In my mailbox is a meme that can be found over at The Story Siren, intending to share any books bought/gifted/borrowed over time. I’ve decided to post these on Wednesdays sporadically, with the intention to  share what I’ve got my hands on recently. Thanks to primarily Goodreads for blurbs and covers, and Amazon.

This week I had a nice big box from Amazon, a few days later, a smaller package. These are all books that have been on my wishlist for a while, and only around Christmas can I really afford to stock up. I have a few more on the way too. *bounce*

Sookie Stackhouse (1-10) – Charlaine Harris

“Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in a little bar in Bon Temps, a small town deep in Louisiana. She’s funny and pretty and well-mannered, but she doesn’t have that many close friends – mind you, that’s not so surprising when you consider how few people can appreciate her abilities as a mind-reader. It’s not a quality that has the guys beating down her door – well, unless they’re vampires or werewolves or the like… but they’re not just supernatural freaks, some of them are friends, even family… The box contains: Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead as a Doornail, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead, From Dead to Worse, Dead and Gone, A Touch of Dead.”

Ooh! *rubs hands together* I’m itching to get started on this series. I completely fell in love with the TV series last year when I finally got around to watching it, and ever since I found out it was based on a book series, I’ve wanted to read them. By the time I’d found the £20 boxset on Amazon it was too close to December so I held off on buying it, and I’m so glad I did. I doubt I’d have read them back then anyway because I’ve been reading through an imaginary TBR list (well, okay, it’s imaginary in the sense that it’s in my head and not actually written down any where) since around the beginning of October – just to make sure I actually read what I’ve wanted to read, and said I’d read. Lists keep my brain in order. Anyway, tangent. I’m glad I waited because after Christmas when I decided I’d finally spend some birthday money on the big pile of books I’d been putting off all year, I noticed that Amazon was saying that there was a newer version of this boxset. Now, I thought perhaps this would be the original covers, but no, it’s still the actors from the series spread eagled across the front of each book. I’m really not a fan of movie covers – I love cover art, I really think it ruins something.. ah well, if it’s cheaper than the original covers, though I’m not a fan, I won’t say no. Turns out this newer boxset had 2 more books than the last one for the same price, so I’m damn glad I waited. I’ve saved somewhere around £10-20 from buying this box rather than buying the books individually, and I am so desperate to get started but I won’t until I’ve finished the Farseer trilogy, else I’ll never end up reading Assassin’s Quest knowing me.

The Tawny Man Trilogy – Robin Hobb

Book 1: “In Fool’s Errand, first of the “Tawny Man” trilogy, Robin Hobb brings back Fitz, hero of her emotionally powerful and intrigue-filled Assassin trilogy, from 15 years of self-imposed exile from his royal relations and from the world of power. Hobb is particularly good at the passage of time and the things it does not change; Fitz plausibly thinks of himself as older and more settled than he actually is. She is also good on the actual changes–Fitz’s mentor Chade is teetering on the brink of old age and his androgynous ally the Fool has returned to court as the fop Lord Gallant; these are characters we cared about before and she makes it matter that they have aged or altered. Fitz is bonded by Wit to a wolf; the heir, Prince Dutiful, the son he never saw, is adrift with his own Wit in a world where people get lynched for it. Hobb’s leisurely story-telling never lacks urgency and menace; this is a humane book which includes nightmarish touches along the way. Her sense of the world of magic and the world of political power is acute–she makes us see more than her flawed hero, even though we share his eyes.”

In my Robin Hobb based excitement, I decided to order the next trilogy to read. Usually I’d have gone for The Liveship Traders trilogy next, but Naithin insisted that I pick up the Fool’s trilogy next, as it again includes Fitz, and I presume the Fool – just a wild stab in the dark. I haven’t read any of the blurbs, not even the one I posted above from Goodreads, I don’t tend to read blurbs when I know full well I like an author, the fact that I bought the entire trilogy is a good indication of how much I’m enjoying Hobb’s work, so all I can say really about this trilogy is that I now own them and look forward to reading them, although I expect I’ll read a bit of another genre before I delve into them.

Final Empire (Mistborn #1) – Brandon Sanderson

“Brandon Sanderson’s epic fantasy trilogy overturns the expectations of readers and then goes on to tell the epic story of evil overturned in a richly imagined world. A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields. But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy – the magic that lies in all metals.”

Back to normality with this one – I only bought the first in the trilogy because I have never read anything by Brandon Sanderson and I don’t know if I’ll like his work or not. I prefer to do this, because if I go out and buy his full works then realise that his writing style just doesn’t do it for me, I’ve wasted money. I’m confident that I’ll love him, but I don’t want to risk it. I’ve already done that with Terry Brooks and Bernard Cornwell.

I also love the premise of this one. “What happens when the hero fails? What then?” Whilst it’s not entirely original, it is more so than “farm boy goes on a quest with broody mysterious figure and feels unsure of himself all the way through but his friends keep him going and girls have boobs”. I like fantasy that’s a bit different than the norm. I’ve tried Terry Brooks and it bored me to tears, though that story didn’t have much life in it admittedly. I think I’m going to like Sanderson.

Room – Emma Donoghue

“This is the story of a mother, her son, a locked room and the outside world. Jack is five and, like any little boy, excited at the prospect of presents and cake. He’s looking forward to telling his friends it’s his birthday, too. But although Jack is a normal child in many ways – loving, funny, bright, full of energy and questions – his upbringing is far from ordinary: Jack’s entire life has been spent in a single room that measures just 12 feet by 12 feet; as far as he’s concerned, Room is the entire world. He shares this world with his mother, with Plant, and tiny Mouse (though Ma isn’t a fan and throws a book at Mouse when she sees him). There’s TV too, of course – and the cartoon characters he thinks of as his friends – but Jack knows that nothing else he sees on the screen is real. Old Nick, on the other hand, is all too real, but only visits at night – like a bat – when Jack is meant to be asleep and hidden safely in Wardrobe. And only Old Nick has the code to Door, which is otherwise locked…Told in Jack’s voice, “Room” is the story of a mother’s love for her son, and of a young boy’s innocence.”

I was checking out what all of my Goodreads groups were reading this month.. last month.. whenever, I was checking, and I spotted this. A fairly simplistic looking cover, not a name that particularly stands out, but I read the blurb as linked above, as I do with everything I come across on Goodreads and I just had to read it. I can’t even say I’m excited to read it, it just looks like one of those books that will affect you. I can’t have been half wrong, it has 4 pages filled with acclaim. That’s a lot of people who have loved this book. It’s pretty high up on my TBR list.

Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger

“When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers–with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth’s flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building’s other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin’s devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth’s elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt’s neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including–perhaps–their aunt, who can’t seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.”

I actually mentioned this one yesterday, but even so, I’m so happy that Audrey Niffenegger has written another novel! I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife, and I was always a little sad that she hadn’t written another (the graphical novels didn’t really appeal to me). So when I noticed she had written Her Fearful Symmetry, I had to read it, because I do like to read the other works of an author I’ve enjoyed. I hope there are more to come in the future.