New books, old books, loadsa books!

28 February, 2011

Yes, book binge! Ha ha ha!

First up are some titles I received in the post:

Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang – from the lovely Frances aka Nonsuch Book who kindly sent me a NYRB copy of the novel. Such a smart series. Do check out Frances’ blog which always features lots of beautiful books.

Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns – from lovely Simon aka Stuck in a Book who saw this and thought I needed to read a Comyns. And he said I don’t need to read it straight away. So sweet. He sent it together with the lovely Puffin postcard pictured.

Silence by Shusaku Endo – is a late birthday present from one of my best friends K. You all know how much I admire Endo’s novels and I’ve been dying to read this one, probably his most famous work.

Next World Novella by Matthias Politycki – from the ever lovely Peirene Press who seems to be going from strength to strength with lots of amazing reviews and publicity.

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino – was kindly sent to me by the lovely people at Little, Brown. I’ve watched Galileo, the Japanese TV adaptation of Higashino’s mysteries featuring charismatic physicist Professor Yukawa, which I really enjoyed so I’m looking forward to reading this translation.

The Map of Time by Felix Palmer – was kindly sent to me by Harper Collins. An intriguing novel about time, Jack the Ripper and H.G. Wells set during the Victorian era. I can’t wait to read this.

I bought these:

Memories of Ice and House of Chains by Steven Erikson – because I’m on a Malazan kick at the moment. I’m actually excited that there are 10 volumes in the series (each as thick as a brick) and I’m still on volume 4! I ♥ doorstoppers.

Monsoons and Potholes by Manuka Wijesinghe – was recommended by Vindi aka Vindicated. I heard an excerpt which sounded very promising.

Inspector Singh Investigates: A Very Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint – I’m a sucker for mysteries set in exotic places and times.

Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw – because I loved his debut The Harmony Silk Factory and plus he was such a charming man. I’ve already finished and posted on this.

And I’ve finally claimed my books from storage (i.e. my sister’s house) and lugged 7 heavy boxes up the stairs to my room with her help. Thanks sis! She gave me strict instructions to ‘sort them out’ which I did and managed to cut down the number of boxes by … er, one. It’s a start, right? And I found all these books that I packed away half-read and unread when I moved house five years ago. So I made a pile of them to add to my TBR shelf:)

So what was I trying to read all those years ago?

The Annals of Imperial Rome by Tacitus – yes, I was actually reading this for fun. I think this was when I was reading the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series featuring Gordianus the Finder by Steven Saylor.

Les Belles Image by Simone de Beauvoir – this is actually an English version as I really doubt my French is up to scratch.

The Thief’s Journal by Jean Genet – you can see a trend here, right? French lit! I think I was also reading Andre Gide as well.

The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne – I was intrigued by the seven gables as I wasn’t sure what they were.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – I thought I’d keep this on my shelf just in case I wanted to re-read it again.

Dubliners by James Joyce – I think I picked this one up because it was slim. Then I thought I’d move on to Ulysses. That may take a looong time.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James – because it’s such a famous ghost story and I think it’s because I’d read A.N. Wilson’s A Jealous Ghost which is based on James’ tale.

In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu – because this is another famous ghost story, I think.

Last Tales by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) – I was curious about Dinesen’s stories especially since having lived in Nairobi and visited the town of Karen where she lived and where Out of Africa was set.

Great Tales of Detection edited by Dorothy L. Sayers – I found this in a secondhand bookshop and had to get it just because it’s edited by the great Sayers.

The Picador Book of Crime Writing edited by Michael Dibdin – crime, crime, crime.

Modern Japanese Stories: An Anthology by Ivan Morris – a lovely hardback copy with illustrations.

Salmonella Men on Planet Porno by Yasutaka Tsutsui – I think I got this as a publicity copy when I was working at a Japanese bookshop. It’s a collection of short stories by the author of Paprika (which I also haven’t read) and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (I think I saw the film version).

My Life: An Attempt at an Autobiography by Leon Trotsky – Half-read, methinks.

Three books by Margery Allingham – Coroner’s Pidgin, Flowers for the Judge and Traitor’s Purse – I must have read all of these but I can’t remember the plot. Oops.

Motel Chronicles and Hawk Moon by Sam Shephard – I’m a huge fan of Sam Shephard the actor and wanted to see what he’s like as a writer.

The Green Knight by Iris Murdoch – one of my friends recommended this book to me.

Hunger by Knut Hamsen – A Rebel Inc Classic. I think I got this about the same time I did Nelson Algren’s A Walk on the Wild Side. Students, eh?

The Master and Margarita
by Mikhail Bulgagov – A writer I admired said this was one of his favourite books but I forget whom…

Burning Your Boats: Collected Short Stories by Angela Carter – I think I’ve read bits of this but not all.

The Vintage Book of Historical Feminism edited by Miriam Schneir – I felt I needed to know more about feminism and thought a collection was apt.

Anton Chekhov’s Short Stories – I think it was David Mitchell who said Chekhov’s short stories were masterpieces. So I had to run along and get this, didn’t I?

And finally, this treasure:

The Mysterious Case of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys by Marvin Heiferman and Carole Kismaric. Did you know that Caroline Keene was actually several people including a man? Neither did I. For all life-long fans of the plucky sleuths.

So, loadsa books, but most are old so I don’t feel too bad. Although I do have to actually read them at some point! Have you read any of these?

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17 Responses to “New books, old books, loadsa books!”

  1. verity Says:

    Eek – that is a LOT of books! Tickled that you found a Nancy Drew 🙂


  2. OOOOOOHHHHHHH, look at all these books!!!! How wonderful! 🙂

    I love the Nancy Drew (I still have mine) and I like the look of some of your new ones too. I have never heard of those doorstoppers you are enjoying so I will have to look those up.

    Happy reading, Sakura 🙂

  3. Simon T Says:

    What a lovely lot of books – and how nice to be reunited with books from storage! Too many to comment on, but I will say that I’ve been meaning to read more Knut Hamsen for years. Only read one; Dreamers.

    I really hope you like the Comyns when you get to it – but you certainly aren’t running short on reading material!

  4. Teresa Says:

    I’m happy to see you got a copy of Devotion of Suspect X and Silence. Silence is one of my favorites.

    And Master and Margarita is great fun, too.

    • chasing bawa Says:

      I started the Master and Margarita but got side-tracked. Glad you liked it, makes it easier for me to dive back in! And I’m really excited about the other two too.

  5. Kristen M. Says:

    The Map of Time looks interesting! I’ll have to find out more about it.

  6. winstonsdad Says:

    a wonderfully huge selection of books there ,all the best stu

  7. gaskella Says:

    The map of time instantly draws me – can’t wait to hear about that one. Lovely haul though.

  8. Bellezza Says:

    The House of Seven Gables is so good!

  9. Dark Puss Says:

    Stop whatever you are doing and read “The Master and Margarita”! A fabulous, magical, Faustian tale. It was recommended to me by Lindsay of “Books do Furnish a Room” fame after I had struggled my way through Thomas Mann’s “Faust”. You won’t regret pausing your life and reading it one little bit.

  10. chasing bawa Says:

    Bellezza: I think I started it but can’t remember the ending. All I remember is how atmospheric it was. Good to know you enjoyed it!

    Dark Puss: Sounds like you really enjoyed it. That’s good because it looks a little frightening but so many people have said how much they loved it. I’ll see what I can do:)


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