I haven’t done a book haul in about a year and a half, so I thought I’d better catch up with all the (spoilers: too many) books I’ve spent my hard earned money on over the past few weeks.
I have had quite an active few months of reading, so I felt like I deserved an active few months of book buying, too. Even though I haven’t had any shelf room for years, now. I think my bookshelf is breaking…?
This is a non-fiction book which I picked up from a book sale at my local library for £1.50, I think. It covers the stories of quite a few prominent queens in English history – Judith of France, Aelfgifu of Wessex, Eadburh Godwine and her sisters Aelfthryth and Edith, Emma of Normandy, Aelfigifu of Northhampton, Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of Angouleme, Eleanor of Provence, Eleanor of Castile, Isabella of France, Joan of Navarre, Margaret of Anjou, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey and Mary I.
That’s a lot of historical women. I’m really looking forward to reading this when I eventually get around to it. I think it would be easier to dip in and out of rather than read in one massive chunk. If you’re interested in women in history, especially in British history, then this is a great place to start. However, it is written in a very dense style, so if you want an easy read, perhaps give this one a miss.
I also picked up this from aforementioned book sale – I’m a massive Alison Weir fan, and I really want to read more of her non-fiction. Eleanor of Aquitaine was a queen from the late 12th century (the 1100’s), the wife of Louis VII of France, then Henry II of England. She lived through a very interesting period of English history and ended up leading an uprising against her husband Henry.
I would think that this is written in an easier to read style than She Wolves, judging by what I’ve read of Alison Weir so far, and Eleanor of Aquitaine is probably the most interesting historical woman that I’ve heard about in detail. Again, a good place to start if you like women in history, and this book also gives a much bigger in depth analysis of a single figure, whereas the previous book has more of a general overlook of several women.
Do I need to give this book much introduction? If you’ve never heard of this novel before (which I doubt), then it’s the story of Elizabeth Darcy, her sisters, and a man named Mr Darcy. It’s one of Jane Austen’s easier reads – and, admittedly, one I have never fully read, but I’ve seen enough adaptations to know the story inside out and back to front.
I bought this in the Penguin Clothbound Classics edition secondhand, which is the edition I have also linked to (something I’ve attempted to do throughout this entire haul). These are really lovely, pretty but affordable editions of classics, which have ribbons attached to them for ease of page marking. In addition, they also have sewn spines, so there’s no way you can wreck it by breaking the spine, which is something I really appreciate.
This book is one of my all-time favourites, I read it for the first time about three or four years ago. I’ve also visited Whitby before – I, unfortunately, didn’t get to climb up the steps to the Abbey, but I plan to in the future.
Dracula is the story of Jonathan Harker, an English lawyer, who travels to Transylvania to do business with a vampire named Count Dracula. It’s a genre-defining gothic novel, among the likes of Jekyll and Hyde and Frankenstein. If you enjoy the gothic, you will adore this. I’m really lucky to have bought this in the beautiful Folio Society edition – and for only £10! As that edition is not available on Book Depository, I’ve linked to the clothbound classic edition here (the link in the subtitle links to the Folio Society website).
I really adored I Capture the Castle, as it’s the story of a girl the same age as me, and someone that I can really identify with. Cassandra lives with her beautiful sister Rose, her ex-model stepmother and eccentric writer father in an old castle, in the middle of the countryside. When the American owners of said castle arrive, then she grows up, falls in love, and has her heart broken, all in the space of a year.
This is written in a first person diary format, something that’s really hard to do well, but is written phenomenally well here. It’s a YA novel, written in 1948, which is really interesting to me. There’s also a film adaptation of this novel, which I’d really like to watch in the future, as I’ve heard it’s really faithful to the book.
This is a really famous science fiction novel, although I think it kind of straddles the genre line between science fiction and horror. I don’t know much about this, but I know it’s terrifying. I hope I get around to it sometime soon.
Again, this is a book I haven’t read yet, but it’s one I really look forward to reading. I’m a massive du Maurier fan, and although my editions are the opposite of uniform, I love them all. I know next to nothing about this novel, but I believe it is set in Cornwall, like the majority of her well-known books. When I read this, I will review it, and get back to you on what it’s like.
Again, a book I know next to nothing about that I bought because I adore du Maurier. Her writing is really lyrical, and she’s great at word painting. I’ve only read Rebecca by her, but in addition to the books on this list, I also own Jamaica Inn, which is next on my to-read list.
The House on the Strand follows the story of Dick, who is lent a house by his friend on the grounds that he will test a new drug that said friend has been developing. However, this drug makes him time travel, back in time, to the fourteenth century. I’m really looking forward to reading this, more so than probably any other book on this list – I’ve actually already read the first chapter.
Daphne du Maurier is mostly known for her ‘romance’ novels, so a novel by her with a science fiction element is something I haven’t heard of before. I can’t really say much more, as I haven’t read enough to pass judgement, but on the whole, Daphne du Maurier’s novels can be slow, but they are all easy reads.
I picked this up mostly because it fits in with the editions of George Orwell books that I’ve been collecting – the ‘Great Orwell’ editions. This collection features 41 of Orwell’s short essays, a few being ‘Politics and the English Language’, ‘Why I Write’, ‘My Country Right or Left’ and ‘Books v. Cigarettes’.
If you like reading essays by great novelists, or if you’re into literary criticism, then I think this is a good place to start. I’ve read ‘Politics and the English Language’ before, and I really enjoyed it. As essays go, they’re easy to follow, and they’re very thought provoking.
And, finally, we come to Brighton Rock. Yet again, a book I know little about, but there was a film that came out in 1947 which stars Richard Attenborough that I’ve heard about before. Like any classic novel – if you feel intimidated, then it’s good to start with watching a good adaption, before reading.
There’s a lot of religious and moral themes in this book, which are topics that are pretty interesting to read about. Graham Greene was a Catholic, and two of the characters in this novel are too, and there’s also a character that’s very anti-religious. Again, when I read this, I’ll review it, and give my views on it.
(n.b. I will receive a small commission from any links to BookDepository if you purchase books through that link)