Monday, 1 September 2014

Summer Book Haul

As summer comes to a close, September and History reading lists taller than me begin to loom. My impulsive fiction purchasing consequently begins to dwindle. This is probably a dream come true for my bank account, but its a sad sad day for my friendly bookshelf, that's always ready to give new books a home. 

But lets not get to mournful, this post is going to celebrate my blissful summer of carefree book buying and reading.

I've brought a few books, but not all have been read, (there's still fiction escapism waiting for me on the flip side!) and I've read others that I've borrowed, or already owned. SO, i'll start with a haul, give some thoughts for those I've read (I'll review some of my favorites separately over then next few weeks, and when I do, i'll edit this post to link you to the posts), and in a follow up post i'll do a similar thing for all my other summer reads - we wouldn't want them to feel left out.

My Birthday was in April and my mum kindly gave me some book vouchers, I spent the last term of Uni looking for 'bookspiration', and kicked off my summer of spending.

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
I cannot recommend this book enough and my copy is constantly on loan. I'll definitely post a full review, but in the meantime, Maus is a graphic novel that tells the true story of the author's farther's Holocaust experience. The illustrations are amazing, the animal metaphors are subtle yet powerful and the brutally honest presentation of the authors relationship with his farther adds an extra dimension. Spiegelaman regularly breaks the third wall and Maus is painfully real.
Full review here.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent 
I confess that I paid more to get the beautiful hardback copy with the black page edges, but you'll struggle to convince me that it wasn't worth it. I'd heard great thinks about Burial Rites, so it wasn't an entirely shallow purchase, and it didn't disappoint me. It was beautifully written and follows the story of Agnes Magnanúsdóttir, the last women to be condemned to death in Iceland. 

I also donated some of my old books to charity shops, but didn't return home empty handed. I love browsing in the Oxfam Books and Music shops, everything's laid out in categories its basically a fully fledged bookshop, its super easy to browse, and the prices are amazing.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 
Been meaning to read it, found it, read it, really liked it. It's all so quotable, Oscar Wilde is a genius.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
I know this is a classic, but my motivation to read this didn't come from a 'high brow literature source'. I wandered through Captain Nemo's submarine when I was in Disneyland, released it was in no way related to finding Nemo (other than the whole ocean thing), and thought I better educate myself. Fast forward a few weeks, and I found this gem in the charity shop, you could almost call it fate.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding   
This has been on my to read list for ages. My mum found an old copy at a second hand book stool at a fair and picked it up for me. I still haven't read it, but I'm one step closer.

Coming Up For Air by George Orwell 
I'm a massive fan of George Orwell, 1984 and Animal Farm are still my favorites, but this one is worth a read. Not much happens, but that doesn't make it bad. It's a thought provoking book, and Orwell gives you time to think as you read.

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee 

This has been one of my all time favorite books since I first read it for my GCSE English Literature exam. My school lent me the book, but I had to give it back :( I've been meaning to buy myself a copy ever since and four years later, I've finally done it! I spent ages looking at all the different editions, and in the end I settled for this one.

I've also been spending time in independent bookshops. I've posted about all of these before, but I'll give them a quick mention.

Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss
Yes, I picked it because it looked pretty. Also, it's historic fiction, and I really like historic fiction. I'd recommend this book, but I have mixed feelings about it, and I'm definitely going to write a longer review.

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift 
My boyfriend brought this for me to get my Penguin English Library collection started. It was one of the few that I didn't already own in a different edition, or as a free eBook. If I enjoy the eBooks I'll buy nice physical copies, but in the meantime I wanted to get something I didn't already own.

More Than This by Patrick Ness
Just spend a few moments appreciating the amazing cover. Then go and read it. I love Patrick Ness,
he's one of my all time favorite authors, and he's only gone an written another cracking book.

A post mentioning the other books I've read this summer will be up soon, and I'll gradually start posting longer reviews too.  I'd love to know your opinions of any of the books I've mentioned, or let me know about any books you've particularly enjoyed reading this summer. 
You can also follow what I'm reading on my Goodreads page 


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