April mini book haul – for review

I’ve been really lucky so far this month in getting three very different and very intriguing books sent from publishers for me to review.  I may get more as the month goes on but its easier to do them in small doses.

This is what i’ve hauled

The Electrical Venus by Julie Mayhew

The Last Children of Tokyo by Yoko Tawada

How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs

Book 1 – The Electrical Venus

To be honest, I really don’t like this cover, its too garish for me but i’m sure it serves a purpose in the story. It was very kindly sent by Hot Key Books.

It does however sound very intriguing and it has been brilliantly packaged. It was sent with a sort of pretend newspaper advert, a feather (gorgeous) and a packet of popping candy!

In a lowly side-show fair in eighteenth-century England, teenager Mim is struggling to find her worth as an act. Not white, but not black enough to be truly exotic, her pet parrot who speaks four languages is a bigger draw than her. But Alex, the one-armed boxer boy, sees her differently. And she, too, feels newly interested in him. But then Dr Fox arrives with his scientific kit for producing ‘electrickery’ – feats of electrical magic these bawdy audiences have never seen before. To complete his act, Fox chooses Mim to play the ‘Electrical Venus’. Her popularity – and the electric-shocking kisses she can provide for a penny – mean takings are up, slop is off the menu and this spark between her and Fox must surely be love. But is this starring role her true worth, or is love worth more than a penny for an electrifying kiss?

Anyone who can get the words pickled rats and electric lips in the same book has to be admired right?

Book 2 – The Last Children of Tokyo

I couldn’t resist requesting this one as it fits in so nicely with my 2018 reading plans i.e to read more books by a Japanese author. This is a proof which was kindly sent by Portobello Books. Being a proof the cover is very basic but just look how beautiful the finished item will be!

Yoshiro celebrated his hundredth birthday many years ago, but every morning before work he still goes running in the park with his rent-a-dog. He is one of the many aged-elderly in Japan and he might, he thinks, live forever. Life for Yoshiro isn’t as simple as it used to be. Pollution and natural disasters have scarred the face of the Earth, and even common foods are hard to come by. Still, Yoshiro’s only real worry is the future of his great-grandson Mumei, who, like other children of his generation, was born frail and grey-haired, old before he was ever young. As daily life in Tokyo grows harder, a secretive organisation embarks on an audacious plan to find a cure for the children of Japan – might Yoshiro’s great-grandson, Mumei, be the key? A dreamlike story of filial love and glimmering hope, The Last Children of Tokyo is a delicate glimpse of our future from one of Japan’s most celebrated writers.

Book 3 – How to Love a Jamaican

This is a series of short stories by a debut author. This is just a proof but look how bloody gorgeous the finished item is gonna look! I’m dribbling here!  This was sent to me by Picador Books.

Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret–Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to extraordinary effect in her debut collection about Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life. In “Light-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands,” an NYU student befriends a fellow Jamaican whose privileged West Coast upbringing has blinded her to the hard realities of race. In “Mash Up Love,” a twin’s chance sighting of his estranged brother–the prodigal son of the family–stirs up unresolved feelings of resentment. In “Bad Behavior,” a couple leave their wild teenage daughter with her grandmother in Jamaica, hoping the old ways will straighten her out. In “Mermaid River,” a Jamaican teenage boy is reunited with his mother in New York after eight years apart. In “The Ghost of Jia Yi,” a recently murdered student haunts a despairing Jamaican athlete recruited to an Iowa college. And in “Shirley from a Small Place,” a world-famous pop star retreats to her mother’s big new house in Jamaica, which still holds the power to restore something vital. Alexia Arthurs emerges in this vibrant, lyrical, intimate collection as one of fiction’s most dynamic and essential young authors.

 


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.

 

 

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?

 

Book Mail #2

Well i never expected Book Mail #2 to be written so quickly but today this beauty came through my door

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

I was so thrilled! Frances Hardinge is an award winning writer and to get a proof of her latest book is such an honour.  Its published on 21st September by Pan Macmillan.  I’ve been lucky enough to receive ARC’s from publishers for over 3 years now but each one is still as much as a thrill as my first one.

Whats been your most exciting book this week?

 

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Book Mail #1

Welcome to the first post of my new series Book Mail!  *Imagine cheering and a tickertape parade sort of thing*

This is a new thing on the blog whereby i share with you the excitement of any book post as it arrives, literally minutes after postie delivers it through my letterbox and as soon as i’ve picked myself up from the floor after passing out with happiness, you will know about it. Not at the end of the month in one big haul along with other books i may have been tempted to buy myself!

