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Look what I have found between the books!

Throughout the excitement of Christmas and New Year, I have left this post in the draft for a long while. There are some interesting acquisitions of books in December 2010 that I would like to share with you (You didn’t think I stop buying books for one moment, did you?) 😉

Early in December, Secret Santa at work gave me this 3 books and an adorable bar of chocolates with snowman and snowflakes on it. Secret Santa Steph (I found out later on) took the trouble to read through my reading list of this blog and found out that I haven’t read any of Joanne Harris’ novels and I have been dying to read “The End of Mr. Y“. It takes a bookworm to know another, and I am really please with her choice. (Thank you Steph!)

These are a pile of haul I bought from here and there.

The Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick – I bought the book because it made me laugh so hard, read it and wanted to keep a copy. Under the comedy façade there is an important underlying message about mental health issues. It’s a good lift-me-up book and I encourage anyone who’s got the blue to give it a go.

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick – requires no introduction. It’s my favourite book of the year and one that I was so affected that I’ll never take simple things in life for granted again.

After the Banquet by Yukio Mishima – a book that I would like to be a permanent feature in my shelf. The condition of the book unfortunately wasn’t good, so I am still hunting for a better replacement.

Quicksand by Junichiro Tanizaki – recommended by Tony, and one of his 2010 top 10. This looks like a good way to start reading Tanizaki.

March by Geraldine Brooks – I have been eyeing it for a long time. So for the price 10p I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Iliad by Homer – let’s hope I can get through this and understand what’s the buzz all about.

Arthur & George by Julian Barnes – was a shortlisted book in Man booker Prize 2005, it’s a real case of two men who grew up world apart in 19th century Britain, and they are brought together by a sequence of events that made sensational headlines at the time as ‘The Great Wyrley Outrages”. I am curious to know more about it.

The Post Birthday Girl by Lionel Shriver – is one of my favourite ever since I read it in 2008, with Rice Mother by Rani Manicka going for pittance for hardbacks, I will do everything to haul them home.

I have also bought the following 5 books at one go on the 18th December.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – heard a lot of Meh! reviews about the book, but I like to take my own time and find out for myself.

Mr Rosenblum’s List Bina of  “If you can read this” highly recommend the book, and it’s a book of “friendly guidance for the aspiring Englishmen”. Sounds interesting.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – Although I have my eye on Lord Jim a long time ago but this is one of the most quoted. So it’s a good place to start reading Conrad with this book.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey – was selected in Oprah’s book club. It tells the story of a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser and how he copes with rehabilitation in a 12 steps-oriented treatment center. It became non-fiction top sellers for 15 weeks in 2005, but the writer was embroiled in a controversial report that the book is a fabrication but not a factual memoir as it first claimed.

At this point, are you still with me? Oh you are? Good, because surprise, surprise, I found something between the used books that I bought.

I found a….. 5 Pound Note!!!

The £5 note unfortunately is defaced (but usable). It says: ” (Atrocious vulgar expression…) I hope your eyes burn everytime you look at this.. Love, XXX.” 😀

Ooooo… My eyes burnt too, because now I got my 5 books for FREE!!! It’s exactly how much I paid for my 5 books!! Hurray!!!

Next come my very prized purchase of the month ….. 2666 by Roberto Bolaño!!

The book came through from Amazon.co.uk, withdrawn stock from Belfast Public Library it is complete with dust jacket and in excellent condition.

The cover is beautiful with Renaissance drawing and somehow the number 2666 implies something mysteriously Satanic (you know 666 being the devil’s number and all that). I hope I will be able to find time to read this one and probably need some company to do this, it’s 912 pages. 😉

Bought another 4 books on New Year’s Eve on a prowl in Bracknell and came home with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Dr. Thorne by Anthony Trollope, The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan and The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre.

About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


28 thoughts on “Look what I have found between the books!

  1. Oh wow! What a great haul and a great treasure! I have never found money in a book, but I can only imagine the thrill!
    You picked up so many books that I myself would love to read like the Shriver, Mishima, and the Thomas… I will say that Five Quarters of the Orange isn’t Harris’s best book, but it’s still a quick, touching read.

    Have fun with all of your new books!

    Posted by Steph | January 5, 2011, 4:40 pm
  2. I own or have read almost all your new books – you have great taste!! The only one I haven’t got yet and really want is Nothing to Envy – that sounds really good.

    I particularly loved The End of Mr Y so I hope you enjoy that one. I’d also love to know what you make of Rice Mother – it has been looking at me for ages, but its length is daunting me at the moment. Enjoy your new haul!

    Posted by Jackie (Farm Lane Books) | January 5, 2011, 5:15 pm
  3. What fantastic finds (book and money-wise)! 🙂 I really hope you’ll enjoy Mr Rosenblum! And good luck with those chunksters 😉

    Posted by Bina | January 5, 2011, 8:58 pm
  4. Great haul, you got two of my favourites in your New Year’s purchasing – P&P (sigh) and The Constant Gardener. Will be curious to see what you think of Wolf Hall. I got about half way through it before falling into a coma but obviously there’s something i am missing.

