Library Checkout: June 2020

It looks like my public library system may still be partially closed into July, although there are rumors of an order and collection service starting soon. I’ve signed up to be a library volunteer, so hopefully I can be a part of it.

Will I be able to stock up again next month? I do hope so, as I have a list of 14 books that I plan to borrow and another 21 that I plan to reserve just as soon as the building and catalogue are up and running again. Stay tuned to find out…

Are you out of library books, or have you been able to borrow more lately, perhaps via curbside pickup? Feel free to use the image above and leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part in Library Checkout (which runs on the last Monday of every month), and/or tag me on Twitter (@bookishbeck / #TheLibraryCheckout).



  • The Trick Is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway (a buddy read with Buried in Print)



  • Reading with Patrick: A teacher, a student and the life-changing power of books by Michelle Kuo
  • Meet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle [set aside temporarily]
  • Property by Valerie Martin



  • My Own Country by Abraham Verghese



  • The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
  • Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame
  • When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant
  • Becoming a Man by Paul Monette
  • Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
  • Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin



  • The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré



  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • Can You Hear Me? A Paramedic’s Encounters with Life and Death by Jake Jones
  • The Accidental Countryside by Stephen Moss
  • Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler



  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel



  • What Are We Doing Here?: Essays by Marilynne Robinson
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith


What appeals from my stacks?

20 responses

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed The Trick is to Keep Breathing. Gruelling but excellent. Have you read her memoirs? Highly recommended if you haven’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read anything else by her yet but I would definitely be interested in her memoir.


      1. There are two volumes, both well worth seeking out. Jellyfish, her short story collection, is also brilliant.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Ah, ok. This is Not About Me is the one I put on my TBR. She seems somewhat forgotten nowadays.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the first one. I think Granta reissued a few of her books a while back but hers is not a name that seems to crop up much, sadly

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope your library opens again soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard a rumour from someone in the know that they will be trialling ‘click and collect’ next week, with collections to be scheduled for the week after. So it won’t be open per se, but I will at least be able to access books.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good news! Our university library should be setting that up in July.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I haven’t heard about the library at the university where my husband works, but I hope they’ll do something similar before the autumn term.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Redhead by the Side of the Road is Tyler’s best book in a long time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. No word on our library service yet, but given that the local authority have been doing their best to decimate it anyway I can’t see them being in a hurry to get it up and running again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to hear re: the Tyler. I have kept reading her new stuff even though I pretty much always find it disappointing in comparison to her 1980s heyday.

      I’m sorry your library system isn’t being valued. Is it run by volunteers?


      1. No, It’s still local authority run, but they’ve been closing libraries or cutting back hours for some time now and the added pressures on council funds are only going to accelerate that I’m afraid.


    2. Many of our smaller branch libraries were closed down or drastically scaled back. One was taken over by a volunteer committee to keep it open for minimal hours. I am lucky to live close to the flagship branch, which seems immune.


  4. I’ve read Robinson’s GILEAD, but none of her others. Never tried her essays–don’t feel the need, if they didn’t work for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Gilead and want to reread it. Though I’ve found the sequels mostly unnecessary, I’ll still read the new one, Jack, coming out this fall. Her essays are highly intelligent, I’m sure, but also mostly impenetrable. (You’d need to be a graduate student in philosophy.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, that reminds me I did try to read one of her essays, ONCE. Yes, so very dense and long, I gave up halfway through!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. We are doing a “takeout” service now, three days a week, but have plans to open by the middle of the month. Although, at first, operations will look very different than before. I have a big stack right now of library books that have been on hold since before the shutdown. I have my doubts about getting through them all, because quite a few books have also been sent to me lately, I’m guessing upon the opening back up of the publishing houses. I can’t wait to read them all!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This morning the library catalogue reopened for reservations, so I immediately reserved as many books as I’m allowed. Pre-arranged collections start on next Monday. I don’t know how you get allocated a slot, but I want to be in there on the first day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. buriedinprint | Reply

    My first curb-side pick-up (with all the items I’d requested pre-shutdown, that couldn’t be cancelled or postponed) went swimmingly. I was early for my timeslot and the person ahead of me was a no-show, so they were handed to me immediately on arriving and I didn’t even see another patron (only the librarian, sitting outside with bags of pre-packed books, and the security guard, both masked and gloved). The books have been sitting in the hall ever since, but I have been watching the films (because they’re seven-day items). Even though I’m very pleased by the idea of borrowing again, I haven’t gotten to the reality of actually resuming my borrowing habits. As for your lists/stacks, pretty much everything there is/has been of interest to me. And I appreciate the recommendation above for Galloway’s memoirs. Hmmm, maybe I will have to move into borrowing territory once more after all. *grins*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been allocated 10-12 on Tuesday, so you can bet I’ll be there and queueing by 10 🙂 They’ll soon get to know my name there, if they didn’t know it already from my many books on the self-service reservation shelf, for borrowing 15 items at a time (and on Tuesday I hope to pick up our first book club set of 10 books as well). I’d hoped that my volunteer application going through so quickly would mean I could help out with this order and collect process, but now it looks like my training won’t even begin until after they can reopen the doors.

      Liked by 1 person

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