May Book Haul Part 1 – Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018

I may have mentioned it before but I’m not a huge fan of book prizes.

I mean, why do women need their own prize for goodness sake?

If there is a real bias in the publishing world for featuring male writers over female then this needs rooting out and destroying, otherwise if its just women whingeing because their books never win the big prizes then maybe its because their books aren’t good enough?

Whatever, thats not my problem but having said that I cant sometimes resist looking at the longlist and shortlist plus this prize is slighty more accessible to someone so low brow as me in my reading tastes.

So I now own 4 books out of the 6 shortlisted.

One of them I was sent in proof form last year but couldnt get on with it.

This is what i’ve bought recently

 

This years choices are bloody gorgeous, cover wise dont you think?

I am obsessed by this cover for some reason and the whole bonkers, crazy style of writing i’ve heard so much about. Can’t wait to dive into it. This never actually made the shortlist but was on the longlist.

Another lovely cover and this is the only one ive read so far. Well I read 2/3rd of it which I was loving but then the final 1/3rd goes a bit barmy and the whole way of writing changes which i found a bit off putting so i scanned the rest to get the gist of the story. Up to then it was a 5* read but it ended up 2-3* sadly.

I just adore the bright colours of this cover with all the writing and review snippets! G’ah!

I’m thinking this sounds a bit brutal and may not be my cuppa in the end but i’m excited to see how different this style of writing is from what i’ve heard.

and finally

Oh the rainbow has been used to great effect here hasn’t it? Annoyingly its missing a shortlist sticker!

I think this sounds like the lightest of all the books and maybe the easiest to read? Time will tell.

The winner is announced on 6th June but I doubt very much that i’ll have them all read by then. 25 days would be a doddle for most people but not slow old me.

 

 

 

Six books by non British authors

This year one of my reading resolutions was to read more books by Japanese authors. I find them to be – the ones I’ve read anyway – gentle, fascinating and beautifully written and I wanted more of the same.

In this round up I have included four books by Japanese authors and I’ve also added two more books by non UK authors as they just sound so amazing.

EXIT WEST by Mohsin Hamid

This has been all over social media and i cant wait to give it a go. Its written by a now quite famous Indian author.

The next four are by Japanese authors

The Housekeeper and the Professor

 by Yoko Ogawa

A really pretty little floppy book with shiny cover and a gorgeous premise

Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa

I heard about this on Ariel Bissett’s channel, its another gentle, sweet sounding story

The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiroki Kawakami

Another from Ariel’s channel. She has the best recommendations.  I have started this and its a bit slower than i like but I find the Japanese way of life endlessly fascinating.

What I talk about when I talk about running by Haruki Murakami

Yep you guessed it I saw this on Ariel’s channel too! A strange little book and one I would enjoy more if i was a runner myself but I shall persevere.

Inside out & back again by Thanhha Lai

This is a recommendation from Russell over at Ink & Paper blog. Its written in poetry form with very few words per page and comes in a gorgeous shiny, floppy edition with an amazing cover. Thanhha is a Vietnamese author.

I’m very much an armchair traveler so these books will transport me round the world to places i’d never otherwise visit.

February book haul

Yes, its happened again. Proof that i have no control when it comes to buying books.

I also now have a very messy bookcase which needs sorting, badly!

Right lets get down to this shall we?

No your eyes don’t deceive you and yes, that is a book series. The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin.

I have lost count of how many times The Fifth Season has appeared on my YouTube favourite’s channels. I really wanted to see for myself what was going on.

I actually bought Book 2 first as Amazon were selling it for £2, yes just £2! so i snapped it up then…

I found that book 3 was also £2 so i snapped that up too.

Book 1 was actually full price but even put together the whole series comes to just a tenner! Bargain of the day/week/month/year or what?

I have been waiting for The Spaceman of Bohemia to arrive in paperback form for months so it was good to get that and then i saw Exit West  was out and i have not heard a bad thing said about that anywhere. My god the cover is gorgeous too eh? (see featured image next to this post)

This duplicates a couple of the books but it also shows the most gorgeous graphic novel i’ve ever owned. The warmest colour is blue by Julie Maroh, translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger. It is full of muted browns and greys with the odd hint of colour, mainly blue obviously and is just so beautifully drawn.

I would really love to have a graphic novel collection so this may be the kickstart i need.

 

 

Its January! it’s more books! deal with it!

Yes, thats right this is another book haul or at least it will be once postie has been with my parcel.

