Holiday Book Haul

I recently came up with a list of reading goals I have for this new year and one of those goals is to buy less books and focus on the books I already own.  However, with giftcards from the holidays, I wasn’t about to waste them, so here is my (probably) last book haul for a little while from the holidays

I have never read manga before reading Tokyo Ghoul Vol 1, which I heard of through a makeup tutorial, so I’m super glad this was my first because I really liked it and immediately bout volume 2.  I also heard great things about Death Note, so I’m excited to get into that series as well.

In Order To Live was one of my favorite books of 2017 and since I listened to it on audiobook, I wanted a physical copy for my bookshelves.  I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for a memoir.

I’ve also wanted to read more books that have won the Pulitzer Prize, so I’m currently reading The Sympathizer, which won in 2016.  I also bought The Vegetarian, which won the 2016 Man Booker Prize and since I’ve been interested in it since it first came out, it’s time to finally get to it this year.

My bookclub pick for December was Her Body And Other Parties, so I recently picked up this book and my review can be found here.

Finally, I’ve heard great things about I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo, and again, have wanted to read it since it first came out last year, so now I’m glad I have a feel-good YA contemporary for when I’m in the mood.

Those are the eight books in my (probably) last book haul for a little while.  Let’s hope this goal sticks this new year for my sanity and wallet.




Not Even Mid-October Book Haul, AKA I have No Self-Control

Okay, so I have no self-control when it comes to buying books.  My TBR pile grows and I just keep adding to it, but there are so many amazing books out there and there are so many places where I live that sell super discounted books that I am justifying all of this.

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Here are the 15 books I have in this haul:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: A classic that will be perfect for around Christmas. And I’ve never actually read this book, so it’s time to do that.

The Stranger by Albert Camus: All I know about this book is that a man gets caught up in a murder in Algeria and that for such a small book, this novel has very mixed reviews, so I’m excited to see how I feel about it after I read it!

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran: I love Kahlil Gibran’s poetry, so I’m glad to have a collection of his poems.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh: I’ve read I See You by Mackintosh, but have heard that this book, about a woman whose son is killed in a car accident.  I’ve heard there are a ton of twists and this book is an excellent thriller.

The House Of Forgetting by Bejamin Alire Sáenz: I absolutely love Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe, so I was super happy to find this book at my library book sale.  Also, I had no idea that Sáenz wrote a psychological thriller about a girl who has been kidnapped, so I’m interested to see how this book turns out.

Good Omens: The Nice And Accurate Prophecies Of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: It’s kind of hard to explain what this book is about, but it sounds like a great mix of fantasy and satire and I’ve heart nothing but excellent things about it.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart: I’ve heard this series compared to A Series Of Unfortunate Events, which I love, so this book about a secret society for gifted children, complete with top secret missions.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: This is a book where the synopsis and reviews don’t quite match up on Goodreads.  It’s about a girl, Roza, who disappears, and a boy who tries to find out what happened to her.  I think.  And maybe some magical realism?  I guess I’ll have to read and find out.

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow And Other Stories by Washington Irving: Another classic story I have yet to read and is absolutely perfect for this time of year.  Also, I wish my cover looked like the one pictured because it is awesome!

We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson: The short but creepy book about a possibly murderous family who live in isolation from the surrounding village.  I have yet to read a Shirley Jackson, so I’m excited to get to this one.

Thérèse Raquin by Émilie Zola: A gothic story with an adulterous marriage and motivation for murder.  Sounds like my cup of tea.

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin: I recently read this one and it’s about a women, who as a teenager, was found almost dead in a field of black-eyed susans.  Years later, she questions everything she thinks she knows about the crime as the man accused sits on death row.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King: The blurb is pretty vague, but I think this book is about vampires?  I’ve heard great things and it’s Stephen King, so it’s bound to be scary.

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson: I read Tiger Lily by Anderson not too long ago and loved her writing style, so I’m excited to get to this book about a town where girls keep going missing.

