Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Occasionally I Win Things

Sometimes these things result in book tokens.

Always I buy pretty books.

June 2016 // check that colour scheme! Books know how to take a good picture, I'm just saying.
This was a cracking book. I did not agree with everything she said -- namely, that a writer needs to have a mind “incandescent, unimpeded" by their problems, “with no desire to protest, to preach, to proclaim an injury, to pay off a score, to make the world the witness of some hardship or grievance", and that's why history produced so few great female writers, because women were generally so oppressed. Whereas, surely, it is protest and pain that makes good writing? Suffering that makes art? A desire to speak about what is important to you?
In spite of this, my big problem, it was a hugely interesting book. You know -- because I never stop going on about it -- how obsessed I am with having a room of one's own. (I chat fully about that here, in the bit called #Write-spiration.)
Me: Metafiction?!

Image result for up doug gif

I've not read this one yet, but I'm proper excited.
(Though reading plays is quite hard. In October I DNF'd a book for the first time in living memory, because it was a play and I was struggling to visualise it. So we shall see.)
On The Beach At Night Alone by Walt Whitman // I wasn't a massive fan. But would read Whitman again.

“On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future."

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke // I HAVE A FUN STORY ABOUT THIS ONE!
(At least, I think it's a fun story. Stop rolling your eyes. You don't have to read my blog.) Once upon a long time ago, I had a tumblr, and in my brief forays on that website I found and loved this:
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, page 35.:

It lived in my heart -- the questions themselves, the very foreign tongue, the slightly messy underlining -- and then I stopped using my tumblr, but then, months later, what should pop up on Pinterest but the same image? And where had that person Pinned it from? My old redundant tumblr! And I smiled gleefully and Pinned it (and even now, only the two of us on the whole of Pinterest have it saved), and then I realised that the author of these lines, Rainer Maria Rilke -- whose name, when I first fell in love with them, I did not know -- was the Rilke from Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, whom Sam loves. The Wolves of Mercy Falls series / Sam / Rilke which I had been loving independently of this image, because I'd never made the connection!

And that is what we call book serendipity. And when I bought this book, what else did I buy, if not ...
Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater!

So you see, everything is connected.

HOW CAN WE SAY HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS BOOK/AUTHOR/SERIES? Sinner was an absolute triumph, the perfect culmination for the wonderful Wolves of Mercy Falls. Click here for ALL MY FEELINGS.

Because Fitzgerald. I'm yet to read this. Did you know “tender is the night" comes from a poem by Keats? I was reading Keats last year and come across it and spent a while pointing at the book and grinning. Other book titles from Romantic poets -- putting me in a similar pointing/grinning position -- include “not a drop to drink", “under the greenwood tree" and “alone on a wide, wide sea."(Also, how pretty is this book? I would never really buy a hardback firsthand, unless I had book tokens. Look at it. SHINY.) 

If anyone tells you it's not beneficial to put your books in trees and photograph them ... ignore them. They have not your interests at heart.*
*If you read this and said, “Hamilton reference!" ... I like you. You can stay.

I thought I'd end this post with my fave. Tales from Ovid was properly great, and River was absolutely wonderful, one of my favourite books this year.


What is your most recent bookish purchase? What's been your favourite book of the year? (Now it is nearly over: it's legit snowing where I am.) And do you have any stories of bookish serendipity?

“So we stood, alive in the river of light
 Among the creatures of light, creatures of light." 
~ Ted Hughes, That Morning


  1. My favorite book was Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norell. It was huge, but I loved it. All of these pretty books, eep especially Sinner. I have been wanting to read that one for a while.

    1. I have had that book for longer than I care to admit, I can't wait FINALLY to jump into it! (And it has a protagonist called Jonathan. My #1 name crush!) SINNER IS PERFECTION. That's all.

  2. I love the variety of what you read!! And like I recognise none of these except Sinner...BUT AFJDKSLAD YAY FOR SINNER THAT BOOK IS BEYOND PERFECT. I read it a few years back, but it's the first book I remember stopping reading in the middle because I didn't want it to be over. <3 I wanted it to laaast forever ajdfksald Cole and Isabel are seriously my everything. *climbs on a mountaintop and shrieks praise for this book*

    I just bought Gemina. WHICH I AM VERY EXCITED FOR. 😱🎉🎉 And omg favourite book of the year/?? Why are you asking such cruel questions. ;) Maaaybe The Serpent King. Or Crooked Kingdom. OR THE RAVEN KING HAHA WHO ARE WE KIDDING 100% THE RAVEN KING.

    1. THEY ARE MY EVERYTHING, TOO. Actually it really is beyond perfect. Sometimes I smile with fond delight remembering that I have a bright future involving REREADING ALL THE MAGGIE. (Seriously, I grin at TRC sitting beautifully on my shelf and whisper, soon, children, soon!)

      Hmm. I have not read Illuminae, but it's by Jay Kristoff, right? (Or I may have totally the wrong end of the stick. Oops.) Anyway, I'm v keen to read Nevernight! The real question, though, is why do you only like books with KING in the title? ;)

  3. (looks wistfully at the book-stack) I don't think I've bought a book since visiting that little second-hand store in Bangor, Wales! Speaking of Wales, How Green Was My Valley may be one of my top favourite books this year.

