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Books - Haul

Fantasy, Steampunk, & Some Very Beautiful Editions | June Book Haul

June 26, 2017

It’s no secret that I have a slightly worrying book-buying problem. I seem to be physically unable to pass a bookshop without going in, having a browse and leaving with a book (or three), charity shops are my weakness and I’m usually unable to complete the weekly food shop without adding another bargain paperback to the trolley. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that so far this month I’ve already accumulated quite the stack of books, and am, if I’m being really honest, now struggling to find space on my shelves to keep them. That being said, I’m very happy with my recent book purchases, and despite my already rather large TBR, I really hope to get around to reading these soon.

The charity shop purchases

While out on a little day trip with my boyfriend earlier in the month, we popped into a cute little town full to the brim with charity shops. While the book sections in many left quite a lot to be desired (battered copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, anyone?!), I did manage to track down a couple of bargains for just a few pounds each, so of course I had to bring them home with me. The Children’s Book by A. S. Byatt has been on my radar for quite some time now, and despite hearing mixed things I’d definitely like to give it a go. I can’t resist a good historical family saga, and this one promises to be a particularly emotional ride. Speaking of historical fiction, I also stumbled upon a brand new copy of Kate Mosse’s Laybyrinth, the first in her popular Languedoc trilogy, which I read (and loved) back in 2011. I adore Mosse’s writing and as I previously read the books on my Kindle, I was more than happy to part with the mere £2 to have a physical copy for my shelves. I’m hoping to re-read the trilogy sometime in the not too distant future, and when I do get around to it I’ll definitely be reading from this 10th anniversary edition.

One of the perks of volunteering in a charity bookshop is getting to take a look at the stock before it goes out on the shelves. A couple of weeks ago I spotted Soulless, Changless and Blamelessthe first three books in Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, lurking in a donation bag, and promptly snapped them up. I’ve heard so many great things about this fantasy-of-manners series, and am currently reading and very much enjoying the first instalment. Fun, fast-paced and highly addictive, I’m so glad I decided to give this series a try, and will be on the lookout for Gail Carriger’s other work in the future.

The late-night Amazon order

After many years of believing that they really weren’t my cup of tea, last year I started getting into thriller and crime fiction, and I have to say I very much enjoyed it. I gobbled up Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10, so when I saw that her latest novel The Lying Game was due for release this month, of course I had to order myself a copy. I’ve heard that it’s a little different to her previous novels, but I have high hopes that it will be just as thrilling, and will definitely be reading it soon.

As you read this, I’ll be getting ready to jet off on a little spontaneous holiday in Prague with my boyfriend, so of course I had to pick up a few novels set in the city to take along with me. I have also previously read Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, but decided that the time had come to invest in a physical copy, and I’m looking forward to taking this away with me and reading it while on holiday. In a similar vein, Prague Nights by Benjamin Black is a recently released historical mystery/thriller that I have been eagerly anticipating for many months now, and what better time to treat myself to a copy than before heading off to explore the city in which it is set! Fingers crossed our holiday won’t be quite as gruesome…

On to a few literary fiction titles that again I’ve had my eye on for a while, but only recently decided to purchase. Earlier in the year I read Robert Seethaler’s A Whole Life, which I very much enjoyed, so I was eager to read his latest release The Tobacconist, a historical fiction novel set in Vienna at the time of the Second World War. Having recently watched Elena’s BookTube review of Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles, I was well and truly convinced that this was a book I needed in my life. I love Elena’s reviews and we have a very similar taste in books, so I’m confident that I will enjoy it. Finally, following the recent release of the television adaptation, I decided to pick up a copy of Margaret Atwood’s beloved dystopian, The Handmaid’s Tale – yes, I am slightly ashamed that I haven’t read this yet! Earlier in the year I read Louise O’Neill’s young adult retelling, Only Ever Yours, so I’m very much intrigued to see the similarities and differences between the source material.

Last but by no means least, I treated myself to a copy of Ethel and Ernest by Raymond Briggs, creator of The Snowman. It’s only been within the last year or so that I’ve started to read graphic novels, having previously been a little intimidated by them, and even then I’ve only read a handful. Having watched the beautiful film adaptation of Ethel and Ernest when it was broadcast over Christmas, I’ve been wanting to read the book on which it was based for some time, and I’ve recently been hearing so many great things about it that I decided now was the time. It’s a relatively short little book and the illustrations within are absolutely beautiful, as you would expect from Raymond Briggs, so I’m looking forward to spending an evening curled up with this one and devouring it all in one sitting.

The beautiful special editions

The Harry Potter series and the His Dark Materials trilogy have, and will always remain, two of my very favourites. I have read them many, many times each, and already own a few editions of the books. However, when Bloomsbury announced the release of these special edition house copies in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I thought it was my duty as a Ravenclaw to pick up this beautiful bright blue paperback edition to add to my collection!  Not only is the cover design completely magical, but these new editions contain many other extras, such as chapters on the history of the houses and their founders, their ghosts and notable students, as well as a note from J. K. Rowling herself alongside some new illustrations. I’m not going to lie, I am quite tempted to pick up the other house paperback copies to complete the set, but I think that might be going a little far even for me!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I cannot wait for the release of Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage in October, the first in his long-awaited Book of Dust series. In preparation, I’m hoping to reread His Dark Materials over the next few months, something that I haven’t done in a good few years. I’ve been eyeing up these 20th anniversary editions of the books for about a year or so now, and finally – and inevitably – I caved! I love the design and blue foiling on this paperback copy of Northern Lights, and the design of The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass are just as beautiful. Don’t be surprised if you see them pop up in a future haul – I’ll try to have some self-retraint, but when books are concerned, I can’t make any promises!

Have you read any of these books? What have you been buying in June?