Library Checkout – August 2018

Library Checkout is a fun meme celebrating library usage coordinated by Bookish Beck – check out her blog! This month, as usual, I’ve been checking things out and putting things on hold like a boss. My library system (the one at which I work) just recently upped the checkout limit to 50 items! In addition to the books listed below, I’ve been checking out mad quantities of books for my kiddo, since he has to read at least 20 minutes a day for school. And I’ve also been trying to watch all the Marvel superhero movies (I basically missed everything after Iron Man and before Black Panther, LOL) so I’ve also been getting those from the library. Yay, libraries!

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BOOKS READ:

SKIMMED: None

CURRENTLY READING:36672820

  • Brother – David Chariandy
  • Clearing Emotional Clutter: Mindfulness Practices for Letting Go of What’s Blocking Your Fulfillment and Transformation – Donald Altman

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ:

  • The House at Sea’s End – Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway #3)
  • The Lying Game – Ruth Ware
  • The First Bad Man – Miranda July
  • The Art of Living – Thich Nhat Hahn
  • The Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell
  • Smitten Kitchen Every Day – Deb Perelman
  • Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients – John Whaite

IN THE HOLDS QUEUE:

  • Barracoon – Zora Neale Hurston (this is waiting for me at the library now!)
  • There There – Tommy Orange
  • Yes We (Still) Can – Dan Pfeiffer
  • The Sun Does Shine – Anthony Ray Hinton
  • The Word is Murder – Anthony Horowitz
  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway – Ruth Ware
  • Dear Mrs. Bird – A.J. Pearce
  • Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World – Maryanne Wolf
  • Transcription – Kate Atkinson (although I will almost certainly buy this one before I get it from the library. I should just take myself off the holds list.)
  • On The Other Side of Freedom: The Case For Hope – Deray McKesson
  • Our House – Louise Candlish
  • French Exit – Patrick deWitt

RETURNED UNFINISHED/UNREAD:

  • The Cooking Gene – Michael Twitty (This is still on my TBR list; it had a hold on it.)
  • Shadowhouse Fall (Shadowshaper #2) – Daniel José Older (I intend to get this again – I just wasn’t in the mood.)

So once again I have a gazillion things checked out and on hold and realistically I don’t think I’ll get them all read but even if I don’t it STILL benefits my library to check them out! Circulation is key. Did you make use of your public library is August? Have you read any of these titles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Library Checkout: July 2018

I’ve been meaning to participate in Rebecca Foster’s (Bookish Beck) Library Checkout meme for a couple of months now and I finally remembered and got my act together enough to put together a post before the end of the month! Yes! She’s skipping this month due to travels but if you’ve never checked out her blog before please do so for some insightful and varied reviews (such a voracious reader.) Note: I’m only highlighting books checked out for me in this post. At any given time I have about 15 books checked out for my son in various states of being read!library-checkout-feature-image

LIBRARY BOOKS READ:

  • The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths (Ruth Galloway mystery #2) ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
  • The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

SKIMMED:

  • Just Cook It!: 145 Built-to-be-Easy Recipes That Are Totally Delicious by Justin Chapple

CURRENTLY READING:

  • The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson (I’m about 70 pages from finishing – boy, it’s nuts!)download (1)
  • The Book of Self-Care: Remedies For Healing Mind, Body, and Soul by Mary Beth Janssen (I’m pretty much skimming this one too.)

 

 

 

CHECKED OUT, TO BE READ:

  • An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
  • The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael Twitty
  • Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel Jodie Older (Shadowshaper series #2)

IN THE HOLDS QUEUE:

  • Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurstondownload
  • There There by Tommy Orange
  • Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump by Dan Pfeiffer
  • The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life And Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton
  • The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
  • Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce

RETURNED UNREAD: None.

Anything from my list appeal to you, or have you read any of these? What have you checked out lately from your local library?

 

A Solution Staring Me In The Face

I read mostly fiction.   For years I’ve been meaning to read more nonfiction, and I add more and more nonfiction titles to my Goodreads TBR, but there they sit, as I continue to devour novels.  However!  I’ve just stumbled upon a pretty obvious solution to my problem. PUT THE NONFICTION ON HOLD AT THE LIBRARY, LAILA.

