Birthday Book Haul #1

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?

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Credits: Elliot Hyland

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Series I’m Currently Reading

A little while ago I took a glimpse at the books I’ve read so far and noticed that I had started quite a few series of which I have finished none. It made me wonder just how many series I’m currently reading and how far I’m into them. The result isn’t looking too good …

I started a crushing amount of – wait for it – 22 series. I nearly fainted. Well, not really, but I did find myself shocked when I came to that conclusion. I had an inkling that I wasn’t doing very well, of course. Even so, 22 series … That’s a lot of books left to be read. Luckily, I don’t plan to continue all of them, but my problem with unread series needs to be addressed. Let’s go back in time and take a look at the series in chronological order, starting with the most recent.

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Read 1 of 10 (Photo credit: Elliot Hyland)

Near the end of May 2017 I read Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, the first volume in a series of the same name. It’s an enjoyable middle grade story about a living skeleton that can do magic and works as a detective. As you can see I’ve still got a long way to go, with number ten published this month.
I’m not sure yet if Skulduggery Pleasant will manage to keep me interested for duration of the entire series, but the first volume was entertaining enough to want to tackle the second one in due course.

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Complicit by Nicci French

Complicit

Bonnie Graham is standing in a room belonging to a friend. At her feet is a corpse, straddled in a spreading pool of blood. The questions are numerous: who is responsible for the dead body on the floor? What does Bonnie have to do with it? And what is her next course of action?

The premise of this crime novel is shockingly addictive. From the very first scene the reader will be drawn into the story. It’s impossible not to. You’re left with so many mysteries that need solving that you’ll find yourself in the middle of the novel before you notice any time has passed.

Nicci French is clever enough to use this to her advantage. Complicit is structured in such a way that it forces you to read until the very end if you want to know precisely what happened to the dead body. Everything is deliberately kept vague. At first you don’t even know who the dead body is, let alone that you would know how that person died or who is responsible.

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British Crime Fiction Awards (Part 2): Theakston’s Old Peculier Shortlist 2017

Crime fiction awards do not get the same amount of coverage as their literary siblings The Man Booker Prize and The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, but Britain’s CWA Dagger Awards and Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year make a noteworthy attempt to trigger the interest in crime fiction.

In my previous post, British Crime Fiction Awards (Part 1), you can get acquainted with the CWA Dagger Awards and get a glimpse at this year’s longlist for the Gold and International Dagger. In part 2 I’d like to introduce that other British crime fiction award, the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

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British Crime Fiction Awards (Part 1): CWA Dagger Award Longlist 2017

The United Kingdom has quite a tradition of prestigious literary awards, with The Man Booker Prize as its crown jewel. According to the buzz in the land of booktubers and bookbloggers, almost all the attention seems to go to British fiction awards with The Man Booker Prize, The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and The Costa Book Awards as most popular ones.

Given that the United Kingdom has a decent reputation in crime fiction, I expected to find an equally successful literary award for crime fiction. Sadly, it turns out that there’s no crime equivalent to any of the prestigious novel awards. Even the best known ones tend to stay under the radar. So, let this be a call-up to booktubers and bookbloggers; crime fiction needs more love.

The ones I’d like to focus on are the CWA Dagger Awards and the reasonably younger Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, presumably the most important crime fiction awards the United Kingdom has at its disposal.

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