2017 Book Haul #5

It’s been a short while since my last book haul but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been acquiring books; in fact I’ve amassed quite the stack since Book Haul #4. However I’ve been trying to be good about buying books since I’m going on holiday and will need to save my pennies for then. As I type this I sit in departures at Heathrow, about to fly to said holiday in DC and New York. I’m bound to hit up The Strand while I’m there so expect a, hopefully short, Book Haul #6 in the not too distant future! (ETA: Future Emma here to say that Past Emma was perceptive – I bought 3 books, a t-shirt and a book tote.) But for now let’s look back at the books I’ve acquired since my last haul.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
After hearing quite a few people talking about how great this was, I ended up buying the audiobook with my monthly Audible credit. I would HIGHLY recommend the audiobook; it’s read by teenage Voldemort aka Christopher Coulson, and it’s SO MUCH FUN, incredibly engaging, laugh-out-loud funny, and so heart-warming. However, once the physical book was released in the UK, I had to pick up a hard copy for my collection.

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
I was SO excited when I got an e-ARC of this via NetGalley because it was a highly anticipated book for me. I inhaled the book, loved it, flailed about it, and then got super excited when Matt Haig was coming to Liverpool as part of the release tour. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the talk, but I did manage to get Waterstones to set a signed copy aside for me on release day, and I’m so glad I have this book for my own because I adored it and will do many re-reads of it I’m sure.

Acts of Love by Talulah Riley
Honestly? Complete cover-buy. I am TRASH for anything remotely Art Deco-y and this cover struck me as particularly Gatsby-esque. Add onto the fact that it includes teal (my favourite colour) and has foiling and I was already keen to pick this up, knowing nothing else about the story. I’ve heard mixed reviews of it since but haven’t got to it yet so I’ll reserve judgement until I do. In the meantime though, look how pwetty it is!

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
When Fairyloot announced their July theme as ‘Tricksters’, I couldn’t pass it up. As a rule, I’m wary of subscription boxes because I think they’re horrendously over-priced for the products that you get – by the law of averages, there’s bound to be at least one product in them that you’re not really going to find a use for. (For me, that’s usually creams or make-up because I have super sensitive skin.) However, Fairyloot are based in the UK (so minimises the additional delivery expenses), are super nice on Twitter, and well and truly hooked me with their theme announcement. This book was the product of that ‘treat yo self’ mantra, but I can’t say I regret it because the synopsis has me intrigued.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Although I would definitely recommend the audiobook version of this over the physical version, I’ve been slowly collecting memoirs to try to diversify my very fiction-heavy book collection. I listened to this one on audiobook thanks to my local library’s Overdrive lending system, and enjoyed it so much so that I wanted a physical copy, especially since the poetry section was a little confusing to separate on audio.

Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer
I failed NaNoWriMo last year, even though I had huge enthusiasm for my idea and a vague semblance of a plot for the characters I’d created. I realised that what I lacked was the planning and plotting to just be able to word vomit come 1st November, and have it be useful and coherent word vomit that actually took my story somewhere. I heard via gingerreadslainey’s writing vlogs that this book is very useful for writers hoping to create fantastical worlds, so I’ll definitely be taking a look prior to NaNo this year.

Doing It!: Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton
I watch Hannah Witton’s YouTube videos and find them amusing, so I decided to support her by buying her book. I might be a tad older than the immediate intended target audience but hopefully it will still be a fun read and I’ll learn something I didn’t know!

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
I’ve heard nothing but buzz about this and I liked Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which I had to read for one of my courses at university, so I thought I would look into his newest release. This one intrigued me because it sounds so timely and hopefully will give an interesting perspective on the immigrant experience, and perhaps the migrant crisis affecting parts of Europe, as well as a magical realism angle because I hear doors appear and people go through them in the hopes of ‘exiting west’.

Moonlocket by Peter Bunzl
This is the second book in a series. I haven’t read the first book yet. But would you get a load of that cover? Isn’t that plenty reason enough for me to buy it when it was on a 3 paperbacks for £10 offer on Amazon? I think so!

