Tag Archives: library books

Library Checkout: December 2019

One final chance to get through the rest of the 2019 releases I was most interested in reading. At the last minute, a bunch of my reservations on Costa Awards shortlisted books (one from the Novel category, one from the First Novel category, one from the Biography category, and the entire poetry shortlist) arrived. I’m pushing myself to get through at least the poetry.

I give links to reviews of any books I haven’t already featured, as well as ratings. What have you been reading from your local libraries? Use this image and leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part.

READ

SKIMMED

  • Five Ingredient Vegan: 100 Simple, Fast, Modern Recipes by Katy Beskow – I made the banana pecan bars, above, for a quick snack.
  • Afloat: A Memoir by Danie Couchman
  • The School of Life: An Emotional Education by Alain de Botton
  • Happy Ever After: Escaping the Myth of the Perfect Life by Paul Dolan
  • Diary of a Lone Twin by David Loftus
  • The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and Their Year of Marvels by Adam Nicolson
  • The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
  • The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater

CURRENTLY READING

  • The Body Lies by Jo Baker
  • Surge by Jay Bernard [poetry]
  • Flèche by Mary Jean Chan [poetry]
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
  • Reckless Paper Birds by John McCullough [poetry]
  • Under the Camelthorn Tree: Raising a Family among Lions by Kate Nicholls
  • Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
  • A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas

CURRENTLY SKIMMING

  • Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ

  • The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn
  • Frost by Holly Webb
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon [for February book club]

PLUS an exciting new batch of university library books! (I keep hoping no one notices the odd selection of books my husband borrows in addition to his standard bird biology stuff…)

  • The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
  • Literary Values by John Burroughs
  • Short Short Stories by Dave Eggers
  • You Are Now Entering the Human Heart: Stories by Janet Frame
  • The Trick Is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway
  • Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived by Penelope Lively
  • Jazz by Toni Morrison
  • Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
  • My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story by Abraham Verghese

ON HOLD, TO BE PICKED UP

  • Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
  • Confession with Blue Horses by Sophie Hardach
  • The Ice by Laline Paull

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • The Handmaid’s Tale [graphic novel] by Margaret Atwood; illustrated by Renée Nault
  • Whatever Happened to Margo? by Margaret Durrell
  • This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
  • The Night Brother by Rosie Garland
  • When All Is Said by Anne Griffin
  • Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
  • The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded by Jim Ottaviani [graphic novel]
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

RETURNED UNFINISHED

RETURNED UNREAD

  • Ducks, Newburyport, Lucy Ellmann – 1000+ pages. It just wasn’t going to happen. Not even a skim.
  • Early Riser by Jasper Fforde – The blurb appealed to me, but I quickly remembered that I don’t actually like Fforde’s writing (I read The Eyre Affair many a year ago).

What appeals from my stacks?

Library Checkout: November 2019

I’ve been desperately trying to get through the final handful of 2019 releases on my docket, whether they’re review copies or available from the library. So I recently made a last-minute flurry of requests on the 2019 titles I still intend to read, and will do my darndest to get through them all – though I’m definitely being brutal at this point and DNFing anything that doesn’t grab me within the first chapter.

I give links to reviews of any books I haven’t already featured, as well as ratings for all. What have you been reading from your local libraries? Library Checkout runs on the last Monday of every month. I don’t have an official link-up system, but feel free to use this image in your post and to leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part.

 

READ

  • Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley
  • The Dig by Cynan Jones
  • Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames by Lara Maiklem
  • “Birthday Girl” by Haruki Murakami
  • A Half Baked Idea: How Grief, Love and Cake Took Me from the Courtroom to Le Cordon Bleu by Olivia Potts
  • Chances Are by Richard Russo
  • The Poetry Pharmacy Returns: More Prescriptions for Courage, Healing and Hope by William Sieghart
  • Baker Cat by Posy Simmonds
  • Rain Falling by the River: New and Selected Poems of the Spirit, Christopher Southgate [from my church’s theological library]

SKIMMED

  • Critical: Science and Stories from the Brink of Human Life by Dr Matt Morgan

CURRENTLY READING

  • Ring the Hill by Tom Cox
  • The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Heavens by Sandra Newman
  • My Name Is Why: A Memoir by Lemn Sissay

CURRENTLY SKIMMING

  • Afloat: A Memoir by Danie Couchman
  • The School of Life: An Emotional Education by Alain de Botton
  • Happy Ever After: Escaping the Myth of the Perfect Life by Paul Dolan
  • Diary of a Lone Twin by David Loftus

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ

  • The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico

ON HOLD, TO BE PICKED UP

  • Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann (I only plan to skim it!)

