Book Haul #40: The Unexpected

…because I didn’t expect to be hauling books anytime soon.

It’s Saturday. I should do a Weekend Reads post, but I don’t know what to write about, and I should post a book review, but I’m procrastinating on doing those. I have loads to review, but it’s been more than a month since I’ve done one and now I feel intimidated by the thought of crafting one. I read the books and noted what I’d like to discuss, but I don’t know how to start and fear that whatever I write will be crappy.

That’s my mood right now: “everything I create is crappy” mood. It doesn’t help that this is NaNoWriMo and I’m participating (unofficially) and I already think the story I’m working on is crappy. I typed 5,000 words and then decided to start over from a different character’s POV because I ran out of steam. The character I switched to feels better to continue with, but it’s the antagonist and, and, and…I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m freaking out as I’m typing the story yet hoping it will all work out.

Anyway, I need to get these reviews out but until I stop procrastinating, here is an unexpected book haul. All of this is because I had coupons and saw awesome or discounted books while travelling. (Totally not my fault.)

Quick note: All book titles will be linked to their Goodreads page since I don’t give much of a synopsis for some of them.

Batch #1

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

I forgot where I learned of this book, but wherever it was the source either compared it to You by Caroline Kepnes, or I was reminded of You as I read about it. It’s about a charismatic, likeable guy who beats his wife into a coma.

Wyrd Sister by Terry Pratchett

I so enjoyed Equal Rites that I wanted to get and read the next book in the Witches series of the larger Discworld series.

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

I’ve wanted to try this book ever since I got hooked on booktube and was introduced to Jen’s channel. She recently published a book of fantastical short stories that I’d like to get as well.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

It was discounted and I was curious so I got it. Lots of readers have raved about Schwab’s books and after listening to several podcast interviews of her, I was convinced to try one.

Batch #2
Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

I subscribed to the Book Riot e-book deals newsletter and am so happy I did. Though I’m not a fan of e-books, they do come in handy as I constantly run out of shelf space. Some books, like this one, I’d rather buy at a discounted price as an e-book or borrow from the library because I’m not sure I’ll like it. Usually if I like it, I’ll get a physical copy.

Seriously Wicked was featured in one of my Wishes for My TBR posts. I placed it there because I’m always on the lookout for books about witches.

Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic by the British Library

I wasn’t going to get this at first but then I saw all the content in it and my defenses weakened.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

I so loved her recently published Little Fires Everywhere that I couldn’t stop myself from buying this when I saw it at an airport bookstore. (Trust me, I tried to resist the temptation but I really, really want to experience more of Ng’s storytelling talent.)

How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston

I’ve heard such great things about this one and was surprised to see it in the airport bookstore. I couldn’t leave without it.

Batch #3
The Seven Songs of Merlin and The Mirror of Merlin by T.A. Barron

I enjoyed the Lost Years of Merlin fantasy series as a teen so when I saw these old covers in a second-hand bookshop (inside an airport!!! 😀 ) I had to get them.

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin

I requested this on NetGalley and was granted access (awesome!). I’ve already started it and I quite like it. It’s a book of essays about old age that Le Guin had initially published on her blog. The book will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on December 5.

Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

Another Discworld book to continue the series.

Batch #4
The Dumb House by John Burnside

Jen (author of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, mentioned above) often recommends this book on her YouTube channel and it has always intrigued me so…I got it.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Everyone says it’s good. I want to see for myself… Or not since looking at things in this book makes people die of fright… something like that.

Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng

I learned about this book from this great review of it soon after completing The Bear and the Nightingale and wanted to start reading it immediately after, but I’m in a bit of a reading slump. Kinda. I am looking forward to this, though, because I think it’s about people trying to convert fairies to religion.

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell

I heard that this is great, so of course I got it because witches!! Also, there was an e-book deal for the three novellas in the series on Amazon so I also got The Lost Child of Lychford and A Long Day in Lychford.

Batch #5
The Book of Swords edited by Gardner Dozois

This is a short story anthology focused on fantasy stories described as “sword and sorcery.” It’s my favorite type of fantasy stories so when I saw this book and the lineup of authors, which includes George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb, I immediately placed it on my TBR and looked to get it.

Batman: Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison, illus. by Dave McKean

I keep buying Batman comics but have yet to read any. This one got my attention because Batman’s sanity is questioned in it. The comic was recommended to me by Neha, who runs the Biblionyan, which is both a blog and a YouTube channel. I watched her video of 15 Horror Book Recommendations for Halloween in which she mentions this comic book and convinced me to get it. She also reviewed it on her blog here.

