiously happy 🙂 It brightened by day.

    Thank you for making the effort to participate in Persephone Reading Week. I hope that you enjoy Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day; I found it charming and delightful.

    I love Achebe and Adichie, Nigerian literature in general, and want to read more about and from Africa.

    The Enchanted April is a wonderful read and of course it is perfect timing to read it! I think it is a beautiful, uplifting evocation of spring.

    Chronicle of a Death Foretold is one of my favourite Garcia Marquez novel(la)s so I hope that you have a similarly wonderful experience with it.
    .-= Claire (Paperback Reader)´s last post on blog ..Wayward Girls and Wicked Women =-.

    • Claire, yeay! I’m glad it was a happy vlog.

      I feel I know not much about Africa, let alone African lit, so I”m looking forward to this mini-project, and I enjoyed 100 Years of Solitude but that was my only Garcia Marquez novel, so I’m looking forward to my second!

      I do hope I time it right and get Miss Pettigrew read and reviewed during that first week in May, and I’m glad you enjoy Enchanted April and think it’s perfect for spring. After Zola and Dumas, I’m looking forward to some perfect for spring books!

  • I wrote down quite a few books titles for the future! I’m curious to read your reviews for the ones that caught my eye.

    Can I suggest Story of an African Farm for your Orbis Terrarum Challenge? It is written by a South African writer and I loved it when I read it back in college. It might be something different to add to your list!
    .-= Allie´s last post on blog ..The Brothers Karamazov: Part 2. =-.

  • Rebecca, wonderful selections all! I love that you found two (or one?, he he) books that reflected your heritage. Isn’t it fun to make a list for Orbis Terrarum? 😀

    I hope you enjoy Miss Pettigrew; it’s so much fun. And yay for joining Persephone Reading Week! I’ll be reading Love in a Fallen City with three other bloggers in June as well. Hope you like it! Most especially, hope you like Half of a Yellow Sun; it’s really such a great book.
    .-= claire´s last post on blog ..Bright Star =-.

    • Claire, I loved your thoughts about the book you felt reflected your heritage, so thanks for the great idea! and yes, I ‘ve made a very extensive OT list. So much world literature I’d like to read.

      I may not get to Love in a Fallen City this month so I may join you in June!

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