Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Secondhand Book Haul

The other weekend I went to a secondhand book sale at my local English shop. As usual I picked up a massive stack of books and on further reflection ended up putting about half back, but I still came away with a good selection which I'm going to show you today. I know I'm always enthusiastic about books but trust me, there are some real corkers in here!

According to Queeney by Beryl Bainbridge
This is a curious little book but somehow it drew me in, I think because of the front cover which is really quite lovely with the rose gold lettering. Set in Georgian London and about the high society of the day, this book is apparently "a story of unrequited love, passion, rejection and possession" so I have high hopes.

I, Mona Lisa by Jeanna Kalogridis
For some reason this rang a bell (I think I saw it on Goodreads or something?) so I picked it up and knew right away it was a winner. It's set in fifteenth century Florence and is, unsurprisingly, a story about Mona Lisa and Leonardo da Vinci. I really love historical fiction from this period, especially when it's set in Italy and especially when it includes well-known characters so I know I'm going to like this.

The Trespass by Barbara Ewing
This intrigued me because I'm not crazy about Victorian historical fiction, but for some reason I felt drawn to it and ended up getting it. It's set in London in 1849 in the middle of a cholera epidemic and is about the daughter of an eminent MP who gets sent away to the countryside for her safety. This is probably quite morbid of me but I do like books about epidemics and disease, it's all quite horrific and thrilling and you know there's going to be at least one dramatic death.

Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson
I was so excited when I spotted this because I love Sylvia Plath and I've been developing a taste for biographies lately so really this is the perfect combination. As far as I can tell it's about her early life, which is interesting, and it draws on interviews with people Plath knew, which is fascinating - this is going to have pride of place in the Plath section of my bookshelf for sure.

The Witch's Daughter by Paula Brackston
This book is about a three hundred and eighty-four year old witch, which by definition means it's going to become one of my favourites. I can only take fantasy in small doses but this kind of mixture of historical fiction and fantasy is just my cup of tea so I'm excited to read this. The Lost Book of 

Salem by Katherine Howe
To be honest I didn't even read the blurb of this one before I bought it (I just saw the word 'Salem' and lunged for it) but it looks promising because it's another good old historical-fiction-fantasy blend. It's about a woman who, while clearing out her grandmother's cottage, finds an old parchment relating to the infamous Salem witch trials and uncovers her family's connection to them.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
I recently read Sarah Waters' book The Paying Guests and LOVED it so I've been keen to get my hands on other books she's written. I've heard lots of good things about Fingersmith too - it's set in London in 1862 and seems to have an Oliver Twist vibe to it as it's about an orphan who grows up among petty thieves.

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
Another Sarah Waters one which I was thrilled to spot. This is set in wartime Britain and - according to the blurb - moves backwards through the 1940s to end with its beginning in 1941, which seems like an original idea so I'm interested to see how/if the author pulls that one off.

The Lost World by Michael Crichton
It's no secret that I love all things Jurassic Park, but I especially love the book and I've been meaning to get the sequel for some time now. Unfortunately this is one of those situations in which I've seen the film before reading the book, but I'm just going to hope that there's a lot more to the book than the film which is definitely the case in the first installment. 

The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie
Last but not least... I'm always on the lookout for Agatha Christies when I go to booksales like these because I'm trying to collect all her books - unfortunately I only found one this time but fortunately it was one I haven't got yet so of course I picked it up. I was sorry to find out that this isn't a Hercule Poirot one but I'm definitely going to read it anyway next time I'm in a murder mystery mood.

And that's all I got!


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