See, one of the perks of working at a library is everyday access to the library catalog, where I can check and see if new titles have been added before they’re published.  (Patrons can do this too, it’s just that I’m here all the time and think about it more often than the average person, probably.)  So when I know the new Michael Connelly or Kate Atkinson book is coming out soon, I put myself on hold and hopefully will be near the top of the list.  But for some reason, I NEVER THINK to put myself on hold for nonfiction.  I’ve got a hold list full of fiction (and movies and compact discs ) instead.

A few months back I put White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson on hold.  When it came around to me, shockingly, I read it!  So I thought, “This worked so well, why don’t I look at my Goodreads list and put some more nonfiction on hold?”

Here are three nonfiction titles I’ve recently placed on hold (book blurbs from Goodreads:)

the-last-castle-9781476794044_hrThe Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan.  (“The fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore—the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States.”)  At the moment I’m number 81 out of 91 waiting for it. (Knoxville isn’t too far from Asheville, NC, which is one reason I think that there are so many people waiting for this.)

51GLNSdDDqL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Radium Girls:  The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore.  (“The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive – until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.”)  I am currently number 12 out of 16 waiting.

9780553447453Evicted:  Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.  (“Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today.”)  There isn’t a waiting list for this one anymore, but I’ve suspended my hold until January, when I’ve hopefully made a dent in the books I’ve got on my nightstand at the moment.

So now that you’re shaking your head at my obtuseness, tell me:  if you’ve ever wanted to make shake up your reading habits, what are some strategies you’ve used to actually get those books in your hands?  Have you read any of these books, or if not, do they interest you? What is your balance of fiction to nonfiction?  Let’s chat in the comments!

Browsing

the-lost-art-of-browsinghappy-1Yesterday my son and I went to our local library, the one in the county in which we live, not the one in the next county over, where I work.  I like to take him to the library and let him pick out some things himself, as opposed to me bringing home items from my workplace library (which I do regularly.)  He chooses books and dvds rather quickly, almost haphazardly, although occasionally he will plop right down in the floor in front of the stacks and read a book to himself.  (That brings me no end of delight, as you can imagine.)

My husband asked me to choose a book or two for him.  He’s a reader, but not voracious (obsessive?) like I am.  He’ll read a book over a couple of weeks, and when he’s finished he may not pick up another book for a month or more.  (I know, it’s hard for me to fathom!) He doesn’t read fiction (!) but instead enjoys biography, memoir, history, and sports books.  It’s hard to find a book about baseball that the man hasn’t read.

While I was looking for a biography for him, I kept finding things that appealed to me. And I was struck by a feeling of nostalgia for something that I hadn’t even realized that I was missing.  I miss browsing.  I almost never browse anymore.  Between my library holds list, my massive TBR, and the books I own but haven’t yet read, I don’t make time to wander the stacks and choose a book on a whim.

I realize that part of this may stem from the fact that I often have a busy and impatient five year-old with me, but I don’t blame it on him.  It’s my own fault entirely that I’ve let browsing go by the wayside.  Years ago, I didn’t have a massive TBR list.  I didn’t keep 15 items on my library hold list and constantly fiddle with it in order to ensure that they don’t all come in at one time.  I allowed myself the pleasure (and the risk) of selecting books based on the jacket copy and my mood.

I’ve found myself thinking about my reading goals for next year, and chief among them is making room for browsing and random picks.  I have even considered erasing my Goodreads TBR, but I can’t quite do it yet. ( I have this fear that I’ll forget about these great sounding books and then where will I be??  Oh wait, I’ll be browsing.  I’ve got to ponder this further.)  But I was thinking that I could set a goal to read a random whim pick once a month.  Wait – that sounds funny.  Set a goal to be more random!  Clearly, I’ve got control issues, but I didn’t even realize how it extended to my reading life.  You can see why I’ve not yet let myself request ARCs.  I’ve got enough issues already!

Do you browse libraries or bookstores regularly and select items based on mood?  Or have you forgotten that you used to enjoy it, like me?  Can you imagine getting rid of your TBR list, or does the thought make you panic a little bit?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.