The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine: This book sounds so good and I can’t wait to read it.  It’s about a woman who moves to her ancestors’ estate in Scotland and finds human remains.

Those are the books I’ve bought since my last book haul.  The title was originally Mid-October Book Haul because that sounds better than “Only Eight Days Into October Book Haul”, but I am kidding myself.  It’s not mid-month yet and I am already a book hauling fiend.

Have you read any of these and if so, what did you think?  Thanks for reading!

September Book Haul

Another month, another haul full of books that sit next to the growing pile of books staring at me, just waiting to be read.  Did I add 9 books to my already outrageous TBR pile?  Yes, I did.  Do I have good intentions of reading what I have already?  Of course.  Will I keep buying books despite all of this?  Most likely.

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I will say that 3 of these books were second hand and 2 were given to me as a gift, so it’s not like I could say no–you know what, let’s just get into the haul.


Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.  Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.  

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.  But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Tis the season for mysteries, thrillers, suspense, and horror.  Bring it on!


The Witches by Roald Dahl

This Roald Dahl classic tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches! “In fairy tales witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ordinary jobs. That is why they are so hard to catch.” Witches, as our hero learns, hate children. With the help of a friend and his somewhat-magical grandmother, our hero tries to expose the witches before they dispose of him.

I have never read this Dahl, so what a perfect time for it.


Carrie by Stephen King

Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

I already finished this one and gave it a 3/5 stars.  If you are looking for a book heavy on the horror side for fall, Stephen King is the author for you.


Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained by John Milton

Here in one volume are the complete texts of two of the greatest epic poems in English literature. Each a profound exploration of the moral problems of God’s justice, “Paradise Lost” and “Paradise Regained” demonstrate Milton’s genius for fusing sense and sound, classicism and innovation, narrative and drama.

A classic I’ve been wanting to read, so when I found it in the thrift store, it was kind of perfect.


Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.

I have been hesitant to pick up a book by Neil Gaiman after reading Stardust and really disliking it, but this book sounds really good, so I think it’s time to move on.


The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.

I’ve heard good things about this book and since it was another thrift find, I had to get it.


Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre — his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman’s noose, Aleister Crowley’s childhood chessboard, etc. — so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it.

The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker’s sanity.

This is the second Joe Hill novel I own and both are on my TBR pile.  I can’t wait to read this, especially when I’m in the mood for something extra creepy!


The Room By The Lake by Emma Dibdin

When Caitlin moved from London to New York, she thought she had left her problems behind: her alcoholic father, her dead mother, the pressure to succeed. But now, down to her last dollar in a foreign city, she is desperately lonely.

Then she meets Jake. Handsome, smart, slightly damaged Jake. He lives off-grid, in a lakeside commune whose members practise regular exercise and frequent group therapy. Before long, Caitlin has settled into her idyllic new home.

It looks like she has found the fresh start she longed for. But, as the commune tightens its grip on her freedom and her sanity, Caitlin realizes too late that she might become lost forever…

This is one of the books I was gifted this month and I absolutely cannot wait to read it.


Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape.

One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back—almost as if by magic…

I have a confession.  I have never seen this movie all the way through!  But I’m hoping that is to my advantage because this is the other book I was gifted this month and it sounds absolutely perfect for a fall/Halloween read.

Those are the books I bought/were given this month.  What’s on your fall/Halloween TBR?

Happy reading!

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June Book Haul!

It’s time for another book haul!  Since today is not only my birthday, but the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, what better way to spend my birthday than buying new books to love?

Also, how did we ever deserve the gift that is J. K. Rowling?


“20 years ago today a world that I had lived in alone was suddenly open to others.  It’s been wonderful.  Thank you.”  I mean,

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Now that we have properly celebrated, on to the book haul!  Also, I was able to get most of these books for 1/4 or 1/5 of the original price thanks to my discounted book store.  Yay for thrifty book shopping!


The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Synopsis: Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace—the Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century—Cassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.


We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Synopsis: Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.


The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

Synopsis: Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton – black and from the wrong side of the tracks – was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own.


Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour

Synopsis: Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Synopsis: One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.


