A late quarantine book haul

A late quarantine book haul with all the books I bought during the covid lockdown. Including A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (illustrated edition) by J.K. Rowling.

Hello lovely reader! In this blog post I will be talking about all of the physical books I bought since quarantine or lockdown started for me. Here in Belgium lockdown started March 13, so it’s been three months now. And we’re slowly getting out of our lockdown and will be back to normal soon (I hope!). Before our lockdown started I had the intention to be on a book buying ban until the end of May. However I have a toxic trait called retail therapy so as my mental health went down, I started buying more and more books. The result being this book haul and the e-book haul I did about a month ago. I do hope to buy way less books the rest of the year because I spent too much of my savings on these books.

1. The Sisters Grimm by Menna Van Praag

This book had been on my TBR for ages, and was one of the only of my TBR books that I didn’t own yet or didn’t have acces to through Scribd or my library. So my first purchase of lockdown was still reasonable.

This is the story of four sisters Grimm – daughters born to different mothers on the same day, each born out of bright-white wishing and black-edged desire. They found each other at eight years-old, were separated at thirteen and now, at nearly eighteen, it is imperative that they find each other once again.

In thirty-three days they will meet their father in Everwhere. Only then will they discover who they truly are, and what they can truly do. Then they must fight to save their lives and the lives of the ones they love. Three will live, one will die. You’ll have to read on to find out who and why.

2. Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

I’ve had this book on my radar for a while and then three of my favourite booktubers decided to do a readalong for this book so I bought it.

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you’re a woman.

Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.

3. Snow Falling by Jane Gloriana Villanueve

So we’re already getting to the first impulsively bought book. I discovered this book existed and bought it. I had just finished a season of Jane The Virgin, okay?

Snow Falling is a sweeping historical romance set in 1902 Miami—a time of railroad tycoons, hotel booms, and exciting expansion for the Magic City. Working at the lavish Regal Sol hotel and newly engaged to Pinkerton Detective Martin Cadden, Josephine Galena Valencia has big dreams for her future. Then, a figure from her past reemerges to change her life forever: the hotel’s dapper owner, railroad tycoon Rake Solvino.

The captivating robber baron sets her heart aflame once more, leading to a champagne-fueled night together. But when their indiscretion results in an unexpected complication, Josephine struggles to decide whether her heart truly belongs with heroic Martin or dashing Rake.

Meanwhile, in an effort to capture an elusive crime lord terrorizing the city, Detective Cadden scours the back alleys of the Magic City, tracking the nefarious villain to the Regal Sol and discovering a surprising connection to the Solvino family.

However, just when it looks like Josephine’s true heart’s desire is clear, danger strikes. Will her dreams for the future dissolve like so much falling snow or might Josephine finally get the happy ever after she’s been dreaming of for so long?

4. A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson

I had this book on my radar and needed somthing extra to have free shipping when I ordered something on Amazon, so I just bought this book.

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

5. Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart

I read the first book in this series, Grace & Fury, last summer and really enjoyed it. Ever since then this book has been on my Amazon wish list. Then I noticed that there was a second hand copy of this book being offered on there for around €4 so I couldn’t say no…

Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again.

Nomi’s sister, Serina, is far away on the prison island of Mount Ruin – but it is in the grip of revolution and Serina leads. The women there have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They will stop at nothing to gain freedom for the entire kingdom. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, to build something better in its place.

6. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I recently decided that I want to start collecting all of the books by my favourite authors. Taylor Jenkins Reid is definitely one of my favourite authors. So when I saw the Dutch copy of this book for €5 I had to buy it.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

7. The Girls by Emma Cline

I had tried reading this book by listening to the audiobook but that wasn’t working for me. And then I found a Dutch copy of this book for €3 or €4 so I thought: why not buy it and give it another change?

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

8. Frida Kahlo, een vrouw by Rauda Jamis

I’ve been wanting to read more non-fiction and I’ve been interested in Frida Kahlo for years now, so when I found this book for €2, I had to buy it. Sorry for the bad quality of the cover of the book, it’s a Dutch book and I could only find this image.

Even fascinerend als het werk van de Mexicaanse schilderes Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is haar levensgeschiedenis, die letterlijk in het teken staat van de pijn. Op jonge leeftijd werd Frida bij een busongeluk door een stuk ijzer doorboord. in de jaren van bedlegerigheid daarna, begint zij, met behulp van een aan haar bed gemonteerde spiegel, haar beroemde zelfportretten te schilderen.

9. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

This book ended up on my June TBR for the MakeYourMythTaker readathon. Since I started collecting all of the books by my favourite authors, I decided to just buy my own copy now that I was going to read it, instead of borrowing it from the library.

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

10. The Girl in the Tower & The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

I read and loved the Bear and the Nightingale in April and I wanted to read the sequels as quickly as possible. Since I was loving the series so much I decided to just buy the second and third book. I’ll probably buy the first book second hand some day as well.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

11. Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

So when I finished A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder I had to pre-order the sequel. And so I did that and the book came out a month after I pre-orded it, so I already have it!

Pip Fitz-Amobi is not a detective any more.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared but the police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time EVERYONE is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?

12. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

I’ve been slowly collecting all of the illustrated editions of the Harry Potter franchise, but I usually ask for them as a birthday or Christmas present since they cost around €30. Then I saw this one discounted to €15 and I just couldn’t resist.

Famed Magizoologist Newt Scamander’s years of adventure and exploration have yielded a work of unparalleled importance, admired by scholars, devoured by young witches and wizards, and even made available to Muggles in the early years of this century. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is essential reading at Hogwarts.

13. Warriors, Witches, Women by Kate Hodges

I’ve been wanting to learn about myhtology and folklore for ages, and this is one of the books I want to read to learn about that. When I saw it discounted for only 13 euros I had to buy it.

From feminist fairies to bloodsucking temptresses, half-human harpies and protective Vodou goddesses, these are women who go beyond long-haired, smiling stereotypes. Their stories are so powerful, so entrancing, that they have survived for millennia. Lovingly retold and updated, Kate Hodges places each heroine, rebel and provocateur fimly at the centre of their own narrative.

Bewitching, banished Circe, an introvert famed and feared for her transfigurative powers.  The righteous Furies, defiantly unrepentant about their dedication to justice.  Fun-loving Ame-no-Uzume who makes quarrelling friends laugh and terrifies monsters by flashing at them. The fateful Morai sisters who spin a complex web of birth, life and death.

Find your tribe, fire your imagination and be empowered by this essential anthology of notorious, demonised and overlooked women.

I was also kindly gifted some books by their publishers. So I decided to also include those in this book haul.

1. Anna K. by Jenny Lee

Moon Young Adult gifted me the Dutch translation of this book. You can find my Dutch review here.

Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather an sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.

As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.

2. The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

Best of YA gifted me a Dutch copy of this book. You can find my Dutch review here.

When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true.

But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.

So those were all of the books I acquired during lockdown or quarantine. To say I went crazy is and understatemend. Especially if you also count all of the e-books I bought… Now I think it’s time to really limit my own book buying habits.

Which books have you bought lately?

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