H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

That day last week when I accidentally bought some books...

It was the first day of a really bad cold. You know the one where it feels like there's an elephant sat on your head, you can't stop sneezing and you go through what seems like the entirety of the worlds tissue supplies in half an hour? That one.

I was watching some of my favourite booktubers whilst forcing down a mug of beechams (not a fan of the taste, but oh boy does that stuff work!!) and a couple of them mentioned The Book People because they'd been sent some books to review (sidenote: a brilliant example of how to reach out to youtubers. PR done well). It had been a long time since I'd had a good ol' peruse of the website so I thought I'd have a quick peep because they usually have some pretty good deals. I wasn't planning on buying anything though. But half an hour and a found-on-the-internet discount code later there were nine books heading my way in return for twenty five pounds. Well, Paypal pounds. And we all know Paypal money isn't real money. So they were technically free. Almost. That's what I'm telling myself.

More Than This by Patrick Ness | £4.99
This was the book that sparked off the whole order. It's been on my radar for a little while, sitting in my to-read list on Goodreads and on my Amazon wishlist. I have looked at it in Waterstones a few times, the cut out detail on the front cover is amazing and a real example of how being a little bit different with cover design can really pay off because it was attracting a lot of attention. But I didn't really want to pay full price for it because I've had a bit of an expensive book buying few months after a pretty extensive University set book list hitting my inbox. That's a really weak excuse, but sometimes I just want a bargain. And £4.99 for a hardback is an excellent bargain. Into the basket it went. And then I obviously had to pick some more books to hit the £25 free shipping thing. Right? Right!
"A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked, bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange, deserted place? As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?" 
You know when you get that feeling that a book is going to be pretty special, even before you've started reading? This is one of those for me. I've heard a lot of good things from a lot of people who tend to enjoy the same books as I do. I might have to start this one first.
Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness | £6.99
The Book People do collections really well, and by really well I mean really cheap. Under £7 for a whole trilogy? Yes please! It's been a long time since I've read a series and I also don't read a lot of fantasy/dystopia but I'm pretty keen to broaden my reading horizons. 
"Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. But Prentisstown isn't like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Or are there? Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible. Prentisstown has been lying to him. And now he's going to have to run..."
Yes! Sounds pretty exciting to me! Fun fact, anyone else being able to hear my thoughts is one of my irrational fears. Not because I have bad thoughts, but because they're horrendously embarrassing. Sometimes these ridiculous thoughts somehow find themselves into everyday conversation, which confirms how ridiculous they are. For example, the World Cup is currently on TV ALL THE TIME (ew) and instead of trying to enjoy watching it (never going to happen) I sit and imagine how much more entertaining it would be if all the players had to wear fancy dress. Notably Big Bird from Sesame Street. I still think it would make it more entertaining. Apparently it's not going to catch on though... Anyway, back to books!

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira | £5.59
This was most expensive single book I bought but still incredibly good value. This has been getting a lot of hype recently and for that reason I would usually avoid it for a little while, but there's something about it that has caught my interest. It's probably Ava's connection with Stephen Chbosky to be honest, because Perks will always have a special place in my heart forever and ever.
"Sometimes the best letters go unanswered. It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse... It's like she can't stop. She writes about her new high school, her new friends, her first love - and her shattered life. But the ghosts of Laurel's past can't be contained between the lines of a page forever. She must face up to them - before they consume her."
I think it has the potential to be a real love/hate kind of book. I'm not convinced that the blurb on the back is particularly attention grabbing, but I'm hoping that I'll like it. Young Adult is an interesting genre, there's so much potential within it and there are so many good YA books. But I also think it's quite easy to get wrong and I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed this one isn't disappointing.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence | £3
Admittedly I clicked on this initially because it was a truly bargainous price for a hardback but the blurb soon caught my attention...
"Alex Woods knows that he hasn't had the most conventional start in life. He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won't endear him to the local bullies. He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen - he's got the scars to prove it. What he doesn't know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he'll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices. So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he's fairly sure he's done the right thing."
Goodness knows I'm a sucker for a good coming of age novel, especially one that includes an unlikely friendship and an unexpected hero. Promising to potentially strike me as one of the funniest and most heartbreaking novels I've ever read, it's safe to say I'm pretty excited about this one. Please be good!  

