Like I mentioned in my previous post, I recently celebrated a pretty significant milestone: I've officially been blogging for eight years!
While that "crazy eight" number proves to be a pretty big mental hurdle to get over, I knew I was going to be honoring my blogging birthday in my annual fashion: with a big ol' book haul. So, I headed out to go pick up the goods, from two of my favorite places...
barnes and noble haul
It's become a piece of time-worn tradition, that on my bloggoversary, I set out for the blissful summer air conditioning of Barnes and Noble first, and select some new - very new - reading material. Five titles total, to be exact!
Whereas other parts of the year, I remain pretty tight-fisted on how much I spend on brand-new books - usually preferring to buy secondhand, like from Powell's in Portland, or more recently, from Book Outlet, or better yet, lending prodigious amounts of more expensive new releases from the library - my bloggoversary is one of the few times of the year I truly let loose, which is why I almost always walk away with more than one hardcover copy. Or, in the case of this year, three!
This year's choices display some pretty interesting trends in the kinds of books I regularly pick out for myself. I think as time goes on, I only get more invested in Fantasy... and that I know I place a lot of trust in authors I love (hey there, Jennifer Egan). And, as it turns out, in the New York Times Bestseller List, as four of these books have authors who have been there before!
So, from a new YA release from an author I've read before, to a classic Fantasy tale I didn't realize was a book first until a few months ago, here's the lineup of literature I bought to celebrate my eighth anniversary!
Circe, Madeline Miller
The Song of Achilles was not only a moving and enthralling YA retelling of the Achilles mythos (from Homer's The Illiad) - told from Patrocles' point of view - but it remains one of my fave LGBT+ picks for that age bracket. That book made me cry... so now that this one covers one of my favorite overlooked characters from the Greek myths, that of Circe (from The Odyssey), I'm truly looking forward to crying again.
Kill the Farm Boy, Delilah Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Never has a book title and tagline - "Once. A pun. A time." - made my brother and I laugh so much. Whether it's the promise of gleefully riffing on the standards of Chosen Ones, or the marketing point "for fans of Monty Python," I feel like this will make for a great vacation read this August.
Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik
Novik's Uprooted was a Fantasy favorite for me when I first read it, back in 2016. While I think it's interesting that Novik chose to wrote a companion novel, rather than a continuation in the series, I'm excited to meet her new characters... and I'm pretty stoked that the covers of the two books pair together so perfectly, too!
Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan
Egan is one of my favorite authors of all time. Not only do I love her to bits, but I've foisted my enjoyment of her on plenty of others, too. However, Manhattan Beach marks a bit of a departure from her regularly post-modern works, choosing instead to write a linear piece of historical fiction, and I'm excited to see what that looks like.
The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
I've somewhat annoyingly preached the glories of the 1982 animated masterpiece The Last Unicorn for over a decade, without ever knowing that the Mia Farrow / Jeff Bridges / Christopher Lee / Angela Lansbury- helmed work of art was based off a book. WHAT?! Clearly, it's high time I fixed this grievous error, and read the darn thing!
Naturally, one does not just visit the bookstore when searching for new reading material... especially not when you have four holds come in all on the same day! After I had wrapped things up at Barnes and Noble, I headed over to do a little celebrating at my local library.
In Other Lands, Sarah Rees Brennan
One of my surprise favorites from the last year, this YA Fantasy standout has been on my mind for a reread recently, just because summer is such a Fantasy-friendly time, in my opinion. However, I might have to wait a little while for that, as my little brother quickly expressed interest... and so far, he's loving it!
Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of), Arden Rose
As as self-help fanatic and somewhat floundering college graduate, I can honestly say I have a significant weakness for books about "Adulting." The ideal of a singular tome you can purchase that will somehow grant you the keys to becoming a functioning, impressive human person, is the Holy Grail I choose to pursue.
How Not to Die, Michael Greger, M. D.
Having a younger sibling go vegan for the better part of a year, is more than enough to make you start rethinking your own eating choices. This popular and attention-grabbing title is a favorite among the healthy-eating community, and I'm trying to get to it soon (mainly because it's so thick, I don't think it would make too much sense as a vacation read!).
Proud: Living My American Dream [Young Readers Edition], Ibtihaj Muhammad
Fun fact about me: I took fencing lessons for about a year, when I was 13 years old. While the hobby fell by the wayside, the appreciation for the physically demanding and fast-paced sport has never truly waned, and certain not in regards to this particular fencer, USA gold medal earner Ibtihaj Muhammad. Not only the first American Olympian to wear a hijab, she has also achieved one of the highest honors I hold dear (having a 2018 Barbie in the "Shero" collection made in her image!).
Well, not in dollars, I mean. I meant "in total" more like "in summary"... and the idea of proudly proclaiming how much money I hemorraged in purposefully purchasing three separate hardcovers makes me want to hurl. At least I sure got my money's worth at the library, right?
In summary, I picked up nine books. From Fantasy faves, to new nonfiction, I think I really ran the gamut when it comes to celebrating my big milestone with some new material. But, like I said, I sure spent a lot of money on this particular venture this year. If only there was some way I could give those kinds of resources back to my community... ;)
Guess you're going to have to wait for the third and final installment in this celebratory series to find out!
What books would you have picked up for your celebration haul? Which of the ones I chose should I read first? Let me know, in the comments below!