Book Haul – July & August 2019

So, in case you missed it, I am going on a book buying ban. But before I do that, I need to share all the books I got over the past 2 months!

I already told you in Tuesday’s post that I am going to try and not buy any books for the rest of the year. With a few exceptions, of course.
I also told you that I did still have a little (big) book haul coming up, because I did a little bit (a lot) of book shopping over the last two months. And, to be honest, I also already read a few of them. I just couldn’t help myself!

Starting with the four books I kind of randomly picked up right after I got back from Canada and on a fun day out in Utrecht with G.

The October Man – Ben Aaronovitch

If you thought magic was confined to one country… think again.
Trier is famous for wine, Romans and for being Germany’s oldest city. So when a man is found dead with his body covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth.
Fortunately, this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything.
Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork.
With the help of frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he’s quick to link the first victim to a group of middle-aged men – and to realize they may have accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. But the rot is still spreading, literally, and with the suspect list extending to people born before Frederick the Great, solving the case may mean unearthing the city’s secret magical history.
…. so long as that history doesn’t kill them first.

I bought this one as soon as I could. I mean, we all know by now that I am obsessed with Aaronovitch’s writing. And of course I have already read this one, I just couldn’t help myself.
But basically, this book is set in the world of Rivers Of London but in a different country and all new characters. This one is set in Trier in Germany and follows Tobias Winter, who is basically the Peter Grant in Germany. And it’s a short story, something you will see I’ve been loving lately. But that’s all I’m going t say on this book for now, more thoughts will be in my reading wrap-up next week.

Classic Ghost Stories

The whole face. dim at first, gradually focused itself into the clear outline: it was pale and rather lean, the fave of a young man. And then the lower lip dropped a little, showing the glint of teeth, and there was the sound of speech. ‘I shall soon come for you now,’ it said, and on the words it drew a little nearer to her, and the smile broadened. At that the full hot blast of the nightmare poured in upon her…

That was all I had to read before knowing that I needed this book. Well, that and the cover, and the fact that this book is literally called Classic Ghost Stories, and I love me some classic ghost stories. This is a collection of short stories by Dickens, Wells, James (one of my faaaves for creepy stories), Poe and Doyle, and they all just sound so exciting and creepy. I think I am going to save this book for the fall and winter (which are close anyway), to get that full creepy horror effect. This book is a gorgeous hard cover that will look great on my shelves!

The Pharaoh Key – Preston & Child

Gideon Crew is out of a job but it is the least of his worries: his doctor has just told him he has only months to live. Time enough for one last adventure.
For a century, the infamously enigmatic hieroglyphs etched into the Phaistos Disk have defied interpretation. But now, after five long years of computer-aided code-breaking, Gideon has a lead on an undiscovered civilization, long-lost beneath the sand of the Egyptian Sahara.
As a man facing the end of his days, Gideon Crew needs little persuasion to pack up and head out into the heart of the desert.

I’ve read a few Preston & Child books, mostly ones in their Pendergast series. I have read one of their Gideon Crew books as well, and wanted to try a few more, starting with what I think is the newest one. This one sounds exciting, about the Ancient Egyptian culture I think. I find that these books are easy to read and always quite entertaining, so I can’t wait to start this one. Bonus fun thing about these books: the main character has the same name as my boyfriend (Gideon).

The Invisible Library – Genevieve Cogman

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own. And soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.

I picked up this book at the same time as the Classic Ghost Stories. This one sounded like a fun and interesting new series, with some magic, some spying and some romance, which just sounds right up my alley. I actually hadn’t heard about this series before, but I feel like I will really like it. I’ll report back when I’ve actually read in and let you know what I think!

These four books I picked up on my dad & daughter day out with my dad (obviously) in Leiden a few weeks ago. Leiden, I found out, has some AMAZING bookshops and I need to go back right after my book buying ban (more on that over here) to explore them a bit more 😉

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Ambitious, knowledge-hungry student Victor Frankenstein lights upon the secrets of breathing life in inanimate objects. After gathering a collection of body parts , he embarks on a macabre construction exercise, endowing the fruits of his labours with the life force. Having succeeded in his aim, Frankenstein recoils in horror at the “demoniacal corpse” he has created. He abandons the monster, who inspires fear in those he meets. Craving acceptance and affection but facing unrelenting rejection, the monster wrecks his revenge on his creator, who finds that playing God is a dangerous game; that with with power comes responsibility.

