Balancing the Books – July 2020

Half way through the year that is 2020. Many, many things have happened but also many things have not happened, including Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, usually a highlight of my year. Next year will be all the bigger and better for the unforeseen absence. However, July was not a total washout. My new bookcase arrived. As any bookworm will tell you, a new bookcase brings hours of pleasure and anticipation. How should I organise them? By genre? By colour? By size? Will all of the books fit standing upright or will I have to lay them vertically to trick the shelves into holding more?  Will the weight of all the books make the bookcase topple over and crush me when I least expect it? And then discovering the joy that there is just enough room to squeeze one or two more books on which obviously means that book shopping must commence. Honestly sometimes its more fun re-arranging the books that it is actually reading them.

Plenty of books arrived to fill the gaps on the bookcase. I’ve not included ebooks, mainly because I forget about them once I’ve ordered them (though I should mention last month I did receive the seven CWIP shortlist books in ebook format to read for the Shadow Panel).

So here’s what arrived in July.

  1. Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith, my first purchase from Bert’s Book.
  2. The Search Party by Simon Lelic, sent for review by Viking (and my current read).
  3. Three by D.A. Mishani, sent for review by Riverrun.
  4. The Silken Rose by Carol McGrath, sent for review by Headline.
  5. The Young Survivors by Debra Barnes, sent for review by Duckworth.
  6. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman, sent for review by Michael Joseph.
  7. Feathertide by Beth Cartwright, sent for review by Del Ray.
  8. The Night of the Flood by Zoe Somerville, sent for review by Head of Zeus.
  9. Queen Bee by Jane Fallon, sent for review by Michael Joseph.
  10. Space Hopper by Helen Fisher, sent for review by Simon and Schuster.
  11. Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes, sent for review by Picador.
  12. How’s the Pain? by Pascal Garnier.
  13. The Sleeping Car Murders by Sebastien Japrisot, both this and the previous book were sent for review by Gallic.
  14. Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis, sent for review by Orion.
  15. Other Women by Jean Levy, sent for review by Dome Press.
  16. The Lamplighter by Jackie Kay, sent for review by Picador.
  17. The Readers’ Room by Antoine Laurain, sent for review by Gallic.
  18. The Man Who Didn’t Fly by Margot Bennett, sent for review by the British Library.
  19. The Shelf by Holly Acton, sent for review by Zaffre.
  20. The Killer in Me by Olivia Kiernan, published by Riverrun, a treat to myself.
  21. Rattle by Fiona Cummins, published by Pan Macmillan, another treat to myself.
  22. A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago, sent for review by Bloomsbury.
  23. Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan, sent for review by Bloomsbury.
  24. Underland by Robert McFarlane, sent for review by Penguin.
  25. Dangerous Ages by Rose Macaulay.
  26. Chatterton Square by E.H. Young, both this and the previous book sent for review by the British Library.

As for what was read, I had a bumper month of reading 8 books. Which might not sound many to some but is a huge amount to me (yes one of them was only 40 pages long and another only 170 pages but they still count).

  1. The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele.
  2. Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers.
  3. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (a CWIP Prize shortlist book).
  4. Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner.
  5. The Readers’ Room by Antoine Laurain.
  6. The Part-Time Job by P.D. James.
  7. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.
  8. The Lamplighter by Jackie Kay.

So there we have it, 26 in and 8 out but because the bookcase arrived and it means the books are no longer a tripping hazard I’m counting it as a draw. My blog, my rules. August is already looking good on the bookish front with two books received that have set the bar high for the rest of the month.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Goodness me, that’s a lot of arrivals!! I feel much better about my piles now. You remind me I want to read Underland – thank you!


  2. New bookshelves are there to be filled!


  3. FictionFan says:

    New bookshelves are great, except when they mean you have to build a new extension to make room for them…


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