Category: Hauls

December Haul

December is all about buying for other people so I didn’t do any book shopping in December but I did receive a few cookbooks and a novel that my brother’s girlfriend picked up for me. I signed up to Kindle Unlimited this month as well because they have a really good offer on at the moment. You get three months of the service for £1.99! With Kindle Unlimited you can borrow 10 books at a time from the unlimited library and I have already taken out a few which I will show you below.

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Cookbooks

The Wicked Healthy Cookbook

The Wicked Healthy Cookbook

Hi, we’re Chad and Derek. We’re brothers who craft humble vegetables into the stuff of food legend. Everything we create is a bold marriage of delicate and punchy flavours, crunchy textures, and all with knife-sharp attention to detail. We’re proud graduates of the University of Common Sense who simply believe that eating more veg is good for you and good for the planet.

THE WICKED HEALTHY COOKBOOK presents a delicious game plan endorsed by every doctor and health organisation in the world: eat more plants. Chefs Chad and Derek Sarno are among the world’s foremost authorities on plant-based cooking and here they share their secrets for making killer meals.

THE WICKED HEALTHY COOKBOOK is unlike any other book on the market, and takes the badass plant pushing moniker to a whole new level, with sumptuous recipes and equally gorgeous photographs. The chefs include must-have tips on everything from barbecuing and entertaining, to cooking oil-free (if you’re into that), to organising an efficient kitchen. Featured throughout are informational sidebars and new innovative cooking techniques, helping to ensure readers end up with all of the flavour and texture they could want from a meal, minus the guilt!

Celebrating the central role of beautiful, crave-able food for our health and vitality, Chad and Derek provide 129 recipes for everyday meals and fancy dinner parties alike and also show us how to kick back and indulge with drool-inducing recipes like Sloppy BBQ Jackfruit Sliders with Slaw, New England Style “Lobstah” Rolls, and Grilled peaches with Vanilla Spiced Gelato and Mango Sriracha Caramel. That’s all part of the plan: Shoot for 80% healthy and 20% wicked, and you’ll be 100% sexy: That’s Wicked Healthy!

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Vegan Christmas – Gaz Oakly

Vegan Christmas

Vegans and vegetarians everywhere will have the best holiday period ever with Gaz Oakley’s fantastic alternatives to the trad turkey and trimmings. Gaz is an expert in bold flavours and textures, so everyone can enjoy a spectacular centrepiece and amazing food throughout the festive season. Gaz talks you through the menus and the planning, from Christmas morning breakfast like Sweet Potato Waffles and Tofu Benedict, through to a show-stopping lunch with the likes of Ultimate Christmas Wellington, “Turkey” Roast and Festive Nut Roast Wreath served with all the trimmings: “No Pigs” in Blankets, Hasselback Potatoes and Fluffy Yorkshire Puddings – all rounded off with spectacular dairy-free puds including Boozy Tiramisu and Creme Brûlée Tarts. There are vegan versions of mince pies, Pavlova and the traditional Christmas Pudding with Custard, and even a “cheese” board for afters! And it’s not just about the big day: Gaz offers a supreme spread of party food for when you’re celebrating with guests – Mini Sausage Rolls, Sticky BBQ “Ribs” and Arancini, among many others, plus ideas for Boxing Day leftovers including Bubble & Squeak, Christmas Curry and Gyros. Packed with suggestions for the festivities and advice on how to keep cool in the kitchen if you’re cooking on the big day, Vegan Christmas Cookbook offers every solution you’ll ever need for what to cook for vegans and vegetarians at Christmas.

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


BOSH! – Ian Theasby, Henry Firth

BOSH!: The Cookbook: Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants.

‘The vegan Jamie Olivers’ The TimesWant to cook ridiculously good plant-based food from scratch but have no idea where to start? With over 140 incredibly easy and outrageously tasty all plants meals, BOSH! The Cookbook will be your guide.

Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, creators of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing plant-based platform, BOSH!, are the new faces of the food revolution.

Their online channels have well over 1.8 million fans and constantly inspire people to cook ultra-tasty & super simple recipes at home. Always ensuring they stick to fresh, supermarket-friendly ingredients, BOSH! truly is “plant-based food for everyone”.