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • The Body Lies by Jo Baker
  • Five Ingredient Vegan: 100 Simple, Fast, Modern Recipes by Katy Beskow
  • The Easternmost House: A Year of Life on the Edge of England by Juliet Blaxland
  • Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
  • Early Riser by Jasper Fforde
  • Under the Camelthorn Tree: Raising a Family among Lions by Kate Nicholls
  • The Botanist’s Daughter by Kayte Nunn
  • The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
  • Mr Dickens and his Carol by Samantha Silva
  • The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

RETURNED UNFINISHED

  • Live a Little by Howard Jacobson – It’s been a while since I tried a Jacobson novel; the idea of a comic romance between 90-somethings appealed to me. The first chapter, about Beryl and her morbid cross-stitch sayings, was entertaining enough, but the second chapter quickly lost me.
  • After the End by Clare Mackintosh – I thought this might be a bit like a Jodi Picoult book: a gripping, heartwarming issues book with a medical theme. That might indeed be the case, but the first 10 pages were awfully dull.
  • Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith – I read the first and last (title) stories, and started on the second. Two out of three were so bad that if they didn’t have the famous name attached I’m not sure they could have gotten published. In “The Dialectic” Smith attempts to cross Elena Ferrante with Jonathan Safran Foer for a thin tale of a mother and daughter arguing about the treatment of animals on a beach. Main problem: no one speaks like the daughter speaks here, no matter her age or upbringing (“I dislike this place”). The title story, about mothers and daughters in a diverse area of London, is fine, but nothing special. And then the first five pages of “Sentimental Education” were sexually explicit just for the sake of it and too reminiscent of On Beauty. I skimmed through the rest to see if any other story jumped out at me, but decided to move on to something else instead.

RETURNED UNREAD

  • Nightingales in November: A Year in the Lives of Twelve British Birds by Mike Dilger – The writing is very dry: a set of list-like, month-by-month observations.

Does anything appeal from my stacks?

Library Checkout: October 2019

The R.I.P. challenge plus a bunch of in-demand reservations coming in for me at around the same time meant that I had a lot to read from the library this month. I give links to reviews of any books I haven’t already featured, as well as ratings for all.

What have you been reading from your local libraries? Library Checkout runs on the last Monday of every month. I don’t have an official link-up system, but feel free to use this image in your post and to leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part.

READ

SKIMMED

  • The Prison Doctor: My time inside Britain’s most notorious jails by Dr Amanda Brown with Ruth Kelly
  • Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon: The New Science and Stories of the Brain by Rahul Jandial

CURRENTLY READING

  • A Half Baked Idea: How Grief, Love and Cake Took Me from the Courtroom to Le Cordon Bleu by Olivia Potts
  • Chances Are by Richard Russo
  • The Poetry Pharmacy Returns: More Prescriptions for Courage, Healing and Hope by William Sieghart

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ

  • Nightingales in November: A Year in the Lives of Twelve British Birds by Mike Dilger
  • Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame [university library]
  • Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames by Lara Maiklem
  • Critical: Science and Stories from the Brink of Human Life by Dr Matt Morgan
  • Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • Five Ingredient Vegan: 100 Simple, Fast, Modern Recipes by Katy Beskow
  • The Easternmost House: A Year of Life on the Edge of England by Juliet Blaxland
  • Ring the Hill by Tom Cox
  • Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez
  • The School of Life: An Emotional Education by Alain de Botton
  • Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley
  • My Name Is Why: A Memoir by Lemn Sissay
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

RETURNED UNFINISHED

  • The Hoarder by Jess Kidd
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong – I read the first chapter (11 pages), which, had it been a short story, would have been a 5-star stand-alone. But I felt that this was a novel that would be characterized more for its beautiful language and observations than for its plot, and as such the reading experience might be akin to eating a three-course meal made up entirely of toffee – just too much. I’d be happy to stand corrected and try this again another time, though.

