All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

January TBR & Holiday Book Haul

on January 14, 2020

After three weeks away interstate, we are back home now. The drive home felt very long (I mean it IS long, it’s about 13 hours and we do it over two days, stopping halfway southern NSW). A neighbour across the road was kind enough to collect our mail while we were away and he managed to grab a book parcel or two from the postman however I also got a couple of parcel cards which meant I had packages for collection at a local post office hub. Unfortunately……those cards were delivered right at the beginning of our holiday so whatever they were, they’ve been returned to sender. However I’m pretty sure I know what they are so I’ll have to be in touch with those that sent them and hope they can be posted to me again.

Now that I am home, I can include a January TBR (of sorts). Of course almost half the month is gone so it’s quite small – but one of the books is very big!

Two of these are actually books that I didn’t get to in December before we left – The Strangers We Know by Pip Drysdale and also The House Of Brides by Jane Cockram. The House Of Brides is also the book for next month in my online book club, so I definitely have to get to that so that I can join in the discussion. The other three are review copies I received and I have to admit I don’t know much about any of them. Deep State looks interesting and like a good political thriller. A Murder At Malabar Hill is the first book in a series by Sujata Massey. I actually think this is published elsewhere as The Widows Of Malabar Hill. It’s recommended for fans of Phrynne Fisher and Precious Romotswe. I haven’t read the Phrynne Fisher books but I have read a dozen or so of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency books so I think I might enjoy this. It also fits a prompt for my Reading Women Podcast Challenge, so that’s a bonus as well. And the last one is a Sharon Penman novel. Penman is an author I’ve seen a lot of people praise (and she comes recommended by my reading/blogging friend Marg) but I’ve never read her before. This is a chunky book and the type is actually quite small.

Now it’s pretty much impossible for me to go anywhere without acquiring new books so I thought I’d share the ones I picked up on this holiday. Firstly I was involved in two Christmas/Holiday book swaps (one of which I was also organising) and had both of my book swap partners in those send the books to where I was staying for the holidays. In both cases we had to provide a few examples (about 3-5) of books on our wish lists for our partners to choose from, that way no one would get sent something they already had. In the first one, I received this book:

This is a really lovely hardback book, which we don’t see too often here in Australia – they’re simply too expensive to produce. It also has a beautiful cover. I’d heard a lot of pretty good things about this and I’ve actually already read it – sitting here, watching my kids try to drown each other in my parent’s pool. I enjoyed it. It’s set in France during the French Revolution and there’s a lot of rich history, including a voyage to China and some romance etc.

The second swap was an Aussie book blogger swap and I think for that one I put down a few YA titles I was interested in reading. My swap partner ended up choosing probably the one I want to read the most:

Internment by Samira Ahmed. I’m really excited to read this, it’s one of those books that feels incredibly relevant at the moment and on one hand you’re thinking “how could this happen?” and on another you’re thinking “well, it happened before and why not?”. In this book, Muslims are declared a threat to America and those living there are rounded up and forced into internment camps for Muslim American citizens. This is a girl’s fight for freedom. In Australia, during the war, those of German and Italian descent and heritage were also rounded up and placed within camps. I know in America those that were Japanese or even those born in America but of Japanese heritage also had the same happen. It’s honestly not too far a stretch to think of something like this.

Last but not least – second hand bookshops are a bit of a dying breed here in Australia. There aren’t a lot of them anymore. Where I live I don’t think there’s one in a 30k radius. But in my parent’s town, there is one near a beach which has books, records and coffee. It’s a tiny place, crammed with shelves overflowing with books. I’ve been there before and it’s fun to while away an hour or so, picking through the selection and finding some gems. My husband and I went there one afternoon and came out with 11 books. He found a book he’d been trying to buy online for ages but no where had a copy. He found a book by an author he’d just discovered and is now intending to read his backlist. Second hand bookshops are like that – you can find the most random things, get lucky and discover books you’ve been searching for for ages without any luck, only to find one sitting on a shelf right in front of you. I’m a bit picky about my books – I like them to be in good condition and books that spend too much time near the sea unfortunately get a bit spotty. And too many books crammed in together end up smelling a bit. So I fossick for ones that are still in good shape, or that haven’t been there too long. I was pretty happy with what I came away with:

I’m always in two minds a bit buying from a second hand bookshop because I know a sale from there isn’t a sale for the author. But in buying books there, I know it’ll lead to me buying more books elsewhere. I’ve been wanting to try a Ken Follett series for a while and actually, I have some on iBooks. But I don’t like reading super thick books on eReaders, even though that probably seems weird. After all big books are awkward and heavy. But I like to flick back and forth and I need physical evidence of my progress. A bar down the bottom isn’t enough! If I enjoy this, I’ll be buying the rest of the series. Same goes for the other authors in there – I already know I’ll be buying Nina Kenwood’s next book, because I loved It Sounded Better In My Head. I’m hoping that the Barack Obama book might fit into my Non Fiction Challenge for this year. And the others are books I’ve had on my radar for a little bit, or are authors I’ve liked previously.

If you’ve read something from either my January TBR pile or from the list of books I accumulated on my holiday, feel free to let me know your thoughts!

10 responses to “January TBR & Holiday Book Haul

  1. The Familiars is awesome!

  2. Mic says:

    What a great haul. 🙂 I’m going to embark on a big thick one soon with print that isn’t as big as i’d like so I hear you on that one.

  3. I enjoyed A Murder at Malabar Hill, and I want to read both All The Light We Can See and It Sounded Better in My Head.

  4. Marg says:

    I’m surprised that you haven’t read Penman yet! I need to read the Jane Cockram too, and I think you will enjoy All the Light We Cannot See.

    • Yeah I don’t know why I’ve never gotten around to trying her before! If I enjoy this new one, I’ll have to tackle some of her others.

      I read The House of Brides…… Look, you need to read that so we can discuss it. I want to see what you think.

  5. […] did a post on the books I bought whilst on holiday which you can read here so the books I’m going to be including in this post are the ones I’ve received recently […]

  6. cubitmagazine says:

    The Familiars is such a great book 🙂

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