The world of literature is one I have always felt particularly addicted to. Achieved something? Buy a book. Feeling sad? Buy a book. Wanting to escape reality for a while? Buy a book. The list goes on and on and on.
My book purchasing habit is somewhat of a rollercoaster. I have phases where I force myself to read some of the books that are already sitting on my shelves (in a desperate attempt to save money after checking my bank account for the first time in forever) OR I just keep buying books under the pretense that I deserve them and should be “treating myself”.
If you’re still wondering which phase I am in currently, then read the second half of the title again. Got it? Okay.
There is a book store in the heart of Vienna that actually sells new (English) books at a cheaper price. Usually the books have been overproduced or have been damaged in some kind of way (which is barely noticeable). I went there twice recently and ended up buying some each time… oops.
I also ordered some books that I have been wanting to read for AGES. That feeling of finally receiving a package full of books in the mail is one of the greatest joys in (my) life.
by Raymond Carver
“Raymond Carver said it was possible ‘to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language and endow these things – a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman’s earring – with immense, even startling power’. Nowhere is this alchemy more striking than in the title story of Cathedral in which a blind man guides the hand of a sighted man as together they draw the cathedral the blind man can never see. Many view this story, and indeed this collection, as a watershed in the maturing of Carver’s work to a more confidently poetic style.”
Having finished reading Cathedral not too long ago, I can say that this was definitely one hell of a good purchase. Raymond Carver, to me, is a master at the art of short stories. I’ve been wanting to read some of his poetry for a while now as well, so that might be the next thing on my “Carver” list!
If you like short stories, I would definitely recommend not only Cathedral, but also some of his other collections like Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.
by Joseph Heller
“At the heart of Joseph Heller’s bestselling novel is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it. It is the tale of Captain Yossarian who spends his time plotting to survive.”
So excited for this one! It has been sitting on my list for ages, patiently waiting for its turn. It’s high time I give this a read!
by Angela Carter
“Love is Angela Carter’s fifth novel and was first published in 1971. With surgical precision it charts the destructive emotional war between a young woman, her husband and his disruptive brother as they move through a labyrinth of betrayal, alienation and lost connections. This revised edition has lost none of Angela Carter’s haunting power to evoke the ebb of the 1960s, and includes an afterword which describes the progress of the survivors into the anguish of middle age.”
I am currently reading Love and oh my god, I am half way through and I already have completely fallen in love with Love (hah). The characters in this book are so complex and layered, I really like the feeling of almost being in their head, thinking their thoughts with them.
NORTH AND SOUTH
by Elizabeth Gaskell
“When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction.”
Fun fact: North and South is actually the story that actually ignited my (still ongoing) burning love for period dramas. I watched the BBC drama a couple of years ago and ever since I have been DYING to read the book.
by Charles Bukowski
“On Drinking is a powerful testament to the pleasures and miseries of a life in drink, and a window into the soul of one of our most beloved and enduring writers.”
…You didn’t seriously think I was going to do a book haul without some of Bukowski’s work, did you? I was at a bookshop with one of my best friends, just casually browsing – as we always do – and then (and I swear to god) it was like the clouds parted and the sun (aka this book) came through.
This was a very dramatic way of saying that we didn’t know that this book was going to come out, so it was the best surprise EVER. Did we both buy a copy? Yes. Did we also leave with some other books? Also yes. Do we feel guilty about this? Absolutely not.
TALES OF ORDINARY MADNESS
by Charles Bukowski
“Inspired by D.H. Lawrence, Chekhov and Hemingway, Bukowski’s writing is passionate, extreme and has attracted a cult following, while his life was as weird and wild as the tales he wrote. This collection of short stories gives an insight into the dark, dangerous lowlife of Los Angeles that Bukowski inhabited. From prostitutes to classical music, Bukowski ingeniously mixes high and low culture in his ‘tales of ordinary madness’. These are angry yet tender, humorous and haunting portrayals of life in the underbelly of Los Angeles.”
And he’s back again. And so soon as well. Bukowski, my man, it’s like you follow me everywhere I go!
