January 2014 Book Haul
Like Stacking the Shelves (featured every Sunday), my monthly book hauls list the books I bought this month - and bought books only (whereas Stacking the Shelves features books I borrowed or bought). I was better this month as opposed to December; I stuck to my buying plan! More or less . . . . Okay, kinda sorta less. Though a lot of these books are actually belated Christmas presents. My parents gave me $100+ to spend on books, and I got a lot with that. I also thought I was going to have some movies to go see in theaters this month and a few other non-book related things to buy, and that ended up not happening, so I did have extra money in my budget to buy more books (though I might've gone a tad overboard . . .).
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Unbound came out this month, so I decided that it was a good time to buy the first book in the series. And I had money left to do so! The Archived has got to be one of my favorite books; it's so original and interesting and has great characters - there's just nothing to dislike. Love it! So glad it's part of my collection now.
Defy by Sara B. Larson
Logically, I shouldn't have liked this book as much as I did. The protagonist was okay, the love triangle was rather prominent (very), and the writing style wasn't the world's greatest. However, I also didn't hate the protagonist, I did actually like both love interests, and the world was really interesting - even if the Author didn't do as much world building as she could have. This is a guilty pleasures book. It's only 2 strawberries/stars, but I actually rather enjoyed it.
Enders by Lissa Price
The sequel to Starters! And I hate the new cover! But, setting that aside, I'm so excited to read this! (Once I've re-read Starters, that is.) This is one of those duologies (two-book series, for those people who were like me and had no idea that there was actually a term for it) that I found very enjoyable and am just really curious to see how it ends.
Cinders & Sapphires by Leila Rasheed
Book #1 in the At Somerton series. Yes, I admit it - I am a Downton Abbey fan (though my first loyalty will always belong to Sherlock). And how can I resist a YA series that is so very much like Downton Abbey? This was one of my favorite 2013 reads (or was it 2012? I can't remember anymore), and with the sequel coming out this month, I knew I needed to buy the first on in this series.
Diamonds & Deceit by Leila Rasheed
Book #2 in the At Somerton series. Really looking forward to reading this sequel! Yeah, the synopsis sounds a little too romancy and mushy - and there is the case of the gay lord and his valet lover. But oh well - I still think I'll like this series as a whole. Hopefully.
Oddfellow's Orphanage by Emily Winfield Martin
There is a talking hedgehog in this book. Let me say that again: there is a talking hedgehog in this book! In case any of you haven't noticed, the theme of this book blog rather revolves around hedgehogs - hedgies and books and tea and Sherlockianisms go together. Apart from the fact that this book is just absolutely adorable and beautiful illustrated and very short and just happened to be sitting on the bookstore's shelf, a talking hedgehog is reason enough to stretch my book-buying rules for the month a bit. How can I have a hedgie-themed blog and not buy a book that has a talking hedgehog in it?
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
So, yeah, I don't normally read adult books, but there have been some good ones coming in at the bookstore! And after reading several snatches of this one during some free time, I just fell in love with the writing style. Plus the plot sounds intriguing. A rather expensive faith-buy, I hope it wasn't a mistake, but I guess we'll find out!
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Book #1 in the Lockwood & Co. series. My friend Rachel bought this when we did our New Year's trip down to our all-time favorite used bookstore (Powell's City of Books), and we both agreed that it just sounded way too awesome. We both got a "good feeling" from it, but I had other books I wanted to get, so I put it on my "backorder" list - to be looked at after I had done all of my required month buys and if I had money left over, I'd get it. Well, I got it.
Island of Fire by Lisa McMann
Book #3 in The Unwanteds series. No, I have not yet read the first two, though I have Book #1 currently checked out from the library. This one has been sitting on the bookstore shelf for a while, and it was 25% off, and it was on my list, so I was like - why not? I've heard good things about the series, and maybe owning Book #3 will encourage me to buy the first two so I can read it sooner!
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Not even 150 pages, I just couldn't pass up this novella by Neil Gaiman. I've really been wanting to start building my Gaiman collection, and I decided to start with his newest kids' book. This also has to be one of his oddest little stories - it makes absolutely no sense. But it's still hilarious and fun and a really quick read. It also begs the question of: what exactly inspired him to write it? I would love to know.
