Been On A Bit of A Book Bender

It is always worrying when you sit down and think, oh I will just do a post catching up on the books that I have bought recently then realise that you have accumulated over twenty five possibly thirty books… in the space of a week! I don’t think The Converted One has cottoned on, but then now they follow this that may not be true, I have realised that the simple fact of the matter is I am a book-a-holic and I may need to go into some sort of rehab. It became even more apparent when I went to take a photo and realised the maximum space for the latest pile would be on the staircase.

 Books on The Stairs

I don’t think that I can be held solely accountable though, in fact I think that I can blame a lot of you out there, yes that’s right it’s your fault frankly. You comment and then suggest books I would like if I loved that book or author, then I pop over to your delightful blogs and find more books that need to be added to my TBR pile… and I LOVE it! This grand pile of paper does actually really show how many books I do buy because of your recommendations and I think that’s quite interesting. So here are the books and not the blurbs but why I bought them… 

  • The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice – Both Claire and Simon T have read this and utterly adored it which popped it on my peripheral wish-list line of view. I had always thought ‘bit pink and fluffy’ and then saw said pink edged paged novel in my 5 for £2 shop and noticed it was compared to Nancy Mitford… in the bag. I think I will be buying this for a lot of people
  • The Attack by Yasmina Khadra – Actually bought in Tel Aviv and about a bomb in Tel Aviv. Recommended by Kimbofo after I asked for Israeli fiction and she raved about it so I got it from one of the lovely second hand stalls out there.
  • Keeping The Dead by Tess Gerritsen – I haven’t caught up with the series yet but have to have the latest, though its ruined my series as she has changed the covers, shamefully a Tesco purchase. That’s right me who moans about supermarket book buying. This is also the only non second hand book I have bought, credit crunch and all but it was less than £4 new.
  • The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra – After loving The Attack above (review coming soon) saw this in 5 for £2 and bought it.
  • Fixing Shadows by Susan Barrett – Set in 1873 and the tale of swapped children and dark mansions I thought this would be perfect for The Sensation Season on of the modern ones if you see what I mean.
  • The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak – I have heard of this but can’t remember who blogged about it and raved about it. Sounds unusual and a mix of the mythical and the factual so could be an interesting read.
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit – On day two at the 5 for £2 bookshop on a spree after work (why must I pass it and it still is open, why?) I was struggling for a fifth and spotted this which is meant to be a classic.
  • The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim – Claire raved about this on her blog and seeing such a nice copy in, well I think you know which book shop now, I snapped it up.
  • Nothing Sacred by Angela Carter – Both Novel Insights and again Claire have raved about the Carter so I have been interested, then my Gran said she couldn’t stand her and so I had to pick her up. This was free at my Charity Job (Work II) where amazing books get donated to staff.
  • Good Behaviour by Molly Keane – Harriet always has good things to say about Molly Keane and read it very recently, I loved her cover but think my fabulous 80’s one is a bit art deco and chic… oh you can barely see the spine in the picture, how would you see the cover.
  • Time After Time by Molly Keane – Couldn’t take the above and not take this, possibly her most renowned novel??
  • The Fountain Over Flows by Rebecca West – Free at Work II and I want to really try and read much more Virago Classics.
  • Darkness Visible by William Styron – No idea what it was that made me grab this book but I saw it and just wanted to read it. It was at work and I flicked through it, it’s tiny, and it just seemed something completely left field of what I would normally read.
  • They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell – Bought after Simon T’s wonderful review.
  • The Queen’s Sorrow by Suzannah Dunn – After Wolf Hall I am quite happy to wallow in the Tudor period and have tried nothing by this author.
  • Winnie & Wolf by A.N. Wilson – I remember on Susan Hill’s blog (which I miss) she raved about this and wanted it to win the Man Booker a few years ago, it didn’t get short listed but the idea of a love story with Hitler as the object of affection sounded intriguing.
  • The Way We Live Now by Susan Sontag – Author long on my hit list and this is fiction inspired by and collaborated with the artist Howard Hodgkin which sounded very different and no one else at Work II wanted.
  • Look At Me by Anita Brookner – I want to read much more of her since Hotel Du Lac.
  • She May Not Leave by Fay Weldon – Lynne at Dovegreyreader raves about her, Novel Insights has been puzzled by her and I loved her on Radio 5 last week. Amazing the things pound shops have brand new.
  • Orwell: The Transformation by Peter Stansky & William Abrahams – A book all about Orwell pilfered in advance of what is planned to be a small Orwell-a-thon in 2010.
  • Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally – One of the Man Booker winners I don’t own and one have got to read after watching the movie and crying for three hours. Also just received his latest novel ‘The People’s Train’ and want to read this first, or after.
  • The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter – Again as with Nothing Sacred lots of people have mentioned her of late and so seeing it for less than 50p snatched it up and it’s a Virago Classic.
  • Somewhere Towards The End by Diana Athill – Not for me but for my Gran (who is in NYC so won’t see this and will be on her doorstep when she is back) as I read it and recommended it her, she started it when staying but didn’t finish it.
  • Mae West Is Dead edited by Adam Mars Jones – This collection has been on my wish list for quite some time and as Lizzy is doing ‘short fiction September’ I thought this collection of Lesbian and Gay Fiction would be a bit different and willet me reading more short stories.
  • The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin – Since reading Brooklyn I now have the desire to read everything he has ever written and this is one of three books of his I don’t have on the TBR.
  • The Snow Geese by William Fiennes – As raved about by Dovegreyreader and is something very different for me to get my reading head into.
  • Eating Cake by Stella Duffy – A Stella book I don’t own – shock horror – not anymore!
  • Answered Prayers by Truman Capote – Have loved Capote’s works that have read this year and this is his infamous ‘unfinished’ novel based on gossip and secrets in Hollywood and the media, sounds fabulous.
  • Where The Jackal’s Howl by Amos Oz – Recommended by Armen at my book group for Israeli fiction, saw this for £2 in Balham’s wonderful second hand book store (which I popped into on the way to the library) and so another book HAD to be bought, its also short stories.
  • The Three of Us by Julia Blackburn – I won this wonderful sounding memoir from Dovegreyreader, so technically it’s not a bought book or a free one from work but a gift really.
  • Fire In The Blood by Irene Nemirovsky – I am one of the very rare people who didn’t like Suite Francaise at all, I wanted to believe me, and who gave up half way. Thought would try a shorter book of hers and see if I am missing something with this author and if I need to try Suite Francaise again.
  • Someone At A Distance by Dorothy Whipple – After Claire and Verity’s Persephone week I have caught the bug big time. Finding these in second hand shops is like finding gold dust (I have noticed when I have rarely seen them its in rather affluent places – this one was Clapham, Wimbledon’s a hotspot too local to me) and this one is one lots of you recommended that week and so even though it was £3.50 which in charity terms is pricey I knew it was a find. I also saw Miss Pettigrew in said store but as won that and it’s on the way soon held off.

