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HUGE Book Haul! (Vacation, Christmas, Birthday, and Impulse Buys!)

Confession #1: Sometimes I judge books by their covers. I know, I shouldn't, but I do. You have to hand it to publishing companies for coming up with some great and gorgeous (or spooky and creepy covers. Or lovely and romantic) designs. Just face it. We ALL judge books by their covers. At least initially. Then we read them and if they don't do their beautifully designed cover justice we then judge them even more and much more harshly ("How DARE your inside pages not match your gorgeous cover!").

Confession #2: I never really buy books. Everyone knows I'm a library girl through and through....

Except for late last year and early this year. But I had reasons! Last December I took a trip to northern California to visit family and we stopped in Napa Valley to sight see and in this cute little town surrounded by vineyards, they had a bookstore. A BOOKSTORE, I tell you! How could I NOT buy any books at a cute, little independent bookstore?? "Everyone knows it's important to support local businesses!"- I told myself as I bought three books at very high small business book store prices...

And then Christmas came. And with Christmas comes gift cards to Barnes & Noble! And two months later my birthday rolled around and with that came more gift cards to spend on books. So, honestly, it would have been entirely wasteful for me to NOT spend those gift cards on books. Think of all of those poor books that need homes...I'm doing them a favor!

So because of all of these combined events, I, for maybe the first time ever (or in a long time), have bought a whole bunch of books impulsively (but not all at the same time. I do show some moderation occasionally). It felt so amazing to pick up a book that looked interesting to me, read the back, and then BUY it, without agonizing over if it's really worth it to buy yet another book I have no idea if I'll even like and whether I should save my money and just get it from the library. Chances are I probably won't do this again for a long time (unless I randomly become a millionaire overnight and if that's the case then I'm BUYING ALL THE BOOKS!!!), so please enjoy my very rare HUGE book haul!

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Harper Perennial
I KNOW, I know. I've never read Stardust. I've seen the movie (don't hurt me!), but I've never read the book. I haven't really ever been that into fantasy (Harry Potter doesn't count, of course. They are universal stories that literally ANYONE can relate to) but I have read a Neil Gaiman book or two in my day (Coraline and The Graveyard Book) and enjoyed the stories, so I thought I'd give Stardust the much deserved chance to be read by me (what an honor for Mr. Gaiman, haha). Plus, this is the kind of book that when a person asks if you've read the book and you reply that you've watched the movie, the other person will shake their head slowly and say "NO. Read the book" to you very, very seriously. So it's gotta be good, right?

No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill

Pan MacMillan
So...this may have been an impulse buy. But how could I not buy a horror novel with a name like "No One Gets Out Alive"?? I had tried reading one of Adam Nevill's books previously and couldn't get into it, but this one actually has a supernatural element to it, as opposed to the other book of his that I tried to read (The Ritual), so I decided to give this one a chance and buy it. I'm actually currently reading it right now and it's pretty different than I expected but not in entirely bad way. All in all, it was a great impulse purchase buy but we'll see what I ultimately think of it after I finish it!

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

William Morrow
Have you read A Head Full of Ghosts? Oh. My. If you love horror, psychological thrillers, and exorcisms- fake or real- then you'll love this book (so basically, you'd be me and we should be BFFs!). Please, read it and just witness the masterpiece that is this perfect psychological horror (is that a book genre? It should be!). It literally scared me, shocked me, and completely unnerved me. And that's honestly saying something considering how much horror/psychological/thriller books I read- I mean, it takes a LOT to freak me out and this book succeeded!

Ghostland by Colin Dickey

One of my older sisters bought this for me for Christmas. It's a sociological study of why Americans love ghost stories and how they actually bind us together and helped shape our country's history. My sister knows me so darn well! History and ghosts are one of my favorite combinations, much like peanut butter and chocolate. But you know, a lot more scary and less delicious.

How To Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran


I've always heard such good things about Caitlin Moran and her feminist yet hilarious writings and memoir, but I had yet to read any of her books. I found this fiction book by her in one of the sale carts on Barnes & Noble (god bless after Christmas sales!) and thought I'd give it a go! Plus, the title is genius in it of itself.

