Book Haul (17)

Since I haven’t done one of these in ages this is going to be quite a big haul. I still continue to try and limit the amount of books that I buy, but sometimes I just really can’t resist (and sometimes you gotta treat yourself, right?)

So here’s what I’ve bought in recent months:


Quite a pile, I know. And they’re all very different types of book as well. Sometimes I see book blogs that are very centred around certain types of genres, but I’m not the type of person to read only a certain genre almost exclusively. I am interested in a wide variety of topics, which is reflected in the books that I buy.


These three I got at a charity shop about two months ago, and all together cost me about €4 (total bargain!)

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
I’ve been meaning to read this one for years now, and I feel kind of bad about the fact that I still haven’t read it. But the fact that I’ve now got a copy means I’m 1 step closer to actually reading it. It’s a start.

Innocent Traitor – Alison Weir
This book centres around Lady Jane Grey and her 8 day reign. Weir is famous for her historical non-fiction, but has also written a few amazing historical novels. I’ve read three so far and they were all great, so I’m pretty excited about this one.

The Glass Palace – Amitav Ghosh
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, yet I’ve never read anything by Ghosh before. I mainly picked it up because it got good reviews and because I could get it so cheaply. Will definitely report back one I’ve read it.


I bought these two books when I was in New York City at the end of April. I got both of them at The Strand.

Someday, Someday Maybe – Lauren Graham
Okay, so I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan, and I’ve recently rewatched all 7 seasons. Not only that, but I’m eagerly awaiting the revival that will air later this year on Netflix. And I’m not ashamed to say that my love for Gilmore Girls was my main reason for buying this book. I pretty much finished it on the plane flying back from NYC, and I LOVED IT. Lauren Graham is such a funny lady, which is definitely reflected in the books. Review to follow, so I won’t say too much about it now. But it’s great!

Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
As you can read in my review of Half of a Yellow Sun, I was shocked when I realised how little I knew about the Nigerian-Biafran War. Things Fall Apart is one of the many texts that Ngozi Adichie used for her research, and of course Achebe is a household name when it comes to African literature. So when I came across this book at The Strand, especially since I was in the middle of Half of a Yellow Sun, I just had to get it.


And last but not least, these two books.

Through the Language Glass – Guy Deutscher
I’ve been meaning to get this book for ages. It’s a much disputed concept within the field of linguistics about whether the language you speak influences the way you perceive the world around you. As someone who speaks several languages I am inclined to say that it has a definite influence on the way you view the world, but that’s just me. There are many linguists who would not agree with me on this. So yeah, I am really excited to read this one!

Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist: the life and activism of Anbara Salam Khalidi – Anbara Salam Khalidi
Combine the Middle East and feminism and you’re pretty much guaranteed to pique my interest. I had never heard of her until I happened to stumble upon this title whilst browsing Goodreads. I read some of her backstory and immediately decided to order a copy. I got it in the post a few days ago, and this will definitely be the next book that I’m going to read!

So that’s my book haul for now, and it’ll certainly keep me busy for a while 😀

Have you bought any new books recently?


Book Haul (16)

So lately I’ve been trying to stop myself from buying too many books, and instead focus on the books I already own. I’ve been doing pretty well if I may say so myself and I went for months without buying any new books. But when I went to the Netherlands a few weeks ago to visit family and friends I have to admit I caved and ended up buying two new books. In my defence though, one’s a second hand book and the other one a Dutch book which would’ve been difficult to get hold of otherwise, so I feel that, in this instance, it was okay to buy new books.

The first book I bought is The Man Who Listens to Horses by Monty Roberts, the real-life horse whisperer. I’ve admired him for years for the way he treats horses and the remarkable way he’s managed to learn the ‘language of horses’. I’m reading it at the moment and it’s so inspiring. I would love to buy a young horse sometime in the near future, and when I do I will definitely be using his method to train my horse.

I bought this at the second-hand book market in the centre of Amsterdam, and I only paid €4 for it so it was a great bargain!


