adventures, books & creative lifestyle.

Book Haul feat. Shirley Jackson

book haul vivatramp book blogger

Quite a lot of new-to-me books passed over my doorstep during the last two months, including a short story collection from an author I've been meaning to read more from and a contemporary take on the classic paper doll books that I would've begged my Grandma to buy me from the shop when I was younger. 

Do let me know if you've read and enjoyed the following books as I'd love to know what you guys thought! Enjoy...

book blogger vivatramp uk lifestyle blogs

miss peregrine's home for peculiar children by ransom riggs*

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous...

To celebrate the release of the film adaptation, Quirk Books got in touch and asked whether I'd like to receive a copy of the book, complete with film cover, to review and I thought why not. Quirk had actually sent me this book on a couple of occasions years ago but, for whatever reason, maybe it was the peculiar kids, it never turned up so it felt like a good omen that this one actually arrived at my door. I'm all for islands and abandoned buildings in fiction so I'm hoping this proves to be right up my street. I think I'm right in saying that Riggs created or found the photographs before he wrote the novel and that worries me a little as I've always been told to get your text out there first but in the grand scheme of things I'm sure it's nothing I need to be concerned about. I'm sure it'll be fun to dip my toe back into the YA waters...

vivatramp uk book bloggers book haul where did you sleep last night lynn crosbie

where did you sleep last night by lynn crosbie*

Evelyn Gray is a miserable sixteen-year-old girl from Carnation, Washington, who is in love with Kurt Cobain. When Evelyn is taken to hospital after a drug overdose, Cobain's spirit reanimates itself in the body of a young man who is convalescing in the bed next to her. Evelyn and the man -- now named Celine Black -- escape the hospital and run off together, determined to become famous...

This book had been sat on my Goodreads to buy shelf since October 2015 so I thought I'd do something that I never seem to do, weirdly, and get in contact with the publisher to see if they'd want to send me a review copy because the blurb just sounded too wonderfully weird for me to miss out on. They kindly agreed to send it overseas and I am now the proud owner of this wonderful copy. How delightfully different does this book sound?! And how good is that cover?! I honestly have no idea what to expect with this one, particularly as it'll be one of my first introductions to haute fan fiction but I think it's one of those reads where you just have to suspend all belief and go with it. Isn't that what fiction is all about anyway?! This could be fun.

books uk book blogger vivatramp trainwreck sady doyle

trainwreck by sady doyle*

From Mary Wollstonecraft - who, for decades after her death, was more famous for her illegitimate child and suicide attempt than for A Vindication of the Rights of Women - to Charlotte Bronte, Billie Holiday, Sylvia Plath, and even Hillary Clinton, Sady Doyle's Trainwreck dissects a centuries-old phenomenon and asks what it means now, in a time when we have unprecendented access to celebrities and civilians alike, and when women are pushing harder than ever against the boundaries of what it means to "behave". Where did these women come from? What are their crimes? And what does it mean for the rest of us?...

As I harp on about books quite a lot, I tend to get a handful of emails a week about possible review copies and I turn the majority of them down. However, when Melville House messaged me about this one I decided to accept a copy on the basis that it sounded relevant to my interests. I also haven't really read a lot of non-fiction outside of academia, and I probably should, so this seems a good enough place to start! 

on such a full sea chang rae lee vivatramp book blogs in the uk

on such a full sea by chang-rae lee

In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighbourhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labor colonies. And the members of the labor class - descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China - find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labor settlement. In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan's journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.

You know I love to dip into a good bit of dystopia so here's my latest hurrah into the genre. I also happen to really enjoy books that involve actual physical journeys so that's two boxes ticked with this teeny bag-friendly paperback. Dystopian literature has entirely messed up my dreams to the point where I no longer sleep soundly but they're worth the insomnia, in my opinion. I haven't seen anyone talk about this book so I'd be interested to hear your thoughts if it's something you've read.

the lady in the lake raymond chandler book bloggers uk vivatramp

the lady in the lake by raymond chandler

Derace Kingsley's wife ran away to Mexico to get a quickie divorce and marry a Casanova-wannabe named Chris Lavery. Or so the note she left her husband insisted. Trouble is, when Philip Marlowe asks Lavery about it he denies everything and sends the private investigator packing with a flea lodged firmly in his ear. But when Marlowe next encounters Lavery, he's denying nothing - on account of the two bullet holes in his heart. Now Marlowe's on the trail of a killer, who leads him out of smoggy LA all the way to a murky mountain lake...

