Library Checkout: May 2018

I know lots of my readers are dedicated library users. Why not join in with Library Checkout this holiday weekend, or next month? It’s a quick and fun post to put together, it celebrates libraries, and it gets me some of my best engagement! I generally post on the last Monday of the month, but whenever suits your schedule is fine. Use the image above, and paste a link to your post in the comments. (I haven’t worked out an official link-up system yet.)

As usual, my “Checked Out” pile is so stupidly big that I’m just going to list and photograph the new arrivals since last month. Also as usual, I’ve added in star ratings and any links to Goodreads reviews of books I haven’t already featured on the blog.





Recent and current Wellcome Book Prize themed reading. Top row from library.


  • Anecdotal Evidence by Wendy Cope [poetry]
  • The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal
  • The Unmapped Mind: A Memoir of Neurology, Incurable Disease and Learning How to Live by Christian Donlan
  • Places I Stopped on the Way Home: A Memoir of Chaos and Grace by Meg Fee
  • Leaving before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller
  • When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy
  • The Long Goodbye: A Memoir of Grief by Meghan O’Rourke
  • The Reading Promise: 3,218 Nights of Reading with My Father by Alice Ozma
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

CURRENTLY READING-ish (set aside temporarily)

  • To the Is-Land: An Autobiography by Janet Frame
  • Tender by Belinda McKeon
  • Never Mind by Edward St. Aubyn

Women’s Prize long- and shortlisted books.


  • The Day that Went Missing: A Family Tragedy by Richard Beard
  • Happiness by Aminatta Forna
  • The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin
  • The White Book by Han Kang
  • The Seabird’s Cry: The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers by Adam Nicolson
  • A Normal Family: Everyday Adventures with Our Autistic Son by Henry Normal
  • The Still Point by Amy Sackville
  • That Was when People Started to Worry: Windows into Unwell Minds by Nancy Tucker

Latest library book haul


  • The Lido by Libby Page
  • First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Story about Anxiety by Sarah Wilson


  • A Moment of Grace by Patrick Dillon
  • The Stopping Places: A Journey through Gypsy Britain by Damian Le Bas
  • The Hidden Ways: Scotland’s Forgotten Roads by Alistair Moffat
  • The Secret Barrister: Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken
  • The Crossway by Guy Stagg
  • Rosie: Scenes from a Vanished Life by Rose Tremain
  • The Librarian by Salley Vickers
  • Shepherd of Another Flock: The Charming Tale of a New Vicar in a Yorkshire Country Town by David Wilbourne
  • The Boy behind the Curtain: Notes from an Australian Life by Tim Winton
  • The Paper Lovers by Gerard Woodward



  • Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life by Peter Godfrey-Smith (lost interest, plus it’s requested after me)
  • The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson (requested after me; I’ll get it out again another time)

What have you been reading from your local libraries? Does anything appeal from my stacks?

27 responses

  1. Carolyn Anthony | Reply

    We have both read The Woman in the Window. I found it a page turner. I saw a TV spot about Anthony Ray Hinton.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. As ever, I exhaust myself just reading your lists. I would urge you to get ‘The Seabird’s Cry: The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers’ by Adam Nicolson moved up to the ‘reading’ or ‘read’ list. A wonderful book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My hubby’s reading it at the moment, and was interrupted by some pesky other borrower requesting it back temporarily 😉 As soon as he’s done (he reads much less than I do, alas, so it’ll take him a while), I’ll start reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh can’t wait to hear what you think of “The Hate U Give”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m just over halfway through and enjoying it very much. The teen girl’s voice feels spot on, and the ‘code-switching’ between her two settings is well done. Did you know there’s a film version coming out in the autumn?


      1. Oh, good, and yes, I did, but I’m not sure I want to see it!


    2. I’m guessing you’re not a fan of The Wire, then? 🙂 That’s what it reminds me of: The Wire as told by a teen girl. Do we ever get an inkling of where it’s supposed to take place, or is it just a nameless American city?


