Saturday, April 2, 2011

Consider Yourself Checked Out: Saturday April 2, 2011

How to Participate: For all you library and book store employees, give us a sampling of 10 or so books in any of the following categories from the past week:
a) Books that were requested
b) Books that you recommended
c) Books that are currently on the "holds" shelf
d) Books that are on currently the "returns" shelf (in the case of libraries)
Remember, respect patrons' privacy and don't give out any identifying information about who you helped.  Just tell us what books went out the door this week.  Please link to your specific post, not to the front page of your blog.  Don't have a blog? Feel free to post in the comments section below.  This link will be up every Saturday and will be open for the entire week. Feel free to participate any day you want!
This week's round-up:

1. Mildred Pierce by James Cain
Surprisingly, we didn't own a copy of the book, although we've since ordered it. We did have the 1945 classic movie starring Joan Crawford.  Apparently, HBO has created a mini-series starring Kate Winslet which would explain why it's showing up on this patron's radar.

2. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
I've never read this book, but am curious as to why it would be catalogued in YA.  Thoughts?

I hadn't heard of this book (or the radio program on which it's based), but I do enjoy NPR's All Things Considered and This American Life to which Jay Allison also contributes. So, I might give it a go when it's returned.  There's a second in the series (very originally) titled This I Believe IIAnother good NPR-related book is I Thought My Father was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project edited by Paul Auster (this is about the only thing I'll read that Paul Auster had anything to do with--his meta-fiction drives me nuts!).

4. Term Limits by Vince Flynn
I don't typically read political thrillers and Library Journal thoroughly trashed this novel, but apparently Vince Flynn has gotten better with time because the reviews for his latest novel, American Assassin were much more favorable.  For patrons reading in this genre, I also tend to point them to W. E. B. Griffin.  I know my husband enjoys his "Presidential Agent" series.  If you're looking for a more "literary" thriller, Tom Rob Smith's Child 44 is excellent.  It was even longlisted for the 2008 Booker prize.

5. Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza
Wow, glad I walked over to the holds shelf for this meme--this sounds awesome <excuse me while I mark it as to-read in Goodreads> Okay, I'm back.  I remembered that I wanted to read more about the Rwandan genocide after finishing Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Perkin which touches lightly on the subject.  Years ago, I'd read The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist's Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo by Clea Koff and learned a lot, but I still would like to read more about the politics and causes leading up to the genocide. Ilibagiza's book sounds like it would fit the bill. Plus, I appreciate that she is viewing her ordeal through a lens of faith--I don't know if I could bear reading it without something soul-affirming to hold on to.

6. Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz
This is the latest book in the YA Alex Rider series which is soooo popular right now.  I'm jazzed that there is another series for boys out there.  There must be 8,000 YA series for girls, but boys are always getting a short shrift.  Alex Rider is a teenage spy who travels the world encountering assassination plots, explosions and CIA agents.  Sounds like Vince Flynn and W. E. B. Griffin with training wheels.  I can think of quite a few teens who'd get a kick out of it.

7. Closer by Roderick Gordon
Speaking of good boy books, this is another in a series called Tunnels that has been gaining in popularity.  Like the Alex Rider series, these books are by a British author and are set in London.  According to the starred review in Booklist this book follows teens Will and Chester as they navigate through secret subterranean civilizations beneath the streets of London.

8. Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo
First of all, sorry Todd, but what an unfortunate last name for an author.  I know. That was immature. I'll try not to revert to fifth grade here.  I'm sure this is the kind of book that many people will find reassuring, at least judging from the popularity of 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life by Don Piper. I probably shouldn't comment on this since I have no intention of reading it, but I just feel very skeptical.  Believe me, I would absolutely love some quantifiable evidence of heaven and the afterlife.  I just don't think we're ever going to be privy to that knowledge. That's just me, though.  I have lots of patrons coming in looking for this sort of thing and I will gladly pass it on.  Always to nice to have something new to add to the afterlife oeuvre.

9. Showdown by Tilly Bagshawe
Did you know someone was still writing Sidney Sheldon books?  Neither did I. Apparently Tilly Bagshawe (I just love saying that name, doesn't it sound like a good gossip columnist pen name--like Hedda Hopper?) has written a few thrillers in Sheldon's style.  This particular book is a romance, though, set here in sunny SoCal.

10. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
From all the play this book has gotten in the blogosphere, it seems people love it or really hate it.  In either case, we can't keep it on the shelf.

That's it for this Saturday.  What have you seen fly off the shelf at your location?


  1. I've heard good things about Left to Tell. I saw the author speak briefly on a PBS special. Seems like an interesting read. I've also heard that We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch is a good book on the Rwandan genocide.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion--I just checked and my library has it. I'll definitely pick that one up. Love your blog, by the way. I've gotten so many great book recommendations. Plus, I really love the Newberry Book Fair News blog that you mentioned--it cracks me up! I wish I lived in Chicago so I could go.

  3. (blush) Thank you. You're my new favorite person. The Newberry's book fair manager is hilarious. I'm already daydreaming about the fair. I really like what you're doing on your blog. Looks like you've gotten off to a good start.

  4. Aw, thanks. I'm having fun anyway. You'll have to have a special edition of "Library Loot" in July after the book fair!