Library Loot: December

Like my last library loot from this month, all twelve books I checked out this time are off of my TBR list. After being unable to locate a copy of C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia in a complete collection, I decided to just check out the first four books (in the order that Lewis preferred it) and start reading them individually.

I have two books — Bottled and Sold and The Violin of Auschwitz — that are “14 Day Books” meaning I have fourteen days to read them and return them. As such, they are not renewable because these particular books are new to the library. While I’m hoping to finish reading the five books I have left over from my last loot, I will probably start with these two books first.

The vlog below runs a little under seven and a half minutes and is, once again, broken down in terms of fiction and nonfiction.


  • Blindness (José Saramago) — Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. I thought I might read the book before seeing the movie. From the back cover: “In an unnamed city in an unnamed country, a man sitting in his car waiting for a traffic light to change is suddenly struck blind. But instead of being plunged into darkness, this man sees everything white, as if he “were caught in a mist or had fallen into a milky sea.” A Good Samaritan offers to drive him home (and later steals his car); his wife takes him by taxi to a nearby eye clinic where they are ushered past other patients into the doctor’s office. Within a day the man’s wife, the taxi driver, the doctor and his patients, and the car thief have all succumbed to blindness. As the epidemic spreads, the government panics and begins quarantining victims in an abandoned mental asylum–guarded by soldiers with orders to shoot anyone who tries to escape.”
  • A Hand Full of Stars (Rafik Schami) — [Left Over From Last Trip] 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 Horse and His Boy (C. S. Lewis) — Third book in the series. From the back cover: “Shasta is a young boy living in Calormene with a cruel man who claims to be his father. One night he overhears his “father” offering to sell him as a slave, so Shasta makes a break and sets out for the North. He meets Bree, a talking horse who becomes his companion. On their way they encounter Aravis, a high-born girl escaping an arranged marriage, and her talking horse. Despite their differences the children and horses learn to work together to reach the freedom they long for. In the meantime, they uncover a Calormene plot to conquer Narnia.”
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) — Second book in the series.Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy take their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe.
  • The Magician’s Nephew (C. S. Lewis) — First book in the series. From the back cover: “When Digory and Polly are tricked by Digory’s peculiar Uncle Andrew into becoming part of an experiment, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. What happens to the children when they touch Uncle Andrew’s magic rings is far beyond anything even the old magician could have imagined. Hurtled into the Wood between the Worlds, the children soon find that they can enter many worlds through the mysterious pools there. In one world they encounter the evil Queen Jadis, who wreaks havoc in the streets of London when she is accidentally brought back with them. When they finally manage to pull her out of London, unintentionally taking along Uncle Andrew and a coachman with his horse, they find themselves in what will come to be known as the land of Narnia.”
  • Prince Caspian (C. S. Lewis) — Fourth book in the series. How good Prince Caspian and his army of Talking beasts conquered the Telmarines.
  • The Spies of Warsaw (Alan Furst) — [Left Over From Last Trip] 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.”
  • The Violin of Auschwitz (Maria Àngels Anglada) — From the back cover: “In the winter of 1991, at a concert in Krakow, an older woman with a marvelously pitched violin meets a fellow musician who is instantly captivated by her instrument. When he asks her how she obtained it, she reveals the remarkable story behind its origin…”
  • Wench (Dolen Perkins-Valdez) — From the back cover: “In 1850s Tennessee, 13-year-old slave named Lizzie is taken on by the plantation owner as a sexual mistress, a practice common to the time. Lizzie’s master even takes her along with him to a spa resort in “free” Ohio when the Southern summer heat becomes too much to bear. There, Lizzie meets two other young black women caught in a similar form of bondage, and the three begin considering a break for freedom–an act that would mean abandoning everything in their life they know as home.”


  • 1491 (Charles C. Mann) — [Left Over From Last Trip] 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.
  • Bottled and Sold (Peter H. Gleick) — Subtitled “The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water”, I picked up this book because natural resources (in this case, water) is one of my themes for the One, Two, Theme! Challenge I am participating in for 2011.
  • Ghettostadt (Gordon J. Horwitz) — [Left Over From Last Trip] 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) — [Left Over From Last Trip] 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.
  • Left to Tell (Immaculée Ilibagiza and Steve Erwin) — Subtitled “Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust”, I selected this book because I’m looking for a personal account of genocides around the world I know nothing about. I thought I would start with Rwanda.
  • One Country (Ali Abunimah) — I heard Abunimah speak at my university back in November. I thought I would hear him discuss his “bold proposal to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”, but he never even touched on it. I’d like to read about it.
  • Plain and Simple (Sue Bender) — Subtitled “A Woman’s Journey to the Amish”, I selected this book because I have a bit of an obsession with the Amish.
  • The Shock Doctrine (Naomi Klein) — I read the introduction to this book in one of my classes last semester and was really intrigued by what I read.

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.


  1. That’s a nice assortment of books. I’m of the school that thinks The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is a much better start for the series; you can read Magician’s Nephew any time after that.

    Thanks for showing me a new challenge, too.


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