April book haul: retellings galore!


Another successful book buying month. Or unsuccessful, if you’re my bank balance!

This month’s stats are:

  • 13 by a male author
  • 20 by a female author
  • 5 thriller
  • 2 horror
  • 1 science fiction
  • 9 fantasy
  • 1 contemporary
  • 2 romance
  • 3 historical fiction
  • 4 literary fiction
  • 4 non-fiction
  • 1 short stories
  • 1 play
  • 15 are a pre-2016 release
  • 2 are a 2016 release
  • 16 are a 2017 release
  • 12 are ebooks
  • 15 are paperbacks
  • 6 are hardbacks

Hay-on-Wye book haul is as follows: . The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin for @theroamingreader April readathon. I could not resist this stunning Virago hardback! . The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley . The Bone People by Keri Hulme . Arcs of All the Good Things by Clare Fisher, Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout, and The House by Simon Lelic courtesy of @penguinukbooks . A biography of Sylvia Plath by Linda Wagner-Martin . Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, as I find myself needing to own everything @andbookhoarding suggests! . A beautiful illustrated edition of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare . The Penguin Book of Classical Myths by Jenny March . This stunning @vintagepress edition of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy . Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie . Jealousy by Marcel Proust, which is a an abridged version of In Search of Lost Time . And lastly, three stunning anthologies of ghost, horror, dystopian and utopian short stories, which are total #bookshelfporn . . #books #bibliophile #bookstagram #bookstagramfeature #bookishfeatures #igbooks #igreads #instabook #instareads #bookdragon #booknerd #booknerdigan #bookworm #bookgeek #bookgram #booklove #booklover #booklion #booklife #bookish #amreading #bookpic #bookporn #bookphoto #bookphotography #classicbooks #vintagebooks #bookstagram2017 #bookhaul

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I managed to gather 16 books in my overnight stay in Hay-on-Wye. Well, it’s not called the ‘town of books’ for nothing! An overview of my trip can be found here.

A brief catch-up with one the bookstagrammers who attended the Hay-on-Wye event, @bookishsteph1, turned into a two-hour-long, fantasy heavy, book buying spree in Waterstones.

The books I purchased were:

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Available in the UK and the US

Gaiman’s ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane‘ is one of my top ten reads of all time, and I am slowly acquiring all his others works because of this. With the TV adaptation airing next month, I thought it would be a prudent time to add this one to my collection.

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

Available in the UK and the US

This is a non-fiction that discourses the possible future of our planet and the human race. I read the first few pages, whilst in the store, and found the conversational tone engaging and easy to read, despite the dense nature of the topics covered.

The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Available in the UK and the US

Can I get a ‘hell yeah’ for diverse YA!? I have been meaning to read this ‘The Aarabian Nights‘ inspired duology, for some time. After my recent approval for a digital arc of Ahdieh’s most recent release, I thought I could binge read her entire history of published works, next month.

The Vorrh by Brian Catling

Available in the UK and the US

Alan Moore described this as “a phosphorescent masterpiece” and “the current century’s first landmark work of fantasy.” The second book in the series is already out in hardback, and is due for paperback release soon, so hopefully, I can read them both together, some time later this year.

Midnight Never Come by Marie Brenan

Available in the UK and the US

I have heard little about this book, but the author has received much notoriety for her most recent book, A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent. If I like this book enough to continue on and complete the series, that may be my next fantasy read to look into getting.

Netgalley, once again hooked me up, this month:

The Ice by Laline Paull 

Available in the UK and not yet available in the US

Want to know what I know about this novel? Nothing. But I do know that the author was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for her previous novel, ‘The Bees‘. Good enough for me. Hopefully, I’ll get around to reading both of these novels, in the month of May.





New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

Available in the UK and the US

This is the most recent release in a series of new-age Shakespearean retellings, penned by various and infamous authors. This ‘Othello‘ retelling is set against the backdrop of 1970’s suburban Washington. It would be interesting to read the original along with its modern counterpart, to compare and contrast the two.




Once In Lourdes by Sharon Solwitz 

Available in the UK and the US

I was recommended this because of my love for Robin Wasserman’s dark contemporary, ‘Girls on Fire‘. I have already started reading and can attest that this comparison is a true one. Dark, gritty, and thrilling!





Tree Magic by Harriet Springbett

Available in the UK and the US

This sounds like a mystical and adorable middle-grade novel about a young girl who can communicate with, and shape, trees to her will. I am always looking for a charming tale to transport me back to my young reading mindset of suspended belief, and this sounds like it could be just the thing to do so.




Flame in the Mist by Renne Ahdieh 

Available in the UK and the US

If I could only get my hands on only one new book this month, this would be the one! This Mulan retelling, penned by the renowned Renee Ahdieh, sounds feminist, diverse and kick-ass! One of my most anticipated 2017 releases!





Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield

Available in the UK and not yet available in the US

I read Heathfield’s 2016 release, ‘Paper Butterflies‘, this time last year and it absolutely broke my heart. I am all about a weepy and hard-hitting contemporary so I am looking for her recent release to deliver just that. I am planning on reading this for the approaching Dewey’s 24 hour readathon, as I am anticipating this to be a one-sitting read I can fly through.




Rose & Poe by Jack Todd 

Available in the UK and the US

It seems April is the month for Shakespearean retellings as this is another one that falls into that category. This re-imagines ‘The Tempest‘ into a slightly futuristic setting and the result is, apparently, mesmerising. I am excited to find out.





The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

Available in the UK and the US

Dystopias used to be one of my favourite genres, but recently I have found many of the ones I pick up to be too romance-heavy and angst-laden for my tastes. This promises neither and so I am excited to see how I find it.





Blood Sisters by Jane Corry 

Available in the UK and the US

On my recent trip to idyllic Hay-on-Wye, Penguin provided arcs for some of their exciting new releases. This was one of them I and I, unfortunately, did not get to snag myself a copy. As soon as I saw this available on NetGalley I immediately requested it! With a gloriously sinister cover and penned by the author of ‘My Husband the Stranger‘, this is sure to deliver my required monthly dose of terror!



Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty

Available in the UK and the US

This is a book that has been around for a few years but has been recently re-released with the TV show tie-in cover. I’m not sure if this thriller is going to be exactly my thing but, given its popularity, I am willing to give it a fair try.




Den of Shadows by Christopher Byford 

Available in the UK and the US

This has a) a cover to die for and b) has similar vibes to one of my favourite ever books, ‘The Night Circus‘. Check and check. I have never read many books in the middle-grade genre, and yet this is my second request of the month, in that category!





The Lives of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common

Available in the UK and the US

The synopsis reads: “Two girls gone — one missing, the other dead.” This sounds like a rather tried thriller synopsis, but reviews already promise this to be a dark and chilling mystery, where the reader plays the part of the detective, following clues to the novel’s climax.





And thus ends another month of successful book buying. Be sure to check back in, in May, to see how many of this pile, I managed to accomplish reading.

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