The Apartment by S.L Grey

Anchor Books
I think this one is about a haunted apartment. At least I hope it is. If not, it'll either be about a neighbor who's most likely a murderer or it'll end up just being a psychological thriller where the main character was crazy the whole time. Either way, I'm here for wherever the reading ride takes me!

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

St. Martin's Press
Here's all you need to know: historical fiction. 1875. England. A rich pretty girl is engaged to a handsome young man. Then the Empress of Austria (older, but beautiful) enters the picture. Love triangle ensues. You won't be able to put it down. Trust me. Daisy Goodwin can write about chamber pots used by historical figures and add some romance to it and it would still be good. (Is it just me or does that actually sound like a compelling novel? Get on that, Daisy!)

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Random House Delacorte
Jennifer Donnelly wrote one of my absolute favorite books ever, A Northern Light, and I saw she had this new-sih book and it seemed a little horror-ish and historical fiction-esque and I impulsively bought it. I tried to read one of her other books, Revolution, and couldn't get into it so I sort of fell off the Jennifer Donnelly bandwagon. But now that I've discovered her and These Shallow Graves, if I like the book, I may go back and start reading her other books that I've missed out on, including Revolution. Because even books deserve second chances!

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

As much as I talk up The Exorcist (aka one of my favorite books EVER which I probably mention on this blog on at least 50% of my posts), I've never owned an actual copy of the book. Thankfully I have now rectified that problem and have added it to my growing horror novel collection. Captain Howdy would be so proud of me.

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

St. Martin's Press
I randomly found this one at Target while shopping and I had enough money left on my Target gift card to buy it (hurray for Christmas presents!) and I read the back and popped it in my shopping cart. The selling points? It's historical fiction AND it has Sara Gruen's (Water for Elephants) seal of approval. I sort of had to buy it just for those two reasons alone!

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper

Knopf Books for Young Readers
Book one in a trilogy (thank goodness! You can't just stop at one book with these characters!) about the fictional, but written oh so realistically FitzOsbournes, the royal family of a waning small kingdom, Montmaray, a small island located near the coast of Spain. Told through main teenage Sophie's point of view via notes on the history of her country and her families' eccentric and interesting past, the journal begins in 1936 right as the rumblings of World War II have started to spread across Europe and even to the little island of Montaoray. Filled with vivid, memorable characters that you'll grow to know and love, A Brief History of Montmaray is an exciting and historically based (well, minus the itty bitty country of Montmaray and it's royal residents) book that will leave you captivated and desperate for the next book. So....please read it so I can have people to talk about it with!

The FitzOsbournes in Exile by Michelle Cooper

Book two of The Montmaray Journals. Read it. After they escape the attack on Montmaray (spoiler alert!), they seek shelter with distant relatives in England and face the dreaded coming out to society ceremonies that most royal and rich families. And the war is growing ever closer....

The FitzOsbournes at War by Michelle Cooper

Knopf Books for Young Readers
Book three and this is when sh*t gets real (war will do that to you) and the tears start coming. No spoilers from me, so go read the entire series! Please! You won't regret it!


Also, at least seven of these books I've now added to my TBR list! Eeek, that list just keeps getting longer and longer!

I hope you enjoyed my big book haul! Have you read any of these books? If you haven't, which books look interesting to you? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,
2 comments on "HUGE Book Haul! (Vacation, Christmas, Birthday, and Impulse Buys!)"
  1. I have the same problem as well when I'm travelling and I see an independent bookstore... I just HAVE to 'check it out' and usually come out with a book or two because they tend to be a bit cheaper than big name stores (being in Canada, I never miss an opportunity to visit Barnes and Noble when I visit the US). This looks like such a great book haul - I'm seriously envious about some of the horror books you got!

    1. Oh my goodness, I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't resist buying a book or two when they walk into a bookstore! ;) And if I don't buy a book, it was a really, really big struggle for me! Barnes & Noble is the BEST. Do you not have an equivalent bookstore in Canada? Thanks! I thought it was a pretty good horror novel haul. I've read two of the horror books and they were okay, but I feel like a lot of horror books are pretty hit or miss so maybe another one will work out :)

      Thank you so much for reading my post and for your wonderful comment!!


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