May Book Haul

May Book Haul

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New acquisitions!

Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
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This is the third book in Snyder’s Study Series, so it’s difficult to say much about it without spoilers. Yelena, former poison taster for the emperor, will be refining the skills she learnt in Magic Study (I’m not going to tell you what they were, but the title is kind of a clue), as well as balancing her life between the land she was born in and the land she was brought up in. In the second book my favourite character was largely absent, so although I enjoyed watching what Yelena was getting up to, I’m hoping he’s back for this one, because I missed him and his excellent snark. This was originally a trilogy, but Snyder has recently continued the series, which is awesome, because it means that I can read this as soon as I like and there will still be more.

Cress by Marissa Meyer
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This is another third book in a series, in this case, The Lunar Chronicles. Cress is a computer programmer working for the villain of the series, Queen Levana, and her story is a retelling of Rapunzel. Based on the previous books, I believe that Cress will be joining Cinder, Scarlet and the love interests they’ve collected along the way, and continuing the fight against the Queen and her supporters. As her story gets more involved, I’m interested to see how Meyer balances the fairytale retelling aspects against the sci-fi. Cinder held more closely to Cinderella than Scarlet did to Little Red Riding Hood, and I can understand why that would happen as Meyer’s story continues and gets more complex.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
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This is the story of a girl called September is taken by the Green Wind to Fairyland, which we can assume she circumnavigates in a ship of her own making. That’s almost everything I know, because that, alongside the title and cover, was enough to convince me that this book needed to be in my life. I imagine it as whimsical and beautiful, like The Graveyard Book, possibly in part because of the Neil Gaiman blurb on the front. I sort of want to read it right now, this second. Since I’m writing this way in advance, I may well have read it by the time you’re reading this.

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
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Ed lives a totally normal life which appears to be headed nowhere in particular, until the day he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. Shortly afterwards, someone starts sending him on missions to people in need of aid. While he’s pleased to be helpful, he’d also really like to know who he’s working for. I bought this book mostly because I really loved The Book Thief. This sounds like something completely different, but since I mostly fell for Zusak’s writing style, I’m happy to give it a go. The synopsis makes it sound a lot lighter than The Book Thief, so I’m not anticipating getting my heart ripped out this time.

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
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I feel like it’s time to head back and see what Percy Jackson and the other inhabitants of Camp Half-Blood are up to. I haven’t really looked into the plot of this one at all, because I already know that these books are entertaining light reading with satisfying plots and good writing, and that’s all I really need to know to hand over my money.

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
saga

Everyone has been telling me to read this graphic novel lately. Two people from opposing sides of a war fall in love and have a baby, and chaos and drama ensues. I’ve heard that there’s a space opera kind of feel to this, which sounds like fun, and also that all the characters are well drawn (metaphorically and literally). It sounds sort of Whedonesque, which I can always get behind. I’ve also heard that there’s a lot of adult content, so if this story sounds good to you, use your discretion about whether that’s something you’re comfortable with. I think it’s graphic sexual content, rather than graphic violence, but don’t quote me on that, and look for a second opinion if you need to know. On other hand you might be like me, and count this as another point in it’s favour. Bring on the sexy times!

All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
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I don’t often read straight-up historical fiction, but Regan from PeruseProject loves this book, and it recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, so I thought I’d give it a try. It follows a blind French girl in WWII, and a young Nazi with a special assignment to complete. I think it’s probably going to do irreparable damage to my feels, but I can forgive that because the cover is gorgeous.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
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This is an unusual fantasy book. On the one hand, it’s a meticulously researched historical novel, with footnotes and all, set in England in the early nineteenth century. On the other hand, it’s all about the exploits of a handful of magicians who are not making the slightest attempt to stay undercover, and those footnotes I mentioned refer me to books such as The History and Practice of English Magic, and A Child’s History of the Raven King. Clocking in at over a thousand pages, this is going to take me a while to get through, but it’s got another of those encouraging Neil Gaiman blurbs on the front, and the BBC are about to start airing an adaptation, so I think it will be worth my time.

