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Lit Titbits (3)

Another edition of Lit Titbits is here, with some wonderful links I’ve found of late.  If you have anything you’d like to see featured in a future list, please let me know.

  1. Simon at Stuck In a Book and Rachel at Book Snob are two of my favourite reviewers, and their podcast, Tea or Books?, is wonderful.  I tend to listen to it before bed, and have to make sure that I have a notebook and pen handy to note down all of those new-to-me books that I want to read immediately.
  2. Find out about the weird and wonderful things found in books sent out by AbeBooks here.
  3. Some wonderful artists have come up with the Corbyn Comic Book.  It was launched at a Labour Conference in 2017, and I feel I need to get my hands on a copy.  Read about it here.
  4. The excellent Jon McGregor’s companion to Reservoir 13, entitled The Reservoir Tapes, were serialised on BBC Radio 4 last year.  They’re the perfect length (fifteen minutes) to listen to when whipping up a quick meal or washing up.  You can find them here.
  5. Sarah Dunant speaks wonderfully, drawing links between the Ancient world and the modern.  You can listen to ‘When Greeks Flew Kites’ here.
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November Book Haul

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have spotted that I haven’t published any book haul posts since August.  This is because I have been very restrained with adding to my TBR, focusing instead on reading books which I already own, as well as many tomes which are still unread on my Kindle.  I have caved a little in November however, and thus have a few different titles recently added to my shelves, both literal and virtual, to talk about.

9781474604796I shall detail those which I have bought for my Kindle first.  I tend not to buy books from Amazon, whose morals are not up to scratch in a lot of ways, but wanted a few things to read both over Christmas, and on future holidays.  Everything which I purchased was rather cheap (under £2 per book), and they are largely tomes which I have found it difficult to get hold of in physical editions.  I thus chose four titles by the wonderful Celia Fremlin, whose work I have recently discovered: Don’t Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories, The Trouble-Makers, Uncle Paul, and The Jealous One, all of which have been recently reissued by Faber Firsts.  I took advantage of two Kindle daily deals to buy a rather lovely-looking novel, The Boy Made of Snow by Chloe Mayer, along with a shortlisted title from this year’s Man Booker Prize, The History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund.

I have been a big fan of Nancy Pearl, librarian extraordinaire, for rather a few years 9781477819456now, and am starting to actively choose and seek out those titles which she has recommended, and which appeal to me (which, to be fair, is most of them).  I saw a copy of Susan Richards Shreve‘s Plum and Jaggers on the Kindle store for just £1, and couldn’t resist purchasing it.  To appease a bout of nostalgia, I also chose to download a copy of Christmas Tales by Enid Blyton, one of my favourite childhood authors.  I’m very much looking forward to snuggling up with it next month!

I saw a wonderful review of Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman, and decided to sneak a secondhand copy into my AbeBooks basket, which I purchased soon afterwards.  It’s a memoir of her experience with breast cancer, and whilst not the most cheerful tome, I’m hoping to read it over the Christmas holidays.  I have also been 9781509813131keen to undertake a year-long reading project for a few years now, and have finally found what I hope is the perfect book with which to do so – Allie Esiri‘s beautiful A Poem for Every Night of the Year.  I am gifting myself a lovely hardback copy for Christmas, and shall be savouring one poem every day (or, rather, night) in 2018.

As some of you may have seen, I am taking part in the Around the World in 80 Books challenge next year, and have been busy preparing lists, and finding tomes on my to-read pile which fit.  There are several countries I wish to read about which were proving difficult to find books from, at least with regard to my existing titles and those which I can find in the library, and I thus bought five from AbeBooks to prepare myself well.  I chose Two Under the 9781870206808Indian Sun by Jon and Rumer Godden, Spanish author Mathias Malzieu‘s The Boy With the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, Sigrid Rausing‘s memoir of working on an Estonian farm, entitled Everything is Wonderful, Welsh author Eiluned LewisDew on the Grass, and Marguerite Yourcenar‘s Coup de Grace, which is set in Latvia.

Going forward, for ease of admin more than anything else, although with a little sprinkling of hope that I will gain enough willpower not to buy any new books, I will be grouping two or three months into each of these book haul posts.  They will thus be far more infrequent, but rather larger than detailing one or two new books each month.

Which books have you bought this month?  Are there any on my list which pique your interest, or which you would like to see full reviews for?

Purchase from The Book Depository

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Book Haul: August 2017

I had planned not to buy any books in August; needless to say, that did not quite go to plan, despite my being on holiday for a fortnight!  I purchased two books on my Kindle, received two for review for the first time in what feels like an absolute age, and also bought one for a forthcoming book club read.  That was before I found a wonderful seller on AbeBooks, who had priced almost everything at 78 pence with free delivery; needless to say that I stocked up my shelves!

9780812994865My Kindle books come first, as they were the first which I purchased.  I chose the Collected Works of Willa Cather as there are a couple of her full-length books which I haven’t read to date.  I also bought one of the daily deals, Naoki Higashida‘s autism memoir, The Reason I Jump.  I have read this already, and whilst I found it fascinating in places, it was a little underwhelming in its simplicity and repetitiveness.  The two books which I received for review – Keeping Henry by Nina Bawden, which has just been reissued by Virago, and Stella Duffy‘s chilling The Hidden Room – were both great, and I would highly recommend them.  Full-length reviews for both novels are forthcoming on the blog, so do stay tuned!  My book club has altered of late, and is now running around the idea of geographic locations.  Thus, my choice was a free one, provided it was set in Bosnia.  I chose The Delivery Room by 9781472108685Sylvia Brownrigg, which looks fascinating.  I also ended up ordering a secondhand copy of Catherynne M. Valente‘s Deathless, as I have been seeing so many positive reviews of it of late.

Now, on to my huge AbeBooks haul!  I have very little self-restraint when paperbacks are so heavily discounted, and true to form, I selected over twenty of them.  A few of them are applicable as book club tomes, and others will work for the Around the World in Eighty Books Project, which I am starting in January.  Rather than group these rather diverse books together, I am simply going to type them up in a long list below.

  • The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson
  • Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster
  • The Human Stain by Philip Roth
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azer Nafisi
  • The News Where You Are by Catherine O’Flynn
  • Oleander Jacaranda by Penelope Lively
  • Innocence by Penelope Fitzgerald
  • The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman
  • Christmas Stories, edited by Diana Secker Tesdell
  • Dogrun by Arthur Nersesian
  • True Things About Me by Deborah Kay Davies
  • Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
  • Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man by Claire Tomalin
  • The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton
  • Cat Stories, edited by Diana Secker Tesdell
  • Treveryan by Angela du Maurier
  • The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
  • War Crimes for the Home by Liz Jensen
  • The Paper Eater by Liz Jensen
  • My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen
  • Charms for an Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons

9780141188324

In September, I am going on holiday to Florida and the Caribbean for two wonderful weeks.  Whilst I am not planning to buy books, I am going to allow myself a tome or two if they are difficult to get hold of in the UK. This is a reader’s prerogative, surely?

Which of these books have you read?  Which have piqued your interest?  Which books did you buy during August?