Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Library Loot 3/23/2010

I'm still being very restrained. I'm desperately trying to get caught up with my huge pile of TBR books sitting on my coffee table that my two sons keep teasing me about.

Hosted by Eva at A Striped Armchair and Marg at ReadingAdventures, Library Loot is a fun weekly meme that allows others to peek in your bookbag to see what you came home from the Library with this week. Here's what's in my bag:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the edges of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before- and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. (This is not my type of book at all, but hearing bloggers out there as well as my friend Sheila gush about it, I felt I had to give it a try. It just might be the first book I return to the library unfinished.)

An amoral young tramp. A beautiful, sullen woman with an inconvenient husband. A problem that has only one grisly solution- a solution that only creates other problems that no one can ever solve. First published in 1934 and banned in Boston for it's explosive mixture of violence and eroticism, The Postman Always Rings Twice is a classic of the roman noir. (I felt it was time for a classic. I have never read this or seen the movie so when this one caught my eye on the shelf I figured it was high time I did)

In 1996 a rare book expert is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of a mysterious, beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century Spain and recently saved from destruction during the shelling of Sarajevo's libraries. When Hannah Heath, a caustic Aussie loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in the book's ancient binding- an insect-wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair- she begins to unlock the mysteries of the book's eventful past and to uncover the dramatic stories of those who created it and those who risked everything to protect it. (I nominated this one at book club a year or two again and alas it didn't make the cut, but the story still intrigues me so I finally had to pick it up.)

Retired to the English countryside, an eighty-nine-year-old man, rumored to be a once-famous detective, is more concerned with his beekeeping than with his fellow man. Into his life wanders Linus Steinman, nine years old and mute, who has escaped from Nazi Germany with his sole companion: an African gray parrot. What is the meaning of the mysterious strings of German numbers the bird spews out- a top-secret SS code? The keys to a series of Swiss bank accounts? Or do they hold a significance both more prosaic and far more sinister? Though the solution may be beyond even the reach of the once-famous sleuth, the true story of the boy and his parrot is subtly revealed in a wrenching resolution. (Sounds different enough to maybe be good!)

Well, that's it for this week. How were my choices? Which can you recommend, and which can you recommend I stay away from?