My post about being a book nerd, which included photos of my bookshelves and my Great Gatsby mug, gained a lot more attention than I was expecting. So I am going to follow up with this post, about the awesome books that have arrived in the mail this week.
As you can probably tell from my blog, I am somewhat addicted to books. I spend a fair bit of money on them and I am not bothered by this, because I feel they are a worthwhile investment (and many people waste money on much lesser things). I buy a lot of my books online these days, and get them delivered by mail, and I usually do 3 or 4 big orders like this one, usually around a dozen books, each year, with several smaller orders sprinkled throughout as well.
I have broken these up into small piles of groups, though at the end I will show a particularly interesting book in a bit more detail. Enjoy!
These three books are all books I have bought based on strong recommendations from other people, many from reviews on various blogs. They include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, and One Day by David Nicholls. In particular, I want to read the top one before I see the movie adaption of it that has just been released.
These four books are all classics, and all books I have been meaning to read for a long time. The two books by John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden, are considered his two most important, and I am particularly curious about the latter, which apparently re-enacts the whole Cain and Abel story, though in a different context (and with various other storylines tied in). A Farewell to Arms is one of Ernest Hemingway’s best books as well, and likewise he is another writer I feel I need to read more from. Lastly is The Secret Garden, which I have been meaning to read since forever.
These three books here are all comedy books, for when I feel like I need a laugh. Bravemouth is the second biography/memoir of Billy Connolly, one of my all time favourite comedians, written by his wife, and follows his life building up to his 60th birthday. It’s predecessor, Billy, was a great read, being both hilarious but also deeply moving at the same time, and I look forward to reading this sequel I never knew existed until recently. The two John O’Farrell books, This Is Your Life and May Contain Nuts are both comedy novels, taking swipes at modern society and some of the mad things we do, although the author is perhaps more known for his newspaper columns, satire websites, and his fantastic history books of Britain, in particular An Utterly Impartial History of Britain – or 2000 years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge.
The last three books are all quite unusual. The top one, The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down, is a book about the clash of cultures, in particular Eastern and Western medicine, when a young girl from an Eastern background is diagnosed with severe epilepsy (this particularly caught my attention because I myself have epilepsy), and I only discovered this one thanks to this blog (it’s about the second post down at the moment). The middle book, The Tell-Tale Brain, is a book about neurology and some of the amazing discoveries being made about the brain, from V.S.Ramachandran, a world-renowned expert and writer on the subject, who first caught my attention with his books about Phantom Limbs.
And lastly there is House of Leaves, a novel that is, well, entirely unconventional, so much so that I am very excited to read it and try to understand it. Don’t know what I mean by unconventional? Let me show you…
No your eyes aren’t deceiving you. What begins as normal writing turns into a couple of words per page, musical notation, and writing where random sections are sideways and upside down and all sorts. I assume there is some kind of intriguing purpose to this, though I do wonder what it is. But I have heard this book is fantastic so…we’ll see.
Have any of you read any of these books? Thoughts and opinions on them?