I have yet to venture into the world of crime noir so when Penguin added this title to their beautiful Essentials collection, I thought I'd take it as some sort of sign. I don't really know what to expect when it comes to the genre but every time I think of crime noir I picture 1950s New York, black and white, and a man with a cigar hanging from his mouth as he proclaims, in his broad accent, 'wellllll it all started when...'. If I end up enjoying the story as much as I enjoy the cover, I'll be more than happy.

the lottery shirley jackson book haul uk book bloggers vivatramp

the lottery and other stories by shirley jackson

In these stories an excellent host finds himself turned out of home by his own guests; a woman spends her wedding day frantically searching for her husband-to-be; and in Shirley Jackson's best-known story, a small farming village comes together for a terrible annual ritual. The creeping unease of lives squandered and the bloody glee of lives lost is chillingly captured in these tales of wasted potential and casual cruelty by a master of the short story. 

Ever since I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle and loved it I have been saying that I need to pick up more Shirley Jackson. I wasn't really sure where to go next with her work but, in the end, I opted for this collection of some of her most famous short stories. The Hunger Games was based on The Lottery, don't you know?! Jackson is an author that I really want to read more from, because she seems like a woman that I would totally get on with, so I'm sure you'll see more of her work in my book hauls over the next year or so. 

this sweet sickness patricia highsmith uk book bloggers vivatramp

THis sweet sickness by patricia highsmith
David Kelsey has an invincible conviction that life is going to work out just as he has planned it. Even though his one true love, the brilliant, beautiful Annabelle, has married another man. That cannot possibly be the end of their relationship, can it? Surely they can still be friends. And even though she is pregnant with her husband Gerald's baby, that doesn't mean she won't one day get back together with David, does it? David is sure she'll take him back, and, under an alias, is setting up a wonderful home for the two of them in a town close by. Everything is just about going to plan when things take a murderous turn...

Patricia Highsmith is an author that everyone seems to adore so, seeing as I was using this particular book order to try new things, I thought there was no time like the present. This probably isn't where the majority of people would start as she has written things like Carol and The Talented Mr. Ripley but I was watching one of Simon's latest videos and he said this one was recommended on a book show so I thought I'd just go for it because it sounded deliciously dark and I bloody love using those two words in conjunction with one another.

the graces laure eve book review uk book bloggers vivatramp

THe graces by laure eve*
'Everyone said the Graces were witches. They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair. They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different. All I had to do was show them that person was me'. Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on? 

I had seen Alice declare this book as one of her 2016 favourites so I was pleasantly surprised when Faber Children's got in touch asking if I wanted to receive a witchy parcel for review. If you've been reading my blog for a while now, you'll know that supernatural YA isn't my thing in the slightest. However, I decided to step out of my comfort zone as we're coming up to the autumnal witching season and this book just felt fit for that purpose. Weirdly, I actually ploughed through this as soon as it landed on my doorstep and I had a lot of feels. You can read about said feels in my book review of The Graces

vivatramp book hauls

v & a fashion mash-up by daisy de villeneuve*
A deluxe fashion press-out dress up book that combines the very best of fashion from the V & A and style trends throughout history - perfect for fashion fans of all ages! 

My Grandma used to buy me those cute dress up paper doll books when I was little and this feels like the most super cool and luxe upgrade! Puffin have teamed up with the V & A to share this book that teaches you the history of fashion whilst allowing you to play about and create your very own outfits. If you're in the market for a fashion forward book for your littles, or lets face it yourself, do keep an eye out. I for one cannot wait to get stuck in on a cold afternoon. 

michel faber some rain must fall book bloggers uk

some rain must fall and other stories by michel faber
A short story collection. 'Some Rain Must Fall' juxtaposes the tragic circumstances of traumatised schoolchildren with the interior monologue of a teacher / psychologist enlisted to aid their recovery. In the pseudo sci-fi 'Fish' a mother tries to protect her child in a terrorfying world where fish swim through the streets and lurk in alleyways.  

