Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For the First Time: Library Loot

I discovered the weekly event Library Loot from Marg over at Reading Adventures, where once a week bloggers announce what they've checked out from the library. While a fabulous idea, it's not one I've participated in because I haven't had a lot of incentive to go to my local library. Not only because I already have a ginormous TBR pile, but because the romance selection at library closest to my house sucks hardcore.

My library doesn't catalogue paperbacks in the same way it does hardcovers. You can't search for them and reserve them, for one thing - you just have to be satisfied with the random selection of the particular branch you happen to be in. They do pick up new books, but it's just not worth it to stop in every day to see. Mostly I give the shelves a once-over every month or so - I find a couple of books that are interesting, but not enough to get me to tear away from my slow decimation of my TBR.

That is, until a couple of days ago, where I found a veritable bounty of interesting books, so I thought this week I actually could participate in Library Loot! Huzzah! First thing out of my loot bag:
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. This has been on my Wishlist for a while - thanks in part to glowing reviews and the intriguingly original notion of a romantic hero with Asperger's Syndrome (a mild form of autism). And now I can check it out for free! While I am a bit iffy about the fact that the hero (and his sequel-baiting bros) are Scottish (Sir Walter Scott has instilled in me a fiery hatred of phonetically-spelled brogue in dialogue), who knows? It could still be good!

I also found Scandal, by Carolyn Jewel. I haven't read anything of hers, but the Internets have been positively afire for her recently, with many of my blogger friends declaring that she is a fabulous writer. This the first book of hers that caught my attention thanks to its explosion over the Internet, although Indiscreet is now making the rounds as well, with positive reviews.

I believe this novel's story is about a rake who makes an ass out of himself in front of the married woman he loves and now that she's a widow he has to make less of an ass of himself. Yay redemption!

Despite my disdain for the unwarranted proliferation of Nathan Camp covers (he has and always will look like Prince Humperdink to me), I was intrigued by the notion of The Christmas Countess. First of all, after I finish another trio of romance reviews I will be doing reviews of Christmas romances and anthologies for the upcoming season, and I figured this would be an excellent addition to my event that won't take away from my Gift Budget.

Second, the plot really interested me - a woman discovers her illegitimate child wasn't stillborn after all and is being raised by a very distant (but very handsome) male relation. So, despite the fact that the people on the cover look like they've fallen asleep standing up, I decided to give this one a shot.

This is yet another addition to AnimeJune's Big Christmas Review - because it's winter-themed. Yes. That's the excuse I'm going with. While I wasn't totally impressed by my first novel of Sabrina Jeffries', and my first attempt at Jane Feather (Almost a Lady) resulted in a DNF (this was before I was reviewing on my blog, sorry), I really enjoyed my shot at Julia London. Plus, the reviews I've been reading about this anthology seemed pretty high, and besides, it's from a library and is free. What can I lose?


  1. Sweet! Welcome to Library Loot!

    My local libraries don't shelve much romance either, especially the newest mass market paperback type. They just don't get those. I get library envy when I hear what other people can get at their libraries. I end up borrowing a lot of YA, mysteries and some of the romances that make it out in hardcover.

    I have the first two of your loot books already on my personal TBR pile, but what a score for you to find them at the library!

    Happy reading! :)

  2. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Several of the books you picked up are on my TBR pile. The Christmas Countess is pretty high on the pile. I'll probably read it two books from now.

    My library lets people reserve and request paperbacks from any branch.

  3. My own personal library puts the public library to shame so I don't check out books from there, but I'm wildly waving my arms at you to read The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie.

  4. There is no brogue in THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE. Lord Ian and his brothers speak regular English with a hint of a Scots accent.

    Read without fear.

  5. I have three of these in the TBR - just missing the Basso. And OMG - Nathan Kamp DOES look like Prince Humperdink! LOL If I actually found Kamp attractive (which I don't) I might be mad at you for planting that suggestion in my brain.

    Libraries that don't catalog paperbacks need to be shot. OK, not really - they just need to get a clue. It takes no time at all to throw up a very minimal record on the catalog (Seriously, all they need is title, author, ISBN and publisher) and people could actually FIND them. This is a massive pet peeve of mine - can you tell?

  6. Anonymous1:18 PM

    I don't understand why a library WOULDN'T catalog paperbacks. They want people to check out books, right? I'm sure the more books checked out equals more funding for them.

  7. Anonymous - I didn't say they didn't catalogue paperbacks. I said they catalogued them differently so you can't search for them in the computer. I think the reason our library doesn't (when I asked a librarian) is they consider paperbacks too fragile to be worth the trouble - they wear out faster than hardcovers and take more damage and are taken out of circulation sooner so what's the point? kind of attitude. Which I think is bull crap.

  8. Anonymous6:22 PM

    I was responding to Wendy, not you.

  9. Anon: What AnimeJune said. It's the format, not the content. Paperbacks aren't "meant to last" - so libraries don't want to waste time and man-power cataloging them. However, it has gotten a lot better in recent years. Mostly because cataloging means better statistics, better collection development, and better access to the collection. Librarians are slowly (gah!) starting to realize this. My employer didn't start cataloging pbs until around 2003 (before my time) and it's amazing how our stats (ILL and within our system) shot up. Gee, ya think?

    Also, ever since hard cover quality has gone down the toilet (shoddy bindings, cheap paper - I could go on and on), paperbacks have become a little less of a punching bag. Quality is pretty much crap across the board now - not just reserved for paperbacks anymore.

  10. Welcome to Library Loot! I am glad to see another romance reader playing along!

    I am pretty lucky in that my library has a pretty good romance section. My only criticism is that some times it takes them a long time to get on board with new authors.

    I bought the Jennifer Ashley...still haven't read it! I love Sabrina Jeffries books, but I was glad that I was borrowing some of those earlier books from the library. It was only in the later books that she become an author that I buy rather than borrow.