“Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!”
I went to the library yesterday, which I haven’t done in a while and came back with 6 books- four of which have been on my radar for some time! The other two were random grabs. When I went to check out, the librarian told me that their computer system was down and that I could take the books as long as I promised to return them! Now, I would never steal library books but I do plan on keeping these until I get through them, even if it is after the three week period that I am supposed to keep them for. Since we’ve moved, I was disappointed to find out that the libraries in our new county only allow you renew your books once- after that you have to turn them in. Sometimes, if I am busy or a book is long, I just don’t get around to finishing a book in time. That’s what happened with Middlemarch last month. So, although I will return these, I do plan on keeping them til I’ve finished them. Now, onto the books! The first two below were randomly grabbed off the shelf:
A Celtic Childhood by Bill Watkins
Part of a trilogy, this first book covers Bill’s life up to 17. With and Irish mother and a Welsh father, Bill lives in Limerick, growing up in the 50s and 60s. The time period is a bit later, but the similarities to Frank McCourt’s trilogy of memoirs is obvious. I’ve only read the first two of McCourt’s and, although I did enjoy Angela’s Ashes, as McCourt grew up and moved to America I am not sure how much I liked him as a person.Still, it will be interesting to see how Watkin’s childhood in Limerick compares to McCourt’s, as I believe Watkins family was not as hard pressed for plain survival as McCourt’s was.
Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
I am (slowly) becoming more interested in Shakespeare- his life, his works, etc. I’ve read only three of his plays, and those were all in high school. I am currently thinking about making it a focus of my reading next year- maybe reading a biography or two and then trying to read a play a month, or something along those lines. Anyway, I’ve read some of Bryson’s books before, some of which I really liked and others I thought were just ok, and this book is rather short- less than 200 pages, I think- so I thought it would be a good place to start.
Don’t Sleep, There are Snakes in the Jungle by Daniel L. Everett
I have been meaning to read this book for at least two years. In the late 70s Everett, with his wife, arrive in the Amazon as missionaries, aiming to convert the small Piraha to Christianity. While they failed spectacularly, Everett soon discovered that the Piraha posses a language unlike any other in the world. There is no counting system, no fixed terms for color, and they have no concept of war, persona property, or event time- there is only the present. By learning their language and culture, Everett gradually begins to lose his faith in God and instead devotes his time to studying their language which holds great importance as it contradicts many held ‘universal truths’ about the concept and structure of language. While I think the personal journey of Everett depicted in the book will be interesting, I am more interested in the Piraha language and culture. I took a general linguistics class and a Spanish linguistics class during college and, although I didn’t enjoy them very much, they did pique my interest in language/linguistics so I have some high hopes for this one.
Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast by Mike Tidwell
In Bayou Farewell, Tidwell travels to the Louisiana coast, home of the Cajun’s, descendants of immigrants from Nova Scotia. With their own culture and language, Cajun’s are largely dependent on the Louisiana wetlands for their lively hood. But their home is disappearing at an alarming rate, so much so in fact that they may soon disappear all together. This book is particularly interesting to me as my father is from New Orleans and is of Cajun descent. My great grandmother actually lived out in the bayou, hunting and trapping to survive, so for me this book hold a lot of personal interest.
The Girl from Foreign: A Search for Shipwrecked Ancestors, Forgotten Histories, and a Sense of Home by Sadia Shepard
Sadia Shepard was born to a white Christian father and a mother from Pakistan, a Muslim. When Sadia is an adult she discovers a family secret. Her maternal grandmother, was not a Muslim, but in fact was once known as Rachel Jacobs, from Bene Israel, a small Jewish community in India who believe they are one of the lost tribes of Israel. Shepard travels to India to learn more about her Jewish heritage and reconcile herself with the rich heritage of which she is descended from.
Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich
Heinrich reveals how animals survive harsh winters outdoors, from insects with antifreeze in their blood to hibernating chipmunks. I absolutely love books about nature and animals and now that I’ve move further north (where it actually snows in winter) this could be a good book to read as the leaves begin to change and winter slow creeps upon us.