Loads of my reservations came in all at once this month, so I’ve had to put some effort into finishing the in-demand new releases so I can relinquish them to the next in line. I’m sorry/not sorry that a few much-hyped books ended up not being for me so that I could put them down and move on to other things (like requesting novels that made it onto the Women’s Prize longlist). On the other hand, some recent novels that I picked up more than lived up to my expectations, giving me the first few entries on my Best of 2021 list.
I resumed my regular volunteering hours at the library last week, and the building will reopen to the public on April 12th. It’s great to be back!
I would be delighted to have other bloggers – not just book bloggers – join in with this meme. 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 (on the last Monday of each month), or tag me on Twitter/Instagram: @bookishbeck / #TheLibraryCheckout & #LoveYourLibraries.
- Can Bears Ski? by Raymond Antrobus (a children’s book)
- The Push by Ashley Audrain
- The Air Year by Caroline Bird (poetry)
- A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself by Peter Ho Davies
- The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan
- The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.
- No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
- The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
- My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
- All the Young Men: How One Woman Risked It All to Care for the Dying by Ruth Coker Burks
- Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Today by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
- A Promised Land by Barack Obama
- Light Perpetual by Francis Spufford
- Square Haunting: Five Women, Freedom and London between the Wars by Francesca Wade
- Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler
- Luster by Raven Leilani
- The Art of Falling by Danielle McLaughlin
- Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story by Paul Monette
- You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy
- How We Met: A Memoir of Love and Other by Huma Qureshi
- UnPresidented: Politics, Pandemics and the Race that Trumped All Others by Jon Sopel
- Asylum Road by Olivia Sudjic
- When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
- The Natural Health Service: What the Great Outdoors Can Do for Your Mind by Isabel Hardman
- The Librarian by Allie Morgan
CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ
- A Tall History of Sugar by Curdella Forbes
- Featherhood: On Birds and Fathers by Charlie Gilmour
- Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith
- Escape Routes by Naomi Ishiguro
- The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy
- Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE
- Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews
- Under the Blue by Oana Aristide
- Espedair Street by Iain Banks
- Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
- Heavy Light: A Journey through Madness, Mania and Healing by Horatio Clare
- Ten Days by Austin Duffy
- Lakewood by Megan Giddings
- After: A Doctor Explores What Near-Death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond by Bruce Greyson
- The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox
- Birdsong in a Time of Silence by Steven Lovatt
- Consent by Annabel Lyon
- Nothing but Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon
- His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie
- Skylarks with Rosie: A Somerset Spring by Stephen Moss
- Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley
- Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan
- Life Sentences by Billy O’Callaghan
- The Ministry of Bodies: Life and Death in a Modern Hospital by Seamus O’Mahony
- Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
- Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS by Michael Rosen
- How to Be Sad: Everything I’ve Learned about Getting Happier, by Being Sad, Better by Helen Russell
- I Belong Here: A Journey along the Backbone of Britain by Anita Sethi
- Double Blind by Edward St. Aubyn
- A Burning by Megha Majumdar – I read the first 34 pages. Interesting enough story, but shaky writing. Incessant use of the present continuous tense was going to drive me mad.
- A Crooked Tree by Una Mannion – The 1980s Philadelphia setting was promising; I read the first 28 pages and didn’t feel connected enough to any of the characters to keep going.
- A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago – The font and large cast list put me off. Maybe another time.
- How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones – Women’s Prize longlisted. I knew to expect bleakness, but the writing didn’t draw me in.
- Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh – Sounds too similar to Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow…
- Hurdy Gurdy by Christopher Wilson – I can’t remember now how I heard about this or why I thought it would be for me. Medieval settings are so not my thing!