The Mud and Stars Book Blog

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

A big book haul and a little life update (which is actually pretty huge too!)

on January 18, 2017

Hi guys! Apologies for slipping into hiatus mode again. It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, as I moved to London last weekend! I’m now living with my lovely boyfriend in South West London, not too far from the cemetery where Emmeline Pankhurst is buried (therefore my new home is blessed with awesome feminist vibes.)

I’ve finally finished unpacking, and most importantly, my new bookcase has been constructed. I had to be selective about the books I brought with me, but on the plus side I now have an empty bookcase back in Oxford I can use as overflow when I go on my next book-buying-binge.

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I haven’t posted a book haul in a while, but I bought lots of wonderful books in November and December, received lots of lovely books for Christmas, and picked up many a bargain in the January sales, so I thought I’d brag about them all in a big old haul post tbh:


Six of Crows and The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

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Everyone and their Grandma and their Grandma’s cat adores Six of Crows, and I am generally wary of hype, but this book sounds fantastic. I’ve been told I don’t have to read The Grisha Trilogy beforehand, but doing things out of order makes me the opposite of chill, so I’ll probably read those books on my Kindle first before I dive into Six of Crows.


The Mortal Instruments boxed set by Cassandra Clare

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I already own The Mortal Instruments series on Kindle, but it’s one of my all time faves, so I’ve been desperate to get my hands on physical copies for approx forever. I picked up the boxed set for £20 in a Black Friday deal and to say I was chuffed is putting it mildly.


Harry Potter boxed set by J.K. Rowling

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I received the boxed set of the Harry Potter series with the gorgeous new covers for Christmas (confession time: I think I like them better than the originals!) I grew up with the Harry Potter series, and of course own the original editions, but the set was always a *family* set, and we only had the one in our household. Now I’ve moved to London, I’m really happy I have my own set which is exclusively mine to read/squeal over/hug.


Holding Up the Universe and All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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I read Holding Up the Universe over Christmas and absolutely loved it. It was heartwarming, funny, and sweet, with characters I related to deeply (particularly Libby) and I was grateful to have this book as a refuge when all the Christmassing got a bit too much. After Christmas, I decided to pick up a physical copy of All The Bright Places too (which I already own on Kindle) and it’ll be one of my priority reads in early 2017.


Bridget Jones’s Baby by Helen Fielding

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I received this book from my lovely mama and papa for Christmas and I’m really excited to read it. I’m a huge Bridget Jones fan, and I LOVED the recent Bridget Jones’s Baby film. I believe the book is adapted from some of the original newspaper columns Helen Fielding wrote before the concept became a book/movie series, and I know it’s going to be the perfect light and funny anecdote to the freezing January weather I’m in need of.


111 Places in London That You Shouldn’t Miss by John Sykes

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My brother bought me this book as a Christmas pressie ahead of my move to London, and it’s full of awesome ideas for things to see and do in the city. Even though I live here now, I’m totally not above being a tourist in my own city and I intend to make full use of this asap!


Le Diners De Gala (Dali cookbook) by Salvador Dali

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You know how I’m obsessed with weird and creepy books? Well I also have a thing for weird and creepy art. I wouldn’t necessarily put Salvador Dali’s paintings on my wall, but they do fascinate me. My wonderful boyfriend bought me this fantastic cookbook Dali wrote, which is a combination of rich recipes and unusual artwork, and it’s just stunning! Now on display in my new kitchen.


Misery by Stephen King, and Skin by Roald Dahl

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I received both of these books from my bestie Tash and I’m really excited to get stuck in. We’re both on a mission to read more Stephen King this year, and I’ve heard awesome things about this one. I always loved Roald Dahl’s books as a child, so I’m really intrigued to see what his adult short stories are like (especially as they’re supposed to be pretty dark, aka my fave kind.)


Guinea Pig Oliver Twist, and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

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Which do I pick up first? #dilemma

Of course I’ll read the classic first, but the guinea pig version (another Christmas gift from my parents) is the most abso-flipping-lutely-adorable thing I’ve seen and is top of my TBR as soon as I’ve read the original.


