January Book Haul


Prepare yourself because this month I acquired eighteen books. But of those, I only paid money for nine of them, so that’s not bad going. Of the remaining nine, eight were sent to me by publishers and one sent by the author.

I’ll indicate books sent to me by publishers/author by using an a asterisk*

Let’s waste no time and explore this curious pile of books currently sitting atop my desk!

Frazzled – Ruby Wax

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled

Paperback, 258 pages
Published December 29th 2016 by Penguin Life

Part of my reading goals for 2017 is reading more books about mental health/the mind/mindfulness/anxiety. This book sums that up (I hope!). I bought this on the first day of the new year and I still haven’t got round to reading it, but after I finish the current non-fiction book I’m reading, this one will be next on the list.

I’m not going to read it to implement mindfulness into my life, but I’ll read it to explore this subject more closely. I have a love/hate relationship with mindfulness, but hopefully this book will allow me to read about the mind and anxiety without feeling compelled or restrained by any notion that I must practice mindfulness.

Link to the book on Goodreads: Frazzled

The Bookshop Book – Jen Campbell

The Bookshop Book

Hardback, 273 pages
Published October 2nd 2014 by Constable & Robinson

I saw a photo of this book on Instagram and wanted it immediately. Then as luck would have it I found it in my local Oxfam bookshop, so I bought it. If there’s one thing I love more than non-fiction, it’s non-fiction books about books. I want to read more of them, and this looks to be the perfect place to start!

I’m told the author also does YouTube videos, so that will be something I explore when I come to read the book. No doubt it will make me want to spend the rest of my life in bookshops. Or at least work in one!

Link to the book on Goodreads: The Bookshop Book

Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland


Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Hot Key Books

This was one of those books that I had to read as soon as I got it, so it appears on my wrap up post as well as having a full review already written. I loved this book, I loved the plot and I loved all the characters. It’s not often I come across a book where I actually like everyone  in it, but this was one of them.

I can’t recommend it enough, so go and read it, NOW.

Read my full review: Our Chemical Hearts
Link to the book on Goodreads: Our Chemical Hearts

Temporary Storms – McKayla DeBonis*


Paperback, 227 pages
Published December 5th by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

I read this one pretty soon after receiving a copy, because I received it from the author in exchange for an honest review. After reading it I was torn as to what start rating to give it, but I settled on 3 stars, because some parts I loved, and others I didn’t.

The book is written with love and this comes across in the poems. There’s a heartwarming story behind this book which puts into context the words you read inside. My only problem was that it needs editing. But for a first attempt, it’s not bad.

Read my full review: Temporary Storms
Link to the book on Goodreads: Temporary Storms

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson*


Paperback, 210 pages
Published 1999 by Penguin Books

You may have remembered me saying that I was going to do the Dalloway Crossword from issue 7 of The Happy Reader. Well, I attempted it and then was asked to write a letter to the magazine about my experience. My letter got published in issue 8, and as a result Penguin sent me the next book of the season, which is Treasure Island.

I’m lucky that I’ve never read it before, and I’ll do my best to read it before the next issue comes out in June.

Link to the book on Goodreads: Treasure Island

Flush – Virginia Woolf


Paperback, 115 pages
Published March 3rd 2016 by Penguin Classics

I would have bought this sooner but I couldn’t find it anywhere! I ended up getting it from an independent bookshop. Virginia Woolf is one of those writers I have to take a chance on every time I read one of her books. I know that I’ll either love it or hate it. Or be somewhere in the middle riddled with disappointment that I didn’t love it more.

But I think this little black classic seems like a safe bet, and I’m hoping I’ll love this one.

Link to the book on Goodreads: Flush

How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne

How Hard Can Love Be? (The Spinster Club, #2)

Paperback, 480 pages
Published February 1st 2016 by Usborne Publishing Ltd

I’ve never read a book by this author before, and I’m most definitely judging a book by its cover. I’d been waiting ages to find one of her books in a charity shop going cheap, so I couldn’t resist buying this one when I found it. Most of what I’ve heard about this author has been good, so when I get round to reading it I hope it’ll live up to the expectation built around it.

Link to the book on Goodreads: How Hard Can Love Be?

How We Were Lost – Megan Taylor

How We Were Lost

Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2007 by Flame books

Megan Taylor is a local author, and I’m somehow friends with her on Facebook, I know a librarian who is friends with her AND I know her other half. But I haven’t read any of her books yet, so now it’s time to change that. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’ve heard good things and have no reason to think otherwise. I like the sound of this book’s plot, and I love the title!