Okay, enough of the waffle lets do this thing!

Ringer by Lauren Oliver

This is the sequel to Replica which was one of my most anticipated reads.  I was so thrilled when this arrived as i had no idea it was coming. Gotta love those Hodder guys n gals.

And there is also this…

Ikigai – The essential Japanese way to finding your purpose in life by Ken Mogi

Look at this cover! I adore those whirls and the shiny concentric circles that make up the cover

close up

This is courtesy of Quercus books who are such lovely folk too.

I’m currently reading Replica so hope to get to Ringer quite soon as its published on 5th October in hardback.

Ikigai comes out on 7th September in hardback

 

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Gorgeous books

Sometimes you just have to sit back and admire the gorgeous covers that come on books these days.  I didnt buy any of these just because of the cover (well alright the Ghachar, Ghochar one did help) but damn it if they arent bloody delicious sights to behold.

Let me introduce you, first up we have…

The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton which at 680 pages is way, WAY bigger than my normal reads but hell it sounds so bloody good and from the sample I read of it I reckon we’re gonna be good friends.

To save their civilization he must destroy it. . . When images of a lost civilization are ‘dreamed’ by a self-proclaimed prophet of the age, Nigel Sheldon, inventor of wormhole technology and creator of the Commonwealth society, is asked to investigate. Especially as the dreams seem to be coming from the Void – a mysterious area of living space monitored and controlled because of its hugely destructive capabilities. With it being the greatest threat to the known universe, Nigel is committed to finding out what really lies within the Void and if there’s any truth to the visions they’ve received. Does human life really exist inside its boundary?

Next up we have…

 

 

Ghachar, Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag (translated by Srinath Perur)  I mean please, this cover is just so iconic! The pink and orange is sublime!  Its the opposite to the book above at just 182 pages! I’m already 24 pages in and it’s lovely and informative and giving me all the feels.

In this masterful novel by the acclaimed Indian writer Vivek Shanbhag, a close-knit family is delivered from near-destitution to sudden wealth after the narrator’s uncle founds a successful spice company. As the narrator – a sensitive young man who is never named – along with his sister, his parents, and his uncle move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house and encounter newfound wealth, the family dynamics begin to shift. Allegiances and desires realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background. Their world becomes ‘ghachar ghochar’ – a nonsense phrase that, to the narrator, comes to mean something entangled beyond repair. Told in clean, urgent prose, and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humour, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings – and consequences – of financial gain in contemporary India.

And now in a complete change of pace we have…

Madame Zero by Sarah Hall

What a creepy yet cool photograph they’ve used for this cover. It both scares and intrigues me at the same time.  This is a book of short stories which is not something I buy often. I guess I really prefer one big story to get my teeth into rather than having the story finishing too soon and then having to invest into another round of plot, characters, emotions etc but now and then I like a change and sometimes all i can manage to read is something small so this fits the bill.

She is running and becoming smaller, running and becoming smaller, running in the light of the reddening sun, the red of her hair and her coat falling, the red of her fur and her body loosening. Running. Holding behind her a sudden, brazen object, white-tipped. Her yellow scarf trails in the briar. All vestiges shed. Sarah Hall is an exquisite chronicler of landscapes – rural, industrial, psychological – and these haunting stories reveal a writer at the peak of her powers. Rich in the mythic symbolism of wilderness and wasteland, these tales blur the natural and urban, mundane and surreal, human and animal. Written in Hall’s lyrical prose, this uncannily disturbing collection glitters with poetic and erotic imagery. Marked by a fascination with the intimacy of nature – and the nature of intimacy – Madame Zero is a stunning new collection from an author twice nominated for the Booker Prize.

And finally, we have this…

The Cursed Child by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne.  Yes, i know, why did i buy this. Its not exactly set the world afire and i do have it in hardback but hey it was £2.99 on Amazon for god’s sake! I couldn’t resist and if i do actually read the thing at least i’ll have the paperback version to do it with.  ( I wont bother with the blurb as i’m sure you’ve all heard of it, unless you’ve been on another planet for the last year anyway)

So thems the books and feel free to let me know if you’ve read any of them and what you thought.

