Friday, February 6, 2015

January Book Haul

Back in the beginning of January I posted my reading goals for the year.  One of the things I wanted to do was read my shelves and cut down on my book buying.

Well...January did not move me toward completing that at all.  Yes, I read some books off of my shelves (check out my wrap-up post), but I also ordered quite a few, as well.  This post will concentrate on all of the books I bought in January, but I also did a comic book haul post.

I added thirteen books to my shelves in January.  Not only did I have Christmas gift cards, but Book Outlet had a crazy Boxing Day sale, and my birthday was in January.  Hopefully, I will be able to exercise restraint over the next few months since the holidays have passed.

For now, however, let's see the books I bought.

As a Christmas gift, my mom gave me a gift card for Christian Book Distributors.  I buy from them a lot because they have the best selection of Christian books across all genres, but I haven't featured many of my orders because they are often study materials and Bible studies.  This time, though, I ordered two non-fiction books.

Through Gates of Splendor and Shadow of the Almighty are both by Elisabeth Elliot about her husband, Jim Elliot.  If you've never heard of him, he was a missionary during the 1950s, ministering to the Huaorani people of Ecuador with four other men.  During one visit, though, they were all murdered.  Despite this, Elisabeth decided to continue ministering to them, living among them for years.  Through Gates of Splendor tells this whole story, and Shadow of the Almighty is a memoir of his life.

I've been fascinated by this story ever since the first time I heard it.  I've seen End of the Spear (a theatrical film based on these events), as well as Beyond the Gates of Splendor, a documentary about it.  It's about time I read these classics, too.

The day after Christmas, Book Outlet had their insane Boxing Day sale.  They already have low prices, so when they have a sale, it's pretty intense.  Yet, on top of that, I had a 50% off coupon.  So, I couldn't pass this up.

I will say, though, that I didn't go as crazy as I could have.  I only bought eleven books, which is pretty self-controlled for me.  That day, however, was very stressful because their servers crashed due to the exponential amount of people all trying to snatch all the books simultaneously.  I sat, refreshing their site, for over an hour while encouraging others to just hold on via Twitter.  It was a book crisis, people.

One thing that I am trying to do is buy books that I've already read that I want to add to my library.  So, I ordered: The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton, which is one of my favorite classics; Lynne Reid Banks' The Indian in the Cupboard (to add to my homeschool curriculum); Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott; and Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden,which I had to rebuy because I've read my copy so many times that it fell apart.

I got a few new books, as well.

Jeffrey Eugenides is one author who has yet to let me down, so I finally picked up his latest novel, The Marriage Plot.  

I also got Siege and Storm, which is the second book in the Grisha Trilogy, by Leigh Bardugo.  I read Shadow and Bone last month (review here), so I will probably pick this up soon to continue the series.

After putting it off because of all of the hype, I bought the first book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, Cinder.  I am really intrigued by the futuristic Beijing setting, as well as the cyborgs, so I am excited to pick this one up.

Last year, The Blazing World, by Siri Hustvedt, was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and the premise intrigued me, so I picked it up.  This will be my first book by her.

I've been wanting to explore the science fiction genre more, so I picked up The Time Traveler's Almanac, a collection of stories that all have to do with time travel.  It features some truly terrific authors, such as Ursula K. Le Guin, H.G. Wells, George R.R. Martin, and Ray Bradbury.  I think this will be a good way for me to discover authors whose styles I like without committing to a full book.

Christian fiction is another genre I know nothing about and would like to become more educated on, so I picked up Dear Mr. Knightley, by Katherine Reay, which is supposed to be Jane Austen-inspired.

Lastly, I bought an art book to add to my collection.  Spirit of China is a gorgeous collection of photography capturing the landscapes, people, and cultures throughout all of China.
As someone who has studied Chinese culture quite a bit, the information offered here was nothing new.  I did, however, learn more about the wildlife and landscapes there.

The pictures are what truly makes this book special, though.  The shots are gorgeous, and I really enjoy flipping through it and letting the different settings, colours, people, and art wash over me.  This will most likely be put on display, either in my living room or in my library.

Those are all the books I bought in January.  Have you read any of them?  What books did you add to your library?  Tell me down in the comments below.

Happy reading!  

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