In January, I received some surprise review copies: White Rabbit, Red Wolf, Far From the Tree (on my current TBR!), Tender, and Not If I Save You First. I also received Secrets of a Teenage Heiress – such a fun young teen novel (with a sausage dog!), see my review here. Also through my letterbox, I got Neal Shusterman’s newest YA, Scythe – set in a world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery – and A Thousand Perfect Notes, a contemporary novel written by popular blogger Cait @ Paper Fury.
My (now-ex!) housemate Charlie moved out at the end of the month and had to sadly cull a lot of her books… she wanted them to go to a good home, so I picked out Movie Night, The Fire Sermon and Truly, Wildly, Deeply. I’m especially looking forward to Jenny McLachlan’s – I’m loving her books lately.
Because a few US novels had been on my wishlist for a while, I also treated myself. I bought Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not because I adored They Both Die at the End and History is All You Left Me. And I’d seen a lot of buzz about Eliza and Her Monsters, so ordered it at the same time. I absolutely adored it – it’s one of my favourite books of the year so far, a mix of Fangirl and Radio Silence. From work, I took home Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow. I’m reading it now and enjoying it so much that I don’t want it to end – I want the sequel already. I haven’t read a middle grade story for a while, so thank you to everyone who told me about it! ☂ It’s such a cosy story, reminiscent of Harry Potter.
Have you read any of these books?
Here are the lovely books I added to my shelves in December!
For Christmas, I was super lucky to get the Harry Potter illustrated books. I’ve wanted them ever since I worked at Bloomsbury Children’s before they were published, so as soon as Foyles announced they were selling them for half price, I quickly added them to my list. I’ll definitely be starting a Harry Potter re-read this year, accompanied by Jim Kay’s beautiful illustrations. My lovely friend Cathy also bought me a copy of Craig Taylor’s Londoners, which I read and loved more than five years ago. I read the eBook, so I’m really looking forward to picking it up again – it’s even more relevant now.
I also received a bunch of surprise review copies: Orphan Monster Spy, The Astonishing Colour of After, The Unknowns, The Truth and Lies of Ella Black, Bad Girls with Perfect Faces, The Nowhere Girls, Contagion, and Not Yet Dark. Most of these books are completely new to me and I am most intrigued by Orphan Monster Spy – a Jewish girl-turned-spy must infiltrate an elite Nazi boarding school – and An Astonishing Colour of After – Leigh Chen Sanders is sixteen when her mother dies by suicide, leaving only a scribbled note, and she finds herself travelling to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time.
In December, I also picked up Nevermore: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, The State of Grace, Seven Days of You, Songs About Us, Out of Heart, Spellbook of Lost and Found, It Only Happens in the Movies, and Moonrise. I recently raced through Sarah Crossan’s Moonrise, a poignant novel written in poetry from the point of view of a young boy whose brother is on death row, and Holly Bourne’s It Only Happens in the Movies was my first book of 2018. I started off 2017 reading ...And I Happy New Year? so it seemed fitting! I’ve also heard absolutely amazing things about Nevermore, which is said to be fans of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials, so I’d love to pick that up soon, too.
Have you read any of these books?
At the beginning of October, I went to the launch of Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage (I blogged about it here), involving lots of Gyptian festivities, and picked up a beautiful stamped copy of the book at midnight. After listening to the original trilogy on audiobook, I also pre-ordered the newest, read by Michael Sheen. Once I’d finished these, I needed more, so I bought Lyra’s Oxford, which is a fun but I wouldn’t say essential addition to the series.
I’ve really been loving audiobooks over the past six months, so I bought Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt, the poignant and hilarious memoir of a junior doctor – and one of my favourite books of the year.
Nearly six years after The Fault in Our Stars was published, I bought John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down and, after hearing lots about her poetry, a copy of Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers. I didn’t expect to love Turtles as much as TFiOS, but I did enjoy it a lot.
Thanks to lovely publishers, I also received some review copies in the post: Nick Lake’s, Satellite, Sara Barnard’s Goodbye, Perfect, Connie Glynn’s Undercover Princess, Alex Bertie’s Trans Mission and Robin Benway’s Far From The Tree. I’m reading Goodbye, Perfect now and throughly enjoying it – Sara really knows how to write teenagers!
Lastly, I attended my first Lush Book Club and got to hang out with lots of bookish people, eating cupcakes and chatting about the lovely Lush bath bombs we were given. It was for Rowan Coleman’s The Summer of Impossible Things – about sisters, secrets and time travel – and I’m really looking forward to it, and to more Lush Book Clubs next year.
It’s finaaaally October. I really wish I was born in October because it’s the best month of the year – it is starting to get chilly, but not too cold; the autumn colours are so pretty; and we get to celebrate the run-up to Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas. But first, here are the books I added to my bookshelves in September.
I took a trip to Phlox Books with my bookish friends Louise and Charlie. Phlox a lovely new indie bookshop in Leytonstone, east London where I picked up Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island. I’ve still yet to read a Bryson – and I’d love to get into more non-fiction/travel writing – so this seemed like an excellent choice.
We’ve just launched a book club at work (#BABookClub) and the first pick was Exit West, a surprising read for me as I’m usually intimidated by literary fiction. I really enjoyed it and I’m excited to see what we’re reading next (I voted for The Fallen Children). I also worked a little with Bloomsbury and so they kindly sent me a copy of the eerily beautiful The Silent Companions, which went straight onto my Halloween TBR (post to come soon!).
I was also sent a few surprise review copies from publishers. I received E Lockhart’s Genuine Fraud and Beth Garrod’s Truly Madly Awkward. I’m looking forward to delving into these two contemporary reads – I enjoyed both We Were Liars and Super Awkward. A copy of This Book Will (Help You) Change the World (politics and activism for young people), Everless (Red Queen meets Downtown Abbey,) and Zero Repeat Forever (The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast) also turned up through my letterbox.
I love book-shopping and in July and August, I visited four bookshops. I walked with a friend through Edinburgh’s beautiful streets to browse the shelves at Golden Hare Books. I’d love to get back into adult fiction and so I bought a short novel that I’ve heard so much about, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian. It’s described as a ‘fraught, disturbing and beautiful’ story set in modern day South Korea.
I went on an adventure to see Lucy and we visited three bookshops in Bath, where I bought Lobsters (one of my favourite books that I only owned a proof of), How to Be Danish (because I’m obsessed with all things Scandi), and Becoming Betty (written by Eleanor Wood, who I met at Chris Russell’s launch and who was absolutely lovely). Lucy also kindly gave me a copy of Will Hill’s After the Fire. (See Lucy’s book haul here). I adore Bath and have previously blogged about my visits to Toppings & Co. and Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.
I was also sent a bunch of books for review. I’m particularly excited to read Here We Are Now, all about music, family and friendship, and The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night, because I’ve been thinking about giving short stories another go. Jen Campbell’s new book is described as a collection of ‘twelve haunting stories’. I was also sent Another Place, Everybody Hurts, Alex Approximately, Ringer(although I still need to pick up Replica), The Treatment and a sampler of Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns. It’ll be a busy autumn!
And lastly, my lovely housemate Charlie gave me a copy of A Change is Gonna Come, which I’ve heard nothing but excellent things about. I can’t wait to delve into this anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers.
Are any of these books on your TBR or wishlist?