Monday, 12 October 2009

Recent Acquisitions...




Books seem to be rapidly arriving in Paperback_Reader abode despite having a book-buying ban in place. I have been good though and only purchased one of the books above myself and that was a pre-order declared in my previous related post. In the interest of full disclosure, however, there is one little book that I did splurge on, which will appear in my next acquisitions post once it arrives (although to be fair it was a) very cheap b) a collector's item c) all Verity's fault...)

So, thank you to bloggers and publishers for funding (and fueling) my seemingly at-least-four-per-week book habit! This week I received:

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood was kindly sent to me from Alice at Bloomsbury, and is my first review copy from them, which is very exciting. I am undecided whether to read Oryx and Crake first of all as they are set in the same world; I have been assured that they work independently from one another but the dilemma remains.

The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon was sent to me by the lovely Nat of In Spring it is the Dawn for successfully suggesting the name of her new Japanese-orientated project, Hello Japan (an allusion to Hello Kitty as well as embracing the concept of discovering all things Japanese each month). Nat kindly offered me a Japanese book of my choice and although tempted by many I settled on The Pillow Book, which is "one of the greatest works of Japanese literature". Aptly I learned about this book on In Spring it is the Dawn, the blog name coming from the opening lines of the classic title.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë was a fabulous surprise from Annabel of Gaskella for suggesting the name of her "Season of the Living Dead" theme (I've been lucky with suggesting names this month!) Wuthering Heights is a classic that I have never read and I have mentioned recently here and on other blogs my intent to at long last read it; this season is perfect for doing so and the edition that Annabel sent me is certainly topical. Have you seen it? If you zoom in on the cover you will see the stamp-of-approval that reads "Bella and Edward's Favourite Book", alluding to the lovers from the Twilight series. I have seen outraged posts and comments about this marketing ploy but I actually think it was a wise way for HarperCollins to use the cult vampire franchise to boost their own sales. My reasoning is that if it encourages devoted fans (especially those of the romantic teen girl variety) to pick up a classic and read it because Bella and Edward like it, then at least they are reading something well-written and less vapid (and before any of you try to stake me, this is from the mouth of a Twilight afficionado who read the books like they were oxygen).

Madensky Square by Eva Ibbotson was sent to by the lovely Julia of Lady in the Dark (do have a read of her blog; it is lovely). I took an interest in one of Julia's recent posts about Eva Ibbotson as I have been meaning to read her for some time and very kindly sent me a duplicate copy of one of her books so now I can. Madensky Square, which appears to be out-of-print, sounds enchanting and I am looking forward to reading it. Is anyone else an Eva Ibbotson fan?

Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill - which should be subtitled "beware the superfluous apostrophes when writing about this book"! Lastly we have one of the most anticipating books of this half of the year (at least across the blogosphere!) and one that I first learned about -and then a couple of times more, and once in person- from Simon T of Stuck-in-a-Book (his review of the book can be read here). I coveted this book instantly, as I do most books about books, but the premise is one that I am sure as bibliophiles with excessive amounts of books in our book-loving homes, we dream about. The actual subtitle of the book is "A Year of Reading From Home"; Susan Hill embarked -beginning one afternoon when she could not locate an elusive book on her shelves but managed to find many more that she had intended to read but hadn't yet and some she had desired to reread but hadn't done so- "on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her own collection again." Doesn't it sound delightful? Here is a wonderful quote from the inside dust-jacket that sums up my expectations for this book, "A book which is left on a shelf for a decade is a dead thing, but it is also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life." I know that this book is going to enchant but regrettably -due to outstanding reading commitments this week- I am not going to read it yet but will hold it tight at the end of the week; my boyfriend will be away from home this weekend and I simply can't think of a better way to console myself (unless it also involves wine and chocolate).

Have you received anything as exciting over the last week?


41 comments:

Steph said...

I just heard about Howards End is on the Landing yesterday on another blog and am coveting it now myself! But I think it may only be available in the UK for now, so I will either have to wait OR perhaps finally use The Book Depository!

I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on the Atwood. You definitely don't need to have read O&C first - I read it several years ago and barely remembered anything about it when I read Year of the Flood and got by just fine.

Jenny said...

I enjoy Eva Ibbotson's books a lot - they're not the best in the entire world, but they're fun.

Book Psmith said...

I wish I could say I have received something exciting but the books I have ordered are either processing or in transit. I ordered Saplings and Hill's new book. I am so jealous you have it in hand:) Enjoy!

StuckInABook said...

Every blogger will fall in love with HEiotL - enjoy! Savour it. I'm going to go back and reread it slowly, I think.

Molly said...

OH -- I am so very excited for Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill to be released in the US. In fact, I wish we had more opportunity to buy her works, as I absolutely love the Woman in Black.

