Book Haul 📚| February 2020

Book Haul 📚| February 2020


Hi everyone, I’m here today to talk to
you about all of the books that I have bought recently and been sent for a
review. As usual all of the titles that I mention will be linked in the
description box down below if you’d like to go and find out more. The first book
I’d like to speak to you about is this one here, which was very kindly sent to
me for review by Tilted Axis Press, they’re one of my favorite publishers,
they publish translated fiction, and this is a short story collection called
Where The Wild Ladies Are by Matsuda Aoko and it’s translated from the
Japanese by Polly Barton. This is a feminist collection of stories that retells traditional Japanese ghost stories, I am very much here for that. It says “in
a company run by the mysterious Mr. Tei, strange things are afoot, incense sticks
lead to a surprise encounter, a young man reflects on his mother’s death, a
fox-like woman finally finds her true calling, as female ghosts appear in
unexpected guises their gently humorous encounters with unsuspecting humans
lead to deeper questions about emancipation and recent changes in
Japanese women’s lives.” And this is out now it came out in February. The next
book is a memoir that I’ve purchased called Two Trees Maker a Forest by Jessica
J Lee. I adored her memoir Turning which was all about wild swimming and I
mentioned that I was going to pick this up. I didn’t know that it existed until I
read her essay in the essay collection about swimming at the ladies’ pond at
Hampstead Heath and this was mentioned in the bio, so I went out and bought a
copy, it’s about memory, migration and Taiwan.
This one says that Jessica is seeking to piece together the fragments of her
family’s history as they move from China to Taiwan and then on to Canada, which
sounds very different to her other book which was mostly set in Berlin. I love
her turn of phrase, it’s very poetic, so I’m excited to add this to my TBR.
Apologies for sounding like a frog by the way, I — like most people right now —
have a cold. This is a book that Mr. M bought me for my birthday,
it is six fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm and it’s illustrated by David
Hockney and obviously I have read the Brothers Grimm before in various
different translations, my favorite translation is
by Jack Zipes but I do not have a copy of this one and the illustrations by David
Hockney inside are really fantastic and in fact some of these stories are not in
at the Jsack Zipes version because they were added later because they had
so many different versions, so I’m really looking forward to revisiting these
tales. Next is a poetry collection I was sent for review, this is called The Air Year
by Caroline Bird. I’ve read some of her previous collections and really enjoyed
them and this one says that “the speakers in this collection exist in a state of
unrest, trapped in a liminal space between takeoff and landing, undeniably
lost.” I was also sent this by Coralie, this is
her new children’s picture book called The Song of the Tree, she’s Coralie
Bickford Smith, she is a beautiful illustrator, she does
all the covers for most of the classic Penguin editions, the cloth bound, the
English library editions, her first book was called the Fox and the Star she also
has a second called The Worm and the Bird and the colours in this I cannot
get over it, let me show you a couple of spreads in here, just the prints are
beautiful, so there are two different colour schemes in here… well, she has this more than two but she has these blues and oranges which look like this
and then she has these stunning greens as well which look like this, it is the
most beautiful book, perfect for children and adults and I’ll speak about it more
in my wrap-up because I’ve already read it, I read it as soon as I arrived
because I couldn’t resist. Next is this short story collection which I was
kindly sent for a view called She-clown and other stories by Hannah Vincent. I’ve
never read any of her work before but I was so intrigued by this cover, by this
title and by the blurb which seems to be about mothers and daughters and various
female relationships and women expressing their horror at the world
around them, so I’m looking forward to diving in and finding out more. I
recently went to Foyles and bought three books which I showed in my most recent
weekly vlog, which I’ll link down below in case you would like to check that out.
I bought this memoir by Carmen Maria Machado called In the Dream House. I’ve
heard nothing but amazing things about this, it is about abusive relationships, I
also bought this which I haven’t been meaning to pick up when I went in but it
was displayed everywhere and I got sucked in, this is An Yu’s Braised Pork,
again I’ve heard very good things and this is about a woman who finds her
husband yes, Jia Jia finds her husband dead in the
bathtub of their Beijing apartment, next to him is a sketch that he has made but
he has left no note and then the novel goes from there. I also bought this green
and pleasant land by Ayisha Malik, which is about a young man called Bilal and
his wife Miriam, they live in a small English village, they’re the only Asian
family in the village, and when Bilal’s mother is dying
she tells him that she wants him, as her dying wish, to build a mosque in the
village, and this novel follows him and his family as he undertakes this task.
Next I was sent the Bass Rock for review by Evie Wyld, which is one of my most
anticipated releases of this year, it’s set on the Bass Rock, which is a small
island just off the coast of Scotland, and it’s about three women in different
centuries and how their lives intertwine. The first one is a woman called Sarah
who’s been accused of being a witch and she’s fleeing the island, then we follow
let me check this press release to get names right… I think it’s Ruth if I
remember correctly, yes, Ruth in the aftermath of the Second World War is
navigating a new marriage and the strange waters of the local community,
and then six decades after that, Viv, still mourning the death of her father
is cataloguing Ruth’s belongings into the now empty house. So I have read
Evie’s previous books and loved them, her writing style is beautiful, I’ve been
eagerly anticipating her latest so I look forward to getting to that. I also
bought a copy of Pain and Prejudice: a call to arms for women and their bodies
by Gabrielle Jackson. Lauren has been raving about this, saying how good it is
and how infuriating. I know that comparatively little research has been
done into a female pain and into conditions to only affect women and this
is a book all about that and so I look forward to reading it and being
infuriated as well. I bought this memoir here which is the Magical Language of
Others by EJ Koh, which has this stunning cover. Tin
House books do so many beautiful covers, oh my god, my voice, sorry, this is a love
letter between a daughter and a mother and it’s told in a series of letters, it
says “after living in America for over a decade,
Eun Ji’s parents return to South Korea leaving her and her brother behind
in America” and her mother sends her letters in Korean, which I believe she
doesn’t find until years later in a box and she starts to translate them, so I
think this sounds really fascinating and heartbreaking, I want to get to it quite
soon, and finally I was sent the new Isabel Greenberg, this is her latest
graphic novel, I’ll do a cutaway so you can see the beauty within. This is about
the Bronte siblings and the world that they created called Glass Town. So much
has been written about this and they wrote so much about it themselves. I’m
really excited to see how Isabel Greenberg imagines it in her beautiful
style, so those are all the books that I wanted to talk to you about today, as I
said I have linked all of them in the description box down below if you would
like to go and find out more. Let me know what books you have bought recently or
picked up from the library, I would love to know. I hope you all have a great week
and I will speak to you very soon lots of bookish love. x

