Books that have come my way

April 11, 2010 § 38 Comments

I’ve not been doing that much reading these days. Life is going to be taking quite a drastic turn in the coming month or so, and I anticipate that I’ll probably only have time for a couple of posts a week. You see, I’m moving back to my home country, Malaysia. Not for a temporary visit, but actually moving back. So I’ve been rather busy, what with packing and things (which is rather time-consuming), and also, my graduation ceremony is happening in a couple of days! So if it seems like I’m not leaving comments on your blogs, it’s not because I’m not reading, it’s just.. well.. (I won’t make excuses.) I’ll be commenting properly again. Soon.

Since I’m moving countries, most of my books will be coming with me as well. It’s a little sad that not all my books can fit into my luggage without going into excess weight (which would cost a fortune), but for those that have to stay put, I’ve given instructions to my sister to take good care of them for me. I’ve packed as many as I can possibly carry, and I just couldn’t resist taking photos of those lovely books. So today, I thought I’d share with you the books that have come to me via the mailbox (which I’ve never ever gotten prior to this!). And yes, they are all coming with me back to Malaysia.

First up are two books that I’ve received from the publishers. I had read Fan Wu’s February Flowers earlier this year, and really liked that book. I snooped around the internet and found that she had a new novel just out, and sent her an email to enquire about getting a review copy of Beautiful as Yesterday. She was really nice about it (she even told me she’s currently working on a non-fiction book), and so I am now the happy owner of this beautiful book. I have yet to read it, but plan to really soon.

The other book really needs no introduction. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ has been reviewed on some blogs already (read Simon‘s and Gaskella‘s thoughts), but I’m really excited about this book, and so have not read any of those said reviews (sorry!). The copy I received was from Text Publishing, the Australian publisher for this book, so the cover’s different from the one published by Canongate Myths Series.

These three books, I received from a very very generous Frances, from Nonsuch Book. I didn’t really realise it until I put the three books together that they are very diverse. Kaaterskill Falls, as I understand it, has something to do with the Jewish community; Stand the Storm is about African American slavery, and Saving Fish from Drowning should be, as most of Amy Tan’s books are, about Chinese Americans. So again, thanks so much, Frances, for such a good variety of books.

I received these two lovely books from Simon at Savidge Reads. I’ve read quite a lot of good things about The Bastard of Istanbul, so I’m really looking forward to reading it soon. (I keep saying I’m going to read books soon, but the library is just calling my name…. But I promise, I’ll get to these books. Soon.) As for Legend of a Suicide, I’m still not sure if it’s a single story, or if it’s a collection of short stories. From the book itself, I get the impression that it’s a single story, so maybe I’m mixing this book with something else?

So thanks to Simon for hosting the giveaway, and the good people at Penguin for sending them to me.

I won a copy of Tipping the Velvet from Nymeth at Things Mean a Lot. So far, I’ve only read one book by Sarah Waters, which was The Night Watch, and I absolutely loved that one. I’ve already made her one of my favourite authors, though there are still another 4 books to read. But I’m pretty sure I’ll love them all, if for no other reason than gut feeling. I had the great great chance to meet her earlier in March when she came to New Zealand, and bought Affinity while I was there during one of her events. And of course, how could I resist getting my books autographed, right? So Ana, the copy I got from you is now proudly signed by Sarah Waters. =)

These two are books that I won for participating in reading challenges. Eat Pray Love, I won for taking part in Trisha‘s Banned Book Challenge. I’ve seen mixed reviews on this book, but for what it’s worth, I’m kind of interested in reading about the experiences of a white woman in a country like Indonesia, which is somewhat similar to Malaysia. As for the very beautiful Kuhaku, I won for participating in Dolce Bellezza‘s Japanese Literature Challenge 3. The book is simply a beauty. The pages, the cover, the binding, all so beautifully done. I think I’ll be keeping this for Bellezza’s challenge later on this year. Thanks again, Trisha and Bellezza, for such lovely gifts.