*paces floor, bites nails and mutters under breath*

ME SPEAKING- CLICK PLAY BUTTON BELOW 

UPDATE: many hours later

They are here and I can share them with you *runs around whooping and doing the book haul dance*

Two of my reading goals for 2018 – which if you follow me on Twitter you’ll have seen me announce – are

1. To read more books by Japanese authors

and

2. To read more Science Fiction

I think you’ll agree I have made a damn fine start with this lot. Lets go through them shall we?


Literally a book about how much Haruki Murakami loves running. An autobiography of his passion for keeping fit and the reason he enjoys running for a hobby. A gentle sounding, quite short book (180 pages) which was a recommendation on none other than Ariel Bissett’s channel

For anyone new to my blog you will hear me praise Ariel many times for her quirky reads which are books I’d never heard of and wouldn’t normally pick up but, I trust her choices.


Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he’s been alive for centuries.  From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris. As long as he keeps changing his identity he can stay one step ahead of his past – and stay alive.

The only thing he must not do is fall in love…

I mean, I ask you is that not such a teaser of a synopsis?  How could I not try this!


I’ve been waiting for this to come out in paperback form for ages. If you haven’t heard of it, go look it up right now. I just know this is gonna be a good’un and its my Sci-Fi choice, so double bubble.


These last two fit with my read more Japanese authors.  This book cover is so stunning too plus its short, shiny and floppy! Gah! what more could I ask for?


This was another book I learnt about from Ariel. (Tell me honestly am I sounding like a stalker?) Its such a simple premise and the book is another short(ish) one plus, it has those glorious french flaps. Nice touch Oneworld-Publications.

ME AGAIN 

Gill X

December book haul

Not long before Christmas I was sent these two beauties from Bloomsbury and Del Rey respectively

Just stunning aren’t they?  The book on the right is a proof copy hence no name or details and is called The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale.  I’ve dipped into it and its so evocative and beautifully written.


Then came Christmas and I was lucky enough to get the following

You can never have enough Catherynne M Valente books right? These covers are just sumptuous and her writing is glorious.

Wasn’t I a lucky little Christmas Elf?

 

 

another book haul – Sept/Oct

Yes, I did it again. More books have been purchased and sent by delightful publishers.

Fancy a peek?  Course you do, so here they are…

I am so mega, mega excited by all these books! *cue happy squealing*

I was so lucky to get sent copies of Warcross by Marie Lu and Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Both of them came via the wonderful folk at Penguin books, and Turning for Home by Barney Norris is courtesy of Transworld books.

A new John Green book is something to celebrate so I had that on pre-order for ages along with All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. I think I am in love with this cover and its gorgeous Uranium orange spine. That blue and orange work so well together dont they? am i right?

Invictus has been bigged up all over Twitter and You Tube and i do love me a bit of time travel so im hoping i’ll enjoy that.

The Ada Lovelace book is because I wanted to find out more about her, I mean imagine being Byron’s daughter and being involved with something so modern and forward thinking as computers! in Victorian times!

I couldnt resist the Potion diaries 2 & 3 even though i havent read book 1 yet. They are an easy but fun read and im sure ill enjoy binging on them sometime in the future.

Finally to get a copy of The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M Valente is so fab. It wasnt available in the UK when it first came out and considering its based around The Brontes and the fictional world they created how could I not get it! Oh and last but not least Radiance also by the wonderful Cathrynne was a no brainer really it looks to be an unusual type of book. Such a shame about the awful cover design though. The US edition is so beautiful. *shakes head in despair*

What books are you most excited for this month?

 

 

Best Loved Poems – A Treasury of Verse by Ana Sampson

I’ve loved reading poetry for 40 years now and this book is such a wonderful addition to my bookshelves. Its a beautiful naked hardback with as you can see the prettiest of covers and some beautiful teal blue end papers. Its perfect for picking up whenever you need a little lift or a laugh or the perfect words to say something.

It contains such a fascinting mix of poetry spanning hundreds of years from Shakespeare to the present day and is split into sections like; love, war, lost love, poems remembered from childhood etc.

In here there are so many favourites of mine that i first read years ago along with poems and poets i’ve never before encountered, so reading it was such a joy and a journey of discovery for me.

Poems like:

A Subaltern’s Love Song by John Betjeman

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke

High Flight by John Gillespie Magee

Sonnets from the Portuguese: XLIII by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now by A. E Housman

are ones very familiar to me whereas

Poems like:

I wanna be Yours by John Cooper Clarke

Hour by Carol Anne Duffy

Just in Case by Charlotte Mitchell

Outgrown by Penelope Shuttle and

Dis Poetry by Benjamin Zephaniah

are all brand new and wonderful to discover.

You can see here just how many poems i tabbed for quick reading in the future

I was approached by the editor of this wonderful compendium, Ana Sampson who asked if I would like a copy to review. I couldnt have shouted YES Please! any louder. I may have a towering TBR most of the time but I can always find time for a poem.

