Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Library Loot (14 July 2009)

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

In this piercing story of innocence betrayed set in the thirties, the orphaned Portia is stranded in the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother's home in London. There she encounters the attractive, carefree cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and her fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reaason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal — and sets in motion one of the most moving and desperate flights of the heart in modern literature.

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower
With plenty of chatter on the blogosophere about this book not too long ago, I was surprised to see it on the library shelves (my library's not really that good at new arrivals), so I knew I had to grab it quick.
Viking marauders descend on a much-plundered island, hoping some mayhem will shake off the winter blahs. A man is booted out of his home after his wife discovers that the print of a bare foot on the inside of his windshield doesn't match her own. Teenage cousins, drugged by summer, meet with a reckoning in the woods. A boy runs off to the carnival after his stepfather bites him in a brawl.

In the stories of Wells Tower, families fall apart and messily try to reassemble themselves. His version of America is touched with the seamy splendor of the dropout, the misfit: failed inventors, boozy dreamers, hapless fathers, wayward sons. Combining electric prose with savage wit, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned is a major debut, announcing a voice we have not heard before.

World's Fair by E.L. Doctorow
The astonishing novel of a young boy's life in the New York City of the 1930s, a stunning recreation of the sights, sounds, aromas and emotions of a time when the streets were safe, families stuck together through thick and thin, and all the promises of a generation culminate in a single great World's Fair . . .
An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England by Brock Clarke
As a teenager, it was never Sam Pulsifer's intention to torch an American landmark, and he certainly never planned to kill two people in the blaze. To this day, he still wonders why that young couple was upstairs in bed in the Emily Dickinson House after hours.

After serving ten years in prison for his crime, Sam is determined to put the past behind him. He finishes college, begins a career, falls in love, gets married, has two adorable kids, and buys a home. His low-profifile life is chugging along quite nicely until the past comes crashing through his front door.

As the homes of Robert Frost, Edith Wharton, Herman Melville, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and even a replica of Henry David Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond, go up in smoke, Sam becomes the number one suspect. Finding the real culprit is the only way to clear his name--but sometimes there's a terrible price to pay for the truth.

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England is a tour de force--a novel disguised as a memoir, a mystery that cloaks itself in humor, and an artful piece of literature that bites the hand that breeds it.

Drift by Victoria Patterson
From a fresh new Southern California voice comes this wise and intimate debut collection that offers a fascinating glimpse of exclusive Newport Beach through the lives of the waiters and waitresses, divorced and single parents, and alienated teens who all, in some way, find themselves on the outside looking in. "Henrys House" introduces us to Melody and Katharine, single mothers who raised their daughters together until Melody marries for money, sacrificing herself so that her mother and Katharine can enjoy the luxuries her beauty has earned them all. "Remoras" probes the transformative friendship between John, a waiter of ambiguous sexual proclivities, and Annette, the restaurants hostess, who has promised herself to a fellow Armenian. And then theres Rosie, whose evolution from a lonely child of divorce to precocious teenager, alcoholic college student, and eventual career waitress provides heartbreaking punctuation to this linked collection. Deceptively powerful and refreshingly frank, Pattersons stories like those of ZZ Packer, Julie Orringer, and Nell Freudenberger plumb the depths of female friendship and what it means to be an outsider, all while offering a rare and rewarding glimpse inside affluent Newport Beach.
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
After reading The Bradbury Chronicles, I am looking forward to reading as much of Ray Bradbury's works as I can get my hands on.
The summer of '28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. Of half-burnt firecrackers, of gathering dandelions, of Grandma's belly-busting dinner. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding — remembered forever by the incomparable Ray Bradbury.
See more Library Loot here.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to look at those books in more details later, they look intriguing. Good loot!

Marg said...

Interesting loot! Thanks for playing along again this week!

Linda said...

Great loot. I'll be adding a few of those to my tbr list.

Blodeuedd said...

Some intersting books in there, I have not heard of any of them so must look them up

olduvai said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Happy reading.

Anonymous said...

Whay an interesting looking set of books. Elizabeth Bowen and Ray Bradbury are the only two of your authors I know and I love them both - enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I've read the Clarke book and it wasn't as good as billed, at least to me. It was decent, though. Will be interested in hearing what you thought. Ray Bradbury, though: You never can go wrong with him. I haven't read Dandelion Wine, although I know I should have.

JoAnn said...

Great loot! I read Bowen's A House in Paris last year, and have been meaning to read more of her work ever since.

olduvai said...

fleurfisher - I'm quite new to Elizabeth Bowen, but oh, I do love Bradbury!

justareadingfool - Yeah the book has such a great synopsis, not to mention title, but I did notice that the Goodreads rating is just 2.99 so will have to see how it goes!

JoAnn - Unfortunately my library doesn't have A House in Paris! Will have to figure out where to get it from...