Return of the Book Nerd: 13 More Books I Just Bought That You May Want To Read

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!

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and One Day

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.

The Secret Garden, A Farewell to Arms, The Grapes of Wrath, and East of Eden

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.

Billy Connolly: Bravemouth, This Is Your Life, and May Contain Nuts

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 Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down, The Tell-Tale Brain, and House of Leaves

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?

15 thoughts on “Return of the Book Nerd: 13 More Books I Just Bought That You May Want To Read

  1. Tinker Tailor was a great read, I love le Carre’s spy stories. I just read two of his A Perfect Spy and The Tailor of Panama. Both were incredible and so different. A Perfect Spy is much more psychological analysis of a spy, and what I would consider literature where as Tailor of Panama was what I would call an Airplane Read.

    • Awesome! I keep hearing so many good things about One Day, and a book I read recently called Eleven by Mark Watson has been compared back to One Day a lot too, so I think I’m really going to enjoy that one!

  2. You just tipped the scale, I am going to try Tinker Tailor this weekend (after I wrap up Dave Egger’s “What is the What.” By the way, I order a ton of used books from betterworldbooks.com – free shipping and all profits go to aid literacy (just in case you need yet another avenue to buy some used print!).

    • Ahh awesome! I think I might read it soon too, I keep hearing too many good things about it.
      And oh noooo, not another book site. Don’t tempt me hahahaha. But thanks, in all seriousness, I will definitely look into it!

  3. Very much wanting to read “House of Leaves” now! Meanwhile, I had to read “The Secret Garden” when I was in sixth grade. I read it again when I was eighteen or so. It’s good, but there’s some colonialist issues that crop up in classic novels like that, that gets under my skin a bit.
    Ramachandran I know 🙂 I had to review his work tirelessly when writing my thesis.

    • Yeah, House of Leaves sounds amazing. Ah interesting you should say that about The Secret Garden, I have been hearing different opinions of it. Some people think it’s amazing, other people are a bit dubious, but almost everybody seems shocked that I haven’t yet read it 😛
      And yeah, I was thinking I am sure you had mentioned Ramachandran before. I am really looking forward to this book, it sounds like his best one yet.

  4. I have just finished The Spy who came in from the cold by John Le Carre. Have you read it? I really enjoyed it! I really liked his direct style of writing. Let me know what you think of Tinker Tailor…..

    • No, I must admit I haven’t read any Le Carre, though I am seriously starting to think I have been missing out this whole time! I will definitely let you know my thoughts of him, and Tinker Tailor, once I get stuck into it more 🙂

  5. Steinbeck’s books I vaguely recall being forced to read in high school, but that doesn’t mean they are bad. I think I would appreciate them more now that I am a ‘grown-up’. I like spy stories so I will have to check out ‘Tinker, Tailor’ and the other of Le Carr’s books. ‘Secret Garden’ I loved as a child. It wasn’t forced-on-me reading like the Steinbeck books but I really like the British war-time era stories and the idea of the sick boy in the garden really appealed to me at the time. Since I now work with special needs kids, I’ve often wondered if this story got me interested in the field. Anyway, it looks like you’ve definitely picked up some great reads. Enjoy!

    • Ahh interesting. The only Steinbeck I have read so far is Of Mice and Men, which I quite liked, though it’s not read in high school here very often. And I am definitely curious to read The Secret Garden (that was also the cheapest of all the books I bought…about $3 I think).

    • Yeah, it does look interesting. I’m just hoping that there is a purpose to it being so different, like I hope it fits in with the story somehow and isn’t just there to gain attention. I have this feeling it is actually integral to the story somehow, but I am curious to see how…

  6. Pingback: 30 Day Book Challenge Day 23 – Books I’ve wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t | wantoncreation

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