Library Checkout: March 2019

A rare second post in a day from me since I was also committed to a blog tour. What have you been reading from your local library? 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 this image in your post.



  • Yesterday Morning by Diana Athill – I had read this back in 2012, but looked over it again for an article I was writing on Athill.
  • Have You Eaten Grandma? by Gyles Brandreth
  • Let’s Talk about Death (over Dinner): An Invitation and Guide to Life’s Most Important Conversation by Michael Hebb
  • The Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer
  • The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St. Clair


  • Murmur by Will Eaves
  • Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors by Caroline Elton
  • Ordinary People by Diana Evans
  • Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
  • The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway
  • Injury Time by Clive James [poetry]
  • Lanny by Max Porter
  • The World I Fell Out Of by Melanie Reid


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

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ (or skimmed)

  • Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-wage Britain by James Bloodworth
  • It’s All a Game: A Short History of Board Games by Tristan Donovan
  • The Pebbles on the Beach: A Spotter’s Guide by Clarence Ellis
  • Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World by Lyndall Gordon
  • Lost and Found: Memory, Identity, and Who We Become when We’re No Longer Ourselves by Jules Montague
  • Taking the Arrow out of the Heart by Alice Walker [poetry]
  • The Uninhabitable World: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells
  • The Face Pressed against a Window: A Memoir by Tim Waterstone


  • A Breath of French Air, H.E. Bates
  • Still Water: The Deep Life of the Pond by John Lewis-Stempel
  • The Dreamers, Karen Thompson Walker


  • Seven Signs of Life: Stories from an Intensive Care Doctor by Aoife Abbey
  • How to Treat People: A Nurse’s Notes by Molly Case
  • Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife before It Is Too Late? by Mark Cocker
  • 21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox
  • How to Catch a Mole and Find Yourself in Nature by Marc Hamer
  • The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
  • Horizon by Barry Lopez
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
  • Daisy Jones & the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Unnatural Causes by Richard Shepherd
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • A Farmer’s Diary: A Year at High House Farm by Sally Urwin


  • Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh – I’d heard so much about this graphic novel, but I found the drawing style childish and didn’t get more than 10 pages in.
  • Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog by Emily Dean – I couldn’t resist that title for a bereavement memoir, but within a couple pages I knew the author’s voice wasn’t for me.


  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I needed space on my card to borrow my reservations. I’ll get this back out another time, perhaps even for book club as some other members have expressed interest.

Does anything appeal from my stacks?

26 responses

  1. I think I need a lie-down after reading this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As long as it’s a lie-down with a pile of books 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I can barely bring myself to read your Library checkout posts. They make me feel so inadequate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t say that! The purpose of these posts is to celebrate libraries and, more broadly, to (as most of my posts do) explore the breadth of new, and older, books that are out there. If someone can be inspired to visit their local library, or to pick up a book or two from one of my sets of recommendations, then I’m happy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Luckily, with me, you’re preaching to the converted. What I love about being a library volunteer is the opportunity to come across books I wouldn’t normally consider, or even notice. But I always lug home more than I could possibly read, yet my pile is never as big as yours.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Quality over quantity? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Yoon is very YA. Not really a book group book? Although I enjoyed it when I read it a couple of yrs ago, I only originally picked it up for my daughter’s shelves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read Yoon’s other book, The Sun Is Also a Star, for a BookBrowse review. I like an occasional foray into YA, and one of the other members, who has two teen daughters, recommended this one. The club as a whole seems interested in dipping into lots of different genres, so I think people would be open-minded.


      1. There are better YA books for discussion though – I’m thinking Lisa Williamson for instance. This one was prince next door rescues imprisoned princess from wicked queen a la Rapunzel – but I guess that could make a good discussion?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. At our April meeting we’re going to discuss possible reads for the rest of the year, so I will bring Williamson up if there seems to be continued interest in a YA book. Is there a particular one of hers you’d recommend?


