Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: recent book buys

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday asks for ten books I’ve recently added to my TBR list.  This is going to be a doddle given my recent rash of book purchases. I decided to make it slightly harder by trying my hand at a video showing all the titles. Click the arrow to play.


Let’s start with two books I bought just last week…

  1. The Vegetarian: This novel by the South Korean author Han Kang is, according to The Guardian “an extraordinary story about dark dreams, simmering tensions, and chilling violence” which is not my usual reading fare but like the protagonist I gave up eating meat more than 20 years ago.
  2. Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto. I’ve been dipping my toe into the waters of Japanese literature with the aid of Meredith’s recommendations. This novella is about relationships between two cousins in a small Japanese seaside town.
  3. And now two books that are on the required reading list for my children’s literature course: Tom’s Midnight Garden  by Philippa Pearce – a fantasy novel based on time travel to the past that was first published in 1958. It’s now become a film.
  4. Mortal Engines by Philipe Reeve. I’m really not sure how I will react to this when I get to reading int since it’s set in a futuristic, steampunk version of London, which has been transformed into a giant machine that is trying to survive in a world that is running out of resources. I’m told it falls into a genre called steampunk that Wikipedia tells me is a “subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.” Oh boy, science fiction is going to challenge me….
  5. The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney. Surely I’m the last person on the planet to read this novel about a murder that affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society. Sounds dark but it’s actually a comedy. It won the Bailey’s Prize for Fiction earlier this year
  6. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. It was her final novel, published three years before her death. It’s a gothic mystery that I bought thinking it would be appropriate to read on Halloween but when it came to the day I was still ploughing my way through Little Women.
  7. The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh. I read and enjoyed most of Ghosh’s epic saga The Glass Palace so thought I would give this a go when I saw it come through as a cut price e-version. It’s set in the Bay of Bengal where a young marine biologist  finds himself caught up in political undercurrents. Unlikely I will get to actually read this any time soon – I have Sea of Poppies to read first.
  8. The Blue Room by Hanne Ørstavik. My little collection of Peirene Press titles is growing slowly. This one is by a Norwegian author and is about a mother-daughter relationship. Before you start getting handkerchiefs ready this is a novel which features a very creepy mother. The narrator  wakes one morning to find that she has been locked into her bedroom by her mother. Her crime: she has a new boyfriend who has invited her to go with him to America for six weeks, and to meet him at the airport bus stop that morning. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?
  9. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This  won he 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction and was one of the first novels I learned about through other bloggers. I found a clean copy in a bargain bin in one of those pound shops (my American readers would call them dollar stores).  I need to brush up on my knowledge of Greek heroes before even opening this since I’m sure to get lost.
  10. My final title is one that I acquired through the generosity of a Goodreads contact who happened to have a spare copy of the Booker shortlisted title The Sellout by Paul Beatty. Not only was he willing to give this away he took it to an event the night before the Booker award was announced, and got it signed by Beatty ( he did a lovely personalised message ).The next evening Beatty learned he had won the prize. So now I have my only signed copy of a Booker winner!

That’s my list. Of course I have added many more to my wishlist…. What have you all found to buy recently?


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

20 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday: recent book buys

  • Just a head’s up on The Vegetarian, it has nothing really to do with being a vegetarian though that decision is what sets off the events of the novel. The only book I have bought recently is Atwood’s Hagseed but I seem to be accumulating library books!

  • buriedinprint

    Banana Yoshimoto is one of my MustReadEverything authors, but I find I do have to place her carefully; alongside certain prose styles, I don’t properly appreciate her quiet beauty. You’ve got a couple of other faves of mine here, too: The Vegetarian and Tom’s Midnight Garden (though it’d be hard to find two such different kinds of stories in a stack). Recently I gathered the 2016 collection of CanLit short stories for advent reading (I’ll be finding another 7 to make a full-on December event) which I’m super excited about (who’s included is a mystery – they’re all sealed so you can’t peek)! Enjoy your new books!

    • Good advice re Yoshimoto – I do find that with other Japanese writers too, that you need to space them out to get the fullest experience. I saw your Can Lit short stories challenge – phew

  • I loved We Have Always Lived in the Castle so I hope you enjoy it too 🙂

  • transcribed an interview with Paul Beatty recently – he seems charming. I have been acquiring books rather than buying them since my trip to Buxton – latest ones Dorothy Whipple short stories that arrived as an unBirthday / unChristmas present and the latest Marian Keyes essays that appeared on our BookCrossing shelf and came home with me for reading and registering!

  • Your video is fabulous!

    I have Glorious Heresies in my reading stack (a gift from a friend) – I hope to read The Sellout at some point but will wait until 2017, when my book-buying-ban is over!

  • I really enjoyed The Vegetarian despite/because of its weirdness. And I love your animation!

  • The Vegetarian and The Glorious Heresies are both wonderful books – I do hope you enjoy!

  • You have some real treats in store there – ‘The Vegetarian’ and ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ both made it into my top 10 reads of 2015. Can’t wait to learn what you think of them.

  • I really enjoyed The Blue Room and The Vegetarian – really good translated fiction choices. Jealous of your signed Paul Beatty book too!

  • I just bought Tenderness as I liked the film version so much.

  • I’ve read a couple of these and enjoyed them. In terms of Song of Achilles – it’s a really good read (I admit that I didn’t brush up on Greek heroes beforehand so I think you’ll be okay).
    Lynn D

    • You may know more about Greek history already though than I do 🙂

  • What a stroke of luck with the signed Beatty!

    I hadn’t heard of the Peirene you got, but it sounds like a good one.

    I keep meaning to try Han Kang’s books from the library.

    The closest I’ve come to steampunk is Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway, which is great fun.

  • A nice selection! I’ve just tracked down another collection of Soviet sci fi – I have a weakness for such things…

    • You must have expanding walls in your house with the number of books you buy 🙂

  • My sons absolutely adored Mortal Engines. Ignore the steampunk label, it’s not helpful. The depth of the storytelling and the breadth of the author’s imagination across the series is phenomenal. It is very dark though.

      • They are late teenagers now, but this was a while back – I think boys 10-12, maybe older, would love this series.


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