Saturday, 12 December 2015

December Book Haul

Ooh look at this! A new blogpost within one week. Maybe I really have matured and started taking up the responsibility of regular posts now that I'm a twenty year old fledgling.

This is my book haul and reading list for December. There was a point during November where I was tired of looking at my university books so I annoyed my dad into buying me books for the Christmas holiday. I plan to wind down with some young adult fiction, romances and medieval epics whilst wrapped in bed and stuffing my face with chocolates from the neighbours.

A quick blurb of each book from Goodreads and why I bought them is below:

1) An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir

"Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

I'll admit with both hands in the air that I bought this for the cover. Isn't it gorgeous?! You're lying if you say no. Anyways, my friend Aleema and I wanted to buddy read something and this book was catapulted to the top of our list based on the hype around it. You should check out Aleema's Instagram: she's based in England like me and her feed is all things jaw-dropping and fluffy. 

2) Me Before You, Jojo Moyes

"Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time."

I've been recommended to read this by several Instagram friends because it's a tear jerker. It's Christmas time. It's cold outside but it's warm inside. I'm totally in the mood for a tear jerker. Being a typical bibliophile, my "to-be-read" is too embarrassing to count but what made me buy this is because the movie adaptation is going to be released in June 2016 starring Hunger Games and Love, Rosie's Sam Claflin and Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke. Yes please.

3) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

"“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read."

I first saw this book years ago in WHSmith and was shocked that someone would dare parody Jane Austen's classic. Recently I heard that it was adapted for the big screen and is to be released in February 2016 starring BBC's Great Expectations, Romeo and Juliet and Riot Club's Douglas Booth and Downton Abbey and Cinderella's Lily James. Being a sucker for movies with my favourite actors I knew I had to read the book. Noticing a pattern here? The things I do for my baes really belongs in a separate blogpost...

4) The History of the World in Bite-sized Chunks, Emma Marriott

"History is a rich, varied and fascinating subject, so it's rare to find the whole lot in one book...until now. "The History of the World in Bite-Sized Chunks" pulls it all together, from the world's earliest civilizations in 3500 BC to the founding of the United Nations in 1945, passing by the likes of Charlemagne, the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean War, to name a few. Here's your chance to introduce yourself to the full spectrum of world history, and discover just how the modern world came to be."

This would have been bought weeks ago when I saw it perched on the counter in Picadilly's Waterstones but it was £15 and I told myself to calm down and to think rationally. The whole time while I was paying for the books in my hand, I was trying to fathom the awesomeness of this book. The whole history of the world written in one tiny book? *Mind blown* Anyways, watching BBC Two's The Last Kingdom has made me wish I knew more of the Viking-Saxon history than my already limited knowledge. This book won't do justice to such a terrifying and inspiring era but it's a start.

5) A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin

"Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne."

This was previously bought but I'm starting it over the Christmas holidays in preparation of studying it in my Arthurian Literature module. Exciting right? If I had my way, I would have read this popular series alongside the tv show in the summer but my university lecturers have other plans and to be honest, I wouldn't mind being immersed in another medieval world now that The Last Kingdom is over.

That's all from me now. Let's see how many of these I can actually finish in the holidays whilst battling with my university reading list.

What books have you bought recently and what books are you going to be reading during the festive break?