Friday, November 20, 2009

Library Loot!

I've been too busy getting ready for the craft show I was a part of this week to do much reading, and certainly to do much blogging. Now it's over (yay!) and while it was fun, now I can just relax and read some new books. Ahhhhh. (and here's one of my flower quotes for your entertainment)

To celebrate, I want to share some of the great books I've brought home with me this week. I haven't done a library loot post in a while; I've been so busy I've mostly just been adding books to the list to bring home some other time. But since I finally have time to read again, I'll share my finds with you! I'm snatching some book descriptions from the publishers this week as I haven't had time to write up proper summaries myself, sorry.

The Spare Room / Helen Garner

From Publisher: The Spare Room is the extraordinary writer Helen Garner's first work of fiction in fifteen years, and an intense, moving investigation of the boundaries and limits of friendship. As the novel opens, Helen lovingly prepares the spare room in her home for her dear friend Nicola, who is coming to visit for three weeks while receiving controversial treatment for late-stage cancer. From the moment Nicola staggers off the plane, gaunt and hoarse but still somehow grand, Helen becomes her nurse, her guardian angel, and her stony judge. The Spare Room tells an unforgettable story of the complex humour, rage, and compassion that informs and changes a lifelong friendship.

The Heart Specialist / Claire Holden Rothman

I've been hearing a lot about this one, and it is published by one of my favourite Canadian publishers, Cormorant Books. I'm thinking this might be a good one for my upcoming list of books to read for the Women Unbound Challenge!

From Publisher: Inspired by the life of Doctor Maude Elizabeth Seymour Abbott, The Heart Specialist is the story of a woman pursuing her dream at the dawn of the twentieth century. Stripped of a regular childhood when her father is accused of a horrific crime and abandons the family, Agnes was never considered ladylike. She is drawn to the wrong things, such as anatomy and dissection, which lead to her calling as a doctor. Yet despite a rapid rise to stardom in the medical community, she finds herself up against the same glass ceiling faced by women in her field.

Find a quiet corner / Nancy O'Hara

From Publisher: Going beyond daily meditation, Find a Quiet Corner teaches us effective ways to release stress, boost energy, tap into creativity, improve our well-being, and above all, achieve spiritual fulfillment. Readers will benefit from its lessons on how to increase self-awareness and personal satisfaction through careful attention to breath.

Little Fingers / Flip Florian; translated from the Romanian by Alistair Ian Blythe

From the Publisher: In a small town in the mountains, a mass grave is discovered. Public prosecutors, journalists and former political prisoners arrive ; the issue becomes the main topic for the press and a daily source of political wrangling. The explanation that it was a crime perpetrated by the communists (in the 1950s) seems the most likely. Petrus, an archaeologist, researches old archives, visits and listens to the town’s old folk, seeking a convincing lead, in order to quell the furore surrounding the bones. As the credibility of the military prosecutors is zero, given their ties to the former and current regimes, a number of investigating Argentinean anthropologists arrive in the small mountain resort. Their verdict is disappointing for a country where communism murdered wholesale and mutilated lives: the mass grave is the product of the mediaeval Black Death and not red machineguns.

Heavy Words lightly thrown : the reason behind the rhyme / Chris RobertsFrom Publisher's Weekly: A librarian by night and a London tour guide by day, Roberts deploys an informal style of scholarship to dazzling effect, transforming a catalogue of familiar nursery rhymes into a treasure trove of tantalizingly slippery archaisms, hidden etymological layers, arcane associations and buried meanings. Having explained how the Victorians sanitized nursery rhymes' traditionally earthy content, Roberts attends to each ditty separately, printing obscure variants and tracing historical references, from British constitutional history to bygone pagan customs. Unlocking the secret meanings of the past, Roberts also finds plenty of refreshingly straightforward modern-day analogies for the nursery rhymes—the chanted taunts of the average British soccer fan illustrate certain rhymes' original tone and purpose. In a fluidly digressive style, he debunks accepted theories and confidently asserts his own.

I also received my first e-book ever from an author & her publicist this week! I'm excited to see how I like reading it in that format. It's a book on journaling (a topic I love to learn about, practice, and share information on); specifically about journaling for caregivers. It looks great; watch for a review soon. It's called:

You want me to do what? / B. Lynn Goodwin

From Lynn's website: Writing relieves stress and saves lives. As a caregiver, you spend every spare minute driving to medical appointments, stopping at the pharmacy, cooking, answering questions, paying bills, and helping with matters that used to be private. Why write about it? Journals never argue. They let you vent, expound, rationalize, elaborate, and imagine best and worst outcomes. They let you breathe. A journal welcomes your questions and invites you to explore and analyze possible answers. Journals never talk back. Journals let you finish your thoughts and offer silent, unconditional acceptance. Writing gives perspective and restores sanity. Writing is a lifeline as well as a record. Writing saves lives. Do not underestimate its power.

So that's what I have ahead for myself this week. Let's see if I get as much reading done as I hope to!


  1. I enjoyed The Spare Room; hope you do too. (sad but good)

  2. Love what you've been up to for the craft fair! Just beautiful. :) And the cover of The Heart Specialist is gorgeous too. And that rhyme book is tempting.

  3. Diane - that's exactly the feeling I got from it; it would be sad, even harrowing, but good.

    Eva - Thanks so much! Cormorant always has very beautiful cover images, they are so tempting to pick up.


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