Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Let's Talk Books (or, a Book Haul)

As you may, or may not know, I did my degree in English, and currently work in a bookshop. It is also my dream to some day work in publishing. In other words, I love books. In fact, I am a full-blown bibliophile. Due to the very happy combination of being in full-time employment (i.e. being paid regularly) and getting a rather nice 50% off books at Waterstones (where I work), I've lately made "some" (read: embarrassingly many) additions into my bookshelves — so I thought I'd say a few words (or more) about my newest purchases! 

So, the first four are...

The Sleeper and The Spindle by Neil Gaiman (one of my all-time favourite authors), which is a retelling-of-sorts of Sleeping Beauty. It's absolutely gorgeous, and the story did not disappoint either.
Aesop's Illustrated Fables, which is actually something I bought for my boyfriend who really wanted it. I've never actually read Aesop's Fables — my boyfriend was shocked.
The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. I admit I was lured in purely by the prettiness of the book and the fact that this was the last signed edition at the shop. It features so many lovely recipes, but I must admit that I'll probably pass on making the bone broths.
Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes. The craft fever is real, and the crafts section at work does nothing to help, bursting as it is with numerous inspiring tomes full of crafty creations. I want to get back to sewing, but have no patterns so I felt like this was a nice start. Plus, I can see myself making and wearing every single one of the garments in the book. Think very wearable, customisable and vintage inspired.

The Sleeper and the Spindle has been on my wishlist since it was released, and seriously, just look at how pretty it is! Chris Riddell is one of my favourite illustrators, and he definitely did not disappoint with this one either.

I swear I don't just read teen fiction and fairy tales — somehow most things I picked just happened to be in that section. Can you also spot the colour scheme? I always tell myself I won't judge a book by its cover, by I seem to be invariably most attracted to books with blue covers. Fancy that! But on to the books themselves.

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, which I finally picked up! I have no idea why I hadn't read him before —I loved it and finished it so quickly!
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is, I am told, a classic and I liked the blurb so I picked it up. It is also shelved in adult fiction, but I preferred the teen cover.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which I also got in the teen cover, as I preferred it to the adult one. It's been on my reading list since early this year, when my friend (who did her dissertation on it) told me that I would love it. I have now finally started it, and I do indeed very much enjoy it. I'm not far enough in to say whether I love it yet, but I have high hopes.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness was an impulse purchase based on the cover (and later, a recommendation from a colleague) and the fact that so many people seem obsessed with Patrick Ness that I just had to give him a try. After about 24 hours, including one night of sleep and a full day of work, I'm about 200 pages in. It's quick, it's good and I can definitely see why people like it. Easy to read and keep up with, which is something I enjoy for commuting reads.
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson is a review copy from work, which I picked up based on a colleague's recommendation. It's about a transgender teen, and that's all I know for now. Really looking forward to picking this up!
And finally, this gorgeous copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Tove Jansson (Moomins!). I love Alice in Wonderland, and I love love love Tove Jansson's illustrations. Certainly very different from the traditional illustrations that people associate with Lewis's work, but perhaps that's the charm for me. I absolutely had to get this.

Just look at it!

In addition to buying books, I've also got a few titles as reading copies through work, as we get a lot of proof copies sent to us and can request review copies of selected titles (I actually got another two today, but I'll share them next time - when I've hopefully also read them!).

These ones are proof copies, so their actual covers are a little prettier. Here's what I took home!

Lorali by Laura Dockrill, which teen fiction and tells a story of a mermaid washed ashore. I've saw a couple of book bloggers talking about this when it came out and was intrigued. I doubt it'll be mindblowing but certainly something to entertain me during the commute.
The Next Together by Lauren James has also got some attention and it is, like Lorali, teen fiction. The two main characters are lare destined to die and be reborn, falling love each time. The blurb on Goodreads sounds interesting, so I'm looking forward to picking this up! The last one,
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman, wasn't a title I'd heard of before, but again, sounded intriguing. The book is set in 1930s, and its main character, Gretchen, is close to Hitler during her childhood, and as she grows up and meets a Jewish reporter (and "unexpectedly" finds herself attracted to him), she starts to question what she's been taught all her life.

Congratulations if you made it this far! I know this was a rather lengthy post, but I imagine the list will be a little shorter next month. Or so I hope (or my bank balance will cry, even with 50% off).

 Do let me know if you've read any of the books I've picked up, are planning to or if you have any recommendations!

PS. While I know that Amazon is super tempting with its low prices, if you can, please support your local bookshops (be it chain or independent), charity shops and second hand bookshops whenever you can! Bookshops are a dying breed, and the longer I work in one, the more I appreciate the fact that we still have them on our high streets. Also, show some love for your local library!

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