Book Haul (July 2017)


Hello again and welcome to another book haul!

Today’s book haul is deceiving because I actually bought all these books in June. And yes, I’ve been very good to my wallet so far and haven’t bought a single book since the beginning of June which is quite the accomplishment for me. Unfortunately, my booknerd friend and I decided to visit a big bookstore on Saturday in Athens with another friend and, while I’ve been doing a great job of saving for the Man Booker longlist, book buying will become an inevitability. So, more books to come in the Man Booker books…plus the books I want to read in August…Terrible.

First world reader problems presents this book haul:

A Monster Calls by  Patrick Ness, Jim Kay (Illustrator)Siobhan Dowd (Conception)

A Monster CallsStarting with a book I’ve decided to read during the BookTube-A-Thon that is happening in 12 days, I bought the beautiful and dark hardcover edition of A Monster Calls. I chose this book for the “Read a hyped book” challenge and you can click on the title to check out My BookTube-A-Thon 2017 TBR. I’m always very excited to read a book when I hear it’s being turned into a movie but I usually end up disappointed – with the exception of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews which I enjoyed more as a movie than as a book. Because of the massive hype surrounding A Monster Calls I have extremely high expectations from it which is usually not a good thing. Book synopsis:

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.
But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…
This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.
It wants the truth.

BookDepository: A Monster Calls

Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie

Best Served ColdBest Served Cold marks Abercrombie’s first standalone novel in The First Law series – which I should be finishing soon. I am fairly confident that you can go into this one without reading The First Law trilogy first, but I am quite obsessive with these things and I always want to read books in their proper order. Book synopsis:

Springtime in Styria. And that means war. Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.
There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king.
War may be hell but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso’s employ, it’s a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular – a shade too popular for her employer’s taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto’s reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die.
Her allies include Styria’s least reliable drunkard, Styria’s most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a Northman who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that’s all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started…
Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.

BookDepository: Best Served Cold

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

NimonaI haven’t read a graphic novel in a while and most if not all of my attempts at young adult literature this year have ended up in failure. So, I thought it would be a good idea to combine the genres and read Nimona. This is also another one of my reading picks for the BookTube-A-Thon. I really like to colours and the drawings and I hope this will be a good time. Book synopsis:

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

BookDepository: Nimona

The Price of Salt, or Carol by Patricia Highsmith

The Price of SaltI’ve been meaning to read more LGBTQ+ books, especially lesbian fiction, and The Price of Salt has been on my radar since it became a movie last year (I think). I have, for some unknown reason, bought this extremely ugly copy of the book and I decided to read it for the BookTube-A-Thon since it’s under 200 pages. If I end up liking the book I will have to buy a better-looking copy. Yes, I am one of those. Book synopsis:

Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when a beautiful, alluring woman in her thirties walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. Therese is an awkward nineteen-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn’t love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter. As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol’s world, she soon realizes how much they both stand to lose…First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of fifties’ New York.

BookDepository: The Price of Salt


City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

The City of Mirrors (The Passage, #3)I recently finished the first book in Justin Cronin’s trilogy, The Passage, and quite enjoyed it. It chronicles the happenings that led to the apocalypse caused by a virus that turns people into blood thirsty monstrosities and follows a group of survivors as they form a colony and try to survive in a world where powerful vampires rule the earth. I’m currently halfway through The Twelve, the second book in the trilogy and I have brought in Greece with me the concluding novel, City of Mirrors. Book synopsis:

The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place? 
The Twelve have been destroyed and the terrifying hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew—and daring to dream of a hopeful future. 
But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy—humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him. 
One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.

BookDepository: The City of Mirrors

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

ReamdeNeal Stephenson is a science fiction/fantasy author that writes massive tomes of books. Of course, I am crazy about massive volumes and, as a result, cannot resist buying more and more of his books. I now own three but haven’t read a single one. But since I am in the mood for a good thriller I decided to bring Reamde with me and dive into it. I’m also considering this as a pick for the 24in48 readathon that is happening on the 22nd and 23rd of July. Book synopsis:

Four decades ago, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family, fled to a wild and lonely mountainous corner of British Columbia to avoid the draft. Smuggling backpack loads of high-grade marijuana across the border into Northern Idaho, he quickly amassed an enormous and illegal fortune. With plenty of time and money to burn, he became addicted to an online fantasy game in which opposing factions battle for power and treasure in a vast cyber realm. Like many serious gamers, he began routinely purchasing virtual gold pieces and other desirables from Chinese gold farmers—young professional players in Asia who accumulated virtual weapons and armor to sell to busy American and European buyers.
For Richard, the game was the perfect opportunity to launder his aging hundred dollar bills and begin his own high-tech start up—a venture that has morphed into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Corporation 9592, with its own super successful online role-playing game, T’Rain. But the line between fantasy and reality becomes dangerously blurred when a young gold farmer accidently triggers a virtual war for dominance—and Richard is caught at the center.

BookDepository: Reamde

The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle

The TerranautsAnd finally, when my mom visited me in Groningen at the end of July, I certainly had to drag her to the bookstore and ask her to buy me a book. Specifically, I had been eyeing The Terranauts for a while because I actually read the synopsis, something I rarely ever do anymore. So, we literally went in, straight to the table where they kept it, I grabbed it and off to the cashier’s we went. The briefest visit to the bookstore in my history ever probably. Book synopsis:

A powerful, affecting and hilarious deep-dive into human behavior in an intimate and epic story of science, society, sex, and survival, set in the early 1990s, from one of the greatest American novelists today.
It is 1994, and in the desert near Tillman, Arizona, forty miles from Tucson, a grand experiment involving the future of humanity is underway. As climate change threatens the earth, eight scientists, four men and four women dubbed the “Terranauts,” have been selected to live under glass in E2, a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. Their sealed, three-acre compound comprises five biomes—rainforest, savanna, desert, ocean and marsh—and enough wildlife, water, and vegetation to sustain them. 
Closely monitored by an all-seeing Mission Control, this New Eden is the brainchild of eco-visionary Jeremiah Reed, aka G.C.—“God the Creator”—for whom the project is both an adventure in scientific discovery and a momentous publicity stunt. In addition to their roles as medics, farmers, biologists, and survivalists, his young, strapping Terranauts must impress watchful visitors and a skeptical media curious to see if E2’s environment will somehow be compromised, forcing the Ecosphere’s seal to be broken—and ending the mission in failure. As the Terranauts face increased scrutiny and a host of disasters, both natural and of their own making, their mantra: “Nothing in, nothing out,” becomes a dangerously ferocious rallying cry.
Told through three distinct narrators—Dawn Chapman, the mission’s pretty young ecologist; Linda Ryu, her bitter, scheming best friend passed over for E2; and Ramsay Roothorp, E2’s sexually irrepressible Wildman—The Terranauts brings to life an electrifying, pressured world in which connected lives are uncontrollably pushed to the breaking point. With characteristic humor and acerbic wit, T. C. Boyle indelibly inhabits the perspectives of the various players in this survivalist game, probing their motivations and illuminating their integrity and fragility to illustrate the inherent fallibility of human nature itself.

BookDepository: The Terranauts


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