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley
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Katie’s life was going pretty well, until it… Wasn’t. The world seems to be conspiring against her: her relationships and career are going down the drain. Fortunately, a stranger shows up with some (literally) magic mushrooms that can give her a second chance. But now Katie doesn’t want to stop until everything is not just better, but perfect. This sounds like it’s going to be a cute little book with some important undertones about life and responsibility and mistakes and stuff. Also, it’s extremely pretty. It’s not clear above, but the dust jacket is shorter than the book, and the blue sparkly bit at the top is uncovered. I posted a few naked hardback pictures on twitter.

The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth
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A lot of the reason I got excited about this book is that it’s so pretty. The gold parts are all raised up from the page, and when you look closely at the green background it looks like leather. The insides are pretty special too, though. Forsyth takes the reader through the rhetorical devices used (consciously) by Shakespeare and (subconsciously) by modern pop stars. Every chapter describes a different device, and gives examples of it’s use.

Ready Player One by Ernest Kline
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I’ve heard a lot about this book, and I don’t think any of it is bad. It’s a sort of mash up of a dystopian and a treasure hunt. In the future, the outside world is more or less destroyed, and everyone lives their lives in an MMO. When the owner and creator of said MMO dies, he leaves everything to whoever can follow the clues he’s left in-game. The book follows a guy whose whole life is about solving this puzzle before somebody else beats him to it.

April Book Haul

April Book Haul

April haul

In April, I decided I would not be allowed to spend more than £30 on books. In spite of appearances, I stuck to that. The first seven books I bought at the end of March, and some of the others were presents, or on sale. So the money saving aspect of that decision went well. The attempt to keep my tbr pile under control? Not so much. But… books!

The first five books in this book haul I found in a charity shop. There was a shelf where the books were 5 for £1, so each of these books cost me 20p. None of them were at the top of my tbr pile, but all of them I had heard of before and was interested in.

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This is a romance told over several years. The first chapter details the day that Emma and Dexter met, and each chapter following tells the reader what they are doing on that date for the next 20 or so years. I had high hopes for this story, but I’ve already read it, and it wasn’t for me. I talk about why in my March wrap-up. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been looking for a light, heart-warming book. I believe this is considered to be a fairly good adult contemporary romance, but I wouldn’t call it heart-warming.

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This is a Swedish murder mystery, and it’s supposed to be very, very good. That’s pretty much everything I know. Unless something pushes me, this might sit on my tbr pile for a while.

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Another book that I know very little about. This one is non-fiction. From what I can gather, the author asked some women to tell her about their vaginas. And then she wrote a play. And here it is. It could be great and insightful, or it could be pretentious or it could be dehumanising. I don’t know yet, but it’s short enough that it shouldn’t take long to find out.

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I’ve loved every Margaret Atwood book I’ve read up until now, so when I was going through the books in the sale and saw her name I picked it up without even reading the blurb. Later, when I looked it up, I discovered that it’s based on the true story of a servant in the nineteenth century who was accused of killing her employers, and the people who tried to establish her innocence using early psychiatry. I don’t know why I haven’t started this yet – it sounds amazing.

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This is the first of Maya Angelou’s autobiographies. I read it a few years ago, but I’m looking forward to reading it again. As I recall, in this book she talks about racism and sexual abuse in her childhhod, and the impact it has had on the rest of her life.

I was supposed to absolutely definitely not buy any more books in March, but I had a bad day, and came home with these two.

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In Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan, Tiny Cooper, the huge and hugely gay best friend of one of the Wills writes and performs in a musical about his life. Now, Levithan has written (the words of) that musical. This is another one that I wrote about in my March wrap-up.

