For a couple of months, I’ve been contemplating about saving more because of an upcoming trip I’ll be having later this year. One of the measures I’ve thought of is to cut-off my expenditure on books. I have already bought a lot of books but most of them are just gathering dust, left unread because I can’t find the time to read them. I tried my best to skip going to the mall because whenever I drop by, my store of preference is always the bookstore. And I rarely leave the bookstore without any books in tow!
But I guess my resolution is all for naught now as I can’t get a grip on myself. Moreover, I’ve began scavenging online book sellers again, something that I haven’t done for quite some time because I was trying to save for more travels and adventures (surprise surprise)! Whenever I see books that I want to read, I can’t resist the temptation to buy. So here goes yet another book haul, a perfect mix of classical and contemporary works.
Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Publishing Date: 2007
No. of Pages: 307
Synopsis: “A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food – and each other.”
Reason why I bought it: This is a book I keep encountering on must read book lists. I have no iota on what it is about nor have I read the synopsis when I bought. I just assumed that it would be a great read, which the synopsis seem to suggest.
Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Gryffindor Edition)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publishing Date: June 2017
No. of Pages: 332
Synopsis: “Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.
Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.
Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.”
Reason why I bought it: I won my cousin’s birthday raffle, and as a result, I got this as a prize. I’ve already read the entire Harry Potter series but hey, I’ll take any gift. The book’s cover is really dope would look great on my book collection.
Title: The Underground Railroad
Author: Colson Whitehead
Publisher: Anchor Books
Publishing Date: July 2017
No. of Pages: 306
Synopsis: “Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood – where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him.”
Reason why I bought it: This contemporary work was included in Time Magazine’s 2016 must read books. It naturally piqued my curiosity although I never intended to purchase it, until my favorite bookstore got on sale.
Title: The Golden Compass
Author: Philip Pullman
Publishing Date: 1996
No. of Pages: 351
Synopsis: “Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars in Jordan College, her daemon familiar always by her side. But the moment she hears hushed talk of Dust, an extraordinary particle, she’s drawn to the heart of a terrible struggle – a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armoured bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold, far North, young Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: her destiny must be fulfilled not in this world, but far beyond.”
Title: The Subtle Knife
Author: Philip Pullman
Publishing Date: 1997
No. of Pages: 288
Synopsis: “The intrepid young Lyra has passed through a shimmering portal in the sky and finds herself in a beautiful, haunted otherworld – Cittagazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: twelve-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another’s, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.
On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will uncover a deadly secret: an object of extraordinary and devastating power. With every step, they move closer to an even greater threat – and the shattering truth of their own destiny.”
Title: The Amber Spyglass
Author: Philip Pullman
Publishing Date: 2000
No. of Pages: 465
Synopsis: “Lyra and Will, two ordinary children on an extraordinary and otherworldly quest, have fallen into unspeakable danger. With help from the armored Iorek Byrnison and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must enter a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone. All the while, Dr. Mary Malone builds a magnificent amber spyglass. An assassin hunts her down. And Lord Asriel, with troops of shining angels, fights his mighty rebellion. As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living – and the dead – finally comes to depend on two children and the simple truth of one simple story.”
Reason why I bought it: Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy seems to be on top of every one’s must read books. Moreover, I am no stranger to children’s fiction and fantasy fiction (Harry Potter and Narnia series). Here’s another children’s series that I am looking forward to.
Title: The New York Trilogy
Author: Paul Auster
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 1990
No. of Pages: 371
Synopsis: “CITY OF GLASS
As a result of a strange phone call in the middle of the night, Quinn, a writer of detective stories, becomes enmeshed in a case more puzzling than any he might have written.
Blue, a student of Brown, has been hired by White to spy on Black. From a window of a rented room on Orange Street, Blue keeps watch on his subject, who is across the street, staring out of his window.
THE LOCKED ROOM
Fanshawe has disappeared, leaving behind his wife and baby and a cache of extraordinary novels, plays and poems. What happened to him – and why is the narrator, Fanshawe’s boyhood friend, lured obsessively in to his life?”
Reason why I bought it: This is another book that is high on every one’s must read list. I keep encountering it and when an online bookseller was selling a copy, I didn’t hesitate and bought it immediately.
Title: The World According To Garp
Author: John Irving
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publishing Date: December 1990
No. of Pages: 609
Synopsis: “This is the life and times of T.S. Garp, the bastard son of Jenny Fields – a feminist leader ahead of her times. This is the life and death of a famous mother and her almost-famous son; theirs is a world of sexual extremes – even of sexual assassinations. It is a novel rich with “lunacy and sorrow”; yet the dark, violent events of the story do not undermine a comedy of both ribald and robust.”
Reason why I bought it: I can never seem to have enough of John Irving, especially after reading A Prayer for Owen Meany. I tried to avail of his other works, especially this one which comes highly recommended. Thankfully, I was able to avail a copy of this book through an online bookseller.
Title: The House of Spirits
Author: Isabel Allende
Translator: Madga Bogin
Publisher: Everyman’s Library
Publishing Date: 2005
No. of Pages: 488
Synopsis: “Chilean writer Isabel Allende’s classic novel is both a richly symbolic family saga and the riveting story of an unnamed Latin American country’s turbulent history.
In a triumph of magic realism, Allende constructs a spirit-ridden world and fills it with colorful and all-too-human inhabitants. The Trueba family’s passions, struggles and secrets span three generations and a century of violent social change, culminating in a crisis that brings the proud and tyrannical patriarch and his beloved granddaughter to opposite sides of the barricades. Against a backdrop of revolution and counter-revolution, Allende depicts a family whose private bonds of love and hatred are more complex and enduring than the political allegiances that set them at odds. The House of Spirits not only brings another nation’s history thrillingly to life, but also makes its people’s joy and anguish wholly our own.”
Reason why I bought it: Isabel Allende has certainly piqued my curiosity because I keep encountering her on must read books. One of her books, The House of Spirits has definitely caught my attention. Now, I have a new South American writer I can look forward to.