In BOSH! The Cookbook, Ian and Henry share over 140 of their favourite go-to breakfasts, crowd-pleasing party pieces, hearty dinners, sumptuous desserts & incredible sharing cocktails.

The book is jam-packed with fun, unpretentious and mega satisfying recipes, including Creamy Mac and Greens, Burrito Samosas, the Big Bhaji Burger, the World’s Best Pesto Lasagne, Satay Sweet Potato BOSH! Bowl, Spanish Beach Churros, Gooey PBJ Brownies and Salted Caramel Chocolate Crunch Tart, all easy enough to be rustled up any night of the week. It’s enough to convince the staunchest of carnivores to give plants a whirl.

Whether you’re already sold on the plant-based lifestyle or you simply want to incorporate more meat, dairy and egg-free meals into your week, BOSH! The Cookbook is your plant-based bible.

BOSH!

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


15 Minute Vegan Comfort Food – Katy Beskow

15 Minute Vegan Comfort Food: Simple & satisfying vegan recipes

From the author of the bestselling 15 Minute Vegan comes 15 Minute Vegan: Comfort Food. The book shatters the notion that vegan food is cold and soulless by showing you how to create inspired comfort foods, whether you’re vegan or not. Vegan cookery expert Katy Beskow celebrates cooking for pleasure, soul and enjoyment, without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Using ingredients readily available in supermarkets, Katy’s easy recipes and instructions will have you making delicious, nutritious meals time after time. The book explores how a mindful cooking process is as comforting as the final dish, even when you have just 15 minutes to spare, and offers 100 recipes across five chapters: comfort classics (chocolate chilli, moussaka bowls); sides & bites (sweetcorn fritters, speedy samosas); social sharing (mushroom bourguignon, garden biryani); solo recipes (spicy falafel burger, cashew chow mein); and sweet comforts (cherry pot pies, jam sponge pudding).

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Web

Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I

New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…


I actually listened to the audiobook of Last Christmas in Paris in November and I loved it so much I will definitely reread it in the future. My brother’s girlfriend spotted it in town for €3 and picked me up a copy. The print version is so pretty. The letters are arranged so nicely, I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Kindle Unlimited

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The Ladies’ Room by Carolyn Brown

The Ladies' Room

Secrets told in the church ladies’ room are supposed to stay in the ladies’ room. But that doesn’t mean that what Trudy overhears there during her great-aunt Gertrude’s funeral won’t change the rest of her life.

Trudy has a daughter in the middle of a major rebellion; a two-timing husband who has been cheating for their entire married life; and a mother with Alzheimer’s residing in the local nursing home. She doesn’t really need a crumbling old house about to fall into nothing but a pile of memories and broken knickknacks.

Billy Lee Tucker, resident oddball in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, lived next door to Gert, and in her will she leaves him the funds to help Trudy remodel the old house. That’s fine with Billy Lee, because he’s been in love with Trudy since before they started school. And just spending time with her is something he’d never ever allowed himself to dream about.

A beautiful home rises up from the old house on Broadway, and right along with it rises up a relationship. But is Trudy too scarred from what she heard in the ladies’ room to see a lovely future with Billy Lee

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Box of Frogs by Helen Harper

Box of Frogs (The Fractured Faery, #1)

One corpse. Several bizarre looking attackers. Some very strange magical powers. And a severe bout of amnesia. Madrona is not having a great week. It’s going to be okay though. All she has to do is find out who she really is, protect a soap star from being attacked by a stalker and work out why so many people seem so afraid of her. Because surely she’s a good person.

Right?

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Edinburgh Twilight by Carole Lawrence

Edinburgh Twilight (Ian Hamilton Mysteries #1)

As a new century approaches, Edinburgh is a city divided. The wealthy residents of New Town live in comfort, while Old Town’s cobblestone streets are clotted with criminals, prostitution, and poverty.

Detective Inspector Ian Hamilton is no stranger to Edinburgh’s darkest crimes. Scarred by the mysterious fire that killed his parents, he faces his toughest case yet when a young man is found strangled in Holyrood Park.

