Friday, 27 March 2015

Library Loot

I have ended my self imposed TBR challenge a week early.  I am missing library books too much.  I read lots of book blogs and book reviews and there are books I want to read. Many of them are older books that I have passed by for one reason or another.  Now my Play Reading class has begun again on Tuesday afternoons through U3A (University of the Third Age) I have my library afternoon after that. The class takes place just a few blocks away from the library.

I have been reading reviews of children's reviews, young adult reviews and of course adult books reviews. I decided to randomly pick some reviews and choose those books from the library to read. I had not read any of them and I needed something to motivate my reading a bit. This has done the trick.  I'll still get to the books on my shelves. But this week here is my Library Loot.

Ash Road by Ivan Southall:  A story about children that are dealing with talk of bush fires from their parents when they find themselves faced with them but everyone seems to have disappeared except for an old man.

The Fish Ladder by Katharine Norbury: A woman who loves to wander faced with the issues of adoption, a miscarried child and finding a stranger who knows all about her.

The Millstone by Margaret Drabble: I have never read a Margaret Drabble book before. It is 1965 and sexual liberation in the UK is on the way. A young woman is found pregnant after a one night stand and must deal with being a single mother - finding herself transformed along the way.

Parvana's Journey by Deborah Ellis: The Sequel to Parvana which I talked about in my last post. A young Afghani woman must leave Kabul, looking for her family, caring for her father as she escapes to a refugee camp under the Taliban.

Mrs. Bridge by Evan Connell Jr. :  Turn of the century America, in a mediocre experience within her family who faces the dilemmas that arise in daily life. The back book cover states, "She is an interesting, pathetically comic, a tragically lonely figure." and "It is sad, somewhat terrifying to reflect upon the numberless Mrs. Bridges trotting befuddledly through this urgent age. This one, you will understand. This one, you won't forget."

 A House is Built and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne.  I know, I know. Every now and then the inner child  screeches across the library floor, sliding across the lino, wanting to spend time with the wonderful friends of Winnie. One is never too old.

 I like to keep up with what is popular with young people and these two books are both talked about with respect. The Fox by Margaret  Wild and Ron Books.  I love children's books especially to look at the illustrations. How I wish I could draw.

 The Arrival by Shaun Tan: A Graphic Book with the most beautiful images in sepia that is one to see in a book. Very strange tale. This may have to be reviewed separately.

I Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne:
I have heard so much about these books that when I saw them at the library I decided it would not take long to read them and find out what the fuss is about. I know the Boyne book is taught as part of the 7th or 8th grade curriculum here. 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?


  1. I've read and re-read both the Pooh books and I Capture the Castle, which I first read as a teenager who completely identified with the narrator of the book. I think I might have read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but I don't have a 3 x 5 card on it. That's one of my frustrations: I wasn't always a meticulous record keeper. I know I read all the well-known Russian novels in my early twenties, but I don't have records of any of them.

    When choosing children's books, it's the illustrations that are the priority. I don't care how good the story is, if the illustrations aren't attractive, I choose another book. I hadn't heard of either The Fox or The Arrival, but both look interesting enough that I'm off on the Internet now to find out more about them. Fortunately, I have three very young grandnieces to buy books for and they all love books.

    1. I tend to gravitate towards illustrations of small animals living in trees. Illustrations in The Fox are Australian reds, browns and oranges to match the burnt landscape that is much of Australia. It wouldn't hold my interest as long because it is repetitive. It is interesting to look at illustrations and see what we are drawn to. Maybe because of my age I have always liked drawings like Beatrice Potter, Winnie the Pooh, Richard Scary etc. I love animals in clothes and who live in communities in the forest.

    2. Same here. My mother used to allow me to entertain myself in church by drawing little animal houses, usually underground, on the church program. Very Beatrix Potter in intent but, alas, not in execution.

  2. What a great list! I Capture the Castle is a favourite of both myself and my daughter, it is one of our comfort reads. A wonderful book I think it does not matter what age the reader, the Mortmain family leap of the page and demand your attention. So many good books I look forward to reading your thoughts, especially on The Fox and The Arrival.
    There is a library reading challenge for the month of April floating around at the moment, as an enthusiastic library user maybe you should look at signing up for that one. I have just because I thought it was a nice idea to highlight libraries, it is only a month long and I wanted to bring some discipline to my book spending, just thought I would mention it in case you are interested. Enjoy your reading.

    1. A library challenge sounds like fun but I am too busy to start with it now. I want to do more of my TBR books and I am getting ready to go on a 6 week holiday overseas in mid May. So maybe next time one comes around. I have heard so much of Capture the Castle I am really looking forward to reading it. The Fox (Australian) and The Arrival are fairly dark stories to some degree so review before you give it to very young children.

  3. i don't know why i only read the first half of "castle" because i really liked the first person narrator and was entranced (and identified with) the father in the attic burying himself in detective stories. i must have gotten distracted by....a detective story. judging by what i perused, i would recommend the book to anyone.

  4. I do that all the time. I start one book then my mood shifts and I don't stick with it. Sometimes I'll come back to it and sometimes I won't . I think most readers can understand this. I am looking forward to Castle though.


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