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Library Loot

August 10, 2010

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

This week, I got loads of picture books for 6-year-old Trisha; most of them are about African wildlife.  I always go overboard on getting books for a unit study. I also got myself some books and movies.


Field Guide by Gwendolen Gross — I got this recommendation from another book blogger, but I don’t remember who. Will anyone confess? 😀

From Library Journal — American graduate student Annabel Mendelssohn is still grieving the loss of her brother in a diving accident when she embarks on a scheduled journey to study spectacled fruit bats in the rain forest of Queensland, Australia. In e-mail messages home to her concerned older sister, she details her impressions of these curious creatures and of the various human specimens she encounters along the way. Assigned as her project director is the attractive and eccentric Professor John Goode. He proves to be an enthusiastic and supportive mentor but then mysteriously disappears before she can complete her work. When the professor’s son, Leon, also a scientist, is called home from Boston to look for his father, Annabel abandons her project to join him in the search. Predictably, over shared chasms of loss, they connect.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy — I keep seeing this book mentioned as a must read for people who love multi-cultural fiction.

From Publishers Weekly — With sensuous prose, a dreamlike style infused with breathtakingly beautiful images and keen insight into human nature, Roy’s debut novel charts fresh territory in the genre of magical, prismatic literature. Set in Kerala, India, during the late 1960s when Communism rattled the age-old caste system, the story begins with the funeral of young Sophie Mol, the cousin of the novel’s protagonists, Rahel and her fraternal twin brother, Estha. In a circuitous and suspenseful narrative, Roy reveals the family tensions that led to the twins’ behavior on the fateful night that Sophie drowned. Beneath the drama of a family tragedy lies a background of local politics, social taboos and the tide of history, all of which come together in a slip of fate, after which a family is irreparably shattered.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin — Recommended to me by my sister-in-law, Cheryl. This will also contribute to my participation in the GLBT challenge. And I just noticed they’re having a Fantasy and Sci-Fi mini-challenge this month. Cool!

from — Genly Ai is an emissary from the human galaxy to Winter, a lost, stray world. His mission is to bring the planet back into the fold of an evolving galactic civilization, but to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own culture and prejudices and those that he encounters. On a planet where people are of no gender–or both–this is a broad gulf indeed. The inventiveness and delicacy with which Le Guin portrays her alien world are not only unusual and inspiring, they are fundamental to almost all decent science fiction that has been written since.

Hexwood and Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones. Ana at Things Mean a Lot brought this author to my attention. She recommended Fire and Hemlock as a first novel for a Diana Wynne Jones virgin, but our library didn’t have it. 😀 Dogsbody tells of the difficult mission confronting Sirius the Dog Star when he is sentenced to be reborn on Earth. About Hexwood:

from School Library Journal — Futuristic, virtual-reality technology melds with the realm of Faerie to liberate the galaxy from the corrupt Reigners who have controlled it for the past 1,000 years. Set in an English village in 1992, the novel’s web of events is catalyzed by a bored employee of Hexwood Farm, a secret outpost of the interplanetary rulers. He tampers with the Reigners’ old, computerlike machine, the Bannus, hoping it will cough up a hobbit-and-dragon role-playing game. But the Bannus’s game is for real, and it sucks the players it chooses-including transcendental souls like Arthur, Merlin, and Fitela-into its field of influence and forces them to act (without changing their natures) within its own scenarios. Unleashed in the Wood (which has power of its own, being a part of the eternal, enchanted forest), the machine is able to stage a battle to dethrone the unrightful Reigners and to choose the best possible new ones. The battlefield the Bannus and the Wood create is Arthurian, complete with castle, sorcery, knights, and dragons. The characters’ ages and physical forms often change, though not so fast that readers will lose track of what’s going on. Time, too, is fluid. Jones’s knife-sharp prose delves with psychedelic clarity into the shared subconscious of humankind. The book is humorous as well, with lines that call Douglas Adams, Monty Python, and James Bond to mind. A wide range of readers will find it marvelously mind-stretching. They may even be tempted to read it twice.


The Motorcycle Diaries — based on the early life of Che Guevara.

