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Library Loot

June 17, 2010

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader and Eva at a Striped Armchair that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

I rushed over to the library this morning to pick up a copy of Spartacus for my daughter’s history in movie studies, and I found they had a treasure trove of books I’d put on hold. Sweet! 🙂

Eifelheim by Michael Flynn — This is the first science fiction novel I’ve picked up in a very long time; I spotted it on a post by Amanda at Desert Book Chick titled “Book Snobs Get Lost: Real Book Lovers Speak Out on Sci-Fi” — it was recommended by Christy at A Good Stopping Point. You can read her review here. She wrote:

In the present day, a scholar tries to figure out why a German village called Oberhochwald was never resettled after the plague, unlike all other towns like it. The majority of the book takes place in Oberhochwald in the year 1349 and we learn why this village was an anomaly. An alien ship crashes into the Black Forest near the village. From the perspective of the educated village priest, we watch as the villagers and the aliens interact.

The premise may sound silly, but the story is actually quite serious. It’s an excellent mix of historical fiction and sci-fi. The villagers and the priest view the aliens through their medieval worldview that is steeped in superstition, religion, and limited technological knowledge. The aliens, coming from a highly hierarchical culture, are intrigued by the differing values of the human society. But danger besets aliens and humans alike as winter sets in and the plague encroaches.

I’m not generally into books about alien invasions, but so far I’m finding this novel particularly intelligent and fascinating.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters — This has been recommended by various bloggers, including Trisha at Eclectic/Eccentric.

Fingersmith tells the story of Sue Trinder, a young woman orphaned at birth who grows up among the thieves and con artists of London. When a conman named Gentleman offers her a money-making opportunity, she grabs it. Maud is the unfortunate patsy in Gentlemen and Sue’s little con, but Maud has secrets of her own. Sue and Maud’s schemes and plans are no match for the path their lives were set upon before they took their first breath.

Jesus Wars by Philip Jenkins — I was intrigued by this review by Jim at Rhapsody in Books Weblog. I am tremendously curious about how modern Christianity has evolved. Jim wrote:

The author of Jesus Wars, Peter Jenkins, who is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University and Distinguished Senior Fellow, Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, argues that the official orthodoxy of Christianity today was forged by the political machinations of certain key political players of the fifth century.

Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos — This YA novel was recommended by Ana at Things Mean a Lot. She wrote:

Dark Dude tells the story of Rico Fuentes, a geeky, comic-book-loving, Huckleberry Finn-reading and Irish-looking Cuban teenager who lives in New York. Under circumstances I’d rather let you discover for yourselves, Rico decides to leave his home in Harlem to go spend some time in a farm in Wisconsin. One of Rico’s best friends, Gilberto, moved to the Midwest to go to college, and Rico is convinced that some time away from New York is just what he and his other best friend Jimmy really need.

The Solitary Summer by Elizabeth Von Arnim — Also recommended at Things Mean a Lot. Ana wrote:

The Solitary Summer is a partially autobiographical novel first published in 1899. It’s an account of a summer spent in the country, away from the social world in which a woman of Elizabeth Von Arnim’s social stance was supposed to move. It’s also a companion to Von Arnim’s more famous Elizabeth and Her German Garden, which I’ve yet to read, but now absolutely must.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2010 12:53 am

    Yay for Fingersmith! Seriously, it is such a wonderful book. I hope you enjoy it.

  2. June 17, 2010 1:59 am

    Enjoy them all.

    Fingersmith and the Solitary Summer sound good.

    (I have loved reading about Elizabeth von Armin’s garden in the past).

    • June 17, 2010 12:16 pm

      I’ve heard that Elizabeth and Her German Garden is terrific — perhaps I’ll look for that next.

  3. June 17, 2010 2:15 am

    The book by Oscar Hijuelos sounds like fellow Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz’s “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” but with a young-adult bent. “The Solitary Summer” looks good for a number of reasons, including the fact that it was published at the turn of the 20th century. Also just for being plain interesting. “Eifelheim” looks trippy and could be very good (but also could seemingly be too outlandish). I like the sound of “Fingersmith” being about con artists and whatnot. And finally, “Jesus Wars,” as you said, could very well be fascinating.

    • June 17, 2010 12:17 pm

      Nick, I agree that the premise if Eifelheim puts it in danger of being too outlandish. So far, I am really liking it, though.

  4. June 17, 2010 2:42 am

    I keep meaning to read Fingersmith because it is so well-reviewed. I must make time!

  5. June 17, 2010 3:48 am

    Ooh, I’m so excited you picked up Eifelheim! I hope you like it! I too was intrigued by Ana’s review of Dark Dude, so I hope you enjoy that one as well.

  6. June 17, 2010 5:33 am

    I have been dying to read Fingersmith. You are so lucky. lol

  7. June 18, 2010 10:04 am

    Fingersmith is so fanatstic, enjoy! 🙂

  8. June 18, 2010 5:12 pm

    What a great selection of books! I closed my library account this week (so sad) but I have been hoarding audio books in anticipation of the move and unpacking. I think I have about 12 books to listen to (not that I will listen to all of them).

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