Phew, see what you have contributed too, it’s an outrage… Right I need to pack for ‘the surprise weekend’ which fits in very well with my latest Sensation Theme. So what books have you been buying late? Do you think I might need to be rehabilitated and if so what’s the advice? Is there anyone else out there who can’t curb the book spending?


Filed under Book Spree, Book Thoughts

27 responses to “Been On A Bit of A Book Bender

  1. Oh my goodness, so many lovely books! I’ve taken to hiding my latest acquisitions under the bed or saying that I borrowed them from Verity (she is complicit in the deceit).

    I picked up my own copy of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets recently as the one I had read was a library copy. It was in the remainder shop on Charing Cross Road for only £2.99 so was delighted at brand new copy. Nancy Mitford even makes a cameo at the Ritz!

    The Bastard of Istanbul you will coincidentally notice in my blog post today. I thought it was a great read.

    The Enchanted April is a fabulous read; completely charming.

    You are in for such a treat (I hope) with Carter. Nothing Sacred is a volume of her journalism, which is also very good, and The Magic Toyshop is a fabulous place to start.

    Finding a Persephone in a charity shop is definitely like finding gold dust! Such a great one too. Miss Pettigrew is here waiting for you but still need your address or can give it to you at next book group.

    Happy reading!

    • Oh I didnt know the legendary Nancy actually appears in the book, people have said its very much a Mitford-esque novel so that now makes it tripley exciting.

      Oh I havent popped by your blog yet, thats a bit spooky in some uncanny way!

      Oh save on postage and give me Miss Pettigrew at next book group, though don’t forget… or else hahahaha. I am going to try and hunt down the next choice in Charing Cross Road shortly!

  2. Jacqui

    I recently bought Lost Art of keeping Secrets (not read it yet though) – I shop regularly at local charity shops and yes – my stash of ‘new’ books is kept on the stairs (the book shelves are full).

    • I love how we hide out books, which reminds me before I pootle off for the weekend I must hide the books as have left them on the photo’d staircase which may make my naughty shopping spree slightly noticeable.

  3. Hey, there are worse addictions, don’t you think? I don’t think you need rehabilitated at all. I say let it rip! As far as Suite Francaise, maybe what you should do is start reading the appendix first, where Irene’s diary is published. It gives you a whole different perspective on what was happening to her as she was writing. Then go back and read the story again. You may have a different opinion then.