Enjoy your wonderful new books and I look forward to reading your reviews.

Rachel said...

Good acquisitions!

Everyone seems to have their Howard's End and I don't yet...it has been dispatched and will hopefully arrive this week according to amazon. I can't wait!

I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on Margaret Atwood...I collect her books and have loads but have read relatively few of them so I would like to be encouraged to get stuck back in to her again.

You are lucky with all your wins and publisher's copies - you have a lovely winter's store of reading material for these cold dark evenings when venturing out is much more of a chore!

Megan said...

Isn't it funny how, even when under a book buying ban, books seem to seek out the "unsuspecting" book lover? The only thing that arrived here this week was a copy of A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve that I won during BBAW.

I'm curious about The Year of the Flood, but I'm faced with the same dilemma as you are. There's just something about reading anything that might be construed as a series out of order that makes me crazy!

softdrink said...

I just ordered my copy of Howards End is on the Landing...through Book Depository for all the Americans out there. Free shipping and great prices!

Kathleen said...

Wuthering Heights is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it!

verity said...

Like Rachel I'm still waiting as you know for my copy of HE. I want mine to arrive now!!

I'm not liking this new blame culture though...but I've got a plan, and you are responsible.

Paperback Reader said...

Steph, it is a covetable book! I rate The Book Depository highly (hence the affiliates link on my blog) and it is great for obtaining those books not released there yet or vice versa.

The Atwood isn't top of my TBR list but nothing annoys me more than reading a hardback when I could have read it in paperback so I will read it as soon as feasible and let you know my thoughts.

Jenny, good to hear! I've been wanting to read The Secret Countess for some time.

Book Psmith, oh lovely books are on their way to you! I must read Saplings soon; I think it will be the perfect read to curl up with during winter (as will HEiotL).

Simon, you have started a craze! I also love the acronym. Thank you.

Molly, I read The Woman in Black earlier this year and adored it so really looking forward to another Hill, even of a different kind.

Rachel, hopefully your copy will arrive soon!

I have read around half of Atwood's books and love them; I'm not sure whether I will reintroduce her into my life with something else first of all or go straight for The Year of the Flood.

I am stock-piling books like a squirrel does nuts; I plan to hibernate over the coming months!

Megan, BBAW prizes are the best, aren't they? I was very lucky and received a book of my choice as well as an Amazon gift card (the purchases using that are on their way). Books have definitely been seeking me out of late!

The dilemma is driving me crazy! It's the idea that O&C was written first and therefore she has probably developed her ideas since then so TYotF is a sequel in that sense.

Jill, The Book Depository is fabulous! I hope you enjoy it once it arrives.

Kathleen, I hope so to!

Verity, I'm hoping that both your and Rachel's copies arrive today.

Your plan sounds ominous ;). I'm guessing it involves a particular writer that I often wax lyrical about. Sorry for perpetuating the blame culture but you are completely to blame for making me want to reread The Chalet School.

savidgereads said...

I have had the same dilemma with Year of the Flood and O&C and I have heard they follow the same timeline just with different characters and so arent in anyway chronological. Which still leaves me deabting hahaha.

I want the Susan Hill so much... I was thinking buying it in the shop would be quicker than post with all the postal strikes but I am being proven very wrong ha!

Paperback Reader said...

Simon, I don't think I've ever come across books like the Atwoods before, where the same time-line is followed, and it's confusing me before I even read either book!

I am surprised how quickly Howards End is on the Landing arrived and it wasn't even from a depository but from a female warrior/river. It wasn't supposed to dispatch until Friday but was released a week earlier.

verity said...

Nope - you're wrong! I shall reveal all next week I think.

Paperback Reader said...

Ooh, curious and curiouser!

Novel Insights said...

I haven't but I'm anticipating an exciting delivery of A.A. Milne's The Red House Mystery from eBay-land.

I love Wuthering Heights, and am quite excited because the rather naughty handsome guy from Gossip Girl is going to be in a film version that's being made.

Paperback Reader said...

Polly, Chuck Bass? I love Chuck Bass and his as Heathcliff excites me!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

Wuthering Heights is such a fun book to read, mostly because the plot and characters are over the top in this very Victorian way that I found hilarious. Smart marketing to play of the Twilight stuff, I hope more kids will pick it up. I love the font on the binding too, it looks fun.

Paperback Reader said...

Kim, I think that it has been presented as a fun and modernised book that will hopefully lull reluctant teens into reading it. Great and tragic love stories sell themselves but branding helps. I'm looking forward to some hyperbolic Victoriana!

JoAnn said...

I NEED Howards End is on the Landing!!

Paperback Reader said...

JoAnn, that's the way I felt. The Book Depository?

Darlene said...

Wuthering Heights is a wonderful book but be prepared for such feelings of despair towards the end. Howard's End is on the Landing should be arriving in my mailbox soon but I'm not going to hold my breath with the strike action taking place.

