Do you know what piques your interest? Do you know what tickles your fancy? Do you know what catches your eye, and makes you go “Ooh!” and “Aah!”?
For me, it’s books. I love books, and I love to read. I love reading so much that when I’m in a bookstore, I can say with a 100% certainty that I never leave without buying a book. Unless I’m broke and my bank account is a negative total. Otherwise, you will see me go in and you will see me come out with a book in my hand.
Here’s a photo collage of 5 recently-purchased books (the last one – My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier – was given to me by my sister after she was done reading it). I already have a shelf-full of to-be-read books that I have yet to touch, and I am still in the middle of The Hornet’s Nest by Jimmy Carter. The Hornet’s Nest is about The Revolutionary War, slavery, native American Indians, and the frontiersmen and women who moved from one county to another, setting up farms or rebelling against the government.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, and The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George had all been trending on Tumblr for quite some time now, and when I saw them, I knew they were titles that I must have. After doing a brief search on Goodreads, I found the titles captivating enough to buy.
The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jeffries and The Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien were the results of a “walk-in-the-park”. They are the byproducts of my “I-was-in-the-vicinity-so-I-decided-to-splurge-on-something” situation. That’s how I buy my books most of the time. But the sad part is, no matter how books I still have left to read, I end up buying more. Eventually I’ll never get round to clearing out my bookshelves. It’s a ridiculous cycle, to be honest. A cycle that will never end.
If anyone is interested, here are the synopsis of each book directly from Goodreads:
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
On a barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop, or rather a ‘literary apothecary’, for this bookseller possess a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe his customers’ troubled souls.
The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. For twenty-one years he has nursed a broken heart – and never dared open the letter his love left behind. But the arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.
The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jeffries
Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past – a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds – that her husband refuses to discuss. Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can’t stay buried forever . . .
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.
At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
The Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien
The popular paperback edition of this fascinating collection of stories, which continue the tales of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and contains an alternative version of The Children of Hurin.
Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring, and provides those who have read The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories from the twentieth century’s most acclaimed popular author. The book concentrates on the realm of Middle-earth and comprises such elements as Gandalf’s lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End, the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand, and an exact description of the military organization of the Riders of Rohan. Unfinished Tales also contains the only story about the long ages of Numenor before its downfall, and all that is known about such matters as the Five Wizards, the Palantiri and the legend of Amroth.
The tales were collated and edited by JRR Tolkien’s son and literary heir, Christopher Tolkien, who provides a short commentary on each story, helping the reader to fill in the gaps and put each story into the context of the rest of his father’s writings.
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier
I threw the piece of paper on the fire. She saw it burn…
Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, a man who will come to love his grand house as much as he does himself. But the cosy world the two have constructed is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries – and there he dies suddenly.
In almost no time at all, the new widow – Philip’s cousin Rachel – turns up in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, sophisticated, mysterious woman like a moth to the flame. And yet… might she have had a hand in Ambrose’s death?
Now, excuse me while I quickly finish up The Hornet’s Nest so I can start on something else.