Library List 008

It’s been a while since I did a library list. And when I say a while, I mean two and a half years. Oops! In case you’re wondering, my library list is just a round up of books that I have reserved at the library, and I’m waiting for them all to come in. Wanna see what I’ll be reading soon?

001 Library List

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
I have absolutely no idea where I heard about this one, but I have no doubt why I reserved it. “Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island…One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon’s grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.” Librarians, books, centuries-spanning mysteries? I’m there, with bells on. I’m number one on the list, so it shouldn’t be too long before I get this one.

Don’t be a Dick, Pete by Stuart Heritage
I follow Stu Heritage on Twitter; he won my heart last year when he wrote this blistering take-down of Elf on the Shelf, calling Facebook in December ‘the devil’s armpit’ in the first paragraph. His book is a biography of his younger brother, and by all accounts is hilarious, touching and warm. I’m number one on the list for this one too, but it has only just come out, so I might have to wait for the library to actually receive their copies.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I don’t move in bookish circles, but I do follow a lot of bookishly circular on Twitter, and this is one of the books that everyone is talking about. Sarra Manning at Red has called it as her book of the year already, so I’m excited to read it. It’s evidently the story of a woman who struggles with social skills who is stuck in a rut, but who finds some people who become her people. I’m possibly over-simplifying things, but I’ll let you know exactly what I think when I read it. It’s not out until next week, but it’s already reserved and I’m number eight.

002 Library List

The Future Homemakers of America by Laurie Graham
This is a book from quite a few years ago, but there’s a sequel coming out, and having read a couple of Laurie Graham books in the past, I thought I’d like to give this one a go. There’s a romance attached to the 1950s that I can’t resist, and this is a story about American military wives based at a US airbase in Norfolk, England. I’m sold! Actually, in writing this, I think I may have started this book once before. I’m first on the list for this one.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Paula Hawkins, of Girl on the Train fame, has a new book out, and it sounds pretty far removed from her previous novel. It follows the story of women who die in the Drowning Pool, the latest victim being Nel Abbot, whose daughter believes she was murdered, rather than a victim of suicide. It sounds spooky and eerie and great, and I’ve heard good things. I was a little late to the reserving bandwagon on this one, it seems – I’m number 118 and it’s only been out a couple of days, so this one is going to take a while.

Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland
Loveday Cardew is the name of the main character of this book, and it may turn out that she’s just too quirky for words (I don’t like overly quirky). But it’s a book about someone who loves books, and they rarely fail to enchant me, so I’ve got high hopes. I’m second on the list for this one.

003 Library List

The Power by Naomi Alderman
I already reserved and borrowed this book from the library once, but it was reserved by someone else, and I had to take it back, unfinished. I’ve almost bought it multiple times since, but in the end I just popped it back on the reservation list, and now it’s waiting for me to pick it up! I can’t wait to dive back in, as I loved what I read.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Another book that has been all over Twitter, I’ve been wanting to read this for a while but only recently got around to reserving it. It seems to be one of those teenage-girls-in-the-summer books that seem to be very au fait at the moment, but I’m more than happy to read them if they are well written. I’m number nine on the list, so it’s going to be a little while.

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann
Since two of my favourite podcasts at the moment are My Favorite Murder, and You Must Remember This, a book that combines murder and old-time Hollywood was always going to be a winner. It can be hard to get good books about classic Hollywood, so I’m hoping this lives up to my expectations. I’m first on the list!

Library List 007

It has been ages and ages since I shared a library list! There’s no good reason for this, I have been reserving and collecting things since my last update in August, I just haven’t shared any of them! But I thought I would now, because I have three on my list that I am waiting for (and I like to do these things in threes!).

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
This is one of those books that I have no idea how I heard about, or, to be honest, why it’s on my list. I can’t see that anyone has recommended it, and the honest truth is that it doesn’t even sound like the sort of thing that I would necessarily want to read! It’s entirely possible it was on some sort of list of best books, or something, because that’s where I get a lot of my reading inspiration. It sounds interesting enough; it’s about an actor who dies onstage during a production of King Lear, and then goes on to explore a connection between him and four other people. Goodreads has it as science fiction and dystopian fiction, and I’m not sure how that fits in, but I’m interested to get it to see what it’s all about! I’m number three on the list, and I reserved it a month ago, so it could be a while.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
There’s no wondering why this one is on my list. I’m a big Amy Poehler fan (as are most people I think), and I’ve been waiting for ages for her book to come out. I have loved Tina Fey’s and Mindy Kaling’s memoirs, and this, I believe, is very much in that vein. It’s obviously going to be laugh out loud funny and very clever, so I can’t wait to read it. I’m number one on the list, but it’s not actually in stock yet, so who knows when I’ll actually get it!