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A plague wipes out most of humanity. Those who are left struggle to survive in the ruins of civilisation. We’ve heard this much before. But in this book, we follow a group of travelling actors, performing Shakespeare plays in exchange for food. I’ve never heard that before. Also, I’m a sucker for a post-appocalyptic artist.

Now, we finally get to the books I actually bought in April.

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Sabriel is the 18 year-old daughter of Abhorsen, who is a… sort of necromancer. He can go into Death, but he does not bring the dead back, he binds them there. Sabriel has been sent away from the realm of magic to a boarding school for her safety, but when her father is trapped in Death by an old enemy, she sets out on a quest to bring him back. This book came out a long time ago, and I think I read at least part of the series, but when a fourth book was released recently, I decided to go back to the beginning.

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I’ve been on a bit of a high fantasy kick this month, and I’ve heard good things about Brandon Sanderson. My understanding of the premise of this book is that there was a bad guy, and a hero prophisied to stop him. Only he failed, and now the bad guy’s in charge. So I have to assume someone’s going to try again, or there won’t be much of a story. Also, I hear that the magic system is very interesting. I’m intrigued.

anna

This is another book about someone who kills the dead, but I think it’s going to have a pretty different feel to Sabriel. Cas travels the country getting rid of ghosts of people, and in that capacity he goes to the house haunted by Anna, who kills everyone who enters. But she doesn’t kill him. She wears the dress she wore on the day she was murdered, still dripping blood. I don’t think I’ll be reading this in the dark.

game

Love and Death are playing a long game. They choose a couple, and struggle to determine their fate. Death always wins. And Henry, the white boy from the rich family, and Flora, the black girl who sings in the jazz clubs, are their new pawns.

goblin night butterflies

Penguin Classics are celebrating their 80th birthday with the release of of 80 of these little books and selling them for 80p each. I wanted to take advantage of this, but I wasn’t sure which I wanted, so in the end I went for the ones with the most beautiful titles. The Rossetti and Brontë ones are poetry collections, and the Darwin one is an account of what he saw during the voyage of the Beagle. In this time he was developing the theory of evolution, so I’m guessing the book talks about the evidence he saw for it.

The next couple of books were a present from my husband after I finished my dissertation.

Beautiful Creatures

I know I’ve seen the film of this, and I know I enjoyed it, but I’m still struggling to remember what it’s about. There are definitely good witches and bad witches and a curse and a romance and magical fights and all these things seem good to me. Also the cover is beautiful.

SJ Mass

This is a collection of the five prequel novellas in the Throne of Glass series. I’m not sure exactly what’s in them, but I’m hoping to learn how it was that Celaena Sardothien became the most feared assassin in the land when she was only a teenager. In the first book, that knowledge is just handed to us, and I’d love to see how it came to be. Bonus points if it happens in a plausible way.

Annie

This is a book about two teenage girls who fall in love. It was published in the early eighties, and naturally it was considered controversial. Sadly, it probably still would be if it was published. I’m expecting it to be adorable, and probably also heart breaking, because there’s a pretty high chance that they will be surrounded by disapproving people, probably people who they previously admired, like teachers and parents.

So that’s everything for April. Next month I will have exams, so there might not be very many posts around here. But there might be a huge book haul, because the chances of me buying books to make myself feel better about revision are pretty high.

March Book Haul!

March Book Haul!

Before you look at the haul below, I’d like to make a couple of points:

1) It’s not kind to judge;
2) There are worse things to be addicted to than books;
3) I fully intend to read every one of these.

Okay, go.

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You’re judging me, aren’t you? Well, I don’t care. I have books.

I’m not going to write in detail about every one of these, because there are So. Freaking. Many. I shall just list them, and put GoodReads links in their titles if you’re intrigued.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Every Day by David Levithan
The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure and The Kill Order by James Dashner
The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling’s pseudonym)
These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman
Sex Criminals, Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One Cop by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess by Cassanda Clare
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

Guys… I have a problem.

February Book Haul!

February Book Haul!

