Anonymous Bookaholics Tag

Hi, all. I have another tag for you, this one is all about books and reading habits. Excellent. I was tagged by the wonderfully named Diana Prince of Diana Prince Reviews, who you should all follow. (I apologise for how long it took me to do this.)

I am really enjoying this being tagged business. It’s a nice little break from the norm.

Anywho, onto the tag!

What do you like about new books?

The smell. The anticipation of reading them. Exploring the cover and the typesetting and page design, and finding the surprises under the jackets if it’s a hardback. I adore book production, having previously worked in it (I miss it so), so naturally, that’s the first thing I look at when I buy or browse a book.

How often do you buy new books?

At the moment, pretty much every time I leave the flat. My work generously gave me a £100 book voucher, so I’ve been steadily spending that. It’s all gone now and I got 10 books out of it, a mixture of hardbacks and paperbacks of new titles and backlist titles. I will probably go back to not buying them very often now, especially as my TBR pile is ginormous.

Bookstore or online shopping – which do you prefer?

It depends. If I know exactly what I want but I wouldn’t know where to find it, or I want a non-UK cover, I prefer shopping online.

If I don’t know what I want, I love browsing in bookshops. I make so many discoveries just by seeing beautiful covers out of the corner of my eye and being intrigued enough by a blurry impression to find out more.

Do you have a favourite bookstore?

I love Waterstones. I also love finding tiny, little quirky bookshops that sell an eclectic selection of things, and look like something out of a novel.

Do you pre-order books?

I do. Not hugely often, but I do. I try to leave books on my wishlist so that people can easily find presents for me on my birthday and/or Christmas. I tend to only pre-order when there’s a special perk of some kind (like the paperback of On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher – Waterstones had very limited purple edged signed copies so I’ve pre-ordered that to make sure I get one).

Do you have a monthly book-buying limits?

No, I only go overboard when I have gift cards. I’m pretty good at limiting my spending otherwise. Hooray!

Book-buying bans, are they something for you?

Only around my birthday and Christmas, when other people might be looking at my wishlist. Coincidentally, that is around now. For the next few weeks, I am not allowed to buy any new books. None! (Except that one I preordered the other day… and the Humble Bundle I bought yesterday but in my defense, it did have an incredibly rare Catherynne M. Valente book in it, which I have previously lamented about never getting to read so I think it’s perfectly justified. Or so I tell myself. You cannot imagine how absolutely excited I am. It’s like Subterranean Press heard my pleas in one of my Folklore Thursday posts and decided to make my dreams come true.)

How big is your wishlist?

Huge. Absolutely massive.

Which three books from your wishlist do you wish you owned right now?

51lmkj98inlThis book looks incredible, it’s written by the person who used to run the Waterstones Oxford Street twitter account. It was always my favourite so when I discovered that he was bringing out a book I added it to my wishlist immediately.

The fact that it’s a book of highly entertaining horoscopes definitely helped. If you want an idea of what this book shall entail, I shall direct you to the official twitter, which is just as brilliant as the olden days of the Waterstones twitter.

I love horoscopes. I don’t really believe in them but I love reading them. I love them, even more, when they are surreal and ridiculous.

91iuggjfyilI watched the film adaptation of this novel a while ago, and I loved it. I ended up watching it a couple of days in a row. It’s a lovely, little piece of magic and some of the scenes were stunning. In the US it’s called simply Winter’s Tale but that’s also a Shakespeare play so they added ‘A New York’ to the UK edition to avoid the inevitable confusion.

Then, being the little tumblr gremlin that I am, I looked up the tag for it and obsessively reblogged things until I stumbled upon a quote from the book and decided that I had to read it.

I am a bit sad that the non-film cover seems to not really be in print anymore but so long as I get my hands on the book, I don’t mind too much. I can definitely live with it.

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Catherynne M. Valente! Are we even surprised at this point? I think not. Any Valente book is an auto-buy (and I am a proud patron on her Patreon) but this one just sounds so fantastic that I wish it was out right now. But alas. We have to wait.

Why is it great? you ask. Well, the blurb describes it as ‘a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.’ Knowing Valente, these women will be fierce. How great does that sound? I want it and I want it now. Only Valente could do this, and I am so glad she has.