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  1. I am presently reading The Comforters by Muriel Sparks, The Yellow House by Sarah M Broom. It follows a family from New Orleans East leading up to Katrina and Girl, Woman, Other with my Book Group. But, even though I’m on a low buy book month, I’m adding several of the books you mentioned to by must try, if not must buy list! Thank you. Hope the cold gets better soon.

  2. Lol they displayed it everywhere i had to buy it. Evil booksellers how when we were both booksellers do we fall for their merchandising tricks. Books such a wonderful addiction.

  3. My TBR pile is massive. I recently read Carmen Machado's short stories and Dream House Is on my list The rest of my library TBR pile is as follows Maid – Stephanie Land, The Furies – Katie Lowe, Bolder – Carl Honore, Adele _ Leila Slimani (my borough doesnt stock Lullaby 🙁 … ) The Glass Castle – Jeanette Walls, The Distance – Zoe Folbigg, Enigma Variations by Andre Aciman and on my Kindle I am currently enjoying The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas. Get well soon! xx

  4. Putting up washing but had to drop everything of course for this video.
    The graphic novel about the Brontes looks great. Ah, well weeks and weeks of going to book addicts anonymous will be undone😉

  5. That's so cool about the Brothers Grimm stories illustrated by David Hockney! Great present! I'm so excited for Glass Town.
    Hope you feel better soon.

  6. These all sound good! I'm currently still reading the crimson petal and the white–it's taking me a while because it's long and I always read about three books at once but I love it and the fact that I always go back to it is a good sign for me ☺️

  7. Going to pop out to my local bookstore and pick up a copy of Pain and Prejudice today – just read the synopsis and I already feel the rage burning x

  8. I just bought Turning from book depository since it’s 50% off! Will look forward to it and will check out her other books!

  9. Jen – please take a day or two off to get better! Thanks so much for the video – I always appreciate them. Get well!

  10. Hope you’re feeling better soon lovely. The retelling of the ghostly/supernatural tales sounds ace. Can’t wait for The Song of the Tree. Those colours! Glass Town is ace. I hope my parcel turned up?!? Get on the ginger beer, my gran swore by it for colds and now I do too x

  11. Where the wild ladies are sounds amazing! And I'm adding two trees a forest to my library reservations.
    I read Braised Pork in two days, it's not like what I normally read, the writing is simple and strange but it's really stuck with me and captured my imagination.
    I've got the Bass Rock and Pain and prejudice on my TBR too! I'm someone with a chronic illness that affects more women than men and so I want to read more books about women's pain and the gender pain gap, I know there are lots out there.

  12. In Bradford a few years back, we had an exhibition of the David Hockney fairy tale illustrations. Very…Hockney!

    I just entered an online giveaway for Glass Town. And I was just given (by the author’s agent) The Vanished Bride (Brontë sisters mystery). And I co-led a Brontë Book Club holiday last weekend in the Dales with a trip to Haworth. Good job it was before the floods! (I was leading discussions on Tenant of Wildfell Hall btw. Very contemporary)

    Finally, as someone with a chronic pain condition, Pain and Prejudice sounds interesting.

  13. I saw The Bass Rock on Simon’s channel the other day and instantly added it to my list. It sounds fabulous. I will have to take another look at Braised Pork. Your description made it sound very intriguing. Not sure what put me off it the first time I looked it up. But that edition is gorgeous! Lovely group of books!

  14. I'm currently reading "the Raven Boys" by Maggie Stiefvater and "small great things" by Jodi Picoult. And I also grabbed from my local library: "Smoke gets in your eyes" by Caitlin Doughty , "Lullaby" by Leila Slimani and "the picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde (I have read this one before but it's been years so I thought to reread).

    Could you please link the version of the Grimm Tales that you recommended? I checked on Amazon but the comments were confusing (many people were saying that book was not really translated by Jack Zipes).Thank you for sharing,Jen!

  15. I'm reading Braised Pork at the moment and I'm really enjoying it. Like you it sucked me in from the displays 😉 I am very interested in Glass Town. Pain and Prejudice sounds fascinating but it would definitely make me angry!
    I also discovered the ASMR rooms through you and I am loving them, so relaxing so thank you 🙂
    Get well soon x

  16. And as always, my TBR list has grown with your video! 😳 Thanks again for a lovely video and take care of your voice.

  17. I was given your book (The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night) by my partner for valentines day! Totally devoured it – was a delicious read

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