January sales of ruination

January 2014 books bought from various sales of ruination

These are the books I bought this January, and all but two were from a series of Fully Booked sales. [Re wonky photograph: I’m going to claim that I intentionally blurred the photo because the impression of sheer bulk matters more than the details—but, really, I don’t know where my glasses are, and seriously thought this turned out good.] Anyway. That’s thirty-five books bought in the first month of 2014—I bought more books than there are days in the year thus far. A few certainties: Having rearranged my shelves during the holidays, I’ve had absolutely no room in my shelves left for books since the holidays; there will be no eating right for the next two weeks; I am exploring the possibility of maiming someone just so I can have world enough and time for these books; I am so, so very happy; Batman definitely does not approve. But let me explain

Comic books! I bought six comic book volumes this January—and, noticeably, only one Batman story among them, Gotham by Gaslight. Improvement, much. On the very first day of the year, I bought volumes one and two of The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá—a comic I should have been reading long before, since I was crazy about Way in high school and Bá made the art for one of my favorite comics, Daytripper. I also got the third volume of Justice League Dark—featuring yet another change in the artist-writer lineup, get your shit together, guys. And I also finally have Batwoman: Elegy by the oft-recommended Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III, which I am terribly excited about because Williams’ art just threatens to make my nose bleed.

Romance novels! I tend to amass romances by go-to authors, completing whatever series there is before I actually start reading, or just auto-buying the favorites. It’s been a while since I read Loretta Chase, and it was very nice just to see her Don’t Tempt Me at the bookstore, haha, so I took it home with me. I’ve enjoyed most of Eloisa James’ fairy tale retellings, and I’ve been hemming-and-hawing about getting the novellas collected in As You Wish—because romance novellas and I hardly ever get along—but it’s not like I could help myself. Same applies to Julia Quinn’s The Sum of All Kisses—she’s an author I can’t quite jive with because her novels have gotten so fluffy it’s like inhaling fumes from cotton candy—but maybe I’ll need that kind of fluffy some time? Besides, I already have the first two books in the series. But, but, but: Tessa Dare! Dare’s one of the writers I’m so glad to have discovered last year, and I finally got all the books in her amusingly named The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy: Goddess of the Hunt, Surrender of a Siren, and A Lady of Persuasion. I also got her A Lady by Midnight, which I’ve already read in ebook format—which doesn’t count.

Mostly fiction! Novel dump as follows. Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair was also bought on the first day of the year, as I’d been idly curious about his extremely popular series. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it much. Anyway. I bought a bunch of books newly out in paperback, because look at me being all trendy: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Tenth of December by George Saunders, and Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell. I also grabbed some books I’ve been curious about for the longest time—and they were at half off, so hoard I did: White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, Paris Trance by Geoff Dyer, The Wine of Solitude by Irène Némirovsky, The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante, and Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney. Also: Finally bit the bullet and bought the first volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, as well as Maria Semple’s immensely popular Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Found A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking at a BookSale—figured soon would be the perfect time to read it, as he’s changed his mind about what the book holds, right? Also got the latest from Sarah Vowell, Unfamiliar Fishes, because fun history fun fun. And Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton is there because I can’t say no to a cheap, newer edition to replace the one I can’t fucking find anywhere.

Sherlock Holmes! I’ve also bought volumes one and three of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes by Leslie Klinger—the first short story collections, and the complete novels. There’s another that needs buying, but I suppose I should save that for when I’ve got money and once again ready to starve. More Sherlockian-of-a-sort novels: The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss, Michael Chabon’s The Final Solution. Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde. I figured that since I’m done with the first reading of the canon, a dorkier rereading wouldn’t hurt—and proxy Sherlocks wouldn’t either.

Self-loathing! It’s going to be a craptastically frugal two weeks for me—thanks to the books, and thanks to the evil, evil corporations that insist on holding sales all at the same damned time. But, my goodness, I am so excited to get to reading. To start shutting out the world and snuggle under a blanket and read and read and read. Hungry, sure, but reading, still. Anyway: Here’s to a deliciously book-burdened 2014! And thank you, dear Ether, for judging me! Exclamation points!