The Accidental Quarterback and The Impossible Pitcher by Charles Curtis

The Accidental Quarterback is middle-grade fantasy novels about a boy who really wants to play football but lacks the athletic build and talent for it. He tries out anyway and discovers he has superhuman abilities that makes him great at the sport but also catches the attention of some “nefarious adults.” I was offered an e-ARC of both The Accidental Quarterback and its sequel The Impossible Pitcher, which will both be published on November 7 by Month9Books.

And that’s all the books!

Hopefully this will be the last haul for the year.

30 thoughts on “Book Haul #40: The Unexpected

  1. Good for you for giving NaNo a shot! I’ve never done it, mostly because I write too slowly to hit the 50K target, but I know several friends who are doing it. Good luck!

    I also bought more books without meaning to recently – so you’re not alone there. I ended up buying Daniel Jose Older’s Shadowhouse Fall, Julie Dao’s Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, and Lana Popovic’s Wicked Like a Wildfire. As for your book haul, I’d love to read UKLG’s No Time to Spare (and since she’s my favorite author, I’m sure I will at some point). I haven’t read many of her blog posts and essays, but if they’re anything like her speeches, then they’re bound to be well-written, witty, perceptive, and sharply honest.


    1. Thanks! I need the luck, lol. And thank you too because your blog has really motivated me to get back to writing stories. Your posts on writing have been really inspiring.

      That’s a nice bunch of books you got. Wicked Like Wildfire also caught my attention when I was at the bookstore because of its cover, I love it. I might borrow it from the library though. I’m a bit wary of YA these days.
      And I think you’d enjoy Le Guin’s No Time to Spare. Akylina commented and said that it covers a lot more topics than just old age so you have a lot more to look forward to. I’ve only read the first essay so far and it is quite witty.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *blushes* I’m really glad to hear that, Zezee. 🙂

        I agree, Wicked Like a Wildfire has an AMAZING cover. I actually had a quick moment to ask Lana Popovic about it during the book signing, and she said all of the objects you see in the design appear in the book – so I’ll have to keep an eye out for them! Plus, it’s purple, and you can’t go wrong with purple, IMO.

        It’s funny, after I commented on this post originally, I was inspired to find UKLG’s acceptance speech for her Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Book Awards a few years ago. I might have to use that for an upcoming Weekly Writer Wisdom, especially since it’s a short video (only 6 minutes long).


        1. 🙂
          That’s pretty cool about the objects on Wicked Like Wildfire cover appearing in the story. I like it when the cover is an extension of the story in some way. Lol yea, can’t go wrong with purple at all.

          Oh, I’ll look up that speech. I don’t think I’ve ever see her speak before.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Posting or reading about other people’s book hauls always motivates me for some reason, I guess because seeing new books makes me happy 🙂 You have some really awesome stuff in your new additions, by the way! I’m most curious about Under the Pendulum Sun, which I’ve heard some amazing things about.

    Also, I think it’s awesome that you’re doing NaNoWriMo. This is the second year in a row I’m taking a break from it, whereas before I did it every year and won for 5 years straight. I miss the excitement, but I just don’t have the time and energy for it this year, which is why I admire those who participate. Sometimes it can definitely get hard, but keep it up! You can do it! 😀


    1. Same here. I usually find books I’ve never heard of before or get interested in books I have heard of before in hauls and tags.

      Aww, Mogsy, thanks for the encouragement. I needed it because it seems so daunting. I’ve never completed any of the stories I thought up before.


  3. Nice batch of unexpected books, Zezee! I have to get my hands on a copy of Vicious too. I’ve only read This Savage Song by the author and was thrilled by her style. Currently also reading her famous A Darker Shade of Magic too! I just feel like her style in the adult world would only be soooooo much better! 😛 Glad to also see that Batman graphic novel. It’s a crazy good classic. The artwork is AMAZING (super freaky). Hope you enjoy!! 😀


    1. Key words there: “super freaky”! I’m glad I got that comic book. I’ve avoided looking at it much so I can surprise myself.
      And Schwab seems to be great with both YA and adult fiction. Vicious will be the first of her books I read, if I pick it up first.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I saw the Book of Swords in the bookstore yesterday! But I am not allowed to buy anything yet 😦
    Wyrd Sister is next in line in my Discworld ReRead project, I remember I liked it a lot! Same as with Witches Abroad


    1. That’s good to hear about those Witches books. That means I’ll probably like them too.
      And yea, I tried not to buy Book of Swords but couldn’t stop myself. I’d preferred to wait for the paperback.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Some great choices here, I’m curious as to what you will think. I loved Bird Box, it was so creepy and great.


  6. So many interesting books you got there! I finished Ursula Le Guin’s “No Time to Spare” a couple of days ago and only the first part is actually about old age; the rest are musings on her cat, literature and writing, feminism and all sorts of random stuff.

    Enjoy your new books!


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