February Book Haul

7:00:00 PM

It's been a minute since I've posted a book haul - mostly because I *gasp* didn't do much in the way of reading or book buying over the holidays. I was so completely burned out that by the time I got some time off at the end of the year, I mostly laid around binge watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

I did put together a post about all the books I borrowed and read last month, but February was the first month where I had the time, money, and enthusiasm to go a little overboard in my local bookstores. And I went more than a little overboard. 

One of the things I love about my used bookstore is that they have a just-in section as soon as you walk in the door. No joke, I went in with a friend and while they kept right on walking, I stopped at the first shelf I saw and immediately locked eyes with Neil Gaiman's Trigger Warning. A collection of "Short Fictions and Disturbances," I've had this on my wish list since I first heard about it a few months ago. I've raved about and often recommended his novel (and audiobook!) The Ocean at the End of the Lane at LENGTH last year, so I had to take it home. I haven't quite finished, but I have to say that it's everything I've come to expect from Gaiman.

It must have been fate, because as soon as I picked up Trigger Warning, I saw Jojo Moyes' After You. I say this because I called Moyes' Me Before You and Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane my two favorite books of 2015. I'm honestly a little hesitant to begin this one, since I felt so incredibly passionate about Me Before You. I'm not sure I'm ready to revisit that (extremely emotional) place, or whether After You can measure up to my expectations, but I suppose I'm about to find out!

Emma Straub's The Vacationers is one of those contemporary novels that seems to be popping up everywhere I look. I picked it up to check it out, and it just felt right in my hand, you know?

Someone had brought in what looked like an entire set of The Yale Shakespeare - nearly ever major work of his bound in these identical blue books. I was so tempted to buy all of them so they could look all old and beautiful on my shelf, but then I held an intervention with myself in the entrance of the store (no, I still hadn't gotten past that first set of shelves) and decided that it was probably in my best interest to not buy two dozen books of Shakespeare's writing because:

a) money
b) where would I even put them
c) I probably wouldn't reread the things I'd read in college anyway
d) I mostly wanted them so I could look at them

and therefore, I decided (against my better instincts) to select one volume to take home with me. I chose Shakespeare's Sonnets because it's something I felt I wouldn't come across again unless I was looking for them, plus they're something I'm not super familiar with - I only know the ones I've taught in the past. It felt a little like I was taking it away from it's siblings, but it's gonna be okay, right?!

I've never heard of this next book or author, but I decided to pick up Lynn Cullen's Mrs. Poe because it seemed like it would be right up my alley. I love historical fiction, particularly when it's related to my favorite authors or characters, as in Syrie James' The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë and The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen.

Last but not least for this bookstore trip was Ron Rash's The Cove. This author is one I've heard a bit about, and a good friend recommended Serena to me several years ago, but I never gave it a real shot. I've been wanting to read something of his ever since, so when my friend showed this to me during our bookstore trip, wondering if she should get it, I decided to. Yep, I admit it. I'm a big stinking book thief.

In the realm of ebooks, I went for Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen. I heard so much about this when it first came out, but I don't remember anything specific - that's the way I like it. I find that when I don't have expectations about a book, I end up enjoying it so much more than I thought I would! Just me?? I devoured it in one sitting and was delighted to discover that the sequel, Glass Sword, was going to be released the following week! Going to pick up a copy was what brought me to Barnes and Noble.

While I was there, spending entirely too much on the hardcover edition of Victoria Aveyard's Glass Sword, which so beautiful it's like a work of art, I also picked up another popular dystopian novel I haven't heard much about: Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave. This one was a recommendation from a student, so I picked it up without knowing all that much about it. I'm looking forward to reading it!

In a weird turn of events, I ended up at a different Barnes and Noble the next day, where I told myself  repeatedly that I didn't need to buy any more books this month. And then I proceeded to pick up A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra, a historical fiction novel, and The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, a collection of essays, because I have absolutely no self control. In my defense, I've been picking up and putting back The Opposite of Loneliness in that store for ages and it was finally on sale!

Anyway, those are all the books I've picked up in the last few weeks. I'm pretty excited about all of them, but if you got to choose, what should I reach for first? Let me know what you think, and what books you bought this month in the comments below!

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