The end of July has really snuck up on me. But thinking back about everything that’s happened this month June seems like a lifetime ago. So before I dive in with my monthly round up of the books I’ve bought (which actually is a little thin on the ground) I’ll bend your ear about the other things that have been happening in my life over the last 31 days.
Right at the beginning of July I spent a wonderful 4 days in London with my mum. Not that you can ever spend a bad day in London – I’ve said before that it’s my favourite city in the world.
We go every year for Wimbledon which of course never disappoints. As long as the weather stays good. And this year it was perhaps a little too good when I had to walk around for the next week looking like a raspberry and wincing every time I moved thanks to some monstrous sunburn. But it was totally worth it.
Alongside the tennis we fitted in a shopping trip (obviously), explored bits of London I’d never seen before (read: we got lost), ate mukhwas in Masala Zone (which is without a doubt my favourite Indian restaurant in the country and why they can’t open a branch outside London is beyond me), met a uni friend for lunch who I hadn’t seen in about 6 months and I spent a glorious three hours sat in Regents Park reading my book and feeling like life just doesn’t get better than that.
And then once I was back to my regular life suddenly that got all exciting too when I moved into my very own little studio flat. Believe me you will become bored of seeing photos of it once I finally convince the landlord to let me hang pictures on the wall. Right now it looks a little too bare still for my tastes. But I love anything that gives me a legitimate reason to spend 6 hours in an Ikea.
And aside from those two big things I have also started a new job (which I’m still a little overwhelmed by as I have I actually responsibility – something I’ve never experienced before), tried confit duck for the first time (and I think it might be true love) and held a two day old baby, the first baby I have ever even been near, let alone held. So really, the six books that I’ve bought are far from the most exciting thing that has happened. But here they are anyway.
- HOW TO BUILD A GIRL by CAITLIN MORAN
After lunch out with my friend I found myself in Kentish Town with 4 hours to kill. So I did what any self-respecting bookaholic would do and set off on the hunt for a bookshop. Within five minutes I had found four charity shops all with a wide selection of books, including this copy of How to Build a Girl for 95p. 95p!!! I thought things in the capital were supposed to be more expensive! I have both read and reviewed this book and through reviewing it discovered that I actually really enjoyed it. 95p very well spent.
- THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS by JACQUELINE SUSANN
Also bought from a charity shop in Kentish Town purely because it was oh so pretty. I started it the day I bought it which is practically unheard of for me. I finished it a couple of weeks later and still haven’t been able to stop thinking about. This has leapfrogged right to my top ten favourite books of all time. Plus it’s so pretty I spent two hours rearranging my bookshelves so that I’d be able to more easily see it.
- NORA WEBSTER by COLM TOIBIN
Since Brooklyn was such a successful read I thought I’d try some more Colm Toibin. I read about two pages of this then decided it wasn’t what I was in the mood for.
- THE CHILDREN ACT by IAN McEWAN
Because I will buy anything Ian McEwan that I come across. Although I think I only need two more and I’ll have his complete back catalogue. Just need to find the motivation to actually read them all…
- THE DIARIES OF JANE SOMERS by DORIS LESSING
While I was still suffering from my Valley of the Dolls hangover – which I still haven’t quite got over – I desperately tried to hunt down any books that might be even slightly similar. Another Jacqueline Susann would have been ideal but I couldn’t find anything by her so I bought this instead. I knew nothing about it when I bought it. And other than that the author won a Nobel Prize (and I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by a Nobel Prize winner before so that’s something) and that she’s considered something of a feminist I’m no better off now.
- PHOENIX POETRY COLLECTION
It took until I was 17 years old to discover that I absolutely love poetry. But until I bought this I only owned three poetry books myself, and two of those were by the same person. When I came across this collection second hand I was very excited as it looks nice (and I’m very shallow when it comes to books) and features some of my favourite poets – Shakespeare, Dickinson, Wilde and Rossetti.