Fortunately The Milk by Neil Gaiman & Illustrated by Chris Riddell | £2.99
What's a big book order without a little bit of Gaiman? Not a very successful one is the answer to that. Neil Gaiman gets a lot of praise from a lot of people. I have Stardust on my shelf, which I haven't read yet (note to self: no more book buying until you've read everything you already have!) and when I saw this I had to have it.
"It begins and ends with milk. Without milk, there can be no breakfast. Without breakfast, the day cannot start. The delicious Toastios are dry and the children are hungry. But today, the fridge is milkless. From the moment Dad pops out to buy some and gets abducted by aliens, swashbuckled by pirates, nearly sacrificed to a volcano god and rescued by a time-travelling dinosaur in a hot-air balloon, it's clear that breakfast is going to be delayed by some quite unusual events. Fortunately, the milk will arrive at some point in the future. Or the past. Won't it?"
The shiny cover is perfect, the blurb is hilarious and intriguing at the same time and the illustrations and typography throughout look incredibly well done. Maybe I'll read this one first... I know I'm going to love it already!

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki | £4.99
This was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 when The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton won. The Luminaries is sitting on my shelf, waiting for a week when I can devote some serious time to reading it because it's pretty long and I have a feeling it's one that will demand a fair amount of concentration. A Tale for the Time Being looks like it'll be a little easier to get through and I'm interested to see what makes a Man Booker Prize winner different from others that were shortlisted, if that makes sense?
"Within the pages of this book lies the diary of a young girl called Nao. Riding the waves of a tsunami, it is making its way across the ocean. It will change the life of the person who finds it. It might just change yours, too."
I hadn't seen this particular edition before now, but I think it's beautiful. And it's a hardback without a dust jacket, which I always adore! A lot of reviews have described this as a triumph, being moving and profound. I think I'll really love this, and it's one I'm looking forward to a lot.
The Slightly Annoying Elephant by David Walliams & Illustrated by Tony Ross | Free gift but usually £4.99
When I was checking out there was the option to choose a free book from a list of around 7 or so. I think they were all children's books (I have a terrible memory) and because I kind of collect children's books after my children's lit Uni module I was all over that list! I settled on this one because David Walliams has received all kinds of praise for his books and I was curious.  
"What's big, blue, bossy, and turns up uninvited? A slightly annoying elephant, of course!"
I flipped through this as soon as I opened the box and was giggling away instantly. This is a really fun addition to my children's book collection and I can imagine it's a lot of fun to read with a small person!

***

So those were my purchases. Needless to say I'm excited about them all and I now just want to lock myself away in a room and read them all right now. I think it's going to be nice to read some of these in between some of the twentieth century classic novels I'm reading for University. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving those (I think I've just discovered a new favourite author in Katherine Mansfield), but I also like to have a variety of things to choose from. Sometimes a bit of contemporary is necessary after a tough read! 

Have you read any of these? 
Which do you think I should read first? 

- Jennie xo 

*This post contains affiliate links - if you click through and purchase something from The Book People I will receive a tiny percentage. 

96 comments:

  1. I've not read any of these but I'm intrigued by the Patrick Ness trilogy, will have to have a loko for that.

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    1. I've heard really incredible things about it! xo

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  2. Love a good book haul! Thanks for the recommendations :)

    Holly - hollyinyourpocket.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. I must check out The Book People you got so many bargains! I haven't heard of any of these before, apart from the David Walliams one...not sure what that says about me really... x

    Josie’s Journal

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    1. They're so good, they have so many titles to choose from too! xo

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  4. The Universe vs Alex Woods is an amazing book, I cried twice.It's up there as one of my most favourite reads,I hope you enjoy it as much.

