I'm fairly sure I say this every single time I write one of these posts, but this book haul has some full on GEMS in it. After starting my new job, I've been loving sitting down with a book to relax in the evening and it's inspired me to pick up some new reads. All of these books came from my local charity shop and come in at £2 or under, so take this post as a friendly reminder to check out your local charity shop whenever you want to get a new book!
I'm going to stop the waffling here and chat about the books now, but be prepared for a LOT of enthusiasm - there's some of my all time faves in this haul.
Beyond the Wall by Tanya Landman. I actually met Tanya Landman as a teen on a school trip, so this author holds a special place in my heart (I still have a signed copy of The Goldsmith's Daughter and everything). Beyond the Wall is a YA fiction novel set in Roman Britain, and I cannot wait to delve into another of Landman's historical worlds.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This is the only book in this haul that I didn't pick up myself, but was a gift. The Book Thief is one of my absolute favourite books. I've read it four or five times now and it's just SO heartbreaking. Total tearjerker over here. It's set in Germany during WW2 and narrated by Death. If that doesn't have you interested then I don't know what will.
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. This is *possibly* my favourite book ever in the whole world. Yep. My old copy got given away a few years ago and I've never replaced it (cue heartbreak), but I couldn't go on without it, ya know? This is another one that I've read a few times, and each time I get something different out of the book. The book takes its form in a series of letters written by Eva to her estranged husband Franklin all about their son Kevin. She ponders on whether or not she is to blame for turning Kevin into the monster that would go into a high school and murder 7 people. It's SO gripping and psychologically intense. Just please (PLEASE) don't watch the film of this because it's an utter let down.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I feel like everyone and their mum has read this one, but I haven't had a chance to pick it up. I won't lie, I LOVE the cover of this, and it's 100% the reason why I was drawn to the book in the first place. It's a crime fiction novel all about the death of a college student, Bunny, and is more about why he was killed than who did it. I'm loving crime fiction at the moment, so this is definitely one I'm feeling the hype for.
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. It's been almost a decade since I read Animal Farm (how did I get so old?!), and this has been something I've wanted to read for years. So SO many people have commented that as an English Lit student I really should have read it already and I can't wait to delve into the dystopian world of Big Brother.
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. This is another one that everyone raves about, but I've never picked up - I haven't managed to see the film either! It's all about different forms of addiction, with a focus on heroin addiction.
Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Fun fact: I was 'supposed' to read this for uni, it never happened, so I gave it to charity and one year on I picked up the same version of it from a charity shop in a different town. It was clearly meant to be. This is a first fave feminist novel about a heroine who strays from what is expected of her under restrictive Victorian gender roles.
Mary Bartonby Elizabeth Gaskell. This is another uni course inspired purchase. I've read North and South by the same author and loved it, so had to snap this up. Mary Barton is the first book Gaskell published and the plot revolves around working class families living in Victorian Manchester.
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. Morrison's The Bluest Eye exposed racial issues in America so powerfully, that I'm very excited to see what this book by the author holds. The Song of Solomon is a bildungsroman all about the life of Milkman Dead III, an African-American man living in Michigan, and it analyses the problematic relationships between different racial groups in North America.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I love books that subvert the traditional chronological method of storytelling, and that's exactly what Cloud Atlas does. It has six layers of plot, all nested into one another. I'm imagining a book a little like 'Inception'. I've heard a lot of hype about this either way, SO IT HAD BETTER BE GOOD.
And on that note, we've reached the end of the book haul. Kudos to you if you've made it all the way down here. Let me know what you've picked up recently too!