Thursday, February 20, 2014

Looting the Library

Library Loot from today's visit--NF

I got to go to the Longview library to check out on my sister's card again.  Last time was on my birthday, November 13th.  I suppose I should get my own card since I've been here 13.75 months and still no end to my 'visit' in sight.

I intended to get back several of the books I'd had out last summer and last fall and raid the stacks for more titles I've been thinking about but I ended up spending the whole time at the new books shelves.

Top row left to right (all first time checkouts):

The Golden Thread: A History of Writing by Ewan Clayton This the story of the alphabets and writing tools from the early stone tablets to the digital age.  I'm excited about this one.  Third below words and story in my interests obsessions is the technology of writing and reading

American Heretics: Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and the History of Religious Intolerance by Peter Gottschalk  The history of conflict between the major religions since the inception of America, the country whose constitution guaranteed freedom of religion but in practice, at least at the local level in many areas, attempts by one religion to marginalize the others were rife.

Think: Why You Should Question Everything by Guy P. Harrison An apologia for skepticism and the scientific method.

Bottom row left to right:

Merlin.  What is it about cats that they need to be in the middle of what you are doing?

Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights by Marina Warner  This is the third time I've had this checked out since late last summer.  I think I need to own it.  Warner is a respected authority and theorist in mythology, fable and legend and how they shape our cultures and how they are shaped by the cultures that encounter them.  This book is a study of the reciprocal influence between Western Civilization and the Arabian Nights.


Library Loot from today's visit--Fiction

Top row left to right:

Merlin.

Cartwheel by Jennifer Dubois  The story of an American girl studying in Buenos Aries who becomes the prime suspect in the brutal murder of her American flatmate.  Yes it is modeled after the Amanda Knox case.  But it is not just a tabloid titillation.  It is a literary exploration of perception and bias and naivete.  The story's narration alternates between the girl's father, the boyfriend and the prosecutor.

The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble The story of a young anthropology student in the 1960s whose affair with her professor resulted in a baby.  As a single mother she is surrounded by a community of women through whose eyes we watch her raising the baby girl who has a disability unspecified in the cover blurb.  I think this is what is known as a comedy of manners.  Drabble is often compared to Austen.  This is the second time I've checked this out since last summer and is the only one of the fiction that is a repeat.

The Book of Heaven: A Novel by Patricia Storace It was this line from the inside cover blurb that hooked me:  "...a stunningly original novel of heartrending lyricism about four women who invite us to enter into a new and powerful imagination of the divine: what if "a woman's point of view" were also God's?"  And these lines pulled me in: "Eve speaks about what we are told happened in the Garden of Eden, a story she hardly recognizes. She tells her version of events."  And then introduces us to four more women and their stories: "...a metamorphosis of Sarah, Abraham's wife; an invented polytheist cook; Job's wife; and the queen of Sheba."

Bottom row left to right:

Wild Ginger by Anchee Min  A coming of age story of a young girl in 1960 China during the height of Mao's power.

420 Characters by Lou Beach  A beautifully made book physically.  With beautifully wrought prose composing several dozen flash fictions told in 420 characters or less counting spaces and punctuation that were originally published as status updates on fb.

In the Moors (A Shaman Mystery #1) by Nina Milton First in a mystery series featuring shamanistic counselor Sabbie Dare.

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