Library Loot

I have serious arrears in my library reading and I tried to resist, but there were three books this week that I just had to bring home. Here they are:


The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt

“Louisa is an imaginative and curious chambermaid who, while cleaning rooms at the New Yorker Hotel, stumbles across a man living permanently in room 3327, which he has transformed into a scientific laboratory. Brought together by a shared interest in the pigeons that nest in the hotel, Louisa discovers that the mysterious guest is Nikola Tesla, one of the most brilliant – and most neglected – inventors of the twentieth century.”

This is my first venture into this year’s Orange prize books. It looks promising!


A Very Persistent Illusion by L C Tyler

“Inventor of the Sorensen-Birtwistle Revised Scale of Girl-Rage, Chris has a beautiful girlfriend (Virginia), two like able potential parents-in-law (Hugh and Daphne) and a classic sports car with a leather-covered gear stick. Impending matrimony and the car’s leaking roof seem to be the only clouds on the horizon. But his apparently comfortable world is turned upside down when Hugh dies suddenly and Daphne (after one Irish Cream too many) reveals some shocking information. Meanwhile…In an inn, in the Danube Valley, in the seventeenth century, a certain cantankerous philosopher seems to have some words of guidance for our modern-day hero. We join Virginia and Chris (and Rene) as they seek to uncover the truth about Hugh, themselves and the meaning of life.”

I liked L C Tyler’s first book (The Herring Seller’s Apprentice) so much that I ordered his second straight away. And I see from his biography that, like me, he has a border terrier. Definitely a good sign!


That Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“From Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Orange Prize-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, come twelve dazzling stories in which she turns her penetrating eye on the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Nigeria and the West. In ‘A Private Experience,’ a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she’s been pushing away. In ‘Tomorrow Is Too Far,’ a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother’s death. The young mother at the center of ‘Imitation’ finds her comfortable life threatened when she learns that her husband back in Lagos has moved his mistress into their home. And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; though falling in love brings her desires nearly within reach, a death in her homeland forces her to re-examine them. Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow and longing, this collection is a resounding confirmation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s prodigious storytelling powers.”

I hear great things about Purple Hibiscus or Half a Yellow Sun, but I haven’t read either yet, so my plan is to read these short stories first and then move on to the novels.


Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

And what did you find in the library this week?

See more Library Loot here.

5 responses

  1. I can’t believe you managed to get these from the library. If I put in a request it would be about 6 months before I actually got to the top of the list for The Thing Around Your Neck!

    I’m about half way through The Invention of Everything Else – it is really weird – not in a good way either. I hope you like pigeons!

  2. I like the sounds of A Very Persistent Illusion. I hope you’ll share that with us when you are done. I know what you mean when you say you are in serious arrears on your reading. I with you.

  3. Many thanks for the post and I’m glad you enjoyed The Herring Seller’s Apprentice. You may have noticed that our border terrier (Thistle) makes a brief guest appearance on page 97 (hardback edition).

    Re this year’s Orange prize, it’s worth reading Ann Weisgarber’s The Personal History of Rachel DuPree – long-listed for the main prize and short-listed for the first novel award.

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