The public and university library systems I use came to my aid and supplied lots of books for Paul Auster Reading Week and my Valentine’s-themed reading project. I’m now reading a mixture of brand-new releases and backlist novels and memoirs that caught my eye for one reason or another. I’m eagerly awaiting some high-profile fiction that’s still on order – new work from Sebastian Barry, Hilary Mantel and Maggie O’Farrell! Still a fair few DNFs this month, but never mind.
What have you been reading from your local libraries? Library Checkout runs on the last Monday of every month. Feel free to use this image and leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part. As usual, I give links to reviews of books I haven’t already featured. I had a couple of very high ratings this month!
- War Bears by Margaret Atwood
- The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
- Oracle Night by Paul Auster
- Winter Journal by Paul Auster
- Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
- Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo
- Bizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger
- Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish: Advice for the Rest of Your Life — Classic Graduation Speeches
- Report from the Interior by Paul Auster
- Motherwell: A Girlhood by Deborah Orr
- Dear Life: A Doctor’s Story of Love and Loss by Rachel Clarke
- Childhood by Tove Ditlevsen
- This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
- Miss Austen by Gill Hornby
- Reading with Patrick: A teacher, a student and the life-changing power of books by Michelle Kuo
- Meet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle
- The Golden Age by Joan London
- The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde
- Other People’s Countries by Patrick McGuinness
- Literary Values by John Burroughs
- Staying Alive in Toxic Times: A Seasonal Guide to Lifelong Health by Dr Jenny Goodman
- Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter about People Who Think Differently by Steve Silberman
CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ
- Whatever Happened to Margo? by Margaret Durrell
- The Night Brother by Rosie Garland
- Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
- The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan
- Before Everything by Victoria Redel
- Conrad & Eleanor by Jane Rogers
- Nemesis by Philip Roth
- Oligarchy by Scarlett Thomas
- Our Fathers by Rebecca Wait
IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE
- A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry
- The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
- Actress by Anne Enright
- The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel
- The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
- Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- What Are We Doing Here?: Essays by Marilynne Robinson
- Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson [poetry]
- Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise by Katherine Rundell
- My Wild, Sleepless Nights: A Mother’s Story by Clover Stroud
- Pine by Francine Toon
ON HOLD, TO BE PICKED UP
- This Is Pleasure by Mary Gaitskill
- A Short History of Medicine by Steve Parker
- Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
- Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron – I read 25 pages and didn’t feel drawn in to the characters’ story. (It could also be that I’m too familiar with Rwandan history from reading We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families by Philip Gourevitch.)
- When All Is Said by Anne Griffin – I read 60 pages and found it wordy and sentimental.
- Jazz by Toni Morrison – I dragged my way through nearly 100 pages. In 1920s Harlem, Joe and Violet Trace’s marriage falls apart when he takes up with Dorcas Manfred, who’s just 18. We know pretty much from the first page that Joe ends up shooting Dorcas dead, and that at the girl’s funeral Violet takes her haircutting scissors to her rival’s face. After that it’s just a matter of why. There are some wonderful descriptions of the cityscape, but I wearied of the endless layering of flashbacks.
- Run by Ann Patchett – I read the first 80 pages. There are a lot of interesting elements here: Catholicism, interracial adoption, grief, politics and fish. But they don’t feel like they fit together in the same book. The circumstances of the accident that sparks the main action feel very contrived. I was also annoyed at the constant use of “fishes” as a plural.
- Love Is Blind by William Boyd – Requested after me; lost interest.
- You Are Now Entering the Human Heart by Janet Frame [short stories] – Couldn’t get into any of the stories.
- Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala – Lost interest.