Category Archives: books roundup

Books Bought and Read – May 2017

Bought

I was looking to buy some inspirational, uplifting, distracting books this month so ended up with:

Killing Floor – Lee Child (paperback) Easy to read, good, popular, thriller.

A Supposedly Fun Thing You’ll Never Do Again – David Foster Wallace (paperback). Funny, apparently.

The Power of One – Bryce Courtenay (paperback). Supposedly hopeful and uplifting.

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99p kindle deals strike again:

My Booky Wook – Russell Brand (kindle book). He’s a pop culture person I find interesting for unknown reasons!

The Radium Girls – Kate Moore (kindle book) I’ve not heard of this book before but it sounds really interesting. About women who worked with radium and were told it wasn’t dangerous…

The Manifesto of How to be Interesting – Holly Bourne (kindle book). I read Am I Normal Yet? last year and LOVED it, so I had to get this too.

The Iliad – Homer (paperback). I need a project to read something classic and difficult, to educate myself more and maybe get better at quizzes. Project Iliad has started. I’ve got the Richard Lattimore translation because an evening’s research on the internet told me I should. Also, this one has a cool cover.

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Single and Single – John Le Carre (kindle book) 99p deal. Part of the slow ‘read all the John Le Carre books’ project.

I was doing really well this month. Then I went to a local charity shop where they had loads of books for 2 for 99p!!!!!!!!! So this happened:

Sharpe’s Fortress – Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe’s Enemy – Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe’s Eagle – Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe’s Trafalgar – Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe’s Havoc – Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe’s Regiment- Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe’s Rifles – Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe’s Triumph – Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe’s Honour – Bernard Cornwell

Sharpe’s Prey – Bernard Cornwell

I have read all the Sharpe books before. I read them when I was in my early 20s and I loved them. I either gave all the books to charity, or they are still in some buried box somewhere in my house. I don’t even know, but I want to give them a re-read. They are like comfort food in book form.

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But it didn’t stop there. Just remember, 2 for 99p!!

The Return of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve never read any Sherlock Holmes.

The Revenant – Michael Punke. Husband is reading The Road and enjoying it, so thought he might enjoy this too. Well, he will if it’s as grim as the film.

Dracula – Bram Stoker. Well, why not. I’ve read Frankenstein this year, and I’d like to read Dracula too.

Faust Eric – Terry Pratchett. I’ve only read The Colour of Magic and I thought it was alright, but didn’t feel compelled to read any more in the Discworld series. I’ve always thought maybe I’m missing something, so thought I.d give this a go.

The War of the Worlds – H.G Wells. A classic I couldn’t pass on.

Finally, Vampire Blood Trilogy – Darren Shan. Because the books were 2 for 99p and I had an odd number and the lady said I could pick one more. This was the first to catch my eye.

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99p kindle deals strike again:

The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave. I has suck a beautiful cover and good reviews.

I have been buying a RIDICULOUS number of books so far this year. I’m going to have to have a clear out soon and pass some on to friends so I can fit them on the shelves again!

Read

It Can’t Happen Here – Sinclair Lewis. Tedious start, but ultimately really glad I’ve read it.

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – C.S. Lewis Crazy and short.

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The Good Immigrant – ed. Nikesh Shukla. Possibly the best book I’ve read so far this year. LOVED IT.

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Lion – Saroo Brierley. Amazing story of a man who got lost at 5 years old and ended up in a big city 1000s of miles away from home.

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The Secret to Not Drowning – Colette Snowden. The inner thoughts of a woman being totally controlled by her partner.

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain. Another one I’d urge everyone to read. Read it to understand yourself or any introverts in your life.

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The Awakening – Kate Chopin. 1890s New Orleans and a rich house wife decides her life is tedious and must be changed!

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Books read at bedtime to my children

Matilda – Roald Dahl

Crystallising Chaos – My Little Pony story. My daughter loves this book. I’ve had to read it a lot. *send help*

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling. Still plodding through it around about 2 times a week with my littlest. Harry has got to Hogwarts at last.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – JK Rowling. Finished! We read this every night with my oldest child. It’s taken a long time to get through. I suggested a break from Harry Potter, but he doesn’t want one, hence:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – JK Rowling. Dementors in Little Whinging. And WHO sent Aunt Petunia that Howler!?! 🙂

Books Bought and Read – April 2017

Bought

Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts – Mary Gibson. 99p kindle book. What can I say. I love custard tarts and was a bit hungry.

Absolute Friends – John Le Carre. 99p Kindle book. I’m on a (very slow) mission to read all the John Le Carre books in order. I’m on book 3… but pick up others when I see them cheap!

The Color Purple – Alice Walker. Oxfam books paperback. It’s embarrassing that I’ve never read this.

