Library Books

I reserved these books over the last few months and, wouldn’t you know it, they all arrived practically together!


A Darker Domain by Val McDermid. This is the second Karen Pirie book. I’ve borrowed it because I loved the first one, The Distant Echo. In 1984, in Fife, heiress Catriona Maclennan Grant & her baby son are kidnapped. The ransom payoff goes horribly wrong. She is killed while her son disappears without trace. 2008, Tuscany. A jogger stumbles upon dramatic new evidence that re-opens the cold case. For Detective Sergeant Karen Pirie, it’s an opportunity to make her mark.

Conclave by Robert Harris – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed other books by Robert Harris, so I’m keen to read this one about how a new Pope is chosen as the cardinals meet in the Sistine chapel to cast their votes. This is a novel and Harris depicts the cardinals as holy men – but ambitious and rivals to become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

The Hidden Life of Trees:What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben. I read Katrina’s review of this book and immediately thought it sounded an amazing book as I love trees. Wohlleben is a German forester and his book is about his love of trees and why they matter on a global scale. He makes the case that the forest is a social network – I like the idea that they communicate with each other – even if they don’t actually walk and talk like Tolkien’s ents.

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry – I loved his book, The Secret Scripture and am hoping I’ll like this one too. Thomas McNulty and John Coles signed up for the US army in the 1850s and fought in the Indian Wars and then in the American Civil War. The book was awarded the Costa Book Award 2016 and won the 2017 Walter Scott Prize. It was also longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017 – not that winning these awards automatically means that I’ll like it and I’m often not keen on books about war.

10 thoughts on “Library Books

  1. I like Robert Harris too–I haven’t heard of Conclave but it sounds particularly interesting. It’s always a struggle when multiple library books arrive simultaneously. Unlike books I own, I feel compelled to read the library books first, and they all have the same due date!

    Good luck–hope they’re good.


    1. Jane, I feel compelled to read library books over my own books – but only when I’ve reserved them. I don’t feel like that about ones I’ve borrowed to see if I’ll like them. The difficulty I have with these four books is that I don’t know which one to read first – and I’ve dipped into all of them!


  2. I remember once writing that waiting for reserved library books to arrive was like waiting for the number eleven bus. That will mean nothing to those who don’t or haven’t lived in Birmingham and everything to those who do. The number eleven is noted for travelling in convoys. It’s supposed to run every fifteen minutes but far too often you wait three quarters of an hour only to have three turn up at once. Library books are just the same. What is more they always used to turn up just at the moment I was going back to work after a holiday. At least I don’t have that problem any more.

    I hipoe you enjoy ‘Days Without End’. It isn’t always a pleasant read but I thought it was the best book I had read in years.


    1. I almost wrote that waiting for reserved library books to arrive is like waiting for a bus – then four turn up together – it happened regularly when I used to get the bus into Manchester.

      It’s good to know you think so highly of ‘Days Without End’ as I’ve read mixed reviews.


  3. I’ve heard good things about The Conclave, Margaret; I hope you’ll enjoy it. And you’ve got a McDermid, too, which is just about always a good choice. I hope you’ll enjoy the books.


  4. Thanks for the link to me, I’m sure you’ll really enjoy The Hidden Life of Trees. I must start the Karen Pirie series soon, I’m presuming they should be read in order.


  5. Still waiting for my reservation of the first Karen Pirie to come in. Must be popular. Looking forward to reading it.

    Just thought you might be interested, my husband had his knee operation today and all is well.


  6. Cath, I’ve had to wait for both of Val McDermid’s books I’ve reserved! I hope you enjoy it when it arrives.

    And I’m glad to hear your husband’s knee operation went well – hope he recovers quickly.


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