This is the next part of what I'm calling the Mega Book Haul, aka 'Sophie went to England and came back with 23 books she really didn't need so she's going to turn it into a few blog posts to feel better about it'. Anyway. If you read my post about my trip to the Yorkshire Dales you'll know I visited several churches in aid of my mum's interest in family history which includes wanting to photograph the graves of our long-dead ancestors. She also wanted to take photos inside the churches (in the vein of 'this was where they would have got married' and 'this was where they would have been baptised') which for me led to the happy discovery that there are often book sales at the back! Some were limited to a couple of shelves of creased paperbacks and childrens' books but others were much more promising and best of all excellently priced at 50p to £1 each - hence the somewhat eclectic mix I have to show you today.
Red Rose, White Rose by Joanna Hickson // The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland
Straight in there with some historical fiction: Red Rose, White Rose is (unsurprisingly) about the Wars of the Roses which is one of my favourite parts of pre-Tudor history, although it's so complicated that I confess I remain sadly ignorant of the details. This is actually one of the only books out the haul that I've read so far and it was really really good, I'd definitely recommend to it anyone who likes historical fiction. The Vanishing Witch made my heart skip I beat when I realised what it's about because hello, Plantagenet fiction AND witchcraft?? In the words of the Eleventh Doctor, has someone been peeking at my Christmas list? Nuff said.
Will by Christopher Rush // The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
Right I'm not gonna lie, Will is slightly on the mouldy side (you can't see it in this photo) and usually I only go for secondhand books that are in decent condition but for 50p I couldn't resist this fictional autobiography about Shakespeare. I've never come across anything about the Bard in terms of historical fiction which makes it doubly interesting for me. The Bronze Horseman is set in Leningrad in 1941 and is about the consequences of Hitler's invasion of Russia on a Russian family. When I skimmed the blurb initially it reminded me of Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys which is about a Lithuanian family and one of my absolute favourite WWII novels I've read so I hope I'll like this one just as much.
After Mary by Katherine McMahon // The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
I don't really have a lot to say about After Mary, I think I only picked it up because I thought it might be about Mary I which I presume it is indirectly, although the blurb says it's about a girl called Isabel whose father is a courtier - either way I'll probably really enjoy this. Moving away from historical fiction (ha about time), I also got The Five People You Meet in Heaven which I know absolutely nothing about but the title sort of resonated with me so I'm intrigued to see how I get on with it. I have a feeling I once watched a YouTuber include it in a monthly favourites or something but I can't remember who which is annoying. Anyway the cover is also oddly striking, it's very simple and almost old fashioned-looking in a way.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic by Terry Jones
The Black Rose of Florence by Michele Giuttari
Gosh this is a motley crew isn't it. I remember my friend telling me about The Secret Life of Bees a year or two ago and I also remember her not being too impressed with it, but I thought I'd just get it anyway to suss it out. I'm getting The Help vibes and a strong whiff of To Kill a Mockingbird so far but we shall see. Next I picked up Starship Titanic because Douglas Adams is one of my absolute favourite writers and I will read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy over and over until it's not funny any more which will be never. Unfortunately I did a bit of research and it turns out Starship Titanic was originally a computer game designed by Adams and adapted into a novel by Terry Jones, but I flicked through it and all is not lost because the writing style is much the same as Adams', thank goodness. Finally, I pounced on The Black Rose of Florence when I spotted it because I already have a couple of other books by the same author and it's sort of a series (and a cracking good one at that) so I'm always on the lookout for more of them to complete my collection. I had a horrible feeling I might already have this but it turns out I don't which is great!