Huge Book Haul #noselfcontrol

This month has been a particularly stellar month in terms of acquiring new books. The Christmas financial hangover has finally worn off, we had a birthday which resulted in the inevitable book shaped gifts being received and we had a trip to York in which we showed little restrained in Waterstones. so here is a list of everything we got this month, it is so big we broke it down into categories.

The Hardbacks

  1. Yaa  Gyasi, Homegoing
  2. China Mieville, The last days of new Paris
  3. Kate Hamer, The Doll Funeral
  4. Stephen King, Needful Things

Short Story Collections

5. Margaret Atwood, Stone Mattress

6. Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber

7.Stephen Graham Jones, After the people lights have gone off

Birthday Gifts

8. Cynan Jones, Evreything (lol)

9.Andrew Taylor, Ashes of london

10.  Bill Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling

11. Peter May, Coffin Road

PaperBacks

12.John Langan, The Fisherman

13. David Means, Hystopia

14. Jay McInerney, The Last of the savages

15. Douglas Coupland, Generation X

16. Alice Thompson, Pharos

17. Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels

18.Murakami, Norwegian Wood

19. Nico Lee, A good lie ain’t easy * This was sent to us by the author in exchange for an Honest Review *

20. Chuck Palahnuik, Survivor 

and Two Poetry Books

21. Callum Mclaughlin, Seeking Solace (Callum is a fellow blogger, he has been a great support since we started the blog, he’s always ready with a good recommendation and has eerily similar reading tastes to us, check him out here: https://callummclaughlin.wordpress.com/ )

22.Sylvia Plath, Ariel ( I already have the standard Ariel, but this edition as just too damn beautiful too ignore! It’s also the first of four in the collection by Faber)

so thats this month (so far anyway!). We are now sufferring with trying to decide what to read next! Any Suggestions with were to start would be very welcome and keep an eye out for the reviews to come!

 

Grace & Ben

 

 

Advertisements

Top Reads of 2016

best-reads-1

2016 has been a weird year. Bad in the greater global scheme of things. A plethora of great people have died in quick succession of one another. Britain is leaving the EU because the average intellect in the UK in recent years has dropped lower the pound. The US has an orange maelstrom of controversy at the helm and Little Mix is still a thing. However, Tom Waits is still alive, we got engaged, peanut butter is still available and puppies are still adorable. The world hasn’t gone completely to shit. I have also read many books this year. Some amazing, some mediocre and some that baffled with terribleness. This is my round up of my favourite 5 books that I’ve read this year.

Runner up – Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, Dave Eggers

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? It is a hard book to describe. The plot is a slow boil and slowly reveals itself. It’s methodical and is entirely comprised of speech. This is its main short coming and probably why it isn’t in the top 5. It can be a right bother if you forget where you are on the page and require you to re-read a fair old chunk. Not a common problem but can break the immersion. A different and worthwhile read nevertheless.dave-eggers

Number 5 – Railsea, China Mieville

I loved Mieville’s New Crobuzon trilogy and can highly recommend it. Mieville is part of ‘New Weird’ and each of his tales is most certainly weird and they are, for the most part, excellent as well. Railsea is set in a similar fantastical universe and Mieville once again proves that he can build a world and make it seem believable but still relatable. Honestly, if you haven’t checked out any of his work yet then I can’t praise him enough. The Scar is one of my favourite books of all time.

railsea

Number 4 – Heart Shaped Box, Joe Hill

Before reading Heart Shaped Box I had no real idea who Joe Hill was. I’d heard that he was a very talented writer and was quite spooky. I read it and I should say it scared me, good and proper. I love horror. Stephen King and H.P Lovecraft are some of my most often frequented authors. I read Heart Shaped Box and before long my heart was going mental. From start to finish it had me going and the imagery conjured by Hill got in my head. It was only after finishing the book that I did some research and found out that Hill is Stephen King’s son. He kept his identity and origins such a secret that even his agent didn’t know about his heritage. He’s talent, he’s scary and now my amazon book list is clogged up with all of Hill’s work.

heart-shaped-box

Number 3 – Animals, Emma Jane Unsworth

Animals is about two friends that love to get off their heads on substances, drink far too much wine and generally behave immaturely. It’s brilliant. These two young women don’t behave like ‘proper ladies’ and I love it. It reminded me of people I used to hang out with during my Uni days and it genuinely cracked me up on several occasions. That and the story isn’t a predictable cliché you would come to expect from a novel set half-way between ‘coming-of-age’ and ‘mid-life-crisis’ epoch. Unsworth writes believably and gave me flashbacks to those hazy days getting hammered with your mates in a pub garden before eating a kebab in the doorway of a tattoo parlour at four in the morning. Good times.animals-emma

Number 2 – The Book of Strange New Things, Michel Faber

Those who are reading this post might already have seen my review of The Book of Strange New Things and will also know that I thought it was a fantastic piece of literature. I don’t know what more I can say about this book other then you must read it. It won’t make you lose weight, it won’t help you pack in smoking neither will it help you pay off your debts. It will, however, make you truly appreciate what and who you have in your life currently.