BBC Animal Babies

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While we’re on the subject of cute and fluffy, I picked this beautiful book up in the Waterstones sale and I can’t even with how cute and fluffy it is. I’m saving this for when I’m stressed and in need of teeny, tiny animals to cheer me up.


Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

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This book was another bargain in the January sales; I got this humungous hardback normally priced at £12.99 for £6. What self-respecting Cassie Clare fan could possibly refuse?


Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

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I am in love with Anna Kendrick. She’s so down to earth, witty, and smart. I’m really excited to read her book because if it’s anything like her tweets, I’ll be laughing out loud the whole way through.


The Girls by Emma Cline

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I’ve heard mixed things about this, but I’m really intrigued by the premise. The story focuses on a girl who falls in with a Manson family type cult. I find cults fascinating, so I’m desperate to read this one, even if it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea.


The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

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I read 17 and Gone by the same author years ago, and remember enjoying it. Nova Ren Suma had a strange and unsettling writing style which had me constantly questioning what was and wasn’t real, so I’m hope this novel will be just as mesmerising.


Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt

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This was an impulse buy in Blackwells and I know virtually nothing about it, other than that it’s about a boy called River who is a compulsive liar. It has great reviews from E. Lockhart and Adam Silvera (both authors I love) so I have high hopes!


A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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This YA contemporary about Steffi, a mute girl with anxiety, sounds absolutely fabulous. I’ve been looking for a book with good anxiety representation, and Sammie gave this one an excellent review, so I have a feeling I’m going to fall in love with it tbh.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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One of my 2017 reading goals is to read more diversely, and after seeing Lauren speak highly of this one, I knew I had to add it to my shelves. Set in Ghana, it beings with the story of two sisters, one of whom is sold into slavery, and one of whom is married off to a British slave trader. This book sounds like a heartbreaking but important read, and I can’t wait to get started.


Sooo that’s the end of my haul. Which of these books have you read, and what did you think of them? What lovely books have you picked up recently? I’d love to hear from you!

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32 responses to “A big book haul and a little life update (which is actually pretty huge too!)

  1. So many good books! I love the covers of those Harry Potter books!

    • mudandstars says:

      Ooh, which ones have you read? (Besides Harry P, of course!) Me tooo, I think they are prettier than the original ones! And I really like the font they used in the new ones too 🙂

  2. Awesome haul!!! I actually bought those editions of mortal instruments for my sister (I already have them on my kindle)- they look so lovely that I actually had book envy when I gave them to her 😉 And hope you have fun living in London!!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you! I’m settling in great so far, and I even managed to get a job (which I started today), so things are working out really well! 🙂 Ahh that’s awesome, I totally understand the book envy as they are lovely editions! Maybe you can treat yourself to a set too sometime 😛

  3. YAandWine says:

    Lovely, haul! I adore so many of these books. 📚🍷

  4. Woohoo! Books = happiness 😁 ❤

    • mudandstars says:

      Truer words were never spoken!! 🙂 I’m probably going to have to ban buyself from buying more for a while, but I’m really excited to start all of these. Have you read any of them? Which were your favourites?

  5. Oh my GOD what a delicious looking haul! I’ve had my eye on that Cassie Clare boxed set for a while, but I’ve already got the old covers and I’ve been told I’m not allowed them without getting rid of my old ones haha! Which is definitely not going to happen. 😂

    Roald Dahl’s adult books are excellently dark and quite unsettling in places! I read a few on holiday last year and they are unmistakeably Dahl but definitely for adults. I hope you like them!

