An extra post this week! I don’t normally do hauls as I never by loads of books in bulk because normal retail prices are expensive
So, this week I had some time off work to hang out with my mum and sister and we decided to trawl through our local charity shops and see what we can find! While my mum and sister got some lovely pieces of clothing my focus was, obviously, the books!
After making my way through a couple of charity shops, I managed to find 9 amazing books!
Morality for Beautiful Girls – Alexander McCall Smith. I always pick up these books from my local charity shops as there seems to be an abundance of his books everywhere!
Plot: With her detective agency in financial difficulty, Mma Ramotswe takes the hard decision to share offices to her husband-to-be, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni. But even through Tlokwent Road Speedy Motors could do with a little help, it is Mr Matekoni himself who requires her attention… If that wasn’t enough, the agency is facing some of its most puzzling cases: the government official whose sister-in-law is trying to poison his brother; the beauty pageant whose contestants aren’t as good as their looks; and the strange young boy, found naked and wild, and smelling of lion…
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova. Now, when some people say that book reviewers aren’t vital for book sales, let me tell you, I bought this book purely based on a 5 star review I saw on Goodreads!
Plot: Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to “My dear and unfortunate successor”. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – Alan Bradley. This was a book that I knew I had added onto my Goodreads TBR shelf so for £1.99 how could I resist?
Plot: It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke. This book has been on my TBR for so long so when I saw this I grabbed it so fast!
Plot: The year is 1806, England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation’s past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains, the reclusive Mr Norrell, whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very antithesis of Norrel. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms that between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin. A recently watched Studio Ghibli’s Tales of Earthsea and I was shocked to find it took elements of a variety of the Earthsea books so I really wanted to read the series!
Plot: The young wizard Sparrowhawk, tempted by pride to try spells beyond his powers, lets loose an evil shadow-beast in his land. Only he can destroy it, and this quest leads him to the farthest corner of Earthsea.
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This book has been on my TBR for I have heard nothing but great things, so I had to pick it up!
Plot: Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
Magpie Murders – Anthony Horowitz. This book has been on my Goodreads TBR for a long time!
Plot: When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. A homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behaviour if she wants to keep her job. Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.
The Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux. I have always been intrigued by this story. I have seen the movie and also been in the musical with my local musical theatre company. My job was the bring the boat on stage for when the Phantom and Christine get on it. Hahaha!
Plot: The Phantom of the Opera is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well until Christine’s childhood friend Raoul comes to visit his parents, who are patrons of the opera, and he sees Christine when she begins successfully singing on the stage. The voice, who is the deformed, murderous ‘ghost’ of the opera house named Erik, however, grows violent in his terrible jealousy, until Christine suddenly disappears. The phantom is in love, but it can only spell disaster.
Once Upon a River – Diane Setterfield. I have heard nothing but great things about this story and I don’t read enough Historical Fiction so I thought I would give it a go.
Plot: On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed. Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless. Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.