For those of you who have seen my past book hauls, you will know that I never have more than three books to show at a time because sadly, I have to use my money to eat, pay rent and all that fun stuff. However, I’ve accumulated quite the number of books in the past couple of months and I wanted to share them with you. Half of them were gifts/prizes and the other half are just a proof of my incurable weakness when it comes to buying books.
Now, with no further ado, let’s go through the list:
1 & 2. La Gloire de Mon Père (my father’s glory) and Le Chateau de Ma Mère (my mother’s castle) – Marcel Pagnol
These first two books were a gift from my mom back from when I went to visit my parents in Paris in mid-september. Marcel Pagnol is an author whose books are often assigned to primary school students. I personally never had to read them for school but my sister did so they’ve always been on our bookshelf at home. However, when I saw this edition, I knew I had to get them because the cover illustrations are done by Sempé, who also illustrated one of my favourite childhood book: Le Petit Nicolas (The little Nicolas).
These two books are part of a series of four books based on the author’s own childhood and called Souvenirs d’enfance (childhood memories). I have already started reading La Gloire de Mon Père and I’m really enjoying it. Marcel Pagnol grew up in Provence, like I did, so the landscapes are very familiar to me and it’s a good book to read when feeling a bit homesick. When he describes his walks in the pine forest, I can smell it. When he describes the food, I can smell it too. My mom kindly got these books for me and I’ll definitely be investing in the other two sometime in the future.
3. UCL Publishers’ Prize for Student Writing 2014
I won this book after a photo competition we had to do for my MA course. The assignment was to go around Bloomsbury and take a picture related to the topic of #literarybloomsbury. A few of my classmates and I decided to recreate the Bloomsbury group picture. This one:
We won a tote bag (I’ve learnt that tote bags are very popular among publishing folks as I’ve already received four since the start of my course) and this book. Every year, publishing students have to take part in a project of their choice. They can also choose to take over the UCL Publishers’ Prize for Student Writing. I don’t know much about the prize itself because I am not working on this project but all I know is that this book is full of short stories written by UCL students and selected by judges. I am really interested to see what my fellow students have up their sleeves in terms of creative writing.
4. 100 Acts of Minor Dissent – Mark Thomas
Let me start with a disclaimer: I had to read this book for class. I would never pick up a Comedy/Politic book by myself but I’m really glad I was assigned this one, although I’m still quite unsure as to why. For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t before I bought the book), Mark Thomas is an english comedian and political satirist and this book is basically a list of the 100 things he did for a year to protest against institutions, governments and stupid people in general.
This book is hilarious and shows how important it is to never settle with what your country/institutions/friends say is right if you don’t agree. I don’t know if I’ll ever be picking up a book from the Comedy section again but now I know that they can be both entertaining and informative.
I read 100 Acts during the Dewey’s 24 ReadAThon and it only took me an hour and half, so it also has the advantage of being a very quick read.
5. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
I’m gonna be 100% honest with you guys, I only bought this book because of its absolutely gorgeous cover. I mean, look at it! It’s perfect. I’ve always wanted to read this novel but I’ve never actively looked for it before. When I passed this copy on a table in Hatchards, there was no way I could leave it there.
The story seems to be right up my alley; it’s a classic gothic tale about a woman who marries a widowed man whose late wife ends up haunting their lives. At least I think that’s what it’s about. This read is gonna bring me right back to the course on Sensation Novels I took during my BA.
I’ll hopefully be picking it up in the not so distant future and I hope the inside is just as beautiful as the outside.
6. The Colour of Magic (Discworld) – Terry Pratchett
A while back, right after his passing, I posted a QOTW about Terry Pratchett (read it HERE) where I admitted that I’d never read any of his books. To fix this problem, I picked up a beautiful hardback copy of The Colour of Magic, the first book in the Discworld collection. I didn’t really know where to start so the first book seemed like a good choice. Hopefully, I was right.
Hatchards had it beautifully disposed on a shelf and I couldn’t resist the urge. So here it is now, sitting on my own shelf, waiting for me to be done with all my assignments and finally read it.
I don’t have much to say about this one except that I can’t wait to dive into Pratchett’s universe.
7. Girl Runner – Carrie Snyder
This book is still a complete mystery to me. The Assistant Editor of Two Roads, this book’s publisher, came to give a talk during our first week of classes and he let some of us choose from the pile of books he brought. I picked up this one because of the cover and once I’d read the blurb, I knew I’d made the good choice. I’m going to cheat now and insert part of the Goodreads synopsis because I have no clue how to describe what this book is about:
“Girl Runner is the story of Aganetha Smart, a former Olympic athlete who was famous in the 1920s, but now, at age 104, lives in a nursing home, alone and forgotten by history. For Aganetha, a competitive and ambitious woman, her life remains present and unfinished in her mind. When her quiet life is disturbed by the unexpected arrival of two young strangers, Aganetha begins to reflect on her childhood in rural Ontario and her struggles to make an independent life for herself in the city. Without revealing who they are, or what they may want from her, the visitors take Aganetha on an outing from the nursing home.”
I’m planning to read this book very soon because the suspense is killing me. I’ll make sure to let you know how it goes.
8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated by Jim Kay) – J.K. Rowling
And last, but not least, here is my favourite item on this list: the new illustrated version of the first Harry Potter book. I went to the book launch organised by Waterstones with a few of my classmates and couldn’t walk out without this beautiful book. I wanted to show you a few of the gorgeous illustrations but the photos didn’t do justice to them. Plus, I don’t want to spoil you the joy and excitement of the first discovery. It’s absolutely breathtaking.
If I ever have children in the future, this will definitely the book I read to them from. And if I don’t have children, I’ll just read it for myself. Who needs kids?
That is all for me today; I hope you enjoyed taking a look at my books. They will soon overtake me as my room is currently the size of the cupboard under the stairs.
PS: How cute are my new reindeer bedsheets?