With little evidence aside from a strange playing card found on the body, Hamilton engages the help of his aunt, a gifted photographer, and George Pearson, a librarian with a shared interest in the criminal mind. But the body count is rising. As newspapers spin tales of the “Holyrood Strangler,” panic sets in across the city. And with each victim, the murderer is getting closer to Hamilton, the one man who dares to stop him.

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Pines by Blake Crouch

Pines (Wayward Pines, #1)

Secret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact—he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.

Get the Book: Amazon | Book Depository


Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads.

What books did you get in December?

Cailleach Candles Unboxing

USE CODE ELAINE15 TO GET 15% OFF

Cailleach Candles are vegan and made with 100% soy wax, cotton wicks, dried herbs, flowers and natural crystals. Each one is handmade and inspired by myth and magick.

Visit Cailleach Candles website here


November Book Haul

This is probably my biggest book haul. In October I took part in an event called Secret Vampire in My Vampire Book Obsession which is basically Secret Santa but we play at Halloween and call ourselves vampires. My Secret Vampire lived in the US so it took a while for the books to arrive and they missed my October Haul but do not fear I will show you all of the awesome books she sent me now. I also received an ARC from Harper Collins Ireland and I visited a few more second-hand shops.


From My Secret Vampire

Sparrow Hill Road (Ghost Roads, #1)Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.

You can’t kill what’s already dead.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Final GirlsFinal Girls by Riley Sager

First there were THREE.

The media calls them the Final Girls – the infamous group of survivors that no one wants to be part of.

Then there were TWO.

But when Lisa dies in mysterious circumstances, Sam shows up unannounced and angry.

Can there only ever be ONE?

All Quincy knows is one thing: she is next.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


BelindaBelinda by Maria Edgeworth

The lively comedy of this novel in which a young woman comes of age amid the distractions and temptations of London high society belies the challenges it poses to the conventions of courtship, the dependence of women, and the limitations of domesticity. Contending with the perils and the varied cast of characters of the marriage market, Belinda strides resolutely toward independence. Admired by her contemporary, Jane Austen, and later by Thackeray and Turgenev, Edgeworth tackles issues of gender and race in a manner at once comic and thought-provoking. The 1802 text used in this edition also confronts the difficult and fascinating issues of racism and mixed marriage, which Edgeworth toned down in later editions.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


The Turning (Blood Ties, #1)The Turning by Jennifer Armintrout

I’m no coward. I want to make that perfectly clear. But after my life turned into a horror movie, I take fear a lot more seriously now. I finally became Dr. Carrie Ames just eight months ago. Then I was attacked in the hospital morgue by a vampire. Just my luck.

So now I’m a vampire, and it turns out I have a blood tie to the monster who sired me. The tie works like an invisible leash and I’m bound to him no matter what I do. And of course he’s one of the most evil vampires on earth. With my sire hell-bent on turning me into a soulless killer and his sworn enemy set to exterminate me, things couldn’t get much worse–except I’m attracted to them both.

Drinking blood, living as an immortal demon and being a pawn between two warring vampire factions isn’t exactly how I’d imagined my future. But as my father used to say, the only way to conquer fear is to face it. So that’s what I’ll do. Fangs bared.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Vampires and WerewolvesGrimm Fairy Tales: Vampires & Werewolves by Pat Shand and Mark L. Miller

Collect the Unleashed tie-in stories that feature Roman putting down the werewolf packs, and Liesel Van Helsing taking the fight to the vampires on their path to send these monsters back to the Shadowlands! Collects Grimm Fairy Tales: Vampires #1-3 and Grimm Fairy Tales: Werewolves #1-3.

Get the book: Book Depository


Audible amazon Harry Potter collection

Harper Collins Ireland

One Minute LaterOne Minute Later by Susan Lewis

It’s takes one minute to change everything…

Vivienne Shager has it all. A highflying job. A beautiful apartment. Friends whose lives are as perfect as her own. But on the afternoon of her 27th birthday, Vivi has a heart attack.

Now Vivi’s life shrinks back to how it begun, as she moves back to the small seaside town she grew up in. With her time running out, there is one thing she wants to know the truth about.

