Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

Latest Acquisitions (September – October 2017)

I didn’t realise the last time I posted about acquisitions was January. High time for another; I may write about books in my Reading Life series but unless I’m actively reading/considering reading any one work at that time, it’ll get missed.

Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover

A J Waines: Lost In The Lake – You knew this was coming! This is the author’s latest book and one we’ll be focusing on in our conversation. (I’ll be recording the event and may well write about it here as we’re working with a slightly different approach.)

April Munday: The Heir’s Tale – Released just last week, this is April’s latest book, a medieval romance with a blurb that has me thinking of Elizabeth Chadwick – awesome. You’ll know April from my blog comments; we’ve known each other a while. Look out for my review, it’ll be posted later this season, and may well prompt another foray into stories about the Middle Ages.

Hanif Kureishi: The Last Word – Those times when you read about something, are intrigued and then start seeing it everywhere. Mix that with finding a book that’s a comedy (it reminds me of Alan Bennett), a semi-quick read, and a heavy discount, and buying happens.

J Courtney Sullivan: The Engagements – I’ve wanted to read Sullivan’s Maine for years, but it’s proved very difficult to find in Britain. (I once found a copy but it was very battered and not worth the brand new price.) This is the next best thing.

Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover

Jane Harris: Sugar Money – I saw this in an article last week and noted it was going to be released on 5th October. I studied American slavery and abolition at university and it’s one of the subjects I’ve retained a big interest in. And when you add the author’s name to that… So, yesterday morning, I looked online for stock at my local Waterstones and there was a copy. I got there after work and it was nowhere to be seen on the shelves; I finally found it on the trolley, yet to be shelved. Bit of a laugh with the member of staff; I was most certainly allowed to take stock from the trolley and it was great it hadn’t even made it to the floor before being sold. With this book, I think my December reading list is complete.

Peter Ackroyd: Civil War – A couple of years ago I bought the previous book in this series in hardback, an impulse buy that nevertheless made absolute sense because, as I believe the common phrase goes, ‘because Tudors’, and thought I might get the next. Never did, and I passed that time when hardbacks are replaced by paperbacks. Then a nephew wanted a toy dinosaur, I found myself in The Works, and there was the book for £3. (For anyone not in Britain, The Works is mostly an art shop but they also sell a whole heap of discounted books.)

Tony Peake: North Facing – From the publisher, a book about South Africa set in the political upheaval of the 1960s. I can’t pretend to know anything more than that but the publisher, Myriad, have proved to be good so far.

Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway – Readying myself for Christmas; I was planning to buy Orlando but it wasn’t there when I went in and I decided to take that as a hint that I should be starting with something else.

As you can tell by the essay above, I’m pretty excited about these books! I should also stop spending money on brand new books and concentrate on my backlog. Best intentions and all that. I’m currently living by the famous quote from Erasmus.

Do you ever go to buy a book on its release date?

Latest Acquisitions (November 2016 – January 2017)

Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover

Barbara Erskine: Sleeper’s Castle – I’ve never read Erskine before; had always planned to; listening to her speak at Hay and reading a sampler had me putting it on my Christmas wish list.

Elizabeth Chadwick: The Autumn Throne – The last of Chadwick’s Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy; loved the first book, not yet got to the second…

Helen Irene Young: The May Queen – Set for an April review, this is a historical novel with a great premise; to be honest, the cover likely would’ve been enough to grab me, it tells you a lot.

Hiromi Kawakami: The Nakano Thrift Shop – So excited.

Josephine Johnson: Now In November – A 1930s novel that I hadn’t heard of before but is apparently rather well-known; I’ll be reviewing this in a few weeks.

Lauren Owen: The Quick – I may not get to this for a while but I’ve been wanting to read it for ages.

Margaret Laurence: The Stone Angel – Another older novel that has been republished; rather looking forward to reading it.

Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover

Meelis Friedenthal: The Willow King – The cover had me very excited and I haven’t wanted to look too closely at the premise for fear of spoiling it but I think it’s more present-day than historical.

Nicola Cornick: The Phantom Tree – Cornick’s previous, House Of Shadows made my top 7 in 2015; I believe the genre of this new one is the same.

Sally O’Reilly: Dark Aemilia – Having read Elizabeth Fremantle’s The Girl In The Glass Tower I’ve been particularly interested in this because both are about the same Aemilia; Fremantle concentrated on Aemilia’s later life and wove her into Arbella Stuart’s story, O’Reilly’s book looks at her life in the context of Shakespeare.

Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar – It’s been a long time coming; I’m ready for what I hear is a difficult book (I haven’t wanted to read too much about it).

Tom Connolly: Men Like Air – A study of relationships, this follows a few different characters.

Tony Grey: The Tortoise Of Asia – Historical fiction based on a legend, this is about a Roman soldier who is taken prisoner and ends up battling for the Huns.

Latest Acquisitions (June – August 2016)

Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover

Augusto Di Angelis: The Mystery Of The Three Orchids – 1940s Italian crime fiction. From the publisher.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen: Waking Lions – Very excited about this one, having loved One Night, Markovitch.

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans: Designing Your Life – I had heard great things about the events these authors have been at and when I received this book I read a chapter at random and it does indeed seem very good. I’ll be reviewing it later this month.

