Fun Fact: This is my first book haul of the year, but I have still not bought a single book this year yet and I’m definitely proud of myself for showing more restraint than I did last year. Four of the books on this list were purchased on Boxing Day in the Verso and Waterstones sales, and the last one was a January pre-order that I have now read and reviewed, so we are definitely on a roll. Let me know what you’ve bought/picked up from the library so far this year in the comments!
Verso Books Boxing Day Sale:
Verso is a publisher that I’ve been interested in for a while, but their books are usually on the more expensive end of my price range, so I’ve held off buying one before now. However, when I saw the Boxing Day sale, I decided to take the plunge and choose three I’ve heard fantastic reviews about. All of the books on the website seemed to be extremely interesting – the fiction books seem to have some kind of horror or magical realism aspect and the non-fiction all looks important and accessible. If I enjoy these three books, I will continue to collect books from this publisher. The books I chose this time are:
1. Paradise Rot by Jenny Hval
This books promises to be a sexually and politically charged gem of a book with its roots firmly planted in the bizarre. The plot and the link to the body reminds me of Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado which I recently read and enjoyed. I love books that are unconventional and play with the boundaries between genres and topics, so hopefully I love this one. I may see if I can fit it in at the end of January, because it intrigues me so much.
2. Municipal Dreams by John Boughton
Having grown up on a council estate, this book could not have come soon enough in my opinion. The government seems to care no longer about what happens to those who are the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, and this book explores what happens when there isn’t enough housing available for everyone, leading to inflated rent prices and homelessness. It sounds as though this is going to be a balanced argument that proposes answers to the housing crisis we are currently in.
3. Hostile Environment by Maya Goodfellow
Attitudes surrounding immigration in the current political climate are often xenophobic and dehumanising, and I’m interested to see how Goodfellow tackles the subject. During the election, I had many an argument with people surrounding immigration policy, and was alarmed to witness just how many people have an us vs them attitude. Racism crops up in too many casual conversations and it’s horrifying, once I’ve read this book I will most likely pass it on to someone else in an attempt to change opinions.
Waterstones Boxing Day Sale:
Despite there being many books in the sale that I’m interested in, I chose just one in an attempt to keep my spending to a minimum. This is the one I decided upon in the end based on it’s low price and my expectations for the book:
1. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
I read Ocean Vuong’s previous book in 2018 and found the language to be stunning, so my interest was piqued as soon as this one was released. However, since I was mid reading slump when it was released, I held off until a time when I knew I could appreciate it more, and that time is now. My relationship with my mother is non-existent because she was abusive, so I am worried this book will be triggering, but Ocean Vuong’s writing is too beautiful for me not to try.
1. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
You can read my full review for this one here so I won’t go into it in this post, but it does raise some important questions about white saviourism and racism within American society.
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