    Thank you so much for tagging my review too – I really hope you love AQKIOT as much as I did. 😁 If not, it’s a gorgeous cover to add to the collection! 😉

    Congrats on your move to London too, Jess! I wish you all the luck in the world! 💖 x

    • mudandstars says:

      Thanks Sammie, they are beautiful aren’t they? What you should do is sneakily buy them and then pretend they were a gift from someone, because you can’t throw a gift of books away, can you?! Ooh which of Roald Dahl’s adult books have you read? Dark and unsettling is right up my street. And you’re very welcome, your review was the one that persuaded me – I’m reading it at the moment and I’m loving it so much 🙂 I’m about 50 pages from the end, and am thinking it’s going to be a 5 star book 🙂 And thanksss, the move went well and I’m feeling really settled in now. And I even managed to get a part time job to get myself back into work, and the place and people seem really lovely, so I’m hoping I’ll be really happy there 🙂 xx

  6. Ohhh that’s so great, I hope you’ll have fun in your new place with your boyfriend, and in London, I am SO jealous haha, you are living my dream 🙂
    I love your bookhaul! I am currently reading The Walls Around Us and it’s my first book by this author, but it’s unsettling and definitely unique! 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      Aww thanks Marie! 🙂 I’m really enjoying it so far, and have managed to get a job, which I was really worried would take me ages – I started today! Oooh, did you enjoy The Walls Around Us? I love unsettling books, so I think I’m going to love this one!

  7. Kayla says:

    Such a great haul! If you have the chance I would suggest getting the audiobook version of Anna Kendricks book since she reads it. It’s great 🙂

  8. Fabulous haul! I laughed out loud at the Ginea pig book lol

    I’m currently working on my review for The Girls. I had mixed feelings about it, but still recommend giving it a go! Cline did a fantastic job portraying cult culture.

  9. Donna says:

    Happy new life in South London! 🙂
    Such a great haul! I still have to buy Six of Crows, I see it everywhere but I’m afraid of the hype! Also, that Harry Potter set ❤ I only own the French version but half is in paperback and the other in hardback 😦 and I only have 1 of the US edition and 2 of the British paperback edition. I grew up with those books so they are the only story I enjoy more in French 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      Aww thank you! 🙂 It definitely feels like a new life/fresh start. I just started a new job too (part time, which is so much easier for me to cope with at the moment) and I think it’s going to be really good – the people seem lovely and supportive. I know exactly what you mean about Six of Crows hype – it’s everywhere! Really hope I enjoy it as much as everyone else seemed to. Aww that’s cool – I have the same thing with the set of original covers – the first three are paperback and the last four are hardback. I’m really happy this set is all paperback because it stresses me when things don’t match haha. What are the French covers like? I also grew up with the books, I feel like they are such an important part of my life. 🙂 xx

  10. Yay for being all unpacked!! Such a great haul too ♥ I’m so happy to see Homegoing on here! I can’t wait to see what you think! It truly is a beautiful book. Six of Crows and AKQOT are amazing too!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thanks Lauren! Sorry for the late reply, I’ve had such a busy couple of weeks, but I’m feeling settled here, and I’ve even managed to get a part time job, which is helping me build back some confidence and I actually really like so far 🙂 I’ll definitely be reading Homegoing soon, it looks amazing. I just finished A Quiet Kind of Thunder and LOVED it. And I am very excited about Six of Crows, I hope it lives up to the hype, because everyone seems to love it so much!!

  11. Lovely haul, Jess! I hope your move was relatively stress-free or, at least, not that stressful. Wishing you all the best in your new place and hopefully new start!

    What an amazing haul. ❤ I've heard Homegoing is spectacular, so I can't wait to read it for myself eventually. 😀

    • mudandstars says:

      Thanks CW! Amazingly, it was pretty stress-free! And I was so scared thinking I wouldn’t be able to get a job for ages, but I was very lucky and managed to get one straight away, and I really like it so far. It’s helping me get back some of the confidence I lost. 🙂 I’ve heard brilliant things about Homegoing too, and I’m definitely going to be picking it up soon. Look forward to seeing what you think of it too 🙂

  12. DevBlog says:

    ! I just started a new job too (part time, which is so much easier for me to cope with at the moment) and I think it’s going to be really good – the people seem lovely and supportive.

    • mudandstars says:

      Ahh that’s great news – I hope it will work out well for you 🙂 What kind of job are you doing? I’m working part time too and it’s so much easier for me to cope with right now. Working full time with my anxiety and depression was too much for me, because just getting through the day is draining enough. Working part time is much easier to manage and is helping me on the road to recovery 🙂

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