The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
The first book in The 39 Clues series. I started reading this when it first came out, then got distracted by other books before I could finish reading it. Now, I'm starting on a campaign to buy the entire series so I can re-read and finish it. Two 39 Clues books a month should see my collection complete rather rapidly. This is just such a fun series - how can I pass it up?
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Book #1 in a trilogy. This is one of those books that I enjoyed more than I thought I would, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how much I really and truly loved it. Still a 3-strawberry book (which isn't a bad rating), I did still really like it. I finally just had to get it.
Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
The sequel to The Darkest Minds - and actually the prevailing reason that I ended up buying Book #1. I had the extra money to buy this book, but since one of my goals this year is to finish buying series, it seemed counter productive to buy only Book #2 of this trilogy and not Book #1. I suppose I could have waited a few months, but that seemed pointless as well. So, here it is - Book #2, keeping Book #1 company on the shelf. And it's so shiny! Hopefully I'll be getting to this one in February.
The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene
Yes, Nancy Drew is a rather lame, predictable set of mystery stories. But I grew up with these books, so they hold a very special place in my heart. Will I ever read them again? Probably not, though I would like to someday read the ones I never got around to in my childhood (I think there's about 4 of them). And because they were such a prominent part of my growing up, I just have to finish buying them. They're still relatively cheap (though no longer the $5.99 I remember them being; when did they shoot up to $7.99?). And I mine as well start buying them in order.
Vicious by V. E. Schwab
Victoria Schwab's adult novel. I've heard a lot of good things about it, and with her tour coming up in February, I've been trying to buy all of her books so I can get them all signed! Will I get this one read before her visit? Not sure, but I'll certainly try!
The Extra by Kathryn Lasky
I've been craving WWII/Holocaust fiction lately. Don't know why; I just have. I've always enjoyed Kathryn Lasky's books and this one has been catching my eye every time I browse through my TBR list on Goodreads. A faith-buy, I don't think I'll regret it. As always, it is really rather hard to go wrong with WWII books, and Kathryn Lasky is a good author. Still probably won't be able to satisfy my reading craving until February, though. But at least I'll have the material on hand.
Hitler's Secret by William Osborne
Another faith-buy, and one I may regret, though I don't think I will (I've been really lucky with faith-buys lately). I've been wanting to read it for a while, but the library doesn't have it and will take forever to get it in when they finally do order it. So, going out on a bit of a limb, I decided to buy it. Teen spies sent into WWII Germany to bring back something having to do with the Furher's great secret (a secret which we Readers know nothing about as of yet). Could be good - or it could be as hokey as the cover implies. I'm a little worried that it will try and be more of an action novel and less of a historical one. WWII just doesn't need extra action added to it to make it interesting. But we'll see.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
Book #3 in the Harry Potter series. Still working on getting my full collection so I can marathon the entire series. All hardcover, too, and I would rather not pay full price, so it's been quite the adventure trying to find nice hardcovers for reasonable prices (most HP books are still very expensive). But what do you know - one of my friends discovered this beauty in a local used bookstore in like-new condition - I mean, it seriously looks like it is right out of the warehouse. And it was only $10.00. There was no way I was going to pass up such a bargain.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
Book #6 in the Harry Potter series. Another great buy at the same used bookstore, this one, too, was in like-new condition and only $10.00. Hadn't really planned on spending so much when I went there, but how can one justify turning down such bargains? Now I only need Books #4 and #5 and I can marathon this series! I'm actually extremely excited about it, too. I may just buy the last two new - maybe. Probably not. We'll see.
The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio by Lloyd Alexander
One of my favorite Lloyd Alexander books (and actually the first one I ever read), I found this one also at that selfsame used bookstore (totally going back when I have more time to browse - and more money). It was pristine condition and only $5.00. Yeah, not turning that one down, either.
The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene
Book #2 in the Nancy Drew series. I had a bit of extra money, and these are such cheap buys, that I thought why not. It's getting me one step closer to having the entire collection.
The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black
Book #1 in The Spiderwick Chronicles. I have been eyeing this series for a long, long, long time. It's been on my TBR for ever! And like Nancy Drew, they're such cheap little books. Mine as well start buying them so I can actually read the series.
