Last month I expanded this post from just focussing on books to a more general overview of my month. Of course that worked really well in July when I’d done loads of really cool stuff. August on the other hand has been much more run of the mill. Got perhaps slightly more confident in my job and added some more homely touches to my flat (posts about that are still to come, one day, eventually) but until last weekend it had been entirely unnoteworthy.
Bank Holiday weekend got off to a very to a very rocky start. Friday afternoon found me in floods of manic tears, having my first and thankfully only panic attack of the month. By the evening I’d sorted myself out and headed out for dinner with my workmates which to begin with was a little awkward but as the alcohol flowed went perhaps too far in the other direction and made for some very uncomfortable encounters on Tuesday morning! Saturday I took a very sedate trip on a canal boat with a friend’s family before heading to London for a weekend of eating, shopping and Notting Hill Carnival. And it would have gone down as one my favourite weekends of the year (and one I was very proud of myself for coping with) if it hadn’t then taken me 8 hours to get home to Leicester. So a very fun weekend with some very miserable bookends.
And from bookends I can make a very smooth segue into books. And oh my goodness have I been busy buying books this month. When I look at the number listed below in cold hard print I’m actually a little ashamed of myself. But only a very little. Almost all of these were bought on the same day and when you buy so many books the carrier bag they’re in actually rips on your way home you know you’ve gone too far. Fortunately six of the books on this list I’ve already read so it’s not quite as overwhelming as it might seem. And another five of them are packed snugly in my suitcase ready for a week of lying on the beach doing nothing but reading which should might a sizeable dent in my TBR list.
- We Were Liars by E Lockhart
I am really excited to read this book as The Boyfriend List by E Lockhart was one of my absolute favourites as a teenager but slipped somewhat under the radar. We Were Liars has certainly not slipped under the radar, in January you could hardly move for reviews, but as always I was holding out for a second hand copy. And finally that day came.
- The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
When shopping for books one of the most frequently asked questions in my head is ‘would Rory Gilmore read it?’ And this one I’m fairly certain she does. I bought Valley of the Dolls on the same principle and loved it so I have high expectations.
- Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
I had been eschewing Lena Dunham (nice use of the word eschewing, Lizzy), considering her a poor man’s Caitlin Moran but since gritty, sexually explicit, slightly feminist literature seems to be my new favourite genre I did a 180 and not only bought this book, but bought it at full price! Even if I don’t enjoy this book I love love love the neon pink spine so it can’t be all bad.
- The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
I know next to nothing about the Mitford sisters other than that they were famous and my granma met one of them occasionally for reasons I keep forgetting to ask my dad about (I’m not misspelling grandma by the way, my granma insisted that she wasn’t ‘grand’). But I was stressing in Waterstones about what to buy as I had £7 left to spend and only 5 minutes to spend it in. The quote on the back cover completely sold it to me though as it fits very well with my current favourite genre (see above). It’s now been read, reviewed and filed away.
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
I actually bought this book twice. The first time was on that ill-fated trip to Waterstones. I’d been looking for it in every charity book shop for the past 6 months and never found it so I was forced to admit that maybe it’s just not the kind of book that people donate, bit the bullet and paid full price. Well Murphy’s Law and all that, three days later I find it in a charity book shop for £2. So I bought it and returned the new copy to Waterstones in exchange for…
- Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
I spend an inordinate amount of time sat at Nuneaton train station with nothing to do. And on one such occasion I was opposite a poster advertising this book which caught my attention enough to add it to my list of books to look out for. It sounds really gripping in a Gone Girl kind of way (not that I’ve got round to reading Gone Girl) but I refused to take it on holiday because it looked a bit too generic holiday read for my liking.
- Paper Towns by John Green
I think this may be my favourite John Green (of the ones I’ve read). I remember actual hysterical laughter reading about their dash around the service station. And I was really lucky to find a copy as I imagine with the film coming out soon (or it’s already out? I’m not sure) lots of people are hunting for it. But I’m the lucky one who managed to snag a copy for £1.50.
- Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green
Leicester was having some kind of John Green donating frenzy this month as on the same day I bought An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns and Will Grayson Will Grayson second hand. All books I’d been hunting for for months and never found before. When it rains etc. Just from flicking through this book though I can say with certainty that the use of the lower case ‘i’ is going to drive me insane and has already put me off reading this for some time.
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
I came across this book once and decided not to buy it which I regretted as soon as I got home when I checked my phone and realised it was on my ‘if you see this book for £2.50 or less you absolutely must buy it’ list. But that’s the price you pay for having a dead phone battery while shopping. Fortunately when I went back a few days later it was still there. I’m a little overwhelmed by the size of this book but the blurb intrigues me so maybe when I’m feeling particularly motivated I’ll pick this up.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
At this point on my trip I’d already bought four books so I adopted an in for a penny, in for a pound approach (I seem to be on some kind of cliché hype at the moment. Let’s see how many more I can squeeze in) and just starting buying books like crazy. I read this book last summer and loved it and for 99p couldn’t resist buying my own copy.
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I own the film of this but have yet to watch it but I’m on some kind of motivational, feminist, independence hype at the moment and from everything I know about this book I imagine it will fit right in. It pains me that it’s a movie tie in edition but it was 50p, how do you say no to a 50p book?
- The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Now this I imagine I will never read. Well not never but not for a long long time. Although the last time I said that about a book I ended up reading it the very next week. I remember picking up this book about 5 years ago and being vaguely interested in it and then forgetting all about it until seeing the movie trailed and thinking it looked ridiculous. But Wild was buy one get one free and this was the only other book that evenly remotely interested me.
- Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
My last pit stop on Leicester Charity Shop Crawl 2015 was Sue Ryder on London Road. I have been looking forward to going into this shop since it opened earlier this year as it looked like it should have a massive book section. And I finally got my chance this month. Unfortunately it in no way lived up to my expectations but they actually stayed open late so that I could come in which meant I felt obligated to buy something. And as much as I’ve been wanting a copy of Brideshead Revisited for ages (brilliant book, but oh so depressing) I’d been holding out for a truly beautiful edition. This one’s ok – the cover is much nicer than the spine – but it wasn’t really all that I’d wanted. But guilt led me to buy it and an impossible looking jigsaw of the San Francisco skyline.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I read this about five years ago and was hugely underwhelmed but it was bright green so what can you do?
- Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
I love love love love love the heroine of this book and can’t believe I never read it when I was younger. I read it electronically earlier this year and then came across this beautiful, battered, vintage looking edition.
- The Best of Dorothy Parker
This book jumped out at me because, well, it’s sparkly. And who can say no to a sparkly book? What I do know of Dorothy Parker (which is very little) I like so I’m intrigued to flesh it out a bit.
- Breakfast at Tiffanys by Truman Capote
It had never occurred to me to read this book until I started on my little New York book project. But now I absolutely can’t wait as a both love the film and love that this is so much shorter than I expected! Win win.