Sunday, 6 June 2010

Books I Adopted This Week

This is such a mammoth update this week that I am just posting pictures of the books collectively rather than providing individual analysis because, seriously, I would be here all day if I did that. Because, people *deep breath* 29 books came into my house this week. I'll repeat that. 29. 12 of them were for review and the rest I brought. I did a charity shop blitz yesterday and found some proper bargains! It has led me to do some hard thinking and another blog post will follow this one where I challenge my....well, let's hold off on that one just for now and concentrate on the lovely, lovely books I now have!

Books Received for Review

Here is a list, all linked through to The Book Depository so that you can take a look at the blurb if you so wish:

1) Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

I've been a big Sookie fan since I randomly picked up the first book in the series, when searching for someone Anita Blake-like to tide me over until the next book in that series. I liked Sookie so much I asked friends and relatives to bring me back the US versions of books that weren't released in the UK at that point. Around the seventh book I decided to wait and build up a number of books in the series prior to a full series re-read. Now that we're at ten books - eleven if you include the collection of short stories - I think I'm ready to embark on that re-read!

Published by Gollancz

2) Brothers at War (Empire of the Moghul) by Alex Rutherford

Although I intend to review this book and I also have the first in the series, this was actually a lucky win through the nice girls behind the @headlinepg Twitter handle! I do like winning books! I am very fond of historical fiction - in fact, I have not read and reviewed enough recently, which I am looking to change - and this tale of the Moghul really appeals.

Published by Headline

3) Wizard Squared by K E Mills

This is the third book in K E Mills diverting and humorous series about wizards. I have books one and two, but this is another occasion where I want to read the series, but I always want to read something else more! However, now that there are three books published I'm tempted to give them a go. It is always more fun reading a few books from a series rather than reading one and then having to wait so long for the next one that you forget everything that happens. These K E Mills books are being released at a nice snappy rate, so that really shouldn't be an issue. Next time I'm looking for something light and fantasy-oriented, I think I can do worse than give these a go.

Published by Orbit

4) Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz

This is the 8th Alex Rider novel and I know they are extremely popular with younger readers. I like the adventure and I'm sure I will enjoy the book - but I'm a tiny bit worried about whether I'll be missing too much by joining this series at book 8. Can anyone reassure me that I'll be able to follow everything?

Published by Walker Books

5) The Unit by Terry DeHart

Wow, post-apocalyptica really is all the rage right now. Several of the books on my to-read pile have a post-apocalyptic bent to them. I'm curious about this book - it just doesn't seem massively in keeping with the other books that Orbit publish. It's rather a slight novel, and it seems more for the readers of Tom Clancy, barring that post-apocalyptic slant. Tempted to give it a go just to assuage the curiosity!

Published by Orbit

6) A Princess of Landover by Terry Brooks

With all due respect to Orbit - and with constant gratitude for all the fab books I am sent by them - this book is waaaay down my reading list. For one thing, it is the sixth book in a series, which is always a turn-off when you don't own the others, and for another, I really didn't get on with my brief flirtation with Brooks (The Sword of Shannara). I thought it was derivative fantasy rubbish, and have neglected to read anything by him since. I know that the Magic Kingdom books are supposed to be light and humorous fantasy, which is in their favour, but this one is very low down the reading priority list!

Published by Orbit

7) Muse and Reverie by Charles de Lint

I cannot say this too much: I love Charles de Lint. And I can't wait to read this selection of short stories set in the Newford world. I think De Lint's shorts are easily as good as his novel-length work. Luckily, considering my anticipation, I will be able to dip into this collection very quickly since I owe a review elsewhere!

Published by Tor

8) The Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding

I loved Retribution Falls, the first book in this series. I thought it was tremendous escapism and I was thrilled to be sent this second book. I can't wait to dive back into the adventures of the Ketty Jay, and am hoping for more of the same frantic fun.

Published by Gollancz

9) Veteran by Gavin Smith

This is being touted as one of THE sci-fi debuts of the year. Despite some mixed early reviews I am extremely keen to get on board, and I think the Gavin Smith is definitely going to be a writer for the future, even if this first book doesn't set the literary world alight.

Published by Gollancz

10) Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti

Sometimes books are sent to me out of nowhere. They are unexpected and downright lovely when they arrive. This particular book sparked a chord in me - I adore the sound of this gentle love story, and it has jumped right up my reading list, even though a couple of days ago I hadn't even heard of this book.

