Library Loot

Eva is coordinating Library Loot this week.

I’m still trying to be moderate. My own books are calling. Loudly. But three very different books had to come home this week.

First there was the award winning crime novel:

The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin

” It is bitter mid-winter on the Swedish island of Oland, and Katrine and Joakim Westin have moved with their children to the boarded-up manor house at Eel Point. But their remote idyll is soon shattered when Katrine is found drowned off the rocks nearby. As Joakim struggles to keep his sanity in the wake of the tragedy, the old house begins to exert a strange hold over him. Joakim has never been in the least superstitious, but from where are those whispering noises coming? To whom does his daughter call out in the night? And why is the barn door for ever ajar? As the end of the year approaches, and the infamous winter storm moves in across Oland, Joakim begins to fear that the most spine-chilling story he’s heard about Eel Point might indeed be true: that every Christmas the dead return….”

I’m enjoying my journey through the Orange Prize longlist but I wanted a change, to bring home something completely different. And this one caught my eye. Winner of the Glass Key Award for the Best Nordic Crime Novel of the Year. Now there are a lot of great Nordic crime novels around at the moment, so surely to win this must have been pretty good.

Then there was the book of the shortlist for the Orange Award for New Writers that I just had to order:

The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini

“As Zimbabwe breaks free of British colonial rule, young Lindiwe Bishop encounters violence at close hand when her white neighbour is murdered. But this is a domestic crime, apparently committed by the woman’s stepson, Ian, although he is released from prison surprisingly quickly. Intrigued, Lindiwe strikes up a covert friendship with the mysterious boy next door, until he abruptly departs for South Africa. Years later, Ian returns to find Lindiwe has been hiding her own secret. It is to bring them closer together, but also test a relationship already contending with racial prejudice and the hostility of Lindiwe’s mother. And as their country slides towards chaos, the couple’s grip on happiness becomes ever more precarious.”

I was curious when I saw this on the shortlist and so I ordered a copy. I’ve only read one chapter in but I’m impressed – Lindiwe is an engaging narrator and the story looks very promising.

And, finally, there’s the book that caught my eye on the new books shelf:

Diamond Star Halo by Tiffany Murray

“Halo Llewelyn’s prayers begin, Dear God and Otis Redding, because she lives at Rockfarm, a rural recording studio where the sound of tractors and Stratocasters battle. One midsummer night an American band called Tequila arrives in a beautiful silver bus, and when they and that summer are gone, they leave behind an equally beautiful baby boy; they leave Fred. Fred is everybody’s favourite, a golden child, and Halo adores him. By seventeen his ambition has propelled him out into the word and into the stardom that was always his destiny. Yet up on stage, being screamed at by hundred of teenage girls and boys, Fred will always turn his spotlight on Halo in the crowd. That’s the problem with falling in love with your charismatic almost-brother: it can never be a secret. In the end, the whole world has to know.”

This looked so different that, although I wasn’t sure it was going to be my sort of book, I had to pick it up. I’m still not sure but when I saw the quote “Cider With Rosie with an impeccable soundtrack” from Mark Radcliffe on the cover I knew that I had to give it a try. And it’s published by Portobello Books, which is a very good sign.


Have you read any of these? What did you think? Which are you curious to know more about?

And what did you find in the library this week?

6 responses

  1. I so want to read The Boy Next Door. I haven’t posted a library loot in a few weeks, part of it is too many reviews but the other is that I’m so embarrassed by the sheer amount of books that I checked out!! I’m seriously going to get my loot under control this weekend, reset, and start over again but with a much smaller stack! 😀

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