Because You Love To Hate Me edited by Ameriie
Some of my favourite YA fantasy authors are included in this short-story collection so, already, I was excited about it – and then quite a few of the Booktubers I watch were announced as involved so it pushed it up my to-buy list. To cap it all off, it’s about villains… I mean, YES.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
This was another paperback that was on a 3 for £10 offer that was just too good to pass up. I’ve heard so many brilliant reviews of this book and I don’t read enough books like this – my reading is shockingly limited to YA fantasy as of late – so I thought I’d take a chance on something that has such buzz surrounding it. It won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction too so I mean… that’s good pedigree.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
I don’t read YA contemporaries very often, but when I do it’s only because they’ve come highly recommended. I haven’t seen a negative review of this book yet and I’m not likely to give it one either as I’ve already read it and thought it was brilliant – Rishi is so squishy I just want to hug him. I read this through an eARC kindly provided by the publisher but I wanted to purchase a physical copy too for my collection.

Kong: Skull Island [Novelisation] by Tim Lebbon
I’ve seen the film, I love the film, I don’t care if that’s questionable, I’m easily pleased when it comes to giving Tom Hiddleston a role as an ex-SAS tracker who uses a katana to slice through some flying pterodactyl-like beasties. The novelisation was fine too, it’s a film novelisation so I don’t expect brilliant writing or amazing world-building, and it was (you guessed it) on that 3 paperbacks for £10 offer so I couldn’t pass it up.

To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World by Arthur L. Herman
My aforementioned NaNoWriMo project involves ships, as in old-fashioned galleons, so I thought it was probably good to get a feel for how the British Navy used to operate in centuries gone by. I haven’t touched this book yet, nor does it look particularly exciting, but I’m hoping it will be an accessible and informative read.

Temeraire by Naomi Novik
Once again, I’m going to mention that NaNoWriMo project – I’m considered now changing it from a full-on fantasy world to an alternate history, set somewhere in the 1700 or 1800s (not sure which yet), so I’ve been trying to build up a small collection of fantasy books set around the Georgian/Regency or Victorian eras, to see how people go about pitching it in terms of tone. This is one of those – it’s about the Napoleonic Wars, except dragons are used in aerial warfare. Um, yes please!

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
Much like the previous book here, Marie Brennan’s story features dragons, so it was pretty much an auto-buy. This one has more of a Victorian-era feel, as the main character Isabella aka Lady Trent, is a naturalist who is fascinated by all manner of dragon-like creatures, so she ventures on expeditions to sketch and study their various species to better understand them.

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan
This is the second book in the Lady Trent series – I ordered this when I was only halfway through the first so I think that says something about how sure I was that I’d like the series.

The Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
I ordered this at the same time as ordering the second book. I have no regrets.

The Secret History [25th Anniversary Edition] by Donna Tartt
The Secret History remains one of my favourite books, but I’ve read it a few times and my copy of it was already a used copy when I bought it. Needless to say that mass market paperback probably only has one read left in it before the spine gives up entirely, so when this clean white edition was announced to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the book’s release, I had to have it.

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
I’ve never read any Patricia Highsmith but I’m always intrigued by the synopses of her novel’s – this is no exception. I don’t know how this ends (thankfully I’ve never seen the Hitchcock film) and I don’t want it spoiled before I do get a chance to get around to this. I’m not sure what I’m going to make of Highsmith but I’m looking forward to finding out.


Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
I bought Harari’s first non-fiction, Sapiens, back around the time when it was super popular around these parts. I still haven’t read it. So why I bought this sort-of follow-up book is a mystery to me… except it was an offer. Yep, that’s all I’ve got. Is that a good enough excuse?

That’s all folks! Are there any books from my haul that you’d encourage me to prioritise? Are there any books you’ve picked up recently from a book shop or the library that you’re really excited for? Let me know in the comments below!

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9 responses to “2017 Book Haul #5”

  1. I’m gonna go trade in some books and hopefully get more books lol. I do want to give that Natural History of Dragons another chance. I’m just a big fan of that time period in England (I have a hard time understanding what they’re saying sometimes) but since it’s dragons, I want to try it again. Nice bunch of books :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great haul! I loved Exit West, so I hope you do, too. (It’s another book that made a great audiobook.) I hadn’t heard of Acts of Love, but that cover is amazing!


    • Thanks! I actually finished Exit West on holiday and I thoroughly enjoyed it – such an important read given the climate. I came across Acts of Love solely because of the cover and knew I had to own it, jury is still out on whether the story inside will be any good. :P

      Liked by 1 person

      • So glad you enjoyed Exit West! I completely agree that it’s an important read, especially right now. I’m rooting for it to win the Man Booker.

        Let me know what you think of Acts of Love, because I’m really curious.

        Liked by 1 person

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