Link to the book on Goodreads: How We Were Lost

Station Eleven – Emily St.John Mandel

Station Eleven

Paperback, 339 pages
Published 2015 by Picador

I saw this in a charity shop and didn’t know whether to give it a go or not. Something about it appealed to me, but I hadn’t heard of it before (not that that’s a reason not to buy a book). But then it started cropping up on Instagram, so I decided the next time I saw it I would get a copy. Well, I had a hospital appointment and they had a bookshelf of used books and this was one of them. So my mum gave a £1 donation and I gained this book. It’s not very high up on my TBR though.

Link to the book on Goodreads: Station Eleven

‘If-‘ and other poems – Rudyard Kipling*

Kipling: 'If-' and Other Poems (Pocket Poets)

Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 3rd 2016 by Michael O’Mara

This, and the following three poetry books in this list were sent to me by Michael O’Mara books because I won a giveaway! I don’t usually win things like this, and there were around 800 people who had also entered, so I consider myself very lucky to be the owner of them. I’ve read Kipling’s Just So Stories before and thought they were incredible, but I’ve never read his poetry. I know that If’ is often a favourite poem. This little collection just might have my next favourite poem in it.

Link to the book on Goodreads: ‘If’ and other poems

‘Ode to a Nightingale’ and other poems – John Keats*

Paperback, 126 pages
Published 2016 by Michael O’Mara

Before I even read this, I’m debating whether or not I’ll enjoy it the way I enjoy some poetry. I have struggled with poets like Keats before but mostly it’s down to not understanding or being able to connect with or appreciate the kind of poetry that was written by him during that era. I’ll give it a go, but it may just be personal preference if I don’t enjoy it.

‘A Red, Red Rose’ and other poems – Robert Burns*

Paperback, 126 pages
Published 2016 by Michael O’Mara

It was Burn’s Night not long ago, and I read a couple of poems from this collection, but I struggle with the style. It’s written as though it is in the Scottish dialect, and I find this difficult to read. But I’ll give anything a go, even these poems.

‘Daffodils’ and other poems – William Wordsworth*

Paperback, 126 pages
Published 2016 by Michael O’Mara

Oh, Wordsworth. He has a brilliant name for a writer, but again I struggle with his poems. I’m all up for being pleasantly surprised by this collection, and it isn’t an extensive amount, so might just be the right amount to give me a flavour of his poems that will either make me want more or call it a day.

New Words for Old – Caroline Taggart*

New Words for Old: Recycling Our Language for the Modern World

Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Michael O’Mara

I love words. I love reading new words and I love reading about new words and language in general, so I hope that this book will satisfy all my wordy loves all in one book. In any case, it looks like it’ll be an interesting read.

Link to the book on Goodreads: New Words for Old

The Secret Library – Oliver Tearle*

The Secret Library

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 29th by Michael O’Mara

I’m very excited about this book. Mostly because I like books about bookish things, and the cover of this one is perfect once you take the dust jacket off – any book lover would be missing out if they didn’t give this book a chance. Okay, I haven’t read it yet, but my hopes are high!

Link to the book on Goodreads: The Secret Library

Hand-Lettering for Everyone: A Creative Workbook – Christina Vanko*

Hand-Lettering for Everyone: A Creative Workbook

Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 29th 2016 by LOM Art

Since I won this book, I didn’t go out and actually buy it. I am creative and arty when I want to be, and I’m not bad with a pen and pencil when it comes to creating art. So I think that this book will be able to offer me at least some guidance on lettering. I’ve briefly attempted to do various styles of lettering, so this should help me to improve and find new styles.

Link to the book on Goodreads: Hand-Lettering For Everyone

The.Powerbook – Jeanette Winterson

Hardback, 244 pages
Published 2000 by Jonathan Cape

Whenever I’m in a charity shop, I’m on the lookout for Jeanette Winterson books. And the yesterday I found this one for £1! It was an absolute bargain and I’m really excited to read it. Then again, I’m always excited to read her books, then it takes me ages to get round to it. But that is the never-ending story of the ever-growing TBR!

Link to the book on Goodreads: The.Powerbook

All this means is that I have SO MUCH MORE to read than last month, and it seems like an impossible task, but I wouldn’t want to spend my life without books, that’s for sure. Maybe I’ll have to take it easy next month and read more books than I buy!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s