New year, new books

One of my many New Year's resolutions this year was to finally go book shopping. The last time I did any sort of book haul was probably 2020, right before the pandemic hit. But, I'm finally planning on getting bookshelves in my house and well, I guess I have to fill them up ey? So here's the list of books I got.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable novel about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”

Before there was The Book Thief, there was the Lord of the Flies. For four years right before Markus Zusak completely bewitched me with his words, The Lord of the Flies took the mantle of being my favourite book. My mother is the one who suggested it to me and when I brought it up with one of my secondary school teachers he went ahead and lent me a copy. I read it twice, back to back, because I was so entranced by the story. Definitely the first classic I ever finished. I used to have a copy of this but I have no clue where that one is (probably with my mad titan bestfriend Angasa). A huge plus is that this one has little annotations left behind by the previous owner.

Six Reasons to Stay a Virgin by Louise Harwood

Emily, London's famous twenty-four-year-old virgin, has to wonder if it's really so crazy to wait for Mr. Right. To enjoy the anticipation. To make sure she's totally, truly, no-turning-back in love. Especially when her friends fall in and out of lust on a daily basis.

But Emily gets the surprise of her life when Oliver Mills comes back to town after a year in America. When they were sixteen, she and Oliver made out behind some sand dunes at the beach, and deep down, he's the one she's been waiting for all this time. Already, Emily can feel her defenses crumbling. She's got six good reasons to stay a virgin. But six might not be enough.

Bought this purely because of the title.

The Silent Child by Toni Maguire

Emily Smith was held in a prison of fear for ten years. When she was four, her father left and a new man was brought into her life. He loved her, he kept telling her so, but the emotional and physical abuse she suffered at his hands were a daily nightmare. Until one day, after he crept into her bedroom, her life became unbearable.

Emily found she was different in another way as her autism became more noticeable and punishments for her 'abnormal' behaviour more severe. Astonishingly, she managed to escape her home of hell, where she was abused right in front of her mother. Emily determinedly gained a university place and emerged triumphant with a new life and family in Ireland, desperate to treat her daughter, so similar to her, to a different life.

Heartbreakingly true, Silent Child is a testament to Emily's strength as she sheds light on rampant abuse still happening today. Powerful and shocking, sharing her story means she finally has a voice to say: enough

I read my friend's copy of Toni Maguire's own biography "Don't Tell Daddy" in secondary school and it simply ripped my heart out. It was such a painful memoir and some days I still think about it.

The Silent Child is another memoir about the awful things that sometimes happen behind closed doors in family homes. It's not about Maguire but it is written by her, so I guess I bought it out of familiarity.

Tell Me a Secret by Jane Fallon

Holly and Roz spend most of their days together. They like the same jokes, loathe the same people and tell each other everything.

So when single mum Holly gets a shot at her dream job after putting everything on hold to raise her daughter, she assumes her friend will be dying to pop the champagne with her.

But is she just imagining things, or is Roz not quite as happy for her as she should be?

As Holly starts to take a closer look at Roz's life outside their friendship, she begins to discover a few things that don't add up. Who is the woman who claims to be her ally?

Perhaps it was a mistake to tell Roz all her secrets. Because it takes two to forge a friendship. But it only takes one to wage a war.

This was handed to me by the bookseller. He said I might like it and so I got it.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

They are an unlikely pair: George is "small and quick and dark of face"; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a "family," clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation. Laborers in California's dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. But George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own.

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck's work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing 'Of Mice and Men' (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal: a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual's existence meaningful.

A unique perspective on life's hardships, this story has achieved the status of timeless classic due to its remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films

So I've also already read Of Mice and Men - another one of the few classics that I've read - and wow, did it break my heart. Angasa recommended it to me cause I guess she's on a one woman crusade to traumatise me. What a tragic book. I loved it.

I first read it as an e-book and I had a whole needless back and forth with myself in the store if I really needed to have the physical copy. Beloved bookworm, if ever faced with the decision of whether or not to own the physical copy of a book you thoroughly loved, take it. Always.

Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro

A once-popular singer, desperate to make a comeback, turning from the one certainty in his life . . . A man whose unerring taste in music is the only thing his closest friends value in him . . . A struggling singer-songwriter unwittingly involved in the failing marriage of a couple he’s only just met . . . A gifted, underappreciated jazz musician who lets himself believe that plastic surgery will help his career . . . A young cellist whose tutor promises to “unwrap” his talent . . .

Passion or necessity—or the often uneasy combination of the two—determines the place of music in each of these lives. And, in one way or another, music delivers each of them to a moment of reckoning: sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes just eluding their grasp.

An exploration of love, need, and the ineluctable force of the past, Nocturnes reveals these individuals to us with extraordinary precision and subtlety, and with the arresting psychological and emotional detail that has marked all of Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed works of fiction.

I only got this cause The Independent on Sunday describes "it's a clever book about the passage of time," and I've always loved the phrase, "passage of time" for some dumb reason. Bonus points because another bookworm friend has read his other works and said he liked the style.

The Flat share by Beth O'Leary

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window

I came across this book on bookstagram and proceeded to add it on my reading list on Goodreads - (friend me on there). Stocked that I could find the physical copy just by luck.

The Memory Keep's Daughter by Kim Edwards

On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down's Syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever.

He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this story that unfolds over a quarter of a century - in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that long-ago winter night. Norah Henry, who knows only that her daughter died at birth, remains inconsolable; her grief weighs heavily on their marriage. And Paul, their son, raises himself as best he can, in a house grown cold with mourning. Meanwhile, Phoebe, the lost daughter, grows from a sunny child to a vibrant young woman whose mother loves her as fiercely as if she were her own.

I find everything about this book gorgeously intriguing; the title; the cover; the blurb. Everything. Fingers crossed I enjoy the writing and the story as well.

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