the Little Red Reviewer

library loot, early December

Posted on: December 5, 2020

My library has switched to curb-side pick up only, an boy have they got this down to a science!  you put your books on hold, show up,  tell them what parking spot number you’re in and what your library card# is, and a few minutes later a guy comes out and puts a bag of books in your backseat or trunk. I wasn’t sure if i was texting a bot or not, but because I appreciate the service I still texted a thank you and that I appreciate the library.

so, library books. I’ve not been a library patron for YEARS. why you ask? well, for a few years there, I was getting more ARCs each quarter than any normal human could read in a year, I had access to a ton of used bookstores, AND my finances were suddenly such that if I wanted a book, I could generally afford to just go and buy it. ($27 for hardback? fuck that, I’m waiting for this book to be in paperback!)


with ARCs come an obligation.  With purchasing books, comes an obligation.  The publicist won’t be made if i email them a crying emoji, saying work’s just been so busy that I didn’t get a chance to read the book they mailed me.  And I spent $27 on a hardback. . . and got 50 pages into it an DNF’d?  whether or not there is a real, concrete obligation to read (and try to enjoy) an ARC or a purchased book, there is a mental obligation that someone made some kind of investment to get this book to me, so damn it, i should try to enjoy it.

Ah!  not so with library books!  Let’s say I get 50 pages into a library book, and decide it’s not for me. no harm no foul, i just return it. Let’s say I take 3 library books out, and work is really busy and my parents need me, and yadda yadda yadda, an i don’t get a change to read even one of those books, and I return them completely unopened? The library doesn’t care.  The library isn’t judging me.  there’s no obligation. and right now, where I am in my life? zero obligation sounds like the good place.  there is something so very freeing about getting random books from the library.

so anyway,  I got some books.


in no particular order:

Goldilocks by Laura Lam – this got such good reviews!!!  and. . .  50 pages in I realized I am not the right reader for this book. It might be the best book that was ever written, but this is not for me.  I thought about hate-reading it, and then realized the world has plenty of hate in it and doesn’t need me to add more. I’m just going to take this book back to the library and be done with it.   If you loved this book, Yay! I am super happy for you!  it’s not for me.

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhoarse – I will be getting to this very soon!  because. . . .

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – oh shit, this is book 2, isn’t it?

crap, I put Harrow on hold at the library instead of Gideon.  Damn it.  LUCKILY there are three bookstores in my town and I knew at least one of them would have a paperback copy of Gideon, which I bought today! and while I was at the bookstore, i bought another biology / anatomy book, because that shit is fascinating.

60 pages into Gideon the Ninth and . . . . this is my sense of humor!  Snark and insults, and really funny descriptions of things!  If you are among the five people on earth who haven’t read Gideon the Ninth, apparently the gist is this – there is the Emperor’s house and eight other great(ish) houses.  The Emperor is calling for a noble heir and the heir’s cavalier to come to the capital and compete in a contest of wits (and other stuff) .  The winner will win a whole bunch of awesome stuff, and also not be dead.  For Gideon and Harrow, this is their chance to finally get off their awful backwater planet. also, Gideon and Harrow kinda hate each other.

Wait, is this a sci-fantasy necromancer version of The Hunger Games, but with more snark and way better humor? (and I’m kinda hoping for some sex too)

also, I had thought her full name was Harrowhawk, it is Harrowhark.  Hawk and hark mean totally different things.


I freakin LOVE that cover art, by the way.  (ok, so, so far, everything about my experience with Gideon is completely the opposite of my experience with Goldilocks. that’s uhhh… interesting, i guess)

So what happens if it takes me forever to read Gideon the Ninth and I’m not done with it and Harrow the Ninth is due back the library, and someone else has put that title on hold so I can’t renew it?  nothing. absolutely nothing.  I will not be breaking my obligation to anyone, if i don’t get to these library books, or if i don’t finish them, or whatever.

Usually when i hear “no obligation”, it means that if i don’t jump through a bunch of hoops that are on fire, they’ll charge my credit card for six months of subscription, but I can “cancel at anytime”, and to be honest, the hoops are literally on fire so it’s just easier to let them charge my card. . .  but library are actually truly no obligation.  All I have to do I take them back after 3 weeks.


reading more Gideon will be my reward for writing these other blog posts I’ve been meaning to get to:

Some more Deep Space Nine season 3 (woah did Nana Visitor get to chew some scenery!  woah was it cringy to watch!)

The Broken Kingdoms and Kingdom of Gods, books 2 and 3 in N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy.

and as soon as I finish Gideon I’m reading Trail of Lightning!!!

12 Responses to "library loot, early December"

Now I feel the obligation to like this post and write a comment 😳
Haha, I had to laugh and giggle reading your … what’s this? A review? A rant? An essay? Whatever, it’s great and entertaining Sunday morning read just before breakfast, and you made my day. Thank you sincerely for it! 😍
While I love libraries, I don’t use them, because the SFF doesn’t have the stuff I want (same for book shops btw).
But I totally can relate with the arc pressure. I. just. can’t. resist. hitting that sweet request button. 😵
A different thing is the owned book – I don’t have an issue not reading them. There are hundreds of books waiting, some are luring, some prisoned in the back row of the shelf. I love having the options to get to a book whenever I‘m in the mood, and that’s my resource. More books than I will ever read, probably.

Liked by 1 person

So happy I brought a giggle and a smile to your face! 😀

this was a whatever post 🙂 These are super fun ones to write, because I can just talk about whatever, and not worry if i don’t have a review in me. And I’ll take any excuse to say how much I love that libraries are a thing that exists.

Once upon a time, i could get obscure SFF by requesting the library buy a copy, or going through interlibrary loan. I’m also a total cheater when it comes to libraries, i live close enough to a local university that I can get a guest card there and use THEIR interlibrary loan. I haven’t tried any of those tricks in years, so don’t know if those are still options.

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Thing is that I prefer reading English over German, and libraries here don’t have new publications for reasons unknown to me. Also, I‘m impulsive with books: when I‘d have to wait for a book then it already becomes uninteresting 🤔
Maybe that’s a reason for my Mt TBR.


yeah, sounds like hitting the netgalley request button, or buying new is your best bet. I’m surprised your local libraries don’t have new books? Maybe it’s unique to where I live, but the public library here is pretty obsessed with new books. They actively encourage patrons to request the library to buy new titles, that the librarians might not be aware of, such as small press.

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It’s more the smell of old books here 😁

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My library has been curb side only ever since the pandemic started. Actually, they weren’t even doing that until August, everything was closed and you weren’t being charged late fees.


it’s nice that they weren’t charging late fees! I don’t think mine is either. Ours were fully closed for a while, and then they were open but only so many people were allowed inside at once, and then they stuck with that but had shorter hours, and now they are closed compeltely again. Michigan’s current safer-at-home is extended now I think until Dec 20 or something like that?

I’m really impressed with the system my library is using for curb-side pickup, i hope your library has just as good a system.

the people I feel really bad for is all the retail workers at the hardware stores and big box stores. if they want income, they have to go to work and be around all sorts of strangers all day long. I feel bad for them.

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Yeah, I’ve been impressed with our library during all of this as well. Right now they are open for certain things (like computer use) by appt only.

Liked by 1 person

Yep, libraries are the best! As many books as you want for nothing, and no responsibilities! (No wonder I have 65 books checked out….)

Liked by 1 person

i think at this rate, i’m about to have 65 books on hold! no responsibilities is the most freeing thing!


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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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