Dan Richards: The Beechwood Airship Interviews – The author decides to build an airship and interviews various famous people (including Dame Judi Dench) about their artistic lives. If it’s anything like Climbing Days it’ll be excellent.

Frédéric Dard: The Wicked Go To Hell – The second Dard to be published by Pushkin Press. The first was pretty great and very original.

Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover

Helen Slavin: Crooked Daylight – The first in a new fantasy series about the daughters of a witch. Scheduled for later this month.

Jemma Wayne: Chains Of Sand – Wayne’s first book was longlisted for the Bailey’s Prize and the Not The Booker Prize, and this has been shortlisted for that second prize. I’m rather excited – the first paragraph, which I read for another round of first line analyses, is excellent in itself.

Keith Stuart: A Boy Made Of Blocks – This is a novel inspired by the author’s experience raising a child with autism; the author’s Games Editor for The Guardian and has written about the positive impact Minecraft has had on his son and their communication with him. Very excited to read this.

Linda Stift: The Empress And The Cake – An Austrian psycho-thriller, the latest Peirene and the last in their fairy-tale series. You’re pretty much guaranteed a great read when it’s Peirene.

Solomon Northup: 12 Years A Slave – It’s time, enough said.

Pick one of your recent acquisitions/borrowed books – what made you choose it?

Latest Acquisitions (February – May 2016)

It has been a long time, by reader standards, since my last acquisitions post. Whilst I didn’t receive fiction or prose-like non-fiction for Christmas, I did receive gift cards; this post is made up of the books I spent my gift cards on, an Easter gift, and some review copies. I’m changing my format for now and it may continue; there is too much white space left in these posts.

Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover

Anna Hope: The Ballroom – It seemed everyone loved Wake and when I finally got to it myself I joined the ranks; there was no question – I was going to get this book.

Ayelet Gundar Goshen: One Night, Markovitch – Remember when I said I’d been eyeing this one since its release and it would get me one day?

Colm Tóibín: Brooklyn – Have I got those accents right? I’ve been after this one ever since it came out; if my pile could breath a sigh of relief, it would.

Deborah Levy: Swimming Home – I was intrigued by the previous cover and it was on a shortlist or two, but then I had the chance to hear Levy speak at a Peirene Salon, about Raymond Jean’s Reader For Hire, in fact (not her own book), and her thoughts on that book impressed me so much this one became a definite want.

Gabriel García Márquez: One Hundred Years Of Solitude – So I went in to get Margaret Forster’s biography of Daphne Du Maurier but whilst browsing I saw this and a voice in my head just kind of said ‘it’s time’, which was weird, actually, because whilst I’m not against it, García Márquez has never been on my want-to-read-at-some-point list. Anyway, it was a strong feeling so I left the mint-condition Forster on the shelf and got this instead.

Gerri Brightwell: Dead Of Winter – From the publisher, a darkly humorous thriller set in a small town in Alaska.

Book cover Book cover Book cover Book cover

Haruki Murakami: Norwegian Wood – I’ve asked for opinions before, about which Murakami to start with, and most people say another, but I just can’t shake the draw I have to this one and it’s stuck around through a cover change.

Martin Holmén: Clinch – From the publisher, this is a Scandinavian thriller that looks to rival others and has been described as ‘a remarkable début’.

Sue Gee: Trio – Very excited about this; I’d thought of requesting it, didn’t get round to it, then found it in my mailbox anyway.

V H Leslie: Bodies Of Water – Ditto the situation with the Sue Gee.

With the gift cards I was strict and got books I’d wanted for some time. Suffice to say I’m excited.

What are the books at the top of your to be read pile?

Latest Acquisitions (October 2015)

Time for another of these, I think. This past week has seen me receive more books than any other so no guesses as to what I’m planning to do with my weekend but it’s going to be fun, that’s for sure.

Book cover

Christina James: The Crossing – From the publisher; the second in a thriller series.

Book cover

Diney Costeloe: The Throwaway Children – Having watched series four of Call The Midwife recently, I recognised what the photograph was about and having that new interest in the subject thought it might be an idea to learn about it whilst in mind.

Book cover

Elizabeth Baines: Used To Be – I’m incredibly excited about this one, a collection of short stories by an author I met at the Georges Simenon event.

Book cover

Lisa Hilton: Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince – Someone I love to read about plus non-fiction equals yes please.

Book cover

Matthew Pritchard: Broken Arrow – Crime. I don’t know all that much about it at this point (you know how I like to avoid blurbs when possible) but it’s published by Salt and that’s really all that needs to be said.

Book cover

Nicola Cornick: House Of Shadows – A triple plot line by an author I met at the RNA conference. I’m set to review this soon and I’m looking forward to it.

Book cover

Su Dharmapala: Saree – The cover got me. This is quite a lengthy book, at least 500 pages, so I’m not sure when I’ll be reading it but it’s on my ‘soonish’ list.

There are three books from Salt Publishing on this list and I love that; they publish some excellent stuff. I’m thinking of making myself a to-be-reviewed shelf in my study, possibly using the window sill for the time being, because whilst I have most of the list in mind I see potential value in having everything in one place. (At the moment review copies are mixed in with my own books.)

What have you borrowed/acquired/bought recently? And have you a place for books you want to read soon?


Older Entries