You know what I never blogged about? My Christmas book pile. The Christmas book pile has been a thing my whole life, like, actually. My parents have always always given me a book parcel for Christmas, made up of books I want to read and books they think I should read and books with pretty covers that my Mum just couldn’t leave on the shelf. It’s pretty much the best bit about Christmas Day, the familiar weight of a present that can only contain books and wondering what’s in it. I generally get a book or two from other folk too – my Granny for instance who introduced me to Muriel Spark the Christmas before last, or the time Ian’s parents bought me the new editions of Harry Potter in a pretty boxed set. There are always books on Christmas Day, and Christmas 2014 my book haul looked like this:
There’s the Bill Bryson on top, (from Sarah, for my book challenge) which I have very nearly finished and will be coming back to talk about very soon so WATCH THIS SPACE, along with three other lovelies:
The Secret History which I am super excited about because I am terribly late to that particular party. God. I actually wonder if I am the only person left in the reading world who hasn’t read this book. I’ve heard so much about it and pretty much all of it has been excellent and now I can find out for myself. Hurrah. Here’s hoping it lives up to the hype, then.
Margaret Drabble’s The Pure Gold Baby, which I know little about actually, but Margaret Drabble is one of my Granny’s faves and we have remarkably similar bookish tastes so you know, I’m sure I’ll love it. I’d been looking at it actually just before Christmas which makes me wonder if Mum was secretly book-stalking me, or whether Granny said ‘buy this for Josephine…’
Andandand the disreputable history of frankie landau-banks which I totally did a happy dance about right there in Mum’s living room on Christmas Day because I capital letter LOVED we were liars last year and I super duper wanted this and THERE IT IS. Hurrah. There you have it. It was rather a Merry bookish Christmas and they've all been added to the towering TBR pile. Whoops.
You want to know another thing?
I’m a teeny small (massive) bit concerned that my book buying habit is going to become a habit again this year. Mostly because there are SO MANY books I want to read and don’t own and also because the list of books due for release this year that are making me jump around in poorly contained excitement is well, it’s a long list that’s getting longer and longer and longer. It’s like the magic porridge pot of lists; the more books I buy the more books get published and it’s all VERY BAD because you see, I’m not supposed to be feeding this habit. In fact, what I am supposed to be living under – until further notice – is a Book Buying Ban. It’s a very real problem though, because I am surrounded by enablers and I have no self control and I just want all the books okay? I just want them.
What I’m thinking is that if I talk all about these forthcoming books here then it might stop me from…oh who am I even trying to kid?! Let’s just cut to the chase. I just really want to talk about books that I am excited about in January (three of which are already released so you don’t even need to wait) and that you just might like as well:
The Invisible Library- Genevieve Cogman (published January 15th 2015)
is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from
different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted
to an alternative London.
Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's
already been stolen. London's
underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent
to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant
is also hiding secrets of his own.
Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret
societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at
I want this book. I want this book so badly. I’m going to buy this book and read it and hopefully not be disappointed. Does it not sound amazing? Also I think it’s one of a series which is always fun. I love a good series. It feels like it might be a little bit Thursday Next (another series that I really ought to read more of but you know, stupid book buying ban) – it sounds kind of crazy and kind of fun and just the right kind of utterly surreal and I WANT IT.
Etta and Otto and Russell and James – Emma Hooper (29th January 2015)Etta's greatest unfulfilled wish, living in the rolling farmland of Saskatchewan, is to see the sea. And so, at the age of eighty-two she gets up very early one morning, takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 2, 000 miles to water.
Meanwhile her husband Otto waits patiently at home, left only with his memories. Their neighbour Russell remembers too, but differently - and he still loves Etta as much as he did more than fifty years ago, before she married Otto.
Why would I not want to read a book about an old lady hiking 2000 miles to the sea? Why would I not? Answer: I always always would. *grabby hands* Etta’s my Granny’s age and you want to know who I can imagine wanting to take a rifle and her best boots and begin a 2000 mile hike to live out a dream? My granny, that’s who, because she’s excellent. I am so excited for this and it’s out TOMORROW. Go forth and buy it.
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins (15th Jan 2015)
YOU DON'T KNOW HER. BUT SHE KNOWS YOU.
Rear Window meets Gone Girl, in this exceptional and startling psychological thriller.
That’s it, that’s the blurb. & IT MAKES ME WANT TO READ IT. I loved Gone Girl and I’m feeling a little bit thriller-y at the moment so this ticks all the right boxes.
And last but not least, I’ve already read The Life I Left Behind (1st Jan 2015) and I talk about it here. It’s good; read it.
There you go then, have at it and let me know if you read any of these – and if there are any books released this month that you can’t wait to get your hands on. I’ll be back in a week or so with my February wishlist (which includes Neil Gaiman, naturally.)