April Book Haul 2021
In mid-April bookshops and charity shops were allowed to be open. I held back my anticipation to run wild, until after payday at least, about I have finally treated myself to some new books on my shelves.
Here are the physical books I purchased in April 2021:
I’ve recently watched a few TV series that feature Niccolo Machiavelli, and I’ve often heard him mentioned as a turn of phrase. The typical ‘that’s very Machiavellian of you’ and such like. I’ve never read any of their work, so when I came across his most famous book The Prince in a charity shop I thought ‘why not!’ And picked it up.
In the same charity shop, I also found an old 1970s copy of Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. I know that this will be a hard read, but I’ve always wanted to give it ago. And for a £1 you can’t go wrong.
In addition to a few charity shops and bookshop buys, I also got a few second-hand books online. I’m still growing my Oxford World Classics edition collection and added another Bronte book to the list. I’ve now got a copy of every Bronte book except The Professor by Charlotte Bronte.
I’ve been trying to read more translated fiction in 2021 and next up is One Hundred Years by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A Spanish novel about the Buendía family and the town of Macondo that they built. It’s heralded as the masterpiece of the 20th century. Quite high praise.
Another author I fallen for recently is Elizabeth Gaskell. I’ve read North and South and Cranford and now I’m moving into her short stories and novellas, including Sylvia’s Lovers. I don’t know anything about it, but that won’t stop me from enjoying it I bet.
Aphra Behn was actually from Canterbury in Kent, a fact I didn’t know until after I purchased her book. This is often considered the first novel in the English language (1688), but because of the plot – a story about an African slave – and the fact that it was written by a woman, it is often overlooked for the like of Robinson Crusoe. According to Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own every female writer should throw flowers on Aphra Behn’s grave in Westminster Abbey, as without her our careers would not be possible.
Recently there was a thread on Twitter about books set in the publishing world and No Angels was mentioned. This is the first in a series about a prolific publishing dynasty starting during the First World War. I don’t know much besides that, but I love a book set in the industry I work in. Even from a hundred years ago.
White Oleander is often referenced by title but not by the plot. It’s a story about a mother and daughter, who are very close. But when the mother is imprisoned for murdering an ex-lover the daughter is effectively abandoned and left to raise herself.
And finally Ghosted, published as The Man Who Never Called in the UK was another charity shop find. This is the US edition rather than the UK – hence it’s Ghosted and not The Man Who Never Called. A lot of my publishing colleagues talk about this book and the major plot twist. I’ve yet to be spoiled about what happens so I thought I would give it ago. It’s a fairly short book by all accounts and I enjoy the cover and title(s).
But that’s everything from my April Book Haul 2021. What books have you bought recently? Did you rush out to bookshops when they first opened in April? Let me know in the comments below.