Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Library Loot: February 2 – 8

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!


Claire has Mr Linky this week

Take One Candle, Light a Room by Susan Straight.

This is a new author for me. It was also one of those surprise finds while browsing the shelves. I don't get to go to the library as regularly as I used to so most of my library loot of late are items I've ordered via their online catalog and are then picked up by my husband.

I was drawn to this by the cover art but the clincher was the author's way with words. As in this early paragraph on the first page:

Their faces are stark and somber, varying shades of amber and gray in the cold winter light. Claudine, with hooded eyes, a plumpness around her jaw from the baby, her arms crossed over breasts swollen like bags of rice under her shirt. Felonise, hair in a pompadour over her thin face, her coat collar too big around her flowerstem neck. Mary, black eyes fierce and slanted, the dark scar still visible on her face where his ring gouged out a kernel of skin on her left cheekbone. Zizi, whose light gray eyes are clear as water, her thick black braid askew on her head. And my mother, Marie-Claire, her face pale and round as a tortilla, her dark brows like tadpoles swimming toward each other, the only one who tried to smile for the camera.
The narrator/protagonist is describing five sixteen year old girls in a decades old faded photo. With language wielded like that I could even forgive a weak story but the evidence that the story will be anything but weak is in this paragraph as well. For we learn that one of these young women has just given birth, another has been assaulted by a man and only one of the five even attempts a smile.

I was drawn in and read the whole first chapter in spite of having a novel going already and several commitments that prevented me from re-engaging in the story once I got it home. And in the following week I had a couple dozen library books and DVD coming due that took precedence. It's turn is coming soon I hope.

Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and her Family's Feuds by Lyndall Gordon

Emily Dickinson has been one of my favorite poets since I was in high school. Favorite is not a strong enough word. I was in awe of her poems. Those tiny little things so loaded with meaning and often multiple meanings.

I knew little of her life though except that she never married and had remained in the family home as somewhat of a recluse and that her poems were not published in her lifetime.

I was under the impression that not much more than that was known or even knowable. I was unable to find anything resembling a biography at the time and entries in encyclopedias were scant of information.

This quite thick book tells the story of a family embroiled in illicit love, financial troubles, betrayal and a feud with another family that continued for over a century.


Barry Lyndon by William Thackeray

I sent for this one a few weeks ago after seeing the movie adapted from it on Netflix.

1 tell me a story:

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