Book Haul · Books

A Chatty Used Books Haul

A rather chatty (for me) book haul today.

First a bit of a book haul and after that a bit of natter about what’s going on in my life at the moment.

After my usual Saturday supermarket shop early this morning I popped to my local charity shop to see what books they had in their small English language section. I always browse that first before skimming the HUGE Dutch language section.

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The English section was sort of interesting this time. No books that were on my TBR, but I ended up getting an intruiging lot.

The first book that caught my eye was a Penguin Classics paperback edition of The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. I have no idea whether I will ever read it, but for €0.25 I thought it would go nicely on my shelf with a bunch of other classics.

A little ye olde looking hardback also caught my eye. It turned out to be The Lady of the Barge by W W Jacobs, which appears to be a collection of short stories. It is small and cute and goes with a bunch of other old tatty looking books on my shelf. I had never heard of it, but when I leafed through it, it seemed very readable, so I am sure I will one day! It was only €0.50!

Sometimes you wonder who brought the books to the shop as this time there were a bunch of books set in India. I picked up two. The first is Esmond in India by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. I believe this one is set in India in the 1950s. It’s not a big book and it sounded interesting. The second is a non-fiction book called Below the Peacock Fan: First Ladies of the Raj, by Marian Fowler. From looking at the blurp, this books is about four Victorian English women who go to live in India. There were more India based novels on the shelf, but these two were the ones that seemed most interesting to me.

Another title caught my eye: Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis, by Wendy Cope. When I leafed through this thin book I discovered it was a modern collection of poetry. I read one of the poems and I liked it, so in my basket it went.

The final book I picked up is Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. The brandnew bright orange Penguin spine called to me. I had not heard of this book before, but it seems to be a Jane Eyre prequel of sorts. It could be interesting!

Now it was time to have a quick look at the Dutch books.  My rule is that if the book was published in English, I want to read it in English. The same goes for Dutch books. What’s the point of reading a translated version? If it’s a book originally in a language I cannot read, then I will happily read either a Dutch or English translation.

So, in the English section I had clocked The Dinner by Herman Koch, which people either seem to love or hate. The book has always sounded intruiging to me and I would like to read it, but not in English. I clocked a pretty much brand new Dutch version, so Het Diner went into my basket!

Also in my basket went De Spion (The Spy) by Paulo Coelho. Now, I read The Alchemist and did not love it, but I would like to try another one of his books and this one, based on the life of Mata Hari, sounded interesting.

The final book I picked up is De Gedaanteverwisseling (Metamorphosis) by Franz Kafka. It’s a tiny book, but it is a book that is on my Classics TBR. Originally in German, so perfectly fine to read in Dutch!

And here you have it: a €4.50 pile of books.

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Anyway, those are my new books. Now on to other random stuff.

I only realised this morning that I had wanted to do FIVE on FRIDAY, but I also realised that actually my Fridays this month are going to be tricky.  I am leaving for my holidays on Friday for two weeks, so my blogging might be sporadic this month. I figured the best thing to do was to move this month’s subjects forward to August.

We are going to England for two weeks on a friends and family visit, but we have also booked a holiday cottage in Dorset for a week, so that will be lovely. Fingers crossed the weather will be good enough to enjoy the beaches. All my daughter cares about is going fossil hunting. 🙂 (All I care about is trying to find some charity shops to peruse). I am really looking forward to our time away.

Our own holiday cottage opened for guests in June and business has been surprisingly good! We have our last guests before our holiday coming today.

I do expect to do lots of reading this month, so there may be more reading, less blogging for the final two weeks of July. I wish I was organised enough to schedule lots of posts , but fact is… I’m not…

Have you got any holidays planned? Or anything else exciting that is not book-related?




Book Haul · Books

Charity Shop Haul

Just a quick little charity shop haul on a Sunday evening. I popped down to my local charity shop yesterday after my big weekly grocery shop and I came back with four books, all written by female authors.

