When I came up with the idea of this series I thought it would be a fun way to show you all what books I'd spent my money on each month. However, after receiving a pile of books for Christmas and thus having to rearrange my bookshelves I realised how many books I've accumulated over the year and have yet to read. So while I'm not putting myself on any kind of book ban I am going to consciously try and read more from my own bookshelves. Therefore the focus of this article will shift from month to month, sometimes detailing the books I just couldn't resist purchasing and sometimes focusing on what I've read from my TBR pile.
This month I thought I'd focus on two books I received for Christmas (pictured above) as well as the books I've read from my shelves this month.
Edward Carey - Little
Born in Alsace in 1761, the unsightly, diminutive Marie Grosholtz is quickly nicknamed 'Little'. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employment in the household of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius. Her role soon surpasses that of mere servant as the eccentric doctor takes an interest in his newfound companion, and begins to instruct her in the fine art of wax modelling. From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from clutching the still-warm heads of Robespierre's Terror to finding something very like love, Little traces the improbable fortunes of a bloodstained crumb of a thing who went on to shape the word as she transformed herself into Madame Tussaud.
Jung Chang - Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister
They were the most famous sisters in China. As the country battled through a hundred years of wars, revolutions and seismic transformations, the three Soong sisters from Shanghai were at the centre of power, and each of them left an indelible mark on history. Red Sister, Ching-ling, married the 'Father of China', Sun Yat-sen, and rose to be Mao's vice-chair. Little Sister, May-ling, became Madame Chiang Kai-shek, first lady of pre-Communist Nationalist China and a major political figure in her own right. Big Sister, Ei-ling, became Chiang's unofficial main adviser - and made herself one of China's richest women. In a group biography that is by turns intimate and epic, Jung Chang reveals the lives of three extraordinary women who helped shape twentieth-century China.
Shirley Jackson - We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, the world isn't leaving the Blackwoods alone. And when Cousin Charles arrives, armed with overtures of friendship and a desperate need to get into the safe, Merricat must do everything in her power to protect the remaining family. My full review can be found here.
Sayaka Murata - Convenience Store Woman
Keiko has never really fitted in. At school and university people find her odd and her family worries she'll never be normal. To appease them, Keiko takes a job at a newly opened convenience store. Here, she finds peace and purpose in the simple, daily tasks and routine interactions. She is, she comes to understand, happiest as a convenience store worker. But in Keiko's social circle it just won't do for an unmarried woman to spend all her time stacking shelves and re-ordering green tea. As pressure mounts on Keiko to find either a new job, or worse, a husband, she is forced to take desperate action. There's a full review of this one coming shortly.
I'm also currently on the hunt for a basket to hold my TBR stack. After seeing Literary Emporium's post the other day which detailed her system to try and contain her stack of unread books I've decided to implement a similar system. Hopefully next month I'll be able to update you on my new system...