Library Checkout: February 2017

I managed to get through six library reads in February. I’ve added in ratings and links to any reviews for books I haven’t already featured on the blog in some way. Currently I have a lovely quartet of books on the go; given that I got a bit carried away with the free reservations, it looks like I’ll be reading a whole bunch of library books in March.


The current library reads. I hadn't noticed until I took the photo that they all feature black, white and red on their covers...

The current library reads. I hadn’t noticed until I took the photo that they all feature black, white and red on their covers…


  • Pondlife: A Swimmer’s Journal by Al Alvarez
  • The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books by John Carey
  • Bad Dreams and Other Stories by Tessa Hadley
  • Let Them Eat Chaos [poetry] by Kate Tempest


  • Ashland & Vine by John Burnside
  • Outline by Rachel Cusk
  • Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  • A Smell of Burning: The Story of Epilepsy by Colin Grant
  • Finn Family Moomintroll & Sculptor’s Daughter by Tove Jansson
  • Human Acts by Han Kang
  • The No Spend Year: How I Spent Less and Lived More by Michelle McGagh [to skim only, I think]
  • Reading Allowed: True Stories and Curious Incidents from a Provincial Library by Chris Paling
  • Nonsense by Christopher Reid [poetry]



  • The Good People by Hannah Kent
  • The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion


  • Go Lean Vegan: The Revolutionary 30-Day Diet Plan to Lose Weight and Feel Great by Christine Bailey
  • Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
  • The Owl at the Window: A Memoir of Loss and Hope by Carl Gorham
  • Where Poppies Blow: The British Soldier, Nature, the Great War by John Lewis-Stempel
  • Augustown by Kei Miller
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Losing Your Mind: Survival Techniques for Staying Sane by Emily Reynolds
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Have you been taking advantage of your local libraries? What appeals from my lists?

17 responses

  1. It looks like you were less fond of Family Life than I was.


    1. I seem to have enjoyed it more than Rebecca also

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ve read some wonderful nonfiction about TBI, but I just thought the writing here was so flat and unemotional that it hindered my ability to empathize with the family.


      1. That’s interesting. I think knowing that it was based on his own family’s experience and how difficult it had been for him to write it fed in to my feelings about it.


  2. Our library is one of those in severe danger of being ‘chopped’ thanks to this government’s cuts, so I have become one of the team of volunteers about to be trained to take on some of the roles there (there will still be a few professionals around). So I imagine that actually spending significant periods there will have me wandering home with further big piles of reading matter…….


    1. The same is happening here in West Berkshire with the smaller branch libraries, which I think will be staffed by volunteers only. I considered signing up but then realized it would involve all the worst aspects of my old library work: health and safety training, etc. Plus they require three references — just to be a volunteer!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Smaller branch libraries? Ha! I’m talking about Ripon, population 17,000. Grrrr.


  3. Im trying hard not to get carried away with library holds so I can make more inroads into the hundreds of books I have in what I call my ‘personal library’ – in other words the bookshelves at home. But I did go and put The God of Small Things on reserve today….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m trying to maintain a balance between library reads, my own books, advance books from NetGalley and Edelweiss, and assigned review copies. It’s not easy, though!


  4. Moomins! Surely the perfect escapist reading to be found. I love that you have the moomins next to Han Kang in your library TBR – now that is eclectic! 🙂


    1. That hadn’t even occurred to me 🙂 I recently read Moominland Midwinter, so I’ll have a break before going on to another one. It will be very interesting to read Jansson’s autobiography in conjunction with another Moomin book.


  5. Lovely eclectic reading as always! I am not using the library as much as I should be these days as between my own books,gifts and NetGalley my supply is kept constant. I am taking a pile of hardbacks up there to donate soon, though. I want to hear about the Simon Armitage book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a brief anthology of short poems (fewer than 13 lines, so no sonnets!) of all time periods and styles. The order is interesting: they go from longest to shortest. Most I was unfamiliar with.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have more books than I would like from the library right now. I’m going to have to make some tough decisions, especially because many are ILL books. I might do up a quick post if I have time!
    Happy to see 4.5 stars for Hoomegoing. 🙂


    1. I like that library loan periods force me to read things in a timely fashion. Downloads on my Kindle linger there for far too long…

      Homegoing was a case of the hype being well deserved 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve heard only good things about Homegoing. And Still Alice is one of my favorites! I hope you enjoy it.


    1. I really enjoyed the movie, so I hope the book will be at least as good. Sorry I didn’t realize you were the new host of Library Checkout; I only found out via Naomi of Consumed by Ink. I’ll be sure to link to you next month 🙂


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