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  5. Oooh I love Gaiman, I've got a copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane in my 'to read' pile. Lots of lovely books there, I would start with that Ness trilogy, they sounds amazing x

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    1. I've heard nothing but good things, which is always a good sign! xo

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  6. Ah I love The Book People, I get their catalogues in the post and I'm always itching to buy all of their bargainous collections of books despite not really having any room for any more books in my house! Interested to see how you get on with The Chaos Walking Trilogy, I powered through the first two but couldn't finish the third - they are great books though, really different to anything else I've read before! xo

    Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

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    1. I'm pretty excited for them! xo

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  7. Such a lovely post Jennie! I want to read Love Letters to the Dead - it sounds really interesting.

    Beccy ~ Bluebell & Bumpkin

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    1. I liked it! I think if you enjoyed Perks, you'd like it too <3

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  8. The Chaos Walking trilogy sound so goood! Definitely added to my 'to read' list thanks :)z

    Danielle at Cup of Loveliness

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  9. Thanks for the book review c; That trilogy is truly a bargain!
    I am glad i'm not the only one reading children book :P
    Also, get well soon with your cold! *sends more tissue boxes*
    Xx

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    1. Children's books are amazing! xo

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  10. I love hearing book recommendations, thank you !

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

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  11. So many books! I haven't actually gone on a good book binge in a while. I really ought to get back into reading properly this summer.

    I'm also very envious that you got to do a children's lit module at uni. That would have been right up my street but nowhere to be seen at Keele!

    Megan x | MeganRoisinn

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    1. Every Uni should offer one I think, it was so interesting! ox

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  12. I loved this, just the type of post I wanted to read today! More Than This, Chaos Walking Triology and A Tale for the Time Being have been added to my wish list :)

    www.typewritered.com

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  13. Such an insightful post Jennie, definitely gonna give some of these a try :-)

    shabna x x
    my blog -> http://scheine.co.uk

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  14. These all look great. I just wish I had more time to read. -Hanna Lei

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  15. I love seeing what other people are reading! Love Letters to the Dead is on my wishlist :) xx

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  16. There is something about buying books... I just love it! And especially when you can get them for a nice price. I am wondering if that site that you're talking about ships internationally, so I am going to find that out now! My wallet hopes that they don't.

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    1. I think they do, but it might be a little pricey! xo

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  17. Lovely books, and you bought them for such an amazing price :).

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  18. Okay, I'm buying that Neil Gaiman book - it's right up my street!

    Tara x

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  19. These books all sound great - thanks for the recommendations! :)

    Telina | Love, Telina

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  20. I hate when I buy books in bulk and have no idea which one to start with. And I've actually not read any of these, so thanks for sharing them, found myself a few new reads!

    Belle ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

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  21. I've read More than This and I really want to read the Chaos Walking Trilogy!
    Also, I'm very intrigued by the 'book tubers' you mentioned and I was wondering if you could recommend some?

    Www.itszoecoco.blogspot.ie

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    1. I particularly love 'readsusieread' , 'sarah churchill' , 'booksandquills' and 'bookish thoughts' at the moment <3

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  22. Love, love, love your book posts!

    More Than This by Patrick Ness looks like it will be a good read. Off to have a look at The Book People now :)

    Fee x

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    1. I finished today and I loved it so much! xo

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  23. I love reading in the summer outside under a tree! I can't wait to see what you though of these books! xx
    Rena Kiss and Make Up

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  24. Oooh, I haven't read any of these but they all look great! I may need to add to my summer list...
    x Justina//abentpieceofwire.com

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  25. Well this is a timely post! Last week I tore through The Knife of Never Letting Go, and now I'm on the second book in the series. But I didn't know much about More Than This...and now I want it! Or, y'know, need it.

    Fortunately, The Milk has been on my list since it was published so I'm interested to see how you get on (it has amazing reviews).

    I feel another book buying frenzy coming on myself...

    Gemma
    http://fleetingplanet.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. You do need it, it's SO amazing! <3

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  26. Great post - I will definitely buy The Slightly Annoying Elephant for my two younger brothers xx

    www.lulabelloves.com

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  27. you should check out bookdepository.com, free shipping with no minimum cost c:

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    1. They take forever to ship to me so I don't use them very often, only when they have a really good deal on something! xo

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  28. I think you should read 'A Tale For The Time Being' first, I have been wanting to read it for a while and would love to know your thoughts on it.
    I'm checking out The Book People now, I'm obsessed with a book bargain!

