Friday, May 22, 2009
Library Loot 6: Under the Influence of Fellow Bloggers
Nearly all of this week's selections were prompted by posts from fellow bloggers. Click on the names of the blogs or bloggers below to link to the posts that piqued my interest in each of these tantalizing books.
Borkmann’s Point and The Return by Håkan Nesser: These are the second and third books in Nesser's Inspector Van Veeteren series (my library doesn't yet have copies of the first, Mind's Eye, which was translated into English more recently than the others). Recent posts at Crime Scraps, Detectives Beyond Borders, and Djs Krimiblog quickly shifted Nesser from the "I'd like to read him someday," into the "I must read him now" category for me.
Blind Justice and Murder in Grub Street by Bruce Alexander: These are the first two books in a mystery series featuring a pair of sleuths, one a fictionalized version of historical figure Sir John Fielding (an 18th Century judge credited as co-founder of London's first police force and, incidentally, also half-brother of novelist Henry Fielding), and the other, Jeremy Proctor, a thirteen-year-old orphan newly arrived in the city and working as a typesetter's assistant on Grub Street. Julie's compelling posts about both (here and here) prompted me to seek them out.
Greenery Street by Denis Mackail: Danielle's post about this one made it sound like a quality comfort read, not necessarily similar in content or style to the likes of Enchanted April and Miss Buncle's Book, but perhaps generating the same sort of reading experience. And the fact that Persephone Books has recently reprinted it adds to the weight of Danielle's recommendation.
A Start in Life by Anita Brookner: This is Brookner’s first novel. I've not read any of her books and, honestly, haven't felt any compulsion to do so. But Mark Thwaite's recent post about his regard for her work made me rethink that.
The Odd Women by George Gissing: From the back cover description: "Five odd women—women without husbands—are the subject of this powerful novel, set in Victorian London, by a writer whose perceptions about people, particularly women, would be remarkable in any age and are extraordinary in the 1890s." It was a recent post by Dorothy that piqued my interest in this one.
Unseen by Mari Jungstedt and Lewi's Journey by Per Olov Enquist: Two very different books by very different authors. The former is the first in a mystery series set on the Swedish island of Gotland, the latter a historical novel by one of Sweden's foremost writers of literary fiction. What they have in common is that they're both translated by Tiina Nunnally and they were both recommended by Reg in response to my recent post seeking suggestions of novels which would expand my acquaintance with Swedish literature (and who better to get such recommendations from than the translator of some of my favourite Swedish writers including Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson?).
Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih: Maud Newton’s appreciation of this Sudanese novel highlighted its status as one of the few classics of Arabic literature readily available in English translation and sent me racing out for a copy.
Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley: I've been making a few forays into the realm of graphic novels of late, and Nymeth's post about this one made it sound irresistible.
And finally, a couple that I came up with all on my own: A Concise History of Sweden by Neil Kent (more background for my upcoming trip to Sweden), and Old City Hall by Robert Rotenberg (a debut crime novel by a well-known Canadian lawyer which is said to bring vividly to life the sights and sounds of Toronto, my current home).
It's a tribute to the glories of my local libraries, is it not, that I have all of these books in hand so soon after resolving to read them? (That's the Toronto Public Library, with occasional side trips to the York University Library, in case you’re wondering.) I love the library.