Monthly Book Binge: January 2011

17 January, 2011

Okay, so it’s only mid-January but I thought I’d let you see my acquisitions from the last 8 weeks. I may have gone a little overboard here…

From the library I borrowed:

Chime of the City Clock by D.J. Taylor – I really enjoyed his social history Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940 so thought a mystery novel set in the 1930s is just my thang.

Soulless by Gail Carriger – I’ve been reading about this title EVERYWHERE and there have been some amazing reviews from bloggers whose opinions I take note. Naturally they are right. Have already read this and am reading Changeless now.

I bought the following secondhand:

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman – from the library sale. I discovered that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get the religious subtext when reading it the first time round so wanted to re-read it with ‘new and enlightened’ eyes, as it were.

Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson – OK, this is book 5 in the Malazan Book of the Fallen and so far I’ve only read book 1. But do you know how rare it is to come across Erikson’s (or other quality SFF) books in secondhand bookshops!? Do you???

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides – I had just finished reading the amazing Middlesex when this popped into my line of vision. Many people prefer Eugenides’ debut novel to his Pulitzer prizewinner so I had to see what all the fuss is about, right?

Still Life by Louise Penny – I have been looking for this book FOR AGES.

Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier – this just looked too moody to ignore.

Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties by Lucy Moore – The roaring twenties, people! I tend to read a lot about the interwar period in the UK, but not that much about the US (apart from Fitzgerald, of course). So I got this in the name of research.

And I bought online:

Inspector Singh Investigates by Shamini Flint – First in a mystery series set in Malaysia. Flint will be at the Galle Literary Festival and I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, so I just had to press *buy* on Amazon.

Londonstani by Gautam Malkani – as I’m on a British Asian kick. I’ve heard this is gritty and real. Plus it was mentioned by my erudite friend Fëanor aka Jost A Mon.

And I received the following:

Read This Next by Sandra Newman – was kindly sent to me by Penguin Books.

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler – from my lovely friend H. I haven’t read anything by Butler yet although she’s been on my radar for many years. Yay!

American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis – my cousin-in-law left it behind so it came to me. Yay as I’ve only watched the film (which surprised me with its artiness and humour) and have been wanting to read this for ages. But I have been warned the book may leave me shocked and disgusted. Which naturally made me want to read it.

The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt – for Christmas. I was actually expecting a lot more books but only got this one. Well, at least I got ONE book. Progress!

And Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee – from Polly aka Novel Insights aka my book group Riverside Readers‘ secret Santa! Which I realised I forgot to put in this pile when I took the photo, oops.

Last weekend I met up with Simon aka Stuck in a Book and we spent some time in Notting Hill’s Comic and Book Exchange. I had just culled some books so I took it over there and came away with vouchers worth £15. So I had to spend it, right? Of course I didn’t spend ALL of it, silly.

Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie – the 2nd volume in the First Law Trilogy. I have the 1st which I’ve been meaning to re-read so hopefully this will push me to finally do it this year.

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters – this is the only book by Sarah Waters I haven’t read, although I did see the TV adaptation which was good fun but rather shocking. And you all know how much I love Waters’ writing:)

Borrowed Time by Roy Hattersely – I already have a copy of this but I couldn’t leave this behind forgotten in a dark corner of the basement. And it was only 50p! So I will be doing a giveaway once I come back from holiday so stay tuned!

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I actually bought a copy for my dad last year but it’s stored safely somewhere amongst my sister’s things and she’s moving house. As Adichie is scheduled to give a talk at the Galle Literary Festival, I’m making it my mission to read this book before I see her.

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart – Yay! I’ve been wanting to read this book since I first heard about it and saw the book trailer. What serendipitous luck!

The Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn – I got this set of 8 books from The Book People together with the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris and both sets were under a tenner each. Bargain! Set in the roaring twenties, Daisy is a reporter who keeps stumbling across corpses. What’s not to like?

And from my lovely friend E all the way from Japan I received:

The Haruki Murakami interview collection – will help me brush up on my Japanese. And it’s ALL about about Haruki Murakami. SO EXCITING.

