I don’t often post book hauls, in fact my last one was in November 2018, but I got some really lovely books for my birthday on the 15th April and during Easter Con last weekend that I really wanted to share with you all. I’ve been really lucky and thankful to receive so many wonderful gifts as well as have the financial means to afford to buy more books this year, so I hope you all don’t mind me sharing these with you all!
Birthday Gift Haul
I was honestly so bowled over by how many wonderful presents I got from my birthday this year and was not expecting to receive as many books as I did! I’m really excited to read all of the books I received and there were some book gifts from friends that I was not expecting to receive anything from, so looking back over these gifts makes my heart so happy.
The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill
I have been wanting to read The Tea Dragon Society since forever so was overjoyed to receive it for my birthday from one of my fantastic con friends. I obviously read it immediately after unwrapping it, then read it again with my partner the following day.
Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed
My partner bought me a copy of Living a Feminist Life so that I can finally read it and I am so ready for it. Sara Ahmed used to be a lecturer at my university although I sadly didn’t get to hear her lecture during my time there, so I am so grateful to be able to read her words via this book instead. I’ve already read the first chapter which is amazing and everything I need.
Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine by Hannah Fry
It feels like everybody has been recommending me this book but I couldn’t afford it when it first came out so never got round to reading it. One of my friends from uni, who also does digital anthropology, bought it for me for my birthday though which totally blew me away and I’m looking forward to picking it up.
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
I read some of The Second Sex for a history essay I did in the second year of my undergraduate degree and immediately wanted to read more of it but never had time during my degree. This has been such an influential and important feminist book so I definitely wanted to own my own copy that I could dip into whenever I wanted to. Plus, the cover for this edition is gorgeous.
Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese SF in Translation edited by Ken Liu
Broken Stars was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 but didn’t actually make my birthday list. One of my friends did a bit of digging around in my Amazon wishlists though, saw it on one of my lists and bought me a signed copy. I cannot express how excited I am to read this anthology ❤
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
But wait… don’t you already have the SoA already, Avery? I may hear you ask. Well yes, yes I do but my best friends got me a signed copy of it for my birthday and I could honestly cry over it. This book means a heck of a lot to me so having a signed copy with a little message from Madeline in it has killed me forever.
Those were all of the gifts I got book wise but on top of those (which were already amazing enough) I got a beautiful rucksack, 2 vinyls from my mum (Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Ella Fitzgerald: The Platinum Collection), the Tea Dragon Society card game, a set of the most beautiful D&D dice, Amazon vouchers and some money, and tickets to a workshop at the Museum of London about bones (which was so much fun)!
This birthday was the first year I organized a celebration with friends for some years, after ceasing the following some disastrous friend birthdays a few years back, and I had such an amazing time. It honestly made me so emotional to see so many good friends turn up for my birthday, which I didn’t expect at all, and this was one of the best birthdays I’ve had for a long time ❤.
I attended Easter Con, a science-fiction convention run this year in London, for the first time this year and it was amazing. I’ll be doing a proper write-up of it in a few days time as I want to talk about the event more in-depth but for now I want to share with you all the amazing books I got from the excellent dealer shops at the convention. In addition to the books that I bought, I also received some free books and took my copies of Planetfall by Emma Newman and Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky to get signed!
Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky (2019) – I only read Children of Time last year and couldn’t believe my luck when the sequel was announced soon after for publication this year. Children of Time is one of the most excellent books I’ve ever read so I have high hopes for its sequel and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. If you love SF with out of this world world-building, interesting xeno-human relations and a story which is brilliantly written then this is a series for you. Caution: may contain many legged friends.
Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan, translated by Ken Liu (2019) – Another book which was on my most anticipated 2019 releases list was Waste Tide. I am incredibly excited at the recent influx of translated SF which all looks and sounds amazing. Waste Tide is about Mimi, a ‘trash girl’, a migrant and scavenger whose life is picking through trash. It’s a story about capitalism, consumer culture, pollution, conflict, and eco-terrorism. All of which I am here for.
From the Wreck by Jane Rawson (2019) – I acquired a copy of this at a Tor launch party at the convention where they were giving away free copies of their new releases. I picked up From the Wreck as it looked like it offered something a little different from the usual kind of SF I pick up, blending different genres, perspectives and worlds together to produce a chilling SF novel.
Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (2015) – You all know how much I love anthologies, especially feminist ones and especially ones which contain stories by authors such as Octavia Butler, Nnedi Okorafor, and Ursula Le Guin. I had never heard of this anthology before but I obviously had to buy it immediately.
The Outside by Ada Hoffman (2019) – I kept seeing The Outside on Netgalley and came so close to requesting an ARC of it because it sounds like exactly the kind of book I would love but wasn’t sure if I could commit to another ARC. So, imagine my excitement when I won a copy of it from Angry Robot Books, who I would like to thank profusely for letting me win even though I got the answer to the riddle wrong… It’s protagonist is an autistic female scientist and involves AI gods, post-human angels, cyber-tech and a very intriguing world. YES PLEASE!!
After Atlas by Emma Newman (2018) – I reviewed an ARC of Planetfall, the first book in this series, in 2018 and fell so in love with it that I bought my own physical copy of the book. Emma Newman is one of my favourite new-to-me authors and her diverse rep is everything. I got to word splurge at Emma about how much Planetfall meant to me and she was so, so, so, so nice. I can’t wait to finally read the sequel (you all know how I am with sequels…) and 100% recommend this series and Emma Newman to everyone.
Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany (1966) – Given that my PhD will heavily involve science-fiction, especially anything to do with AI, I wanted to read more classic SF this year. I don’t know much about Samuel R. Delany but one thing is I do really, really appreciate is that he has the same surname spelling as me (which almost never happens)!
Interzone Magazine – I had a bit of an awkward encounter with the dealer selling these magazines (I mean… misgendering me and mansplaining what SF magazines are is never a good selling tactic) but I did end up buying 2 copies of Interzone Magazine to try. I haven’t really read any SF magazines and was interested to try these out.
In addition these my birthday and Easter Con haul, I also acquired a surprising amount of other books this month which is quite unusual for me!
Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us (About Life, Philosophy and Everything) is one of the library books I picked up this month and it turned out not only to be really interesting but also really relevant to my PhD. I found a super cheap copy online which I ordered as I can see myself dipping into this frequently over the next few years!
Charity Shop Finds – The charity shops near my house are gold mines for books. I picked up Annihilation, something I’ve wanted to read ever since watching the movie, for only 50p and also got a like new copy of Hollow City for £2 in another shop which made me very happy.
#booksfortrade – Not only did I discover a pretty cool book blogger via the books for trade tag on Twitter but she was also doing a really good deal on books she was selling. I got these 3 books for £10 and they’re all books that I’ve been really wanting to read. I’ve read (and loved) two of Adam Silvera’s books so far so have been wanting to pick up History is All You Left Me as well, adored the film adaptation of A Monster Calls, and have been very intrigued about Vengeance Road.
That’s all the books for this haul. I’m still absolutely stunned at how many wonderful books I’ve received and acquired this month, I cannot wait to read them all. Now I just have to actually find the time to read them…!