I just got back from a five day break in Cornwall for my thirtieth birthday. I didn’t do a lot of reading because I spent much of the time walking up hills and exploring castle ruins with my girlfriend, then enjoying the evenings by getting drunk and watching the sunset, so I don’t have any reviews ready at the moment – but I did spend some of my birthday cash on topping up my bookshelves (book information below main body of text).
I was also overjoyed to open my birthday gift from my girlfriend and find a Kindle! I’d been on the fence about getting one for some time, admittedly mainly due to the “you can’t replace a real book!” argument, but for the last three or four years I’d been collecting the odd ebook here and there to read on the Kindle app on my phone, so now I can read those in a bigger screen (and save my eyes!). I’m really loving using the Kindle so far – I’ve already downloaded a (virtual) stack of free public domain classics, along with some pretty cheap sci-fi, horror and true crime stuff that I’ll be reading over the next few weeks.
Photographs taken from my Instagram.
Daphne du Maurier – The Doll (published 2011)
Daphne du Maurier – The Breaking Point (published 1959)
I bought The Doll in du Maurier’s adoptive home of Fowey on the south coast of Cornwall, in an excellent small bookshop which was filled with early- and first-editions of du Maurier’s stories and non-fiction. I found The Breaking Point in a small bookshop in the beautiful town of St Ives. I’m looking forward to reading these, along with The Rendezvous, another collection of du Maurier’s short fiction. Both The Doll and The Breaking Point are collections of her short fiction that hopefully have the same level of suspense and intrigue as Don’t Look Now. As I took The Doll to the desk to pay for it, I found out that the bookseller was the person that dug out the title story and arranged to have it published. Hopefully there will be more information on this in the foreword.
Carlo Rovelli – Seven Brief Lessons in Physics (published 2015)
I’d really like to broaden my range when it comes to books on physics, space and time, and I’d recently read about this book in a friend’s review. In her review, she stated that reading this helped her with some anxiety issues that she was going through at the time. As I’ve been having some similar problems myself recently, I thought it was worth a go.
John S. Moore and John Patrick Higgins – Crowley: A Beginner’s Guide (published 2015)
This oddly titled starter’s guide to Aleister Crowley is something I found in the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. I guess the title is slightly more accessible than something like “Getting to Know the Great Beast”. The reason I bought this is because I’ve never read anything by Crowley, other than the great, scary short story “The Testament of Magdalen Blair”. I’d always been interested in learning more about this infamous figure, and I guess this book will hopefully point me in the right direction…
The Frankenstein Omnibus – Various (Ed. Peter Haining, published 1994)
I’ve collected a few good anthologies and collections edited by Haining over the years, so I didn’t pass this up when I saw it in a second hand bookshop in Boscastle for £3.00. I did recently read some articles which stated that Haining was an unashmaed plagiarist and not quite the upstanding anthologist he quite made himself out to be, but I’ve always found Haining’s collections to be entertaining and a good way of finding short stories that may otherwise be unavailable. This looks like it will mainly be 19th Century writings on the theme of reanimation and mad scientists. I’m looking forward to reading it!