tbosnt

Number 1 – The Second Coming, John Niven

John Niven is a very, very, very funny man. I have never, in my entire life, laughed while reading a book like I have The Second Coming. A rough overview of the plot is that Jesus is sent back to Earth because he let it fall into disrepair while God was away on a fishing trip. If you’re not into blasphemous texts, then probably give this one a miss. If you don’t care, then dive right in and cackle your little heart out. I could write a lengthy and elaborate essay on why this is the best book I’ve read in 2016 but that could spoil it for you. Order it now and devour it in a day like I did. You won’t be able to put it down and you will love it.

the-second-coming-john-niven

Ben

#nonfictionnovember

non-fiction-november

Hey Guy! we have put together a small collection of some of our favourite non-fiction titles that we’ve read recently and some absolute classics. if you have any opinions on the books listed let us know.

img_11061

I Can Make You Hate – Charlie Brooker

An hilarious assemblement of articles written by Brooker. Funny and scathing as ever a must read for anyone with a bit of bile in them. Love this then give Screenburn and Dawn of the Dumb a go.

img_11051

The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell – Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley got stoned on mescaline and then wrote down his experience. Enough said. The band the Doors named themselves after this book so it’s evidently quite influential.

img_11041

Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen

Memoirs of an 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen. Set in 1967 and chronicles her time spent in a psychiatric ward. Funny and self-aware writing of a very difficult time in a young woman’s life.

img_11031

The Kitchen Readings – Michael Cleverly & Bob Braudis

Stories about Hunter S Thompsons shenanigans told by two of his closest friends. What isn’t to love? Don’t know about Hunter? Shame! Check out Fear in Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary.

img_11021

Innocent When you Dream, edited by Mac Montandon

A collection of interviews with Tom Waits, one of my idols and favourite humans on the planet. A must have for any Waits fans out there.

img_11011

Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell’s analysis of what makes successful people successful. Motivating and accessible to all. Useful to boost your drive to exceed in life. Also, the anecdotes in Outliers you’ll find yourself dropping them in everyday conversation.

img_11001

Hemingway’s Boat – Paul Hendrickson

A semi-biographic book about Hemingway and his boat. A simple enough concept but Hendrickson’s research and love for his subject matter is evident. Deeply involved and thought provoking book about one of the greatest American writers of all time.

Thanks for reading! F&B.

Top 10 Literary Gift Ideas For Your Bookish Loved Ones

top-10

  1. Light up their life! –

moby-dick-candle                                                                                                             The perfect accompaniment to any late-night winter reading session. These literary themed candles from http://www.theliterarygiftcompany.com are an affordable £6.99. Choose from Moby Dick, Dracula and a whole host of other themes to suit your bookworm buddy.

2. Subscribe to happiness! –

the-beautful-book-company-subscription

Created by The Beautiful Book Company (www.notonthehighstreet.com), this monthly subscription means for £44.99 will receive a new book every month. the best part? you can tailor the subscription to suit the reader by giving details about their current book tastes. there are also subscriptions to suit children too.

3. It’s all about you!

Express Paperback Book Of Everyone

The Book of everyone is a wonderful idea which will allow you to create a unique book personalised for your bookish loved one. Each book contains facts and figures about the recipient like (such as heart beats since born) as well as editable pages allowing you to create something extra special. I myself have brought one of the as a gift and it was incredibly well received and will definitely be ordering more in the future. Available at wwww.thebookofeveryone.com  a paperback book will cost you £19.50.

4. A printed present

alice-print

Available from loveartsprintshop at http://www.etsy.com. This brilliant shop has a whole range of prints to bring a bit of literary magic to any home. All prints are a bargain at £7.50 and each image is printed onto a late 1800’s dictionary(so they smell great too!).

5. Hobbit page holder!

51h3bpap8ul-_sx300_

You don,t have to be a Tolkien fan to appreciate this adorable bookmark, a pair of little feet sticking out of your book is sure to bring a smile to any readers face. Available from myBOOKmark at http://www.amazon.co.uk for £19.50.

6. Keeping Track

library

A major source of anxiety for many book lovers is not getting those much loved lent out book backs. now you can share the book love with confidence as you track and stamp each of your copies when they are lent out. it might seem a bit persnickety  but having lost many  novels to friends and family members we think it’s a brilliant idea. available at http://www.waterstones.com for £11.95.

7. One for the bookish couple.

mr-mrs-darcy-mugs

available from http://www.booklovergifts.com for £12.99 these beautiful mugs are a great stocking filler for the couple who love classics. other designs are available on the website but we like this one best.

8. For a List Lover

personalised-50-books-to-read-before-you-die-bookmark_a

This Beautiful Metal bookmark has that list all of us readers ponder about creating lovingly engraved on the front. As well as the fifty books to read before you die list engraved on the front, you can add a personal message to the back of the bookmark so your grateful bibliophile will never forget who got them such an awesome gift. Available from http://www.gettingpersonal.co.uk for £9.99.

9. Help tame the ‘to be read’ pile.

Help tame that never ending TBR pile with this stylish gold cut-out bookend from H&M, at £9.99 this will help keep those book shelves neat and tidy.

10. Buy a bag for a good cause.

cbs-bag

The http://www.booksaremybag.com website is focused on celebrating local bookshops around the country. For £15.00 your loved one gets a gorgeous tote and helps to raise funds for the booksaremybag campaign.

 

Happy Shopping!