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The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath) – this one is actually one my ‘Classics TBR‘. so I was really happy to find it so randomly.

After You’d Gone (Maggie O’Farrell) – You know when something somewhere in the back of your mind tells you that you’ve heard someone talk about an author. This is one of those times. I know I have heard (or read) positive reviews about Maggie O’Farrell’s books and I sort of liked the sound of this one, so had to pick it up. Done deal.

This Lullaby (Sarah Dessen)  – I have a feeling people either love or hate this YA author. I have never read anything by her, but I have heard her name tons. The synopsis sounded good for a light summer read, so I figured I thought: Why not?

Longbourn (Jo Baker) – This book has actually been on my ‘wanted’ list for quite a while, but never got round to buying it. As far as I know it is the story from Pride and Prejudice seen through the servants’ point of view. I always liked the sound of it.

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These four books came to a grand total of a shocking €2.25. 🙂

Which one do you think I should read first? Have you read any of these? Or any of these authors?




Book Haul · Books

Charity Shop Mini Haul

I had fifteen minutes of time to kill between doing the grocery shopping for the rest of the week and picking my daughter up from school. So what does one do? One goes to one’s favourite charity shop and see if there are any books that need reading… Of course!

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed today. There was not that much that was of interest to me, but then I did browse only the English language section. After all, I was pressed for time and I have not read a Dutch book in months (I should! I have some good ones!).

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So my eye was caught by Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H Winters. Come on, I had to! I have been wanting to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for ages, just for fun, but this one will do just as well.

Then I found an Agatha Christie pocket sized book. This one is The Labors of Hercules. I really want to read some Agatha Christie soon, as it’s been way too long!

The two of them together came to 95 (euro) cents. Bargain!


Book Haul · Books

January Book Haul

I have a few tags and award posts I want to do, but they require a lot of thinking and my brain is a little exhausted at the moment. So, why not start this week with a nice easy post?

A January Book Haul seemed perfect as I am not planning on  buying any more books in January and I doubt I will buy many in February. I have enough books to read as it is!!! Though I have seen some tempting ones…. Hmmm……

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Part of this haul I already shared on my blog, but not the others. I bought a total of 13 books this month and I received one book from an author that I am planning on reading soon. Excuse my cat Tom, who just would not budge. He looks very grumpy! 🙂

So, let’s get on with it.

I bought a grand total of three new books:

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Centaur (Declan Murphy & Ami Rao)
It is not often I use a synopsis to talk about a book, but it is the synopsis that made me want to buy this book, so…

A natural on a horse since he was able to walk, and imbued with a pure love of riding, Declan Murphy became one of the most brilliant jockeys of his generation before his world came crashing down at the final hurdle of a race at Haydock Park. His skull shattered in twelve places, he was believed to be dead, the last rites were read and the Racing Post prepared his obituary. Miraculously, and the word is not used lightly, he survived and defied medical thinking in recovering to the extent that eighteen months after his fall, he was able to saddle up for one more race. As usual, he won.

For 23 years, Declan has been unable to tell his story, to bring to words existence on the frontier between life and death, to describe the incredible bond between man and horse. But now, in an extraordinary collaboration with Ami Rao, she has helped him find those words, a way to piece together what happened before, during and after, what it all meant and what it means to us all. It is a story of triumph, fear, love and loss, by turns primal, heartbreaking and inspirational, and ultimately, it is the story of hope, and of life.

I just had to buy this book and I can’t wait to read it.

A Study in Scarlet & The Sign of the Four (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
It is about time I read some Sherlock Holmes, so I bought this Wordsworth edition.  I love the simple cover design.

Dreamer’s Pool (Juliet Marillier)
I have been meaning to read one of Juliet Marillier’s books for ages. This one came up as a group buddy read on Goodreads and I figured I may as well!