I mean, this is a classic and I’ve been really getting into classics lately. I actually wanted to pick up Frankenstein in the Penguin English Library version, but then I saw this cover in an English bookstore in Leiden, and it was buy 3 books for €20 so I knew I had to get it. I think this little hardback version is actually quite stunning as well, and also very handbag friendly.

The Muse – Jessie Burton

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, ready for her luck to change. She has been employed as a typist by the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick, who unlocks a potential Odelle didn’t realize she had. When a lost masterpiece arrives at the gallery, Quick seems to know more than she is prepared to reveal and Odelle is determined to unravel the truth.
The painting’s secret history lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come two strangers, who overturn the Schloss family with explosive and devastating consequences.

I picked this one up in that same English bookstore in Leiden, in that 3 for €20 offer. I have been wanting to buy The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton for a while now, and was actually contemplating buying it that day, but ended up not getting it. When I saw this one in that offer though I decided that I needed to get it, to try out Burton’s writing and see if it’s for me. I also quite like the way this story sounds. I can’t figure out if it has a touch of magic or not, so I am excited to find out!

Murder in Midsummer – selected by Cecily Gayford

A rock pool with a deadly secret. A bank holiday heatwave dominated by the murder of an unknown man. A sun-drenched picnic that ends in a sinister locked-room mystery. And an Adriatic holiday interrupted by a beautiful couple … who aren’t quite who they seem to be.

All these, and many more, can be found in these classic stories of summertime murder and mayhem, featuring masters of the genre from Dorothy L. Sayers to Arthur Conan Doyle. From St Mark’s Square in Venice to the English seaside, their tales will puzzle, entertain and prove that – no matter how far you travel – there’s no rest for the wicked.

Murder and mistery in the middle of summer? Yes, please. I picked this up in a different bookstore than the English one, and as soon as I saw it I knew it was for me. Like I said, I’ve been into my short stories lately. Since it has been mostly ghost stories or other creepy supernatural things, I felt like this would be a nice change. It is also the perfect read for these end of summer days, which is why I’ve already started reading it, so more thoughts on this one will follow soon 😉

The Visitors Book – Sophie Hannah

In this small but perfectly formed collection of supernatural stories, Sophie Hannah takes the comforting scenes of everyday life and imbues them with a frisson of fear.
Why is a young woman so unnerved by the presence of a visitors book in her boyfriend’s inner-city home? And whose spidery handwriting is it that fills the page? Who is the strangely courteous boy lingering at a child’s birthday party when all the others have left? And why does the presence of a perfectly ordinary woman in a post office queue leave another customer pallid and quaking with fear?

Another one I’ve already read, another short story collection. Back to the ghost stories this time though. I had seen this book a few times here and there, but never actually picked it up until the 3 for €20 deal, although each time it did sound quite intriguing to me. But I did get it now, and I read it pretty much right away, and that’s all I’m saying for now. Well.. except that it is perfectly handbag sized.

And lastly, I also got one book as a present this month from a friend who was visiting for the States.

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

I’m not like the rest of you; I never made any plans about what I’d do when I grew up; I never thought of being married, as you did. I couldn’t seem to imagine myself anything but stupid little Beth, trotting about at home, of no use anywhere but there. I never wanted to go away, and the hard part now is leaving you all.

Another classic, in a beautiful binding! This same friend actually gifted me Pride & Prejudice in the same edition a few years ago (which I haven’t read yet, shame on me) so the fact that she got me this one as well is so kind and thoughtful. I love the look of this book, and I have a feeling that I will like the story as well. I know it’s quite popular, but I actually don’t know a whole lot about the book so I am excited to start reading this soon.

And those are all the 9 books I got over the last 2 months, and probably also the last 9 books I will be getting in a while. At least that’s the goal. Although my birthday is coming up next month, so one more little book haul might be coming your way in a few weeks…

Anyways, I am really excited to read all these books and to maybe discover some great new (to me) writers and series. I will definitely keep you updated on all of these!

Thanks for stopping by ❤