Library Loot 1/7

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!


Dust by Elizabeth Bear: For the Women In Science Fiction challenge. I have to get cracking on this one!
The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum: Recommended by Kim, among others. Murder! Medicine! MPoison!
Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World by Clair Harman: Recently reviewed by Iris, I couldn’t resist it when I saw it on the shelf at the library.

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious: Metalious and her scandalous book’s adaption into a much less scandalous movie garnered a chapter in The Bad and the Beautiful, a book about Hollywood in the 1950s that I recently finished. Sometimes I (not so secretly) enjoy books full of drama and soapy so-bad-its-awesome scandals.
Joan Crawford: Hollywood’s Martyr by David Bret: Sooo you may notice I have been on a bit of an early-Hollywood kick lately. I watched What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? for the first time last weekend and was instantly interested in Joan Crawford’s life. I’m sure Mommie Dearest will make its way to my TBR pile soon, but I thought I’d start with a less biased account.
Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford by Donald Spoto: Apparently this is the end-all of all Crawford bios, so I thought I’d check it out from the library, too.
Vincente Minnelli: Hollywood’s Dark Dreamer by Emanuel Levy: I also watched Meet Me In St. Louis for the first time last weekend, and it made me super interested in Minnelli and Judy Garland.
The Cry of the Sloth by Sam Savage: I forget what made me put this on hold at the library, but here’s part of the amazing sounding description: “Living on a diet of fried Spam, vodka, sardines, cupcakes, and Southern Comfort, Andrew Whittaker is slowly being sucked into the morass of middle age. A negligent landlord, small-time literary journal editor, and aspiring novelist, he is—quite literally— authoring his own downfall. From his letters, diary entries, and fragments of fiction, to grocery lists and posted signs, this novel is a collection of everything Whittaker commits to paper over the course of four critical months.”
Back to Barbary Lane: The Final Tales of the City Omnibus by Armistead Maupin: Three of the Tales of the City books are collected here: Babycakes, Signifigant Others, and Sure of You. It’s a giant book and the pages are kind of falling out, but I think it adds to the charm of the books. Although I’m assuming that since these later books are set in the 80s in San Francisco and they have several gay male characters there will be a lot of death from AIDS and I’m not really looking forward to it.
Further Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin: The third book in the series.

Left-Over Loot
My Queer War by James Lord
Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women by Leila Rupp: This is next on my list as soon as I finish a couple of the books I’m reading now!
Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town by Elyssa East: The “ghost town” is in Massachusetts, so I’m excited to read about a nearby location.
Unburnable by Marie-elena John
The Pollysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby: Reading now, thanks to Erin!


Filed under Library Loot

25 responses to “Library Loot 1/7

  1. Wow! What a lot of books – I love it! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on these :) The Poisoner’s Handbook and Sappistries sound fantastic, especially.

    • I finally ended up abandoning Sapphistries…on page 47. I just couldn’t take the bad research anymore! The Poisoner’s Handbook is one I’m really looking forward to, but I’m reading my way through the books about the 50s first. :)

  2. I also love drama and soapy-so-bad-it’s-awesome. :)

    And Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? I watched as a kid and it scared the crap out of me. But watching as an adult I realized I enjoyed it’s creepiness.

    • I’m hoping Peyton Place with be a New England version of Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls. Fingers crossed.

      What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is SUPER creepy, I don’t blame you for being scared! I was antsy while watching it…all that “stuck in a wheelchair and unable to call for help” stuff gets me anxious, lol.

  3. I am so jealous of this major stack of books! Dogtown seems really interesting.

  4. Joan Crawford in Johnny Guitar… so Butch. Are you enjoying Tales Of The City? I love Maupin so South and funny.

    • I like Tales of the City okay. It’s an enjoyable, light read, but I am a bit wary of the AIDS plot lines. I’m not sure what you mean by “south” since the books are set in California…do you mean “south” as in the US is south to Canada?