Some secrets are best left in the past…

Thirty years earlier, Shelley’s family home, Deerwood farm, bursts full of love and happiness. But one family member has hidden a secret for all these years. Until Vivi comes home demanding answers, and it takes just a moment to unravel the lie at their heart of their lives…

Preorder the book: Amazon | Book Depository


November Book Haul Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowin_

Second-Hand Shops

'Tis; a Memoir‘Tis by Frank McCourt

The sequel to Frank McCourt’s memoir of his Irish Catholic boyhood, Angela’s Ashes, picks up the story in October 1949, upon his arrival in America. Though he was born in New York, the family had returned to Ireland due to poor prospects in the United States. Now back on American soil, this awkward 19-year-old, with his “pimply face, sore eyes, and bad teeth,” has little in common with the healthy, self-assured college students he sees on the subway and dreams of joining in the classroom. Initially, his American experience is as harrowing as his impoverished youth in Ireland, including two of the grimmest Christmases ever described in literature. McCourt views the U.S. through the same sharp eye and with the same dark humor that distinguished his first memoir: race prejudice, casual cruelty, and dead-end jobs weigh on his spirits as he searches for a way out. A glimpse of hope comes from the army, where he acquires some white-collar skills, and from New York University, which admits him without a high school diploma. But the journey toward his position teaching creative writing at Stuyvesant High School is neither quick nor easy. Fortunately, McCourt’s openness to every variety of human emotion and longing remains exceptional; even the most damaged, difficult people he encounters are richly rendered individuals with whom the reader can’t help but feel uncomfortable kinship. The magical prose, with its singing Irish cadences, brings grandeur and beauty to the most sorrowful events, including the final scene, set in a Limerick graveyard. –Wendy Smith

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


On Canaan's SideOn Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry

From the Man Booker short-listed author of The Secret Scripture comes a magnificent new novel that is the story of twentieth-century America.

Sebastian Barry returns with the extraordinary story of Lilly Bere, the youngest daughter of the Dunne family. Forced to flee Ireland with her fiancé as a teenager under threat of death from the IRA, Lilly discovers herself in America. Her rich and tragic life takes her from Chicago, where her fiancé is brutally murdered, to Cleveland where she marries and finds happiness even as she survives the Great Depression and World War II. Joyfully pregnant at forty-three, Lilly moves to Washington, D.C., her husband mysteriously disappears, and she finds work as a cook for one of the most prominent families in the country. Lilly follows the family to Bridgehampton, New York, and there she brings up her son, Ed, who at eighteen is called up to Vietnam and vanishes on his return to America. Mr. Nolan, a close friend, is dispatched to find him and returns from the Smoky Mountain wilderness not with Ed but with Ed’s young son, Bill, whom Lilly will raise and adore until tragedy strikes.
Told in the first person as a narrative of her life over seventeen days, On Canaan’s Side is the heartbreaking story of a woman whose capacity to love is enormous and whose compassion, even for those who have wronged her, is extraordinary.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


WinterWinter by Ali Smith

The dazzling second novel in Ali Smith’s essential Seasonal Quartet — from the Baileys Prize-winning, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Autumn and How to be both.

Winter? Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. The shortest days, the longest nights. The trees are bare and shivering. The summer’s leaves? Dead litter.

The world shrinks; the sap sinks.
But winter makes things visible. And if there’s ice, there’ll be fire.

In Ali Smith’s Winter, lifeforce matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter.

It’s the season that teaches us survival.
Here comes Winter.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


AutumnAutumn by Ali Smith

Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That’s what it felt like for Keats in 1819. How about Autumn 2016? Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic, once-in-a-generation summer.Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand-in-hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever.
Ali Smith’s new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. It is the first installment of her Seasonal quartet–four stand-alone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as the seasons are)–and it casts an eye over our own time. Who are we? What are we made of? Shakespearean jeu d’esprit, Keatsian melancholy, the sheer bright energy of 1960s pop art: the centuries cast their eyes over our own history making.
Here’s where we’re living. Here’s time at its most contemporaneous and its most cyclic.
From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in time-scale and light-footed through histories, a story about aging and time and love and stories themselves.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Eligible (The Austen Project, #4)Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

This version of the Bennet family and Mr. Darcy is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend, neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


Chocolat (Chocolat #1)Chocolat by Joanne Harris

When the exotic stranger Vianne Rocher arrives in the old French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique called “La Celeste Praline” directly across the square from the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock. It is the beginning of Lent: the traditional season of self-denial. The priest says she’ll be out of business by Easter.