    1. Sad times! I'm sure the time will come soon. I LOVE THAT BOOK SO MUCH. I'm so glad you did too! <3333

  4. Maggie Stiefvater is easily one of my favorite authors right now! I'm reading a couple of my most recent buys right now - Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff which is amazing and Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl. I'm going to give that to a friend of mine, but I couldn't resist trying it out first. :)

    1. SAME! I'm glad you're enjoying Gemina, I'm yet to try some Kristoff but I am keen. Ha, I love that XD

  5. I've heard of Tender is the Night and Sinner. Man, when will I get to have book tokens?*cries*


  6. OOH, it looks like you got a ton of good books! 'Sinner' looks intriguing :D.

    ~ Savannah

    1. I did! And YES 100% recommend Wolves of Mercy Falls! :D

  7. Ooh such a great haul of books, glad you've enjoyed most of them! I think my current favourite will have to be Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. So much mystery, and such brilliant writing. :D

    Joy @ Thoughts By J

    1. I am SO keen to read Nevernight after reading your review!!!

  8. Books in trees. *flails* *runs around in circles* BOOKS and TREES! My two favorite things!


    The last photo is my favorite if you've not gathered.

    Soooo, that Rilke pin. What board did you pin it too? Because I rather like it and want to pin it too. And now I want to read Rilke! And the Wolves of Mercy Falls. . .

    Why are you doing this to me? Making me look at beautiful glorious books?! I want to read now.

    I agree with what you said about suffering and writing. Like I'm suffering right now because I can't go read books (after this I have to work on an essay :/ ). So I might just go write a story or something about books and it will be wondrous and everyone will love it. And when they ask what my secret is, I'll answer, "Suffering in the form of book deprivation." And they shall all shiver at the very thought! (This is getting melodramatic. I need sleep.)

    1. MINE TOO! (In case you hadn't guessed. From the fact I write books about trees. *ahem*)

      It's in Words. It's quite far back, though, you'll have a long way to scroll. You should get the Pinterest button on your browser? I've got a little Pinterest icon on the right of my search bar; if I click it it gives me the option to Pin any of the photos on the page I'm on. And when I hover over any picture on any website, the red P appears in the corner. This saves time for everyone. (Not that I don't think scrolling back through my Words board would be a lovely experience. It would.) (Alternately you could just save the image to your docs and then, on Pinterest, use the option of uploading your own picture. There is that.)

      Ha! You're welcome ;)

      I'm v sorry for your suffering, my friend. Book deprivation is a terrible evil. I hope you can stay strong. #SupportAshley2k16

  9. Ah, that is good advice! I'll definitely use it! Thank you. :D (I do rather like your Words board though; I might stalk it one day.)

    Book deprevation is the worst torture to be afflicted with. But I'm hoping Christmas break can remedy it. XD

    1. You are welcome! (But yes; would 10/10 recommend.)

      I hope so too! XD

  10. EMILY! I am aghast at my patchy blog behaviour in the last month or two. How in the world did I fall so far behind??

    Nice variety! Book hauls are fun all around. Fun to acquire, fun to photograph and talk about, and fun to actually read. :)

    On my library stack, I have the first Percy Jackson book (because as usual, I am fashionably late to such book crazes), Winter, and Blue Lily, Lily Blue! What is it about that title? And that gorgeous cover? Eep, I can't wait to read it--and you probably can't wait for me to read it either, I imagine. XD

    1. TRACEY! I just commented on your blog -- what joy! Don't talk about being behind, it's May and I'm replying to a comment on a post from November. I have never had so many comments to which to reply as I do right now. >.<

      I know you have at this point in life read Winter and BLLB, though I've not heard anything about Percy -- tell me! (Because those books are MY LIFE, I LOVE THEM.)

      So nice to be reigniting all these comment chats! :*

    2. I can only imagine the backlog you're catching up on--in everything, not just blog comments!

      It's been a few months since I read The Lightning Thief, but I thought it was clever and pretty funny! Quirky, too. The chapter titles were the best, and I still remember the one about three old ladies knitting the socks of death. XD I need to get to book 2 sometime soon...

    3. It's drOWNING ME AHAHAHA. No, but I'm enjoying it! :D

      I love the chapter titles! Oh man, the series just gets better and better. (Actually, book 2 is my least favourite that I've read so far, but apart from that, it just gets better and better! Not that I want to put you off book 2. It's great. But out of the seven wonderful Percy books I've read, it's the least wonderful, if I had to pick a least wonderful. It's still wonderful. You should just read it, OK?)

    4. A happy drowning, then? XD

      Yes, my sisters say the same thing about book 2! That it's their least favorite--not bad, necessarily, but not as good as the rest. Do you have a favorite Percy book?

    5. Hmmmm. I do really like The Lightning Thief, it's so cute ... but I remember LOVING The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian even more, both FAB! And then the next series takes things up a level. I've read the first two and they're just pretty wonderful. Cannot wait to get into the next one soon!


Thanks for commenting! :)