    Such good luck to find money between the pages. I only ever seem to find squashed bugs and other people’s food crumbs. Once I found a used tissue but that’s not as exciting as money 🙂

    Posted by Bernadette | January 5, 2011, 11:08 pm
    • Bernadette, you don’t say. You love P&P.. aww.. I must read and an andorsement for The Constant Gardener too! I hope I won’t fall into coma with Wolf Hall.. Lol you are funny! 😀

      I know, I couldn’t believe it either. I found clump of hair, a metal bookmark with alphabet C (No C in any of my name, unfortunately), train and flight tickets, University of Reading – Lecturer of Agriculture’s business card and National Gallery’s brochure. That’s about all really. 😉

      Posted by JoV | January 6, 2011, 2:00 pm
  5. I read 2666 last year-really powerful work-you got some great books that should keep you occupied for a while-I hope to read Wolf Hall in 2011 also

    Posted by Mel u | January 5, 2011, 11:31 pm
  6. I think someone needs to go on a book-buying diet! Don’t you live in London? How do you fit all these books into your place?!

    Posted by Tony | January 6, 2011, 10:32 pm
    • Tony, you see people think books belong in the shelf right? and shelf requires space. But really if I stack my books up like towers on any available space at home, I can use it as my coffee table, arm rest, feet rest, or even as a stool for my 3-year-old to prop himself up and brush his teeth on the basin.

      I live in Reading (about 60 miles from London). As the word implies, you are suppose to read a lot in my city. LOL 😀

      Posted by JoV | January 6, 2011, 10:46 pm
  7. Awesome! I love it when that happens! Sometimes when my grandmother sends books as presents, she will tuck $1 bills in between a few of the pages — it’s such a nice surprise, and then I can get myself a candy bar to bunch on while I read.

    Posted by Jenny | January 7, 2011, 2:56 am
    • Awww.. Jenny, your grandma is such a sweetie.. it’s nice to find surprises like that! I hope you have plenty of candy bar still to bunch on while reading! 😉

      Posted by JoV | January 7, 2011, 9:01 pm
  8. Hope you enjoy reading ‘The End of Mr.Y’! It is there on my ‘TBR’ list too. Maybe we can compare notes 🙂 I love that 5-pound note that you found in the book you bought 🙂 I once found a card written by one friend to another – I have kept it safely like a treasure 🙂 Hope you enjoy reading Bolano’s ‘2666’. I read his ‘The Savage Detectives’ and loved it, though it was a difficult read.

    Posted by Vishy | January 7, 2011, 2:57 pm
  9. I want get nothing to envy at some point ,I never find anything interesting in my books ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | January 7, 2011, 9:15 pm
  10. Oh wow! That 5-pounder was too funny! :-). My eyes could do with some burning too! Mia Yun’s book was the most interesting for me on your list – but then, I have a fascination with all things Asian! I read Yun’s The House of Winds a while back, and it didn’t register much that time. Would love to see how you fare with this one!

    Posted by Soul Muser | January 8, 2011, 5:17 am
  11. My goodness… that sure is a big pile of books! xD I love seeing piles of books though, just feeling a pang of book-envy 😉 I really enjoyed Joanne Harris’ books, but I’m still in doubt whether to read the Lollipop Shoes, because it didn’t really get good reviews…

    Posted by Chinoiseries | January 8, 2011, 4:40 pm
    • Hi Chinoiseries, I haven’t read any Joanne Harris except watched the movie “Chocolat”. I love watching pile of books too! It’s a obsession only a book lover would understand. I bought 8 books today from 2 places, and the shopkeeper asked if I have a separate room for books? I smiled and said well I used a lot of my books as arm rest, leg rest or whatever and the fact that I come alone to the bookstore is because my other half is screaming help from the flood of books at home!

      Thanks for being here! 😀

      Posted by JoV | January 8, 2011, 9:51 pm
  12. What a treasure trove! There are quite a few gems there – I especially wouldn’t mind delving into Shriver again, Mantel, another Harris and James Frey’s book is fabulous – the controversy surrounding it is nothing compared to the compelling story he tells, even without the publicity it would’ve hit the top shelves … BTW I’ve never struck it lucky with money in a book except for dried rose petals which was quite lovely.

    Posted by Joanne | January 8, 2011, 7:58 pm
    • Joanne, thanks! I luuvvv… Shriver’s writing and would like to read all her books if I could. There is no one like her with that wry humour.
      Thanks for the confidence vote for James Frey. I was a tad disappointed with the possibility of fabrication about the book, but I’ll read it for what it is and not worry about whether it’s true or not.

      Rose petal is nice too!

      Posted by JoV | January 8, 2011, 9:54 pm
  13. 2666 was my favorite novel a couple of years ago, The Iliad is one of my all-time favorite epic poems, and I also hope to get to some Joseph Conrad and Mantel’s Wolf Hall this year. So, like Steph says, what a great haul! Anyway, happy reading to you, JoV–I like your blog, but I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself and tell you that earlier. Cheers!

    Posted by Richard | January 8, 2011, 11:20 pm
    • Aww… thanks Richard! I like your blog too except when you write in Spanish (which I don’t understand :D). I’ll be checking your blog out often. How’s going with she-wolf? 😉

      Posted by JoV | January 9, 2011, 11:26 am

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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