This, did not arrive through my mailbox. But I’m on a roll now, and I just couldn’t resist taking a photo of this beautiful set of Murakami books that I got last Christmas. I’ve read both After Dark and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle already, but they were both library copies, and I really wanted to own my own set of Murakami books. So imagine how happy I was to get this box set!

And to think, I’ve just also won The Passion of New Eve from Claire @ Paperback Reader, in celebration of Angela Carter Month! I’ve only just read one book from Carter, The Sadeian Woman, and I’m definitely itching for more. So my thanks to Claire.


Just looking at this post is making me happy. So once again, thanks to the many beautiful people who’ve sent me such beautiful things through the post. I’m sure they’ll be just as at home in Malaysia, as they are here in New Zealand.

Which of those books have you read and enjoyed?


§ 38 Responses to Books that have come my way

  • Mark David says:

    WOW! There’s a Murakami box set like that??? I looks great!
    (hmm, come to think of it, I think Mee told me about it before)

    I really like the covers of those white Murakami editions. But, for some reason, the paper they used doesn’t look so durable 😦

    Congratulations on winning those books! I’m very curious of what you’ll think about Kohaku.

    • mee says:

      David, it is indeed the same Murakami box-set that I told you about before! Michelle, I was interested in the box, but then I have read all except After Dark and I already have TWO copies of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. I’m not going to get the third copy, aren’t I? So I passed it.

      I’m so jealous of your Kuhaku. I so wanted that one when it was featured on Bellezza’s giveaway! 😉

    • Michelle says:

      David: The Murakami box set looks amazing doesn’t it? I absolutely love the white covers, in fact, I’m quite adamant about buying only those editions of Murakami’s books. But you’re right about the paper. They don’t feel all that great. But still, the covers are beautiful.

      • claire says:

        I also have the white Murakami covers. Only had Kafka on the Shore and then added The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood recently.

        The reason the paper isn’t the best quality is because they sell these books (the Vintage Classics, much like the Penguin Classics) at a lower price than normal. It’s the whole point why Penguin started publishing their paperbacks, to give the reading public access to better quality literature for the same or almost the same price as the supermarket books.

        • Michelle says:

          I just LOVE the white Murakami covers. And I love having things in sets. So I’m hoping to buy all the white Murakami books I can find. I don’t get TOO fussy over paper quality (though sometimes they do bug me a little). I’m just hoping they survive Malaysian weather.

  • Great selection! So many books I want to comment on…

    I love that Murakami boxset – I haven’t seen one of those before – am very envious!

    I have read all of Amy Tan’s books and enjoyed them all – apart from Saving Fish from Drowning. I will be interested to hear your thoughts on it, but I just need to warn you that it is very different in style to her other books.

    I look forward to comapring notes on the Pullman – I won a copy and hope to read it soon.
    Enjoy your new books!

    • Michelle says:

      Funny you didn’t enjoy Saving Fish. I’ve heard good things about it. I’ve only read one book from Amy Tan so I’m still not too sure if I really love her or not.

      I’m really looking forward to reading Pullman’s book too. But not right this moment though, even if I am super excited about it. Maybe next month?

      • claire says:

        I agree with Jackie, Saving Fish is different from all the rest of Amy Tan’s books. It’s also my least favourite but I didn’t dislike it. Just didn’t love it as I did the others.

  • Nymeth says:

    You met Sarah Waters! That is amazing! Is she as awesome as she sounds? I think you’ll love all the other books too – I could tell she’d be a favourite author 100 pages into Fingersmith, my first, and I wasn’t wrong 😛

    I have just finished the Pullman some twenty minutes ago. Lots and lots to think about…

    Enjoy your new books, Michelle!

    • Michelle says:

      I know right?! I was so so star-struck about meeting her! And yes, she’s just as awesome as she sounds. Loved her British accent to bits. (Okay, now I’m just sounding like a fan-girl, but never mind, right?)