Does anything appeal from my stacks?

Library Checkout: September 2019

A quieter month of trying to finish up some books that I’ve had on the go for quite a while. I give links to reviews of any books I haven’t already featured, and ratings for ones I’ve read or skimmed. What have you been reading from your local libraries? Library Checkout runs on the last Monday of every month. I don’t have an official link-up system, but feel free to use this image in your post and to leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part.

 

READ

SKIMMED

  • The Lost Art of Scripture by Karen Armstrong
  • The Cabaret of Plants by Richard Mabey [university library]
  • The Hidden Ways: Scotland’s Forgotten Roads by Alistair Moffat

CURRENTLY READING

  • Time Song: Searching for Doggerland by Julia Blackburn
  • A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier
  • The Envoy from Mirror City by Janet Frame [university library]
  • The Electricity of Every Living Thing: One Woman’s Walk with Asperger’s by Katherine May
  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

CURRENTLY SKIMMING

  • Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon: The New Science and Stories of the Brain by Rahul Jandial

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ (all for R.I.P.!)

  • The Hoarder by Jess Kidd
  • The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
  • Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

+ Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame [university library], The Grass Is Singing by Doris Lessing

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • The Easternmost House: A Year of Life on the Edge of England by Juliet Blaxland
  • The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
  • The Confession by Jessie Burton
  • The School of Life: An Emotional Education by Alain de Botton
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
  • Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley
  • A Half-Baked Idea: How Grief, Love and Cake Took Me from the Courtroom to Le Cordon Bleu by Olivia Potts
  • Chances Are by Richard Russo
  • The Poetry Pharmacy Returns: More Prescriptions for Courage, Healing and Hope by William Sieghart
  • My Name Is Why: A Memoir by Lemn Sissay
  • Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

RETURNED UNFINISHED

  • The Porpoise by Mark Haddon – I read “The Flight,” the excellent 10-page prologue, which is almost like a stand-alone short story and features a terrifying plane crash and its aftermath. But after that I found I had zero interest in continuing with a Pericles update.
  • The Well-Beloved by Thomas Hardy [university library]
  • Dark Glasses by Blake Morrison [university library] – I read all but the final and longest poem, “The Inquisitor,” so about 50 out of 79 pages. I have trouble remembering now what the book is about, beyond, well, everything: life, family, seasons, choices, regrets.
  • I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder – I read the introduction and part of the first chapter (about 12 pages). I’m not sure how I heard about it or why I thought I wanted to read it. I guess it sounded like it would be an amusing family memoir that employed humor as well as pathos when dealing with serious subjects like depression. I’d never heard of the author, though (a broadcaster and Guardian columnist), so I had no specific interest in his life story and the writing had nothing to recommend it.
  • Some Hope by Edward St. Aubyn – I read the first chapter, skipped forward to read the first few pages of Chapter 10 (when Patrick tries to be more mature and nuanced in his thinking as he searches for peace of mind; it’s too simple to just loathe his father), and skimmed to the end. This is more like Never Mind than Bad News in that it returns to that shallow, glittering world of the rich partying set. I found I had trouble keeping all the secondary characters straight, and didn’t care about them; I only wanted to hear about Patrick.

RETURNED UNREAD

  • If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman – I tried the first few pages and didn’t enjoy the style. It felt awfully portentous for what is essentially women’s fiction.

Does anything appeal from my stacks?

Library Checkout: August 2019

Lots of buzzy books this month, some of which lived up to the hype and some of which did not entirely. Many of these were requested after me, so I’ve had to be snappy and read them within three weeks. Most I’ve already written about here, but I give links to reviews of any that I haven’t already featured, and ratings for the ones I’ve read or skimmed. What have you been reading from your local library? Library Checkout runs on the last Monday of every month. I don’t have an official link-up system, but feel free to use this image in your post and to leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part.

