A book haul | November 2019


I’ve inadvertently picked up quite a few books this month, so I thought I’d take some time to show you what I’ve picked up, because I don’t do hauls as often as I really should.

I’m only showing physical novels that I’ve added to my shelves here, but if you’re interested in some recently picked up e-books let me know and I can definitely do a separate post about those, because I tend to get more of those than I do physical books.

All the synopsis in this post are taken from Goodreads, as it is much better at explaining books I haven’t read than I am.


Scoop, Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh

My most recent purchases are three secondhand copies of Evelyn Waugh novels in the Penguin Modern Classics edition, which is one of my favourites (alongside Fitzcarraldo Editions books and Bloomsbury Modern Classics).

I was watching one of Emma from Drinking by My Shelf on Youtube’s videos, where she was speaking about Vile Bodies, and I realised that I’d never actually read anything by Waugh, and I’ve always meant to, so I found three of them for cheap online.

I actually don’t really know anything about any of them, so here’s Goodreads’ synopsis for each below, which will summarise them much better than I would be able to.

“The Bright Young Things of 1920s Mayfair, with their paradoxical mix of innocence and sophistication, exercise their inventive minds and vile bodies in every kind of capricious escapade, whether it is promiscuity, dancing, cocktail parties or sports cars.”

– Vile Bodies

“Expelled from Oxford for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly unsurprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at Llanabba Castle. His colleagues are an assortment of misfits, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk). Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds and the young run riot, no one is safe, least of all Paul.”

– Decline and Fall

“Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of The Daily Beast, has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another. Acting on a dinner party tip from Mrs Algernon Stitch, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. But for, pale, ineffectual William Boot, editor of the Daily Beast‘s ‘nature notes’ column, being mistaken for a competent journalist may prove to be a fatal error…”

– Scoop



Mostly Hero by Anna Burns

This little novella is one of the Faber Stories collections, and is just under 100 pages long, so I imagine it’s not going to take that long to get through. I picked this one up because it was the longest one of the short stories that my local Waterstones had, so I could give it a go before I try picking up any of the others, because short stories aren’t really my thing usually.

I really liked her novel Milkman, which I read last year as part of my Booker Prize project – more on this year’s one will be up on my blog shortly!

“Of course, of everybody of whom this particular hero was suspicious, he was most suspicious of femme fatale, of this woman he was in love with. Even before he discovered she had a spell on her he was distrustful of her. He didn’t want to be, but that’s just how it goes.”

– Mostly Hero



Supermarket by Bobby Hall

I’m actually a bit nervous about this one, because I picked it up thinking the synopsis sounded really interesting, but it doesn’t have the greatest rating on Goodreads unfortunately.

It’s written by Bobby Hall, otherwise known as Logic, a rapper. That’ll maybe mean more to other people, but rap really isn’t my thing so I haven’t got any expectations going into this.

I was most drawn in by the simple cover, and the fact it’s marketed as a psychological thriller. Fingers crossed it’s good!

“Flynn is stuck—depressed, recently dumped, and living at his mom’s house. The supermarket was supposed to change all that. An ordinary job and a steady check. Work isn’t work when it’s saving you from yourself. But things aren’t quite as they seem in these aisles. Arriving to work one day to a crime scene, Flynn’s world collapses as the secrets of his tortured mind are revealed. And Flynn doesn’t want to go looking for answers at the supermarket. Because something there seems to be looking for him.”

– Supermarket



The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I’ve read The Night Circus and really liked the atmospheric writing even if I did only give it a three star rating, so when I heard that Erin Morgenstern was coming out with a new book, I pre-ordered it.

The book itself is beautiful, and has a print on the pages (which you can see in the first image of this post), and reminds me a bit of the premise of The Binding, which is also on my bookshelf.

I don’t really know much about this other than it’s about someone who finds a book about himself in a library, and there’s some fantastical elements.

“Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

“Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.”

– The Starless Sea

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