Thank you to Ana and Michael O Mara Books for this total delight. It was published yesterday so rush out and buy copies for everyone as a Christmas pressie.

 

September Book Haul

Yes its happened again!

Yes I have more books!

Get over it!

Lets get to the books shall we?

I dont usually follow book awards especially not The Man Booker. All the books chosen are usually far too ‘high falutin’ for me but I have been eagerly waiting for Autumn by Ali Smith to come out and Elmet sounds really good so I had to get them.

UPDATE and WARNING: Just begun reading Elmet and this is why i hate books long or shortlisted for awards. Its really beautifully written and nicely descriptive but in just over 30 pages there are so many scenes of violence, ITS SICK! I cant read anymore and i’m sending it back!

I havent read a Nicholas Sparks book in yonks so it was time i remedied that.

Songs about a Girl was good so i decided to get book two to continue the story and find out more about the boy band characters.

Nature writing is a bit of a change for me and this year i’m trying to read more widely and especially genres i’ve never tackled before. This cover though, whoooosh! How gorgeous is the white and gold design?

This book was originally published in 1910 so I am really looking forward to seeing the different writing style for that time in history.

I didnt even know this book existed until i did a search on Amazon for The Brontes. It has essays and letters from the Brontes!

I know I say this everytime but I really am sooooo excited for all of these books.

What books are you excited for right now?

 

August Book Haul

Have i got a stash to show you this month? Well yes, i darn well have and its gorgeousness personified!

Lets begin with a couple of books sent for review, i’ve decided to add them here rather than give them their own Book Mail this time but it will return.

A huge, huge thank you to Abrams & Chronicle Books and Simon & Schuster for these beauties.

Odd & True by Cat Winters

Sit back and admire this cover design! and its a floppy, i adore floppies!

The History of Bees by Maja Lunde

BOOM! this is a stunner of a cover too even though its a hardback but not only is front and back gorgeous but… the naked book beneath is a lovely surprise too!

What about that eh?


Now for the books I bought myself which i really shouldnt have but what the heck.

I’m so excited for all these books, i really am.

Circe & The Cyclops by Homer

The Night is Darkening Round Me by Emily Bronte

A bit of culture for a change here. I am so stoked for Circe by Madeline Miller so thought id read about Circe in readiness plus i just love these Penguin Little Black Classics.  And then we have some poetry by Emily Bronte, as you should know by now I am a massive Bronte fan and have been for nearly 40 years!

Selected Letters by Charlotte Bronte

I have wanted to read this for such a long time and now that i am planning an exciting blog post all about The Brontes this will come in very handy. I am a sucker for letters, diary entries, text, emails etc. Real or fictional so this is gonna be soooooo good.

Seconds by Brian Lee O’Malley

I saw the next 3 books on Ariel Bissett’s channel and I trust her taste impeccably so I know i’m gonna love these.  But this book is so gorgeous. It has this strange 3/4 size dust jacket as if they had run out of paper! but the naked hardback beneath is just book porn basically, look!

You cant really see it but the speckles on this are silvery and shimmery! just stunning.

All My Friends are Super Heroes by Andrew Kaufman

This is a small book which i always prefer but i just love the premise and it has a few illustrations too. Ariel really rated this one too.

We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

Another thin volume which pleases me a lot. Have heard mixed things about this and apparently its more character than plot driven but I cant wait to try it.

Eliza and her monsters by Francesca Zappia

Oh my, this is such a cool book, another hardback which is such a change for me and it has illustrations, Oooooh!

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Oh i forgot this was also a rec from Ariel Bissett. I’m not stalking her honestly! just love her channel. This sounds a really different idea for a plot and its super floppy! *all the smiles*

Can you solve my problems? by Alex Bellos

I do like me a puzzle or two to keep the old grey cells going for a bit longer. Cant guarantee ill get them all especially the Logic puzzles! I mean what are they all about?

PHEW! that was a huge pile and if you have made it this far Thank You!

Whats the best book you have bought recently?

 

 

 

 

Book Mail #3

BOOM! take a look at this!

I only got a copy of the wonderful Jen Cambell’s book, The Beginning of the world in the middle of the night! How exciting is that?

A huge thank you to Two Roads books for this treat.

It came with some fab little goodies too including:

  • a sort of tea ball? not sure as i dont drink tea
  • A bag of silver Smarties
  • a large seed, which looks like it could be some sort of bean. I will definitely plant it and see what happens.
  • a nice letter from Jen herself

Isn’t that such a cool idea? and i’m so honoured to be one of the lucky bloggers to get a copy.

Its published in Hardback on 2nd November

Save

Follow

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: