adventures, books & creative lifestyle.

Book Haul feat. Sylvia Brownrigg

book haul vivatramp book blog lifestyle blog uk daphne du maurier

There's no greater way to celebrate your birthday than with books, in my opinion, and, luckily, I received quite a few last month to mark my 25th year. 

There were a few bits of LGBTQ+ fiction, a hyped thriller, and a special edition of one of my favourite books of all time, amongst others! 

It's been a while since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists.

I always seem to hover over the film adaptation when I'm scrolling through streaming sites but at 2 hours and 29 minutes long, I've never bitten the bullet and just gone for it! Luke, knowing that I was going to be umming and aaahing until I reached the grave, decided to buy me the source material instead. Good idea.

I'm going in blind with this one, as I have no idea what to expect from Pynchon's writing; however, it certainly sounds like it has an interesting cast of characters so let's hope it's a good'un!

rebecca daphne du maurier book blog vivatramp

Working as a lady's companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs Danvers...

I unwrapped this absolutely stunning Folio Society edition of Rebecca, one of my favourite novels, on the morning of my birthday and I was absolutely over the moon. My Grandma bought it for me without any prompts, but knowing that I adore du Maurier, and I am extremely grateful.

Folio Society books make excellent and easy gifts for readers. Note that down. I think this is going to be my fancy display copy. You know you have too many books when you have display editions, right?! 

pages for you sylvia brownrigg book blog vivatramp

pages for you by sylvia brownrigg (2001)
In a steam-filled diner in a college town, Flannery Jansen catches sight of something more beautiful than she's ever seen: a graduate student, reading. The seventeen-year-old, new to everything around her—college, the East Coast, bodies of literature, and the sexual flurries of student life—is shocked by her desire to follow this wherever it will take her. When Flannery finds herself enrolled in a class with the remote, brilliant older woman, she is intimidated at first, but gradually becomes Anne Arden's student—Baudelaire, lipstick colors, or how to travel with a lover—Flannery proves an eager pupil, until one day learns more about Anne than she ever wanted to know.

Pages For You had been on my radar for a fair few years but, in all honesty, the cover always put me off. I know that makes me some sort of knobhead did. Fast forward to the beginning of this year and you can imagine how pleased I was to see this beautiful new edition on my Twitter feed. 

I read Pages last month so you'll see it in my book reviews very soon. I really want to start reading a lot more LGBTQ+ fiction so do send me some recommendations if you have any. 

exquisite sarah stovell book blog uk vivatramp

Bo Luxton has it all—a loving family, a beautiful home in the Lake District, and a clutch of bestselling books to her name. Enter Alice Dark, an aspiring writer who is drifting through life, with a series of dead-end jobs and a freeloading boyfriend. When they meet at a writers’ retreat, the chemistry is instant, and a sinister relationship develops. Or does it?

Exquisite was one of the thrillers that both Bethany and Alice recommended on the Hello Friend podcast so, when I found myself in the market for a page-turner, I decided to give it a shot. 

I have already read this, as mentioned in my Favourites, so you can expect to see more of my thoughts soon.

the doll daphne du maurier vivatramp book blog uk
Many of the stories in this chilling collection were written early in Daphne du Maurier's career, before she wrote the masterpieces that would cement her reputation as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers: Rebecca, 'The Birds' and 'Don't Look Now'. These thirteen tales of human frailty and obsession demonstrate du Maurier's extraordinary storytelling ability and her deep understanding of human nature. 

One of my best friends, Sophie-Anne, knew I was building up my Du Maurier collection so she got me one of her newly re-issued short story collections and one of her novels. Soph and I actually read our first du Maurier in tandem, when we read Rebecca together back in 2015, so I love that she helped expand my collection further! 

the scapegoat daphne du maurier book blog vivatramp
By chance, two men - one English, the other French - meet in a provincial railway station. Their physical resemblance is uncanny, and they spend the next few hours talking and drinking - until at last John, the Englishman, falls into a drunken stupour. It's to be his last carefree moment, for when he wakes, his French companion has stolen his identity and disappeared. So John steps into the Frenchman's shoes, and faces a variety of perplexing roles - as owner of a chateau, director of a failing business, head of a fractious family, and master of nothing. Gripping and complex, The Scapegoat is a masterful exploration of doubling and identity, and of the dark side of the self.

Aaaand this is the du Maurier novel that she bought me. This sounds like a classic tale of deception and I can't wait to dive into it on a cold evening. Cold evenings being one of the best times to read du Maurier, of course. 

I  now own 11 books by Daphne, 5 are read and 6 are unread. What should I read next? I'm thinking either this or The House on the Strand but I'm open to opinions.

When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl. But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both. Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship — one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to ‘fix’ her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self — even if she’s not exactly sure who that is.

When loveable Weasley child Sarah was looking for bloggers to review this title, I swiftly threw my name into the hat. The Miseducation always seems to be on LGBTQ+ fiction lists and everyone always seems to have something good to say about it. That's enough for me.

This is definitely going to the top of my to be read pile! Pile...shelf...multiple shelves. Whatever.

What's a celebration without books?! What books have you bought or rented from the library recently? 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.


The book marked with an (*) was sent to me by the publisher for consideration. This post features affiliate links. If you buy the books through the links I've provided  I'll receive a 5% commission to put back into the blog. 


  1. Some exciting looking reads there! And that copy of Rebecca is stunning!

    Happy birthday, peach!

    Faded Windmills

  2. I love a Du Maurier! I haven't heard of Doll House or The Scape Goat, definitely need to pick up these up x

    Reverie de Paris

  3. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is on my to read list! I know a lot of people are sick of other sexualities being portrayed in novels and movies as something that needs to be hidden - which I totally understand - but I've also heard great things about this book. I'm just hoping it has a happy ending, my little heart can't take other people's heartbreak!


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