October Book Haul

Every day on my way to work, I pass eleven charity shops, all selling random books for less than £3. Then, there is a giant Waterstones, conveniently next door to where I work. This results in a lot of unnecessary spending, which I really can’t afford, all on books which I won’t get to reading for another decade. I hope I never become more responsible.

I am starting a murder mystery/crime thriller type journey in writing at the moment, so you will find a few detective and mystery books in here. Here are my gloriously irresponsible purchases of October (the bookish ones at least) . . .

The Odyssey

Homer

The Odyssey is the second-oldest extant work of literature, whilst the Iliad is the oldest. The Odyssey is a sequel to Iliad; both are epic poems written by Homer, near the end of 8th century BC in Greece. I am yet to read this or the Iliad, but a work of literature that has been hailed over 2000 years must be good!

The Republic

Plato

Does Plato really require an introduction? I would go as far as saying this man practically invented education – what a hero.

“Plato’s Republic is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential works in the history of philosophy. Presented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and three different interlocutors, it is an inquiry into the notion of a perfect community and the ideal individual within it. During the conversation other questions are raised: what is goodness; what is reality; what is knowledge; what is the purpose of education? With remarkable lucidity and deft use of allegory, Plato arrives at a depiction of a state bound by harmony and ruled by ‘philosopher kings’.”

No Empty Chairs: The Short and Heroic Lives of the Young Aviators Who Fought and Died in the First World War

Ian Mackersey

This book tells the story of that first great air war, illustrating its devastating emotional impact on the participants and their families in a narrative enriched by the private correspondence that flowed between them, and diaries, reports and interviews.

Many members of my family were in the military and I have grown up in a household with a passion for British military history. I have always been drawn to history and as I have gotten older, I have realised the importance of keeping our soldier’s memories alive. The stories break my heart but fill me with a sense of pride. Remembrance Sunday is approaching and this could be the perfect book to read to help honour the memories of these young heroes.

Across the Page

“Poetry is one of the finest forms of creative expression, allowing us to give a voice to our deepest and most complex emotions. Within these pages you will be given a unique insight into the lives and loves of each talented poet.

Written on a variety of different themes and tackling a range of poetic forms, our latest fantastic anthology is sure to have something for everyone, There are poems that will make you laugh, cry, and, most importantly, make you think. This diverse and entertaining collection is one that we are sure you will enjoy and come back to time and time again.”

I am going to assume that these were books for a school or a college? I can’t find any information about them online, but I picked one up in a charity shop, opened it up to a random page and read the first poem that I saw. I loved the poem, so I proceeded to buy every copy of the book. Normal, I know. Anyone want a copy?

The Penguin Book of Love Poetry

For the romantics . . . I love poetry, I love romance and I love being frugal; this was £1! I always keep a book in my handbag which I can pick up and open on any page for a moment’s escape. This is my current fave. It includes a generous collection of poems, satires and elegies to pull at your heartstrings.

The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Alexander McCall Smith

Falling: A Love Story

Jane Green

The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Alexander McCall Smith

There are nineteen novels in this series following a woman in Botswana with her own detective agency and the adventures she has and the characters that she meets along the way. For someone who loved Columbo and Rosemary and Thyme growing up, I think these could be a little addictive.

Falling: A Love Story

Jane Green

This isn’t the usual genre I would go for but I love a book which I can relate to and a story about a woman trying to discover who she is supposed to be, sounds rather familiar.

“In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman’s far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be…”

Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr

Christopher Paolini

Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr are part of a tetralogy of young adult high fantasy novels written by Christopher Paolini, called The Inheritance Cycle. The last novel released in the series was Inheritance, which I will be grabbing immediately when I see it. The novels are set in the fictional world of Alagaësia and focus on the adventures of a teenage boy named Eragon and his dragon, Saphira as they struggle to overthrow the evil king, Galbatorix. I read Eragon when I was around twelve-years-old and I remember loving it back then. I never got around to reading the rest of a series . . . no matter what anyone says, you are never too old to delve into YA fantasy novels. I am very much looking forward to getting lost in this tetralogy!

Divergent

Veronica Roth

I watched the film to this and remembered thinking I would have been crazy about this when I was a teenager. That doesn’t stop me from loving it now of course. Divergent is the first novel in the dystopian, young-adult fantasy trilogy by Veronica Roth. The novel is centred around a teenage girl, struggling to find her way in the Divergent Universe, where people are divided into five factions dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue. The idea behind the story is unique and intelligent and I can’t wait to read the book!

Bleak House

Charles Dickens

And The Readers Digest Condensed Books

Bleak House

Charles Dickens

I am drawn to Charles Dickens. It could be something to do with the fact that I share his birthday, I work in a hotel which he stayed at and fondly wrote about, and I bloody love Christmas. I found this super old and loved edition of Bleak House in, you guessed it, a charity shop in Morecambe.
Bleak House is a must-read for any Dickens fan. The satirical nature of his writing peaks throughout this novel and gives the reader an insight into the British judiciary system in the victorian era.

Pompeii

Robert Harris

Everyone has heard of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 24 August 79 AD in Pompeii. Or at least they should have. Robert Harris blends historical fiction with the real-life events surrounding the eruption. As always, you must read the book before you watch the film!

Shutter Island

Dennis Lehane

Although I haven’t read the book or watched the film, I have heard amazing things about both. I love me some gothic literature and I am promised that this will deliver. Filled with murder, mystery and set on an island home to a hospital for the criminally insane, I think this will be one to read on a cold, dark night with a very large glass of red wine. It has a vibe of the history of Poveglia Island in Italy about it, which just makes me want to read it even more!

The Runner

Peter May

A new one to me, The Runner is the 5th book in the “China Thriller” series by Peter May. Filled with a mystery surrounding murder and suicide – this book is gripping and full of intelligent twists.

The Cruellest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic

Gay and Lancey Salisbury

I am very aware that this one may make me cry (it involves dogs), so as intrigued as I am, this may go on the back burner for a while. Set in Alaska in 1925, a group of patients require medicine. The patients are thousands of miles away from the source and a blizzard prevents anyway for them to travel for supplies, their only option is to rely on their team of dogs.

The Moonstone

Wilkie Collins

Another fine gentleman who graced the hotel I work at with his presence (obviously not whilst I worked there . . .). The Moonstone is considered to be the first detective novel, so what better place to start my journey in this genre! This novel is said to have established many of the ground rules of the modern detective novel and is a must-read for any author delving into this area of writing.

A Man’s Head

Georges Simenon

Georges Simenon was a Belgian writer who published over 500 novels and short works! His most popular was a series based around a fictional detective called Jules Maigret, published between 1931 and 1972. A Man’s head was one of the earlier novels in this series, so I thought it would be a good place to start!

Greatest Moments of Grand Prix

Jon Stroud and Liam McCann

I am this kind of nerd and I am proud.