I continue to power through public library books at the same time as I keep acquiring books – including the ones below that I bought with birthday money from my sister: two novels I’ve been keen to read, a book of poetry, and two bibliomemoirs (one of them a signed copy but still stupidly cheap!).
I also have this gorgeous trio of blue-hued books to be reviewing for The Bookbag.
I’ve given ratings for all the books I finished, and added links to reviews for those I managed to write about.
LIBRARY BOOKS READ
- Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian (poetry)
- Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley
- The Crime Writer by Jill Dawson
- The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry
- Let Me Tell You about a Man I Knew by Susan Fletcher
- The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up and Other Stories by David Lodge
- Nutshell by Ian McEwan
- The Many by Wyl Menmuir
- Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
- Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art by Julian Barnes
- Open City by Teju Cole
CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ
Many familiar titles still hanging around from last month, plus a few new ones…
- A Chinese street food cookbook to browse for ideas
- Hag-Seed: The Tempest Retold by Margaret Atwood
- The Course of Love by Alain de Botton
- Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal
- The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
- Man Walks into a Room by Nicole Krauss
- Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann
- The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler
- The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace
IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE
- Poetry Notebook, 2006–2014 by Clive James
- Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch
- Squirrel Pie by Elisabeth Luard
- Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body by Jo Marchant
- Autumn by Ali Smith
- The Pursuit of Happiness: Why Are We Driving Ourselves Crazy and How Can We Stop? by Ruth Whippman
- Two for Joy by Dannie Abse – I read about a third of these poems; not a single one stuck out for me.
- The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg by Tim Birkhead – requested; I’ll have to get it back out another time.
- Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine – Skimmed. Kudos to Rankine for revealing overt/casual racism in America – Lord knows we still need it in the public eye. (Ditto to Paul Beatty’s The Sellout winning the Booker Prize.) But is this poetry? Not even a quarter of the book is composed of what I would call poems, even prose poems. It’s more like a book of essays, which I wasn’t in the mood for. Best lines: “because white men can’t / police their imagination / black men are dying.”
- The House at the Edge of the World by Julia Rochester – also requested.
(Thanks, as always, go to Shannon of River City Reading for the great blog idea and template!)
The Pursuit of Happiness: Why Are We Driving Ourselves Crazy and How Can We Stop? – I might have to get this one for my husband. And possibly other members of his family. 🙂
For myself, I’d like Ruined By Reading (although I hope that I’m not).
I’ll probably just skim Pursuit of Happiness. I’ve looked at a bunch of books on the topic (e.g. Gretchen Rubin’s) and it will be interesting to see what her take is.
I think I’ll make Ruined by Reading my next book-themed bedside book after I finish The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap. (Bonus: it’s only 119 pages!)
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I met Dannie Abse once. I gave him my poems to read. OH THE SHAME.
Ha ha! That reminds me of the time as an adolescent when I showed my photographs to a Washington Post photojournalist at the end of an event. He was very gentle, and kind to take any time for me at all, but I cringe just to think of it nowadays.
Is there an Abse collection you’d recommend?
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Aie! I think if you don’t like Abse in one collection, you won’t like him at all, it’s just a personal preference and style thing. I like very few poets, unfortunately: always makes me feel a bit guilty!
Fair enough! It’s hard for me to say why I like or don’t like particular poets or styles.