    Gems x
    Fashion, Well Done

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    1. I'm really looking forward to it <3

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  29. some of these looks really good! i'll have to include it into my goodreads. been meaning to get into gaiman for a while now.
    Jenn
    A Beautiful Zen

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  30. Alex Woods is one of the best books I read last year. It'll make you cry, but it's so worth it. I've been dying to get to More Than This for the longest time as Ness is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. He never seems to let me down. Looks like you have some great reads coming up so enjoy!

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  31. That trilogy sounds really interesting! I might load my kindle up with them for my holiday next week. I love those kinds of books.

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    1. I'm really looking forward to getting started on them! xo

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  32. The cover design on the Patick Ness book is lovely, so I'd read that one first! :p

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    1. hehe! It was so amazing, incredible cover included! xo

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  33. You've got a fab selection here! I love The Book People, they have some right bargains :)

    Jess xo

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  34. I heard an interview of the Alex Wood's author and it did sound like a a really good read

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  35. these books all look so interesting! love your blog btw!
    Emma xx
    http://iemmafashion.com/

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  36. I've not read any of the books you posted about which I feel guilty about, but More than this looks interesting based on the cover alone! xx

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    1. It was so amazing, I just finished it and I can't stop thinking about it! xo

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  37. I haven't read any of these but I've heard great things about Love Letters to the Dead. Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

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    1. I'll pop up a review really soon! xo

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  38. Out of these, I've only read A Tale for the Time Being and absolutely loved it. I hope you will too! Some of these books sound really intriguing, would love to give them a go!

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  39. I think you'll REALLY like the Chaos Walking trilogy!

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    1. Ooh now I'm really looking forward to it! xo

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  40. I really enjoyed More Than This, all though it was bizarre and rather unsettling a lot of the time. I never really had any idea what was going on. Chaos Walking sounds interesting, those are going on my to-read list!

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    1. I just finished it today, I can't stop thinking about it! xo

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  41. A tale for the time being is good and very thought provoking. Hope you enjoy these reads xx

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  42. I reckon £25 spent on books is £25 well spent! I loved 'A Tale for the Time Being' - such lovely characters. Look forward to reading your thoughts on all of these!

    Tamsin xx | A Certain Adventure

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  43. Woah ok so first of all I had no idea booktubers were a thing. I'm assuming they don't make videos of them reading but talking about books and stuff? Maybe I'll investigate! Secondly, oh my gosh how cheap for all these books! Waterstones is so expensive but that's where I tend to go for new books (although to be honest the majority of books I read are old ones I get for free) so I'm definitely hitting this site up.

    I love Fortunately, The Milk - my mum got it for me for Christmas after it was on my xmas blog wish list post. He's so witty. Plus the illustrations reminded me of Philip Ridley as Chris Riddel did a lot of his books and they were my all time favourites as a child!

    Can't wait to hear what you think of all these books :)

    xxx

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    1. Booktube is the best, yep, talking all things books & reading! I love Waterstones, I love popping in and picking a new book every so often <3

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  44. I definitely need to try some of these books, I'm such a bookworm and always on the lookout for new reads - especially in the summer when I'm out in the garden and want a nice story :)

    Meg xo
    Meg Says | UK Health & Beauty Blog

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  45. I've been after More Than This for a while now but can never find it in Waterstones or my local library, think I'll have to go online! His trilogy, the Gaiman book and A Tale For The Time Being have all been added to my to read list, they sound wonderful.

    xx

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  46. Hope you feel better asap Jennie! <3

    What a fab selection of books; you always find the best treasures! ;) Love Letters to the Dead has really captivated me and I can't wait to hunt it down.

    Sophie | soinspo xo

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  47. I have purchased the first book you have mentioned myself and look forward to finishing it soon, I'm still reading A Clash of Kings at the moment. The trilogy by Patrick Ness is supposed to be really good, I want to try that myself too.
    Amy x | A Little Boat Sailing

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  48. I've been meaning to read "Fortunately the milk..." for a while. I was going to pick it up on kindle but a bunch of reviews said it was better in paperback. I love Gaiman and this looks like it could be a good introduction for Lucas in a couple of years...

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