There are some new books on my shelves which I'm going to post about next...come on over for a peak later!

Darlene said...

Ummm...that should be 'peek'.

coops said...

I was very excited to receive 2 Persephones for my birthday last Friday. My brother and sister-in-law bought me Saplings and Good Evening, Mrs Craven. Fabulous!

Paperback Reader said...

Darlene, I will definitely be reading Wuthering Heights whilst the season is so appropriate for it.

Will the mail strikes affect you? I hope it isn't detrimental to the new Persephone titles and the biannually/catalogue promptly arriving through people's letterboxes and into their postboxes.

coops, how lovely of them and a belated happy birthday to you! you must let me know how Saplings is; I'm hoping to finish off the last few stories in Good Evening, Mrs Craven soon.

makedoandread said...

I've finagled a book exchange with a friend in London so I can get a copy of Howards End and she can get a book not yet in print over there. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on both HE and the new Atwood. I've been following her on Twitter as she tours with this book, and it's really something else!

StuckInABook said...

I've ordered a copy of HEiotL for a friend, and it hasn't arrived yet... odd. The acronym is because I've written it so much recently! And I have litlove (Tales from the Reading Room) to thank for bringing the book to my attention - she had it way before the rest of us!

The Red House Mystery, Novel Insights - enjoy! I love AA Milne's books.. and there are dozens out there.

Paperback Reader said...

Hi makedoandread, thanks for commenting. The exchange is a lovely idea! Which book is your friend wanting from the UK?
I've been following Margaret Atwood on twitter too and the tour has certainly been impressive.

Simon, I'm sure it will turn up soon and you can blame the postal strikes. I didn't know litlove had also reviewed HEiotL; I must read her review.

Verity reviewed The Red House Mystery not that long ago.

Dot said...

I read a couple of books by Eva Ibbotson earlier in the year and really enjoyed them! They have a real fairy-tale element to them.

claire said...

I'm also coveting Howard's End is on the Landing but will patiently wait for the paperback to come out.

It's funny about Wuthering Heights. I purchased it when I was about 11 or so BECAUSE it was Nancy Drew's favourite book. I adored her then. And Wuthering Heights turned out to be so different from Nancy Drew, but still it's become one of my most fave classics ever.

Paperback Reader said...

Dot, that's what I was hoping for from her books. Did you review them? I must look back in your blog and see.

Claire, how restrained of you!
I loved Nancy Drew too but didn't recall WH as her favourite book; it's great that favourite literary characters are capable of persuasion like that and often we end up loving the book they recommend even more.

farmlanebooks said...

I look forward to your thoughts on Wuthering Heights - I wasn't a fan - it is so depressing! Did you see the recent ITV adaptation? I thought it was really good - much better than the book.

Sophie said...

I am another waiting to read HEiotL ... can't wait. Did you hear Susan Hill talking about it on Front Row (I think) last week some time? Mark Lawson was shocked by her admission of never having read The Great Gatsby! SH also said that this is simply the most beautiful cover she has ever had -- and it really is a stunning book to look at, I think.

I have read two Eva Ibbotson books so far -- The Morning Gift and The Secret Countess. I really enjoyed both of them, so I look forward to hearing your views!

Iliana said...

Oh I'm a bit jealous of the Atwood book! I haven't read O&C either though and I've heard several people recommend that I need to read that one first. Anyway great acquisitions and I love the Hello Japan name for Nat's readalong - Great suggestion!

Paperback Reader said...

Jackie, note to self: do not read whilst depressed! check.
I didn't see the recent adaptation but may attempt to now, once I've read it of course.

Sophie, no, I didn't see that. There are a number of unread classics in every author's closet I think. It is a stunning cover and definitely one of my favourites too.

Looking forward to reading Eva Ibbotson now that I know she's well-liked.

Iliana, thanks; I love Hello Kitty so it came to mind automatically. I think I shall read Oryx and Crake first, just in case.

Frances said...

I am curious about that Eva Ibbotson book. Love her stuff but have never read that one. Hmmm......

Paperback Reader said...

Frances, hmmm indeed... hopefully I can oblige you with a review soon (my TBR piles are out of control currently).

Serena said...

Looks like you got some great books...thanks for sharing them.

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Serena, thanks for commenting. I love seeing new books people have and reciprocating.

Samantha said...

I have the same dilemma as you when it comes to the Year of the Flood! I really am leaning toward reading Oryx and Crake first. I have read many of Atwood's novels but never any of her science fiction. I should probably read the Handmaid's Tale too!

Paperback Reader said...

Oh you really must read The Handmaid's Tale, Samantha! It's amazing. I think I've decided to read Oryx & Crake first as I hate reading things even remotely out of sync.