Love Your Library: August 2022

I feel compelled to join in with this monthly meme now! Rebecca at Bookish Beck has been running it for years. I’m making more use of libraries for leisure reading than ever, and have even figured out how to suggest new acquisitions to my local library (though I haven’t done that yet). Below is my August showing:

READ (PRINT)

The Brave African Huntress, by Amos Tutuola

Petals of Blood, by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

The Grass is Singing, by Doris Lessing

Surprised by Joy, by CS Lewis

On War, by Carl von Clausewitz

Tall Bones, by Anna Bailey

READ (EBOOK)

The Virgin in the Ice, by Ellis Peters

The Sanctuary Sparrow, by Ellis Peters

The Trees, by Percival Everett

Dead Man’s Ransom, by Ellis Peters

READ (AUDIO)

The Devil’s Novice, by Ellis Peters

SKIMMED

Collins Guide to British Trees

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ

Notes From the Apocalypse, by Mark O’Connell

News of the Dead, by James Robertson

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE (PRINT)

The Dragon’s Path, by Daniel Abraham

The Problem of Pain, by CS Lewis

IN THE RESERVATION QUEUE (EBOOK)

Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan

Nightcrawling, by Leila Mottley

RETURNED UNFINISHED

A Question of Power, by Bessie Head – abandoned at the halfway mark

Afterlives, by Abdulrazak Gurnah – I read the first two or three chapters but never went back to it

RETURNED UNREAD

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, by Amos Tutuola

The Palm-Wine Drinkard, by Amos Tutuola

Admiring Silence, by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Rescue Me, by Sarra Manning – Not my usual genre but I loved the premise (two single people jointly adopt a Staffie and fall in love); unfortunately the writing style isn’t my cup of tea at all.

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13 thoughts on “Love Your Library: August 2022

    1. I haven’t got the hang of proper ILL yet (as in, between library systems, not just branches within the same system)! How cool. I’ve been on and off with libraries—given my low income and desperate bibliophilia, I should have gotten more heavily into them a long time ago, but getting proof copies as a bookseller covered me for a long time. For some reason this year it’s really properly clicked what an amazing resource my local borough’s libraries are (plus of course the academic libs I have access to!)

      1. I’ve not used ILL much, but I couldn’t get hold of the John any other way – it took a while, but for £2 reservation fee was worth it. I used to use libraries more pre-blog, but I find nowadays that I tend to want instant book gratification and the wait can be too long. Plus the TBR is enormous so I do sometimes feel guilty reading a borrowed book. But libraries are amazing places, and mine is very good at responding to suggestions!

      2. I totally get that. My reading tendencies seem to have gone the other way. Most of my TBR is mental, anyway, so I’m all but guaranteed to see at least one book by an author whom I’ve kept idly thinking I’d like to read. And the fact it’s free is the clincher, really. I can’t afford to buy all the books I want to read (or even most of them) and permanently possessing them has started to matter less to me than temporary but repeatable access.

      3. I used to be a heavy ILL user when I lived in the States — I could borrow anything held within the state of Maryland for free — and when I worked in an academic library. Now, when it costs £3 through my local library, it doesn’t seem worth it since one could likely find a secondhand copy for that or just a bit more online.

      4. Agreed, if it’s a low cost book you can pick up a copy for yourself. However, when it’s a more pricey book (which it was in this case) I was prepared to spend £2 to find out whether I wanted to splash out on a copy. Alas, I have… ;D

      5. Bloody hell! I have no idea what it costs in Bromley. If it cost £7 I’d probably just look for a secondhand copy on Abe!

  1. Thanks so much for taking part! I’ll be interested to see what you make of the O’Connell. I’m about to finish the Mottley today and it’s a fantastic combination of voice, place and situation. I have only the tiniest niggles about the prose, and when you consider she’s 20 it’s quite the achievement.

    I was considering The Palm-Wine Drinkard for Novellas in November. Did it not appeal, or did you just run out of time?

    What with Senate House and the London Library, you must be spoiled for choice when it comes to academic holdings, but I’m glad your local system is pulling through for your leisure reading.

    1. Yay! The Palm-Wine Drinkard: I just ended up not feeling like it. I did enjoy The Brave African Huntress but the style was tiring enough that I decided one Tutuola would do, for the time being.

  2. I’ll also be interested to hear your thoughts on the O’Connell. I found it quite disappointing after loving To Be A Machine, and there’s a couple throwaway anecdotes about lying to his son about the state of the world that I found genuinely disturbing (kids pick up on this stuff, so not telling them the truth means they just have to fear it alone).

    1. Oh, bummer – that sounds a bit disheartening. (I really agree that straight-up lying to children is a terrible idea and rarely, if ever, justifiable; surely half the job of parenting and/or guardianing is communicating truths to children on their own level.) I’ll start it soon and should be able to tell in a chapter or two whether I want to carry on or not.

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