Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Library Loot March 14-20

I am a huge public library fan! Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.  I go to the library a couple of times per week to pick up my requests and to browse. Here are the treasures I brought home this week:

 To Siberia by Per Petterson 

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue 

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai

A Good American by Alex George

The Interloper by Antoine Wilson

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Just a couple of days after discovering the wonderfully written article, The Misanthrope’s Guide to Reading While Traveling, written by Rebecca Joines Schinsky,
THESE fantastic book covers came to my attention!

 Click on this link to learn more about the author/creator
P.S.  I am receiving no compensation...
this enthusiasm is all mine!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Monday's Question 3/12

Check out this great food-for-thought article written by Jennifer Paull at Bookriot

Click on the link below:

What literary names would you give to your pets or children and why?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More Food For Thought

The Misanthrope’s Guide to Reading While Traveling (or How to Be Left Alone)

This post is great! (click on lengthy link below).  Rebecca from Book Riot articulated many of my thoughts EXACTLY!  (I even have some of these same issues occur while reading at the beach, at home, and at the bookstore).
What are YOUR thoughts?

Literary Blog Hop: How Do You Find Time to Read?

I love this three-part question posted by The Blue Bookcase, host of the monthly Literary Blog Hop.  

How do you find time to read?
I make time to read because, truly, I can't get through a day without cracking open a book.  I tend to read in the morning before I go to work, read again at bedtime, and seize any opportunity that presents itself during the day  :-)

What's your reading style?
I prefer to read in a quiet location (when that's not available I have been known to use ear plugs).  I keep sticky notes nearby to mark unknown words, quotes I like, and connections for further research.  I absolutely get lost in good books!

Where do you think reading literature should rank in society's priorities? 
I've always believed reading literature, contemporary and classic, should be a top priority for everyone.  Can you imagine how the world might be a better place if more people were inspired by reading...inspired by book settings, characters, approaches to problem solving, and all the thought-provoking details that that reader may connect with at that particular point in his or her life?  Great literature has vast offerings.  I do hope that more people choose to delve into the classics where the richness of the writing and the examples of human condition can be pondered within the books' settings of "simpler times."

Friday, March 9, 2012

More Food For Thought

This is interesting...never knew that J. K. Rowling was initially encouraged to publish under a male pen name.  Check out this article...

No Place for a Woman: Female Fiction on AbeBooks

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Join The Classics Club

I just became aware of a fantastic idea put forth by Jillian of the book blog A Room of One's Own.  She has started "The Classics Club" to encourage readers to be inspired by and enjoy classic literature.  As a reader, you choose 50, 75, 100 (you decide) classic titles that you intend to read over the next five years.  Read the books on your list and write about them on your blog. Check out the details at
I am so excited about this...the timeline gives structure (one classic per month?) which feels like a goal I can accomplish while still having time to read other amazing books ( it).  60 months = 60 classics.  My finish line is March 8, 2017.  Time to dig in!

Here is my list of titles:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Castle by Franz Kafka
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Old Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Beth Book by Sarah Grand
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
1984 by George Orwell
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Wings of the Dove by Henry James
A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
An Historical Mystery by Honore de Balzac
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
If On a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
The Bone People by Keri Hulme
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Last Brother

Title:  The Last Brother
Author:  Nathacha Appanah
Published:  Graywolf Press  2011
                  Originally published in French  2007
Pages:  164
Prizes:  FNAC Prize for Fiction
Source:  Public Library

Two young boys discover a deep bond over their own experiences of great loss.  It is 1944 Mauritius, an island nation east of Madagascar.  Nine-year-old Raj participates in the daily struggle to survive against torrential rains, poor soil conditions, mudslides, illness, and lack of food while living in a small hut with his heinously abusive and ignorant father, his loving and hard-working mother, and two brothers whom he adores, one older and one younger.    Nine-year-old David, a Jewish refugee from Prague, is experiencing his childhood in the same village of Mapou, being detained indefinitely in a prison campTheir seperate lives come together after a brutal beating lands Raj in the hospital of the campRaj's determination to rescue David comes from a more profound motive than pure empathy.

Favorite Quotes
"In the middle of the cane fields stood the Mapou sugar factory, and several times a year its chimney belched forth thick steam that swirled above us slowly and luxuriantly.  I loved its voluptuous white clouds with their rounded edges, as if drawn by a loving hand, and for a long time I wished I could spend the rest of my life inside them.  I believed one could be very happy there curled up within them and leaping about among their coils."

"Butterflies came and settled quite close to us, we would stop and look at them, filled with wonder at their mixture of colors and I am certain that at such moments what each of us dreamed of was turning into a butterfly: arraying himself in bright colors, becoming weightless and flying away."

"...we could have been pioneers, people might have spoken of us with admiration, the first family to leave Mapou entirely of their own free will, because we wanted something better, refusing to believe all the tales that said this was our destiny: rain, mud, dust, and poverty.  But no, we were simply a family at our wits' end, poleaxed by immense grief, and so we fled."

Nathacha Appanah is French-Mauritian from a traditional Indian family background.  After growing up in Mauritius, she worked on the Le Mauricien and Weekend Scope as a journalist. She emigrated to France in 1998 and remains an active writer. Her first book was the Les Rochers de Poudre. The book was published by Gallimard for which she was awarded the RFO prize. She has since written three other books, Blue Bay Palace, La Noce d'Anna and Le Dernier Frére (2007) -  The Last Brother.