Published by Short Book Ltd

11) The Waiting Room by P G Cottam

Another little surprise in the post this week - this time a chilling ghost story. So, probably not as tempting as Benny and Shrimp, but it does sound intriguing. And I like the conceit of a phony TV ghost hunter finding out that ghosts might actually exist!

Published by Hodder & Stoughton

12) The Alchemist in the Shadows by Pierre Pevel

I just have to give a shout out to the cover art on this book - it is gloriously gorgeous, and, in this case, I think I will prefer the ARC version of the novel because none of the beautiful picture is covered by words! Despite being desperately intrigued by the Cardinal's Blades, the first in the series, I never actually read it (isn't that becoming a familiar story - too many books and too little time!) I really want to change that now with the publication of The Alchemist in the Shadows.

Published by Gollancz

Books Purchased

*holds head in hands* 17 books. When am I ever going to find the time?! These were brought at a warehouse sale, in a charity shop blitz and one (Forbidden) was purchased new from Waterstones:

1) A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill - 40K tie-in fiction fun!
2) Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst - picked up on the strength of the front cover.
3) Dracula the Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker - a sequel to Dracula? By a relative of Bram Stoker? Yes please!
4) Sixty-One Nails by Mike Shevdon - an Angry Robot book that garnered mixed reviews, but I like the urban nature of it.
5) Passion by Louise Bagshawe - I enjoyed Desire, so when I saw this cheap I snapped it up! Will be holiday reading.
6) Glamour by Louise Bagshawe - Same as Passion...
7) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma - check out my recent Wishlist post for why I HAD to buy this one!
8) The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson - one of the few Bryson books I don't own so I decided to correct that state of affairs.
9) Gardens of the Sun by Paul McAuley - I didn't realise this was a sequel to a book - damn!
10) One Day by David Nicholls - I enjoyed Starter for Ten by the same author, and I like the concept of this novel.
11) Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill - Heard too much good stuff about this collection of shorts from the son of Stephen King, so I had to buy it!
12) Moxyland by Lauren Beukes - I had this book on pdf to read, but I do prefer a proper book to read!
13) Slights by Kaaron Warren - This one has received some glowing reviews, and, again, I had the pdf but would prefer a hard copy.
14) The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber - I like literary fiction, and this one is being read by a friend of mine who inadvertently recommended it by saying good things about it.
15) Flood by Stephen Baxter - My ridiculous mission to collect all of Stephen Baxter's work without reading anything by him continues apace... I don't actually have that mission, but sometimes it feels as though I will achieve it by accident...
16) This is Not a Game by Walter Jon Williams - I'm not 100% sure WHY I brought this book, now that it is sat on my living room floor waiting to be put somewhere. Has anyone read it?
17) Arabesk by Jon Courtenay Grimwood - again, not sure why this one came home with me, although I like the front cover very much and the font used on the title is all gothic in nature.

So there you have it! All my books for this week.

What is worrying is the sheer number of books being purchased by me, alongside all the review copies I'm being sent. I'm living in fear that my tottering piles of books will eventually fall on me and kill me! Plus, some of the books coming into the house - well, I can't see me ever getting around to reading them.

And that leads me neatly onto a new blog post......


  1. Your ceaseless determination to crowd yourself out of your own house with books is both admirable and hilarious :D

  2. I read the first of the Arabesk books (is your edition the trilogy?) last month and thought it was great fun. I look forward to seeing what you think of the Alex Rutherford books - partly because good historical fiction set in my country is so rare.

    Good luck with your book buying embargo!

  3. I read This Is Not A Game earlier this year. The story was a bit predictable, but lots of fun to read.

  4. @Aishwarya - Yep, my edition is the trilogy, a really nice big weighty tome. I didn't know anyone else who had read it, so nice to hear that it is a fun read. I shall endeavour to read the Alex Rutherfords quick sharp then ;-)

    @D-man - Glad to hear that This Is Not A Game was not a complete waste of money :-D

  5. Heart-Shaped Box is Joe Hill's first novel - the collection is called 20th Century Ghosts, I do believe.

    Quite the haul, Amanda. You should build a house out of all the books and be content eternally to read the walls!

  6. I have the same habits, surrounded by 8,000 books in my house. I have finally after 2 years have slowed my purchasing down to perhaps ten a month a far cry from former accumulation rates. I have to come to the conclusion that I can always list the books I don't buy on a list, and if really want it to read I will find it somewhere used, with the sources today.