When Books Happen…

You know when you just can’t stop stumbling upon good books? Then you can’t stop buying them? Yes, that has happened to me lately and – to make myself feel guilty and just STOP I’m going to do a post of most of them. So, essentially this is my Book Haul post. And trust me, in the last month there has been a momentous number of books come in to my possession. None of these are particularly works of great literature, but they’re all books I’m quite interested in reading or have just wanted to read for a long while. A full list will be at the bottom but I’m going to do a relatively concise overview of just a few that I’ve bought!

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And The Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini

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This is, firstly, an absolutely beautiful book aesthetically. I love the colour and both the blurb and the cover drew me in. I was really looking forward to this as I adored The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. It didn’t disappoint. Having looked on Goodreads I realise I haven’t actually done a review for this so I will endeavour to do one of those in the future. But really, this is amazing. I’d recommend it to anyone – be it a lover of Hosseini’s writing or someone just wanting to broaden their horizons. Honestly I preferred it to A Thousand Splendid Suns as I felt it more accessible to the masses. It was heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. Currently it’s still in most Buy-One-Get-One-Half-Price deals in bookshops (it was still in both Waterstones and WHSmith at least).

Neil Gaiman Haul

So, having realised I’d only read Smoke and Mirrors and The Graveyard Book I decided it high time to invest in some more Gaiman. Consequently I copped it lucky in a few charity shops and second hand bookshops and stumbled upon American GodsStardust and Neverwhere.

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I’m really excited about these. I adore these editions. The covers are just gorgeous. My only minor complaint (and I couldn’t really be fussy about this) is American Gods and Neverwhere are matte covers and slightly embossed and Stardust is glossy and smooth. But alas, I cannot complain about this given that I got the three for under £5 and I cannot wait to dig in! If anyone can suggest where to start, give me a heads up!

The Second Empress – Michelle Moran

This book I’m quite dubious about. I picked it up in The Works 6 books for £10 offer as I did with number of these books. I love her writings set in Egypt – Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen were just amazing books that I absolutely devoured BUT Madame Tussaud was not nearly as beautiful or as rich as those set in Egypt were (maybe because of the period they were set in, there wasn’t room for said richness or beauty). So I’ve high hopes for this book based on prior writing, I hope she doesn’t disappoint!

Also, on an aesthetic note, how BEAUTIFUL is this cover?! All of her covers in this style are beautiful but I just adore this one.

The Little Coffee Shop in Kabul – Deborah Rodriguez

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This book was actually recommended to me by a friends mum and, having seen a lot of it in various bookshops, when I found it second hand for under £1 I just had to see what the fuss was about. It seems very chick-lit-y which is the reasoning behind why I didn’t buy it new but, having heard only good things about it, I’m prepared to be wowed. The cover is quite cute, I have to admit, and the likening of it to The Kite Runner is (I’m imagining) only because of geography. So yes, looking forward to this.

The Salem Witch Society & The Devil’s Revenge – K. N. Shields

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I picked up The Salem Witch Society in The Works as a new shop has opened up in place of an old one and they had a relatively good in-store selection. This book intrigued me. Witchcraft? Murder? Mystery? Completely what I was in the mood for, although not my usual cup of tea! Having picked it up in a bargain basement, I wasn’t holding out much hope but oh my god. Literally it was the best book I’d read this year, so naturally when I found out there was a sequel I had to have it (and could I find it anywhere, no!). So I’ve read the first, and I am currently reading the second and I’m not disappointed yet! Reviews can be found on goodreads (and will be linked at the bottom of the post). 

I cannot recommend these books highly enough if you like crime and/or something a little more occult!

The House of Eliott – Jean Marsh

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Finding out this was a book has made my Summer. I won’t lie. I watched the TV show a few years ago from start to finish because I absolutely love Stella Gonet (who plays Bea for those of you who have never seen it) and it’s just become my ultimate comfort TV. So, in finding this book for 50p in a charity shop my heart stopped – I just had to have it. I cannot wait to read it and find out more about Bea and Evie!

Pure – Andrew Miller

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This book was purely an impulse buy, I can’t lie. I just adored the cover and the feel of the book in my hands. I have no idea what it’s about and I can’t care because it just looks so pretty. Though, reading goodreads and the general synopsis of it, it sounds good so I might read this sooner rather than later.

A Beginners Guide to Changing the World – Isabel Losada

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Again, this was a book judged by the cover. It just looked so lovely and actually, reading the synopsis it sounds like the sort of fluffy book I’d enjoy reading quite a lot. Having brushed over reviews on Goodreads it seems that it has a generally positive view although, I didn’t actually realise it was a biography! I’m even more excited for it now!

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules – Catharina Ingelman Sundburg

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This book is cute. It’s the only real way to describe it. It’s funny and cute. It was an impulse buy when I bought And the Mountains Echoed in Waterstones and I was really excited about it. It didn’t quite live up to expectation but it was still funny – though it could have been shorter. At any rate, I enjoyed it though it wasn’t the typical book I would read. I think it would be a good holiday read for some people!

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

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I picked this up in a charity shop after reading The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules – I just adore this cover art style that the Swedish humour translations have. It’s a very niche market, granted, but I love the block colour and the black and white – I just think it looks beautiful. I’d been wanting to pick this book up for a while, having had a lot of friends read it, so I hope it doesn’t disappoint!

In addition to those pictured above I have quite a haul of other paperbacks. Those with hyperlinks have already been read and reviewed on goodreads

The Camelot Code – Sam Christer
The Stonehenge Legacy – Sam Christer
One Day – David Nichols
Penguins Stopped Play – Harry Thompson
Black Roses – Jane Thynne
We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Schriver
The Crossing Places – Elly Griffiths
The Janus Stone – Elly Griffiths
Salvation of a Saint – Keigo Higashino
Time’s Legacy – Barbara Erskine
River of Destiny – Barbara Erskine
Whispers in the Sand – Barbara Erskine
The White Mare – Jules Watson
Hothouse Flower – Lucinda Riley
The House at Riverton – Kate Morton
The Three Musketeers – Alexander Dumas
The Hidden Child – Camilla Lackberg
The Drowning – Camilla Lackberg
The White Queen – Philippa Gregory
The Lady of the Rivers – Philippa Gregory
Black Sheep – C. J. Lyons
Sealed Letter – Emma Donoghue

And even then I think there are some I’ve forgotten! Sheesh! I need to stop. Really need to stop. So, that’s my July haul – and it really has been a haul – I’m planning to post a second haul type post talking about my pretty books (I’ve treated myself to a couple of Penguin Clothbound Classics and also a few Penguin Threads and I think as they’re so utterly gorgeous they deserve posts of their own!) Reviews will be posted later!

Finally, Reviews!
The Salem Witch Society seems to be the only one of the above books I’ve read that I’ve reviewed. Oops. If anyone is interested I can rectify that!

If you’ve made it through this – CONGRATULATIONS! Have a cookie (or just some satisfaction of sitting through something mindnumbingly boring)

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