Most of the books I got this month, however, were from my local charity shop. Sometimes they have nothing of interest, but I went in one day and there was a good selection of English language books that looked unread, some of which were on my wishlist! Someone must have cleared out their shelves! Lucky me!

So I picked up seven initially:

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I did a post on those earlier, so will just list them:
Life After Life (Kate Atkinson)
The Book of Lost Things (John Connolly)
Botswana Time (Will Randall)
The Snow Child (Eowyn Ivey)
The Humans (Matt Haig)
Holland Mania (Annette Stott)
The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

I did see a trio of Wordworth Classics, but I left them, as none of them were on my TBR/wishlist. Yet, I could not get them out of my head, so a week later I went back and they were still there at €0.30 each – I had to buy them, clearly! All of them are chunkers, but brand new.

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Tom Jones (Henry Fielding)
Since buying this book I have actually read good things about it. It’s supposed to be quite funny too, so I may read it sooner rather than later.

Collected Ghost Stories (M R James)
Sounds like this a really good collection of ghostly short stories, which I will be keeping for Halloween.

Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
I never had much interest in reading Moby Dick. The story never appealed to me. When I saw it alongside the other two though, I could hardly buy the other two and not this one! Not sure whether I will ever read it. Has anyone read it? Is it actually any good? Let me know!!!

1801 January Haul5And finally, author Brian Kindall was kind enough to send me a physical copy of his book Delivering Virtue, which I am looking forward to reading at some point next month. So keep an eye out for a review in the next few weeks!

As I said, I doubt I will be buying any new books next month, but you never know! I am trying to reign myself in. I have so many books still on my shelves that need reading that I actually really want to read!

Show me your new books!

Book Haul · Books

Charity Shop Book Haul #7

It was a trap!

I actually went to the charity shop this morning to pick up some wine and champagne glasses as we are hosting our neighbourhood New Year’s drinks this evening, but how could I not check out the book section!!! I mean, I did go to the glasses section first and picked out a variety of what I needed, but, but, but, BOOKS!

I came away with a stack of seven books. Someone must have cleared their book shelves, as none of these were there next time. I saw a few more as well, so I am tempted to go back during the week and pick up a few more – so tempted!

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I read The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) when I was travelling in Australia about 15 years ago and I absolutely loved it, so when I saw a copy of it for €0.30 I had no choice of course but to pick it up! I would like to re-read it at some point in the nearish future.

I was not entirely sure about Kate Atkinson’s novel Life After Life, but the premise sounded kind of interesting and IT HAS A FOX ON THE COVER! I am a sucker for foxes… It was apparently short listed for the Costa Novel Award in 2013. Good enough for me to pick it up for €0.30

I already have one book by Matt Haig on my shelf that I need to read, but I could not leave The Humans behind for a mere €0.50. It looks like new too – like most of these to be fair.

John Connelly’s The Book of Lost Things was on my TBR, so was an easy choice to throw in my basket for another €0.50.

I have seen a few reviews of The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, and they were pretty hit or miss, but again, A FOX ON THE COVER! Actually, I really like the cover. It is the only one of this lot of books that actually looks like it has been read.  Again, only €0.50.

Finally, I got a couple of non-fiction books. Botswana Time is a memoir of the author’s time as a teacher at a Botswana school. It sounds like such a good read. €0.50

Finally, Holland Mania (Annette Stott) is a rather interesting sounding book about the time when Americans celebrated all things Dutch. Since I live in Holland, it sounded like something I needed to read! €1

Total spent: €3.60 -> BARGAIN!


Book Haul · Books

December 2017 Book Haul

I think this will be the last post about 2017. I am completely in 2018 mode now – bring it on! 🙂

I thought I would to a monthly haul, even if I already did a post on the books I got in the charity shop and I only got a few more. I did order some more books at the end of December, but only one has arrived so far (today), so I will consider them a January haul!