 

 

 

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another book haul

Yes, another week, another pile of books is accumulated

*sigh*

*big smile*

here they be:

books i did buy for me

Yes, its true i have the two Isabel Greenberg graphic novels, at last, in my life and in my hot little hands *dances for joy*

I treated myself using gift vouchers i was kindly given for Crimbo.  Aren’t they bloody gorgeous? Oh yes they are!

Also i buyed me these

Yes, you’re right what am i doing buying 4 sci fi books when i dont read sci fi?

Well thats a good question but somehow i just fancied me some so Space type books and as im reading (slowly) The long way to a small angry planet it seemed sensible to buy the sequel.  Mind you I am annoyed with myself that i didnt notice it was only out in hardback *waves fist in air*

and now for some books i was kindlee sent by those sooper dooper publishy types

I was approached by Quercus who asked if id like a copy of Hattie Hoffman and after doing a bit of detective work on Amazon i said “yes please”  It is written from perspective of three characters in the first person so whats not to like there?

I responded to a blogger call on Twitter for a copy of Spontaneous which sounds rather unusual to say the least. (people spontaneously combusting, but humourously?) so thank Canongate books, i think!

and finally I was sent Skintown completely unsolicited by W5 books (Johnathan & Hannah) and Doubleday.  There is no way I would ever buy this for myself, its way out of the old comfort zone but a tiny bit i read is very funny and has whetted the old appetite for more, so who knows eh?  Its written by an actor dont you know?  Ciaran McMenamin was in Primeval which i used to watch until it became so barmy only a brain dead amoeba could follow it.

So there we have it, what larks eh?

additional mini August book haul

Just had to share with you these four books that i have acquired in the last couple of days.

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I was approached by Little Brown/Sceptre books who asked if i’d like a copy of A Boy made of Blocks by Keith Stuart. Well I have seen this all over Twitter so of course I said yes please. Didn’t realise it would be a large hardback (groan) but it does sound an interesting story so I think I may well like this one.

The Victoria Hislop one was sent un-solicited by Headline. I havent read any of her books, theyre just not my type at all plus its another hardback!!!! But, then i read a little and it turns out it has colour pictures and illustrations in, yes I know, isnt that unusual? and it has a built in bookmark too, now thats not something you see every day either is it? Oh and dont forget those endpapers, gorgeous!

The Lucie Whitehouse book, Keep You Close i saw in my local supermarket and had to have it. I am a big fan of her writing so her latest book just had to come home with me, fingers crossed its as good as folk say.

Finally the last book, Stories from other places by Nicholas Shakespeare is one I cheekily asked Vintage books if they had a copy of after I saw it on Simon of Savidge Reads channel the other day. They were kind enough to say yes and sent it to me in less than 24 hours after i requested it! Now that is service. Thanks Will.

Its a series of short stories and a novella and i am in love with the cover too, its so yellow and splendid.

Well thats it for August unless anymore review books arrive as i’m definitely not buying anymore until next month now. (thats in 4 days by the way, tee hee)

What books did you get in August?

Have you read any of these?

Lets have a chat.

 

June book haul – Part 2

Welcome to my second June book haul post. I have been mega lucky this month with books sent to me plus i did indulge myself using a gift voucher from Christmas. (incidentally there are only 25 weeks to next Christmas! Hee hee) Anyway, here’s what i hauled.

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Isnt that just a glorious sight to behold?

Books sent for review

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Smoke by Dan Vyleta – I’ve already begun reading this but it didnt hold my attention as much as i’d hoped but I will persevere in the future.

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The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss – I find this cover so striking, it has to be my cover design of 2106 so far, its amazing and makes me want to pick it without knowing anything about it. Everyone I have seen talking about it on Twitter or You Tube reckon its the business so i’m so excited to read it.

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Bodies of Water by V.H. Leslie – This is another book that has been doing the rounds on You Tube and always being highly spoken of and i can understand why. I’m currently reading it and its wonderful.


Books I splurged on

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We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I’ve already read this as its little more than a pamphlet in some ways but a powerful little book that I really enjoyed. I plan to do a post on sexism as a few points she mentioned really hit home.

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Girls will be girls by Emer O’Toole – Lauren from Reads and Daydreams on You Tube sold this to me in about 5 mins during one of her wonderful videos. I began reading it as soon as it came but i’m not getting on with it really. She makes some interesting points but i cant help feeling its more of an excuse to write an autobiography even though she isnt well enough known for that yet. IMHO anyway.