Speak — based on the much-lauded book by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof — who does Southern dysfunctional families better than Tennessee Williams? 😀

Nick  and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Bee Season

The Tudors (first season)

21 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2010 9:27 pm

    The God of all Small Things is in my TBR pile. I will be interested to hear how you like it.

  2. August 10, 2010 9:32 pm

    Funny – I just reviewed Motorcycle Diaries book today. LOL! I loved that movie – will be looking for your thoughts! Nick & Norah’s movie also I enjoyed, didn’t care much for the book. Loved both the book and the movie of Speak! Wow- you have an enviable loot today!

    • August 12, 2010 8:30 am

      Ooh … I can’t wait to read your review of Motorcycle Diaries. I thought about reading it, then decided to skip straight to the movie. 🙂

  3. August 10, 2010 10:29 pm

    I have an Ursula Le Guin this week too although it seems to be something a bit different than her usual sci-fi.

  4. August 10, 2010 11:07 pm

    I don’t remember the last time a book made me weep as much as The God of Small Things, one scene in particular. I read it for a book club and none of the other ladies reacted as I did, but oh boy… for me, it was rough.

    I liked Speak, too, both the book and the movie. I’m a little tired of seeing so much Kristen Stewart now, but I thought she was great for the role of Melinda. And Steve Zahn. I always like Steve Zahn.

    And Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I had heard/read pretty mediocre reviews, but I ended up preferring the movie to the book. Hope you enjoy all your loot!

    • August 12, 2010 8:33 am

      I’m glad to hear people saying they preferred the Nick and Norah movie adaptation to the book, since I skipped the book and went straight for the movie. 🙂 And I’m glad to hear you liked Kristen Stewart in Speak. I’ve never seen her outside the tabloids. I’ve avoided the Twilight movies, since I read the first book and hated it.

      You have me even more intrigued by The God of Small Things, though it sounds like it was a painful experience for you.

  5. August 11, 2010 12:20 am

    I read Nick and Norah a looong time ago but haven’t seen the movie yet. I love love love Michael Cera.

  6. August 11, 2010 1:08 am

    Interesting picks! I love Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and am intrigued by Field Guide.

    Enjoy your loot!

  7. August 11, 2010 6:59 am

    I really hope you won’t hate Hexwood – I say this because I worry about how it’d work as an intro to DWJ. Dogsbody, on the other hand, is sure to work just fine 😀 Also, enjoy The God of Small Things! It’s one of my all-time favourites.

  8. August 11, 2010 1:56 pm

    NPR is so addictive. My mom groans in the car every time I turn it on.
    I want to go to college, but I’m also UNBELIEVABLY horrified. I’m a homebody.
    I think it’s okay to be a kid forever, as long as you ACT like an adult (at least in public.) 😀
    Thank you for being so cool. Nick & Norah’s is a fantastic movie, and a fantastic book.

    • August 12, 2010 8:39 am

      Pretending to be an adult is a useful skill as long as it’s practiced in moderation. 😉 I think it’s great that you’re so comfortable living at home. And you still have about 3 years before you need to face that transition.

  9. August 11, 2010 4:18 pm

    Looks like a great selection of books, I have given up on my library. Only because I need to remember I can only use audio books from the library and I haven’t had time. I brought home 5 new releases just after the move (all excited) and didn’t pick up one. yikes.


    • August 12, 2010 8:40 am

      I hope you’ll have more time for books and movies once you settle down from the move. 🙂

  10. August 11, 2010 4:36 pm

    Speaking of “The Motorcycle Diaries,” if you want a complete (and thus extremely dense) version of Che Guevara’s political life, check out Steven Soderbergh’s “Che.” It’s sometimes boring (it being 2 parts and 4 hours long), but it’s somewhat of an encyclopedic film and that’s pretty commendable.

    • August 12, 2010 8:41 am

      Thanks, Nick! It does sound like something that might interest me. We’ll see if The Motorcycle Diaries whets my appetite for more. 🙂

  11. August 16, 2010 11:33 pm

    I hope you enjoy The God of Small Things. Contrary to popular opinion, it simply did not work for me unfortunately. The synopsis for Field Guide sounds great!

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