      • No, I meant Southern writer. Isn’t Maupin from the south? he has that quirky southern humour, well I always thought so. Funny I remember more about strange characters and the whole Jonestown thing. Books leave different impressions on people. I guess:-)

  5. What fabulous variety! Jane’s Fame is very interesting – Iris’ review certainly echoed my own thoughts about it. I’ve heard excellent things about Spoto’s writing (his biography of Grace Kelly is waiting for me on my shelves) and Crawford is always an interesting subject.

    Enjoy your loot!

    • Glad to hear you liked Jane’s Fame too! I just started Spoto’s biography of Crawford and it’s okay so far. He seems rather too fond of the actress to be unbiased (she once answered his fan letter and he starts the book off with it).

  6. Eva

    Squee for Poisoner’s Handbook! I LOVE that and the other Blum I’ve read (Ghost Hunters). You know, for all of my classic movie fandom, I’m not well-acquianted with Joan Crawford. Sounds like I need to watch Baby Jane!

    And you need to read Sapphistries so you can tell me if I should read it. Get on that already. ;) Dogtown sounds incredible too: I’m always on the lookout for ghost-related nonfiction that isn’t crazy. ;) Can’t wait to see what you make of Unburnable!

    • You definitely need to watch Baby Jane; it’s amazingly creepy and wonderful.

      Ughh to Sapphistries. I couldn’t believe how bad the scholarship was, nor the author’s decision to refer to trans men as “women” with no explanation. Obnoxious. I have my fingers crossed for Dogtown, as it’s exciting to have a book about ghosts in MA that’s not about the Salem witch trials. As for Unburnable…it has been langushing on my shelf for weeks now, so if I don’t read it soon I might have to just give up. Did you finish that one? Off to check your blog..

  7. I hope you enjoy Jane’s Fame.

    And this may sound weird, because it is probably “normal” for you, but I rarely see your Library Loot posts. Anyway, you read so much non-fiction! I wish I could, but I normally stick to fiction as I read so much non-fiction for my studies.

    Out of those books I have only read The Pollysyllabic Spree, I liked it, but I did not love it as some bloggers do. Maybe because I read it before I knew about blogging and sharing your thoughts on books in that way?

    • Hi Iris. I hope I enjoy it too! I won’t hold you accountable if I don’t, so no worries. :)

      Last year non-fiction made up about 40% of my reading, even though I’ve been trying to read less. It’s definitely my comfort zone, as I really love history and gender studies and such. I’m not in school now so it’s the only way for me to get my “education fix,” if you will. ;) (Also, not a weird thing at all to say!)

      I finished The Pollysyllabic Spree yesterday and felt similarly; I liked it but didn’t love it. I thought the first half was much more enjoyable/entertaining than the second. That being said, I think it’s a nice book to have as blogging inspiration, so I might buy a copy to have on hand in case I need a little.

  8. Dogtown caught my attention because Venice used to be called Dogtown (as in the boys of… referring the the ZBoys). But yours is obviously different. :) It looks VERY intriguing. I might have to pick it up.

    • Venice, as in Venice, CA? Clueless New England-er over here :) Everyone’s interest in Dogtown the book is making MY interest greater…I might have to read that one next.

  9. I picked up Jane’s Fame this week. Iris got to me too. I have already learned that Charlotte Bronte was not a fan of Jane’s, which I have to admit burns me up quite a bit.

    • Ughh. *crawls in to bunker to whisper secret* I kind of don’t like the Brontes anyway, so they can go on disliking Austen while I dislike them. hahaha.

    • That is what I dislike about Brontë too. How could she? JK. I think it is what kept me from proclaiming my love for Jane Eyre before now. I know, you dislike Jane Eyre too. I guess you’re allowed to be more annoyed by that quirk in Charlotte Brontë than I do.

  10. I’ve heard really good things about Elizabeth Bear. Will be interested to see what you think.

  11. I like Hornby’s review books because they add so much to my TBR list (I learned about Sarah Vowell from him), but I can’t read too much at one time. I think his was the only book on your pile that I recognized.