READ

SKIMMED

  • The Science of Fate: Why Your Future Is More Predictable than You Think by Hannah Critchlow
  • The Last Supper: A Summer in Italy by Rachel Cusk
  • The Garden Jungle: Or Gardening to Save the Planet by Dave Goulson
  • The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

CURRENTLY READING

  • Time Song: Searching for Doggerland by Julia Blackburn
  • Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife before It Is Too Late? by Mark Cocker [set aside temporarily]
  • Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
  • Bodies in Motion and at Rest by Thomas Lynch [university library]
  • The Electricity of Every Living Thing: One Woman’s Walk with Asperger’s by Katherine May
  • Because: A Lyric Memoir by Joshua Mensch
  • Dark Glasses by Blake Morrison [poetry; university library]
  • Old Toffer’s Book of Dogs by Christopher Reid [poetry; university library]

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ

  • The Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry
  • The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
  • The Hidden Ways: Scotland’s Forgotten Roads by Alistair Moffat

I’ve also had a recent stock-up on university library books via my husband – not that I needed any more books!

  • Intoxicated by My Illness by Anatole Broyard
  • Meet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Autumn Journal by Louis MacNeice
  • Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story by Paul Monette

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • The Lost Art of Scripture by Karen Armstrong
  • If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman
  • The Easternmost House: A Year of Life on the Edge of England by Juliet Blaxland
  • The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
  • The Confession by Jessie Burton
  • A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier
  • The School of Life: An Emotional Education by Alain de Botton
  • Akin by Emma Donoghue
  • A Short History of Falling: Everything I Observed about Love whilst Dying by Joe Hammond
  • Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley
  • The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
  • I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder
  • The Poetry Pharmacy Returns: More Prescriptions for Courage, Healing and Hope by William Sieghart
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

RETURNED UNFINISHED

  • Multitudes: Eleven Stories by Lucy Caldwell – I enjoyed the short opener, “The Ally Ally O,” which describes a desultory ride in the car with mother and sisters with second-person narration and no speech marks. I should have given up on “Thirteen,” though, a tired story of a young teen missing her best friend; she tries drinking, boys and parties, but her heart’s not really in it. I couldn’t face any more stories of troubled adolescence.
  • How to Treat People: A Nurse’s Notes by Molly Case – I read the first 77 pages. Her writing about her nursing training and the patients she encountered is pleasant enough, but I found the structure (Airway – Breathing – Circulation – Disability – Exposure) clichéd and too similar to the Aoife Abbey book I DNFed earlier in the year. If you’re going to read a book about nursing it might as well be Christie Watson’s The Language of Kindness.
  • I Want to Show You More by Jamie Quatro – I read the first two stories, a total of 18 pages. “Decomposition,” about a woman’s lover magically becoming a physical as well as emotional weight on her and her marriage, has an interesting structure as well as second-person narration, but I fear the collection as a whole will just be a one-note treatment of a woman’s obsession with her affair. The same goes for Fire Sermon, which I’m taking off my TBR.
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo – I read the Author’s note and Prologue; I skimmed the Epilogue. That was enough. I feel about this book the way I did about My Absolute Darling: so many have acclaimed it as brilliant, but I don’t feel any need to expose myself to the disturbing content. Many trusted reviewers have concluded that, despite her stated aims, Taddeo doesn’t say anything original about female desire.

RETURNED UNREAD

  • How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne – lost interest; wasn’t drawn in by the first few pages.
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz – This was a university library book that sat on my bedside shelf for … months? Maybe even years? I finally decided it was time to let it go. Perhaps another time.
  • When All Is Said by Anne Griffin – Well, this is a first: The book is so heavily perfumed from its last borrower’s wrists that I can’t bear to read this paperback; I’ll have to place a reserve on the hardback instead to ensure I don’t encounter this copy again.
  • The Wall by John Lanchester – lost interest; wasn’t drawn in by the first few pages.
  • Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon – Just glancing at the first few pages was daunting enough. I thought this historical fiction epic about the eighteenth-century surveyors’ travels sounded like the Pynchon I’d enjoy most and would make a good doorstopper. But it hung around for so many months unread that, like Oscar Wao, I finally gave up on it.
  • The Farm by Joanne Ramos – lost interest; wasn’t drawn in by the first few pages.

Does anything appeal from my stacks?

