New acquisitions – aka “I can’t stop buying”

NewpurchasesWith 168 unread books on my shelves you’d think there was no need for me to go looking for anything new. Strictly speaking that’s true – I don’t actually ‘need’ any more books. It’s more a case of I just love the thrill of buying/borrowing/acquiring.  Which is how these  newcomers are now gracing my bookshelves. There would have been one more except that the only bookshop in the centre of Cardiff had sold out of Wyl Menmuir’s The Many  clearly they hadn’t expected it would get long listed for the Booker prize. Good news for the author and for the publisher but not so good for readers. I’m not sure whether this is significant but they had plenty of copies of all the other long listed titles…

Anyway this is what I’ve bought recently….

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell:  This is the choice for the next book club meeting middle of August. It’s set in the 18th century on a tiny island in the bay of Nagasaki and thus midway between east and west. A young Dutch clerk arrives to make his fortune and experiences the clash of cultures, corruption and passion. I bought it knowing I probably wont get to read it in time for the discussion (already over committed with #womenintranslation month and #allAugustallVirago) but the shop that hosts the club is a small independent and they need our support.

Breach by Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes: This is the first time I have ever ordered a book before it was even published. Pereine announced last year they had commissioned two writers to visit the Calais refugee camps (often referred to as The Jungle) and use this as a source of inspiration for a collection of short stories. The eight pieces now publishedare about escape, hope and aspiration told through the eyes of the refugees themselves, and also volunteers and local citizens.

The Complete Guide to Contemporary World Fiction by M. A Orthofer: I received an e-copy of this for review earlier in the year and found it a rich source of information about writers from different parts of the world. But the e version isn’t easy to navigate and this book is one I know I will want to refer to again and again. My review of the book is here.

The Kill by Emile Zola:  I’m gradually acquiring titles in Zola’s Rougon-Marquet series as part of a project to read all 20. I have a few I bought many years ago but they are not Oxford World’s Classics editions which I like for the  introductions which give helpful context about the historical context of each title. Some of the titles seem harder to get than others so when I see any of them I grab it immediately. The Kill was the second novel in the series and is set against the background of the massive redevelopment of Paris and the birth of the modern city. Zola used a story of a woman driven into a scandalous affair to portray  French society at the height of decadence.

I’ve also downloaded e-reader samples of all the Booker long listed titles so I can get a taste of the style though it’s unlikely I’ll get to read any of them other than The Many before the shortlist is announced in mid September.

What have you all been buying/acquiring recently or are you reigning back on the purchases for a while?






About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on July 31, 2016, in Bookends, Sunday Salon, Zolaproject and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. It does always seem easier to do the things that fulfill a ‘want’ than those that fulfill a ‘need’, I guess. And you probably know by now what a fine example I am for being one to exercise self control over my book buying habits. :p (hahah!)
    Love the cover for the Zola (have yet to read him, btw). Interestingly, I have another book by Graham Robb which has an almost identical cover, with the picture just being more skewed to the left.

  2. I have been quite good with my book buying and have seriously cut down on my requests on Netgalley. I have one review copy on its way but I have heard such wonderful things about it, I couldn’t resist! I hope you enjoy your new books 🙂

  3. Oh well, need and want are very different things! 😉 And don’t feel bad, my shelves hold 375 unread books (although granted, most are e-books – which is probably why I have so many unread…!).

  4. I loved Jacob de Zoet, my favourite Mitchell of the four or five I’ve read. Hope you enjoy it as well.

  5. I have a long-term reading goal of the entire Rougon-Macquart series as well! Three down, 17 to go 🙂

  6. Hi Karen, alas, you will find that Oxford World’s Classics has not published the entire Rougon-Macquart cycle. I tweeted OWC early on in my Zola Project when I read one of their editions (I’d bought the four translated by Brian Nelson) and (to my surprise, because, you know, postage from the UK to Australia is expensive!) they started up a correspondence and very kindly ended up sending me editions of all the ones I didn’t have. Each time I was ready to read one for which I didn’t have an OWC edition I’d contact them to see if it was in the pipeline, but ended up having to read an edition from somewhere else, except for one which was released last year.
    If you check out my summary of the project it shows you which editions I read and the Translations page at The Books of Emile Zola lists all the translations that we know of…
    PS Loved The Thousand Autumns, I hope you do too.

  7. I’m preparing my own review of The Complete Review. Same thing: I got it through Netgalley, but then bought it very quickly. So good!
    I listened to Mitchell’s book years ago, even before I was seriously book blogging. It was good. I have tried his more recent books, but they did not work as well for me. Too many levels going on.
    And one of those days, I want to read all of Zola’s novels in order, I have read many, but not all

  8. Always a reason to buy more books! haha like your reasoning and not having a book ban. There’s so many of us the same out there x

  9. I’ve pretty much given up any attempts to resist buying. I’m also getting increasingly illogical. I picked up seven I’d ordered yesterday. My partner asked about the 8 books I’d bought the week before last and I replied that I was buying another 7 because I’d already read two of the last lot of 8! Pick the bones out of that! If you do magically find time I would heartily endorse Jacob de Zoet – I think it’s best David Mitchell novel I’ve read – I loved it.

  10. It’s the perpetual struggle.. Last month I managed to read four books (one of them was ‘The Kill’ actually) that have been on my shelves for a long time.
    My sense of accomplishment did not last long though. Several days after finishing the fourth book I stopped by a used books market and came home with thirteen books. And, as if that was not enough, I went to a yard sale the other day and got another ten..

  11. I know I would never abide by an all-out book-buying ban, but I did register for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, and although that reminder hasn’t seen my decrease my library-borrowing and reading, it has helped me to greatly decrease the amount of books I purchase and bring in to the house to stay. I am sure my husband and I have at least 1200 books in our house and we have a small house. Really, there literally is no more room…another excellent motivator. I went with friends to several books stores a few weeks ago and was so happy that I returned home with only 5 more books, one of which was strictly for my husband! That, compared to 10-20 at least in the past! We all just have to work on these things the best we can I guess, and different strategies work for different people. I have always rather avoided Mitchell thinking he probably was a bit too “strange” for me. I’m curious though! Have never read a Zola.

    • There would be absolutely no point for me in attempting a book ban because I know I would break it. I did do pretty well at the beginning of the year but that was a few months only. I haven’t done a count yet but I have a feeling that I have exactly the same number of books on my TBR now as I did at the beginning of the year – so what has come in has equalled what has gone out. progress of a kind I suppose.

  12. I’ve done a little splashing out recently, most recently on two books by female runners in advance of my marathon and watching the Olympics. I’m keeping reasonably good, though, after TBR horrors earlier in the year!

  13. I’m glad it’s not just me… I’ve splashed out on a couple of second-hand Kingsley Amis books as I liked my first read of him so much. But I am trying not to buy too much and I did donate yesterday! 🙂

    • I tried to donate today but having lugged six books to the Oxfam bookshop what did I find but a notice saying they were closed because of lack of volunteers. Sigh….

  14. I can’t blame you for buying them. Some really nice selections!

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