Library Checkout: June 2018

I’ve read some terrific stuff from the library over the past month! As usual, I’ve added in star ratings and links to any Goodreads reviews if I haven’t already featured the books on the blog in some way.

Note: I’m going to skip the month of July because I’m spending three weeks of it in America helping my parents pack and move out of their house. My plan is to return all the public library books I still have out and cancel most of my reservation requests before I fly out. (I can always request them again as soon as I get back; for now I like the idea of a clean slate.)




CURRENTLY READING-ish (set aside temporarily)

  • To the Is-Land: An Autobiography by Janet Frame


These university library books have been hanging around for a loooooooooooong time, and most likely will continue to do so for months to come:

  • My Father and Myself by J.R. Ackerley
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • The Cabaret of Plants: Botany and the Imagination by Richard Mabey (not pictured)
  • Backwater by Dorothy Richardson
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Magnificent Spinster by May Sarton


  • Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healy
  • The Stopping Places: A Journey through Gypsy Britain by Damian Le Bas
  • The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken
  • Rosie: Scenes from a Vanished Life by Rose Tremain
  • The Librarian by Salley Vickers



  • Places I Stopped on the Way Home: A Memoir of Chaos and Grace by Meg Fee
  • That Was when People Started to Worry: Windows into Unwell Minds by Nancy Tucker

(I requested these from the publisher way back in November 2017 and was astounded when, 6.5 months later, copies turned up on my doorstep! I’d given up on them ever coming.)

  • The Owl at the Window by Carl Gorham
  • See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

(I lost interest in these two and wasn’t drawn in by the first few pages.)

What have you been reading from your local libraries? Does anything appeal from my stacks?

26 responses

  1. I’ve seen a few bloggers who have given The Lido a so-so rating yet this book keeps coming up as a recommended read in several newspapers. How odd.
    My library news this week is that I joined my local university library. I never knew I could do that – I thought you had to be a registered student or academic. Public membership costs £60 a year which I wouldn’t have done but if you are a member of the local public library system it comes down to £10 which I thought was well worth it. I’m restricted to 2 books at a time but I would be unlikely to read more than that anyway

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s wonderful! I love it when universities are able to give locals access to the collection. I’m sure you’ll find that they have lots of interesting books that it would be difficult to find elsewhere.

      If one needed a very easy read for some reason, The Lido would fit the bill. But I found it almost insultingly simplistic in language and emotional understanding of characters. I set it down after just 25 pages.


      1. I think I saw a similar comment in the Sunday Times review about how it was hard to connect with the central character.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your format of Skimmed/ returned unread/ etc etc. An easy and orderly approach.


    1. It’s a template created by Shannon of River City Reading, who is not currently blogging. I took over running the Library Checkout meme in October.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Most of these are unfamiliar to me, but I LOVE The Catcher in the Rye! So if/when you end up reading it, hope you enjoy! Haha. Now that it’s the summer I’ve been really itching to get to the library, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s one of the books I can’t believe I never had to read in school! It will be interesting to see if I can appreciate it as an adult; it seems very much like a story to read during the teenage rebellion years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It could be, although I read it for the first time in my early 20s and it definitely spoke to me then!


    2. That’s good to hear 🙂


  4. I’m sorry you didn’t take to The Lido, however I think your tastes run (in a good way) to a more complicated and literary book. I actually found her vignettes later on in the book to be charming and very well done, and the whole thing yes, fairly simple but no less powerful for that. But each to their own, and you tackle things I would never dare to!

    I think a clean slate sounds lovely. That’s like when I get to thinking I could read ALL my TBR and have an empty shelf and read as I acquire. But hopefully with more success!


    1. My abandoning The Lido is certainly no comment on your taste for liking it! Perhaps I needed to be in a holiday frame of mind, or waiting for a stressful medical appointment or the like, to let my lit crit guard down for a while?

      It will never be a completely clean slate because of my (fairly small) pile of review books I can’t possibly tackle before I go, and the NetGalley backlog on my Kindle, and the 20 Books of Summer I’ll feel bad for not getting to…

      P.S. I didn’t realize you were on Goodreads! That is SUCH a lovely photo of you on there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I have a Goodreads account and I think my blog posts might go over there but I don’t actually use the site – one thing too many. I think I joined it to put my own books on there then found I couldn’t. But thank you for the nice comment about the photo.


  5. I need to participate in this. So much of my reading is library-driven, as in, what’s available, when holds come in… and yet… I’m terrible for returning things unread too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Please do! And that’s okay — that list can be just as enlightening as the list of what one has actually read 😉


  6. If I can ever get my act together I will participate in this meme! I’m obviously a heavy library user – and I often have things that I check out but don’t get around to reading as well. (Those books circulating benefits the library regardless!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree — even if you don’t get around to reading something, it helps the library’s statistics, so I don’t feel bad about it. It would be great to have you join in 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Annabel (gaskella) | Reply

    I really should go and join my local library. I am always in awe of the amount of books you manage to get through, or even skim!


    1. It could save you a bundle on new books! 😉


  8. […] Have you been using your library over the past month? What did you read? What didn’t you read? What are you waiting on? These are the questions of a meme called Library Checkout, led by Rebecca Foster of the blog Bookish Beck. […]


  9. The Long Goodbye and The Unmapped Mind appeal to me. As for what I’ve been reading, not a lot. I had been putting a lot on hold and returning a lot unread until this week. Like you, I’ve decided to start with a clean slate, but I’m starting for July. (I added my link to your new link system, btw, and am trying to get some others to join in with us.)


    1. Terrific, thank you! I’m glad the link-up worked. I’m not sure I’ll be able to stick with it as it looks like you have to pay for it after a certain free trial period.

      The Long Goodbye and The Unmapped Mind are both excellent memoirs with a medical bent to them. (Keep in mind that the latter has the title The Inward Empire in the USA.)


  10. I’m curious about your reaction to Tender – SO many bloggers seemed to have loved that one!


    1. Yeah, it’s too bad about that one. I read the first 100 pages or more back in April and always intended to go back to it, but when I picked it up earlier in the month I couldn’t get back into it. I liked the central characters well enough, but maybe because I’ve never had close friendships with the opposite sex I couldn’t particularly relate to theirs, and the run-on style is something you have to get used to and probably be immersed in instead of dipping in and out like I always do.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. […] means I can start participating in Rebecca’s Library Checkout […]


  12. […] read? What are you waiting on? These are the questions of a meme called Library Checkout, led by Rebecca Foster of the blog Bookish Beck. Becca skipped July for personal reasons and wasn’t using her local library, but I am […]


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