The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

A Big Autumn Book Haul!

on November 18, 2016

Hello, dear readers! How are we all today? I haven’t posted a monthly book haul in a while, but I’ve been buying lots of physical books over the past couple of months, so I thought I’d combine them all into one big Autumn book haul.

Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas


I went to see Sarah J. Maas talk at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival last month, and she was all kinds of amazing. She fangirled a lot over Rhysand, and also told us about how she ate a whole block of Parmesan cheese whilst doing edits on one of her manuscripts. She is SO my kind of person. I got to meet her afterwards, and had my copy of Empire of Storms signed, and it was one of the most awesome experiences of my life.

The Rabbit Back Literature Society – Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen


I’ve just finished reading this book, and will probably review it soon. It’s a Finnish book translated into English, and is about a mysterious society of writers in a small town called Rabbit Back. It’s a mystery, filled with magical realism and weirdness, and it’s all about writers, a.k.a. 100% my kind of book.

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged – Ayisha Malik


This book has been described as “the Muslim Bridget Jones”; it’s about a woman named Sofia who writes a book about her experiences of the Muslim dating scene, and it’s supposed to be really funny, so I can’t wait to read it. I need more funny books in my life.

Jane Austen collection


I got given a gorgeous set of Vintage Classics Jane Austen books for my birthday (her six main novels), and I’m so in love with the covers. I read Northanger Abbey recently and absolutely adored it, and I’m looking forward to making my way through the rest of this collection. I love Jane Austen’s character observations and subtle comedy; her books always cheer me up.

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets illustrated edition – J. K. Rowling


This was another birthday present, and the illustrations are just stunning. I’m somewhat terrified by the spider pictures, but I’m still very excited to re-read this wonderful book in all its illustrated glory.

The Beginning Woods – Malcom McNeill


Anne at Inked Brownies reviewed this book and I was really intrigued by the concept, so when I saw it in my local bookshop I couldn’t resist. The story revolves around a series of vanishings – people disappearing without warning into thin air– and it also involves a mysterious wood which is described on the back cover as ‘a realm of magic and terror, life and death’. So yeah, I’m all over that!

Cold Hand in Mine – Robert Aickman


This collection of short stories was recommended to me by Mary and Alice over at thelandofmilkandhoney, and I absolutely adored it. I love anything with an eerie, strange atmosphere, where you can’t quite put your finger on what but you know that something isn’t right. If you’re not a fan of ambiguity, you may not love this book as much as I did, but if you are, buy this buy this buy this.

Replica – Lauren Oliver


I love Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy, and Before I Fall is one of my favourite books of all time, so I will always want to read whatever Lauren releases. I’ve been excited for Replica all year – it’s about clones, and you can read it a number of ways because one narrator’s story begins at the front of the book, and the other’s begins at the back when you flip the book upside down.

Adulthood is a Myth – Sarah Anderson


This book is my spirit animal. I picked this up at Blackwells’ Art Shop in Oxford, and I was initially drawn to it because it looked like a Dr Seuss book from a distance. When I got closer, I realised it wasn’t, but knew I had to buy it because ‘Adulthood is a Myth’ has been the mantra of my adult life so far. This is a book filled with comic strips about how hard adulting can be; it was hilarious and very very relatable! LOVED it.

His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet


I bought this book because marketing works! Waterstones in Oxford had a big window display for this book with a backdrop consisting of a sheet covered in bloody handprints and footprints. Because I’m a morbid individual, that’s the kind of thing that lures me in. This book is told from the point of view of an accused murderer, and sounds psychologically fascinating. Also, when I was musing over the back cover, several Waterstones employees came over to me and told me how amazing they’d found it, and well… I’m very easily swayed when it comes to buying books.

The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupéry


This book was recommended to me by Casey at adoptabookaus! It’s a children’s book but is supposed to be a book every adult should read, and I’m really excited to curl up with it. The illustrations are adorable, and I’m pretty sure I am going to love this book.

Thin Air – Michelle Paver


I love ghost stories, and I particularly loved Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter which was full of tension and creepiness. Thin Air is her latest book, and I’m ridiculously excited to read this in the dark with a single candle (for atmosphere) and a fluffy blanket (to cower behind).

Every Falling Star – Sungju Lee and Susan McClelland


I don’t read many memoirs, but I was really drawn to this one – it’s the story of Sungju Lee, a boy who escaped from North Korea. I know very little about North Korea, because Western media coverage can never hope to give us the full picture, so I’m very intrigued to read from the point of view of somebody who was born there.

Hag-Seed – Margaret Atwood


Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite authors, and I was lucky enough to attend an event this month where she was interviewed about her latest book. Hag-Seed is a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It’s all about a man called Felix, who was unfairly dismissed from his job as a director at a renowned theatre festival, and is now living in a hovel, and teaching a Shakespeare class in a prison. This book was funny, clever, touching, and thoroughly entertaining. Highly recommend, especially if you are a Shakespeare fan.

