Love Your Library, March 2022

Naomi has been reading a variety of books from the library, including middle grade fiction and Indigenous poetry. Rosemary and Laura posted photos of the books they’ve borrowed from their local libraries recently.

Like Laura, I’ve been sourcing prize nominees from various places. In April I hope to read two nonfiction books from the Jhalak Prize longlist (Things I Have Withheld by Kei Miller and Brown Baby by Nikesh Shukla) and two more novels from the Women’s Prize longlist (The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller and The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak), and I’ve just started Colm Tóibín’s Folio Prize-winning The Magician.

All from the library: a great way to read new and critically acclaimed books without having to buy them!

I’ve joined Kay, Lynn and Naomi for the Literary Wives online book club and our first read, coming up in June, will be The Sentence by Louise Erdrich, which will be doing double duty as part of the Women’s Prize longlist. I’m in the library holds queue and my copy should come in soon. My only other Erdrich so far, Love Medicine, was a 5-star read, so I have high hopes even though the premise for this one sounds a little iffy. (A bookshop ghost – magic realism being a common denominator on this year’s list – and a Covid lockdown setting.)

For those of you who like to plan ahead, here’s our schedule thereafter. I’ll be rereading two of them (Hornby and O’Farrell) and getting four out from the library (Feito, Hurston, Medie, O’Farrell). One I’ll request as a review copy (Lee), one was 99p on Kindle (Brown), and two more remain to be found secondhand (Gaige and Hunter). Maybe there’s one or more you’d like to join in with?


September 2022      Red Island House by Andrea Lee

December 2022       State of the Union by Nick Hornby


March 2023             His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

June 2023                The Harpy by Megan Hunter

September 2023     Sea Wife by Amity Gaige

December 2023      Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell


March 2024              Mrs. March by Virginia Feito

June 2024                 Recipe for a Perfect Marriage by Karma Brown

September 2024      Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston


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

Do share a link to your own post in the comments, and feel free to use the above image. I’ve co-opted a hashtag that is already popular on Twitter and Instagram: #LoveYourLibrary.

Here’s a reminder of my ideas of what you might choose to post (this list will stay up on the project page):

  • Photos or a list of your latest library book haul
  • An account of a visit to a new-to-you library
  • Full-length or mini reviews of some recent library reads
  • A description of a particular feature of your local library
  • A screenshot of the state of play of your online account
  • An opinion piece about library policies (e.g. Covid procedures or fines amnesties)
  • A write-up of a library event you attended, such as an author reading or book club.

If it’s related to libraries, I want to hear about it!

14 responses

  1. The Sentence is great! My review just up. Definitely not magic realism. There’s a hint of a ghost story (I wouldn’t file this under magic realism anyway) but it doesn’t dominate the book. I hope you enjoy it!

    My library has ordered the whole Women’s Prize longlist, which is excellent, but I’m really struggling to source Jhalak Prize books. I don’t know if my reading plans for the Jhalak Prize will be fulfilled simply because I can’t afford to buy new copies of all the books I want to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of the Jhalak Prize books are from smaller publishers my library might not order from as a matter of course, which is a shame. I got review copies of two of the poetry collections, but a couple of the other fiction selections I would like to read aren’t available from my library. Does your system offer free or inexpensive interlibrary loans?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No – if the book is outside the local authority they want to charge £6.80! It feels especially annoying given they’ve just stopped charging fines.


      2. Yipes, that’s loads!


  2. I’ve been using libraries more for backlist stuff these days, but they’re *very* useful for that. The Bromley borough library system is surprisingly good on classics and surprisingly weak on new releases. Senate House is the real MVP, though–I’ve found everything on my Russian Spring list there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am always seeing interesting backlist books as I shelve, especially in the rolling stacks. It makes me wonder why I’m so devoted to new books — always at my reservation limit of 15 — when the old stuff can be so much better!

      A trip to Senate House used to be such a treat for me in my London commuting days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s such a treat. I was scared to go in during my whole first term and now I’m in love with it.


  3. I sometimes like Erdrich’s novels and I sometimes don’t. I loved The Sentence although initially I had the same hesitations you do. I think she handled the covid thing and the spirits very well. I found the main character to be a delight. Complex, but a delight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds very promising indeed! I’m looking forward to it now.


  4. I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Sentence.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s good to know! I’ve only ever read her debut novel, so it’s great to hear that she’s kept up high quality across her career.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What a great lineup you’ve got ahead of you with LW. You could do a whole bookgroup out of the appendix of The Sentence though! (Love that.) And what lovely, bright photos! I especially love the tweets…it makes it all feel very “everywhere”.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree with Marcie – I love all the pictures and links from all over!
    That’s the first time I’ve seen that cover of The Sentence… I don’t know which one I like better. I’m so looking forward to reading it, though!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I dislike this UK cover as it seems too generic. But once I’ve read it I’ll decide which one seems most appropriate!

      Liked by 2 people

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