  4. I’m heading off to Donegal at the weekend and bringing Lanny with me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a dark and strange book. I’m 2/3 of the way through and still not sure what I think about it! I hope you’ll enjoy it.


  5. Carolyn Anthony | Reply

    I’ve been reading Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler. As you know, I’ve been less than enthused with her writing and wouldn’t be reading another but for my Book Club choice. Well, this one wins the prize! I can hardly put it down. For one thing, it contains a mystery. Throughout, I’m wondering, wondering. For another, its subject matter is something I’m entirely comfortable with — spiritual transformation and church life. I highly recommend it. Sent from my iPhone



    1. I have heard someone else say that Saint Maybe was their favorite of her novels. I have a copy on the shelf and will make it my next Tyler. I’m pleased that you were willing to give her another try and it’s paid off. ________________________________


  6. I have been on holiday for weeks so haven’t been to the library i my home area. I did visit a library in New Zealand though to get some recommendations for NZ authors I can check out on my return. One of them was Janet Frame – how is that working out for you so far?


    1. Faces in the Water is a brilliant depiction of life in mental hospitals. I also read the first volume of her autobiography last year and it was one of the best accounts of childhood I’ve ever read.


      1. That’s settled it, I shall reserve it in the library

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Bledwina Blighty | Reply

    I love love love your library check out posts – both the celebration of public libraries and the very precise classification of the books – checked out, returned, reserved, so organised! I always feel so lucky I can borrow so many marvellous books from our local library – many currently on sale for £££ at Waterstones! From my local library I have amassed the most glorious pile including Why We Sleep; Where the Crawdads Sing; The Lost Children Archive; Resin; The Silent Patient. I also want to read I’ll Be back in the Dark but it’s only on electronic resource from the library and I don’t like reading from my IPad. Currently reading Dry by Augusten Burroughs which is really well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Sounds like you have a great stack, too. I gleaned some interesting information by skimming Why We Sleep, and I enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing very much. I would love to try something by Luiselli but my library doesn’t currently own any of her work.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What brilliant books! I am so bad at using my library as my TBR and review stack are so massive esp at the moment. I do aim to redress that before it’s too late, and in fact I might pop up there for a learn Spanish book (I think central library has some books IN Spanish, too). I keep seeing The Pebbles on the Beach but it’s a reprint of a much older book, isn’t it, which I even think I might have somewhere. I’ve read the Janet Frame years ago but it’s too mental ill-health memoir for me now (burn-out!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the pebbles book is a reprint of a 1950s classic. I’ve realised I’m not actually that interested in geology, etc., though, so I’m returning the book unread today.

      I’m going to work my way through all the Frame books held by the University of Reading. Next up will be the second volume of the autobiography, and a poetry collection.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I’m SO interested in geology, etc., that I’ve already read and possibly owned it. So I’m no sure who it’s aimed at!


  9. I was so saddened by Diana Athill’s death. I know, I know: full life, etcetera. But she was such an inspiration on many fronts (and, also, an author treasured by a dear friend who has also passed, though not quite of Athill’s years, close though).

    Would you believe that I have my library stack to fewer than 10 books (and a few of those soon to be returned)? Right now I am really enjoying the sense of freedom but I have a feeling it’s not going to last long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Look out for my article on Athill in a forthcoming issue of Bookmarks magazine 🙂 I was a huge fan and have read all her work, even the slight and obscure stuff.

      Wow, that’s an impressively small number! I’m limited to 15 items on my library card, but I will admit that I sometimes swipe my husband’s card (taking advantage of the self-issue machines) so I can have more out in total.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. buriedinprint

        I will watch out for it!

        There were times when I would also use my step-daughters’ cards, but I did feel that was fair, because I usually had a dozen or more of their books checked out on my card, at any given time so that, otherwise, my own card would have had those extra check-out possibilities. At some point, I had to explain this to a librarian (i can’t remember the circumstances – probably something to do with a hold) and they actually checked my card to see that that was true, before allowing me to borrow adult materials on a child’s card. So, from then on, I felt quite justified. *laughs* .


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