Library Loot

I like to support the mobile library that comes round once a fortnight. I am always amazed that in such a small selection of books I always find such a wide variety – apart from the Art books that is, the choice in that section is very limited, but I suppose most people want to read fiction.

These books are ones that I’ve borrowed recently:

Library Loot Brodrick

From top to bottom:

  • The Marseille Caper by Peter Mayle – I fancied a cheerful book and as the quote on the front cover says this is ‘a feel-good book for the summer over a glass of vintage rosé’ I thought it may be just the book to read right now.

First sentence:

Shock has a chilling effect, particularly when it takes the form of an unexpected meeting with a man from whom you have recently stolen three million dollars worth of wine.

  • The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin – I’ve never read any books by Toibin, so I thought this short book, about Mary the mother of Jesus, might be the place to start. It was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year.

First sentence:

They appear more often now, both of them, and on every visit they seem more impatient with me and with the world.

  • Off the Record: a Jack Haldean Mystery by Dolores Gordon-Smith, crime fiction, described on the front cover as ‘eccentric, unusual, suspenseful and gripping’. Gordon-Smith is a new-to-me author and I came across her on Cath’s blog Read-Warbler.

First sentence:

It was the summer of 1899 when Charles Otterbourne first came to Stoke Horam.

  • The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier – I’ve liked the two books by Chevalier that I’ve read, so on the strength of that I thought I’d have a look at this historical fiction, set in Ohio in the 1850s.

First sentence:

She could not go back.

  • Four Sisters: the Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses by Helen Rappaport. A big book of biography about the tragic fate of the sisters in the dying days of the Romanov dynasty. It appeals to me, especially after seeing a programme a short while ago on the BBC The Royal Cousins at War, George (England), Willie (Germany) and Nicky (Russia).

First sentence:

The day they sent the Romanovs away the Alexander Palace became forlorn and forgotten – a palace of ghosts.

  • The Discourtesy of Death by William Brodrick, the fifth Father Anselm book. I didn’t have to think at all about whether to borrow this book as Brodrick is most definitely one of my favourite authors. His books always give me lots to think about and this one promises to do just that.

The book begins with a Prologue, but I’m quoting the first few sentences of chapter 1:

‘There is no God’, murmured Anselm.

‘You’re going a bit far there’, replied Bede, Larkwood Priory’s tubby archivist.

‘No, I’m not. This is one of those moments of insight that sent Nietzsche over the edge.’

Anselm stared in horror at the open pages of the Sunday Times, laid out for all to see, on the table in the monastery’s library. The title ran: ‘The Monk who Left it All for a Life of Crime.’

I can’t wait to read this last book, but I have to finish another library book first – Sisters of Sinai by Janet Soskice, a fascinating biography of twin sisters, Agnes and Margaret and their amazing travels in the 19th century to Cairo, taking a trip down the Nile and later to Mount Sinai, where they discovered one of the earliest copies of the Gospels written in ancient Syriac. This is another book recommended by Cath on her blog, Read-Warbler.

Sisters of Sinai

10 thoughts on “Library Loot”

  1. Waht a lovely haul. I really enjoyed The Last Runaway, a good story and a bit of history I wasn’t very aware of and now am. Hope you enjoy the Jack Haldean. Book one wasn’t bad at all and I now have book 2 on my Kindle because it was cheap! (84p)

    Glad The Sisters of Sinai is going well. Such a fascinating book.


  2. Wow! you have quite an interesting collection. I’m listing a few on my wish list,, I working on a couple of library books on the go now too.


  3. You do have a terrific lot of books there, Margaret. Such a nice variety too! I’ll be looking forward to your reviews of them.


    1. Katrina I should have clarified – Sisters of Sinai is a book I reserved; it came from another branch library in the county. We can reserve books and have them delivered by the mobile library van – it’s a great service and we don’t want to lose it.


  4. I loved ‘The Discourtesy of Death’, although I don’t think it’s his best book. Not sure about the Toibin though. I would have thought that either ‘The Blackwater Lightship’ or ‘Brooklyn’ would have been a better place to start. I think ‘Brooklyn’ would particularly speak to you.


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