The Female Man – Joanna Russ. Oxfam books paperback. Some 1970s classic feminist sci-fi. Yes please!

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The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney. 99p kindle deal. Last year’s Bailey’s prize winner.

Nobody Told Me – Holly McNish. I bought this brand new, shiny, full price from Waterstones. I heard an extract from it, one of the poems, probably on radio 4 – it feels like it would have been a radio 4 thing, and I needed to own it. It was written from when she found out she was pregnant and covers the first few years of her baby’s life. The poem I heard sounded raw and honest and made me cry. It was only about 4 lines long! As someone who has struggled with having small children (struggled as in I have not coped exceedingly well) I am very much looking forward to this warts and all look at parenting. Don’t think this one will take me long to read!

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I was doing well this month. Don’t buy too may books. Don’t buy too many books. You CAN’T read them all. Just don’t look at the kindle sales… Then I spotted:

The Descent of Man – Grayson Perry. 99p kindle deal. It’s one I’ve been after for a while. So I bought it. Then I saw, a bit further down the page:

The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick. 99p kindle deal. Well, I really want to read this. It’s in my wish list. I may as well buy it now as it’s just 99p. But then next to it I spotted:

The Three-Body Problem – Cixin Liu. 99p kindle deal. Great! This is in my wishlist too. I must have it. But it’s part of a trilogy… and they are on sale too… so I ended up with:

The Dark Forest – Cixin Liu. 99p kindle deal.

and

Death’s End – Cixin Liu. 99p kindle deal. OMG send help.

FREE BOOKS! from outside a neighbours house 🙂 So these don’t really count because I didn’t pay for them…

  • Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie
  • Cards on the Table – Agatha Christie
  • Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? – Agatha Christie
  • The Last of the Mohicans – Fenimore Cooper
  • Billy Bunter Among the Cannibals – Frank Richards

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And now I’m holiday planning so needed:

The Rough Guide to England – second hand amazon marketplace.

The Rough Guide to Europe on a Budget – second hand amazon marketplace.

A Quiet Storm – Rachel Howzell Hall. Well because I just wanted to add a novel to the previous order.

Read

I was feeling like I hadn’t read much this month – I was wrong! Think it’s just because I’m struggling with my current read.

Angels – Marian Keyes 

The Story of My Life – Helen Keller

Vinegar Girl – Anne Tyler

Bel Canto – Ann Patchett

Welcome to Biscuitland: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero – Jessica Thom

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carre

The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick

Bedtime Stories

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling. Harry has completed the second task now. We are getting there. This is the story I read every night with my oldest child. The rest in this list are the random choices of the small one!

Matilda – Roald Dahl.  Love Matilda. This is the second time through it.

Busy places around the world. Not much of a story with this one!

Harry Potter and the Philosoper’s Stone – J. K. Rowling. Harry is still in Diagon Alley. Slow going… we only read a little bit of this about once a week.

The Secret Seven – Adventure on the way home. I say. 

Books bought and read – March 2017

Bought

I am actually quite embarrassed at this bought list. Too many. So excessive 😦

A Foreign Country (Thomas Kell Spy Thriller, Book 1) – Charles Cumming (kindle edition). Bought after seeing a tweet by Adam Rutherford praising the third book in the series as being the best book he’d read last year. I couldn’t just go and knowingly start with the third book in a series, obviously.

The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Atwood (paperback). I have a dodgy kindle copy with bad formatting. So I’ve paid a fiver for a second hand copy. I need to read it before the film comes out! (achievement unlocked)

Night – Elie Wiesel (paperback). I bought a paperback copy as soon as I’d finished reading  the kindle version I had. I need this book on my shelves.

Wintersong – S Jae-Jones. One of my Illumicrate books.

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence. The other Illumicrate book.

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Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safron Feor. Oxfam books visit. It’s been on my to read list for a few years

How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran. Loved loved loved How to be a Woman. Part of an Oxfam Books haul

Bel Canto – Ann Patchett. Oxfam books and it’s on my reading list challenge 2017.

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oxfam books preston haul

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng. The first one I ordered never showed up! So I ordered another… when it appeared it didn’t have the cover I really liked. Boo 😦

Lion: A Long Way Home – Saroo Brierley. My next book club book.

Jailbird, Deadeye Dick, Player Piano, and God bless you, Mr Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut. Kindle 99p deals. I entirely blame the Book Shambles podcast for this because they keep going on about Kurt Vonnegut.

Mothering Sunday – Graham Swift. Kindle 99p deals are killing me this month.

Vinegar girl – Anne Tyler (paper back). Bought for a local book club I have wanted to try for ages…

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book plus new make up purchases!