FANTASY / YOUNG ADULT
by Renée Ahdieh
“At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.“
Anyone who asks me for Fantasy book recommendations will always get the same few: Renée Ahdieh is an author I fell in love with whilst reading The Wrath and The Dawn series. She had such a way with words in that duology. It might me one of the most well-written Fantasy books out there in my opinion. So when I heard that she was working on a brand new series there was no doubt in my mind that I was reading it. Do I have insurmountably high expectations for this book? Yes. Am I scared they won’t be fulfilled? Double Yes.
THE QUEEN OF NOTHING
by Holly Black
“The finale to the New York Times bestselling Folk of Air trilogy, that started with The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, from award-winning author Holly Black.”
I have already read this beauty of a book and I think I just might quote something from my Goodreads review of this book:
“300 pages is just too short for a conclusion of a series this twisted, dark and complex. What I will say is that the tension and build-up in Queen Of Nothing is sublime. Just like with the books predecessors, Holly Black manages to write in such a way that leaves the reader on the edge of their seat, full of anticipation for what is to come.”
If you haven’t read the Folk Of The Air series, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some good fantasy with a more darker atmosphere and world building to it.
Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake
FIVE DARK FATES
by Kendare Blake
“In this conclusion to the Three Dark Crowns series, three dark sisters will rise to fight as the secrets of Fennbirn’s history are laid bare. Allegiances will shift. Bonds will be tested, and some broken forever. The fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens.”
I…. ugh, okay. Here’s my confession: I started the Three Dark Crowns series at a time where my Fantasy standards were definitely lower and more easily satisfied. As I got older (and wiser) and picked up the newest additions to the series, I definitely wasn’t as impressed by the whole world building and storyline anymore. I bought Five Dark Fates simple because it is the last book in the series and I am happy to see it end.
TO KILL A KINGDOM
by Alexandra Christo
“Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.“
I will be honest: I love fantasy novels based on popular fairy tales and this one sounded just like Arielle with a dark and sinister twist. From the moment my brain made that connection I was sold.
by Jay Kristoff
“In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.”
Nevernight is a book a lot of people have been raving on and on about. It came out in 2016 and I remember that time well – it seemed like every single person on the Internet had something to say about this book. I have been told of this book’s excellence, but have also read some reviews from Goodreads reviewers (whose opinion I usually trust) that have made me a little more cautious. I am definitely excited to read this one but do not want to get my hopes up too high.
by Susan Dennard
“In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.”
When I look for good fantasy, I always turn to the advice of my Goodreads friends. If I read “fast-paced”, “vibrant world” and “in depth characters” I am definitely tempted. Though I must admit that with Truthwitch, I had some doubts as well. You see, this book has been hyped up to the point where I am not always sure I can trust the reviews 100%. So I patiently waited for the hype to die down, then forgot about this book, rediscovered it on my list and decided that after three years of waiting, it was finally time to give this book a try and see if it lives up to the hype.
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER
by Tom Clancy
“Somewhere under the Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision. The Red October is heading west. The Americans want her. The Russians want her back. And the most incredible chase in history is on…”
This last book was somewhat of an impulse purchase… I admit it! I saw Tom Clancy’s name on it and I was like “yep. this is mine”. Nevertheless, I am really excited to read this one, as it is the book that first launched Clancy’s success as an author. And I am fascinated by The Cold War, so fascinating that I actually wrote a dissertation entirely about espionage in the Cold War. So this plot line seems to be right up my alley!
So there you have it – a whooping number of 13 books I have proudly added to my collection! If I continue at this rate, then there soon won’t be any room for new books. And Christmas is right around the corner as well…. With that being said, let me round off this already too long post by asking you this:
What are some books you would highly recommend? (They can be of any genre) And what is a book you read recently that really made you think? I’d love to know, as I am always on the lookout for new stories to read.
….but maybe I should read all of these books before buying any more😅 Or another book haul will magically pop up very soon. Who knows.
And with that, I think I’ll leave you with this riveting cliff hanger and wish you all a wonderful rest of your day.