I got a fair few book this month, even though I didn’t have much time to read, so let’s get started…
The Future by Neil Hilborn
I kicked off November by going to see Neil’s Cardiff tour stop. My friend and I went to the Bristol event last year, and I’ve been holing off getting his new poetry collection until the event, so I could grab a signed copy. Mission accomplished. If you’ve yet to come across Neil’s poetry, you can find him on YouTube, or on any of the Button Poetry social media, where they have plenty of other poets. I always describe this sort of free-verse poetry as poetry for people who don’t like poetry. It’s super accessible, and an easy read. Neil usually deals with mental health, and relationships, so if that’s your thing, definitely check him out.
Helium by Rudy Fransisco
Unlike the first tour, this time Neil had two of his fellow Button Poets supposing him, one of whom was Rudy Fransisco. (Sabrina Benaim was also great, but these books are expensive, and I had a limit). Like Neil, Rudy also does free verse, and seemed to be more socially aware with his poetry, while also covering old favourites like love and relationships. You can also find him on Button Poetry’s social media, and he had a great stage presence when we saw him. Don’t forget that poetry is a great way to get a couple more reads in for your reading challenge, too!
The Poppy War by R.F Kuang
I feel slightly being on this one, because all I’ve been hearing for a while is how amazing The Poppy War is. But, if like me you haven’t heard of it, then say hello to one of the new darlings of fantasy. Rin is a war-orphan, who shocks everyone by smashing the tests needed to attend an elite military school. As Rin snuggles to overcome the prejudices of her classmates, she discovers she has an aptitude for shamanism, that might just come in handy with the dawn of the third Poppy War. Basically, it sounds like a good old fantasy epic. I’m sure, I’ll love it.
The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carré
Who’s watching The Little Dummer Girl on the BBC at the moment? I’m absolutely obsessed, and not just because my darling, Alexander Skarsgard, is in it. If you’re not then you need to get on it, because it’s fantastic. We follow Charlie and young actress who meets a mysterious stranger while on a trip, (enter Alexander Skarsgard). Little does she know a holiday romance is the last thing on his mind, as before long she finds herself embroiled in a plot of espionage and terrorism, in the “theatre of the real”. I’m itching to get started, and can only hope the book is as stunning as the TV show.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Unlike everybody else I didn’t buy this because of the Netflix series. I’m sure I’ve already mentioned the fact that I do not tend to enjoy horror, because I get scared by the smallest things. As a result, you probably know more about the plot of this book that I do. However, The Haunting of Hill House has been on my radar since I read another book of Jackson’s last year, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, because I enjoyed it so much. It’s also on one of my modules next term, so I was going to need a copy anyway, and the kindle version was on sale. The stars aligned and I snatched it up I may have to read with the lights on, though.
Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas
You may be thinking, Victoria, didn’t you haul this book last month? And you would be right, but one does not just own one copy of a SJM book. The poetry event was not the only bookish event that I got to attend this month, because my friend and I travelled all the way up to Edinburgh to attend one of the Kingdom of Ash UK tour stops. Of course, I paid the extra to get the tour edition of Kingdom of Ash, which was pre-signed, with red sprayed pages, and a tote bag (which only just arrived, but that’s another story), because why wouldn’t you? And I look forward to re-reading it.
Throne of Glass (UK Collector’s Edition) by Sarah J. Maas
This year I have been trying to get rid of books where I have more than one copies. I have a very small bedroom, and my shelves are fit to bursting as is, and I have a bad habit of buying book that I already have a kindle edition on. I told myself that I did not need a third copy of Throne of Glass, however that all wen tout of the window when I saw this beauty at the SJM event, and I just had to have it. I don’t even regret it. This is a super fancy edition of the first book in the series, complete with maps, ribbon bookmark, and wyrdmarks and the eye of Elena watermarks on the inside pages. Gorgeous!
Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Life Lessons by Michael Caine, read by the author
The first audiobook I picked up this week was this autobiography by the lovely Michael Caine, and yes, the fact that he’s reading it did contribute to my decision to purchase it. Who doesn’t love Michael Caine’s voice? This is my attempt at some last minute non-fiction in 2018 which, if you remember, was one of my goals, and one that I more or less completely forgot about and then ignored. But never mind. Michael is going to tell me all about his life in the acting business, and even though I’m not an actor, aspiring or otherwise, I do think that these sort of lessons are applicable to anyone.
Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicles #2) by Jay Kristoff, read by Holter Graham
The second audiobook I got was Godsgrave, even though I have a huge hardback copy from last Christmas (or was it the one before), I struggled to get through Nevernight. Sometimes getting the audiobook can really help me get though books like this, and so far it’s been such a blessing. The series follows Mia, once the daughter of a high ranking politician, now the daughter of a traitor, executed after a filed coup, as she embarked on a journey of revenge. Judging by the first book it’s definitely more on the adult side of the fantasy spectrum, and hopefully I’ll enjoy this one more than the first.