The Mysterious Mannequin by Carolyn Keene
Book #47 in the Nancy Drew series. This is the one book that I was never able to find as a kid, and at last I found it! The elusive volume! I've also heard that it's one of the more boring ones, but who cares? It's Nancy Drew, the teen sleuth who is perpetually 18, no matter the era, never carries a gun (that always irritated me), always forgot to call the police, and who got me into the mystery genre in the first place. And one of these weekends, I'm going to sit down with this book and relive my childhood through it.
The Unbound by Victoria Schwab
Book #2 in the Archived Trilogy (series? Not sure how many books there's going to be). This was a planned January buy, and I cannot wait to read it. The Archived was one of my favorite 2013 reads, and I have every reason to believe that Book #2 will be just as good.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Book #1 in the Red Rising Trilogy. I'd heard a ton of buzz on Goodreads about this book, talking about how this was the dystopian novel for Readers who were tired of unrealistic YA dystopians, how it's as good as 1984, et cetera. I never fully trust other peoples' reviews (depends on how well I know the person), because I've had a lot of times where I strongly disagreed with the general buzz. However, this book does sound really good, and the absence of love triangle definitely caught my attention. And after reading the first chapter at work (because I was curious), I'm rather hooked. Though I already dislike a lot of the Author's made up jargon and terms.
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Book #1 in the Looking Glass Trilogy. I read this a long time ago, when it first came out (which I suppose wasn't all that long ago). I remember liking it, and I also remember it being really weird. I don't know why I didn't finish reading the trilogy - I think the sorta zombie soldiers in Book #2 put me off - but I do want to finish it now, so I went ahead and bought the first book.
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
This is technically a Christmas gift from my book friend Kel (thank you, Kel!). She gave me a $10 Amazon gift card, and this is the book I bought with it. It was in the bargain section - yay! Out of the Easy is what got me into Ruta Sepetys' books. She's now one of my favorite historical fiction authors. I just love the 1950s vibe of this book, the characters, the story - it was awesome!
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Book #1 in The Kane Chronicles. This is another Christmas gift from my book-friend Kel! On a Top Ten Tuesday, I listed this book as one of many that I wouldn't mind Santa bringing me for Christmas, and Kel was nice enough to send me her copy! Thank you, Kel! This completes my set of The Kane Chronicles, which makes me very happy indeed.
The Prophecy of Stones by Flavia Bujor
So my parents gave me money for Christmas to go buy a bunch of books (hence why this month's book haul really isn't all that small). I read this book a really long time ago, and I must have liked it, because it was on my to-buy list, and I found this pristine condition hardcover for $0.95. Not kidding! And there's nothing wrong with it. How could I not get that?
Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
One of my favorite reads of 2012, this has been on my to-buy list ever since, and Powell's had it on sale for $7.95. Another hardcover (all of these except one are hardcovers), that was a practical steal - books from Powell's always are.
Crossed by Ally Condie
Book #2 in the Matched Trilogy. Now I just need Book #1 and this series will be complete! One of my goals this year is to finish buying a lot of book series on my shelves, and since this one was at such a low price, I decided to buy it.
The Death Cure by James Dashner
Book #3 in The Maze Runner series. They are apparently changing the cover art, and this one was at a good price, and I don't like the new covers, so I'm buying this series while I can.
The Eye of Minds by James Dashner
Book #1 in The Mortality Doctrine. This is a book that I hesitated to buy, because it could be good or it could be bad. But at Powell's they had it 30% off, plus it was signed by the Author . . . . How could I pass that up? And besides, the cover is so shiny and awesome! :-)
Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
Book #1 in the Leland Sisters Trilogy. I have Book #3, so obviously I needed Book #1 to finish it out. While not my most favorite trilogy in the world, it is an entertaining read, and it does get better as the trilogy progresses (for the most part). And this series is getting hard to find.
Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle
Book #2 in the Leland Sisters Trilogy. They just happened to have both books! :-) What a deal! Especially since both were about $5.95 each. :-)
The Pale Assassin by Patricia Elliott
Book #1 in the Pimpernelles series. I've read this one, but not any of the others in the series (haven't had a chance). This was $1.95, pristine hardcover, and I recall liking this book. The protagonist isn't as bad as the synopsis makes her out to be. And at such a cheap price . . . .
The Traitor's Smile by Patricia Elliott
Book #2 in the Pimpernelles series. Another $5.95 hardcover, and since this series is nearly impossible to find, there was no way I was going to not buy Book #2 along with Book #1. Now I can marathon this series!
