Monthly Book Binge: March 2011

4 April, 2011

Is it already the beginning of April? How time flies. And what a lot of books I’ve got my mitts on this past month. I’m almost embarrassed to share. Almost. Because I know how much y’all love lists of books, heh.

So first up is the Vintage Modern Classics edition of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood which is only available from Waterstone’s. It’s just so beautiful I had to get it. But I used up my Waterstone’s points so I probably got it at a 30% discount. Score! I thought I’d read it before I watched the film and as part of Tanabata’s Murakami Challenge. Let’s see whether I do get to read it before the film is pulled from the cinemas (they have such short run-times these day!)

My sister’s just moved house and we went for a walkabout in her neighbourhood one Sunday and stumbled upon an Oxfam bookshop where I got the following secondhand:

Reading and Writing by V.S. Naipaul – this is for my father who is a fan of Naipaul’s work. Of course I’ll try and read it before I hand it over to him. Buyer’s prerogative!

Writing for Their Lives: The Modernist Women 1910-1940 by Gillian Hanscombe and Virginia L. Smyers – A title by The Women’s Press. I haven’t really heard of the writers discussed (Dorothy Richardso, HD, Djuna Barnes, Marianne Moore and Mina Loy) so it should be interesting. Besides, I can’t really pass by books on women writers.

The Group by Mary McCarthy – need I say more? I’ve been looking for this book for ages and it just fell into my hands!

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
by Charles Yu – I’ve been wanting to read this for ages too. It’s had some amazing reviews.

The Demi-Monde: Winter by Rod Rees – such a beautiful cover and with some interesting reception. A virtual world governed by some of the world’s most monstrous figures. Intriguing.

Some books I received for review:

The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton – has had some wonderful reviews.

Marie-Thérèse by Susan Nagel – about Marie Antoinette’s daughter. I’ve always wondered what had happened to her. I won this in a competition held by Bloomsbury Books.

The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam – I LOVED her debut novel A Golden Age and cannot wait to read this. Kindly sent to me by Canongate Books.

Chinaman by Shehan Karunatilaka – I recently read a short story by him which was brilliant and am looking forward to reading this one. Selected as one of the Waterstone’s 11. Kindly sent to me by Jonathan Cape.

The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss – I won these in a competition. And The Wise Man’s Fear is SIGNED. Woohoo. Thank you Orion Books!

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley – the third in the delicious Flavia de Luce series. Love, love, love them. Kindly sent to me by Orion Books.

And from the library:

The Journey Home by Dermot Bolger – chosen by Reading Matters for my book club.

Occupied City by David Peace – I read Tokyo Year Zero several years back and was very impressed by the gritty and realistic portrayal of Japan after WWII even if at times I found it very uncomfortable reading. The 2nd in the series.

Bryant and May Off The Rails by Christopher Fowler – I’m a HUGE fan of Bryant and May. Fowler’s knowledge of London is exceptional and I lurve his books.

I went to a Penguin General Bloggers Event a few weeks ago and came away with an amazing goody bag filled with the following:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – I’ve only watched bits of the film but haven’t read the book.

Cat’s Cradle
by Kurt Vonnegut – I’ve heard so much about Vonnegut but have yet to read anything by him so I thought this would be a good place to start.

God’s Own Country
by Ross Raisin – he gave a wonderful introduction to his new novel Waterline. I’ve heard lots of good things about this one.

Landfall by Helen Gordon – a debut novel about an art critic and a teenager.

Mr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt – about Churchill’s ‘black dog’ in the flesh. Intriguing.

Anatomy of a Disappearance
by Hisham Matar – lovely writing from the excerpt I heard.

Thank you Penguin Books!

And finally, my wonderful friend J brought this back for me from the States:

Mystery Reader’s Walking Guide: London by Barbara Sloan Hendershott and Alzina Stone Dale – I squealed with delight when I got this. Mysteries plus London. And there’s a bibliography too.

15 Responses to “Monthly Book Binge: March 2011”

  1. Mystica Says:

    You have such wonderful books that I don’t know where to start!!! such a gorgeous pile. Each one looks better than the last…

  2. Never…NEVER… be embarassed of your mammoth book hauls, Sakura. We applaud you!!! Bravo!!!!

  3. Gavin Says:

    What a lovely stack of books! I think I have to check out Demi-Monde, and must start reading Christopher Fowler.

  4. Steph Says:

    Oh my! So many books on your stack are ones that I covet. Love the Murakami (at least aesthetically… I haven’t actually read that one!) and I’m so curious about the Charles Yu. I hope you enjoy all your loot!

  5. winstonsdad Says:

    those modern classics are beautiful ,I ve looked at them ,great haul I tend to binge every month ,all the best stu

  6. I see you’ve got Vonnegut in your stack.

    Just a note to let you know about a book blog I’ve started with a different twist: “Writing Kurt Vonnegut.” Every Saturday, I post another excerpt from my notebook as Vonnegut’s biographer— profiles of the people I met, the difficulties encountered, and the surprises, such as finding 1,500 letters he thought he had lost forever. It’s a blog written in episodes about being a literary detective.

    Perhaps you’d like to give it a look at

    All the best,

    Charles J. Shields
    And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life (Holt, November 2011)

  7. Caitlin Says:

    If you don’t know about the women writers in Writing for Their Lives you’re in for a treat.

    Look for Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood – you’ll never forget it.

    HD is poetry – really beautiful modernist poetry as is Marianne Moore.

    • sakura Says:

      I’m certainly looking forward to reading about them. I’ve actually just got another book of short stories by women which feature some of the authors so I’m hoping to read them in conjunction (at some point!)

  8. sakura Says:

    Thanks for the very supportive comments people! It’s good to know I’m amongst friends who understand!

  9. Violet Says:

    I started Red Herring this morning. Everyone says it’s an improvement on The Weed, which I found a little disappointing.

    I haunt charity shops here looking for good books, but the pickings are slim. You guys are lucky to have Oxfam, which seem to have quality stock!

    I love it when others post about their book binges. 🙂

    • sakura Says:

      Oxfam certainly does, but it’s a little bit more expensive that other charity shops. But musn’t complain as it all goes to a good cause;P

  10. Chinoiseries Says:

    Oh my goodness, what an enormous pile of loot! I envy you!! 🙂 I especially covet your special edition of Norwegian Wood. And I’ve added Naipaul to my reading list, seems like an author I should read at least once.

  11. novelinsights Says:

    What a fabulous stack. The Murakami cover is GORGEOUS. How clever that it’s only available at Waterstones…

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