Thursday, 22 January 2015

Winter Book Haul

Winter is the perfect time to cosy up with a good book. At the moment 100% of my reading time is spent on History books for uni, but that hasn't stopped me from acquiring a few others and clinging on to my romantic notions of winter reading.

Most of these were Christmas presents, but I'm far too late for the 'Christmas Book Haul' club, so I've thrown in one of my own purchases for good measure. Writing this post a few weeks after Christmas also brings all the initial excitement back, and reminds me of the gems I've got waiting for me in my 'to read pile'. The perfect way to battle those January blues.

From top to bottom we have:

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I'm pretty ashamed to admit that I've never read this, but I do have my excuses! It's just so tiny, and because it's one of those books that's on school reading lists, it's SO expensive. Well it's £7.99 ish, which isn't going to break that bank, but I know i'll read it really quickly. Instead it's been on my charity shop list, and every time I pop inside one, I always check to see if it's there. My Mum gave me this beautiful edition published by penguin (ISBN: 0241952484) and now my hunting efforts can be turned to something else, suggestions welcome!

Harry's Last Stand by Harry Leslie Smith
I'm a big fan of Leena form 'Just Kiss My Frog'on youtube, and she happens to be the publicist for this book. Since she introduced it I've started following Harry on twitter (@Harryslaststand)and I've read some his guardian articles. Harry is a 91 year old RAF veteran and activists, he's written a book on ' how the world [his] generation built is falling down, and what we can do to save it'. Reviews for this have been amazing, and I'm really excited to read it.

The World According to Bob by James Bowen
This is the follow on toA Street Cat Called Bob. James Bowen describes how his adoption of Bob, or Bob's adoption of him, helped him turn around his life. James Bowen had been a homeless drug addict, who was trying to improve his fortunes by selling the Big Issue. Looking after Bob gave him a real reason to improve his condition, and Bob supported him along the way. The first book was great, it was refreshingly honest and this one continues to tell the story of their life together.

Ann Veronica by H. G. Wells
I've already mentioned this book hereso I wont say too much, but I need to express my love for it's cover again! (follow the link for pictures) I'm really keen to read some H. G. Well and I have War of the Worlds waiting for me on my kindle, but I want to read some of his lesser know, non-science fiction work too. The blurb for this really caught my attention, Ann is set to be a strong female character, and i'm all for ahead of its time fiction.

All That is Solid Melts into Air by Darragh McKeon
Not to be mistaken for the 1980's academic text by Marshall Berman with the same title, or an extract from the communist manifesto. However it is about the collapse of the Soviet Union, so a text that discussed destruction caused by modernisation, and the manifesto that provided the Soviet Union's initial legitimacy seem to be pretty fitting. I love historic fiction and I've studied the Soviet Union in the past this could be a really good read for me, i'll let you know!

(I promise that this wasn't the reason I wanted to read this, but the dust jacket has a really cool misty effect with the text written on, and the image is printed on to the cover below. It gives a really cool smoky syle, 'solid melting' effect.)

In the Light of What We Knowby Zia Haider Rahman
This one also has a really nice cover, with the map like pattern that you can see in the text covering the entire hard cover below the dust jacket. More importantly, the goodreads summarydoes a pretty good job of selling it to me. It's mainly set during the war in Afghanistan, at the start of this century, and the 2007-8 financial crisis.I don't know too much more as I didn't want to spoil the plot for myself, but it has an interesting setting and good reviews.

Have you read any of these books and if so, what did you think? Let me know what's on your winter to read list too, I'm always on the lookout for good books to add to mine. :)


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