Book Buys [Book Fair 2018, Part I]

My city has an annual Book Fair and I always go, at least twice, if not thrice. I very rarely buy books I’ve been meaning to read, but I do pick up a lot of books that look interesting. This is probably not the most reasonable way to shop, but it’s only once a year that I buy so many books at one go (because some of them are so cheap) so it works out okay.

All of these books were bought for for anywhere between Rs. 50 to 250 each, because they’re second-hand, and I’m cheap. I haven’t read any of them yet, but there’s time. (I’ve just started on Anna Karenina so it might be a while before I can get to anything else.)
Also, I should apologise in advance, I’m not good at photos. I tried several tacks before I just decided to throw some stuff together and slap a black and white filter on it. If anyone has any tips, let me know. My coffin house doesn’t get a ton of natural light.

I bought 17 books total, here are 9, and there’s going to be a second part because I can’t imagine anyone would want to read a single post where I talk about 17 books I haven’t read.


1. The Tenderness of Wolves (Stef Penney)
This isn’t a very recent book, but is it just me or have there been a lot of books around with the words ‘wolf/wolves’ in the title? This is a murder mystery set in 1867, in a small settlement in Canada, but I have to admit I mostly bought it because of the title. It’s a great title. Apparently there’s an intense geographical flavour to the novel which, if true, is something to look forward to. Penney suffered from agoraphobia at this time and one of the characters is agoraphobic. I don’t know how the mystery will play out, but I’m looking forward to reading some strong descriptions at least.

2. The Gap of Time (Jeanette Winterson)
This is meant to be a retelling of The Winter’s Tale. I’ve read some Shakespeare but not enough, and I have to confess I’ve yet to read either The Tempest or The Winter’s Tale, both of which are next on my list. After studying some of his other plays in more than desirable detail, I now feel I need a break, but these are the two plays that I’ve always been most drawn to. I know the story, but before reading Winterson’s book I will definitely read the play. Out of all the books I bought, I think I’m looking forward to reading this one the most, strangely. There’s just something, I can’t quite explain it. Also, I haven’t read anything by Winterson yet, so whatever I’d seen by her I would’ve picked up. Apparently, this book is part of a larger series called Hogarth Shakespeare where writers are going to retell Shakespearean plays, which sounds pretty interesting, I’m going to have to remember to keep tabs on that.

3. Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (Sue Townsend)
Why not? They make me laugh. I believe this one features Adrian working as a cook someplace. I honestly never thought I’d like these books, I’m quite picky about what I find funny enough to read a whole book on, but for the most part, I like these. If you haven’t read the first Adrian Mole yet, go ahead, you probably won’t regret it.

4. II Gigante (Anton Gill)
Despite urging myself to buy more non-fiction, I ultimately only bought this one. This is basically a history of Michelangelo, focussing specifically on the years when he created the David. However, I read some reviews and apparently it focusses more broadly on the political culture of the time. I’m okay with that too, not too fussed; I’m interested in the Medicis.


5. East of the Sun and West of the Moon (Peter Asbjørnsen)
This is a collection of 33 Scandinavian folk tales and while I’m sure I’ve read a couple of these here and there I’m pretty happy to own a small collection now.  It’ll be quite nice to go through these, I bet there are trolls. There are at least three stories which have the word ‘lad’ in the title. For some reason I can’t explain, I find this funny.

6. The Shipping News (Annie Proulx)
Of course I’ve heard of this, it won a Pulizter, but I have to admit I had little to no idea what it was about. I definitely wouldn’t have bought it brand new because the title didn’t make it seem that appealing. It’s apparently about a reporter who returns to his ancestral home in Newfoundland with his daughters after a series of unfortunate incidents. The blurb sounds interesting actually; the title just makes me picture people on a dock shouting, which makes no sense, but anyway. You don’t win a Pulitzer for nothing, so I’m definitely expecting good things.

7. The Lieutenant (Kate Grenville)
I’d never heard of this book or the author so this was another high-impulse buy. The protagonist, Daniel Rooke, is based on an officer of the British Marines, William Dawes (I’ll freely admit I haven’t heard of him) who travelled to New South Wales on the HMS Sirius as part of the First Fleet (that, I’ve vaguely heard of). While familiarising himself with the Aborigines, Rooke meets a girl called Tagaran and forms a connection with her, but is soon caught up in the British-Aborigine conflict. I don’t know that much about this particular incident in history so at least I’ll learn something. Apparently Dawes was also an astronomer.

8. Youngblood (Matt Gallagher)
A war novel. As the US prepares to withdraw from Iraq, Lieutenant Jack Porter is caught up in the life of Rana, a sheikh’s daughter, and becomes determined to disobey American command. I’ll be honest, this didn’t seem too interesting to me, and I was about to write it off as one of those stories where white people talk about their own tragedies in Iraq – which, to be fair, it still might be – but. It had a short blurb by Tim O’Brien on the cover and I was like, that changes things. I’ve never read The Things They Carried, it’s always ridiculously expensive, but I’ve somehow have got it into my head that it’s really really great. I mean, I will read it someday, but. So basically, yeah, no clue why I bought this. 

9. The Light Between Oceans (M. L. Stedman)
This has been all over Goodreads for a while and apparently it’s a film now. It’s set in Australia in 1926 and is about a lighthouse-keeper and his wife who take in a baby appearing out of nowhere. I think pretty much everyone has read this except me, so I was quite lucky to get my hands on it second-hand.

That’s all! Have you read any of these, did you like them? I’ve got a lot to plough through – not just these books but others, too.

All images (c) and never arriving.
Not that they’re great pictures or anything, because they’re not. See you soon.



3 Replies to “Book Buys [Book Fair 2018, Part I]”

    1. I’m looking forward to reading it! Hope you can get hold of it/some variation of it, I’m sure there are a couple of collections with these stories out there.


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