    • There are worse addictions and actually I added it up that whole pile was less than a tenner and yet will give me so much joy!!

      I did try the whole appendix and it just didn’t work for me, I do believe in book timing and think the right things were just not alligned right then!

  4. That is an impressive influx of books! I haven’t heard of most of them, but do have The Swallows of Kabul close to the top of my pile.

    Enjoy your new books!

    • Thanks Jackie. Yasmin (even though its actually a man) Khadra is brilliant, I don’t think I have read an opening sequence like the one in The Attack ever, or even an opening chapter. It made me slightly nervous though when in cafes in Tel Aviv, and it shouldnt have but its so vivid.

  5. Feeling a bit jealous here.

    I once made a weekend trip to Portland just to visit a bookstore there that I’d heard about on the radio. Powell’s Books claims to have more books than any other store in the U.S. I think.

    I came back with a pile just a little smaller than the one you have on your stairs.

    • That sounds like quite the book store, I haven’t heard of it until now but next time am in Portland I might just pop by, I think a weekend trip from London might be slightly excessive haha.

  6. cjz111

    Hello fellow book addict. What a great book pile. I mentioned to my daughter that I was going to the second-hand bookstore the other day. Her jaw dropped, her eyes bugged and she said “Really, YOU are going to the bookstore?” I didn’t get it. I thought she wanted to go with me. Then I noticed her finger pointing to the 5 piles of books stacked 6 or 7 deep sitting on the bookcase that I have accumulated in the last 2 weeks. Point taken. Enjoy your time with these wonderful reads!

    • Hello fellow book addict, thanks for popping by! I love the fact that your daughter is unimpressed by your book buying, sometimes we need these little ‘tuts’ and eye bugging to stop what is not really very healthy even if it is great fun.

  7. 25 to 30 books acquired in a week, no wonder your tbr pile is over 800! 😀

  8. lizzysiddal

    My September book-buying embargo was blasted to smithereens this week. When it finally stopped raining (it’s been 6 weeks since I last saw the sun) I went out for lunch and walked past an Oxfam shop that is closing down. 2 books fo £1 – I walked back into the office with a shopping bag full. 10 in fact!

    Then today, the sun was shining again so I went out to find a baby gift …. and found what is possibly the last 1st edition of Wolf Hall available in Scotland. £4 of it as well. Coetzee’s Summertime was there too. So in the bag it went. I’ve now got the full Booker shortlist – all in 1st editions. All I need do is read them!

    And finally, a major treat. Big coffee table book “Lived in London” – a catalogue and history of all the blue plaques. Essential as I’ll be there next month, do a little literary photoshooting as I go. What I want to know is the location of this 5 for £2 shop. Care to share?

    • Ten books or ten shopping bags Lizzy?

      The worst, worst, worst was when I used to work next door to TLS, I befriended them and went home with new books every day.

      Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Wolf Hall.

      • 10 books – although there’s more damage to be done this week, I fear.

        I note, too, that you’re not divulging the location of your 5 for £2 shop …. No need to panic if you do, I’m flying to London so I can’t take a shop load back with me!

        Now, come on, divulge, divulge ….

      • I might send you a secret email. How come you are coming to London is it a little break or a long one!?

  9. Okay, you can blame us if we can blame you. Want to be each others sponsors in rehab? Wait till you see what I acquired today (it’ll be in my Sunday Salon post).

    I also ordered from PBS Blackwater Lightship this week, after enjoying Brooklyn–guess we can blame Toibin too right?? LOL

    Enjoy your wonderful new books.

  10. I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts about ‘The Attack’. That book almost caused a brawl at my book club a few years ago!

  11. And I thought I was bad! Now every time I think I’ve bought too many books, I will remember this post and be absolved of all guilt. There is someone out there who goes on worse book benders than me!

    Looks like you’ve got quite a motley crew to be getting through here. And yes, where is this 5 for £2 shop? Keeping that secret is not allowed! If it’s in London, I need to know!

    • This is rare, well not that rare but rare on such a grand scale.

      As for the whereabouts of the 5 for £2 bookshop, yes its in London and maybe even in South London near where I live, but if I tell you all you will all get there first hahaha.

      It will be appearing in one of my Bookshop series in the near future promise.

  12. Brilliant haul!
    Glad a couple of my recommendations got through. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets has such an awful cover, but I think you’ll love it. Too many others to comment on, but enjoy!

    • Well I hold your recommendations in a very high light. I have to admit am not a fan of Eva Rice’s cover, and the next one is not very me either but we must not judge books by covers, well not all the time! Ha!

  13. Pingback: Latest Library Loots & Publishers Parcels « Savidge Reads

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