A new year and a new pile of books! Christmas and New Year’s made my bedside table look particularly healthy. Christmas brought me book subscription boxes and January brought me bookshop adventures in both Perth and Melbourne. Suffice to say I have quite a collection to talk about, but I’ll only mention the ones that particularly stand out to me.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
On my previous TBR list I mentioned wanting to read Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows. Well I did and I loved it. Leigh’s Shadow and Bone series acts as a prequel to the events of Six of Crows from the sole perspective of Alina, an orphan who discovers she as a unique, prophecy-fulfilling power. Six of Crows was written from the perspective of different characters, and while I actually enjoyed it, I do prefer fiction from one or two perspectives so I’m looking forward to that change. I really enjoyed Leigh’s Russian-based world and characters so it’ll be interesting to see what the world of Ravka looked like prior to Six of Crows.
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls edited by Hope Nicholson
While in Melbourne I made a list of bookstores I wanted to visit and I visited them all. While in Fitzroy I visited a bookstore called Hares and Hyenas, a LGBTQ specialist bookstore and café. This bookstore only stocks LGBTQ content and is such an awesome little place. While perusing the shelves I came across this anthology that features stories from Margaret Atwood, Marguerite Bennet, Mariko Tamaki, and many more. This book features short stories, poems and comic strips. Honestly I picked this book up because it looked really cute, and I bought it because the short bursts of content entwined with quirky comics appealed to the nerd inside me.
Stripmalling by Jon Paul Fiorentino
I went on a bookshop adventure with some friends in January where we visited three bookstores in various neighborhoods of Perth. One of said bookstores was Oxford St Books in Leederville. I live very North Perth and so Leederville and anywhere further south is not somewhere I frequent often so it was exciting to visit these independent bookstores. At Oxford St Books I did something I’ve never done before, I purchased a “Blind Date With a Book”. For those who are unfamiliar with this phenomenon, basically you purchase a book that has been wrapped in brown butcher’s paper and someone has written a few points about what the book is about, but you don’t know who’s written it or what the book is called or anything else. It’s a gamble and I’m not usually one to gamble with my money but I decided to go for it. Stripmalling was the book I ended up with.
Similar to The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, this book is a mix of mediums: prose, poetry and comics, and centers around a budding writer who works at a strip mall. Despite having no idea what I was picking up I am actually excited to read it; I hope my gamble pays off.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
One of my Christmas presents was an Owl Crate, a book subscription service where you get: a hardback novel (signed by the author and with an original cover), and 5-6 book themed goods all centered on a theme. January’s theme was Fearsome Fairy Tales, could I have gotten a more appropriate theme for me, I don’t think so. In my box my exclusive novel was The Cruel Prince, a book about faeries. Considering my recent obsession with Sarah J Maas’ faeries I’m excited for more faerie stories.
The Life of P.T. Barnum by P.T. Barnum
Like everyone else I am OBSESSED with The Greatest Showman! I had done a number from the musical Barnum years ago with my Musical Theatre class so it was awesome to see more Barnum stuff. Plus Hugh Jackman could literally sell me anything. On my Perth bookstore adventure I came across the actual biography of P.T. Barnum and while I’m not one for biographies, I am just so Barnum-obsessed I had to grab it.