I had a momentary library scare last night. The Orange Prize longlist has been announced, and I always like to browse the list for interesting titles and usually request a few to peruse at closer hand. When I went to my public library's online catalog and requested a title I received an ominous message in red telling me I "need to see a librarian". Whatever does that mean? I swear my fines are paid and none of my books are overdue. As it turns out my library card is expired so I need to show my ID confirming I am still a resident of the county and will then be allowed full rights and privileges granted therein. Whew, an easy fix, but will I go into 'online-request withdrawal' in the meantime?
I actually already own four of the books on the longlist, so maybe this will give me an excuse/incentive to pull one out and start reading now, and by chance another book is waiting for me on the library's holdshelf. Serendipity. Out of curiosity--any thoughts on the list? I am always excited to see which books are chosen and look forward to exploring them more--mining the list for new reading suggestions, because I really don't have enough to choose from at the moment.
Oh, yeah, those books up there. Okay, I do have a few to choose from it appears. So, top to bottom:
Thanks to CHH for introducing me to Michelle Cooper. I do like readalikes, and A Brief History of Montmaray was compared favorably to I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, one of my favorite books, so I immediately requested it from the library. This is a YA novel set on a fictional island kingdom in the 1930s and I've been reading it and finding it totally delightful. It is also written in a diary format--so a bonus. There is a sequel that came out last year, The FitzOsbornes in Exile, which as you see I have optimistically checked out in anticipation of really liking the first book. And later this year the trilogy will end with The FitzOsbornes at War, so I've added it to my wishlist so I can keep it on my radar.
And the next one looks familiar. Erin Kelly's The Dark Rose. Had it, didn't start it soon enough, was nudged by the folks in line behind me to 'hurry up', got back in line, did a little nudging of my own and voilà here it is again in my hot little hands. And guess what, there is an even longer line behind me this time. I guess I'll be reading this now, then. I'm hoping it is so gripping I won't want to set it down.
Another one I am excited to get. A new to me Swedish crime writer, Kristina Ohlsson, and her debut novel, Unwanted. Well, it's a first installment in a series featuring Frederika Bergman. Last time I checked, there was not a line for it, so please, shh, don't tell anyone so I can renew it later.
The next two were impulse choices, so I'm not sure whether I'll read them or not, but I wanted to take a closer look at them both. The first is Matt Bondurant's The Night Swimmer, a gothic novel of "marriage and belonging", which is set in the southern coast of Ireland. Zoran Drvenkar was born in Croatia and moved to Germany as a child. I'm a little worried by the description of Sorry, which begins "One. Two. Three. That's all it takes to drive the nail into her head, to leave her hanging on the wall." I don't do well with gory stories, but the Amazon reviews seem to be very positive, so maybe I should give this one a try?
And if you're curious about my library hold...I'll be picking up Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles very shortly.