To make matters worse, Vianne does not go to church and has a penchant for superstition. Like her mother, she can read Tarot cards. But she begins to win over customers with her smiles, her intuition for everyone’s favourites, and her delightful confections. Her shop provides a place, too, for secrets to be whispered, grievances aired. She begins to shake up the rigid morality of the community. Vianne’s plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate éclair?

For the first time, here is a novel in which chocolate enjoys its true importance, emerging as an agent of transformation. Rich, clever, and mischievous, reminiscent of a folk tale or fable, this is a triumphant read with a memorable character at its heart.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository


The Thirteenth TaleThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once the imposing home of the March family – fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, Charlie, her brutal and dangerous brother, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House conceals a chilling secret whose impact still resonates …

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past – and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has the house been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic author Vida Winter? And what is it in Margaret’s own troubled past that causes her to fall so powerfully under Angelfield’s spell?

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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October Book Haul

I continued my second-hand shop and thrift store book shopping in October (I am in love with these shops). I also won a box from Books and Charms in September and received the box in October. You can check out the unboxing post here.

October Haul Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

AtonementAtonement by Ian McEwan

On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl’s imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone. Atonement is Ian McEwan’s finest achievement. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, at its centre is a profound – and profoundly moving – exploration of shame and forgiveness, of atonement and the difficulty of absolution.

Get the book: Book Depository / Amazon

The Girls Of Slender MeansThe Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark

Like the May of Teck Club itself, “three times window shattered since 1940 but never directly hit,” the young women of London after WWII do their best to act as if the world were back to normal: practicing elocution, jostling over suitors and a single Schiaparelli gown. Chosen by Anthony Burgess as one of the Best Modern Novels in the Sunday Times of London, The Girls of Slender Means is a taut and eerily perfect novel by an author The New York Times has called “one of this century’s finest creators of comic-metaphysical entertainment.”

Get the book: Book Depository / Amazon

Venus in FursVenus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

Severin von Kusiemski is obsessed with the Greek goddess of love, and is consumed by the desire to be dominated. When he meets his voluptuous neighbour, Wanda von Dunajew, he is enthralled, and convinces her to enter into a contract: she is to be his Mistress, he will be her slave. So they travel from the harsh Carpathian slopes to verdant Italy, where Severin’s once-reluctant Mistress embraces her power with an icy fervour, testing her slave’s devotion to breaking point. This otherworldly study of dominance, lust and submission broke new ground in literature and continues to challenge our conventions of love and sexuality.

Get the book: Book Depository / Amazon

Revolutionary RoadRevolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Hailed as a masterpiece from the moment of its first publication, Revolutionary Road is the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, young couple who are bored by the banalities of suburban life and long to be extraordinary. With heartbreaking compassion and clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April’s decision to change their lives for the better leads to betrayal and tragedy.

Get the book: Book Depository / Amazon

Jane EyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is a wildly emotional romance with a lonely heroine and a tormented Byronic hero, pathetic orphans, dark secrets, and a madwoman in the attic. When it was
published in 1847, it was a great popular success. The power of the writing, the masterly
handling of the narrative, and the boldly realistic style were much admired. But many found it difficult to believe that Currer Bell, the pseudonymous author, was Charlotte Brontë , a young woman from a bleak Yorkshire parsonage.

Get the book: Book Depository / Amazon

DraculaDracula by Bram Stoker

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon afterwards, a number of disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘Master’. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count Dracula and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing deeply into questions of human identity and sanity, and illuminating dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

Get the book: Book Depository / Amazon

Water for ElephantsWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen

An atmospheric, gritty, and compelling novel of star-crossed lovers, set in the circus world circa 1932, by the bestselling author of Riding Lessons.

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her.

Beautifully written, Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford.

Get the book: Book Depository / Amazon

The Mermaid and Mrs HancockThe Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This chance meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, a journey on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost…

What will be the cost of their ambitions? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?

In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.

