(Unusually, here is a second post in one day from me. Library Checkout runs on the last Monday of every month; exceptions are rare!)
The only stockpiling I’ve been doing this month is of books. My public library system finally announced its full closure on the 21st, to last through at least the end of May, so I have no real excuse not to get through most of what I’ve borrowed.
I’ve been working my way through a selection of new releases (notably, skimming Hilary Mantel’s trilogy-ending doorstopper – it’s exquisitely written, of course, but far too long and detailed), plus a few backlist books that coincide with my interests in bibliotherapy, health and life writing. Some very short books – a graphic novel, a poetry collection, and a few essay- or novella-length works – make the “Read” list look longer than it really is.
Once again, I had a lot of DNFs this month because I’d placed holds on buzzy books but found that within a few pages, or after the first chapter, the voice or style didn’t click with me. This is no problem, though; I’ll just think of it as my way of sampling new releases while supporting the library service.
What have you been reading from your local libraries? Feel free to use the image above and leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part, and/or tag me on Twitter (@bookishbeck / #TheLibraryCheckout). As usual, I give ratings where applicable, plus links to reviews of books I haven’t already featured.
- The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
- Dear Life: A Doctor’s Story of Love and Loss by Rachel Clarke
- A Story about Cancer (with a Happy Ending) [graphic novel], India Desjardins, illus. Marianne Ferrer [trans. from the French by Solange Ouellet]
- Childhood by Tove Ditlevsen
- This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
- This Is Pleasure by Mary Gaitskill
- Miss Austen by Gill Hornby
- The Golden Age by Joan London
- The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde
- The Cockroach by Ian McEwan
- A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson [poetry]
- Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise by Katherine Rundell
- Oligarchy by Scarlett Thomas
- Literary Values by John Burroughs
- Actress by Anne Enright
- Staying Alive in Toxic Times: A Seasonal Guide to Lifelong Health by Dr Jenny Goodman
- A Short History of Medicine by Steve Parker
- Youth by Tove Ditlevsen
- Reading with Patrick: A teacher, a student and the life-changing power of books by Michelle Kuo
- Meet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle
- Other People’s Countries by Patrick McGuinness
- Nemesis by Philip Roth
- Pine by Francine Toon
- The Changing Mind: A Neuroscientist’s Guide to Aging Well by Daniel Levitin
- The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
- What Are We Doing Here?: Essays by Marilynne Robinson
- Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter about People Who Think Differently by Steve Silberman
- Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ
- Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
- The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny
- Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
- Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
PLUS an exciting new batch of university library books
- The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
- The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
- Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant
- Property by Valerie Martin
ON HOLD, TO BE PICKED UP
- The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE
- A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry
- Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
- Can You Hear Me? A Paramedic’s Encounters with Life and Death by Jake Jones
- The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
- Guest House for Young Widows: Among the Women of ISIS by Azadeh Moaveni
- The Accidental Countryside by Stephen Moss
- Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler
- The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan – The premise was awfully tempting, but even in just the first 20 pages I found the writing ponderous and repetitive.
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid – I’m not hip enough for this one. Zadie Smith on turbo charge.
- Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara – The voice didn’t grab me.
- The Night Brother by Rosie Garland – The story didn’t lure me in.
- The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes – The historical setting didn’t convince me.
- My Wild, Sleepless Nights: A Mother’s Story by Clover Stroud – I DNFed Stroud’s last book, too; I should have known better that I don’t get on with her style.
- Our Fathers by Rebecca Wait – This was requested after me, so I didn’t get a chance to try it.