Library Checkout: July 2019

Lots of library books in progress or waiting in the wings; not so many that I’ve actually managed to read this month. I give links to reviews of any books that I haven’t already featured on the blog in some way, and ratings for all the ones I’ve read or skimmed. What have you been reading from your local library? Library Checkout runs on the last Monday of every month. I don’t have an official link-up system, but feel free to use this image in your post and to leave a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part.

 

READ

SKIMMED

  • Flight Risk: The Highs and Lows of Life as a Doctor at Heathrow Airport by Dr. Stephanie Green

CURRENTLY READING

  • How to Treat People: A Nurse’s Notes by Molly Case
  • Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife before It Is Too Late? by Mark Cocker
  • An Angel at My Table by Janet Frame
  • Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls
  • The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ

  • Time Song: Searching for Doggerland by Julia Blackburn
  • How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
  • Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
  • The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton
  • Expectation by Anna Hope
  • The Electricity of Every Living Thing: One Woman’s Walk with Asperger’s by Katherine May
  • Because: A Lyric Memoir by Joshua Mensch
  • I Want to Show You More by Jamie Quatro
  • The Farm by Joanne Ramos
  • The Hiding Game by Naomi Wood

ON HOLD, TO BE CHECKED OUT

  • On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons by Laura Cumming
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • Golden Child by Claire Adam
  • If Only I Could Tell You by Hannah Beckerman
  • The Easternmost House: A Year of Life on the Edge of England by Juliet Blaxland
  • The Science of Fate: Why Your Future Is More Predictable than You Think by Hannah Critchlow
  • The Last Supper: A Summer in Italy by Rachel Cusk
  • The Garden Jungle: Or Gardening to Save the Planet by Dave Goulson
  • When All Is Said by Anne Griffin
  • The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
  • The Wall by John Lanchester
  • The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
  • I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

RETURNED UNFINISHED

RETURNED UNREAD

  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned from Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day
  • The Years by Annie Ernaux
  • The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
  • Under the Camelthorn Tree: Raising a Family among Lions by Kate Nicholls

I lost interest in all of these, plus there were holds after me on the first three.

 

Does anything appeal from my stacks?

Library Checkout: June 2019

(A rare second post in a day from me, but Library Checkout runs on the last Monday of the month, no matter what!)

I’ve been slowly chipping away at several nonfiction library books (memoir, nature, travel) – with the exception of bestsellers that are requested after me; these I always have to read within two or three weeks.

On Friday I picked up Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls from the library, expecting that there would be huge demand for it, but at the moment it hasn’t got any holds after me. I doubt I’ll want to take such a large hardback on the train to Milan next week, though, so I’ll hope to get straight into it on our return.

I give links to reviews of any books that I haven’t already featured on the blog in some way, and ratings for all. What have you been reading from your local library? I don’t have an official link-up system, so please just pop a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part in Library Checkout this month. Feel free to use the above image in your post.

 

READ

  • Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns by Kerry Hudson
  • The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
  • The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

SKIMMED

  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  • The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us: A Diary by Emma Mitchell
  • The Seasons, a Faber & Faber / BBC Radio 4 poetry anthology

CURRENTLY READING

  • Stroke: A 5% Chance of Survival by Ricky Monahan Brown
  • An Angel at My Table by Janet Frame
  • How to Catch a Mole and Find Yourself in Nature by Marc Hamer
  • The Crossway by Guy Stagg

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ

  • How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
  • How to Treat People: A Nurse’s Notes by Molly Case
  • Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife before It Is Too Late? by Mark Cocker
  • The Years by Annie Ernaux
  • City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
  • The Electricity of Every Living Thing: One Woman’s Walk with Asperger’s by Katherine May
  • Because: A Lyric Memoir by Joshua Mensch
  • Under the Camelthorn Tree: Raising a Family among Lions by Kate Nicholls
  • The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann

ON HOLD, TO BE CHECKED OUT

  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • Frankisstein: A Love Story by Jeanette Winterson

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • On the Marsh: A Year Surrounded by Wildness and Wet by Simon Barnes
  • On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons by Laura Cumming
  • How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned from Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day
  • The School of Life by Alain de Botton
  • The Garden Jungle: Or Gardening to Save the Planet by Dave Goulson
  • Flight Risk: The Highs and Lows of Life as a Doctor at Heathrow Airport by Dr. Stephanie Green
  • The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
  • Expectation by Anna Hope
  • The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
  • Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
  • The Hiding Game by Naomi Wood

RETURNED UNFINISHED

  • A Pocket Mirror by Janet Frame
  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

Does anything appeal from my stacks?

