Library Loot

I’ve spent quite a big chunk of my life in libraries. As a child I used to go about once a week and after I left school I worked in a large city library and then went to library school. After I qualified as a librarian I worked in the library’s Local History Library for about four years and then left to have a baby. But that of course didn’t stop me using the library and again I used to go about once a week. When I started to work full-time again (years later) I spent most lunchtimes in the County Library main library either browsing or reading. Since leaving work I’ve been borrowing books from this small branch library, although I still have trips in to the main library as well.


This week I’ve borrowed six books and bought two from the Ex Library Stock Sale. These are the books that I borrowed:

  • The Cat Who Could Read Backwards by Lilian Jackson Braun. I haven’t read anything by Braun before and it was the title that attracted me to this book. There is a series of The Cat Who … books, so if I like this one there are plenty more to read. I think this is the first one in the series, introducing Koko the brilliant Siamese cat and reporter Jim Qwilleran sniffing out clues to murders in an art gallery.
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie, her first novel and the first of her Hercule Poirot books. I must have read this one years ago when I had a binge on Agatha Christie’s books, but I thought it was time to re-read it.

library-cornerThe library has a display of new fiction and that’s often the first place I look. This week I borrowed one book from the display- there were actually more new books on display on a bookcase next to the table:

  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. After a horrific car accident which leaves him in a burns ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, the narrator of the story meets Marianne Engel, a wild and compelling sculptress of gargoyles who tells him they were once lovers in medieval Germany. As she tells her tales, he finds himself drawn back to life – and, finally, to love. I’ve started this one as I can only borrow it for one week as it’s a “Top Ten Best Seller”. After a few pages I nearly gave up on it because of the graphic descriptions of burning skin and flesh. The pages are suitably black-edged. It’s got a bit better now Marianne is telling her tales.

The other books I borrowed are:

  • The Sound of Butterflies by Rachel King. I’ve read about this one somewhere on someone’s blog, but can’t remember where or when. Anyway this looks so good – the cover and the title and when I looked inside it promises to be a “story of passion and beauty, of brutality and murder, masked by surface splendour.” It’s about a passionate collector of butterflies who in 1903 travels to the Amazon as part of a scientific expedition. He hopes to find the mythical butterfly that will make his name and immortalize that of his wife.
  • Who Do You Think You Are? by Anton Gill and Nick Barrett. I’ve been watching the TV programmes of the same name and am currently just a bit obsessed with looking up my family history. The earliest ancestor I’ve found so far was born around 1710 and I’d love to know more.
  • How To Do Everything With Your Genealogy by George G Morgan. We joined Ancestry last year and have been compiling our family tree online, but this book  although aimed at tracing your ancestors for Americans does contain some useful information on recording data.

The two books I bought are:

  • The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier – a story built around a series of tapestries, set in Brussels at the end of the 15th century.
  • A Wrinkle In Time  by Madeleine Engels. I’d never heard of this author until I came across her name on book blogs (again I can’t remember which ones). This is a fantasy story about Charles who goes searching for his lost father through a “wrinkle in time” and finds himself on an evil planet. Oh dear I’ve just checked this on LibraryThing which tells me that I “probably won’t like” this book – let’s hope that’s wrong! (I wonder how LT works it out?)

I’ll be showing more photos of the library in other Library Loot posts in the future.

12 thoughts on “Library Loot

  1. Hello Margaret, Lilian Jackson Braun’s series with “The Cat Who…” is one of my favorite to borrow at my local library. There is a large collection of them on tapes, so I listen to them as I quilt in my studio. I love James Qwilleran, the cats’ partner. Over the years they have move from rags to riches and have such a strong bond. I also love the way Qwilleran treats his cats (Koko an Yum Yum). There are more than 20 books about them…. Happy reading.


  2. I’ve had my eye on the Gargoyle for a while now. I’ll be anxious to see what you think of it. I haven’t read The Lady and the Unicorn but I have it on my shelves waiting. I read The Girl with the Pearl Earring and loved it. Hopefully, this one will be just as good. Yea Libraries!!


  3. Great selections! I liked Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring and Falling Angels, and will look forward to more pictures of the library.


  4. “A Wrinkle in Time” is one of my favorite books ever. I’m surprised you only just heard of it. It’s truly excellent. In my mind, though, “A Wrinkle in Time” is really about Meg, a lot more than about anything else. It’s a children’s book at its core, but I think anyone of any age can love and appreciate it. I certainly hope you do.


  5. I do hope you like A Wrinkle in Time, it’s a favourite of mine, too. I’ve read several of The Cat Who… books and found one in our library sale the other week, which I snapped up. I think they are rather “slight” books, best read when you feel like something light and undemanding, but they fill that niche surprisingly well. I was a bit shocked that Qwilleran’s cats never go outside, but someone told me that coyotes are a problem and it is too dangerous.


  6. WOW great pictures and selection of books! Congrats on your 500th posts! Good luck on the winners 🙂

    Happy BTTs, I wish you a good Thursday!


  7. I love cat mysteries and for some reason could never get into “The Cat Who” series. I don’t know why.

    Anyway, I get to the library about once a week for DVDs and audio books. I can’t help myself from going to the bookstore and buying all my other books.


  8. NIce selection of books! I’ve read many of the Cat Who . . . books. They’re lots of fun. And Wrinkle in Time is great. I have Lady and the Unicorn on audio, but I haven’t listened yet.


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