A Sensational Sort Out… And Some Fresh In

Now you may remember the other week I mentioned that I was going to have one of my book sort outs and I did. I actually, and it amazed me and everyone who knows me, managed to donate a quite impressive 76 book to charity! So now the books I have had for well over a year and just dont really think I will read have all gone to lovely new homes and will be raising some money for charity. I thought the process would be painful and though in parts it was tough it has also left me feeling much better with a slightly less bookish weight on my shoulders.

Not only was I wanting to sort out what I was going to pass on, I was also looking at what I was keeping and rearranging my priorities in terms of reading. One of which was to hunt down all of the books that I as yet have not read and I thought fell into the ‘Modern Sensation’ catagory for my Sensation Season. I found I had quite a few some of which you had recommended to me.

Modern Sensations

  • The Widow’s Secret – Brian Thompson
  • The Journal of Dora Damage – Belinda Starling
  • The Tiger in the Well – Philip Pullman
  • Kept – D.J Taylor
  • Misfortune – Wesley Stace
  • Classic Victorian Ghost Stories – Various
  • The Evil Seed – Joanna Harris
  • Martha Peake – Patrick McGrath
  • The Girl on the Landing – Paul Torday
  • The Mist in the Mirror – Susan Hill
  • Portrait of a Killer – Patricia Cornwell
  • Ghost Stories – M.R. James
  • The Apple – Michael Faber
  • Underground London – Stephen Smith
  • The Magician – W. Somerset Maugham
  • Fixing Shadows – Susan Barrett
  • Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
  • Silent in the Grave – Deanna Raybourn
  • The Meaning of Night – Michael Cox
  • The Glass of Time – Michael Cox
  • Instruments of Darkness – Michael Cox

Phew there was quite a few. I should maybe mention that some of these books arent technically ‘Modern Sensation’ reads but are either set in that period or in the case of a few of them are non-fiction which will set the atmosphere even more so for me. I think I may get so lost in the 1880’s I may never return, I am loving it though. So which ones of thses have you delved into? Am I still missing any?

Of course the sort out was now about two weeks ago. I did impose a ban on book buying on myself. I must mention before I go further that I could happily have taen all 76 books and bought another 76 from my favourite charity shop however both times I went they were closed for lunch though let me in to drop my bags off (it took three trips in one weekend) and so I couldnt buy anymore. I have since though somewhat fallen off the wagon, though not as badly as I could have and now, and this is very true, I only buy books if I have a very valid reason. Such as…

Books That Pushed Me Off The Book Ban Bandwagon

  • Twilight – William Gay (because have a) been meaning to read it for ages and b) it fits into the Modern Sensation reads perfectly what with grave robbing and swapping, mayhem and mystery)
  • Miss Garnet’s Angel – Salley Vickers (a favourite of Kimbofo’s and an author I have been meaning to read, I have just swapped to reading this instead of Cover Her Face which I started and know I will love but not just now, if I love this will be kicking myself I missed her at Wimbledon Bookfest)
  • Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen (a book I kept seeing everywhere in Tel Aviv for some random reason and then Jackie recommended it and so thought why not?)
  • The Other Side of You – Salley Vickers (for the same reason as Miss Garnett’s Angel)
  • Marley & Me – John Grogan (have always secretly wanted to read it and thought it was possibly trash, but so many of you recommended it after my sad reads post I had to get it)
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Scones – Alexander McCall Smith (I am very, very keen to read all of his work and though this is in the Scotland Street series I struggled with am hoping this gives me the umph to read more of that series)
  • Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Pelin (simply because Amazon has been recommending this as my top recommendation for three months – have they got me spot on?)
  • The Lost Book of Salem – Katherine Howe (a rash buy I wont deny but one about Salem and the witches, I think I will love this)
  • The Beacon – Susan Hill (a favourite author and a book I have been meaning to get for ages and ages and then got from £10 to £2 bargain, I will be buying her new book instantly full price just so you know)
  • White Is For Witching – Helen Oyeyemi (have wanted it since it came out and an author have been meaning to read, matches the Sensation Season just and was in a half price charity shop that called me the other day… was the only book I bought in that shop and on that day… I was impressed)