Despite feeling lukewarm towards the last bit of Faber that I read, I want to read more. I've got my eye on The Crimson Petal and the White because a lot of people have recommended it but, for now, I've decided to pick up some of his short stories. Short story collections are great to just dip in and out of so, who knows, I could get to this one before the end of the year if I'm in the mood for something a little surreal. I did, however, just finish another of Faber's novels so I may put this on the backburner until 2017. It's a mystery...

the house on the strand daphne du maurier book blog uk

the house on the strand by daphne du maurier
Magnus Lane, a University of London chemical researcher, asks his friend Richard Young and Young's family to stay at Kilmarth, an ancient house set in the wilds near the Cornish coast. Here, Richard drinks a potion created by Magnus and finds himself at the same spot where he was moments earlier - though it is now the fourteenth century. The effects of the drink wear off after several hours, but it is wildly addictive, and Richard cannot resist travelling back and forth in time. Gradually growing more involved in the lives of the early Cornish manor lords and their ladies, he finds the prescence of his wife and stepsons a hindrance to his new-found experience. Richard [finds emotional refuge in the past but chaos ensues and] when he attempts to intervene the results are brutally terrifying for the present. 

Du Maurier strays from her usual and goes all sci-fi with this story! And do you know what pals, I am excited about this. I'm not really into historical fiction as such but the time travel element makes it much more palatable to me. I definitely want to read another Du Maurier before the year is out and this could be it...

uk lifestyle blogs vivatramp oliver jeffers a child of books

a child of books by oliver jeffers*
A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy. She invites him to go away with her on an adventure into the world of stories...where, with only a little imagination, anything at all can happen. 

I was sent this by the babes at Books are my Bag and boy is this a book for people who love stories! Between Jeffers' beautiful illustrations and the simple yet sentimental storyline this is a book that deserves to be hauled by many. 

uk book bloggers vivatramp book haul the power naomi alderman

the power by naomi alderman*
In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there's a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes. 

I am all for books about powerful girls so when the publisher contacted me about this title I decided to accept a review copy. I'm still craving the witchy supernatural vibes that I got from The Graces so maybe I should give this a go soon and see if it fills that void...

vivatramp book bloggers the nightmare before christmas book haul uk

the nightmare before christmas by tim burton* 
In all the world, there is no place like Halloweenland, and Jack Skellington is Halloween's most important figure. It's Jack who devises the holiday's most macabre tricks and frights, and he's delightfully done it year after year. But this year, something isn't quite right: Jack has grown bored with the usual Halloween pranks [...] Then one night, while out for a walk in the woods, Jack sees something he's never seen before - a strange door carved into a tree. Stepping through the door Jack stumbles into a world unlike any he's ever known. He finds himself in a bright, colourful place called Christmas Town. Jack has finally found what he's been looking for, and knows right away what needs to be done. He will bring Christmas to Halloween - with Jack starring in Santa's role!

Like every other aging emo on the planet, I happen to really enjoy the film of The Nightmare Before Christmas. When Sarah, Puffin's resident picture book oracle, announced that she had review copies of Burton's children's book adaptation of the tale I was all over it like a wet flannel. Festive reading at its finest. 

book haul uk book bloggers vivatramp quirk books

warren the 13th and the whispering woods*
Twelve-year-old Warren has learned that his beloved hotel can walk, and now it's ferrying guests around the countryside, transporting tourists to strange and foreign destinations. But when an unexpected detour brings everyone into the dark and sinister Malwoods, Warren finds himself separated from his hotel and his friends and racing after them on foot through a forest teeming with witches, snakes, talking trees, and mind-boggling riddles.

The people at Quirk Books sent me this ARC through the post unannounced as a little Halloween gift so I don't know too much about it beyond the blurb. However, it appears to be the sequel to Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye and it's to be released in March 2017. The blurb sounds fabulous to me and flicking through the book I'm already loving the illustrations so this should be a bit of fun and a bit of a break from my usual read. 

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.


*Books marked with a little asterisk were sent to me by the publisher after I told them it was okay to do so. All opinions on them are my own because, contrary to popular belief, I cannot be bought with books...mostly.


  1. I love your picks! I'm going to make The Power next on my list of reads! :)

  2. The Lady In The Lake's cover is absolutely stunning! I can't wait to hear what you make of it :-)


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