The Call – Peadar O’Guilin


I saw a brilliant review of this book over at yourdaughtersbookshelf, and I immediately added it to my TBR because horror + faeries + Irish folklore = right up my street. I was going to be good and wait until next month to buy this, but I spotted a copy in the gift shop at The National Leprechaun Museum when I visited Dublin earlier this month, and I knew I had to snap it up.

So that’s my haul for October/November! Have you read any of these books? What have you added to your shelves recently? I’d love to hear from you 🙂

58 responses to “A Big Autumn Book Haul!

  1. I love that there is a National Leprechauns Museum in Dublin! Great haul – I’ve added a few to my TBR reading your post. 😀

    • mudandstars says:

      It was a lot of fun! We did the nighttime tour, where they told some of the ‘darker’ folk stories that they’re not allowed to tell in daytime because they’re not suitable for kiddies. It was very atmospheric! Also, they have a room with giant furniture, which you can climb on and pretend you are the size of a leprechaun. Sooo good. And ooh that’s awesome, which ones did you add? 🙂

  2. Lottie @ Novellique says:

    I’m super excited for Replica – haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

  3. Adulthod is a Myth, Every Falling Star (sounds SO amazing) and His Bloody Project. I am definitely picking them up!

    OK – the Museum sounds perfect. I want to do the nighttime tour!

    • mudandstars says:

      Ahh awesome – hope you enjoy them! I’m really excited to read Every Falling Star and His Bloody Project. Adulthood is a Myth was brilliant – it made me feel a lot less alone in being an adult who can’t adult haha! And yess the nighttime tour was fab, definitely recommend it if you’re planning on visiting Dublin 🙂

  4. cassidygott says:

    Adulthood is a Myth has been on my wish list ever since it came out, I really should just get it already.

  5. I still have yet to read Replica, but I hope you really enjoy it! Also The Little Prince is the cutest book ever, I’d like to see what you think of it after. 😀 Great haul!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you! 🙂 Ooh I’m glad to hear you enjoyed The Little Prince. It looks really cute – the illustrations are adorable. I can’t wait to read it 🙂 And I am planning a post with mini reviews of short reads, so I’ll hopefully post my thoughts on that one soon 🙂

  6. Great haul! Replica is on my TBR; and I as well really loved the Delirium series. I have yet to check out Before I Fall, but I 100% plan to do so before the movie comes out! I own The Little Prince in both English and French, but I’ve only read the English version. I guess it was okay, but I was mostly bored. I hope you enjoy all your new books!😉

    • mudandstars says:

      Ahh sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy that one so much! But oooh please please do read Before I Fall, it’s SO good. In my opinion it’s her best book. I’m glad you loved Delirium too – I want to re-read it at some point. I was a bit disappointed with the third book, but the first two were brilliant.

  7. Amazing haul 😍 I hope you enjoy Replica! I really want to read The Call and His Bloody Project.

    • mudandstars says:

      Thanks! Oooh have you read Replica? What did you think? I’m really excited to read both of those!! Sadly I’m in a bit of a reading slump right now though so I’m trying to read light and fluffy stuff to get me through, and they don’t really fit the bill haha 😛 They look amazing though!

  8. What a great mix of books you’ve bought. Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall is one of my all-time favorite books too. She’s such a good writer. I’m curious about Replica, though the “flip book” concept seems kind of gimmicky. What do you think?

    • mudandstars says:

      Oooh I’m glad you love Before I Fall as much as I do. It had a huge emotional impact on me. I know what you mean about the flip-book concept – I’m curious to see whether it adds anything to the reading experience. It has the potential to be either really awesome or really annoying!

  9. Such a great haul! I recently read and loved Replica, I hope you will just as well 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      Thanks Marie! Oooh that’s awesome! What did you think of the ‘two stories’ concept? How did you read the book? I can’t decide whether I should read one story and then the other, or flip between them?!

      • I really enjoyed it! I thought it’d feel like reading the book from two different perspectives with nothing more, but really, with Lyra’s story there are things you know, and with Gemma’s story, other things, and ultimately they add up. I read one chapter from Gemma’s POV, then one from Lyra. It was a bit bothering turning the book around everytime, but I’m glad I did it this way, I could follow the story at the same time from both sides. I think if you read one side, then the other, at some moments it might seem a bit, repetitive ? But it’s only my opinion 😊 Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

      • mudandstars says:

        Ahh that’s good to know – in that case I will probably read it the same way you did – I think it’ll probably be easier to follow that way 🙂 Can’t wait to read it!

      • Can’t wait to know if you liked it! 🙂

  10. I have Every Falling Star on my tbr too and if you’re interested in North Korea there is In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park, which I haven’t managed to read yet but is about her and her families defection from North Korea through China

  11. Every Fallen Star is fantastic! I don’t tend to read memoirs either, I gave it 5 stars. Rabbit Back Literature Society looks and sounds really great!

