Library Loot: December

I haven’t been to a public library since July, and therefore haven’t had any library loot to speak of. Now that I’m home, though, I have so many wonderful library books sitting on my nightstand just begging to be read.

I took home thirteen books after being unable to locate a copy of C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, and probably would have taken home more had my library’s online catalog been working. As I state in the vlog below, all the books I checked out are off of my to be read list, The List, and I’ve split them into fiction and nonfiction as per a comment left on a previous Library Loot. As always, titles are linked to GoodReads except in the case where I have reviewed the work myself.


  • A Hand Full of Stars (Rafik Schami) — A young adult book about a teenager who wants to be a journalist in a suppressed society describes to his diary his daily life in his hometown of Damascus, Syria.
  • The Jewel of St. Petersburg (Kater Furnivall) — A member of the Russia aristocracy, Valentina watches everything she knows collapse around her as the Bolsheviks gain power of Russia and struggle to keep her family, herself, and the man she loves safe.
  • Tsar (Ted Bell) — I checked this book out previously, but never had the chance to read it before moving. The back of the book says: “As newly imperial Russia, energized by Vladimir Putin, threatens global dominance and relentless bloodshed, an ominous figure with dangerous ambitions rises from the shadows to ultimate power. Meanwhile, a mysterious killer known only as Happy the Baker brutally murders innocent Americans on command — just a state, the new Tsar promises, of what will happen if American interferes with Russia’s plans to ‘reintegrate’ her rogue states.”
  • The Spies of Warsaw (Alan Furst) — From the flap of the jacket: “War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attache, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw.”
  • Someone Named Eva (Joan M. Wolf) — A young girl, who fits the Nazi ideal, is renamed and trained to be the perfect German citizen and to forget she was ever Milada from Czechoslovakia.


  • 1491 (Charles C. Mann) — Selected because I read the introduction to this book in a class I took last semester and it presents a completely different picture of the New World before Columbus than I was taught in elementary through high school.
  • Ghettostadt (Gordon J. Horwitz) — From the book jacket: “Under the Third Reich, Nazi Germany undertook an unprecedented effort to refashion the city of Lodz. Home to prewar Poland’s second most populous Jewish community, this was to become a German city of enchantment—a modern, clean, and orderly showcase of urban planning and the arts. Central to the undertaking, however, was a crime of unparalleled dimension: the ghettoization, exploitation, and ultimate annihilation of the city’s entire Jewish population.”
  • Her Little Majesty (Carolly Erickson) — I picked up this biography about the life of Queen Victoria because she is one of my themes for the One, Two, Theme! Challenge I am participating in for 2011.
  • No god, but God (Reza Aslan) — I wanted to read a book that presents Islam in a more positive light than A God Who Hates (Wafa Sultan); this book looks at the origins, evolution, and future of Islam.
  • Overthrow (Stephen Kinzer) — I wanted to read more by Kinzer after reading his book All the Shah’s Men back in October. This particular book looks at American’s century of regime change from Hawaii to Iraq.
  • This Land is Their Land (Barbara Ehrenreich) — From GoodReads: “Taking the measure of what we are left with after the cruelest decade in memory, Ehrenreich finds lurid extremes all around. While members of the moneyed elite can buy congressmen, many in the working class can barely buy lunch. While a wealthy minority obsessively consumes cosmetic surgery, the poor often go without health care for their children. And while the corporate C-suites are now nests of criminality, the less fortunate are fed a diet of morality, marriage, and abstinence.”
  • The World Without Us (Alan Weisman) — Selected because I read an article by this author on the subject for my Earth Transformed by Human Action class, this book examines what would happen to the cities and landscapes humans would leave behind if they just suddenly disappeared.

Library Loot:

A weekly (or monthly, in my case) event, Library Loot encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from their local library. Whether you vlog about or write about, the format doesn’t matter as along as you share what followed you home this week (or, again in my case, each month). The event is hosted by Claire and Marg.