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I won’t elaborate on the six used books I got from the charity shop beyond their titles, as I did a post on them earlier this month.

Op de Fiets
Till We Have Faces (C S Lewis)
Magenta (Geert Jan Janssen)
The Grass Widow’s Tale (Ellis Peters)
For One More Day (Mitch Albom)
De Lessen van Mevrouw Lohmark (Judith Schalansky ) (ENG: The Giraffe’s Neck)

Now, as for the new books, all but one are nature related non-fiction.

The Bee Book (DK – various authors)
I have been interested in bees for a long time. Not necessarily bee-keeping, but I think they are fascinating creatures that hold so much of our existence in their tiny little hands (?). I heard really good things about this book and found in on offer, so treated myself.

Foxes Unearthed (Lucy Jones)
I have talked about this book a few times and it will probably be the first of these I will pick up to read. I love foxes and have had the pleasure of meeting some urban foxes up close and personal when I lived in London. I love them and this book should be right up my street!

A Sweet, Wild Note (Richard Smyth)
From the same publisher as the previous book I found this one. As far as I can tell it is a celebration of birdsong and the effects it has on us, maybe also taking into account a dwindling bird population and loss of habitat. It sounded really interesting and different.

Meadowland (John Lewis-Stempel)
The blurp tells me this is an account of life in an English meadow throughout the year, documenting the animals that live there and all that happens in a meadow through the seasons. It sounds absolutely beautiful!

To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf)
My only fiction book of this haul. I have never read anything by Virginia Woolf and I think it is about time. I found this one cheaply when I was buying the other books. It sounds like a pretty intriguing story.

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I am really pleased with the books I got this month.

Let me know if you have read any of these books or whether they are on your TBR? Maybe you had never heard of them and there is one that you are putting on your TBR.

Which one should I read first?

Book Haul · Books

Charity Shop Book Haul #6

I have been very good not buying any new books this month, though the month is not over yet of course. I did allow myself a trip to my favourite charity shop today and browsed their small English book section as well as some of the massive Dutch section.

I am quite pleased with the six books I came home with.

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The first thing that caught my eye was a little book called Op De Fiets (On The Bike). It is a cute little book with bicycle related adverts from the first part of the twentieth century. My English husband is quite into cycling and since the Dutch like their cycling in general I thought it would be a nice little book to add to our holiday cottage’s library.

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For reading I picked up the following five books, which all look pretty much unread (and clearly unloved, which makes me sad in a way):

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For One More Day (Mitch Albom)
I gather this book is about a man who commits suicide and goes back to his own village and runs into his deceased mother. It sounded pretty interesting and it’s a pocket sized paperback. I may take it on my Christmas trip to England because of that. I may have this one read before the end of the year!

Till We Have Faces (C S Lewis)
I had never heard of this book, but of course I have read some of The Chronicles of Narnia.  The blurp says it is a retelling of Cupid and Psyche, which sounds right up my street. I had never heard of this book, but I am looking forward to reading it.

The Grass Widow’s Tale (Ellis Peters)
Apparently one in a series of mystery novels set in the 1960s. I just thought the hardback looked pretty. I am shallow like that. Well, that and I did recognise the author, though I have never read any of her books.

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Magenta (Geert Jan Jansen)
An autobiography of a Dutch art dealer, who went to prison for forging paintings. Sounds really interesting and I do like a bit of non-fiction every now and then! Beautiful book too. The naked hardback and the dustjacket have the same print on them.

De Lessen van Mevrouw Lohmark (Judith Schalansky)
Ok, I admit I bought this book because it has a manatee on the cover. It’s a good enough reason, right? It’s a Dutch translation of a German book. The English title is The Giraffe’s Neck. It has very mixed reviews on Goodreads. Some love it, others hate it, which always makes me curious!

I spent a grand total of … wait for it… €3.30.

I am pretty pleased with my little haul. I may pick up some more books next week while I am in England though… We’ll see!