Sunday, December 6, 2009

Library Loot: 12.7.09

Library Loot is a blogging event hosted by Eva (a Striped Armchair) and Marg (Reading Adventures) that encourages us to post our recent library findings.

I know I haven't written much about my library loot lately, but just because I haven't posted does not mean I haven't frequented my library these past few weeks. I went through a period of reading books about writing, books about authors and why they write, and books about becoming an author myself. I think that phase has now passed. I do want to write - but not for any other reason except that I enjoy the writing process and I want to make time to do that for me.

But books about writing are not my only interest. As you can tell by this large stack of books, I have a wide variety of interests and my eyes are much too big for my allotted free time. However, as I stated earlier this week, I tend to use my library as a means of organizing my TBR lists. I will most definitely skim through all these books and make the decision that either the book is not for me at the this time, OR the book is interesting enough for me to try to read within the three week lending period, OR the book is good enough to purchase a copy for my own personal collection. The book stack can easily be divided into three categories: books for school-related projects; books about Christmas and/or dog stories (my personal interest); and literary recommendations from fellow book bloggers.

This small stack represents books that I have checked out for school-related projects. They include:
  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan. I don't remember which blog recommended this book (I vow to do better with this aspect of blogging next year), but I immediately checked it out. I do not fully appreciate graphic novels, but what I love about this book are the beautifully mysterious illustrations. I plan to show several of the pictures out of context, and have the students write their own short story inspired by the photo.
  • Andrew Wyeth Autobiography. Again, I hope students will be inspired by his art to imagine their own short story.
  • Edward Harper: The Art and the Artist by Gail Levin. Plan to also use this book in the same way as outlined above.
  • The Modern Library Writer's Workshop by Stephen Koch. This book is for me in the hopes of improving my own writing technique so that I can pass down some useful knowledge to my students.
  • The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. This is a 12-week program to help writers (or any artist for that matter) learn to become the creative individuals that God has designed us to be. I have only read the first week but have already learned a valuable tool: Morning Pages -- that is, write 3 pages every morning NO MATTER WHAT. This will allow us to release all the anxieties, worries and responsibilities that are inhibiting our creative juices.
This stack of books represents the totally fun, festive category. Most of these books are either Christmas books and/or dog stories.
  • A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. I have heard about this book for years, but have never taken the time to read it. I skimmed it yesterday once I brought it home and was truly taken with the poetic language. I look forward to reading it more closely over the next couple of weeks.
  • The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman. I think every blogger has already reviewed this book, but I had to wait over a month for my turn at the library. I am about half way through the book and am enjoying the frame of a cookie exchange to introduce us to each of the characters' stories.
  • The Christmas Dog by Melody Carson. I have not read any of this author's works, but several have reviewed this book and given it glowing recommendations. Truly, how can a book with an adorable dog on the cover NOT be good?
  • A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid. I read this book within the first 24 hours of bringing it home. I am going to an author presentation and book signing tomorrow and will post my review afterwards. I do heartily recommend the book. (unfortunately I missed the Hallmark presentation of the story last weekend)
  • Everything for a Dog by Ann M. Martin I have been told that if you desire to write a book, then you should read as many published works on that topic. Some day, just for me, I am going to write a dog story. Right now I am doing the research.
  • Amazing Gracie: a Dog's Tale by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff. I think I found this book browsing on the library's website. Interestingly, the authors live in the Westport section of Kansas City, MO -- just a hop, skip and a jump from my house.
  • A Dog about Town by J. F. Englert How could I resist trying this series where the sleuth is a black lab named Randolph?
The final stack of books is a hodge-podge of literary works that you kind bloggers have recommended and I simply couldn't resist checking them out myself:
  • Await your Reply by Dan Chaon. Again, I apologize that I can't remember who recommended this book so highly, but your description made me immediately place a hold at my local library. I hope I have time to read this one over the Christmas break.
  • Quieter than Sleep by Joanne Dobson. A mystery whose protagonist is a Professor of English. I had to check it out.
  • Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen by Faye Weldon. I checked this book out over a month ago and have renewed it since. I cannot find the book in print to purchase, but the little I have read so far tells me that I want to have a copy of the book for my very own.
  • A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch. I am fairly confident that the review I read was for this author's most recent release in the Charles Lennox mysteries. I am enthralled with anything having to do with the Victorian era, but true to my OC nature, I had to read the first in the series before I could read any of the others.
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. I am trying to wait ever so patiently for Susan Hill's book about books, Howard's End is on the Landing, but unfortunately it has not yet been released in the US. Fortunately, Simon of Savidge Reads posted a review of this lovely little gem and I think it will "hit the spot" until Howard's End is available for me to devour. Of course, I also have The Man Who Loved Books Too Much on reserve at the library as well. I think I am now number 6 in line.
  • Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto. Now here is the power of book blogs. If I had seen the book sitting on the shelves of the library or bookstore, I would passed right on by. However, Joann of Lakeside Musing gave such a glowing review of this author's poetic writing style, that I had to immediately reserve a copy.
Well, as you can see, I am never at a loss for material to read. I only wish I could somehow find an extra few hours in each day to accomplish all my reading goals. What library books do you have waiting in the wings?


  1. Great loot! I haven't really had a chance to go to the library lately but I do have some that are supposed to come in soon: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman and The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews. Happy reading!

  2. That is a huge stack! So many good ones! You know Ann Martin wrote a precious little book called A Dog's Life: An Autobiography of a Stray. It is required reading for our 3rd graders, and my son and I read it last year. So here is the big do you decide which is first?

  3. Now that's a stack of books!! I'll be curious to see if the first few pages of Kitchen captivates you, too.

  4. Wow! You have lots of great library books! In all honesty I probably have about the same amount, but because they trickle in by 3-4 each week I don't notice all that much.

  5. Great loot Molly! I will be interested in your review of Kitchen--depending on what you have to say abut it I may need to give it a second chance. I tried reading it during last April's read-a-thon and just couldn't do it. I think I was expecting something different and couldn't get past that.

    On a side note--you so have to do the You've Got Mail challenge!! The number of books you read are up to you, and most of them are children's authors, some even being picture books. If you are in love with the movie, then my bet is that the mini-challenges will be fun. Nothing like a little pressure.....;)

  6. OMG Molly, it looks like you won the library jackpot! You must have a very good library. I copied down a couple I want to try.

  7. What a great list of books, Molly. I took out Kitchen, too, and started reading it and enjoyed the pages I finished, but had to return it because it was due. I keep meaning to take it out again so I can finish it!

    Enjoy The Artist's Way! I never did get through the program but Cameron's morning pages were a daily routine for me for more than eight years. I found them to be life changing!

  8. Ah sadly no library books waiting for me, however I do have a few hundred of my own or so. The problem with living next to a discount book store is the fact that since books tend to be under a dollar, it is easy to go there about 10 times a week. Before I knew it I was having my 4th book shelf installed. Gulp. Hope your week is going well!

  9. You definitely have been a familiar face for the librarian! Do you have a gold card?!

  10. What a diverse collection you have there!!!


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