The second book I bought is Papegaai Vloog over de IJssel by Kader Abdolah. It’s his latest book and hasn’t been translated into English yet, so unfortunately I can’t give you the English title. A few months back I wrote a review for one of his other books, The King, which you can find here. I’m really looking forward to reading this new one, because so far I’ve loved everything he’s written and I’m hoping this one will be just as enjoyable to read.


I’m really going to try to make myself read both these books before I even think about buying any new ones, so the next book haul might not be for a while yet (but who knows?).

Have you bought any exciting new titles recently?

Book Haul (15)

Hi everyone! So far this week hasn’t been the best of weeks, and it is only Monday. Oh the joy of receiving yet another rejection email. This limbo when you’re no longer a student but not yet in full-time employment either is a weird place to be in, but at least it leaves me loads of time to actually read books. So I’ve got to think positively, right? 😀

I did buy some really lovely books recently, so I’m going to share these with you now.


Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall
I bought this in an adorable second hand bookshop in Elounda, Crete, when I was on holiday there last month. I’d been to that bookshop before and they always have an amazing selection of books, which you wouldn’t expect on a Greek island. I’ve already started reading it and I can see why everyone loves this book so much. So far it’s amazing and really well written.


Elizabeth Chadwick – The Winter Crown
I really couldn’t wait for this book to come out. It’s the second part of a trilogy about Eleanor of Aquitaine – one of my favourite historical characters – and it’s great. The first part, The Summer Queen, is one of my favourite books ever, and if this one’s anything like the first instalment it’s bound to be amazing.


Elif Shafak – The Architect’s Apprentice
When I went to a talk by Elif Shafak at the university back in March, she told us about this book which was about to come out, and it sounded like a story I would really enjoy reading. At the time it was only published in Turkish, so I was patiently waiting for the English translation to come out. It was finally released earlier this month, and now that I’ve finally got my copy I can’t wait to start reading it!

So that’s my book haul for now.

Have you bought any new books recently? Leave me a comment and let me know 🙂

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It’s been months since I last did a book haul, and even though I didn’t buy that many books over the summer, I’ve still amassed enough to show them to you now.

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Philippa Gregory – The King’s Curse
Kader Abdolah – The King
Randa Abdel-Fattah – Does My Head Look Big In This?
Alaa Al-Aswany – The Yacoubian Building
Ruby Wax – Sane New World

I’ve already finished reading The King, and a review of that will be up soon on the blog. What I can say about it right now is that it’s an absolutely beautiful novel. This is also the first of Abdolah’s books that I’ve read in translation, and the translator’s done a wonderful job because they’ve really managed to capture his unique and poetic style of writing, and in my view it works just as well in English as in the original Dutch.

I’m currently reading The King’s Curse, the last of Gregory’s Cousin’s War series of books. I’m about halfway through and, as with all her books, I’m enjoying it immensely. The events described in this book aren’t new to me, but they’re told from a different perspective which is really interesting.

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Does My Head Look Big In This is still waiting to be read, but my mum’s already finished it and she absolutely loved it. And since we’ve got a pretty similar taste in books I’ll take her word for it, so that’s one I’m definitely looking forward to reading.

I’ve heard a lot about The Yacoubian Building, but not everyone I know who’s read it has been very enthusiastic about it. So we’ll see. I’m definitely intrigued though.

And last but not least, I saw Ruby Wax’s show Sane New World as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and it was just amazing. Really funny, but serious and very informative at the same time. After that I just had to have her book and read all about it, so I’m hoping to get to that soon.

So this is my latest book haul. Have you bought any new books recently?

