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?
It has been a really excellent month for new books! In June, I had a lot of opportunities to visit bookshops and I was unable to resist.
I was sent copies of Editing Emma, Flight of a Starling, They Both Die at the End and Freshers for review – and added them all to my current TBR because they sound incredible. I adored Adam Silvera’s The History of Me and You and I’m sure his latest will make me cry just as much. I also enjoyed Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen’s Lobsters and Never Evers, so of course I made it my next read – and I loved it to bits. Lucy and Tom can do no wrong and it has paved the way for more UKYA set at university.
I bought Emery Lord’s The Start of Me and You as soon as it was announced as part of this summer’s Zoella Book Club – When We Collided was one of my favourite books of 2016. I also took a trip to Highgate Cemetery with fellow blogger Sophie and we had to pop into Waterstones, too. I picked up When Dimple Met Rishi after being intrigued by all the hype and I’m so glad I did. It’s my favourite book of the year so far! I love Dimple. I love Rishi. I love everything about this book.
During Independent Bookshop Week, I went on a bookshop crawl for work and visited Foyles, Goldsboro Books, London Review Bookshop and Stanfords. I picked up Salt to the Sea because it’s ridiculous that I haven’t read it yet – I loved Out of the Easy and Between Shades of Gray – and Stasiland. I read this years ago and as I’m heading to Berlin this autumn, it seems like the perfect time to brush up on my history.
What books have you bought recently?
I can’t believe it’s July already, I’m so not ready for this! But while I’ve been galavanting off solo to Stockholm, having yummy brunches with friends, and trying not to melt in this heat, I’ve also been adding new books to my shelves!
I went to Manchester over the early Bank Holiday and bought a copy of David Owen’s The Fallen Children. I’ve been on the look out for a teal copy (one of my all-time favourite colours), but in the end, I stuck with my trusty blue. If only we could choose the colours of our books all the time! It’s been described as a YA version of The Midwich Cuckoos and I can’t wait to read it. Knowing I’m onto summery contemporary reads, my lovely housemate Charlie gave me a copy of The Girl’s Guide to Summer, which I put straight onto my summer TBR.
I was also super excited to get Non Pratt’s Truth or Dare in the post, and was sent copies of No Filter, The Spellbook of Lost and Found, A Shiver of Snow and Sky, Love & Gelato, This Careless Life, Piglettes, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe for review.
I put Piglettes and Love & Gelato straight onto my summer TBR and I’m also going to pick up Lauren James’ The Loneliest Girl in the Universe soon – about Romy, who falls in love with J over email despite being light years away, literally – because I’ve heard some fantastic things from my most-trusted friends and bloggers.
I was lucky to attend HQ Stories’ blogger evening and picked up The Light We Lost, Ginny Moon and Sometimes I Lie, all very different books, but all awesome-sounding adult fiction. The Light We Lost is described as ‘Me Before You’ meets ‘One Day‘ – and has a beautiful cover.
Have you read any of these?
Here are the books I’ve added to my shelves recently!
In March, I was lucky to attend Andersen Press’ first ever blogger brunch. We got to hear all about their lovely upcoming books, eat lots of pastries and discover whether we were an optimist, realist or pessimist to celebrate Susin Nielsen’s Optimists Die First (I’m most definitely a pessimist). In our goody bags, we were given Troublemakers, Goodbye Days, The Way Back Home, and Encounters. I was intrigued to hear that Encounters was based on a true story – in 1994, students from a Zimbabwe school claimed to see a UFO land on the school grounds. The Way Back Home and Goodbye Days are both emotional reads, so they’re right up my street.
I was also extremely lucky to receive a whole bunch of surprise review copies from publishers. In my contemporary pile, you’ll find Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index, Stargazing for Beginners, Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined, Noah Can’t Even, Release and I Have No Secrets. I’m excited to delve into all of these, but Release (it’s Patrick Ness, obv.) and Stargazing for Beginners (I’ve heard such amazing things about Jenny McLachlan’s latest) are high up on my TBR.
I also received copies of Doing It!, The Bookshop Girl and Things a Bright Girl Can Do. I’ve already read The Bookshop Girl and absolutely adored it, so check back for a review very soon. I even match the cover! I was also happy to receive Hannah Witton’s debut book and a copy of Things a Bright Girl Can Do – one I heard all about at Andersen Press – about three suffragettes, Evelyn, May and Nell.
And lastly, I took a trip to Foyles and bought It’s All Absolutely Fine – which I’ve wanted for ages, and I follow Ruby on Instagram – and I received All My Friends Are Superheroes for my birthday from my lovely friend Louise, which sounds like an incredibly unique short story!
Have you read any of these books?