The Humans by Matt Haig
I’m that idiot that didn’t know anything about Matt Haig until about a month ago. Someone I greatly admire tweeted about him, and then weirdly, he followed me on Twitter (I’m one of thousands, so don’t feel special). So I actually looked into his books, and realised that he’s probably a bit great, so I went ahead and reserved The Humans. It sounds really great, a story about a dead professor whose body is occupied by an alien, and I can’t wait for it to arrive. I’m number one, and there are plenty of copies available, so hopefully this should arrive within the next couple of days.

There are three other books on my list that I am waiting for, and have been for some time! I reserved Ballistics by D.W. Wilson, in May, and I was still sitting at number one on the list with no sign of movement. I had a little look, and it seems as though I might have been waiting for a copy that was never going to arrive, so I’ve switched to a different copy. Fevre Dream, by George R.R. Martin, was one that I was attempting to read for my 1982 challenge, but that came and went without me getting the book. I’ve switched the copies on that too! And finally, I’m still waiting on Only Remembered, by Michael Morpurgo, which I reserved in July, and shows no signs of arriving. I don’t know what’s up with that, but I think Essex Libraries has one copy, so it will just remain on the list until it arrives.

Library List 006

As I said last time I shared a library list, it’s been a while again. I go through phases where I reserve everything in sight, and then I hold back and remember that I already have far too much to read to be adding more to the pile. Up until the other day, I had been holding off, and waiting for the few books on my list, and then I went on a bit of a reserving frenzy, and here we are again!

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
I heard Clare Balding talking about this book on her Radio 2 show on Sunday, and it reminded me that I have wanted to read it for a while, so I reserved it straight away. Vera Brittain served as a nurse during World War I, and she lost her fiancée, her brother and two close male friends during the conflict. Testament of Youth is famously a memoir of her life during the war, and everyone I have ever heard talking about it says how powerful and wonderful it is. I can’t wait to read it, but given the centenary of the war this year, I’m number twenty on the library list, so it will be a while.

Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life by Nina Stibbe
Whenever Janet at Words That Can Only Be Your Own posts her monthly reads, my to-read number creeps up a little. There’s always at least one book that she has read that I want to read! This month, it was
Love, Nina, a collection of letters from the author to her sister, and its sounds amazing. I love books of letters, I think they give you an insight into life in a very unique way, so I’m eager to read this. I’m first on the list, so I’m hoping it won’t be too long.

Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
I’m trying to step up my attempt to read ten books from 1982 before my birthday. I’m currently on three, with three months until my birthday, so it’s going to be a bit of a challenge! Fevre Dream is one such book. I’ve never read anything by George R.R. Martin that isn’t in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, so I’m curious to see what I make of this one. It’s a vampire story set in the mid-19th century, so it’s not my usual type of thing, but that’s the point of the challenge – to push me out of my comfort zone in terms of reading! I’m number three on the list for this one.

On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
Another 1982 book, I have no idea what to expect from On the Black Hill. All I know is that it is set on farm in rural Wales, and tells the story of two brothers. it seems to have some favourable reviews online, so it’s definitely worth a go, but I worry that I will be bored by it! We’ll see; I’m number two on the list, so I shouldn’t have too long to wait to find out.

Sour Sweet by Timothy Mo
This is another book that I would never have thought to read had it not been for the 1982 challenge. It’s about the Chinese immigrant experience in 1960s London. China as a country was never one that fascinated me, and I had never particularly wanted to explore its culture, but last year I read Miss Chopsticks by Xinran, and it sparked my interest a little bit. I hope I’m going to enjoy this one, and I’m number one in the list for it.

A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
I’ve never read a whole book by Ishiguro; I tried to read When We Were Orphans last year as part of my A-Z challenge, but I couldn’t manage to get through it. This is another one from 1982, so I’m going to give him another go and see if I get any further. I’m intrigued by Ishiguro’s identity as an Anglo-Japanese man, I would think that means he can bring a unique sense of identity to his characters, so hopefully I will enjoy A Pale View of Hills. I’m top of the list at the library.

Library List 005

It’s been a while since I shared a library list. I have been really good about not reserving all the books in the world, because I already have far too much to read. Also, all the books that are on my list are taking ages and ages to come in, so I’m just leaving them there to slowly make their way to me.

But I’ve added three more since my last post, so I thought I’d share them with you.

Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton
The former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State did the rounds last week promoting this book, and after I heard her talk about it a couple of times, I added it to my list. I’ve always been a bit of a fan of the Clintons, though I know, of course, that they have their flaws, and I think Hillary Clinton’s story is a really interesting one. This book is about her time at the State department rather than an autobiography of her life – she released Living History in 2003 (which I am yet to read) that gives a more general account of her life. I’m not convinced when she says she doesn’t know if she’ll run for president in 2016; I think she knows full well, and I think she’ll run. But it’s a while until she has to announce, and in the meantime, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Hard Choices. It will be a while, as I’m number ten, and there are only two copies!