So there you have it. Now, I have the task of tagging an unspecified number of people. I am going to pick a couple of blogs I’ve followed recently and hope that they’ve not done it already! Or, if they have, that they are inclined to do it again.

Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger – Alexandra @ AlexandraSarll – Angela @ pooled ink – Vikki @ The Mundane Teenage Life – The Book Lady Blog

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#FolkoreThursday: Books I Want to Read

Greetings bloglings. We made it! We are in the second post. Folklore Thursday posts are officially a thing. Pat on the back for me. And for you for reading them.

Today, I’m going to share some of the folklore and fairy tale inspired books that I would really like to read. At least one of these is sat on the desk behind me so I will be reading it very soon. Hoorah! Anyway, without further ado, a list:

1. The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood

30052003Look at the cover. Just look at it. It is beautiful and wonderful and I wanted to read it for that. Then I read about it. Now I own it. It is only a matter of time. It’s described as a Victorian murder mystery, delving into folktale and superstition. The title is drawn from the Icelandic Huldufólk, from what I gather they are elves of some description. Having never looked into Icelandic folklore, I am intrigued.

I am unsure what to expect from it, not knowing anything much about Icelandic culture, or even whether it takes place in Iceland, maybe it doesn’t. I will be going into this one blind and that’s fine by me. Come at me, Victorian murder mystery. I am ready!

2. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

30809689It’s a new book by Neil Gaiman. Of course I want to read it. I already know that Gaiman is an exceptional author and that he knows how to handle his mythology so I am expecting great things from this book. I’ve never been disappointed by his work so I am almost completely certain that I am going to love it and I want it to fall from the sky into my waiting hands. Right about now. Any minute now.

No? Ah well, it was worth a try.

I’ve seen a couple of early reviews and from what I gather, it’s been well-received by those lucky few who have read it already. I am jealous. Incredibly jealous.

3. The Bread We Eat in Dreams by Catherynne M. Valente

17694319Yes. It is possible that every single Folklore Thursday post might mention Valente several times. I am not even nearly sorry.

Unfortunately, I am almost certain that I will never get to read this book. It is notoriously hard to track down and when you track it down, it is often incredibly expensive. Cue long sigh. I can dream. And what a wonderful dream it would be.

There is always some hint of folklore in a Valente work. I could probably list every book of hers I’ve not read here and they would all be valid (spoiler alert: there is another Valente book on this list).

4. The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker

21075386I am behind the times with this one. It came out a while ago and it has been on my wishlist since then. I just haven’t got round to buying it, and it’s not yet been bought for me by those in possession of my list (for birthday and Christmas purposes, I don’t force my loved ones to by me books – but if I could…). At least, I don’t think it has. I am doubting myself now.

I was mostly drawn to this book because it’s not about humans. It’s about very established mythological beings and I’ve never read a book from the perspective of a golem nor a djinni – heck, I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book about a golem or a djinni. I really need to get a wiggle on with it.

5. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

28220892Russian folklore again gimme! (See my last Folklore Thursday post for context.) Vassa in the Night is set in modern day Brooklyn but promises all of the magic and wonder of the folklore it is based on. I want it and I want it now.

I’ve seen it described as quirky, nonsensical and whimsical – three words which just make me more excited. I love a bit of whimsy and a bit of nonsense and the quirkier the read the better. I think this book and I will get on a treat.

I’m intrigued to see how the folklore fits in with modern day Brooklyn, I’d’ve never thought to mesh the two together. I hope it lives up to the magical impression of it that I have so far.

6. Myths of Origin by Catherynne M. Valente

12180219I love a good origin myth, I love it even more when they are well-written, well thought out and completely believable. I know Valente is capable of delivering this so there is no doubt in my mind that these are going to be incredible. Again, it’s an old book but who said these lists had to be new?

Honestly, if I could live in Valente’s books, I would. She’s a poem in human form and I am pretty sure she’s in possession of magic. There is no other explanation. She has to be otherworldly.

Whether she is or she isn’t, she’s definitely talented and for that I am ever thankful.

So those are six books I want to read, which all have at least something to do with folklore, mythology and fairy tales.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Will like them? Will I love them? Will I be swallowed whole by a sudden gap in space and time? Who knows. Not me.

Happy Thursday.