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I’ve never really understood the point of introductory posts, so I’m going to dive straight into this blogging thing with this gorgeous stack of books I acquired in February. They’re so preeeetty! I’ve already read a couple, but don’t worry – there are no spoilers ahead. I’m just going to try to give a brief idea of why I bought them, and also show off the covers, which are pretty much universally gorgeous.

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Goodreads ~ Book Depository

I recently powered through all of the videos on the Little Book Owl YouTube channel. Catriona has a pretty similar taste in books to me, and I trust her recommendations, so quite a few of the books in this haul are ones that she recommended or reviewed. This one is her favourite book ever, and (I know now since I’ve already read it) with good reason.

Liesel Meminger is a German girl living with foster parents in the midst of WWII. And… I’m not going to tell you much else about her, actually. Knowing about her isn’t what convinced me to read this book. Here is what convinced me to read this book: it is narrated by Death. Death doesn’t want to care about humans, but the story of the little girl who steals books fascinates him, and if a story can fascinate Death, I was pretty sure I’d be captivated too.

cinder

Goodreads ~ Book Depository

Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella, set a few hundred years in the future. Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing. She is also a cyborg. Meanwhile, the people of Earth are dying of an incurable plague, and the humans who colonised the moon years ago threaten war. And then one day, Prince Kai appears at Cinder’s market stall with a broken android. And… yeah. Obviously I bought it.

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Goodreads ~ Book Depository

This is the third book in the Shades of London series and I know almost nothing about it. The series is about a girl from Louisiana who arrives at a boarding school in London ready for anything England has to offer, but not expecting the strange and terrifying things that start to happen after she has a near-death experience. I absolutely loved the first two books, and the second one ended on a heartbreaking cliffhanger, so I intend to go into this one with no foreknowledge of how that’s going to be resolved. So far, I’ve successfully avoided all spoilers.

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Goodreads ~ Book Depository

I don’t really know anything much about this book either, except that it’s about a girl who writes fanfiction, which is enough to make me excited to read it already. I mostly bought it because I read another book by Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park, in January and fell head over heels in love with the story and the writing and the characters and… yes. You should read it You should probably read this too. I’ll let you know.

wonder

Goodreads ~ Book Depository

I picked this up on a whim. I vaguely remember hearing good things about it, and the cover is cool. I believe it’s about a boy who freaks other children out because he looks different, but just wants to be seen as he is inside. I feel like it’s probably going to make me cry.

hollowcity

Goodreads ~ Book Depository

Ack, so excited for this book! I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children at the beginning of February, and it was just so beautiful. So beautiful. Ack, again. I’ll avoid telling you what I know about this book, because that would be spoilers for the first. So I’ll talk about some of the stuff in this book other than the story. The cover and the insides are just So. Pretty. Riggs collects old photographs, and his story is woven around strange, unearthly pictures that he’s collected over the years. Mostly, pictures of children who can do peculiar things. I would love to know how these pictures came to be taken in the real world, but then again… Maybe not. Maybe I like the book’s version better. Either way, I’ve never read anything like the first book, and I can’t wait to dive into the second.

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Goodreads ~ Book Depository

Have you read Poison Study? Go read it, then we’ll talk. If you’ve already read it, then you know why this was the first book I ordered this month, and why I was angry when it took ages to arrive. Yelena studies magic? Yes, please. Another book with Valek in it? YES, PLEASE.

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Goodreads ~ Book Depository

I first heard of Victoria Schwab maybe a month ago, and pretty much every book she’s ever written sounds incredible. So, naturally, I was paralysed by indecision. Do I pick up The Archived, or The Near Witch? Vicious or A Darker Shade of Magic? I decided to go for this one because it just came out this week, so I feel like I’m in a big club of people buying and reading this book. Except that I haven’t read it yet. But I will.

So that’s everything! Any and all recommendations are welcome, as well as requests for reviews of any of these books.

Meda xoxo