Book Haul – October 2020

Don’t worry, I didn’t buy any books, these are just belated birthday presents.

Actually, one is not belated, I got it on my birthday, but for some reason I totally forgot to add it to my pile of books to shoot last month so I am just going to talk about it this month. The other books in the haul portion of this post are belated though, and very very welcome. Because although so far I am still sticking to the book buying ban, it seems like I am suddenly discovering a lot of books that I want to add to my wish list, so I’ve had to stop myself multiple times from actually buying one or two. Getting new books another way has definitely made it a little easier for me to leave those books for another time 😉

I will warn you up front: this little book haul is very Agatha Christie heavy, because those were the books that were on my mind when my family asked me what books I wanted for my birthday. I am definitely not complaining though, I love her books so much.

How I Grew – Mary McCarthy

‘I was born as a mind during 1925, my bodily birth having taken place in 1912,’ writes Mary McCarthy as a way of introduction to this brilliant first installment of her autobiography.
How I Grew traces her progress form girlhood in Seattle during the mid-1920’s to her graduation from Vassar, and subsequent ill-matched first marriage during the depression in New York.
In a lively and perspective narrative, she describes her sheltered upbringing. Deep and lasting friendships and lasting hates, adolescent vulnerabilities and susceptibilities, academic accomplishments and early efforts at writing all sketched with a cool and detached wit, an eagle-eye for detail and profound insight. But this is also an exercise in chronicling the growth of an intellect. Observing her early life and motives, she could echo the words of W. H. Auden, ‘How do I know what I think until I see what I say’, as she skillfully and vividly involves the reader in the act of remembering itself. How I Grew is a compelling new approuch to the art of autobiography.

Let’s start with the one book that isn’t Agatha Christie, and that is actually quite out of my reading comfort zone as it is non fiction and a memoir. This book was a birthday present from my mother-in-law, the book I forgot to feature last month because I put in on my shelves right away. I always quite like getting books that are out of my comfort zone because it challenges me to try something new and different, and I feel like I have discovered some books that I really enjoyed that way. How I Grew is a memoir from Mary McCarthy, clearly, and to be honest I have no idea who she is. From what I can tell she is a writer, I think, mostly non-fiction maybe? I honestly don’t know. But I am excited to find out through this book!

The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie

‘Key is in the lock alright, sir. On the inside. Mr Ackroyd must have locked himself in.’
Poor Roger Ackroyd. He knew that the woman he loved had been harbouring guilty secret – she poisoned her first husband. And yesterday she killed herself.
But guilty secrets rarely stay secret. Who had been blackmailing her before her death? Had it really driven her to suicide? And would it all be revealed in the letter that arrived in the evening post? Sadly Roger Ackroyd wasn’t going to live long enough to find out…

We have reached the Agatha Christie portion of this haul. This first one, which is the fourth Poirot book I believe, was a gift from my sister. I asked her for one of the earlier Poirot books and she delivered. She said that this was one she really enjoyed herself, and I always love getting books that other people really liked themselves. It means you can chat about it afterwards 🙂 And I feel like you can just never go wrong with an Agatha Christie book, by now you all know how much I love those. This one sounds like we are mostly trying to figure out if it is a suicide or now, but also who the blackmailer is of course. I am curious to see if this is a Hastings and Poirot story or just a Poirot one, because I can’t tell from the description what it’s going to be. I am excited to find out soon!

The Murder At The Vicarage – Agatha Christie

‘Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe’ declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, ‘would be doing the world at large a favour!’
It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which comes back to haunt the clergyman just a few hours later – when the Colonel is found shot dead in the clergyman’s study. But as Miss Marple soon discovers, the whole village seems to have had a motive to kill Colonel Protheroe.

Onto the books I got for my mum for my birthday. I asked her for a Miss Marple book, she got me two! I read the first Poirot book this past month, and now I have the very first Miss Marple one as well. I am excited how she is first introduced to the world, and how this very first book in the series compares to the other two books I have read. I like that Miss Marple seems to mostly take place in smaller English countryside towns, whereas Poirot takes us to small towns, big cities and even all over the world. The description of this book so far sounds different to the other Miss Marple books I’ve read this year, which were The Moving Finger and A Murder Is Announced, so I am very excited to dive into the story.

The Body In The Library – Agatha Christie

When the Bantrys wake to find the body of a beautiful young stranger in their library, Dolly Branty knows there’s only one person to call: her old friend Miss Marple.
Who was the young girl? What was she doing in the library? And is there a connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are discovered in an abandoned quarry?
Miss Marple must solve the mystery, before tongues start to wag and the murderer strikes again.

And lastly, the other Miss Marple my mum got me. Apparently here we have a serial killer on the loose, how fun! (But only as long as it’s fiction). This is the third book in the Miss Marple series, because the second book – The 13 Problems – wasn’t available at the time my mum got the books. I don’t really care though, the Agatha Christie books are just perfect to read on their own, you really don’t need to start with book one and end with book whatever the last one is. I am so excited to have a good amount of Christie’s to read again, these just are the perfect comfort reads for me.

One month into the 2020 Book Buying Ban and I managed to add 4 new books to my collection. I am not complaining of course, I love new books. I expect November to be a bookless month though, at least in terms of new books. I will of course be trying to read a ton.

Thanks for stopping by ❤