White Heat by K. M. Grant
Book #2 in the Perfect Fire Trilogy. I told myself last time I went to Powell's that if this book was there the next time I went, I would buy it. I have Book #1 and #3, but I didn't have this one. And yes, the cover art is horrible! Please, please do not judge this book by its cover, because it is nothing like how it seems. It is a very good historical fiction, and Raimon totally isn't as annoying as his model. While there is a romantic interest, it is not the story's main focus.
The Minister's Daughter by Julie Hearn
So this was something of an accidental buy. I thought this book was on my TBR, and at $3.50, I figured I mine as well buy it. However, apparently it was not on my TBR, though the Author name is familiar to me for some reason - must have read something else of hers. Anyway, it does sound good, even if it never was on my list. Oh well!
The Pearls of Lutra by Brian Jacques
A Redwall book; not sure which number chronologically. So I have several of the Redwall books in paperback, but as many of you know, I'm in the process of replacing my paperbacks with hardcovers (and I'm more than halfway done! Whoohoo!). Unfortunately, when I started replacing these books, I kind of bought the UK edition. The problem? Well, there is a significant height difference between the UK and US editions, and I cannot stand having uneven series. So now I have to buy UK only editions - grrrr. Thankfully, though, Powell's has several of the UK editions, and they seem to get them in on a pretty regular basis. I didn't get a Redwall book last time I went, so this trip I needed to get one.
The Squire's Tale by Gerald Morris
Book #1 in the Squires' Tales series! Oh my gosh, I having looking forever for the first book in this series! I have almost all of them, except this one! And a few others, of course. But this one seems like it was the hardest one to track down. Now I can start re-reading this series!
Starters by Lissa Price
Book #1 in the Starters & Enders duology. I bought Book #2 this month, and Book #1 was on my must-buy of the month, so I can actually read Book #2. While I would have preferred to get this cheaper (it was $11.90, I think), I wasn't going to put off getting it. Now I can marathon it!
Pirates! by Celia Rees
So this may have been a buy I will regret later, but it was only $3.95. I read this book a very long time ago; it was one of my very first YA novels. Possibly because I wasn't used to the historical-fantasy genre, I didn't like this book all that much, though I don't really remember why. So I determined a couple of years ago that I wanted to re-read it and see what I thought of it now. But I probably never would have gotten around to getting it from the library. So at such a cheap price, I went ahead and bought it. We'll see if I end up kicking myself or not.
The Second Bend in the River by Ann Rinaldi
One of Ann Rinaldi's earliest books and also one that I haven't read before! I always try to snatch her books up whenever I find them in hardcover. She's one of my favorite Authors, and I especially loved her when I was a tween. Really looking forward to reading this one!
The Staircase by Ann Rinaldi
Another Ann Rinaldi book! This one I had in paperback, but of course I cannot have paperbacks - I don't like paperbacks. So I immediately jumped at the chance to buy the hardcover, especially since it was $4.50.
The Letter Writer by Ann Rinaldi
Another Ann Rinaldi book that I haven't read yet, but it sounds awesome - as always - and it was in hardcover for a very decent price. Can't pass that up!
Sword Song by Rosemary Sutcliff
Rosemary Sutcliff is one of the few Authors whose books I do buy in paperback, because hardcovers are so horribly difficult to find. However, you won't believe my luck - I found Sword Song in hardcover at Powell's! I swooped down on it so fast that it's a good thing no one was in my way. ;-)
Dawn Wind by Rosemary Sutcliff
A Christmas gift from my sister and the only paperback in this haul. I haven't read this Sutcliff book yet, but I am totally looking forward to it. It sounds so awesome and amazing and - well, it sounds like a Rosemary Sutcliff book! :-)
The Sword of Damocles by Brian Bern
Book #1 in the Cade Knight Spy Novel series. The Author sent me a physical copy for review purposes - so nice of him! :-) I do like a good spy novel (Alex Rider all the way!), and of course I can't turn down free books. This sounds like it'll be a lot like Alex Rider, so I'm excited to read it. Thank you, Brian!
The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
My bosses went to a big book event thingy, where there were a ton of ARCs and free books and the like. They were nice enough to bring back a hardcover - and signed! - copy of this book. The Author's other book - Stolen - is on my TBR list, but I haven't read it yet. But look forward to reading this one!