Library Checkout: May 2019

A more modest library reading month for me as we were off to America midway through – I’ve taken the Chabon with me to finish off by the 31st for my Doorstopper of the Month post, but my 15 holds are suspended until we come back. I give links to reviews of any books that I haven’t already featured on the blog in some way, and ratings for all.

What have you been reading from your local library? I don’t have an official link-up system, so please just pop a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part in Library Checkout this month. Feel free to use this image in your post.

 

LIBRARY BOOKS READ

SKIMMED

  • Horizon by Barry Lopez

CURRENTLY READING

  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

 

(Set aside temporarily)

  • An Angel at My Table by Janet Frame
  • A Pocket Mirror by Janet Frame
  • The Crossway by Guy Stagg

CURRENTLY SKIMMING

  • The Seasons, a Faber & Faber / BBC Radio 4 poetry anthology

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ

  • Stroke: A 5% Chance of Survival by Ricky Monahan Brown
  • Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife before It Is Too Late? by Mark Cocker
  • How to Catch a Mole and Find Yourself in Nature by Marc Hamer
  • The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
  • Because: A Lyric Memoir by Joshua Mensch
  • Under the Camelthorn Tree: Raising a Family among Lions by Kate Nicholls
  • The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann
  • The Lost Properties of Love: An Exhibition of Myself by Sophie Ratcliffe

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • On the Marsh: A Year Surrounded by Wildness and Wet by Simon Barnes
  • How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
  • How to Treat People: A Nurse’s Notes by Molly Case
  • How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned from Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day
  • The Years by Annie Ernaux
  • City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
  • Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns by Kerry Hudson
  • The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
  • The Electricity of Every Living Thing: One Woman’s Walk with Asperger’s by Katherine May
  • The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us: A Diary by Emma Mitchell
  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • Frankisstein: A Love Story by Jeanette Winterson

RETURNED UNREAD

  • Joinedupwriting by Roger McGough (lost interest)
  • First Time Ever by Peggy Seeger (requested after me; I’ll try again sometime)

Does anything appeal from my stacks?

Library Checkout: April 2019

This was a huge library reading month for me! I finished off a lot of books that I’d started last month, several of which were requested after me, and picked up a novel from the Women’s Prize longlist plus a few that have attracted a lot of buzz. Looking ahead, I’ve placed holds on a bunch of recent nonfiction: nature, medicine, current events and essays. [I give links to reviews of any books that I haven’t already featured on the blog in some way, and ratings for all.]

What have you been reading from your local library? I don’t have an official link-up system, so please just pop a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part in Library Checkout this month. Feel free to use this image in your post.

LIBRARY BOOKS READ

 

SKIMMED

  • Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-wage Britain by James Bloodworth
  • It’s All a Game: A Short History of Board Games by Tristan Donovan
  • The Village News: The Truth behind England’s Rural Idyll by Tom Fort
  • Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World by Lyndall Gordon
  • The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
  • To Obama: With Love, Joy, Hate and Despair by Jeanne Marie Laskas
  • Amateur: A Reckoning with Gender, Identity and Masculinity by Thomas Page McBee [a look back through before finalizing our Wellcome Book Prize shadow panel vote]
  • Lost and Found: Memory, Identity, and Who We Become when We’re No Longer Ourselves by Jules Montague
  • Still Water: The Deep Life of the Pond by John Lewis-Stempel
  • The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells

CURRENTLY READING

  • Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
  • The Crossway by Guy Stagg

CURRENTLY SKIMMING

  • The Seasons, a Faber & Faber / BBC Radio 4 poetry anthology (the “Spring” section, naturally)

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ

  • Stroke: A 5% Chance of Survival by Ricky Monahan Brown
  • Because: A Lyric Memoir by Joshua Mensch
  • The Lost Properties of Love: An Exhibition of Myself by Sophie Ratcliffe
  • First Time Ever by Peggy Seeger
  • The Butcher’s Hands [poetry] by Catherine Smith

ON HOLD, TO BE PICKED UP

  • Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife before It Is Too Late? by Mark Cocker
  • How to Catch a Mole and Find Yourself in Nature by Marc Hamer
  • Under the Camelthorn Tree: Raising a Family among Lions by Kate Nicholls

 

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • How to Treat People: A Nurse’s Notes by Molly Case
  • Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
  • Lowborn: Growing Up, Getting Away and Returning to Britain’s Poorest Towns by Kerry Hudson
  • Horizon by Barry Lopez
  • The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal
  • The Electricity of Every Living Thing: One Woman’s Walk with Asperger’s by Katherine May
  • Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
  • The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us: A Diary by Emma Mitchell
  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • A Farmer’s Diary: A Year at High House Farm by Sally Urwin
  • Frankisstein: A Love Story by Jeanette Winterson

 

RETURNED UNFINISHED

  • Seven Signs of Life: Stories from an Intensive Care Doctor by Aoife Abbey
  • Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton

RETURNED UNREAD

  • The Pebbles on the Beach: A Spotter’s Guide by Clarence Ellis
  • Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
  • Taking the Arrow out of the Heart by Alice Walker [poetry]
  • The Face Pressed against a Window: A Memoir by Tim Waterstone

(I lost interest in all of these.)

 

Does anything appeal from my stacks?

Library Checkout: March 2019

A rare second post in a day from me since I was also committed to a blog tour. What have you been reading from your local library? I don’t have an official link-up system, so please just pop a link to your blog in the comments if you’ve taken part in Library Checkout this month. Feel free to use this image in your post.

LIBRARY BOOKS READ

SKIMMED

  • Yesterday Morning by Diana Athill – I had read this back in 2012, but looked over it again for an article I was writing on Athill.
  • Have You Eaten Grandma? by Gyles Brandreth
  • Let’s Talk about Death (over Dinner): An Invitation and Guide to Life’s Most Important Conversation by Michael Hebb
  • The Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer
  • The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St. Clair

CURRENTLY READING

  • Murmur by Will Eaves
  • Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors by Caroline Elton
  • Ordinary People by Diana Evans
  • Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
  • The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway
  • Injury Time by Clive James [poetry]
  • Lanny by Max Porter
  • The World I Fell Out Of by Melanie Reid

CURRENTLY SKIMMING

  • To Obama: With love, joy, hate and despair by Jeanne Marie Laskas

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ (or skimmed)

  • Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-wage Britain by James Bloodworth
  • It’s All a Game: A Short History of Board Games by Tristan Donovan
  • The Pebbles on the Beach: A Spotter’s Guide by Clarence Ellis
  • Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World by Lyndall Gordon
  • Lost and Found: Memory, Identity, and Who We Become when We’re No Longer Ourselves by Jules Montague
  • Taking the Arrow out of the Heart by Alice Walker [poetry]
  • The Uninhabitable World: A Story of the Future by David Wallace-Wells
  • The Face Pressed against a Window: A Memoir by Tim Waterstone

ON HOLD, TO BE PICKED UP

  • A Breath of French Air, H.E. Bates
  • Still Water: The Deep Life of the Pond by John Lewis-Stempel
  • The Dreamers, Karen Thompson Walker

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE

  • Seven Signs of Life: Stories from an Intensive Care Doctor by Aoife Abbey
  • How to Treat People: A Nurse’s Notes by Molly Case
  • Our Place: Can We Save Britain’s Wildlife before It Is Too Late? by Mark Cocker
  • 21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox
  • How to Catch a Mole and Find Yourself in Nature by Marc Hamer
  • The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
  • Horizon by Barry Lopez
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
  • Daisy Jones & the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Unnatural Causes by Richard Shepherd
  • Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
  • A Farmer’s Diary: A Year at High House Farm by Sally Urwin

RETURNED UNFINISHED

  • Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh – I’d heard so much about this graphic novel, but I found the drawing style childish and didn’t get more than 10 pages in.
  • Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog by Emily Dean – I couldn’t resist that title for a bereavement memoir, but within a couple pages I knew the author’s voice wasn’t for me.

RETURNED UNREAD

  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I needed space on my card to borrow my reservations. I’ll get this back out another time, perhaps even for book club as some other members have expressed interest.

Does anything appeal from my stacks?