September was another bountiful month for bookish mail, with lots of books arriving on my doorstep. These hauls have been review copy heavy of late, I know, but I find book buying quite difficult when I'm recovering from surgery, as I prefer to buy my books from secondhand bookshops and charity shops rather than via online websites. I've also been consciously trying to read the books that I already own before buying new ones - what a novelty! Do let me know if you're interested in any of the following titles and do let me know if I should make any of them a priority.
I desperately wanted to pre-order Saga ready for its release, so I borrowed Luke's login details and made a little purchase. I tried to save it for as long as possible following its arrival but after a few days I gave in and read it. My full review will be up next month but I seriously enjoyed it! I wasn't far off receiving free delivery so I thought I'd throw in another Waters' book to take me over the threshold. I now own three of Waters' novels (The Paying Guests, The Night Watch and The Little Stranger) and I have yet to read any of them. I'm thinking of starting with the latter, because I've heard nothing but incredible things about it but do let me know if I should read them in a different order.
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out of work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husbands and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. For with the arrival of Lillian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the 'clerk class', the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.
PENGUIN BY HAND
I received a package from Penguin to celebrate the UK release of their Penguin By Hand collection. Penguin By Hand is a collection 'compromising six of (their) most popular women's fiction titles of recent years, with new and beautiful craft-inspired jackets'. I think what I quite like about this collection is that they aren't necessarily titles that I would gravitate to were it not for the publisher bringing them to my attention with such beautiful new designs. It's nice to step out of my comfort zone every now and again and try new things. The only book I'm incredibly apprehensive about is The Help because, honestly, I don't really want to read about the black experience from a privileged white woman...But, we'll see.
the forty rules of love by elif shafak*
Ella Rubenstein is 40 years old and unhappily married when she takes a job as a reader for a literary agent - and suddenly her life is transformed. Her first assignment is to read a novel about the ancient Sufi mystic, Rumi, who was transformed by the whirling dervish into a passionate poet and advocate of love. Slowly she realises that his 13th century life is starting to mirror her own, and in doing so it opens up exciting opportunities for her to embrace the dervish's timeless message for herself.
THE GIRLS' GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING BY MELISSA BANK*
After following the advice from a manual called 'How to Meet and Marry Mr Right', Jane learns that in love there is neither pattern nor promise. The Girls' Guide To Hunting and Fishing is a deeply funnily collection of connected stories and a portrait of Jane, a woman maneuvering her way through love, sex and relationships.
THE HELP BY KATHRYN STOCKETT*
Enter a vanished and unjust world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren't trusted not to steal the silver...Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they'd be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell.
THE POSTMISTRESS BY SARAH BLAKE*
It is 1940, and bombs fall nightly on London. In the thick of the chaos is young American radio reporter Frankie Bard. She huddles close to terrified strangers in underground shelters, and later broadcasts stories about survivors in rubble-strewn streets. But for her listeners, the war is far from home. Listening to Frankie are Iris James, a Cape Cod postmistress, and Emma Fitch, a doctor's wife. One night in London the fates of all three women entwine when Frankie finds a letter - a letter she vows to deliver...
THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB BY KAREN JOY FOWLER*
Six people - five women and a man - meet once a month in California's Central Valley to discuss Jane Austen's novels. They are ordinary people, neither happy nor unhappy, but each of them is wounded in different ways, they are all mixed up about their lives and relationships. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable - under the guiding eye of Jane Austen a couple of them even fall in love...
THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER BY KIM EDWARDS*
It should have been an ordinary birth, the start of a happy family. But the night Dr David Henry delivers his wife's twins is a night that will haunt five lives for ever. For though David's son is healthy, his daughter has Down's syndrome. In a shocking act of betrayal, he tells his wife their daughter died while secretly entrusting her care to a nurse. As grief quietly tears apart David's family, so a little girl must make her own way in the world as best she can...
MISCELLANEOUS BOOKISH MAIL
I also received a few bits of miscellaneous book mail this month....
seven brief lessons on physics by carlo rovelli*
These 7 short lessons guide us, with simplicity and clarity, through the scientific revolution that shook physics in the 20th century and still continues to shake us today. In this beautiful and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, Carlo Rovelli explains Einstein's theory of general relativity, quantum mechanics, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, elementary particles, gravity and the nature of the mind. In under eighty pages, readers will understand the most transformative scientific discoveries of the twentieth century and what they mean to us.
I always found Science a really difficult subject at school. I struggled to retain the information and even when I did I didn't fully understand anything. Now that I'm older and more willing to learn about things that I find difficult, I'm really looking forward to reading this book. It has got a tough job ahead of it if it is going to teach me the basics of physics though...
everything everything by nicola yoon*
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then, one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black - black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.
YA romances are far from my usual read, granted, but I think it's important to read protagonists that have illnesses, etc, and I rarely do. I'll be honest, the synopsis makes me worry because Olly sounds like he is cut and paste YA fodder but a few of my friends on Goodreads have given it a good rating so we'll see.
brooklyn by colm tóibín*
Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America -- to live and work in a Brooklyn neighbourhood 'just like Ireland' -- she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind. Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.
Steph at Penguin read this book during her summer holiday and she thought I'd also enjoy it so she sent it my way. I've heard a lot of people in the online bookish community discuss Colm Tóibín so I'm looking forward to reading this before its adaptation gets released in cinemas. I'm not usually one for romances but I do enjoy stories that cross continents so this should be interesting.
THE NONSENSE SHOW BY ERIC CARLE*
Yes, there's something strange, something funny and even downright preposterous on every page of this book. But it's not a mistake -- it's nonsense! And it's also surrealism. Nonsense lies at the heart of many beloved nursery rhymes. Children readily accept odd statements like 'the cow jumped over the moon' and 'the dish ran away with the spoon'. This fanciful bending of reality is also basic to surrealism. In this book, nonsense and surrealism combine to spark creativity and imagination. What's true? What's impossible? What's absolutely absurd? From Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, comes a book to make children laugh and think, preparing them for a lifetime of loving both words and art.
Eric Carle is back with another colourful children's book and, luckily enough, I'm going to be doing a little post to celebrate this new release next month so keep your eyes peeled for that!
THE BIRDS AND OTHER STORIES BY DAPHNE DU MAURIER*
A classic of alienation and horror, The Birds was immortalised by Hitchcock in his celebrated film. The five other chilling stories in this collection echo a sense of dislocation and mock man's sense of dominance over the natural world. The mountain paradise of Mote Veritá promises immortality, but at a terrible price; a neglected wife haunts her husband in the form of an apple tree; a professional photographer steps out from behind the camera and into his subject's life; a date with a cinema usherette leads to a walk in the cemetery; and a jealous father finds a remedy when three's a crowd...