Book reviews, musings and waffle from a British lit addict

Latest library haul and other library bumble

So I recently raided my local library again. This is more difficult than you would think seeing as my local library is currently trying out an unusual system which involves grouping books by previous borrowers’ recommendations rather than genres, i.e. where other libraries have ‘Science Fiction/Fantasy’ and ‘Crime’, we have ‘Recommended Short Reads’ and ‘Recently Recommended’. So much more interesting than anything old Dewey came up with (I suspect not…).

Anyway, while I was wandering around looking for things that grabbed my fancy, I overheard a woman (accompanied by a very small baby) grumbling about a £30 (!!) fine she had run up by having 5 books overdue by 5 weeks. I, personally, would be demure and apologetic etc. She, however, chose to blame her baby! Not in the “Oh, I’ve got a brand new baby and I’ve been awfully busy” kind of way but in the “They’re on my baby’s card..are you really fining my baby?” way. How the librarian ever replied “Yes, but it really is your responsibility to ensure their return seeing as your baby can’t” with a straight face I’ll never know…

Regardless of this amusing occurence, I dug out:

Robin McKinley ‘Sunshine’

I’ve seen this book mentioned on a lot of blogs and I’m intrigued. I was actually looking for McKinley’s Beauty because Beauty and the Beast was my favourite Disney film when I was younger (there was a brunette ‘princess’…) and I fancied reading her re-write. My library didn’t have it. It did have Sunshine however so here we are!

John ConnollyThe Book of Lost Things’

I’ve somehow never heard of this author but, after a quick Waterstone’s search, I now know he has written rather a lot – the story of this is about a twelve year old boy whose mother dies. He looks to her books for solace and the real world and his fantasy world start to meld and he is propelled into a world of his imagination.

Plus, the first line is:

“Once upon a time – for that is how all stories should begin – there was a boy who lost his mother”

I just couldn’t leave it behind after seeing that!

  • I really enjoyed 'Sunshine', though I hear it's rather different from 'Beauty' and 'Spindle's End', which are currently waiting patiently on my shelves… As is 'The Book of Lost Things' – here's to our mutual enjoyment of new authors!

    And kudos to the deadpan librarian!

    Ellie @ Musings of a Bookshop Girl

  • Red

    I'm intrigued by your library's organizational system. It sounds like it would be a great thing if you're not too sure what you want, but a horror if you were looking for something specific. At least it sounds like the library staff have a good sense of humor

  • That is an excellent opening line in Connolly's book!! I am looking forward to hearing what you think of the rest of it.

  • Hi all!

    Ellie: These have rudely pushed in front of my shelved beauties but I've heard such good things about McKinley that I just got swept up! This similarility in taste of new authors makes me concerned for my already hefty wishlist…I'm still craving Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder after reading about it on your blog!

    Red: You're totally right – it was quite fun because I really fancied just dawdling around but the librarians must think I'm an utter fool because, if I'm ever looking for anything, I always have to ask!

    Kathy: Isn't it? It took all of my self control not to just get on and read it in the library!

  • Hehe, yes, sorry about that! It is rather scrummy, those recipes… Mmmm. If I wasn't running a bookshop I think I'd like to be working at Hannah Swensen's cookie cafe! I think I feel 'Strawberry Shortcake Murder' coming on…

    ANYWAY, just dropping by to tell you how much I'm enjoying your blog and to let you know that you've got an award waiting for you over on mine…

  • Just found your blog. Really interested in seeing one from the Brit point of view.