I haven’t had time to sit down and write the book reviews I want to get done, however instead I thought I’d share some new books that I’ve gotten. This is not a very big haul, but that is probably a good thing as I’m buying more books than I’m reading at the moment. Uh oh! Anyway, these are the books:
Bruno Vincent’s Famous Five books:
So, for Christmas I was gifted four of the five new comedic spoofs of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series, following the heroic quintet through to their adulthood. I was a massive fan of Enid Blyton as a child, and the Famous Five books made me the reader I am today and made me crave adventure. When I found out about these books I was dying to read them as I knew they would bring back memories and feelings of nostalgia for me. My mum kindly gifted me four of them for my Christmas: Five Go Away on a Strategy Away Day, Five on Brexit Island, Five Go Parenting and Five Give up the Booze. I can’t wait to read these, as I think they will be hilarious. From what I can surmise, these are meant to be a satirical and mocking look at present day and be relatable to the world as we know it now, taking characters from another time altogether. I can’t wait to read them!
The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
It was the storm of the century – a tempest created by so rare a combination of factors that meteorologists deemed it “the perfect storm.”
When it struck in October, 1991, there was virtually no warning. “She’s comin’ on, boys, and she’s comin’ on strong,” radioed Captain Billy Tyne of the Andrea Gail from off the coast of Nova Scotia. Soon afterward, the boat and its crew of six disappeared without a trace.
The Perfect Storm is a real-life thriller, a stark and compelling journey into the dark heart of nature that leaves listeners with a breathless sense of what it feels like to be caught, helpless, in the grip of a force beyond understanding or control. (Goodreads)
My internet best friend, Ella sent me this book in December because she was getting rid of books and wanted me to have it. I know relitively little about this book, but it is quite short so I intend on reading it soon.
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
In a novel that is at once intense, beautiful, and fablelike, Lloyd Jones weaves a transcendent story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of narrative to transform our lives.
On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, where the teachers have fled with most everyone else, only one white man chooses to stay behind: the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn, who sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and begins to read to the children each day from Charles Dickens’s classic Great Expectations.
So begins this rare, original story about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide. As artillery echoes in the mountains, thirteen-year-old Matilda and her peers are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip in a city called London, a city whose contours soon become more real than their own blighted landscape. As Mr. Watts says, “A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe.” Soon come the rest of the villagers, initially threatened, finally inspired to share tales of their own that bring alive the rich mythology of their past. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination can be a dangerous thing. (Goodreads)
Another book sent to me by the gorgeous Ella, and one I am extremely intrigued by and excited for. It sounds right up my street and very topical and interesting. I am fascinated by cultures and stories as far from my life but still within reality as possible, and I love reading about characters who are not from a priviliged Western World.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.
As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.
Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives.
Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet. (Goodreads)
I once read a sample of this book and thoroughly enjoyed it, however I stupidly failed to pick it up until now, when I had a £30 Waterstones voucher to spend. I read Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists a year or two ago, but other than that I have little experience of her writing. I can’t wait to get stuck into this book, which is just under 500 pages.
The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen
In this unforgettable novel, Leonard Cohen boldly etches the youth and early manhood of Lawrence Breavman, only son of an old Jewish family in Montreal. Life for Breavman is made up of dazzling colour – a series of motion pictures fed through a high-speed projector: the half-understood death of his father; the adult games of love and war, with their infinite capacity for fantasy and cruelty; his secret experiments with hypnotism; the night-long adventures with Krantz, his beloved comrade and confidant. Later, achieving literary fame as a college student, Breavman does penance through manual labour, but ultimately flees to New York. And although he has loved the bodies of many women, it is only when he meets Shell, whom he awakens to her own beauty, that he discovers the totality of love and its demands, and comes to terms with the sacrifices he must make. (Goodreads)
This book captivated me for a couple of reasons. The quotes covering the book were beautiful, I have never read anything by Leonard Cohen, and I rather enjoy stories which follow a main character as they age, carrying through their trials and tribulations and such.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugeides
Middlesex tells the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family, who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City and the race riots of 1967 before moving out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret, and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic. (Goodreads)
I can’t wait to read this book. I have had my eye on it ever since I read (and loved) The Virgin Suicides. It doesn’t sound like anything I have ever read before, and I think this may well be my next read.
I hope you guys enjoyed this mini book haul. Unfortunately I will not be buying too many books in the next few months, purely because I need to make a dent in my to be read pile (which is ever growing).