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How hard can love be? by Holly Bourne – Holly is such a funny writer but her books are normally not my thing at all, however i began reading this on Amazon and its really sweet and very funny so i had to buy it for a bit of light reading.

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I am way late to the party as they say on this one but having read her feminist book I just love her writing style so decided to give this a go and the cover aint half bad either eh?  The only problem I have with this is the font size. Its ridiculously small!  Why oh why publishers are you doing this to me lately? I am considering sending it back and buying it in ebook form to read on my iPad, at least that way i can control the font size.

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Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon – Isnt this another stunnner and its a right chunker to at over 600 pages! what am i thinking? books over 300 usually stump me. However this does sound amazing fun and i do love a biography about strong women. Sadly this is another victim of stupidly small font syndrome (SSFS) but i dont think i can part with this for a boring flat ebook version, i just wanna hug it all the time.

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Sweet Home by Carys Bray – this is a book of short stories which sound so good albeit heartbreaking and sad apparently. I havent read any of her other books but couldnt resist this one. Just look at that cover too its a stunner!

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Slade House by David Mitchell – This has been on my wish list for months and ive been waiting for it to come out in paperback form. The cover is beautiful and has a shiny slightly embossed design but the back is just as gorgeous look! I read a sample on Amazon months back and cant wait to find out more so this is near to the top of my TBR already.

Well thats it folks, what books have you hauled this month?

Where has this year gone? half of it is now over already! madness!

Do I overuse this! I think i do.

 

June book haul – Part 1

I havent done a haul in ages but how could i not when this lot came through my door yesterday!

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Oh the beauty!

2 of them were sent for review and the other 4 were books i just couldnt resist buying.

Books Bought

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I’ve been hearing lots about Sarah Moss from many booktubers so while im waiting for her new book The Tidal Zone to come out I thought i’d get this.

Anna Bennett hasn’t slept in months. Overwhelmed by the needs of her two young boys and opposed on principle to domesticity, Anna is a historian struggling to write without a room of her own. Stranded on a Hebridean island where her husband is researching the puffins, Anna’s work changes when her son finds a baby’s skeleton buried in the garden. As an investigation begins, Anna must confront the island’s past while finding a way to live with the competing demands of the present.

I love the sound of this and cant wait to get reading.

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I first learnt of this from another favourite booktuber, Jean at Jeanbookishthoughts

Go check out her channel, she’s so damn enthusiastic and she sold this to me in seconds

Its about Elizabeth I and faeries! I mean how can you not like that combination?

England flourishes under the hand of Elizabeth I, last of the Tudor monarchs. But a great light cast a shadow. In hidden catacombs beneath London, a second queen holds court: Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, and a dark mirror to the glory above.

Flicking through it feels like an exciting fantasy ride but not too simple a read

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I saw this on Jen Campbell’s and also on Leena’s brilliant channel JustKissMyFrog

Leena’s review left me in no doubt that she adored it and she really should go back to book selling coz she convinced me to rush out and buy a copy.

Its a short story collection and i’m trying to read more short stories right now. Here is a quote from the back cover:

Dance like nobody gives a crap. Drink like you don’t have a family to go home to. Love because what else is the point.

They’re quite small stories some just 4 pages long so i’m really looking forward to this one.

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Check out this cover! Its shiny in parts of the design, can you see at the top left corner? This is a contender for cover of the year and the back is just as cool.

The tree design is also on every new chapter page too. Lushness abounding!

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I’ve been looking at this book for ages and just had to get it.

The babies were born as the clocks struck twelve. The spell had been cast.

I know i’m gonna love this book!

Books sent for review

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This was one I requested from and was kindly sent by Quercus books and MacLehose Press. Again we have another stunner of a cover. Its so shiny and lovely isnt it? *hugs book*

Sophie is haunted by the things she can’t remember – and visions from the past she will never forget.

Sounds suspenseful and exciting, not one to be read in the wee small hours though im guessing.

and last but never least we have

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This was a lovely surprise and is a re-packaging of a book first published ten years ago in a gorgeous new commemorative edition.

I havent read it but I do love Gabrielle’s work as I read ‘The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by her last year. See HERE for review.

Liz isnt even sixteen when she is killed in a hit-and-run accident. It’s not fair. Liz will never get a job, never get married, never have children. She will never fall in love. Or will she?

Loads of folk are saying how wonderful it is so i’m really thrilled to have been sent this by Bloomsbury.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them?

Let me know and we can chat about them or tell me about your latest hauls, im so nosy when it comes to books

 

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