  4. I am continually impressed by how many books you can get through. I’m in awe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And this is just the library books 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😂 that’s insane #goals

        Liked by 1 person

  5. […] read? What are you waiting on? These are the questions of a meme called Library Checkout, led by Rebecca Foster of the blog Bookish Beck. I’m joining in for this past month of […]


  6. You read a lot more nonfiction than I do… Any one or two from this year that you’d recommend that I must read?

    Here is my Library Checkout post for May:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking part! I read about 50% fiction, 40% nonfiction, and 10% poetry in a year. Much of my nonfiction reading is memoirs. The best memoirs of the year so far for me are Educated by Tara Westover and Implosion by Elizabeth Garber. An offbeat nonfiction selection (from last year) that has broad appeal is To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell, about technologies to extend and transcend human life. It won this year’s Wellcome Book Prize. Or, more recently, The Feather Thief by Kirk Johnson, a true crime narrative with interesting historical and scientific connections. I’ll be reviewing it soon.


  7. Dumb question – but how did you manage to get all these from your public library?


    1. I use two different public library systems plus a university library. Almost all of this month’s read and skimmed books were from my local library. They recently started allowing free reservations again, so I am always requesting books. Their self-service machines allow you to borrow up to 30 books. Is that what you meant by “how”?


  8. Your good (bad?) library habits are starting to rub off on me…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m delighted to hear it! What have you been reading?


      1. From the University Library I’ve borrowed a biography of Richard Yates, a literary critique of Benjamin Fondane, Romain Gary in French and Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason. From the local library, I have Ali Smith’s Autumn, AM Homes’ May We Be Forgiven and Louise Penny’s latest. So a nice mix. Except that, with 27 books bought at Hay Festival, I am not sure when I will have time to read them all!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Wow, you went wild at Hay Festival! I always buy loads in Hay, though I’ve never been during the festival.

      I’ve read the Smith and Homes books. I’m keen to try Penny, but my library system doesn’t own her first book. Do you think I could start with the second in the series and be okay?


      1. Yes, in fact, it’s probably better, as the first one was not her best. I find them the perfect comfort read, although they are really not cosies.


      2. buriedinprint

        I had the opposite experience with the first and second in Penny’s series; there were elements of the second which I enjoyed but I felt like I could predict every plot development whereas the first one was longer and spent more time on character and setting but I didn’t guess the ending straight off either.


      3. I could start with Book 3?! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. buriedinprint | Reply

    Although I think a light-spell in my borrowing habits is what most people consider regular library usage, it still feels like I am hardly using the library these days. Which means I have only 10 books borrowed (and another ten waiting for pick-up, with a few ready to return on that jaunt). A few of the books in your stack appeal; I’ve had some Tim Wintons on my shelves for ages; I like books about neurology; I’ve been on hold for The White Book for months; and, I heard an interview with Amy Sackville not long ago and it made me want to read her straight away!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brainstorm was very good, and The Unmapped Mind is excellent — my favourite for next year’s Wellcome Prize so far. I seem to have a fair few brain-related books in the pipeline.

      I’ve meant to read Winton’s fiction for ages, but for some reason have started with his nonfiction. His writing is gorgeous, so I expect his novels to be wonderful.


      1. buriedinprint

        Initially I think it was Cloudstreet that landed on my shelf, then I just started gathering the others when I came across one second-hand (it’s not always easy to find Aussie authors over here) so there are three now. But now it feels like an proper project which makes it even less likely that I’ll actually embark.

        And, yes, *giggles*, I quite liked the third volume of Penny (I can’t comment inline above). Let’s see what Marina Sofia has to say! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Cloudstreet and Breath are the ones I’ve most often had recommended. I located a library copy of Breath, so that will most likely be my first of his novels.


  10. buriedinprint | Reply

    I have Shallows and The Riders with Cloudstreet but I just read the description of Breath and it does sound good too – I really enjoy coming-of-age stories.

    Liked by 1 person

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