Sunday, 2 May 2010

An impressive haul - you gotta love birthdays!

I usually avoid doing blog posts about the books that come into my house - partly because I'm embarrassed at the sheer amount I both receive and buy, and partly because I don't want it to sound as though I am boasting. However, I think by now readers of my blog can see that I am constantly reading and reviewing books - these books I receive from publishers will all eventually be read, with my thoughts cast on them. I deeply appreciate any opportunity to receive books from publishers, but, as this post will attest, I also cannot resist buying them myself as well!

This week has been a rather unusual one in terms of books received, thanks to a couple of large donations from blogger friends of mine, and also thanks to my 30th birthday being last Monday. I've taken a few photographs of my haul, which I shall show and explain below:

Birthday books!

I know the image isn't great, so I have listed below the books received for my birthday and why I have them...

Ghostgirl by Tanya Hurley (Headline): If you have read my previous blog post, you'll know I'm intending to read this one during May because the premise is so ridiculously amusing! I couldn't resist buying it with some of the book tokens I had for my birthday. I also love the amazing cover - so cute and ghoulish at the same time!

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (times 2 versions!): I was delighted to receive these two books from an intriguing friend of mine. He was aware that I had read Spirit for the Arthur C Clarke and yet never read the source material that Gwyneth Jones based her book on, so he sent me through a copy. The French version is because I want to learn French and he reckons one of the best ways to do so is to practice reading it. This is one of the rare occasions where I have two copies of the same book!

Changes and Small Favour by Jim Butcher (Orbit): These two books were purchased by my housemate to complete my set of Dresden books, which I shall soon be embarking on as a full read. I suspect he brought these because he has read most of them and wanted to read these two as well!

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon (Orion Books): This is the latest book in Ms Gabaldon's series about Clare and Jamie Fraser and I am extremely excited about finally reading it. A full re-read of the series will commence at some point in the very near future.

Books received for review!

The Cardinal's Blades by Pierre Pavel and The Rats and the Ruling Sea by Robert VS Redick (both Gollancz): the lovely Mark Chitty had a clear out of a number of books and I bagged these two from him (and the next one I shall list as well). Since he was kind enough to share them with me, I shall more than likely be providing him with the guest reviews for the books!

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton (Tor): Sent through by Mark Chitty. I can't think of a better time to grab a copy of Mark's first book, since City of Ruin is on the verge of being released.

The Bishop Must Die by Michael Jecks (Headline): The author himself offered up this medieval mystery book for review, and I am intrigued by it. The only issue for me is that it is book number 28 in a *very* long-running series! On the one hand, if I like it I have 27 other great books to pick up. On the other hand, that is 27 more books I need to buy and try to find room for in my house!

Curse of the Wolf Girl by Martin Millar (I have the US Underland Press copy - the UK version is being released by Piatkus later in the year): This was sent for review to Fan Lit, and I became the lucky recipient out of the team of reviewers. I say lucky because this is the sequel to Lonely Werewolf Girl, which I thoroughly enjoyed (and will be re-reading and reviewing prior to tackling Curse of the Wolf Girl).

The Turning by Helen Ellis (another US book sent through, this time from Sourcebooks Fire): For every exciting book I receive as a Fanlit reviewer - see above - there is a book that I almost dread cracking open! The premise of this book is fairly laughable but I shall give it a go and report back!

Burned by P C & Kristin Cast (Atom): This is book number 7 in the House of Night series. I have the first couple, which I shall read prior to tackling Burned (since I have heard that you do really need to read these in order of publication). If I don't like the first couple, then I shall be giving away Burned to a lucky recipient.

The Unseen by Alexandra Sokoloff (Piatkus): This was a surprise arrival, which is going to be fairly low down my list of reading for the next few months.

Books purchased by me in a warehouse sale!

So, I have decided that warehouse sales are dangerous. Very dangerous. I was only looking at the stall for a few minutes when five books had leapt into my arms, begging me to buy them! I duly obliged.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (Simon & Schuster): Some of the YA blogging juggernauts have shouted great things about this book, so I couldn't resist it. Besides, the front cover is simply beautiful.

Fall of Thanes by Brian Ruckley (Orbit): Buying this one completes the Godless World trilogy on my shelves, so I now feel able to read them without having to sit around and wait for months on the next one being published.

Fire by Kristin Cashore (Gollancz): I own the first - Graceling - and have heard good things about both books. They are fairly slight reads so I might bump them up my reading list into May.

Ghostgirl: Homecoming by Tanya Hurley (Headline): You've seen the first featured a little further up. I took a chance on the first being as funny as it sounded and brought the second when I saw it so cheap!

Conjugal Rites by Paul Magrs (Headline): This is the third in the Brenda and Effie series of books. I have the first and fourth as well. Once I have the second I shall read all of them straight through. I'm looking forward to them because everyone I've spoken to says they are smart, funny and very, very charming.

And you thought I was finished! One last picture of books....

These were all donated to me by Rob Grant from Sci-Fi London (he brought them along to the Arthur C Clarke award ceremony, bless him!) They've joined my to-read pile and, once again, I shall be offering him some guest reviews as a favour for scratching my book itch!

I'm not going to go through all of them, since there are 8 (EIGHT!) wonderful books. I am most excited about Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison since I recently read the rest in this wonderful urban fantasy series. My Dead Body and Tuck both complete series that I already own, and shall now be pleased to read in their entirety.

Let's just recap - over the last week I have received 27 books....

And I wonder why my to-read pile is threatening to kill me as it totters in massive piles in every corner of my house!

Are there any books I have listed that you've read and want to pass comment on? Any you think I should be getting to instantly? As I've said, May is going to be a free-form, read and review whatever I fancy kind of month, so your recommendations could be enough to put something right at the head of my to-read list!

To finish up, here is a most gorgeous picture of Kira. She is one of my delightful reading companions (the more photogenic and social one of the two!)

Enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday weekend - happy reading!


  1. wow, awesome haul, but no question Jim Butcher always gets priority.

  2. Nice haul and some interesting titles, including a bunch I've never heard of. Personally I'd go with The Cardinal's Blades first!

  3. @ Adele: You know, I've *never* read any Jim Butcher - what makes him so good, in your opinion?

    @ Adam: I love the cover art and the concept of The Cardinal's Blades, and it is one I've had my eye on for a while. Definitely tempting!

  4. Oooh you've got Dead in the Family ! Thats my most anticipated book at the moment. Still, only a month left to wait (and plenty to keep me occupied in the mean time).