I am really happy with the books I bought this month! I bought far fewer books than I usually do, and most of the books I bought are books I’ve been meaning to read for a while. And, considering May was my birthday month, I did really well with the book buying. I’ve kind of adopted the mindset of just spending a bit more money to buy the books I actually want to read from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, rather than hauling a million books I kind of want to read from all of the discount bookstores I frequent. Because I think I have officially acquired too many books.
If you’re interested in seeing what books I bought in May, keep reading! And let me know what the best book you bought last month is!
1. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I think I have a thrift edition of this somewhere, but I thought I’d treat myself to the Penguin Drop Caps edition for my birthday this year since I’ve never read it and really want to. Whitman and I actually share a birthday (May 31 – he was born exactly 170 years before me), so I thought it was a very fitting gift (for myself).
2. Will in the World by Stephen Greenblat. This was highly recommended by the professor of the Graduate Studies in Shakespeare class I took a few months ago, so when I saw it on Book Outlet, I decided I needed to buy it. It’s a study of the life and work of Shakespeare, and basically all about how he became the most recognizable and widely-read playwright in the world.
3. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak. You might already be aware that my favorite children’s book is Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. I’ve only read a couple of his other works, but when I saw this one on Book Outlet, I had to have it.
4. and 5. Dawn and Day by Elie Wiesel. I read, and loved, Night when I was in junior high, but I didn’t know it was part of a trilogy until very recently. When I saw books 2 and 3 on Book Outlet, I decided to pick them up – they’re very short, so I’m planning on reading the entire trilogy soon.
6. Funny Girl by Nick Hornby. This is just one of those books I don’t know very much about (Barbara Streisand comes to mind), but see everywhere. It was on sale, and you all know I have no self control when it comes to book sales.
7. Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I’ve gotten in the habit of regularly checking the award-winning book lists on Book Outlet. One literary award that tends to go to books I like is the Man Booker Prize, which Life of Pi won in 2002. I’ve heard great things about it, and it definitely helps with my goal to read more diversely, so I picked it up.
8. The Rebels of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd. I have a few of Rutherford’s books that I need to read, and I’ve been slowly collecting them from Book Outlet. So when I saw this one, it went in my cart.
9. Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr. I loved All the Light We Cannot See, and just started reading one of Doerr’s short story collections (The Shell Collector). I think he is an excellent writer, so when I saw this book of short nonfiction, which I didn’t know existed, it came home with me.
10. Favourite Poems of England ed. by Jane McMorland Hunter. If I had to pick the thing I read least of, it’s poetry. It’s just not something I’m usually drawn to, though I do occasionally enjoy it. This book features some of my favorite authors/poets – Lord Byron, Rudyard Kipling, Roald Dahl, William Shakespeare, Alexander Pope, Lord Tennyson, William Wordsworth, and Emily Brontë, among others – and the cover is gorgeous, and I’m a huge anglophile, so I couldn’t resist.
11. The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I haven’t yet read The Queen of the Tearling, but this is a series I really want to start soon, so I couldn’t stop myself when I saw the hardcover of this one for $6.
12. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. I’ve only ever read short fiction by Hemingway, but I really enjoy his writing and want to read more. So when I saw a first edition for $15, I bought it.
13. Lord of the Flies by William Golding. This is one of my favorite assigned readings, and when I needed to spend an extra $10 to avoid paying for shipping, I made this the next Penguin Drop Cap book to be added to my collection. It’s neon and chartreuse and has stained pages and I love it. It may be time for a reread.
14. The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman. Um, it’s Neil Gaiman. And it came out of my birthday. So it was kind of like a birthday present. Obviously I had to get it. Plus, when I went to a Gaiman event in November, he told a few stories which may or may not be included in this book (it’s a collection of nonfiction stories), and they were amazing.