Sometimes I envy book bloggers and book tubers who can do book hauls every single month, but then I remember that a lot of the books they acquire are ARCs. They are nice to get, obviously, but they arrive with the obligation of having to read them fairly soon. Probably wouldn’t work for me, unless it’s a book I really wanted anyway.
Either way, a monthly book haul wouldn’t do me very good, since I would:
A. Run out of money in no time
B. Increase my TBR pile even more (and it’s already taking threatening proportions)
C. Be forced to move to a bigger house (and more importantly: a bigger library. Yes, priorities.)
So usually I end up buying just a few books per year. That is, aside from special occasions like my birthday, Christmas and holidays. Over the years, trips to the UK (mostly London) have evolved into book shopping vacations.
As the title suggests, I recently celebrated my birthday. Well, it’s been a month now, but I had to wait for a few books I’d ordered. There’s a lot to show, since I spent quite a bit and Boyfriend has been extremely generous. Let’s jump right into it, shall we?
I started by expanding my Tana French collection. For a long time I only had her first crime novel In the Woods, but ever since I finished that one, I longed to read more of her work. To be completely honest, I had already picked up Broken Harbour, the fourth installment in her Dublin Murder Squad series for a very cheap price at a bargain event, but it was much bigger than the other volumes I’d set my eyes on and my OCD couldn’t handle that. So yes, I might have bought that one a second time, just to match the others in the series … Well, kind of. Sadly I couldn’t get them as perfect as I’d liked, since Tana French’s publisher seems to enjoy experimenting with different covers and heights. Either way, I’m pleased enough that I can continue the Dublin Murder Squad series now with The Likeness (#2), Faithful Place (#3), Broken Harbour (#4) and The Secret Place (#5). Hopefully, I keep enjoying them. The peculiar thing with this crime series is that almost every novel has a different detective. The first one follows Rob Ryan, the second one Cassie Maddox, the third one Frank Mackey and so on. Despite it being a beast of a book, compared to In the Woods, I’m looking forward to The Likeness. It sounds very promising: “The victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used.”
Then I wanted to nourish my desire for middle grade stories. Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman were a no-brainer as I’d planned to finally read His Dark Materials prior to the release of La Belle Sauvage. Not that I’ll read that one when it comes out in October, but it was a good excuse to pick up his children’s classic.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor is one I’ve wanted to buy for the longest time. It’s been described to me as Nigerian Harry Potter, so I’m extremely looking forward to reading it, even though I must confess that the original cover looked much more appealing than this one. Oh well, I’ll get over it eventually.
Thanks to booktuber Cameron Chaney I also bought The Power of Poppy Pendle by Natasha Lowe. Doesn’t it look adorable? It’s about a little witch who loves baking. Do I even need to say more? I don’t know about you, dear reader, but it practically has my name written all over it.
Lastly, I picked up a few books in Dutch from my own bookshop, all of which are translated from English, so despite some different covers they might sound familiar. I’ve got a crime novel by Alexandra Oliva, called The Last One in English. It follows one of the twelve contestants in an adventurous reality TV show. It’s all about survival in this thriller that’s being compared to The Hunger Games for adults. How far are they willing to go to win the game?
For my sporadic literary appetite, I picked up Little Deaths by Emma Flint, Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh and Swing Time by Zadie Smith, all of which have been nominated for big literary awards (Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and Man Booker Prize) at some point.
Little Deaths is a true crime story following Ruth Malone, a single mother who is accused of having killed her little children. The police quickly pictures her as a bad mother and the lead detective leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children’s lives. But is it really that simple?
Eileen is about a lonely young woman in the early sixties, working in a boys’ prison outside Boston. Trying to escape her depressing life as her alcoholic father’s caretaker, she makes a dangerous new friendship that will make her complicit in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings.
Swing Time tells the story of two young brown girls who dream of being dancers, but only one of them has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music. Their close but complicated childhood friendship ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
As for the presents I got, I still had my say in the first one. Let’s just say I (not so) subtly suggested that it’d be lovely to have a boxset of David Walliams’s books (Yes, I know I turned 29 last month). The books are frequently compared to Roald Dahl’s work, so that should be exciting, even though I haven’t read any Roald Dahl as of yet. I know, it’s a shame. Anyway, I’m ready to embark on scary, funny and entertaining adventures with Ratburger, Mr. Stink, The Boy in the Dress, Awful Auntie, Gangsta Granny, Grandpa’s Great Escape, Billionaire Boy and Demon Dentist. It’s going to be a blast. And it’s always nice to have a few easy reads when you need to pick up the reading pace.
The other package was a surprise and a lovely one, I must add. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman and An Author’s Odyssey by Chris Colfer had to be acquired to complete our collections. Neil Gaiman has become one of these authors of which we need to have every single book and I do like short stories, so his creepy, whimsical tales will probably get the love they deserve in our family. As for Chris Colfer, we started buying his books, because he seems to be a very likeable guy and I, particularly, like fairy tales. However, as this is the fifth book in his The Land of Stories series, it’s probably high time I started reading one. I mean, he might be a terrible writer.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Chris Riddell’s illustrations. Boyfriend figured I might as well check if I like his writing just as much, so he got me Goth Girl and The Curse of the Gloamglozer. I’m not sure how I feel about the latter. The cover isn’t too appealing, but this alternate cover makes up for that. It sounds like an eventful, fantastical and possibly weird adventure. Get this: on my edition it says that it’s book four in the series, but at the same time it’s book one in the Quint trilogy. Also, there are currently twelve books in The Edge Chronicles series, but you can choose in which order you read them, because each book is a stand-alone. Raise you hand if this doesn’t make sense to you.
Goth Girl, on the other hand, was already on my wishlist. It has a lonely girl in a haunted house with plenty of ghosts, a ghostly mouse and strange happenings to be solved. Count me in!
And look at how wonderful this book looks on the inside …
What have you bought recently?
Have a bookish day!