Jade Craddock’s Ten Books and Why I Acquired Them

Article published on October 17, 2017.

Following Paul’s great post about ten books that he’s acquired, I felt inspired to take a look at my own bookshelves. There are some books that stand out, but by and large, I tend to acquire books so frequently and in such numbers that I generally can’t remember when or why I made each acquisition. So instead I thought I’d give a run-down of the last ten books I’ve acquired – the good and the bad – whilst they’re still fresh in my memory!

1. Books that Changed History – I love a good reference book, and a reference book about books is like the golden ticket for me. Add in the fact that this one is published by the brilliant DK, who to my mind excel in the reference book market, with beautifully designed and superbly informative tomes, and really there was no way I could not buy this book. So much thought seems to go into DK’s books and this is no exception; it’s a pleasure to dip into.

2. The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle – Although this was published last year, my reading schedule sometimes means I miss out on books when they’re first released, but I’ve had this one on my radar long before it was even published and finally got round to purchasing it this month. I can’t wait to get started on it.

3. Reading Allowed by Chris Paling – OK, so you may be beginning to spot a theme, and yes, as I said before, I do love a good book about books and every time one is published I’m desperate to get my hands on it. Published earlier this year, I loved the idea of this book about ‘true stories and curious incidents from a provincial library’.

4. Mirror, Mirror by Cara Delevingne – As a fan of YA, it’s impossible to ignore the hype surrounding model/actress Cara Delevingne’s debut novel. I’m always a bit wary about these ‘celebrity’ reads, but I like to give them a go and see whether they live up to the billing. Whilst there was much to admire in this book, I felt as if seemed to rein itself in somewhat, but nevertheless a brave and bold YA debut.

5. The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler – I promise you this is the last book-related book I’ve acquired… for now. But for any book lover, this is a must-have. A foray into the forgotten, misplaced and underestimated novelists and their works, it’s both a fascinating read and an aid to any to-read list.

6. Happy Days of the Grump by Tuomas Kyro – Ever since starting my project to read books from around the world, I’m always on the lookout for any new translations being published, and although I’d already crossed Finland off my world tour, I was keen to read this title having been swayed by the blurb. Unfortunately, this was one of those books that sorely disappointed.

7. The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti– This was a book I was sent to review and I must admit I hadn’t been aware of it before I received it and would very likely have not read the book as indeed I’d not heard of it. But what luck that it came through my letter box, as this was a real surprise and reminded me of the novels of Chris Whitaker, if a little darker, which I love.

8. An Almost Perfect Christmas by Nina Stibbe – Another review title, and the first, I’m sure, of many festive offerings this season. After all, as we move into October, Christmas officially starts, at least in the book world. Luckily, I don’t mind this early dose of festive cheer, and this looks like a particularly fun, and not especially heavy-going, read. It will also be my first encounter with Nina Stibbe, an author I’ve heard a lot about but never got round to reading.

9. Before I Was Yours by Virginia MacGregor – Although I like to read as many different authors as possible, there are some whose new releases I have to have. In the last couple of years, Virginia MacGregor has become such an author for me. There’s always a slight trepidation when you start a new book from an author you love as to whether it can live up to its predecessors, but having read each of MacGregor’s adult fiction books so far, she never disappoints, and this was no exception.

10. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman – Technically, as I write, I haven’t yet acquired this book (it’s not published for another couple of weeks), but as soon as the 19th October arrives, rest assured it will be on my bookshelf. I grew up with Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy in the way that today’s generation are growing up with David Walliams and Jeff Kinney, and it was absolutely central to my love of reading. It’s been a long wait for this new series, and I hope the magic still remains. After all, we could all do with a dose of it these days.

You can submit your own “10 Books and Why I Acquired Them” list here.

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