8 February 2017

January Book Haul & Currently Reading


From my select few fantasy picks to YA, I've acquired quite a few books over the past month that I'm excited to get into. It's February - the sun is out in my corner of the globe, and there isn't a more perfect time to bask in the hot weather and pick up a book.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith
I borrowed this from my book loving friend Sophie who said this was a really good read. I've had my eye on Zadie Smith's books for a little while, so I'm excited to start with her latest release. From the summary, this is about two brown girls who dream of being dancers, but only one has talent. They have a close but complicated friendship which ends in their early twenties, but it's a friendship that isn't forgotten. From reviews online, this book seems to have themes of gender, race and class. It follows two girls over a span of 25 years and journeys from London to New York to West Africa. I haven't started this yet, but I'm trying to read a little more diversely and branch out from the usual.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Recently I read Difficult Women* by the same author (her latest release) and although it was a tough book to read, some of the stories definitely have the tendency to stay with you. I would love to venture more into her writing, and why not start with arguably her most famous book, Bad Feminist, which Sophie kindly let me borrow as well. As Difficult Women was somewhat unexpected, I'm thinking some of the essays in this book will be the same. I'm interested in the idea that there are many types of feminism and there isn't one single definition of feminism for everyone in the world, so I'm looking forward to reading this and possibly learning more about intersectional feminism (which is of course so important).

The House of Secrets by Sarra Manning*
This book seems that it will be a bit of a mystery, with the summary entailing that a suitcase of memories is found in an old house that Zoe moves into. The suitcase has belongings from a woman called Libby, and Zoe feels deeply connected to her and echoes some of the woman's pain. This discovery leads Zoe to follow Libby's trail from Paris to Spain in 1936. I believe this spans across two time lines, the older time being Libby's, and Zoe finds the suitcase at a more modern day. I was interested in this book because I recently read the author Sarra Manning's book London Belongs To Us (which couldn't be more different, but I loved her writing).

Caraval by Stephanie Garber*
This is the book the entire YA book world has been harping on about. Apparently this has The Night Circus vibes (which I'm quite a lot into) and there's just something in my fantasy-loving heart that needed this book in my life. As you may know, I don't read this genre of book very often, but once a good one comes along it's like I've struck gold. This book is one of my most anticipated reads of this year, and follows sisters Scarlett and Tella who are fascinated by Caraval, which is a once-a-year week-long performance where the audience participates in the show. Caraval is magic, mystery and adventure. After the girls get invitations to the performance, things start going wrong when one of the sisters vanish. They become entangled in a dangerous game of love, magic and heartbreak.

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern*
Cecelia Ahern is a name which you may be familiar with. Her second book in the Flawed series is coming out soon, and she also wrote Love, Rosie. I was really intrigued when I read the summary for Lyrebird. It involves a woman living in thick, deep woods in isolation, in the south-west of Ireland. A documentary crew discover this young woman who has a rare and intriguing ability. They want to make her the subject of their story, and so she moves with them back to the city. There's just something about this book that intrigues me, so when I start it I'll be sure to tell you what I think.

Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth*
Before receiving this book I was unaware that Veronica Roth's latest release had generated quite a lot of controversy, and I might as well briefly explain it as a disclaimer. I believe one of the main characters, who is dark skinned, is described as being aggressive (which people have pointed out is racist), while another character, who is light skinned, is portrayed as gentle and peaceful. This is set in space and essentially follows two different societies on different planets, one is generally thought to be more peaceful while the other is aggressive. I think it is claimed everyone is meant to be mixed race, however that is the controversy from my understanding. The prospect of this book does sound really intriguing to me, and I think I have a soft spot for books set in space. The two planets have conflict over history, and the two main characters Cyra and Akos are bought together through their clashing families. I'm currently reading this, so I'll have to see what my final thoughts on this will be.

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
I've heard that Nick Horby's books are great, so it was nice when I stumbled across this on a second hand book store browse. Four strangers end up at Topper's House, North London's most popular suicide spot, on New Year's Eve. They all have different reasons for wanting to end their lives, and slowly they each begin to discover more about each other. This book may sound dark or something that could put you in a low mood, however Nick Hornby has definitely written this with humour. This is great if you love a British sense of humour, and I just generally really like books that follow more than one character's perspective. I'm about 100 pages through this so far, and it's a thumbs up from me at the moment.

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse*
I won't say too much about this book as its release date is quite a while away (14th March...), but I'll give you a little run-down on what it's about since I've acquired it recently. Long story short this is a young adult contemporary which follows the main character, Sophia, who is used to ping-ponging between different countries. She has lived in Tokyo for the last few years. When Jamie shows up before Sophia leaves, she finds that leaving another country is harder than she expected. She has to make her seven last days in Tokyo count. I honestly love reading my fair share of young adult contemporary, so I will report back mid-March on my thoughts.


Are you interested in any of these books? Let me know!

-Emma



*Sent to me for review

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2 comments

  1. I've heard many good things about Bad Feminist, although I haven't had a chance to read it. And Caravel looks really really good. YA Night Circus? Yes please!

    (Re: Carve the Mark: A friend of mine wrote a review of it that covers the problematic relationship with self-harm and chronic, and more specifics about the details about how West African scarification has been turned from a mark of passage into a marker of violence for the characters in the book. And also links to other people more qualified to speak on subject of race. If you're interested, it's at http://bibliodaze.com/2017/01/review-carve-the-mark-by-veronica-roth/)

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I've also heard some about the self-harm/chronic pain part of it. Thanks for the link, I will check it out! x

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