Garasu no Kamen (The Glass Mask) Vols 45 & 46 by Suzue Miuchi – one of the longest running manga series in Japan about a young girl who is a gifted actor. My mum and I both just want to know what happens! Will Maya get together with her man with the purple rose? Will she be chosen to play the role of Kurenai Tennyo (the Crimson Goddess) that she’s been rehearsing for the last 20 years? Will this story every end???

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13 Responses to “Monthly Book Binge: January 2011”

  1. Eva Says:

    Inspector Singh Investigates was really fun! 🙂

  2. Fëanor Says:

    Re: Daisy Dalrymple… Er, I’m afraid the one novel (Dead in the Water) I read was quite, quite weak. Maybe the others are better? I’ll look forward to your commentary. Meanwhile, it demonstrates to me once again that people may try hard but they rarely get anywhere close to the Grand Dames of Crime.

  3. Mystica Says:

    You have such a good pile here and all kinds of genres. I quite like that – the mix up of different kinds of reading.

  4. Steph Says:

    You’ve picked up many great books in the past month! Disgrace is one of my all-time favourites, though it is incredibly harrowing. But so important and powerful. Also, I’m one of those people who definitely preferred Virgin Suicides to Middlesex… it so incredibly awesome, I don’t know if Eugenides will ever top it!

  5. Gavin Says:

    You have so many great books in these stacks! Lots of fine reading ahead with Butler, Byatt, Coetzee, Waters and Adichie.

  6. Yvann Says:

    Ha when I first saw this post in my Google Reader I thought you were saying that only that top photo was your acquisition pile… I’m glad to see I was mistaken!

    The Notting Hill Book Exchange is a fabulous place. What did you take that they gave you so many vouchers for? I could only get £1 out of them the other day.

    I’m ashamed to say Northern Lights is the only one of yours that I’ve read, so I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see what you make of them all!

  7. itoeri Says:

    such a delight to see all these titles..! some i really have to check out.

    the Akutagawa Prize winners were announced yesterday, and i am trying to get hold of ‘Kikotowa'(Kiko and Towa, names of the two protagonists) by Mariko Asabuki. sounds like she plays with memories and the conscious.
    would you be interested?

  8. kimbofo Says:

    Oh my goodness, what a terrific haul! And here I was feeling guilty about going on a 10-book book splurge when I was recently in Melbourne!

    Hope you enjoy them all.

    And I really must get myself to that book exchange, seeing as Notting Hill is within walking distance of my London abode.

  9. chasing bawa Says:

    Eva: Glad to hear it!

    Fëanor: I read the first books several years ago and thought it was alright but I do have a weakness for that period. But yes, I also tend to compare and contraast. I recently finished a book of short stories by Christie and was once again impressed.

    Mystica: I seem to need a bit of everything:)

    Steph: Claire aka Paperback Reader said the same thing too. So of course I have to read it. I watched the film many years ago so I’m hoping I’ve forgotten enough of the story to enjoy the book.

    Gavin: I’m looking forward to trying lots of new authors. It’s exciting.

    Yvann: Are you kidding? That would be a tiny pile;P I actually took 18 books and got £15. Most were second hand books. So not too bad. I don’t think you can totally recoup. So I think I’ll alternate between giving to charity and getting them exchanged.

    itoeri: Definitely! I read the article you posted on Facebook. It’s always interesting to read about women’s friendships because I always relate it to myself!

    kimbofo: I always aim to make other book addicts happy and feel less guilty about their book buying habits. Hah, you could see I lost control at some point;P It seems most of us have started the year with a big book buying splurge. When you get back to London you must get to the book exchange. They have some interesting stuff there.

  10. amymckie Says:

    Oooohhh interesting books, I especially am happy to see the Adichie title. And am SO JEALOUS that you will get to see her 🙂

  11. Mae Says:

    What an awesome collection of new books! Such a great variety! The Dalrymple series looks good. I haven’t heard of them before.


  12. Wowzers! Look at all those beauties! Enjoy 🙂

  13. chasing bawa Says:

    amymckie: Adichie was inspiring!

    Mae: Hah, I can’t seem to stick to one type of book!

    Boof: Thanks!


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