New In Books #4

In all honesty, I haven’t shopped books on a personal level in what feels like forever.  I massively curbed my book spending late last year and have thus spent most of 2020 attempting to wade through my ridiculous TBR pile.  While I have been picking up books for my forthcoming bookselling business, Citrus Carton (more to come) and swallowing up audiobooks like there is no tomorrow, I haven’t bought or picked up anything ‘new’ for just me until this month.

August has already brought an abundance of new reads into my life and I am so thankful.  From an essay collection bought via an unused Audible credit to a second-hand ‘forbidden’ novel; August’s New On The Shelf is buzzing.

Below, I have listed and discussed the new works which have entered my library this month.  As always, you can follow my daily reading log via Goodreads here, and follow me on Instagram for real-time book highlights and more.

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Pinball, 1973 – Haruki Murakami

Via Phsycial Edition

I must confess, I knew virtually nothing about Pinball, 1973 when I picked it up second-hand.  Im ashamed to say this, but I’ve never picked up a Huraki Murakami novel before.  This mysterious book is the second novel in Marakami’s three-parter ‘Trilogy Of The Rat’ and was actually never intended to be published outside of Japan.  

Pinball, 1973 follows Hear The Wind Sing and is supposedly less stylistically developed than Murakami’s later works.  Despite this however, the book still features the recurring themes of loneliness, destiny and companionship which are ever-present in Murakami’s novels. Almost like a forbidden fruit, Pinball 1973 is one of the more exciting novels I have picked up of recent.

 

Such A Fun Age – Kiley Reid

Via Physical Edition

I originally bought Such A Fun Age in Kindle form but, seeing a hardback copy in my local Lending Library, I physically could not pass up the chance to own Keiley Reid’s debut irl.  Longlisted for the prestigious Booker PrizeSuch A Fun Age is both a New York Times Bestseller and been hailed as the “most provocative page-turner of the year” by Entertainment Weekly.

The novel follows the themes of racism, inter-racial relationships, privilege and capitalism.  It is both fruitful and thought-provoking and described by thousands as a sensational read.  In all honesty, I have no excuse for not reading this.  I really need to get a move on.

 

Fire & Blood – George R. R Martin

Via Audible

It is time to face facts – we may never see a true ending to the Song of Ice and Fire saga.  That old dog George R. R. Martin however, has offered up some compensation – welcome to the world of Fire & Blood. 

The anthology offers up a compelling and concise history of Westeros’ wildest family, The Targaryen’s and, while it is something we definitely never asked for, Fire & Blood does successfully tie up some loose ends, sheds light and does well to create an accurate portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen’s (Breaker of Chains yadda-yadda) ancestors.  

Poignant and rich in information, the paperback copy of Fire & Blood has just been released alongside its hardback and audiobook counterparts meaning there is something for everyone.  I opted for the audiobook version (mainly so there was no need to lug it around) and – with 26 hours on the clock, I am ready for the long haul. 

 

Killing Eve: Die For Me – Luke Jennings

Via Audible

I was extremely apprehensive upon reading the Killing Eve books.  With a television series so spotless and exuberant – how could a paperback Villanelle translate as well as Jodie Comer?  This fear was unnecessary however as the novels seriously take on a life of their own. 

The chemistry between Eve and Villanelle is still as electrifying despite the original story twisting in a different direction to the television series.  It almost feels like a bonus spinoff which adds an enormous amount of depth, style and information.  Any true Killing Eve fan must read the collection.  Die For Me is the third instalment by Luke Jennings which was released earlier this year.  Indulge yourself in your favourite girls – you deserve it.

 

Daemon Voices: Essays on Storytelling – Philip Pullman

Via Audible

To mark Philip Pullman as my favourite writer would be in no way hyperbolic.  His meticulous descriptions and the eye-opening wonder he creates makes his stories (especially the His Dark Materials trilogy) my favourite.  My new Audible listen however is a little bit different from Pullman’s fictional fancies.

Daemon Voices is a big fat essay collection which is written neither chronologically or with a sole subject in mind.  Pullman’s various interests in diverse subjects are spread across pages, making it an almost-window into a genius mind. Pullman’s words truly are the personification of magic, and I am very excited to sink my teeth into this hunk of a book.

 

Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor – Dave Haslam

Via Physical Edition

I’ve actually met Dave Haslam and he is (simply put) nothing less than a Manchester legend.  In his memoir, Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor, The Haçienda DJ name drops the likes of Jonny Marr and Morrissey against Ian Brown, Neneh Cherry, Roisin Murphy and Talking Heads’ David Byrne, all the while conjuring up vivid imagery and jaw-dropping “surely that didn’t happen?” moments.  Haslam has been there; back again; stole the t-shirt; had a gun pulled on him and now he’s wrote it all down.  Not many men live to tell the tales Haslam tells, trust me.  Prepare to be pleasured.

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