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13 comments

  1. Two lean weeks have got to be worth it for that haul! Actually 2 lean wwwks would be worth it for the George Saunders alone, Tenth of December is incredibly good! Given that I have set myself the challenge of not buying any books, I am incredibly jealous!

    1. I can’t even take myself seriously when I swear I’ll stop buying books, at least for a time. (Nine days until I get to eat right again, ahahaha.)

  2. That is a good haul right there, mighty impressive! I was sorry to hear you did not like Jasper Fforde—he is exactly my kind of zany, but I never met a pun I didn’t like, so maybe that has something to do with it. I do think the second book in that series, Lost in a Good Book, is superior to its predecessor, but I doubt it will matter much to you if he’s just Not Your Thing. I’m not sure how well you’ll fare with First Among Sequels as things get very convoluted and more “series” like in that I think reading the books out of order would largely dilute one’s potential enjoyment.

    Anyway, other thoughts: Tessa Dare = yay! My go-to favorite romance novelist, though I’ve also really been enjoying Julie-Anne Long’s PennyRoyal Green series. It does not have to be read in order and if you have not already read What I Did for a Duke, you must do so post-haste. It is seriously amazing. And seriously, what is up with Julia Quinn? I loved the start of her Bridgerton series, and she’s always been light and fun, but lately her books just seem really silly and like the stakes are so low no one can even care what happens. And these are romance novels where we pretty much already know what is going to happen… Sigh.

    I DID NOT LIKE Michael Chabon’s The Final Solution at all. I wrote about it eons ago on the blog and was just very unimpressed. I did not know quite so much about the source material at that point, however, so I will allow that could have the slightest to do with it. I do think that perhaps that Chabon may just not be for me, however.

    I have peeked at Tenth of December; I do not normally read short stories, but it seems REALLY good. I will be interested to read your thoughts on this some day.

    1. Aww, I’ve just finished reading the Chabon, and I was rolling around in glee over it—a doddering Sherlock Holmes (plus the little boy death-by-adorable combo) tugged at me, the perfect read right after polishing off the canon. And I think it really is just the content, because I couldn’t really stand Chabon all the other times I read him, haha. And thanks for the tip re Fforde. It’s a problem, this grabbing of a series by bulk (or at least more than one of it, haha), despite misgivings.

      I love, love Julie Anne Long—she’s one of those rare authors whom I don’t mind having a ridiculously long series, haha. Not all her books are available locally, though, so I read What I Did for a Duke via ebook (which just isn’t the same to me). The hunt is still on, though!

      And I’m so glad someone feels the same way I do re Quinn. Her Bridgerton books firmly drew me into the genre, and now it’s just a lot of fluffy fumes. It’s such a shame, what a tepid variation of herself she’s become. (Then again, who am I to talk, I still got her book—ugh its cover is so pretty, that was another factor.)

      Re Saunders: It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about a short story collection—especially by someone I haven’t read yet. I’m actually surprised I held out this long, and didn’t go grabbing at the hardcover when it first came out!

  3. Huhuhu. This post is so enabling. I’m trying to comply with a self-imposed moratorium.

  4. Jennifer · · Reply

    Judging?! More like being jealous!

  5. Entirely jealous! Umbrella Academy is great :-) Totally worth being hungry for a while!

    1. So, so happy that most of the Internet has just enabled me, haha. Really excited to get into Umbrella Academy—but at the same time, I don’t want to start it until he comes out with the third book.

  6. […] day of destitution because I am absolute shite re bookish restraint—it went rather well. I just rolled around on the sofa, an ear cocked for work shenanigans, […]

  7. […] nice book to read in transition from the canon, to whatever reading I feel like doing next—either a reread of Doyle, or a digging up of other pastiches that place their stories firmly as career stories. Mostly […]

  8. […] incentive for me to go read the books I already owned. And so, quite naturally, quite predictably: I spent January amassing an obscene number of books that, in any case, I had no recourse but to dump on the floor. Clever girl, […]

  9. […] George Saunders—bought during the January Sales of Ruination—and, by the way, as of this writing I haven’t bought a book since January closed!—ahem: […]

  10. […] wrap-up: It was my first day of what would be an unintentional book ban. Yes, since it followed the January Sales of Ruination, it also meant that it was a ban on not eating well for about two weeks. I bought no books at all […]

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