    • mudandstars says:

      Oooh, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it – it looks really interesting, I can’t wait to read it! I don’t read memoirs often either, I think I’ve read maybe two in my entire life haha. I definitely want to start reading more. And yess Rabbit Back Literature Society was great – it was a very unusual book, in a good way 🙂

      • I don’t tend to read memoirs but if more were as well written and informative as this one then I’d be more inclined to pick them up I think. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I’ll have to keep an eye out for your review 🙂

  12. Evy says:

    I just added so many of these to my Goodreads! They look so good! And I want that Harry Potter book so bad. It just looks so beautiful

  13. Omg, omg omg! Where do I begin?? I’m dying to read Adulthood is a Myth! I love the online comics, so I can’t wait to read this selection .<

  14. Tricia says:

    I love this list! I just read The Little Prince for the first time earlier this month, and it BLEW ME AWAY. I hope you like it too.

    And heads up – Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is only $3.07 on Kindle right now! I bought it based on your recommendation, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    • mudandstars says:

      Oooh, I’m glad to hear you loved The Little Prince so much. I’ve heard amazing things about it, I hope I have the same reaction 🙂 Have you watched the film? And oooh that’s great, I hope you enjoy Sofia Khan is Not Obliged! I haven’t had a chance to start it yet, but it looks fantastic, and I’ll probably give it a go soon! Let me know how you get on if you happen to read it first 🙂

      • Tricia says:

        I haven’t seen The Little Prince film. I’ve heard it’s good, but quite different from the book. Since I’m still basking in the afterglow of reading it for the first time, I don’t want to change things up just yet!

      • mudandstars says:

        Heyyy, sorry for the ridiculously late reply! I have since read The Little Prince and it was incredible. I think it’s one of those books I’ll get something new from if I re-read it, which I already want to do 🙂

  15. Ooh lovely haul!! I also saw the call on your daughter’s bookshelf and I love the look of it! and I’m sooo jealous you have a signed copy of empire of storms!!!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thanks! Yess The Call looks awesome, doesn’t it? I’ll definitely be reading that one before the end of the year 🙂 Do you think you’ll pick that one up? And yess, I would be jealous of me too if I wasn’t me 😛 lol. It was definitely worth the two hours I spent queuing to meet her haha 🙂 Have you read Empire of Storms yet?? I haven’t started it yet, but I’m so excited!

  16. Fabulous haul! I just picked up Hag-Seed from Blogging for Books! I have never read this author, but after hearing you say she is one of your favorites and that you enjoyed it, I am excited to dig in 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you! 🙂 Ooh I hope you enjoy it – I loved it! It was quite different from most of her other books, so wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but was very entertaining, funny, and clever. Generally her books are a little darker, which is why this one was such a surprise, but I definitely recommend her other books if you haven’t read them. The Handmaid’s Tale is fantastic, and as you love historical fiction, you might enjoy The Blind Assassin too. 🙂 I’ve loved all of her books that I’ve read – I studied a whole module on them as part of my English Lit degree. But she’s been very prolific, so there are tons that I still need to read 🙂

  17. Nova says:

    I immediately had to add Every Falling Star to my Goodreads! I’ve never heard of it, and it sounds so interesting. I also really like that cover of The Call :O Great haul!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you! Yes I’m really excited to read that one – I’m really interested in North Korea, but this is the first book I’ve picked up written by a defector. And I agree, the cover of The Call is awesome – can’t wait to read that one, I’ve been informed by people who’ve read it that it’s terrifying 🙂

  18. Emma says:

    What a lovely haul!

    I loved Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged; I hope you enjoy it too. 🙂

    I recently bought Hag-Seed because I adore The Tempest – something tells me I need to bump that one up my TBR and make it a priority, especially given your words about it here.

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you! Actually I think it might have been your review of Sofia Khan that made me aware of the book in the first place 🙂 Oooh, in that case, I think you will really enjoy Hag-Seed; can’t wait to see what you think!!

  19. […] many to mention here! But a special shout out goes to Lauren, Beth, Amanda, Stephanie, Azia and Jess – I’m so glad I got to meet (well, internet meet) all of you. You brighten up my days […]

  20. Oh ma goddddddddd you met SJM!!!! I would have died if I was there with all the Rhys fangirling. She sounds super cool, I’m so glad you got to meet her and had such a great time. 🙂 Have you read EoS yet? Love to hear what you thought! xx

    • mudandstars says:

      Yesss! She was awesome!! It was so worth the ridiculously long queue 🙂 The Rhys fangirling was hilarious. She was like, I know it’s kind of creepy because he came from my brain… but I’m in love with him. Haha. I still haven’t read EoS yet – I started reading it when I was going through a really low period and my concentration was really bad – I got about 300 pages in, but I decided to stop and save it for when I was feeling better, so that I could properly appreciate it and take it all in. I think I’m going to start it again soon 🙂 Have you read it? What did you think? xx

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