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Okay so it’s been a while since I last bought any books. I have that thing that most other book addicts have, which is OCBB (obsessive compulsive book buying), but I have been forced to resist this most of the time in the past nine months since I’ve been away at university abroad. Knowing that I will ultimately need to fly home with a maximum of two suitcases has stopped me from buying books, because I just won’t be able to take them all home with me. And also the fact that I’ve been insanely busy with hardly any time to read for fun has been an important factor in all this. It’s a bit disappointing, especially because Edinburgh has so many wonderful small bookshops and I would love to explore them all. I’ve even got this very lovely app on my iPhone which is called ‘Edinburgh Bookshop Trail’, which uses GPS to tell you the location of the nearest bookstore at all times. Pretty useful for a book geek like me. So a few days ago I went for a nice walk through the city centre of Edinburgh and decided to stop off at a secondhand bookshop that I’ve been passing on the bus for months now, but had never actually visited. It’s so crammed full of books that the council has threatened to close it down several times now, and it is absolutely wonderful. It’s just shelf upon shelf full of books, and there were so many that it actually made my head spin. I could’ve easily left with a whole pile of books, but I decided to be sensible and limit myself to just two. I’m not sure how long I was in there, but it must’ve been at least half an hour. I went back and forth looking for titles and authors that are still missing from my collection and it was so difficult to decide which ones to buy. In the end these were the ones I picked up:


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Five Quarters of the Orange – Joanne Harris
A View From the Bridge/All My Sons – Arthur Miller

I’m a big fan of Joanne Harris’ books and I’m slowly but surely trying to collect and read all of them, so I was really happy when I saw this one and it was only £2 so an absolute bargain. The other one contains two plays by Arthur Miller, and although I don’t actually read plays because they only really come to life when they’re performed on stage. But at the beginning of the month I went to see a production of A View From the Bridge at the Young Vic theatre in London and I was blown away by it. It was so well put together and brilliantly performed by the entire cast, but it was a lot of information to take in in just two hours with no interval. So I love buying scripts of plays that I’ve seen, so I can read back through it and relive some of the moments. This one was only £3 so again a bargain, and then on top of that I got a 20% discount so I ended up paying just £4 for both books. It’s been a few days since I bought them but I haven’t had time to read either of them yet, so I’ve got something to look forward to.

Did you buy any new books recently? Leave a comment and let me know.

Book Haul (12)

So I received a few new books in the post today, which were actually belated Christmas presents so I’m really happy that I’ve finally got them. The only problem is that the new term starts next week, so I don’t know how much spare time I’ll have to actually read them. But I guess I’ll just have to try and find a way to do so. That is one of my new year’s resolutions after all, to make some time to read for pleasure in spite of the heavy workload of my master’s degree.

All three books have been on my wishlist for a while now, and I can’t wait to start reading them 🙂

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan

17302571Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.

Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?

The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al-Aswany


This controversial bestselling novel in the Arab world reveals the political corruption, sexual repression, religious extremism, and modern hopes of Egypt today.

All manner of flawed and fragile humanity reside in the Yacoubian Building, a once-elegant temple of Art Deco splendor now slowly decaying in the smog and bustle of downtown Cairo: a fading aristocrat and self-proclaimed “scientist of women”; a sultry, voluptuous siren; a devout young student, feeling the irresistible pull toward fundamentalism; a newspaper editor helplessly in love with a policeman; a corrupt and corpulent politician, twisting the Koran to justify his desires.

These disparate lives careen toward an explosive conclusion in Alaa Al Aswany’s remarkable international bestseller. Teeming with frank sexuality and heartfelt compassion, this book is an important window on to the experience of loss and love in the Arab world.

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

79876When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth…

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full- time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Can she handle the taunts of “towel head,” the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah’s debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs

So that’s all I have to show you for now. Have a brilliant weekend everyone! 😀

Have you bought any new books recently?

Birthday Book Haul (11)

Hi everyone! I realise that my last post was also a book haul, but I promise you that this one’s bigger and better, and part of it were birthday presents. Admittedly, they were presents to myself because for some reason nobody got me books for my birthday this year. Madness! So I’ll start off with those two.

These are the books I bought yesterday:

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A Dance with Dragons 1: Dreams and Dust – George R.R. Martin
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul – Deborah Rodriguez

I think A Dance with Dragons will have to wait until the Christmas holidays, because there’s no way I’ll be able to work my way through that one right now. But it’s nice to have it sitting on my shelf, patiently waiting for me until after the end of the semester. The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul just sounds like a really lovely book, and I’ve been meaning to buy it for quite some time now. And since both books were part of the ‘buy one, get one at half price’ deal at Waterstone’s I simply couldn’t resist 🙂

Then earlier in the week there was a sale on at the university library of Edinburgh University Press books, and of course I had a wander around and couldn’t help myself. I got these 2 books, for a grand total of £7!

