Books I’m Waiting for in Paperback

Unless I’ve been impatiently and fervently expecting a book for years, I always tend to wait for the release in paperback. They are cheaper, much easier to hold and carry around. This also means that I tend to read the majority of books when the hype has already subsided. There are four books that I have been seeing mentioned around a lot lately and that I’m planning to read as soon as the editions in paperback are released.

 

The Confession by Jessie Burton

Since I loved both The Miniaturist and The Muse, I obviously want to read The Confession, Jessie Burton’s new novel. My expectations are not as high as they could have been, though, as part of the book takes place in LA, a location that usually doesn’t appeal to me.

On the other hand, it is set in different time periods, something I tend to enjoy. In the 1980s, Elise Morceau falls in love with Constance Holden, a successful writer whose book is about to be adapted into a Hollywood film. Thirty years later, Rose Simmons is looking for answers about her mother, whom she has never met. The last person to see her was Constance. Continue reading

Favourite Book Covers V

Four of the books that I bought during the last six months or so have astonishing covers. I didn’t buy them specifically for that reason. But in the case of some of the books featured in this post, it was the cover that appealed to me to begin with. I usually favour paperback editions, so they dominate my selections of favourite book covers. There is an exception to that rule this time, though. The hardback edition of Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson is so beautiful that I made sure to buy it, despite it being more expensive than the paperback.

Let’s take a closer look at the four book covers below!

 

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

Cover design: Suzanne Dean

Publisher: Vintage Continue reading

‘Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days’ by Jeanette Winterson

My rating: 4 stars

Food and Christmas are indissolubly connected in my mind. Thus, I found the concept behind Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days wholly suitable for the season. Jeanette Winterson introduces this collection of short stories interspersed with recipes with quite an informative reflection on the origins of Christmas, a celebration that borrows elements from various pagan festivities. Reality and fiction are present throughout the entirety of the book. While the stories feature many magical and supernatural elements (snowmen that come to life, fairies, ghosts), the recipes have a real personal story attached to them. Learning about events from Jeanette Winterson’s life made me want to read many more of her books.

Christmas is the main setting of the stories, just one of them takes place during New Year’s Eve. As so often happens with short story collections, some stand out from the others. ‘Dark Christmas’ is characterised by the eerie feeling of being in a house where not everything feels as it should be. ‘A Christmas in New York’, about a thirty-year-old man who learns to appreciate Christmas, is another of my favourites because I could visualise every single action and location. The most atmospheric story is ‘The Second-best Bed’, which revolves around a woman who goes to her friend’s house for Christmas and has to deal with some strange events. I also adored ‘The Glow-Heart’, a story about losing a loved one and dealing with grief.

“Love isn’t a prison. You can’t be imprisoned inside your love for me.”

Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – December 2018

December is inescapably the month of Christmas celebrations, and my favourites reflect that to an extent. Not only have I read six books (the biggest number in a month last year), two of them revolving around Christmas, but I’ve also listened to some unusual music to me, eaten too many sweets and got some new clothing items.

My favourite book from the ones I read last month is Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson. It’s a collection of short stories accompanied by recipes related to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It features many magical and supernatural elements. Some stories stand out because they are extremely atmospheric. Others have incredibly fleshed out characters. I didn’t like all stories equally, but a few were highly gripping. I’ll post a more detailed review soon.

Music-wise, during the first half of last month there was a song I kept listening to over and over again – ‘Santa’s Coming for Us’ by Sia. I don’t tend to like Christmas songs, so the fact that I enjoy this song so much is surprising even for me. My excitement for Christmas diminished as the date approached, but I still listened to this song (which I discovered for the first time in 2017) a few times after that happened. Continue reading

Beautiful Books to Gift this Christmas

If you, like me, unwisely leave Christmas shopping for the last minute (or more precisely for the last week), you may still be needing some ideas about what to buy for the book lovers in your life. Last year, the post I wrote to share gift ideas included both books and related items. This time I’m limiting my recommendations to books which have either beautiful covers or are gorgeously illustrated. Some I own myself, others I don’t but wish I did.

 

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson

I didn’t include this collection of short stories and recipes on my gift recommendations last year, because I was convinced that it was supposed to be read on the countdown to Christmas. However, I’ve recently heard that the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas day and end on 5 January, making it a perfect gift after all. I will definitely read it this season!

 

Virago Modern Classics Editions of Daphne du Maurier’s books

After loving Rebecca, I’ve added books by Daphne du Maurier to my wish list almost every other month. And I would love to have them all on the Virago Modern Classics Editions which have stripy spines and du Maurier’s name on the top. One or more of them would make a perfect Christmas gift. Quality content and gorgeous covers – what more could a reader want? Continue reading

Book Haul – September / October 2018

We are less than three months away from the end of the year, and I still have quite a few books left to read in order to complete my ‘EU still 28’ reading project. Last month, I realised that I needed to buy some more of the books on my predetermined list. I obviously also took the opportunity to order a couple of other ones in preparation for winter, although I’m not normally a seasonal reader. Every excuse is a good one when it comes to justify buying books, though!

Below are the nine newest additions to my shelves:

 

Tula by Jurgis Kuncinas

Written by the Lithuanian author Jurgis Kuncinas, Tula takes place in a poor neighbourhood in Vilnius. The narrator dwells on the fringes of society and meets other various curious inhabitants of the same area. I don’t know much more about this book, which I believe also involves a love story. Continue reading

Christmassy Books on My Wish List

I’m not usually a seasonal reader. Reading a book set in summer during winter or vice versa doesn’t bother me at all. So, I never seem to have on my shelves the books deemed appropriate for a specific time of the year. To the best of my knowledge, I currently don’t have one single book on my to-be-read pile that is set during Christmas time. However, I have some on my wish list. I just haven’t bought them yet, and to be honest don’t know when I will.

 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by three spirits, who teach him the true meaning of Christmas, in this book by Charles Dickens. Until watching a Doctor Who Christmas special inspired by this story a few years ago, I had no interest to read it, but I then became quite curious to know more about the source of inspiration for that episode.

 

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

I was introduced to this book by a fellow blogger, but I really can’t remember who, unfortunately. It is a compilation of letters written by J.R.R. Tolkien to his children in which he pretends to be Father Christmas. Continue reading