Book Haul feat. Ta-Nehisi Coates
As life gets a little bit harder, I tend to go out of my way to make more time for self care and for the things that make me happy. One of the ways in which I like to perk myself up is by buying books. No, buying beautiful books doesn't make all the life stuff go away entirely but it does help me to take my mind off it for a little while and I'm therefore hailing it as a good thing. Everybody loves a book haul, lets not kid ourselves!
And luckily for us all, it's my biggest book haul of the year so far with 6 new books winging their way to my bookshelves. I know that in the grand scheme of book blogging and booktubing that is nothing but I have been quite frugal with my bookish purchases so far this year (probably because I've suddenly got a penchant for buying faux leather jackets instead...).
hope farm by peggy frew*
In the winter of 1985. Hope Farm sticks out of the ragged landscape like a decaying tooth, its weatherboard walls sagging into the undergrowth. Silver's mother, Ishtar, has fallen for the charismatic Miller, and the three of them have moved to the rural hippie commune to make a new start. At Hope, Silver finds unexpected friendship and, at last, a place to call home. But it is also here that, at just thirteen, she is thrust into an unrelenting adult world - and the walls begin to come tumbling down, with deadly consequences.
I've always been weirdly fascinated by tales of cults and communes, as mentioned in my Reading Taste post, so when I got an email about this book I decided to do a pretty rare thing and accept a review copy. The blurb makes this sound like the perfect summer page turner, so I'm hoping to put it to the test and read it over the next couple of months. Loving that cover too - who knew soil could look so good?! If you've got any recommendations for shows, films or books about cults, etc, then do please let me know in a comment or a tweet.
nobody is ever missing by catherine lacey
Without telling her family, Elyria takes a one-way flight to New Zealand, abruptly leaving her stable but unfulfilling life in Manhattan. As her husband scrambles to figure out what happened to her, Elyria hurtles into the unknown, testing fate by hitchhiking, tacitly being swept into the lives of strangers, and sleeping in fields, forests, and public parks. Her risky and often surreal encounters with the people and wildlife of New Zealand propel Elyria deeper into her deteriorating mind. Haunted by her sister's death and consumed by an inner violence, her growing rage remains so expertly concealed that those who meet her sense nothing unwell. This discord between her inner and outer reality leads her to another obsession: If her truest self is invisible and unknowable to others, is she even alive?
Nobody Is Ever Missing had been on my Goodreads 'books to buy' list since January 2015 after I stumbled across it in the 'recommended reads' section. I put it to the back of my mind but a few weeks ago I was browsing the publisher's website and I decided to finally give it a shot. Not gonna lie pals, the cover drew me to it initially. Dem colours. Mmm! However, the blurb also completely draws me in. I'm all for exploring mental health through literature and Elyria sounds like a pretty interesting protagonist. I'll report back.
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis [...] What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son - and readers - the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder.
This book set the online book community alight when it was released last year and, from what I've read, rightly so! I am so looking forward to reading this. I've got a feeling it's going to be quite hard hitting but literature such as this is so bloody important and needs to be shared far and wide!
so the wind won't blow it all away by richard brautigan
Through the eyes, ears and voice of Brautigan's youthful protagonist the reader is gently led into a small-town tale where the narrator accidentally shoots dead his best friends with a gun. The novel deals with the repercussions of this tragedy and its recurring theme of 'What if...' fuels anguish, regret and self-blame as well as some darkly comic passages of bittersweet romance and despair.
Sometimes I just happen to stumble across books and for whatever reason I purchase them without really knowing anything about them or the author. Luckily, this time my yolo laissez-faire attitude panned out well. I read this a couple of weeks ago in the garden and it was so funny and charming and well written! I loved it. More on that in my May book reviews later this month.
under the skin by michel faber
Michel Faber introduces us to Isserley, a female driver who cruises the Scottish Highlands picking up hitchhikers [...] A grotesque and comical allegory, Under the Skin takes us on a heart-thumping ride through dangerous territory - our own moral instincts and the boundaries of compassion - to present a surreal representation of contemporary society run amok.
I managed to avoid knowing too much about the plot before I read this and I'm so glad that was the case. I was looking for a thriller to sink my teeth into whilst I dogsat and this turned out to be the perfect read for me. I had been wanting to read Under The Skin for such a long time and I feel like it exceeded all my expectations. More on my experiences in my future book review but just know that I was pleased with this purchase. Also, as film covers go...this one is pretty great.
go your crohn way by kathleen nicholls
For Kathleen Nicholls, life with Crohn's Disease has been a constant battle against her bowels. But life has also been about David Bowie, dancing, and laughter. Go Your Crohn Way follows the highs and lows of Kathleen's experiences, and is full of useful advice for maintaining self-confidence and positivity while navigating the world of work, relationships, and those conversations. Warm and inspiring, this book demonstrates how Crohn's can be life-changing, but not just for the worse. Kathleen gives advice and tips on adapting and thriving through Crohn's, including a specially created phrasebook, which proves that so long as you know how to ask for the nearest bathroom, globe-trotting is still firmly on the agenda. Full of fun and humour, Kathleen's journey through life with Crohn's Disease will leave you - like her - in stitches.
One of the best things about being a spoonie online is 'meeting' fellow Crohnies that just get you. I met Kathleen, a part-time Sly Stallone lookalike, after stumbling across the blog that she writes about her experiences with Crohns Disease, Crohnological Order. Always destined for great things, Kathleen put all her expertise into writing and publishing a book that is wonderfully titled Go Your Crohn Away. I won this in a Twitter giveaway and I am so looking forward to thumbing through it when I feel entirely alone in this world. From the pages I've browsed already, I can tell this book is totally worth a read. Well done, Kathleen! You go, hen!
If you'd like to scroll through all of my book blog posts then you can. Or, alternatively, you could just flick through my book hauls instead.