Library Checkout: February 2019

A somewhat lighter month, but with lots of skimming of books on topics that interest me: happiness, nature, mental health and self-help. The set of books that I’m currently reading is absolutely fantastic. (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.)




  • The Happy Brain: The Science of Where Happiness Comes From, and Why by Dean Burnett
  • The Nature of Winter by Jim Crumley
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life by Samantha Ellis
  • Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions, Johann Hari
  • 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


  • Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family by Garrard Conley
  • Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • Absent in the Spring by “Mary Westmacott” (aka Agatha Christie)


  • To Obama: With love, joy, hate and despair by Jeanne Marie Laskas


  • Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot [poetry]
  • Injury Time by Clive James [poetry]
  • Taking the Arrow out of the Heart by Alice Walker [poetry]
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Along with the rest of a new batch of university library books:

  • An Angel at My Table by Janet Frame
  • A Pocket Mirror by Janet Frame
  • Becoming a Man by Paul Monette


  • Seven Signs of Life: Stories from an Intensive Care Doctor by Aoife Abbey
  • Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-wage Britain by James Bloodworth
  • 21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox
  • Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog by Emily Dean
  • Murmur by Will Eaves
  • Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors by Caroline Elton
  • Dream Sequence by Adam Foulds
  • Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World by Lyndall Gordon
  • The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
  • Lost and Found: Memory, Identity, and Who We Become when We’re No Longer Ourselves by Jules Montague
  • Lanny by Max Porter
  • The World I Fell Out Of by Melanie Reid
  • The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • The Face Pressed against a Window: A Memoir by Tim Waterstone


  • Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen – The prose is fine – easy to read, but nothing special. Though Cohen says she was inspired by Alderman’s The Power and Woolf’s Orlando, I don’t have faith that significant points will be made about gender identity.
  • The Binding by Bridget Collins – I didn’t even make it through the first chapter. I was getting Diane Setterfield-lite vibes, but couldn’t imagine reading 400 pages of this.
  • Orchid Summer: In Search of the Wildest Flowers of the British Isles by John Dunn –The writing is great; no question about that. But the book is so dense: so many words on a page, in such small type. Unless you’re a botany nut, I wouldn’t recommend it.
  • Milkshakes and Morphine: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Genevieve Fox – Fox has some amusing turns of phrase when talking about her throat cancer and treatment, but this is way too long at over 370 pages of small print.


  • Daphne by Will Boast – I liked the voice in the first couple of pages and will definitely get this back out at another time.
  • The Way of the Hare by Marianne Taylor – This felt more detailed and technical than I was looking for in a species overview.

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.)

8 responses

  1. I just finished The Binding and found it really captivating 🙂 I’ve only read Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, but thought Collins’ writing was a lot better.

    I haven’t tried Louis and Louise, but I’m getting similar vibes from it – a shame as it’s a great premise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Who wrote The Secret Barrister?

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. It’s by an anonymous blogger known only as “The Secret Barrister.” ________________________________


  3. I got Murmer for Christmas and am really looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, exciting! It’s on the Wellcome Book Prize longlist, so I hope it will arrive for me in time to read it before the shortlist announcement.


  4. I like the last picture you include!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a good motto 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Once again, I’m in awe of everything you accomplished this month!

    Here’s my library checkout post for anyone who might want to visit me:

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: