Big Bad Wolf Book Haul: In Which I Tried but Failed to Control Myself

So! Apparently it’s been more than a fortnight since I last posted anything on my blog. And no, I didn’t purposely wait for two weeks so I could use the word fortnight on my opening line. I was just… really lazy. And almost worryingly absentminded. I kept meaning to brainstorm a new blog post but whenever the thought occurred to me, I’d immediately get distracted with something else. And here I was congratulating myself last month for being really active on my book blog. Didn’t realize I’d slide back to my old habits immediately after.

That being said, last week I was able to at least come up with two blog post ideas that I’ve vaguely considered for a while now. One is a personal post – a homage, really – to my love for notebooks and journaling while the other is, as of writing this, a messy rant about a certain YA fantasy book that really disappointed me last year. I fully intended on just forgetting that book for the rest of my days but its absolutely absurd ending (and implications) kept hounding me. So naturally the only way to free myself from it is to pick it apart in a detailed blog post.

While I’ve already outlined both future posts – the book rant-y one even has a messy intro – I didn’t spend enough time and energy on actually writing them so I wasn’t able to finish them by the end of last week. Now I’ve had my heart set on posting something, anything, on my blog this week so I’ve resorted to writing something that I’m confident I can churn out without too much fuss: a book haul.

I’ve been writing about books way before I started this particular blog and I used to post my book hauls quite regularly. Youngish Zia spent most of her teenage weekends in Book Sale so my book haul posts were considerably lengthy and frequent. Since I abandoned that old blog of mine, I haven’t really wrote about any of my book hauls though I’d take bookish photos often enough.

Lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it) for me, the Big Bad Wolf Books has returned to my city. The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is essentially this massive round-the-clock book fair that lasts for about two weeks (a fortnight!). From what I read, the company was founded in Malaysia and they’ve been slowly expanding worldwide. Last year was their first stint in the Philippines.

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Obviously, ya girl went to last year’s BBW book sale and got around 8 books. It was, in my opinion, a modest haul but my younger sister begged to differ.

This year’s BBW opened last Friday but I went last Saturday evening, not because I thought there’d be less people on the second day but because I couldn’t hitch a ride from my sister on the first day/night. She didn’t have as good of an experience as I did last year. I constantly remind her that it was her idea to go on the first day so her dismay to find the place packed that evening a year ago was completely on her.

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But enough of that! Let’s get on to the actual book haul! Spoiler alert: it’s… a lot.

As I said, I got 8 books in last year’s book sale. This year, I got twice as many, though I swear I didn’t mean to. It just sort of happened? Anyway, I got 15 books last night and one notebook (because obviously I would).

Yeah, it wasn’t easy lugging all these books around but the shoulder pain was worth it. I think. Let’s talk about these books individually now.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
In all honestly, I thought this book was by Patrick Ness, not Rothfuss. Rothfuss is the author of the Kingkiller Chronicles and I actually bought the first book, The Name of the Wind, some years ago. Haven’t tried reading it yet though. Unfortunately, this short-ish book isn’t a standalone but a sequel and a half (it’s categorized as Kingkiller Chronicles 2.5) which I don’t know how to feel about. On one hand, I heard a lot of great things about this fantasy series so mayhaps this sequel thing might be a blessing in disguise once I get into the series. On the other hand, I also heard a lot of bad things about this fantasy series so I might not even pick up the first book, let alone the sequel. Sigh.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Yes, this is the title and the author that I really wanted all along. No, I didn’t realize my mistake even though I picked this up a minute or two after I threw the Rothfuss one on my push cart. Listen, I was distracted by all the books and I hardly had time to stop and think. But anyway, I’m just glad to finally find an affordable copy of this book. It’s apparently a really great story about grief and loss.

The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer
The Artemis Fowl books were my favorites when I was in high school and I don’t think I’ve read a Colfer book that’s disappointed me yet. This guy has a real knack for making ridiculous premises just work. I mean, I laughed when my friend described the first Artemis Fowl book but in the end I became obsessed with the series. So this strange book with time-travel and assassins ought to be interesting to say the least.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama | The Forbidden Sea by Sheila Nielson
That’s right, I got two mermaid books where the mermaids are – allegedly – dangerous. Monstrous Beauty was recommended by this reviewer on GoodReads that I’ve been following for years so I was over the moon when I found it in BBW. The Forbidden Sea, meanwhile, seems interesting though I’ve never heard of it. The summary at the back mentioned a human sacrifice at some point and the main (human) character is a girl and the mermaid is, well, a girl. Sadly, it’s not gay. I checked. But at least it won’t be that typical human/mermaid hetero romance. I assume.

The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchet
I’ve been looking all over for Terry Pratchett books but never had any luck, even in major book chains. I was thrilled when I saw this book on one of the tables though I sort of hoped to find a novel of his, not a short story collection. But at least I’ll get a feel of his writing with this anthology.

White Boots by Noel Streatfeild
I found my first (and only) Streatfeild’s Shoes books years ago in Book Sale. It was Dancing Shoes and I was rather charmed by it. I later found out that this series of books is quite popular but notoriously difficult to find (at least where I live). Curiously, White Boots‘ original title was Skating Shoes. Don’t know why they changed it.

Dear Charlie by N.D. Gomes | Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers | Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lydia Day Penaflor
Got these YA contemporary novels because my book shelf is dominated by fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, I love fantasy but it’s nice to mix things up a little, y’know?

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Much like A Monster Calls, I’ve been looking for an affordable copy of this YA contemporary for years now. I’ve seen it in several book stores but could never find one that’s friendly on my budget. Not only did I get an affordable hardback, I also got the 10th anniversary edition. Thank goodness I waited this long.

Squirrel Meets World (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
I’ve been curious about this particular Marvel hero ever since I saw fanart of her on Twitter so I had to snatch this one up as quick as I could. The fact that it’s written by Shannon Hale (who I adore) and Dean Hale (her husband) made me squeal in glee. That’s couple goals right there.

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant
I’ve never read a Grant book and I may have confused him with another author (Mira Grant who wrote the Feed series and Into the Drowning Deep) but this book was too gorgeous to pass up. I mean, yeah, it’s got an intriguing premise but also… BLACK SPRAYED EDGES

Not to mention a surprise under the book jacket (my favorite thing ever)

I was weak, ok?

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
Some time ago I watched the cut classic Rosemary’s Baby. It wasn’t until last year’s BBW Book Sale that I even found out that it was based on a book. I got the book, of course, and liked it well enough even though it was essentially identical to the movie adaptation. I was tickled pink when I saw another Levin novel with a famous movie adaptation. I haven’t seen Stepford Wives yet so this book ought to be a ride.

The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
Another book that I mistook for something else. This time I thought that this was from the same author as The Girl with All the Gifts. Apparently this is an adult erotica mystery thriller? I only just found that out when I checked its GoodReads page. The summary at the back told me nothing. I guess you can’t always win.

…But Wait, there’s more

After I left BBW, I made my way over to the nearest mall… where I promptly found myself walking into National Bookstore. I asked the security guard if I needed to check my large eco-bag of books somewhere but he just told me that it wasn’t necessary. I was terrified of being suspected of stealing books but not enough to stop me from picking out two books from NBS’s little sale. That’s right, they had the audacity to have a sale during the BBW. I was powerless against it, really.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
I’ve heard so much great things about this book, primarily by three booktubers that I’ve been following for a while. They even had a liveshow about it two months ago. Unfortunately, I hadn’t seen this book in any of my local book stores so I didn’t really think I’d ever find a physical copy of it any time soon. Imagine my surprise when I not only found it in NBS but also at 20% off(!). It was destiny I tell you.

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker
I’ve seen this book around but never really thought much about it since it wasn’t as recommended as other YA fantasy books but it was 50% off so why not?

Yeah, suffice to say I went a little bit overboard last Saturday evening. I splurged so thoughtlessly that it’s almost shameful. The only thing that’s keeping me from feeling the full burn of shame is the simple fact that I really did need to restock my TBR shelf if I want to hit my 125 books before 2019 ends. I was quickly running out of books to read, as ludicrous as that sounds. Still though… 17 books is a LOT of books.

If my sister will hit up BBW later this week, I’m not sure I’m strong enough not to tag along. I’ll try but… you know.

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