Tuesday, 27 August 2013

New Books!


I've not been buying books at all the last couple of months but I sure am making up for it now.  In the past week, I have acquired ten new books, and I regret nothing!  Lots of them come from charity shops and the ones that didn't were bought for me by my husband.  In addition to these, I also still need to buy Les Miserables, which I'll be reading at the same time as Jennifer from The Relentless Reader.  From top to bottom (links go to goodreads):

  • 10 Billion by Stephen Emmott - I knew I wanted a copy of this one as soon as I saw it.  It's a short book full of graphs, photos and pieces of text about what will happen once the human population reaches the size of ten billion.  I wanted this one so much I actually paid full price for it, new, and that hardly ever happens!  If you're in a bookshop and you see this one, it is well worth at least flicking through.
  • Out of Africa by Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen - This is my classics club spin book, so I had to buy a copy.  I'm excited about reading this, I got lucky and spun a book from my 'books I can't wait to read' section.  I got a second-hand old style penguin from Abe Books.
  • Shirley by Charlotte Bronte - Charlotte Bronte is my favourite author, ever, but I still haven't read all of her books and that needs to change.  This is from a charity shop, another old Penguin edition.
  • The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter - I've been taking a Canvas Network course on fairy tales over the summer (which has been awesome) and it's got me interested in fairy tale retellings.  I've not read any Angela Carter before, but I know they are darker than the originals.  This one is also from the charity shop.


I am in love with the Penguin orange spine range of non-fiction books, I could read all of them.  They were three for two in the book shop, so my husband treated me to three of my choice.  It was extremely difficult to pick.
  • The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett - This one looks thought provoking. It's subtitled 'why equality is better for everyone' and looks at the difference between equal and unequal societies in things like mental health, teenage pregnancy, violence and illiteracy.  
  • Connectome by Sebastian Seung - I am so excited for this one.  I studied neuroscience at university so this title about how the wiring of the brain could be a factor in our emotions, memories and mental health definitely appeals.  My neuroscience knowledge is out of date now, so hopefully this will be a good refresher.
  • Justice by Michael J. Sandel - I got this one because my husband was super keen to read it, although I am interested too.  It's about moral and ethical issues like gay marriage, euthanasia and abortion.
And finally, I have also acquired:
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller -  I read a lot of books from the library and keep a list of the library books I've read that I would like to own.  Every month, I let myself buy one of those books.  The Song of Achilles was probably my favourite book of 2012 (my review), so I needed to get my own copy.  This copy is second hand, also from Abe Books
  • Villette by Charlotte Bronte (the slim red hardback).  The reason Charlotte Bronte is my favourite author is because Villette is the best book I have ever, ever read.  I read it on my kindle, and I haven't been able to find a copy I liked enough to buy.  So I was lucky to stumble upon this old copy in a charity shop.
  • The Book of the Thousand and One Nights by Sir Richard Burton - Another old book.  I am well on my way to starting a collection of Arabian Nights books, I already have a 19th century version and a fancy Penguin one.  But the Richard Burton one is by far the best (in my opinion), and I don't own that version yet.  This copy was from a charity shop and is full of wonderful illustrations:


I don't know which book to start with!  I also have about ten books checked out from the library, so I can spend the last week and a bit of my holiday swimming in books.

Have you read any of these titles?  If so, what did you think?

26 comments:

  1. I loved Villette. I definitely need to read Shirley.

    I can't resist a charity book sale.

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    1. Me either, luckily the charity shops around here always have a good selection of titles.

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  2. Aren't charity shops the best? I love browsing old, pre-loved books. Interesting what you say about Villette. I'll have to give it a try.

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    1. I do too, especially when I'm in the mood to buy classics. As much as I love all the Penguin clothbounds, I love a pre-loved classic more.

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  3. I haven't read any of these books! But I would really like to read The Song of Achilles. I also have Shirley and Villette on my Classics Club list. Happy reading!

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    1. Yes, you need to read Song of Achilles, it is amazing!

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  4. First of all, this is so colour-coordinated :) How is Villette so slim? My paperpack copy looks twice the size of this one... Maybe it has very thin pages and/or small print.
    I think I need to get to reading The Song of Achilles, too - it sounds like such an interesting read.
    Oh and the last book - looks like a real gem.

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    1. I know, this post was bought to you by the colour orange!
      I don't know how Villette is so slim, I checked though and it isn't abridged but it does have thin paper.
      I love Song of Achilles, you should read it :)

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  5. What a wonderful selection of books. The Bloody Chamber was life-changing - in a good way - for me, and the Song f Achilles is one of the best books I've read in the last few years.

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    1. That makes me keener to read The Bloody Chamber, it's high up on my TBR.

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  6. Very nice collection! I hope you enjoy all of them. It is always nice to buy some new books especially when you did not buy some for quite a while.

    Kind regards.

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  7. How great you bought so many books and of course, no regret!!

    I bought Shirley last year and haven't read it yet... Maybe later on we could organise another read-along which I hope goes better than our first one :)

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    1. I'm looking forward to Shirley, although I've heard it's not as good as Villette or Jane Eyre. It would be great to read it together.

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  8. I am intrigued by your enthusiasm for Villette. I started reading it last year, I think, and didn't finish it as it wasn't totally grabbing me. You think I should persist? Or would it have grabbed me by 100 pages in if it was going to?

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    1. I personally was grabbed in 100 pages and the style doesn't change dramatically. I liked the secretive nature of the narrator, which I picked up fairly quickly. There's much more going on than initially seems. However, I think if you didn't enjoy it after 100 pages, it might just not be a book for you.

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  9. I'm just going to come out and say it: I did not love Villette. I did not hate it or anything, I was just kind of meh because Lucy herself is kind of meh. Also, for some reason that I can't figure out, I thought that it was supposed to be like Jane Eyre but darker, when it is in fact the opposite, so that probably didn't help. But I'll save my musings for the 2 months-overdue blog post. In other news, I want The Song of Achilles SO BAD. Excited to see what you think!

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    1. We had the opposite reactions, I much prefer Lucy to Jane Eyre. I think it's because Lucy is so secretive and you have to really work to find out how she is feeling, I like that.

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  10. So many great books! I am also in love with fairy tales and retellings. I hope you like The Bloody Chamber!

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  11. Hooooooray for new books! The Song of Achilles...sigh. Unbelievably good :D

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  12. I'll be interested to read your thoughts on the Angela Carter. I have this book from my Women's Studies days during my postgrad uni time...

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  13. Beautiful, beautiful stacks! I want to get involved with the Classics Club, next time they do a "spin". How often does that occur? I've got an entire bookshelf dedicated to classics -- more than enough to make a nice, big list from which a title may be spun.

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