Get the book: Book Depository / Amazon


Books and Charms Box

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Meet Don Tillman. Don is getting married. He just doesn’t know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. One thing he already knows, though, is that it’s not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not.

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The Tiger's WifeThe Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

tiger escapes from the local zoo, padding through the ruined streets and onwards, to a ridge above the Balkan village of Galina. His nocturnal visits hold the villagers in a terrified thrall. But for one boy, the tiger is a thing of magic – Shere Khan awoken from the pages of The Jungle Book.

Natalia is the granddaughter of that boy. Now a doctor, she is visiting orphanages after another war has devastated the Balkans. On this journey, she receives word of her beloved grandfather’s death, far from their home, in circumstances shrouded in mystery.

From fragments of stories her grandfather told her as a child, Natalia realizes he may have died searching for ‘the deathless man’, a vagabond who was said to be immortal. Struggling to understand why a man of science would undertake such a quest, she stumbles upon a clue that will lead her to a tattered copy of The Jungle Book, and then to the extraordinary story of the tiger’s wife.

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Full unboxing here.

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

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September Book Haul

It’s been ages since I done a haul post. I don’t normally buy lots of books in a month (it’s usually maybe two) but I discovered the wonders of second-hand shops and thrift stores in September and I bought some. I still didn’t go nuts with the purchasing! I managed to just buy five then I received a book from Harper Collins and my mother gave me a book.


September Haul Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 

Little Fires EverywhereLittle Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

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Sons and Lovers Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

The marriage of Gertrude and Walter Morel has become a battleground. Repelled by her uneducated and sometimes violent husband, delicate Gertrude devotes her life to her children, especially to her sons, William and Paul – determined they will not follow their father into working down the coal mines. But conflict is evitable when Paul seeks to escape his mother’s suffocating grasp through relationships with women his own age. Set in Lawrence’s native Nottinghamshire, Sons and Lovers is a highly autobiographical and compelling portrayal of childhood, adolescence and the clash of generations.

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The Witches of EastwickThe Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

In a small New England town in the late 1960s, there lived three witches. Alexandra Spofford, a sculptress, Jane Smart, a cellist, and Sukie Rougemont,the local gossip columnist. Their supernatural gifts were intriguing, to say the least. Divorced but hardly celibate, content but always ripe for adventure, one day all three witches found themselves under the spell of a new man in town, Darryl Van Horne. His hot tub was the scene of some bewitching delights, but that doesn’t being to conjure the half of it.

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Labyrinth (Languedoc Trilogy, #1)Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth.

Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading armies gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take a tremendous sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.

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The Little StrangerThe Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

After her award-winning trilogy of victorian novels, sarah waters turned to the 1940s and wrote the night watch, a tender and tragic novel set against the backdrop of wartime britain shortlisted for both the orange and the man booker, it went straight to number one in the bestseller chart in a dusty post-war summer in rural warwickshire, a doctor is called to a patient at hundreds hall home to the ayres family for over two centuries, the georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine but are the ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life little does dr faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his prepare yourself from this wonderful writer who continues to astonish us, now comes a chilling ghost story.

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The Night WatchThe Nightwatch by Sarah Waters

Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller.

This is the story of four Londoners: three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching. Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret. Viv, a glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover. Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets, connect in sometimes startling ways.

War leads to strange alliances. Tender, tragic and beautifully poignant, set against the backdrop of feats of heroism both epic and ordinary, here is a novel of relationships that offers up subtle surprises and twists. The Night Watch is a thrilling and towering literary achievement.

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BarrenBarren by Peter V. Brett

Each night, the world is overrun by bloodthirsty demons. For centuries, humanity survived only by hiding behind defensive wards—magical symbols with the power to repel the demons. Now, the rediscovery of long-forgotten combat wards has given them the magic they need to fight back.

In Tibbet’s Brook, the fighting wards have brought change, but the factions and grudges of a troubled past remain. Selia Square, the woman they call Barren, has long been the force that holds the Brook together. As a terrifying new threat emerges, she rallies her people once again.

But Selia has a past of her own. And in a small community the personal and the political can never be divided. If Tibbet’s Brook is to survive, Selia must uncover memories she has buried deep—the woman she once was, the woman she once loved—and retell their story.

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Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_