Library Books

These are the latest library books I have out on loan, borrowed from the mobile library that visited here on Tuesday. I didn’t have any authors or titles in mind but browsed the shelves, choosing each one purely on instinct – hoping I’d like each one:

Lib bks Jan 2018

Garden Friends by Ed Ikin. This is a beautiful little book subtitled, Plants, animals and wildlife that are good for your garden. It’s full of information and photos and drawings, with chapters on plants, animal and insects that can help improve your garden, on dead wood, composting and planting by the moon – apparently there is ‘more than just hippy wisdom behind paying heed to the moon and its potential influence over your garden and wildlife.

Circle of Shadows by Imogen Robertson – historical fiction set in Germany in 1783. I haven’t read any her books before and as this is the third book in her series of books featuring Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther, I’m hoping it won’t matter that I haven’t read the earlier books. The two English sleuths investigate the murder of Lady Martenson at a masked ball. There’s alchemy involved and automata – mirroring the luxury and artificiality of the German court.

Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. I’m a fan of her books so I have great hopes for this one. It’s inspired by a true story, but is a work of imagination. Set in the island now known as Martha’s Vineyard in the 1650s this is the story of Caleb, the son of a Wampanoag chieftain, who ‘crosses’ into the culture of the English settlers.

The Prince and the Pilgrim by Mary Stewart. This is a companion book to her Merlin trilogy, but I’m not too sure that I’ll enjoy this one as much. It’s not about Merlin and Arthur. Instead we have Alexander, nephew of King March of Cornwall seeking to avenge his father on a journey to Camelot in quest of justice. It leads him to the Dark Tower of the sorceress of Morgan le Fay.

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny. I hesitated before deciding to borrow this book, because it’s the 10th Chief Inspector Gamache novel – and I haven’t read any of the previous books. But I know that several bloggers love these books and I’d recently read Kay’s post on the 13th book – Glass Houses – describing Louise Penny’s books  as ‘some of the best and deepest character studies I’ve ever read‘ and  ‘filled with imagination and beautiful descriptions and pathos and terror.’ So I had to bring this one home to see for myself.

Set in Quebec, Gamache’s friend Clara’s has asked him for help as her husband, Peter had not come home on the first anniversary of their separation as he had promised. Gamache uncovers a deadly trail of jealousy and deceit.

If you’ve read any of these books do let me know what you think about them. If you haven’t, are you tempted by any of them?

17 thoughts on “Library Books”

  1. I’ve not read any except the Louise Penny, though I have read other Stewart books and also many of Geraldine Brooks’ books. OK, the only thing I’ll say about this Gamache story is that it does take you out of Three Pines and to another section of Canada, which is fine for me. Other fans have not been as pleased. I do think that sometimes an author needs to ‘change it up’ and Louise Penny does this on occasion. That being said, it might work better for you if you are not in Three Pine, because you won’t have those expectations of seeing the familiar. Good luck, Margaret! Oh, and I’ll have a post about Mary Stewart tomorrow as I have finished my first Classics Club book – WILDFIRE AT MIDNIGHT.

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    1. Kay, I’ll look out for your Wildfire By Midnight post as the only Stewart books I’ve read are the Merlin books. As for Penny’s book maybe I should start at the beginning, especially as this one is not in Three Pines.

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  2. I haven’t read any of them but thoroughly enjoy the Gamache series, just haven’t got as far as the one you have there. I’m up to book 7 which I have on my library pile now. Also on my library pile, book 2 of the Adamsberg series… I’m hooked.

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    1. Oh, yes it is looking as though I should start with the first Gamache book. The second Adamsberg book was the first one I read. It took me some time to get into it because of the stilted style (the translation I think) but by the end of the book I was really enjoying it – I hope you do too. I’ve missed out books 5 and 6 – so I’m hoping to get round to them this year.

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  3. I’ve not read any of them, but am also very tempted to try Louise Penny on the back of several bloggers raving about them. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it…

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  4. I would say don’t read this Penny. I really think this is a series that you need to follow through in order. It is very much character driven and I think you will miss a lot of the nuances if you start here.

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    1. I think you could be right. I jumped in with a later book in Rankin’s Rebus books and had to start at the beginning to find out who was who and about Big Ger Cafferty’s background.

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  5. Oh, I hope you’ll like the Penny, Margaret. I’m one of those bloggers who likes her work a great deal, and I think you would, too. And I like the variety in the other books you’ve chosen, as well.

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  6. Hello Margaret, you have a good selection there. Anything by Mary Stewart appeals to me. I’ll be interested to know what the Imogen Robertson book is like. I read her novel ‘ The Paris Winter’ a while ago and it was great!
    Happy reading

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    1. Hello Mog, good to hear from you. How are you? I’m so glad you enjoyed Imogen Robertson’s book ‘ The Paris Winter’ and I hope Circle of Shadows is great too.

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  7. I didn’t enjoy The Prince and the Pilgrim as much as her Merlin books but it was still worth reading. I like the sound of Garden Friends.

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  8. What a varied selection from a mobile library 🙂 I also like to browse the shelves and choose books that attract my attention through title, cover and/or blurb. I’ve uncovered several authors new to me this way and it’s nice to have some surprises. Louise Penny and Mary Stewart remain resolutely on my tbr as authors I’m really keen to try. Too many books, too little time!

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  9. I hope you enjoy all your library books! Of these authors, I have only read Mary Stewart but I haven’t read The Prince and the Pilgrim. However it is lined up in my Kindle’s TBR folder for after I have read her Merlin trilogy.

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  10. All three of my kids read Caleb’s Crossing in school, so I picked it up a year or so ago and really enjoyed it. I thought the characters interesting and the story/history of place fascinating.

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