Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Alessandra in which they encourage bloggers to share the books they've checked out from the library. Now, I don't need much encouragement to share my enthusiasm for the library and the glorious stacks of books that I cart home from it on a regular basis. And this week was a particularly good one. Here's what I got and why:
J.L. Carr, A Month in the Country: A brief post at Books, Inq. pronouncing this novella "a minor masterpiece" sent me in search of it. Plus, I've yet to encounter a book published by NYRB not worth reading.
Barbara Caruso, A Painter's Journey: Volume II 1974-1979: Some of you may remember that volume one of Caruso's journals was one of my favourite reads of 2006 and I'm keen to continue through the rest of the 70s with her.
Nick Hornby, Housekeeping vs. The Dirt: It seems to me that this second collection of Hornby's "Adventures in Reading" columns from The Believer has been soundly panned by a number of my favourite bloggers. But I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume (The Polysyllabic Spree), so I'm giving it a go all the same.
Siri Hustvedt, The Sorrows of an American: I read a number of newspaper reviews of this one that piqued my interest when it first came out. And I recall that Litlove and Ms. Smithereens, each of whom has led me to many a fabulous book, have praised other Hustvedt novels highly. So, it seems time I acquainted myself with her work.
Dennis Lehane, The Given Day: I'm curious about the shift Lehane makes here from crime fiction to historical fiction. And, as a former resident of Boston, I'm partial to fiction set there. Plus it got a good review from Ragdoll, another discerning blogger whose recommendations I trust. I've got the audiobook version and will be relying on it to keep me occupied for many hours of subway riding to work and treadmill running at the gym.
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon (translated from the German by Barbara Harshav): This one caught my attention when I read a description of it on a "best of 2008" list in a newspaper, I've forgotten which newspaper. Plus it will further my quest to read more fiction in translation. (I was going to say that it might be my first foray into Swiss literature, then I remembered Joanna Spyri's Heidi—a childhood favourite that I don't dare revisit as I fear it would come off as dreadfully moralistic to me now.)
Ali Smith, The First Person and Other Stories: Smith's The Whole Story and Other Stories is one of my all-time favourite short story collections, and her latest appears to be in a similar vein—stories about telling stories that nonetheless succeed as stories.
These should keep me occupied for a couple of weeks...