Love Your Library, January 2023

Elle has been reading loads from the library (and discovering the freedom of DNFing or not reading the library books you borrow; this is not a problem in the least, and it still helps the library’s statistics!). Naomi always finds interesting books to read and review from her library system. Margaret’s “My Life in Book Titles 2022” almost exclusively featured books she’d borrowed from libraries. Through Twitter I saw this hilarious TikTok video from Cincinnati Library about collecting book holds. If only I could be so glamorous on my Tuesday volunteering mornings. Washington Post critic Ron Charles’s weekly e-newsletter is one of my greatest bookish joys and I was delighted to see him recently highlight an initiative from my hometown’s local library system. Whenever I go on the cross trainer, I read library books or my e-reader so exercise time isn’t ‘lost’ time when I could be reading.

Since last month:



  • A Night at the Frost Fair by Emma Carroll
  • Bournville by Jonathan Coe
  • A Heart that Works by Rob Delaney
  • The Weather Woman by Sally Gardner
  • Leila and the Blue Fox by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
  • Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah


  • Once Upon a Tome by Oliver Darkshire
  • Martha Quest by Doris Lessing (for our women’s classics book club subgroup)
  • How to Be Sad by Helen Russell
  • Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout
  • City of Friends by Joanna Trollope (for February’s book club)
  • Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner


My library system has a ton of new books on order – I set up an alert so I would be e-mailed a weekly digest of all 2023 adult fiction and nonfiction releases added to the catalogue – so my reservation queue is nearly full now with all kinds of tempting stuff, including a new biography of Katherine Mansfield and a bereavement memoir by Blake Morrison, whose And When Did You Last See Your Father? was my favourite nonfiction read of 2018. In fiction, I’m particularly excited about The New Life by Tom Crewe, How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz, and Maame by Jessica George.

What have you been reading or reviewing from the library recently?

Share a link to your own post in the comments. Feel free to use the above image. The hashtag is #LoveYourLibrary.

16 responses

  1. Wow, I’m impressed by you reading on the cross trainer! My main exercise activities are not really reading-friendly, sadly (yoga, swimming and roller derby).

    I haven’t made it into my local library in 2023 as I’m never in town on the days when it’s open. I’m excited to finally get there this month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t say I go on the cross trainer often. Mostly it sits in the corner of my office unused, especially in the winter. But it’s right there, so I have no excuse!

      Believe it or not, I’ve done ‘reading yoga’ before, as proposed in Ella Berthoud’s The Art of Mindful Reading. She has 4 or 5 poses that you hold for 5-10 minutes each while reading. It worked fine and I did it a few times, but after that I just got bored. If I’m going to do yoga I want it to be proper yoga.

      That’s a shame your library has limited hours that keep you from getting there often. I’m lucky I live by the flagship branch that’s open six days a week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha I had never heard of reading yoga! Yeah I don’t like holding poses – tend to do vinyasa flow type yoga.


  2. I don’t cross-train or go to the gym, but I do read while walking… which has led to some near misses!

    My Love Your Library entry for this month is here:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, thanks for taking part! I’ll add your link in right away. I remember when you first told me about the walking and reading I was shocked, but actually in the past year or so I’ve started reading my e-reader along the canal path (no motorized vehicles, just bikes) and with half an eye out for where I’m going it works fine.


  3. What a cool initiative at your home county library! Some systems are so forward thinking. Sadly, my system is not really. 😕 But maybe one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess it’s a challenge if there isn’t money there to play around with. It never hurts to propose ideas, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I managed to read a couple of library books this month – Astrid Lindgren’s Ronia the Robber’s Daughter for Nordic FINDS, and Arthur Rackham:. Masterpieces of Art with an introductory essay on the artist. I’m planning on reading a reissue of Arthur Machen’s classic The Hill of Dreams as one of my contributions to Karen’s month of indie publisher titles in February; not sure if I’ll get round to more than dipping into another library borrow, a recent Angela Carter bio – we’ll see!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent choices! It sounds like your library has a wide selection.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does – I even spotted five (!) Nadine Dorries titles on the fiction shelves – though if they’re still on the shelves then at least nobody’s borrowing them ….🙂


  5. That “Ride and Read” is such a great idea! I’m already thinking about where we could put some bikes in our library… unfortunately, there’s not a lot of space left – they would have to go in the basement, which is not nearly as pleasant.
    I love that TikTok video – It would be fun to make one of our own! Maybe not with me as the “star”, though. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think most libraries would struggle to fit exercise equipment unless it had been considered in a remodel or new build. For a while we had a machine in our lobby that you stood on to answer questions on a screen about your lifestyle, and based on that and your weight which it had measured, it told you how old you were physically. I heard a lot of staff grumbling about it placing them older than their age!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hah! I bet they’re not alone!


  6. That ride and read thing is great, esp with the e-book holders. I will do that on my recumbent bike, though I really prefer to be running outside.

    I’ll be interested to hear what you make of City of Friends – I DNF’d it a couple of years ago and I noticed when checking my review that you commented that your book group had considered it but you thought you’d give it a miss!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No rain, mud, or other people to see me — I definitely prefer exercising in the comfort of my own home! However, I rarely get myself to actually do it.

      City of Friends has been fine. I’d not tried J. Trollope before and it’s pleasant enough reading with plenty of women’s issues for us to discuss. None of the characters are particularly likable, though, and, like you, I can’t relate to the high-flying City finance work. I doubt I’d pick up another of hers. We decided to go with this one because we needed a lighter read after an intense novel. I at least hope everyone will have gotten through it (which is never guaranteed).

      Liked by 1 person

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