Epic Birthday/Graduation/Thesis Completion Book Haul

As many of you know, I just finished my honours thesis. Over the last month or so, I have been stockpiling books to celebrate this trifecta of events (though really, turning 24 and graduating from a degree I finished almost a year ago is a bit superfluous)

I got some second hand, but mostly treated myself to lovely new books. Not all have appeared… I’m going to get a big talking to by my mum about the number of parcels turning up, but hey, the postman needs a job! I’m helping the economy!

I bought myself hardcovers of two of my favourite classics, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Wuthering Heights, which I have been wanting to get for ages. I also slipped in some Forster, namely A Room with a View and Howard’s End, as I’ve somehow missed reading him before now.

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I bought some books from Persephone, which was super exciting, as I finally got the gorgeous matching bookmarks! I also got Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski second hand, for a rather good price, which is always nice! I’m particularly excited about Lady Rose and Mrs. Memmary and Greenery Street, which both sound so perfect for the mood I’m in.image

My friend Narelle wrote a section of her honours thesis on The Three Miss Kings, and since I really want to have further intelligent conversations with her, and I love colonial literature and wish there were more of it, I thought it best I grab it to read. I began reading Women of the Left Bank for my own thesis, only meaning to read what I needed, but I got too enthralled and had to keep going! I am thoroughly enjoying it, but my library wanted their copy back and I wanted one to keep, so grabbed it on sale (it’s ridiculously expensive to buy new!) It’s taking me a while, as it’s rather dense (being an academic text) but it is worth the time and energy.

Kirsty wrote a fantastic review of Stonerand I am now going to admit that I always thought it was *about* stoners, and so had avoided it… Nothing could top Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, so why bother? I now see I was wrong, and another classmate said she cried every ten pages, so I know I’m in for a treat.image

Kirsty also recommended The Fish Can Sing, and I’m interested to get into more Nordic literature. One of my best friends is Swedish, and though we don’t often have the same taste in literature, her stories of her life at home makes me want to go there every time! Since reading Burial Rites I’ve been interested in Iceland, so this was a no brainer. I’m also reading Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss at the moment, which I think will be a good introduction to modern Iceland, and will come in handy as background knowledge.

How cute is this vintage cover of Flush? While I love Persephones, I couldn’t justify the price for such a little book, and now I’m even happier since this is so adorable.

Women of the Left Bank got me interested in Natalie Barney, so I’m hoping this biography Wild Girls will be good, even though there is a bad review worthy of my Bad Reviews post for it. I’m more than willing to ignore it though, because while everyone likes debauchery, I think the poster forgot that the real world isn’t Hollywood!!

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I also grabbed some books from Dymocks and Kinokuniya after a job interview in the city the other week, which was a bit exciting, (no news on the job yet though…)

  • a floppy hardcover of Jane Eyre (I believe they’re called Wordcloud classics editions) which is super silky and cute, way nicer than the depressing covers that inevitably get released… I don’t even understand that, because Wuthering Heights always has nice, pretty covers, when it is infinitely more depressing than Jane Eyre. Why is this?!
  • Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (and on the subject of covers… whoa! Damn!)
  • The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (another Left Bank inspired purchase)
  • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  • The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (Left Bank inspired)
  • Answered Prayers by Truman Capote (my gay boyfriend)
  • Nightwood by Djuna Barnes (and again!)
  • Ariel by Sylvia Plath
  • A Want of Kindness by Joanne Limberg (unashamed cover buy. I know nothing about it, other than it’s set in Queen Anne’s Court)
  • The World Before Us by Aislynn Hunter
  • The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë by Daphne Du Maurier
  • On Human Bondage by V Somerset Maugham
  • Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (currently reading Affinity and loving it!)
  • Gigi by Colette
  • Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett
  • Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott (I realised that the copy I owned was abridged, which may be why I loathed it as a child. We shall see.)

Then for my manthing, I’ve been especially generous since it’s his birthday soon, plus he too graduated and finished his thesis, and just because I like giving him books… and he’s not complaining (yet):

  • Crash by J.G. Ballard (I read one page and I’ve seen enough. No thanks!)
  • Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pyncheon
  • The World Jones Made by Phillip K. Dick (he’s a Dick scholar. The jokes will never get old.)
  • A Penguin clothbound edition of Moby Dick by Hermann Melville (hey look, more Dick! We intend to read it together)
  • A beautiful Folio Society edition of The Man in the High Castle by Phillip K. Dick (so much Dick!)

Oh man, nobody let me get any more books for a while. At least now that my thesis is finished, I can start reading for fun again!! We spent a gorgeous afternoon together yesterday, out in the backyard, me reading Names for the Sea and Harry reading Steppenwolf, and revelling in the fact that we didn’t need to write or edit or stress! I haven’t read a book properly like that since Orkney back in July, and it feels amazing. Even then, I was writing both my thesis and assignments, so it was not unadulterated reading joy.

Have you read any of the books I’ve got?

Any idea on how to read a thousand books at once? Coz I want to read them ALL RIGHT NOW.

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12 thoughts on “Epic Birthday/Graduation/Thesis Completion Book Haul

  1. Mein Gott! That’s quite a stack and well done with the thesis! I re-read Flush recently and thought it absolutely amazing. However I tried to read Wild Girls and failed – I’ll be interested to see what you think!

    • I tried to stack half of them up and they fell over 😂 they’ve all crept up on me, I feel a bit guilty looking at them in a list like this! I read a couple of pages of Flush and the prose was lovely, but I promised myself I wouldn’t read anything thesis related this month, so it will have to wait for a bit- I’m all Woolfed out! Ohhhh dear, that doesn’t bode well. I’m not great with biographies but I was hoping this one would be different. At least it was only $2.50 so it’s not a great loss!

      • You may like it, but it just didn’t grab me and I gave up after a couple of attempts. Mind you, this was many years ago….. 🙂

  2. Well done with the thesis, and what amazing library building. Too many fabulous books to pick just a few out, but I will say that I’ve just finished rereading Wuthering Heights – after wondering if it might be best left as a memory – and I was bedazzled all over again.

    • Oooh I can’t wait to re-read it too! I read it as an audiobook, so next time I’ll read it in book form! I’m so hoping I have the same reaction!
      Thank you!

  3. Have you read any of the books I’ve got? Assuming you mean your recent haul…Yep. I’ve read (and own hardcover, fairly recent not terribly exciting editions) of Wuthering Heights and Dorian Gray. Not a fan of WH, but I like DG quite a bit. Nice haul.

  4. Wow – good haul! And well done on completing your thesis!!! Greenery Street is lovely. I’ll be interested to see what you think of Names for the Sea – I found it quite negative and it gave me a bit of a skewed picture of Iceland which turned out not to be reflected in my experience of the place. I would recommend Ed Hancox’s “Iceland Defrosted” as a more positive counterpoint to it (with a discography in the back, you can’t go wrong). Happy reading!

    • I just posted a review of it yesterday, and I agree with you. Her fear definitely colours her ability to give a proper view of Iceland, she seems way too anxious to even try and seems really set into a mindset and nothing Icelanders could do would change it.

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