All of the self-restraint which I have demonstrated rather well this year has flown out of the window. I welcomed twenty six new books into my life over the course of July, and whilst that sounds relatively ridiculous, I have already managed to read several of them, and therefore don’t feel (quite) as bad as I could have done about it. As ever, I shall split this haul into physical books (ones which I have purchased in person, and then a secondhand book haul thanks to the Internet), and Kindle books.
At the beginning of the month, I was browsing in Urban Outfitters, and found an absolute gem – a Taschen copy of Photographers A-Z, which was marked down to £3. I then got student discount on top, and couldn’t have been happier with my bargain. I started to read it immediately, and have added a few new photographers to my favourites.
I then came across a charity shop selling four books for 99p. I wasn’t expecting great things, as the rest of the shop had rather a jumble sale air to it, but on my first trip, I ended up finding eight books. I chose rather a rare travelogue by Freya Stark entitled The Lycian Shore, which I hadn’t been able to find very cheaply beforehand, as well as a second printing hardback of Pamela Frankau‘s The Willow Cabin. The other novels which I hauled are The Secret Life and Curious Death of Miss Jean Milne by Andrew Nicoll, which is set in the gorgeous Scottish town of Broughty Ferry; The Nanny Diaries by Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin, which was purchased solely for my love of Mary Poppins, and was actually better than I was expecting; Have the Men Had Enough? by Margaret Forster; Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman, which I am about to begin reading; Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas, an author I’ve heard good things about; and The Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota, which looks right up my street.
When one of my best friends came to stay, we popped into the same charity shop, and I found four more books to add to my shelf: Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty, which I have wanted to read since my parents praised the television adaptation a few months ago; The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Fry, which looks like a sweet and amusing choice for summertime reading; Daughter Buffalo by Janet Frame, whose novel Faces in the Water I very much enjoyed; and my final Sarah Waters novel, Affinity, which I’ve heard mixed things about, but appeals to me regardless.
We then had an hour-long browse in Waterstone’s on a bright Sunday evening, and I picked out the following from the sale racks: Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov, which was a lovely single-sitting read; An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender, which I am very much excited for; and Ariel’s Gift by Erica Wagner, which is a Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes biography I’ve not yet read. I picked up all of them for £5, which I am very impressed with.
I succumbed and purchased six tomes for myself online after writing 10,000 words of my current thesis chapter. I realise that this is something I could repeat ten times over by the time I’ve finished my PhD, but will certainly try not to! Regardless, I am incredibly excited to be united with all of the following: Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel, which is coming all the way from the USA; Reading the World by Ann Morgan; May We Shed These Human Bodies by Amber Sparks; Malinche by Laura Esquivel, which I am going to read whilst in the Caribbean in September; The Little Girls by Elizabeth Bowen; and The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan.
With regard to new books for my Kindle, I have been relatively restrained, downloading just four. I chose The Wonder by Emma Donoghue because it sounded fascinating; whilst historically it was rather interesting, I did find a few issues with it, and only gave it three stars overall. Merlin Bay by Richmal Crompton, however, was absolutely darling, and the perfect choice to read in bright sunshine. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking was a lovely book to curl up with on a raining evening, with candles lit; it certainly did add something to the slew of hygge books which I have read over the last year or so. Finally, I have yet to pick up Why the Dutch Are Different by Ben Coates, which sounds like rather an inspired travelogue.
I am hoping that August will see no new books added to my TBR, and will give me the chance to actually get through some of these!
Which books did you purchase in July? How many of these have you read, and which would you suggest that I start with?