Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today's Library Finds

I stopped in at the library on my way home today and found this tantalizing haul awaiting me on the hold shelf:

Nemesis by Jo Nesbo: I’ve not yet read any Nesbo, but I’ve developed an affinity for Scandanavian crime fiction, and his Norwegian mystery series featuring Detective Harry Hole (of which this is the most recently translated installment) comes highly recommended by Danielle.

Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan: Pollan’s In Defence of Food was one of my favourite reads last year, and I’m keen to catch up on his earlier work.

Paradox of Plenty: A Social History of Eating in Modern America by Harvey Levenstein: I think that Pollan led me to this one as well via the footnotes in In Defense of Food. I’ve got a lot of food books on the go these days, and this history should help set the context for many of the others.

Loose Girl: a memoir of promiscuity by Kerry Cohen: A review by ragdoll at My Tragic Right Hip put this one on my radar and I'm looking forward to diving in.

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff: I can’t remember where I heard about this one, likely a newspaper review given the amount of buzz it appears to have generated. In any event, the marvellous Victorian style silhouettes on the cover catch my eye every time I walk into a bookstore, and the description on the book jacket has me thoroughly intrigued:

"In the wake of a wildly disastrous affair with her married archaeology professor, Willie Upton arrives on the doorstep of her ancestral home in storybook Templeton, New York, looking to hide in the one place to which she swore she’d never come back. As soon as she arrives, though, a prehistoric monster surfaces in Lake Glimmerglass, changing the very fabric of the town. What’s more, Willie’s hippie-turned-born-again-Baptist mother, Vi, tells her a secret she’s been hiding for nearly thirty years: that Willie’s father wasn’t the random man from a free-love commune that Vi had led her to imagine, but someone else entirely. Someone from this very town. As Willie puts her archaeological skills to work digging for the truth about her lineage, she discovers that the secrets of her family run deep when past and present blur, dark mysteries come to light, and the shocking truth about more than one monster is revealed."


Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert: I spotted this one in a random bookstore browse but showed uncharacteristic restraint in noting down the title and ordering it later from the library rather than buying a copy then and there. It’s a very thought-provoking book by a psychologist on how poor human beings are at predicting what will make us happy. It fits in nicely with some of the reading I’ve been doing lately about the mind and the brain. Plus the author is very funny and it’s already proving a pleasure to read.

If you’re getting the idea that I’m on a bit of a non-fiction kick these days, you’d be right!

8 comments:

Kailana said...

Good haul! There are a few on there I wouldn't mind reading myself one of these days...

litlove said...

Stumbling on Happiness was fun - Gilbert is a very witty writer. The others are all new to me, so I'll be watching with interest as always to see how you get on.

Kerry said...

I LOVED Monsters of Templeton. Hope you enjoy it.

allanmcdougall said...

Loose Girl sounds like Heather O'Neill's 'Lullabies for Little Criminals', a must read! Great haul indeed; I'll keep some of the titles in mind for sure.

Seth Christenfeld said...

My copy of Monsters keeps calling out to read it, so I just might do so soon--Groff's "Sir Fleeting" was featured in One Story a month or so ago and was quite impressive.

Melanie said...

There are some great books here! I have Pollan's books on my mental list; right now I am reading a fabulous food book by Gary Nabhan called Where our food comes from. It's about genetic diversity, seed saving, ethnobotany, politics of food etc. Really good.

Suko said...

Kate, if all these books were waiting for me I'd never do anything but read, day and night!

Danielle said...

I hope you like the Nesbo book--I have this one set aside to read as well. I do love Harry Hole!