Library Checkout: July 2019

Lots of library books in progress or waiting in the wings; not so many that I’ve actually managed to read this month. I give links to reviews of any books that I haven’t already featured on the blog in some way, and ratings for all the ones I’ve read or skimmed. What have you been reading from your local library? Library Checkout runs on the last Monday of every month. I don’t have an official link-up system, but feel free to use this image in your post and to leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part.




  • Flight Risk: The Highs and Lows of Life as a Doctor at Heathrow Airport by Dr. Stephanie Green


  • 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
  • An Angel at My Table by Janet Frame
  • Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls
  • The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann


  • Time Song: Searching for Doggerland by Julia Blackburn
  • How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
  • Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
  • The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
  • Expectation by Anna Hope
  • The Electricity of Every Living Thing: One Woman’s Walk with Asperger’s by Katherine May
  • Because: A Lyric Memoir by Joshua Mensch
  • I Want to Show You More by Jamie Quatro
  • The Farm by Joanne Ramos
  • The Hiding Game by Naomi Wood


  • On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons by Laura Cumming
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo


  • Golden Child by Claire Adam
  • If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman
  • The Easternmost House: A Year of Life on the Edge of England by Juliet Blaxland
  • The Science of Fate: Why Your Future Is More Predictable than You Think by Hannah Critchlow
  • The Last Supper: A Summer in Italy by Rachel Cusk
  • The Garden Jungle: Or Gardening to Save the Planet by Dave Goulson
  • When All Is Said by Anne Griffin
  • The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
  • The Wall by John Lanchester
  • The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
  • I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith



  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned from Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day
  • The Years by Annie Ernaux
  • The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
  • Under the Camelthorn Tree: Raising a Family among Lions by Kate Nicholls

I lost interest in all of these, plus there were holds after me on the first three.


Does anything appeal from my stacks?

22 responses

  1. Julia Blackburn’s Searching for Doggerland is very good indeed, although I loved her book Threads even more ( a rare 5 star award from me).
    I was a little disappointed with The Easternmost House, despite knowing that area of rural Suffolk very well (I was born and brought up there).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are the two from the Wainwright Prize shortlist that most interested me besides Our Place.


  2. You’ve got some recent favourites of mine waiting to be read – Expectation and The Hiding Game. I also enjoyed When All is Said. Eager to see what you make of the Julia Blackburn. I’ve enjoyed her writing in the past but haven’t got to this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve only read one Blackburn before: Thin Paths. I couldn’t pass up the coincidence of reading two books with ‘Doggerland’ in the title this year.


      1. Let’s hope you enjoy this one more than the last one!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Flight Risk looks intriguing. I see you didn’t rate the Winterson very highly. Must say I don’t relate well to her books. Pine Islands is en route to me from as we speak – I’ve been eagerly awaiting this one. Look forward to your rating/review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read 10 Winterson books now and this was among the weakest. I really don’t know how it made the Booker longlist!

      The Pine Islands is enjoyable in a low-key sort of way. The setup reminds me of the Murakami novels I’ve read (though it’s more realistic than his work) and the film Lost in Translation.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Some nice-looking ones in your pile. Why did you lose interest in Queenie? I really want to read it but am worried it’s just been hyped … I’m planning to read The Crossway when it appears in the charity shops here, inevitably.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to say re: Queenie — part of it is the hype. A number of friends have reviewed it, and pretty positively, but when I got it off the reservation shelf and turned it over in my hands I just felt like I couldn’t be bothered. It could even be something to do with the book being in an odd square format compared to your average rectangle!

      I think you’ll like The Crossway. It’s reminiscent of Fermor’s A Time of Gifts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your local libraries are incredibly well-stocked! I’m very keen to read Time Song (fascinated by deep time and ancient landscapes), City of Girls and Sweet Sorrow. I’m reading Expectation at the moment and I’m afraid I’m finding it derivative and irritating, although it’s a very easy read. I was hearing nothing but good about Three Women and now I’m hearing nothing but bad, so I’m intrigued to try it myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, I’ve been impressed with my library system’s new books holdings. They usually buy the entire shortlist of any major prize, too. The Blackburn and Quatro were donated by local users, it seems (which is why they don’t have plastic jacket covers like the rest — that confused me at first).

      I’ve read Anna Hope’s two previous historical novels and liked them well enough; I was hoping her writing on a contemporary setting would be even better. I’ve heard good and less-good things, though. I’ll start it later this week and see how I get on. The premise of Three Women is very appealing, and I do like nonfiction that reads like fiction. Again, we’ll see how it goes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also enjoyed Anna Hope’s two previous novels, especially The Ballroom, so I was disappointed.


  6. A pity you didn’t appreciate The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. It appealed to me enormously, and it’s not a feel-good story about a grandmother and her granddaughter. Wry wisdom and strong bond with nature, the sea, island rocks…


    1. I like the Moomin books but haven’t gotten on as well with her writing for adults. I read A Winter Book back in 2012; perhaps another year for the summer one.


      1. And I missed out on the Moomin books when I was child.


    2. I did, too — they’re not known in America. I read my first one when I was in my 20s!


  7. […] not joined in with this monthly tag, which Rebecca always does, before – but then, until this spring, I’d not used my local library for […]


  8. Bledwina Blighty Pudfish | Reply

    I love your library checkout posts. I am eager to get my paws on On Chapel Sands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in the first in a queue of 12 for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved The Sun Does Shine so I hope you enjoy it when you get it.

    I am curious to hear about The Farm – haven’t read it but it intrigues me.

    And I really want to read Three Women.

    I’ll try to post my Library Checkout tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just started The Sun Does Shine last night and I’m really enjoying it so far. I am so impressed by the grace with which he addressed the judge and the prosecutor at his trial, speaking of love and forgiveness even though he knew what he was up against.

      I’m picking up Three Women on Friday and will have to read it within three weeks because of other holds after me, so in my August post you’ll see how I liked it 🙂 The Farm might have to be pushed back a little later. The premise of that one really intrigues me, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. […] to suspend my long list of library holds – thank goodness for that capability. Thanks to Bookish Beck for hosting this monthly meme that celebrates library […]


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