Before we get into the bookish stuff, let’s just take a moment to look at what I did today.
What is this? This happened at like 2pm today. What was I thinking?
I was with my friend, who almost never drinks, and she decided she wanted cocktails. So I was a bit surprised but was like, ‘Yeah, sure!’ And we had two cocktails each and then she was like, ‘You can get 6 shots for £12. Shall we just do that? It’ll be cheaper than another round of cocktails.’ And I was like:
And she was like, completely serious, ‘So shots, yeah?’ And I was like, ‘Oh… OK!’ And then I had 3 shots in the daytime and I felt so ashamed.
But anyway, I just wanted to share that story because I’m ashamed and proud all at once. On to the books I bought with my Christmas vouchers!
I know I should support proper bookshops instead of buying from Amazon, but I just can’t help it… they’re so cheap! And I do buy from bookshops as well so I think I’m allowed. I think I’ll ask for Waterstones vouchers for my birthday though, because even though you can’t get as much for your money, there’s something so much nicer about it buying books from a bookstore rather than an impersonal website.
(Although I went into Waterstones today, as I’ve built up a bit of money on my rewards card, and there was just nothing I wanted. Nothing was jumping out at me. So disappointing when that happens.)
I’ve been interested in books about feminism lately, and particularly enjoyed Girl Up by Laura Bates. I’ve wanted to read Everyday Sexism by the same author for ages, so I treated myself to that after Christmas.
It’s about the kinds of sexism that most girls receive on a daily basis, like wolf-whistling and getting called ‘sweetheart’. I read a sample of it ages ago and was really shocked by the fact that ‘everyday sexism’ doesn’t just include these commonplace annoyances, but for a lot of girls it also includes groping and molestation – to the point where they have just accepted that it ‘happens to everyone’.
Sticking with the feminist theme, I also bought Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O’Toole, which I’ve been seeing a lot within the bookish online community. I’m not so clear on what this one’s about, but from what I understand it discusses the gendered roles that are inflicted on us from a young age, like saying pink clothes are for girls and blue for boys, giving girls dolls and giving boys toy trains etc.
I’m intrigued to read this one because I’m guilty of a lot of this sort of thing myself. Like, my friend at work is pregnant and my immediate question was, ‘Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?’ That shouldn’t matter; it’s a tiny human! So I think reading this book will be a good way to help me think about the language I use and the labels I’m guilty of bestowing on people.
I then bought four graphic novels / illustrated books:
The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins. The artwork in this is so simple yet so arresting. A gorgeous book to have on my shelves, it’s about a man who suddenly grows an enormous, Rapunzel-like beard, which grows back again and again no matter how much he shaves. The town he lives in is very proper and doesn’t like change, and it’s about the way this impacts on the townspeople.
I had read about half of this a few weeks prior to buying it, and loved what I read. I’m going to start again from the beginning though, hopefully when I’ve got the time and am in the mood to finish it in one sitting.
Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell.
Jen Campbell is a booktuber that I used to have a really weird opinion of – some days I loved her videos and some days she really annoyed me, so I was constantly unsubscribing, then subscribing, then unsubscribing… but all of a sudden I decided I loved her and now she’s one of my favourite youtubers. Weird, right? I think I must have just been being awkward because she didn’t do her videos any differently than she does now.
Anyway, she’s written a few books and I’ve wanted to get this one for a while. It’s what you’d expect from the title – quotes from customers in the bookshops that Jen has worked in. I’ve finished this one already and it was a hilarious quick read.
The Walking Dead: Volume 1: Days Gone By by Robert Kirkman.
This was a bit of a risky purchase. I’ve been wanting to read more graphic novels but didn’t know where to start, so my boyfriend suggested I try The Walking Dead (mainly because he wanted to read it). I’ve seen a few episodes of the show and always thought the comics would probably be better, so I thought, ‘Yeah, why not?’
Now that I’ve got it I don’t really know when I’m ever going to get around to reading it, and also I’m not good with scary things, sooooooo we’ll see what happens with this one.
And I finally picked up the illustrated edition of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Since I fell in love with his novel The Knife of Never Letting Go around this time last year, I’ve wanted to read A Monster Calls, which everyone seems to agree is his best work. Everyone also always says the illustrated one is amazing, and I was extra excited when I realised the artist was Jim Kay, who is the artist behind the Harry Potter illustrated editions.
A Monster Calls is about a boy whose mother is dying of cancer, and his grief takes the form of a monster. I’m not sure if the monster ends up being real after all, or if it’s a big book-long metaphor, but one thing I do know is that everyone who reads it always seems to cry, and I love a good cry.
The film is out this year as well, and I’d like to read the book first if I can.
And finally, I treated myself to Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. I’ve read 2 of Backman’s books and loved them both, and this book appears to be in the same universe as My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises, which was amazing. This is probably the one I’ve got the highest hopes for out of this haul.
I don’t really know what it’s about at all, to be honest – it was very much an author-buy. Britt-Marie is a nosy neighbour in My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises and in this new book her husband has recently left her, and I think it’s about how she gets on with her life afterwards. She’s very much about routine and order so I think the idea behind this book is how badly she copes when her routine is interrupted by something as inconvenient as a divorce.
So, I still have about £13 left on my vouchers. What books should I buy? I’ve been considering The Marvels by Brian Selznick, although I have absolutely no idea what it’s about or whether I would enjoy it. I just really like how sexy the hardback edition is…
Does anyone have any recommendations for what I should buy next?