It Can’t Happen Here – Sinclair Lewis (paper back). Bought because it’s the next months book for the new book club I’m going to try. I am going to go. There, I’ve committed.

Also… I had a few friends over one evening and two lovely super friends brought me books to read! This huge pile is the two book loans combined:

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blue hued books from friends

And it was Mother’s Day, and my clever children (with perhaps a little help) got me these:
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Well done kids!

Read

A Winter Book – Tove Jansson (kindle)

Night – Elie Wiesel (kindle)

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Diet Myth – Tim Spector

Galapagos – Kurt Vonnegut

American Gods – Neil Gaiman

For bed time stories, read to my children:

Welcome to Alien School – Caryl Hart. Love Mr Kraark and doing all the alien voices.

Crystallising Chaos – My Little Pony

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling. We’ll be reading this for a while. Super huge. Won’t let the little ‘uns watch the film again after an epic lapse in judgement before xmas! I have edited one section already as I read it. Can’t remember which bit it was… Must have been when the dark mark was conjured and someone died. Will probably heavily edit later on parts of the book, and insist on a big break before attempting the next book (small person listening to this story is almost 7).

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling. The first Potter book for the littlest child. He’s not even been to Diagon Ally yet. Keep having to stop to read other books.

Matilda – Roald Dahl. So much love for this book. I loved it as a child myself, and my son and daughter have both enjoyed it. Wish I had some of the Bruce Bogtrotter cake right now…

Catherine the Fashion Princess Fairy. Help.

February 2017 book round up

Books bought

I’ve been on a bit of a kindle book spree this month…

The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing World – Margaret Cavendish (kindle edition). I found this book on a list of Amazing feminist sci-fi or something like that. Written by a women, under her own name in 1666. It’s considered the first female written sci-fi novel. Sounds interesting! She sounds great too.

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a badass women from the 1600s – Margaret Cavendish

The Toy Dolls: From Fulwell to Fukuoka – Ronan Fitzsimons (kindle edition). The Toy Dolls were one of my favourite bands in my late teens.

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Silly, punk rock, probably only known by the wider public for their version of Nellie the Elephant. I’m not expecting literary greatness from this but I’m hoping once I start it I won’t be able to put it down! May be a niche interest book, this one. 🙂

My, haven’t music videos improved since 1984!

Men Explain Things to Me: And Other Essays – Rebecca Solnit (kindle edition) I’ve wanted to read this for a while. In fact, I’ve been waiting so long to actually buy it I don’t want to read it and it be over really quickly! 

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The Good Immigrant – Nikesh Shukla (kindle edition). I heard about this book when it came out last year and saw it on loads of ‘best books of the year’ lists in the run up to Christmas. Especially post Brexit, a small thing I can do is make more effort to support BAME writers. Also, I’ve read Coconut Unlimited and *really* enjoyed it.

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How Hard Can Love Be? (The Spinster Club Series Book 2) – Holly Bourne (kindle edition). I read the first book in this series last year (Am I Normal Yet?) and absolutely loved it. It’s about a teenager with mental health problems navigating college life. I highly recommend that one and hope this one is equally as good. 

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The Polysyllabic Spree: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man’s Struggle with the Monthly Tide of the Books He’s Bought and the Books He’s Been Mean –Nick Hornby (paperback). Oh wow! a book I both bought and read in the same month!

Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking – Ramsay, Gordon (hardback). Fiver. Gordon’s usual cooking is a bit fancy for me, so hoping this one will be more accessible.

Beloved: A Novel (Vintage Classics) – Toni Morrison (kindle edition). Another I bought to read straight away. This is one of the few books by a writer of colour on my reading list challenge for this year. I bumped it up the list because I like to try and make sure I read from a fairly diverse group of authors. I don’t always achieve my goals, but I do try. I didn’t realise when I chose my challenge list for this year that it was just so, so white and American and European. Not ideal. 

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng (paperback) – I have heard great things about this book and can’t wait until it arrives. Still waiting though…

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photo from myfrenchtwist.com/read-everything-never-told

Wishful Drinking- Carrie Fisher (kindle edition). 99p kindle bargain. I realised I read a lot of biographies of men and want to even it up a bit, so have been looking out for autobiographies of interesting women.

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I need to curb  my book buying a little bit.

Books read

Links to reviews, if I’ve done one 🙂

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

Beloved – Toni Morrison

The Polysyllabic Spree – Nick Hornby

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling. Bedtime story book for 6 year old – it’s going to take a while to get through!

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone – J.K. Rowling. Bedtime story for 4 year old. We will be reading it for a long time I predict – he’s not even had his ‘You’re a wizard Harry!’ moment yet.

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Phoebe the Fashion Fairy – Daisy Meadows. 4 year old’s library book choice. Help.

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