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
I didn’t really realise that this one had been released until I saw it in WHSmiths. I read The Cuckoo’s Calling last year and really, really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to dipping back into the world of Cormoran Strike. I wish I had been able to read it without knowing that it was J.K. Rowling, but I didn’t know anything about Robert Galbraith until she was outed. Would you believe that I am number 200 on the list for this one? There are loads and loads of copies of it too – I should have been much more proactive and reserved it months ago! I don’t expect to see this one any time soon!

Only Remembered edited by Michael Morpurgo
I’ve long been a fan of Michael Morpurgo. He gave the Richard Dimbleby lecture a few years ago and just spoke so much sense, it’s difficult not to want him to run for Prime Minister. He’s obviously a wonderful children’s author, though I’ve not read as many of his books as I would like, something to remedy, I think. Only Remembered is a new book that he is releasing, though he has edited it rather than written it, as it’s an anthology of poems, short stories, letters, articles etc, contributed by many well-known names. He spoke about it on Simon Mayo’s radio show last week (and Simon Mayo is a contributor), and it just sounds beautiful. I’d like to buy it, but for now, it’s on my library list, and I’m number three.

Library List 004

My library list this time round is slightly shorter, because I’m trying to get into the habit of not reserving everything the minute I realise I want to read it. It makes things difficult when I go to the library and I have nine books to take back, and I have to try and get them all read in a really short space of time. It’s time to be sensible (though who really wants to be sensible where books are involved?).

Rock Stars Stole My Life! by Mark Ellen
I heard about this book when Mark Ellen was chatting to Simon Mayo about it on Radio 2. It sounds fascinating, because Ellen is a music journalist who has written for the likes of NME, Smash Hits, Q, Select and Mojo, and so he has really seen it all. He convinced me during his interview that I wanted to read this book, as it spans many years and many genres of music, so I added it straight to my library list. It wasn’t actually in stock when I did so, but now I’ve moved up the list to number three, so I guess it must be by now.

The Vintage Girl by Hester Browne
I saw a review of The Vintage Girl on Tiny Library, and it convinced me to reserve it. While it’s nice to read the books that stay with you for weeks after, and really make you think, I do really love to read a book that is just a bit of pure escapism, that doesn’t require a huge amount of concentration, and that you can finish in a couple of sittings. The Vintage Girl seems to fit into that category, and it has already arrived at the library, so I’ll be going to collect it as soon as I can.

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker
Hey look, it’s another book that I heard about on Radio 2. You may scoff, because I go on and on Radio 2, but they are doing more than any television channel to talk about books. Between his Book Club every other Monday, and his various interviews with different authors, Simon Mayo does an awful lot of talking about books, and it just makes me love him more. Anyway, this is the book that is the current Book Club choice, and they will be discussing it with the author on Monday. I like the idea of trying to read the book before they talk about it, but this is massive, and though I toyed with the idea of downloading it, I knew I wouldn’t get it finished, so i just added it to my library list. It’s written by a young French author, but it’s a murder mystery set in New England. It has had rave reviews, not least from Matt on Radio 2, who loved it. I’m number twelve, so it will be a while, but that’s fine, because I don’t have time to read it right now!


The Letter Bearer by Robert Allison
Whenever a book prize shortlist is announced, I always like to take a look to see if there’s anything I fancy reading. This week, it was the turn of the Desmond Elliott Prize, an award for a first novel, and all three books caught my eye! The Letter Bearer is a war story, about The Rider, a man who is dying in the North African desert without any memory of how he came to be there. His rescuers are a band of deserters, and he starts to slowly piece together his identity. It sounds fascinating, but I’m number seven on the list, so I’ll have a while to wait.

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Elmear McBride
This is another Desmond Elliott nominated book, and another one that sounds right up my street. It’s the story of a young woman’s relationship with her brother, whose life has been irrevocably changed by a childhood brain tumour. McBride’s writing is described as having “singular intensity, acute sensitivity, and mordant wit.” Sounds good, right? I’m number one on the list, so I’m expecting this one really soon.

Ballisticsby D.W. Wilson
This is the third book to make up the shortlist for the Desmon Elliott Prize, so I could potentially read them all before the winner is announced (having just checked, it seems that will be in June, so the chances are minimal!). Ballistics is set in the Canadian Rockies, which instantly piques my interest, because it’s an unusual setting. It seems to be a father-son story, with Alan West, the main character, being sent on a quest to track down his father by his grandfather, so the old man can say goodbye to his own son before he dies. I’m number three on the list for this one, and I’m hoping it turns up sooner rather than later!