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Sufism and Theology – Ayman Shihadeh
Orientalism: a reader – A.L. Macfie

I’m really happy with these because I’m sure they’ll come in quite handy for my essay writing either this semester or the next one.

And last but not least, 1 got one e-book for my iPad last week:



Allegiant – Veronica Roth


I was really excited about Allegiant finally being released. I’m about halfway through the book now and it’s great. Can’t wait to find out how it ends.

So that’s all for now, and I’m really going to try and post more regularly again from now on, because I realise how much I’ve been neglecting this blog and I feel pretty bad about it.

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Yes I’m still alive, in case you were wondering, and it’s time for another book haul 🙂 As I’ve probably almost definitely mentioned before, I haven’t got a lot of time to read anything other than academic texts for my university courses at the moment, I wonder why I still insist on buying books. I guess it’s just hard to break the habit after so many years. I banned myself from buying books, however, because I had one essay deadline last week and I’ve got another deadline this coming Tuesday, I had promised myself that I would be allowed to buy a book once I’d finished them both. So when I finished essay #2 yesterday afternoon, I went out and (finally!) bought Jennifer Saunders’ autobiography called Bonkers: My Life in Laughs. 

But when I went shopping today I just couldn’t help myself and I had to pop into Waterstones. Just to have a look, you know, to torture myself. But in the end I couldn’t help myself and I left with yet another book. This week, as it turns out, was an autobiography week, because I bought Richard Dawkins’ An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist.

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I started reading Jennifer Saunders’ book this morning, and I finished it about an hour ago. I just loved it so much, and was simply unable to put it down. Well it is reading week after all (at least that’s my excuse for reading an entire book in one day. It felt good to buy and actually read a book again. It had been a while 🙂
Have you bought any exciting new books recently?

Book Haul (9)

So, when I moved up to Edinburgh almost 2 weeks ago I had very limited space in my luggage, which meant that I had to say goodbye to almost all of my books because sadly, I had to leave them all behind. I brought only 1 book over with me, The Flea Palace by Elif Shafak because I’m currently reading that one, and my Kindle. So naturally I had to rectify that situation as soon as possible, because a house without books in them just feels so horribly empty.

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This week I bought:
A Dangerous Inheritance – Alison Weir
Palace Walk – Naguib  Mahfouz (2nd hand)
The Map of Love – Ahdaf Soueif (2nd hand)

I got them all very cheaply which is always a good thing, but it’s especially nice because I’ve had so much expenses these past 2 weeks with all the stuff I needed to buy after the move. I got the Alison Weir book at Sainsbury’s for £3, and the other 2 books at a second hand book shop. The Map of Love was also £3, and Palace Walk only £2.50. Bargain!

So I’m really happy with my purchases, and they’ve made my bookshelf seem a little less empty.

Have you bought any new books this week? Drop me a comment and tell me all about it 🙂

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I’m currently in this mood where I try to buy and/or read as many books as possible before I’m off to uni next month, so another Amazon order was just too tempting and I simply couldn’t resist.

The White Princess – Philippa Gregory

One of my most anticipated new releases of 2013, the 5th book in the Cousins’ War series. This one centres around Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, wife to Henry VII and mother to Henry VIII. I’ve already read the first few pages, and I have a feeling I’m going to love this one just like I did the other four 😀

The Flea Palace -Elif Shafak


Another one to add to my ever-growing collection of Elif Shafak novels. I’ve read so many positive reviews of this book, and since I’ve loved every book of hers that I’ve read so far I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy this one as well.

In addition to these I also ordered two new books for my mum, although I’m sure I’ll be reading them as well at some point.

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Espresso Tales and Love Over Scotland, books number 2 and 3 in the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith.

So that’s all I’ve got to show you on this lovely sunny Friday. What will you be reading this weekend?