10 April 2016

March Book Haul


I welcomed quite a few new things to my shelves in March - prompting a quite overdue trip to IKEA on bank holiday Monday to look at new bookcases!  Here's what I picked up.

Perijee & Me by Ross Montgomery
Caitlin is the only young person living on Middle Island.  On the first day of vacation, she finds a tiny alien on the beach.  Caitlin becomes close to her secret friend, whom she names Perijee, teaching him everything about her world and treating him like a brother.  There's only one problem:  Perijee won't stop growing.  And growing... Caitlin will have to convince the adults around her - and Perijee himself - that the creature they see as terrifying monster is anything but.
I mentioned this in last month's The List and when Paul took me to choose a book for Easter (#givebooksnoteggs - my kind of thinking) this was what I chose to bring home.  I'm hoping to read this in April as part of Dewey's 24-hour Readathon as it's nice and short.

The Chimes by Anna Smaill
Imagine a London orchestrated by a vast musical instrument that destroys memory. Each object weaves its own melody and song rings in every drop of air, yet each day feels the same as the last, and the past is a mystery.  Simon, though, is different. He wakes every morning with a pricking feeling, a sense there is something he urgently has to do. He meets Lucien, who knows more than he realises about the danger lurking in Simon's past, and why he needs to keep his memories close. Slowly, inexplicably, Simon begins to remember...
An impulse buy.  I hadn't heard of it until I spotted it in the shop, but I thought it sounded so mysterious and I was also intrigued to see that it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2015.  I'm expecting good things from this one!

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The year is 1806.  England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But the scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell, whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice, Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very antithesis of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms that between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
 This novel first came to my attention last year with the BBC adaptation and I was quite surprised I'd never heard of it before!  I love anything involving magic but I think I'll also enjoy the darker elements of this book; either way it sounds absolutely enchanting.  I didn't watch any of the television series which I'm glad about, as it means nothing will colour my experience with this one, and I'm really looking forward to the day I pick this out of my TBR jar! I mentioned in my 2016 Reading Goals post that I wanted to challenge myself this year to read a really big book and this definitely fits the bill at over 1000 pages.
 
The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
In this much-loved children's classic first published in 1906, the comfortable lives of three well-mannered siblings are greatly altered when, one evening, two men arrive at the house and take their father away. With the family's fortunes considerably reduced in his absence, the children and their mother are forced to live in a simple country cottage near a railway station. There the young trio - Roberta, Peter, and young Phyllis - befriend the porter and station master. The youngsters' days are filled with adventure and excitement, including their successful attempt to avert a horrible train disaster; but the mysterious disappearance of their father continues to haunt them. 
I picked this up to read for the 2016 Classics Challenge and I've actually already finished it.  I thought it was really lovely - read my full review here!

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan
A flooded world. A floating circus. Two women in search of a home.
North lives on a circus boat with her beloved bear, keeping a secret that could capsize her life. Callanish lives alone in the middle of the ocean, tending the graves of those who die at sea. As penance for a terrible mistake, she has become a gracekeeper. A chance meeting between the two draws them magnetically to one another - and to the promise of a new life. But the waters are treacherous, and the tide is against then.
I never knew circuses were a thing I would enjoy reading about but ever since reading The Night Circus I've been craving anything similar to it.  I'm really looking forward to this one and I think it will be just the dose of whimsical fantasy I've been looking for.

Room by Emma Donoghue
Jack lives with his Ma in Room. Room has a single locked door and a skylight, and it measures eleven feet by eleven feet. Jack loves watching TV but he knows nothing he sees on the screen is truly real - only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits there is a world outside.
If you paid even a little bit of attention to the Oscars you will have heard some of the buzz around this book and it's film adaptation.  Another one that seems to have passed me by, I can't wait to find out for myself if it's as wonderful as everyone says.  I don't doubt that it is!

All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Patricia is a witch who can communicate with animals. Laurence is a mad scientist and inventor of the two-second time machine. As teenagers they gravitate towards one another, sharing in the horrors of growing up weird, but their lives take different paths... When they meet again as adults, Laurence is an engineering genius trying to save the world - and live up to his reputation - in near-future San Francisco. Meanwhile, Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the magically gifted, working hard to prove herself to her fellow magicians and secretly repair the earth's ever growing ailments. As they attempt to save our future, Laurence and Patricia's shared past pulls them back together. And though they come from different worlds, when they collide, the witch and the scientist will discover that maybe they understand each other better than anyone.
Are you sensing a theme here?  There's the magical theme I know and love but with science fiction and fantasy thrown in for good measure.  It promises to be a very interesting read and has lots of really positive reviews!


Each new addition has already been added to my TBR jar so maybe I'll be making a start on one of these titles up very soon!  Have you read anything I picked up this month?
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