So thats the latest books. Which of these have you read and which ones would you like to give a whirl? Do you like posts where readers share there latest hauls of books? I know I love reading them, its a mixture of book addict, desiring recommendations, sharing thoughts and just being a plain nosey parker! If you do like these posts you may want to pop here as this is the secret stash I bought over a week or so (and have even had to hide the post) leading up to the great autum arranging and modern sensation hunt! Can’t wait for all your thoughts on these and my modern sensation reading.


Filed under Book Spree, Book Thoughts

25 responses to “A Sensational Sort Out… And Some Fresh In

  1. Dot

    Miss Garnet’s Angel is such a good book, I read it years ago and I still remember it, hope that you enjoy it!

  2. Fingersmith is a must-read for Modern sensation, I think.

  3. I always shake my head when I read your posts, because I usually haven’t read a single one. You’d think I never read a single thing! Anyway, I guess my two cents would be placed on Fingersmith, not because I’ve read it, but because so many people have said this is their favorite Waters book, and in some cases, their favorite book period.

  4. novelinsights

    Goodness, I haven’t read any of these either. Perhaps you can do ‘White is for Witching’ for Halloween 🙂

  5. I will have to look for Susan Hill books the next time I come to London. I absolutely love her stories and it is very difficult to find any of her books here in the states.

  6. I love these posts because I am nosy and like to see what other readers have stashed away on their tbr piles. Also, I am always looking for recommendations – I am going to have to read some Susan Hill novels methinks.

  7. I’m afraid that I don’t like a couple of your new purchases. I hated Miss Garnet’s Angel (too whimsical)and disliked The Lost Book of Salem (patronisingly simple). The good news is that Water for Elephants is amazing! I hope you enjoy your new books!

    • Well at least you like one of them Jackie hahahahaha oh dear! Water for Elephants has been following me around the globe and then after your mention of it the other day I gave in when saw it for 50p.

  8. Save your reading of The Meaning of Night for that perfect time because it’s one that you will adore and always wish that you could read again for the first time. Such a wonderful book!

  9. Kim

    Ok, I admit it – I’ve read Marley & Me and loved it! I did read it before the film came out and although I adored the story I was never tempted to go to the cinema because John Grogan looks nothing like Owen Wilson and I just couldn’t get beyond that. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it. Three Cups of Tea is on my TBR pile and it has recently moved up the list after I saw an interview with Greg Mortenson and was so impressed by him.
    I love reading about other people’s book hauls and I am so pleased to have read one of those on your most recent list, Simon, I usually don’t have any of them.

    • Glad you liked the post Kim. I think a lot of people have read Marley and Me and simply wont admit to it! I am quite looking forward to it even if I didnt technically by it for me byt for TCO!!!

  10. congrats on being able to let go painlessly….LOL

    i also gave away books (about 40) a few weeks ago and it did feel good. i probably have 50 more I’ll never read, but i’m doing it little by little.

    BTW: I love Water for Elephants; hope you do too.

  11. Maugham is never dated to me, so it’s great that you count him as a modern sensation. I have to hunt down Fingersmiths as well. 🙂

  12. henrietta

    I loved “3Cups of Tea” as did most of my book group. Although the writing is not always brilliant, the story and Gregs’ strength of character and vision come shining through. “Water for Elephants”, both Sally Vickers and “Fingersmith” I have enjoyed. “The Beacon” is by my bed, as yet unread,, and I have enjoyed Michael Fabers books, especially “Under the Skin”. A good selection – lucky you!

    • Oh good no one else seem sto have read 3 Cups and so I am glad there is someone who is saying that its a good book I have been hoping that it will be, I just dont quite know why Amazon is recommending it my as my number one choice!?!

      Loved Miss Garnet’s Angel so am looking forward to more Vickers and think Fingersmith could end up being one of my all time favourites as all the signs are there.

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