Library Checkout: December 2018

A lighter month since I was trying to finish up review books I got from the publisher and get all my end-of-year posts together. My local library closed for refurbishment for the entire length of my Christmas trip to America – how convenient! – so my loans from earlier in the month aren’t due until the first week of January. When I say “currently” below it’s sort of a fib; I’ve set all these books aside temporarily and will get back into them once I’m back in the UK. (As usual, I’ve added in star ratings and links to Goodreads reviews where I haven’t already featured the books on the blog in some way.)




  • Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts by Brené Brown 
  • In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate the World by Simon Garfield 
  • The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth about Healthy Eating by Anthony Warner 


  • A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings by Helen Jukes
  • Us by Zaffar Kunial [poetry]
  • The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson


  • Rewild Yourself: 23 Spellbinding Ways To Make Nature More Visible by Simon Barnes
  • Under the Knife: A History of Surgery in 28 Remarkable Operations by Arnold van de Laar


  • Orchid Summer: In Search of the Wildest Flowers of the British Isles by John Dunn
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
  • From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
  • Soho by Richard Scott [poetry]
  • Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith
  • The Mary Westmacott Collection, Vol. 1 [the alias of Agatha Christie – I only plan to read the third book in the volume, Absent in the Spring]


  • The Brief Life of Flowers by Fiona Stafford


  • Selected Poems by Edmund Blunden
  • Daphne by Will Boast
  • Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen
  • The Binding by Bridget Collins
  • Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family by Garrard Conley
  • The Nature of Winter by Jim Crumley
  • Get Well Soon: Adventures in Alternative Healthcare by Nick Duerden
  • Dream Sequence by Adam Foulds
  • Milkshakes and Morphine: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Genevieve Fox
  • Making Winter: A Creative Guide for Surviving the Winter Months by Emma Mitchell
  • Assurances by J.O. Morgan [poetry]
  • The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles that Reveal how to Make Your Life Better (And Other People’s Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin
  • The Way of the Hare by Marianne Taylor


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

I don’t have an official link-up system, so please just pop a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part in Library Checkout this month. (Feel free to use the image in your post.)

13 responses

  1. I love Simon Garfield’s books, and In Miniature was very good. I note you only skimmed it though?


    1. I’ve read several of his books before. The one on fonts is my favourite. I gave this new one the barest skim, partially due to time constraints and partially because I didn’t have enough interest in the subject.


      1. His Mass Observation anthologies are excellent – some of my favourite books ever!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope you love the Ryan as much as I did. That Name of the Rose jacket brings back so many bookselling memories. Happy 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll be trying the Eco for Annabel’s buddy read in January.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would like to read In Miniature out of all of those. And the Michelle Obama, of course!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Her memoir is very good. To my disappointment, though, it’s ghostwritten.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh damn – is the ghostwriter acknowledged on the title page / in the acknowledgements / given their own acknowledgements, though? I mean, the ones I work with are brilliant and really care about getting the person’s voice and thoughts over as well as can be done, but yes, that is disappointing, and if not acknowledged, more so.


    2. She mentions her team of collaborators in the acknowledgements, which are at the very end of the book, so I didn’t realize it until then. I had somehow gotten the idea that she wrote it all herself. The writers have done a very good job of capturing her voice, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That idea is prevalent as it’s what I thought, too.


  4. I’m glad to see Danez Smith’s Don’t Call Us Dead on your list for 2019. It’s an incredibly powerful book. Be sure you watch some of his performances of his poems on YouTube as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am huge into reading so I basically live at my local library. The most recent book I am reading is Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. It’s an amazing read. I also have found myself geeking out and being called to read the Harry Potter books. I have seen the movies but my grandmother loved the books so I have decided to jump on the band wagon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope you enjoy Orchid Summer, Rebecca. Very best, Jon

    Liked by 1 person

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