One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Synopsis: On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?


Smoke by Dan Vyleta

Synopsis: England. A century ago, give or take a few years. An England where people who are wicked in thought or deed are marked by the Smoke that pours forth from their bodies, a sign of their fallen state. The aristocracy do not smoke, proof of their virtue and right to rule, while the lower classes are drenched in sin and soot. An England utterly strange and utterly real.


Into The Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Synopsis: When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.


A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Synopsis: The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface–and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.


Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Synopsis: Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—from Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage, to Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the seven unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Synopsis: Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.


And that’s it!  Those are the eleven books I bought during the month of June.  I can’t wait to dive into these!  Have you read any?  If so, what did you think?

Lastly, let’s raise our wands in one more tribute to the greatness that is Harry Potter on its publication birthday.

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Mini Library Book Sale Book Haul

Blessed be, my library had a book sale.

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Which really isn’t that unusual because they happen monthly, but for some reason I always kind of forget that I can find books for $1 or $2 monthly and get really, really excited, especially when I find books I have been meaning to buy anyway.  So, here is a mini book haul of the books I found for a grand total of $6.


Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Okay, first I have to tell you that my cover has a girl standing under the lamp post and when I first saw this edition with no girl, I was seriously creeped out until I found out that there are two editions that look exactly alike except one has the girl and one doesn’t.  This has nothing to do with anything except my confusion, but let’s just say it adds to the mystery!  I’m currently reading this and it is the first in a series about a girl who goes missing and the detective who is pressured to find her alive.  It has been compared to Tana French’s books, which are some of my favorites, so I’m really excited to read this one!


The Dead Hour by Denise Mina

I’ve only read one Denise Mina book before and really didn’t like it, but promised I would give her another try sense she has also been compared to Tana French (I just miss Tana French, okay?), so I unknowingly picked up the second book in the Paddy Meehan series.  I really don’t want to start the series on book two because that just seems wrong, but I’m not sure I’m invested enough to get the first without knowing I’ll like this series more. That being said, I don’t want to know too much of what this book is about in case I decide to start with the first, but it basically follows a reporter, Meehan, who investigates a murder.


Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda

This book is about two girls who go out to sea in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and only one comes back.  It also follows the characters who live in Red Hook after the disappearance.  I didn’t know a lot about this book when I picked it up, but per reviews on Goodreads, it seems to be firstly of a character driven book and about Red Hook itself and doesn’t focus so much on the actual mystery.


Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I’ve been wanting to read this book, so I was really excited when I found it at the book sale.  It’s about a girl, Lina, who is taken from Lithuania in 1941 and placed in a concentration camp in Siberia, under the rule of Stalin.  It has excellent reviews and sounds like an incredible book that shares a part of World War II that isn’t as well known.


The Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Can we just appreciate for a moment the fact that this is the first in a trilogy called “The Wanton Dairymaid”.  Incredible.  I have read two of Dare’s books before and they are an excellent pallet cleanser after reading a lot of heavy books, or too many mysteries/thrillers, which has been my thing recently.  This book follows Lucy, who decides to practice seducing her brother’s best friend before hunting for a husband.  I’m 100% sure we can’t see where that is going.


The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

I actually found this book in the mini free public library disguised as a telephone booth rocketship close to where I live (this is actually a thing and there’s a picture of it on my about page).  I thought I would include it here since I found it on the same day I went to the Library Book Sale.  I left a book and snatched this one up because I really enjoyed the last Julia Quinn book I read.  Quinn is another author to pick up when you are in the mood for pure fluff, but the best kind.  This is also the first in a series (Two Dukes of Wyndham) and follows Jack, a rogue (side note: the main male characters are always rogues or rakes, thank God) who finds himself the long lost Duke of the House of Wyndham.  We also have Grace, who works for the widowed Duchess of Wyndham and finds herself inevitably attracted to the new Duke.

That’s it!  Those are the six books I found at my library book sale.  These book sales are perfect ways to find books for a few bucks and you are also supporting your local library while doing it.

Happy reading!