Library Checkout: August 2016

I still have dozens of priority books to read from my own shelves (including the four recent charity shop purchases below), and I’ve been building up a stock of Booker-longlisted titles on my Kindle through NetGalley to try to get through before the shortlist announcement … BUT now that I live in a district where library reservations are free, I haven’t been able to resist placing holds on a bunch of books I’ve been wanting to read.



  • Raining Cats and Donkeys by Doreen Tovey: Thanks to Liz at Adventures in reading for the recommendation of Tovey’s cat books. I’ll save up a mini-review of this one for a future follow-up post on books about cats.


  • How Snow Falls: Poems by Craig Raine
  • The Last Act of Love: The Story of My Brother and His Sister by Cathy Rentzenbrink [in advance of a September 20th event at Foyles, London I’ll be attending on grief in literature, featuring her and Michel Faber]



  • The Malarkey (poems) by Helen Dunmore
  • The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice from the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida
  • Kid Gloves: A Voyage round My Father by Adam Mars-Jones


  • Late Fragments: Everything I Want to Tell You (about This Magnificent Life) by Kate Gross


  • The Crime Writer by Jill Dawson
  • Let Me Tell You about a Man I Knew by Susan Fletcher
  • Hot Milk by Deborah Levy [Booker longlist]
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann
  • Winter by Christopher Nicholson
  • The House at the Edge of the World by Julia Rochester
  • Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman [graphic novel]
  • Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
  • Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien [Booker longlist]
  • The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace


Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, edited by Thomas Travisano: I paused at page 140. I was enjoying this very much but am setting it aside because it’s an enormous book that I’ve had out from the university library for months and months, and I was making very little visible progress. Like Airmail, the collection of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer’s letters that I read last year, it’s a delightful mixture of the two poets’ reading, writing, travels, and relationships, including their own burgeoning friendship. I need to get hold of a secondhand copy so I can read it at my leisure, a few letters at a time.

(Thanks, as always, go to Shannon of River City Reading for the great blog idea and template!)


21 thoughts on “Library Checkout: August 2016

  1. Who in the world charges you for library reservations!? :-O I’d be completely screwed… tentatively discovering my local library nowadays since I finished work to start mat leave! They seem to have a good selection (that don’t get snatched up right away unlike in the centre of town) so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
    Although I have so many unread bought books at home I feel I owe it to contribute so always take what I don’t have out of the library if poss…..excited to see what you think about the Eric Newby! My other half adores the Picador editions.


    1. Congrats, lady! I wondered if that was on the cards 😉

      Both of my previous library systems charged — only 40p or 50p each, but still, if you’re interested in getting hold of all the interesting new books it really adds up! I had to limit myself to just the few books I was most keen on, and tried to get the rest as e-books through NetGalley, etc.

      It’ll be my first Newby; I’m trying to get more into classic travel books (currently reading the first Patrick Leigh Fermor, for instance).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s the same in the Toronto system. They’re all single copies and large print editions. When I was a girl, shopping for dresses, I remember my mom always used to say that I chose styles that were too old for me. Not because (as I think is more often true of my step-daughter!) they were too revealing or mature, but because they were too old-fashioned and verging on prim-and-proper rather than fun and youthful. Now perhaps the same could be said of my reading taste. (Hopefully my fashion sense has improved a little along the way, however. At least I am mostly reading in a solitary fashion!)

        Liked by 1 person

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