Saturday, 23 March 2013

Library Haul #3

Over the past couple of weeks, I have slowly and steadily been acquiring library books.  Most of my own books are packed away and I'm attempting to read most of the Women's Prize longlist; the combination of  these factors has led to me checking out lots of books.  At the moment, I have the following at home:

   

1. Sexual Chemistry: A History of the Contraceptive Pill by Lara Marks - I've been taking a course on contraceptives on Coursera and it's gotten me interested in the creation of the contraceptive pill and the way it changed women's lives forever.  This looks fascinating, with chapters on religious opposition and controversies.  Can't wait to read it.
2. The Marlowe Papers by Ros Wilson - What if Shakespeare's plays were actually written by Christopher Marlowe?  This is a novel in verse exploring that concept.  It's a beautiful hardback, I picked it up this morning and hope to have time to start it soon.
3. Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson - I was a bit 'meh' about this one when I saw the Women's Prize longlist but one of my favourite bloggers recently described it as 'Harry Potter meets Arabian Nights' so I am now officially intrigued.

   

4. Beauty by Robin McKinley - (Already read) I kept seeing McKinley mentioned on blogs but hadn't picked up any of her fairytale retellings for myself.  Aside from the horrific cover, this retelling of the beauty and the beast fairytale was simply wonderful.  I wasn't sure in the beginning but as soon as Beauty arrived at the enchanted castle, I was captivated.  The best romance I've read in a long, long time.
5. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder - I am on a fantasy kick thanks to George R.R. Martin.  This series is supposed to be good, so I will give it a go.
6. The Rape of the Nile by Brian Fagan (Already read).  Loved this non-fiction account of the tomb robbers, treasure seekers and tourists that have looted and wrecked the Nile Valley.  I've been on a run of good books lately.

   

All for the Women's Prize.  I'm reading the Stedman now and enjoying it.  I was particularly surprised to receive NW so quickly, last week I was number 11 on the list but a few days later it was waiting for me, must be some weird quirk of the library reservation system.

Have you read any of these books?

24 comments:

  1. Sexual Chemistry sounds great, really interesting although I'm not sure I really want to know about the cardiovascular risks of taking the pill. I know chances are nothing will happen, but it makes you think anways!

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    1. I think the risk is tiny with modern pills, due to the lowered amount of hormone. I took it for ten years with no adverse effect, anyway!

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  2. I read the same blogger's comments about Alif the Unseen and it is now on hold at my library waiting for me to pick it up sometime this weekend. :)

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  3. I read Beauty ages ago and liked it a lot. I also loved her book Sunshine. Recently I read The Light Between Oceans and I liked it, but not as much as a lot of people did. I'm a little surprised it's on the Women's Prize list.

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    1. I'll have to try Sunshine, I know I want to read more by McKinley. I'm enjoying Light Between Oceans so far.

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  4. Good gravy, are you trying to make my tbr pile kill me? It's working! ;)

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    1. Mwah-ha-ha, my evil plan is working! :P

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  5. I read a few pages of NW & Alif at the library and decided neither of them were for me but I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on them both. And The Marlowe Papers which sadly the library doesn't have.

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    1. I'm so excited by The Marlowe Papers! The only novel in verse I've read was YA, so it'll be interesting to see how it's done in adult fiction.

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  6. That is a really impressive library haul - I hope you enjoy NW - I really did love it! It's a definite shortlister for me!
    I'm on number 5 of Women's Fic Longlist - maybe I'll get through it all this year!

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    1. I'm hoping to enjoy it as I normally love Zadie Smith.
      And you are powering through the list, I'm impressed!

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    2. I cheated though ;) - two were already read :).

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  7. Love to see the Women's Prize books on your list! I think I am going to wait 'til the shortlist comes out and read those - I haven't really liked the ones I've started this week (The Red Book and How Should a Person Be?) I did finish Life After Life yesterday, though, and it is amazing! I absolutely loved it.

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    1. I can't wait to start Life After Life, I own it but should really get through these library books first...

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  8. I won a copy of The Forrests when Bloomsbury Circus first launched but I'm really not sure about it. I loved The Light Between Oceans and I have Alif the Unseen lurking on my kindle.

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    1. Alif the Unseen sounds like something you would enjoy, I think? I'll let you know if it's any good :)

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  9. Most of the Women's Fiction list are not really my thing but I enjoyed The Light Between Oceans. I'm going for "easier" reads at the moment. Beauty really appeals to me and Dr Joann Fletcher's new BBC2 series on Ancient Egypt has whet my appetite for books like The Rape of the Nile. Nice stash!

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    1. Beauty is well worth picking up, ignore that awful cover!

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  10. I haven't read any of these but I would really like to read The Light Between Oceans. I look forward to hearing what you think of these.

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  11. Sexual Chemistry sounds really interesting, might have to search for that in my library. The thought of NW still freaks me out but I'll get to it eventually - I hope you enjoy it. And I hope you enjoy the Steadman, it's soooo good.

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  12. Sexual Chemistry sounds FASCINATING! About a year ago I discovered I'm a huge fan of microhistories and have since started grabbing everything I can get my hands on. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for that one!

    Oh wow, that cover of Alif the Unseen is way prettier than the green/neon yellow monstrosity I read. It wasn't a bad book - and according to my review I liked it quite a bit! - but there were SO MANY comparisons to other authors & books that I guess I expected a bit too much. HP-meets-Arabian Nights. Neil Gaiman. Philip Pullman. Neil Stephenson. All authors/books among my favorites. With comparisons like that, how could I not get overly-excited?

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  13. Alif is in my wishlist, although the potter link would have put me off, luckily I saw the Gaiman one ;-)

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  14. Read The Light Between Oceans. I found it to be a really good read, but definitely a downer. I'm glad I picked it up, but I wouldn't reread it.

    Alif the Unseen is a really unique book. I definitely was thinking, "What the heck?!" quite a bit while reading, but I was constantly interested in what was going to happen. I dunno about the Harry Potter comparison... it's way weirder than Harry Potter :)

    Happy reading!

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  15. Fingers crossed you will like what I recommended! :) Gek is right, it may be weirder.

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