What do you do when you’re having a bad day and have time to kill? Head to Waterstones, of course!
Today didn’t quite go as I had planned. What started off as a bad day just continued to get worse, until the point where the only thing I could think of to cheer myself up was to head to Waterstones for a good old browse. Bookshops are my happy place, and two and a half hours later, having thoroughly examined the shelves and enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate in the cafe, I emerged with a small bag of book purchases and in a better mood than the one that had led me to my favourite shop’s door in the first place. I know they say that money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you books when you’re in need of a little cheering up, and that’s almost the same thing!
These first two I found while browsing the many books in the current ‘Buy One Get One Half Price’ offer, which always has such a good selection of both books that I am aware of and want to read and ones that are completely new to me, too. The Ship by Antonia Honeywell has been on my wishlist since its initial release last year, so when I spotted this beautiful newly published paperback addition I was quick to grab myself a copy. This dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel has been so imaginatively described as ‘The Hunger Games meets the London riots on board Noah’s Ark’, and who can resist a premise like that?!
The other novel I picked up from the offer table was A Very Special Year by Thomas Montasser, which might just have the most beautiful cover I’ve seen in a long time. A best-seller in Germany, the book promises to be a charming little read about bookshops, a love for literature and the power of stories and imagination. I, as I’m sure all readers do, adore books about books, and I cannot wait to delve in.
Children’s books are my weakness, particularly beautifully illustrated children’s books, and so of course I couldn’t resist picking up a few titles from one of my favourite illustrators and current Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell. I am a great admirer of his work (and his Instagram feed!) and have had a number of his books on my wishlist for a long time, particularly his Ottoline series. In a rare display of self-restraint I purchased just the first in the series, Ottoline and the Yellow Cat, and having had a quick flick through the pages I am certain that I am going to adore it. The illustrations are, of course, wonderful, and I’m sure that I’m going to have great fun following Ottoline and her adventures!
Finally, I spotted a copy of Chris Riddell’s Doodle a Day and couldn’t resist adding that to my pile, too. The book provides something new to draw, colour in or create for every day of the year, and is lavishly peppered with Chris’ own doodles and drawings. I’m certainly not the most artistic of people (adult colouring books are just about my limit!), but I thought that it would be fun to challenge myself, and I have a feeling that this will be a lovely distraction when the stress of my upcoming dissertations gets all too much. I’m just a little confused as to where to begin – from the beginning with 1st January’s activity, or just hop in at the beginning of June? Oh, what a tough decision…
I just wanted to throw in a little mention to my current read, which I am completely loving. When it was first announced that J. K. Rowling, under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, I was slightly reluctant to pick it up. At the time crime books really weren’t my thing, and having heard mixed reviews about The Casual Vacancy, her first foray into fiction following the beloved Harry Potter series, I wasn’t in a great rush to give her crime series a go. My boyfriend picked up a copy anyway, and over the course of the past year or so the following books in Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series have made their way onto our bookshelves. After stumbling across a few rave reviews on BookTube last week, I decided that it might just be time to set my worries aside and give The Cuckoo’s Calling a proper chance, and oh my, am I glad that I did.
I’m just under halfway through and so far, so good. I love the characters, Rowling’s writing is flawless and the mystery at the heart of the novel is keeping me completely and utterly hooked. I can’t believe I put this book off for so long, and I’m hoping to marathon the series over the coming weeks in order to make up for the fact that I was shamefully late jumping on this bandwagon!