Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Library, It Was Looted.

library loot

Library Loot is hosted by Eva at A Striped Armchair.  This week I got a lot of books from the library, inadvertently.  I went in just to pick up two books, but there all these books in the new books section--seriously, it was stuffed!  So, anyway, I started to browse, and you can guess what happened from there.

collage o books

To the Hilt, Dick Francis

Summary: From the acclaimed master of mystery and suspense comes the story of a self-imposed outcast who must refresh his detection skills in order to save himself and his family.

I got this book because Orannia from Walkabout recommended it to me.  But today I visited a little used bookstore near where I work, and I saw it in the $1 bin!  So I bought it and now it is no longer library loot.  The lovely English owner of the store also told me Dick Francis was the Queen Mother's favorite writer.  Yay!  Fun facts.

The Botticelli Secret, Marina Fiorato

Summary: When part-time model and full-time prostitute Luciana Vetra is asked by one of her most exalted clients to pose for a painter friend, she doesn't mind serving as the model for the central figure of Flora in Sandro Botticelli's masterpiece "Primavera." But when the artist dismisses her without payment, Luciana impulsively steals an unfinished version of the painting--only to find that somone is ready to kill her to get it back. What could possibly be so valuable about the picture? As friends and clients are slaughtered around her, Luciana turns to the one man who has never desired her beauty, novice librarian Brother Guido. Fleeing Florence together, Luciana and Guido race through the nine cities of Renaissance Italy, pursued by ruthless foes who are determined to keep them from decoding the painting's secrets.

I'm reading this book right now for my Venice Challenge.  It's pretty ridonkulous.

Under the Skin, Michel Faber

Summary:  Hailed as "original and unsettling, an "Animal Farm" for the new century" ("The Wall Street Journal"), this first novel introduces Isserley, a female driver who picks up hitchhikers with big muscles and listens for clues about who might miss them if they should disappear.

Meghan from Medieval Bookworm wrote an awesome review of this novel, so I was very happy when my library had it.

The Curse of Caste or The Slave Bride by Julia C. Collins

Summary:  In 1865, The Christian Recorder, the national newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, serialized The Curse of Caste; or The Slave Bride, a novel written by Mrs. Julia C. Collins, an African American woman living in the small town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The first novel ever published by a black American woman, it is set in antebellum Louisiana and Connecticut, and focuses on the lives of a beautiful mixed-race mother and daughter whose opportunities for fulfillment through love and marriage are threatened by slavery and caste prejudice. The text shares much with popular nineteenth-century women's fiction, while its dominant themes of interracial romance, hidden African ancestry, and ambiguous racial identity have parallels in the writings of both black and white authors from the period.

Begun in the waning months of the Civil War, the novel was near its conclusion when Julia Collins died of tuberculosis in November of 1865. In this first-ever book publication of The Curse of Caste; or The Slave Bride, the editors have composed a hopeful and a tragic ending, reflecting two alternatives Collins almost certainly would have considered for the closing of her unprecedented novel. In their introduction, the editors offer the most complete and current research on the life and community of an author who left few traces in the historical record, and provide extensive discussion of her novel's literary and historical significance. Collins's published essays, which provide intriguing glimpses into the mind of this gifted but overlooked writer, are included in what will prove to be the definitive edition of a major new discovery in African American literature. Its publication contributes immensely to our understanding of black American literature, religion, women's history, community life, and race relations during the era of United States emancipation.

I ran across this book while searching for novels set in New Orleans, and it sounded very intriguing.  I hope I get a chance to read it!

The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason

Summary:  Zachary Mason’s brilliant and beguiling debut novel, The Lost Books of the Odyssey, reimagines Homer’s classic story of the hero Odysseus and his long journey home after the fall of Troy. With brilliant prose, terrific imagination, and dazzling literary skill, Mason creates alternative episodes, fragments, and revisions of Homer’s original that taken together open up this classic Greek myth to endless reverberating interpretations. The Lost Books of the Odyssey is punctuated with great wit, beauty, and playfulness; it is a daring literary page-turner that marks the emergence of an extraordinary new talent.

Sounded like an interesting concept.  It could go either terribly wrong or be effing brilliant.

In Mike We Trust by P. E. Ryan

Summary:  When Garth's uncle comes to visit, he's like a breath of very needed fresh air. Mike is laid-back and relaxed—and willing to accept Garth for who he is, without question. For the first time in a long while, Garth feels like he's around someone who understands him.

But before long Garth is helping Mike with some pretty mysterious things and finds himself keeping secrets from everyone around him. He's forced to wonder: Is his uncle Mike really who he says he is, and can Garth trust him? More importantly, can Garth trust the person he's becoming?

I got this for Nerds Heart YA.

Fushigi Yûgi, Volume 1: Priestess

Summary:  The discovery of a mysterious book transports Miaka and Yui into a strange new world reminiscent of ancient China, where they befriend seven Celestial Warriors, including dashing mercenary Tamahome and wannabe empress Nuriko. Only then can Miaka summon the power of the god Suzaku, find her true love, and get home safely.

I've been in the mood to try a different manga series lately, and this one sounded like it might be good.

Rosario + Vampire, Akihisa Ikeda

Summary:  All-around average teenager Tsukune can't get accepted to any high school save one...but on his first day he finds the rest of the student body doesn't appear average at all. Best of all, the cutest girl on campus can't wait to fling her arms around his neck! Wait a sec'--are those her teeth around his neck too...? Tsukune's going to have one heck of a hickey when he gets home from Monster High! But does he have a chance in H E double hockey sticks of raising his grades at a school where the turf war isn't between the jocks and the nerds but the vampires and the werewolves?

This manga has been recommended to me a lot but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

Dancing for Degas, Kathryn Wagner

Summary:  An ambitious and enterprising farm girl, Alexandrie joins the prestigious Paris Opera ballet with hopes of securing not only her place in society but her family’s financial future. Her plan is soon derailed, however, when she falls in love with the enigmatic artist whose paintings of the offstage lives of the ballerinas scandalized society and revolutionized the art world. As Alexandrie is drawn deeper into Degas’s art and Paris’s secrets, will she risk everything for her dreams of love and of becoming the ballet’s star dancer?

I have my doubts about this one, for various reasons, but I couldn't pass it up.

Jane Bites Back, Michael Thomas Ford

Summary:  Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is still surrounded by the literature she loves—but now it's because she's the owner of Flyleaf Books in a sleepy college town in Upstate New York. Every day she watches her novels fly off the shelves—along with dozens of unauthorized sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. Jane may be undead, but her books have taken on a life of their own.

To make matters worse, the manuscript she finished just before being turned into a vampire has been rejected by publishers—116 times. Jane longs to let the world know who she is, but when a sudden twist of fate thrusts her back into the spotlight, she must hide her real identity—and fend off a dark man from her past while juggling two modern suitors. Will the inimitable Jane Austen be able to keep her cool in this comedy of manners, or will she show everyone what a woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper set of fangs can do?

I've seen this around the webbernets and several people have recommended it, so thought I'd give it a shot.

Heist Society, Ally Carter

Summary:  When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's (very crooked) history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Ditto with this one.  And who can resist that cover?

Lover Mine, JR Ward

Summary:  John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown. Taken in by The Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was-or his true identity.

Xhex has long steeled herself against the attraction to John Matthew. Until fate intervenes and she discovers that love, like destiny, is inevitable.

I haven't read any of the other books in this series, so I might be totally lost with this one, but I wanted to try it anyway.

Phew, that's a lot of books!  Realistically, I know I won't get to all of these, but I'm going to do my best.  What books did you pick up at the library this week?

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