      I saw that you’ve posted about the Pullman book already. I promise to go read it when I’ve read my own copy.

  • aloi says:

    I’m jealous! 😛 What a great collection — I’d be in Murakami heaven with that boxed set! And having met and getting a signed copy of Sarah Waters’s book, wow! Pullman’s book looks intriguing, thanks for the heads-up.

    Good luck on the move! Luck lucky you to be able t bring back all your beloved books!

    • Michelle says:

      I love the box set. One of my favourite gifts ever. And yes, meeting Sarah Waters was awesome.

      Thanks for the wish. (And I have to say, I do feel a little lucky about being able to bring my books back with me..)

  • chasing bawa says:

    I’m reading Pullman’s new book too. I love posts about books so thanks for sharing. It’s a big move, but good luck. And I’ve never seen the Murakami box set either. You have so much good reading to look forward to!

  • JoV says:

    I have read Eat, Pray, Love by Gilbert and absolutely love it, and have a copy at home. I drooled over Murakami’s boxset, if I ever have a permanent home I think at some point I love to have a set.

    I hope you have a fun time in Malaysia. Let me know how you are getting on in Malaysia. I suppose in about 8 years more or less, at some point I might go back too. Until then do keep in touch, blog when you can, and take good care of yourself.

    • Michelle says:

      Glad to know you enjoyed Gilbert’s book.

      And thanks for those kind wishes. I’ll definitely continue blogging when I can. It’s kind of difficult to stay away for too long, to be honest. =)

  • Mel u says:

    a wonderful selection of books-good luck on your move-I really liked February Flowers and will be curious to see your thoughts on it

  • Joanna says:

    Hi, it’s my first time here, and you’ve got a really nice blog! Great books there…I’m salivating at the Murakami set and such a great thing that you’ve met Sarah Waters! All the best on your move back home …

  • What an amaxing selection of books! I just borrowed Eat, Pray, Love from the library so we’ll be able to compare reviews. Amy Tan’s book has caught my attention too. Hope your move goes smoothly and no books get lost on the way!

    • Michelle says:

      Thanks. And I sure hope my books don’t get lost. I’ve had the terrible experience of losing my luggage once, so I hope that means it won’t ever happen to me again!

  • Suko says:

    Wow! You have been so lucky to get all these books! I’ve read Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love. Good luck with your move.

  • I thought Saving Fish From Drowning was great, though it took me about 30 pages to really get into the story. I love Amy Tan!


  • claire says:

    Michelle, great bunch of books! I’m happy to see you bringing at least enough to last you a month(?), haha. Does your aunt know you’re bringing a library along? I really need to read Sarah Waters. I keep saying this since I first heard about her from Nymeth but never get around to doing so. 😀

    • Michelle says:

      Haha! My cousin’s an avid reader as well, and so is my aunt, so though they might be a little ‘surprised’, at least I know they won’t complain about it. =)

      I know what you mean about reading a particular author and just never getting to it. I’ve been wanting to read Kundera for ages now, and even once managed to bring home one of his books from the library. But it just never happened. Yet.

  • Nishita says:

    I am not that big a fan of Murakami but I am still extremely jealous of this collections.

    And, no, I haven’t read any of these books, but I would love to read some Sarah Waters..heard such great things about her from so many book blogs

    • Michelle says:

      I love both Murakami and Sarah Waters, if that isn’t already obvious from my post. =) Absolutely LOVE them. (Again, that’s saying a lot considering I’ve only read one from Waters).

  • Wow that is a big haul! Happy reading.

  • savidgereads says:

    Hoorah for all those books what a treat. I hope you enjoy the David Vann book, well I hope you enjoy them all, I have a feeling you will read The Bastard of Istanbul before I do lol!

    • Michelle says:

      Hoorah indeed!

      You have so many books on your TBR, Simon, I won’t be surprised if I do actually read The Bastard of Istanbul before you do. Lol.

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