Friday Finds is a meme hosted by MizB over at Should be Reading, which shows books that bloggers have found and added to their TBR piles during the week. I don’t always actively participate (I don’t need any more excuses to enable my book-buying habit, after all) but it’s always fun to see what people are reading. This week, however, I happened to pass my favourite used book shop with a spare fiver in my purse, and you know how that goes. Very few of these are 100% new to me, but they are all books that I’m highly excited to finally own.
1) Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
This, as I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog, has long been my favourite Austen, and is one of the most influential books I’ve ever read. However, as part of my mammoth Austen reread, and conveniently timed for Austen in August, I’m hoping to revisit it and see what new things I learn. I do so with a bit of trepidation–other people seem to hate this book as vehemently as they love Pride and Prejudice, and I have extremely fond and cosy memories of reading this in my adolescence that I’d like to remain unspoiled–but I couldn’t resist this beautiful Vintage Austen edition. This is the only book of this week that I bought online. I’m hoping to collect all the Vintage Austen books eventually, and this seemed like as good as any place to start.
2) The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The first of my second-hand finds, and another reread. This book is part sci-fi, part alternate history, part romance, part action, and part… I don’t know, travelogue within fictional landscapes? I borrowed this from my school library a good three or four times when I was in sixth form, and it’s one of those rare books that I always enjoy rereading. I think it’s because of the number of literary allusions within the text: as the number of classic novels I’ve read increases, so does the number of references I manage to catch. Even though this is easy to get hold of through the library, and even though I infinitely prefer the UK covers (which have pictures of multicoloured sports cars on the front), this is one of my absolute favourite comfort reads. I’m just glad to have a copy of it to curl up with in case of the blues.
3) The Last Days of Socrates by Plato
I’ve read extracts of this in other books, but have never read the book itself before–I find it difficult to read much Plato in one go. I think the title is probably pretty self-explanatory. I’m certainly interested in reading it, in part because the death scene is so often emulated in fiction and quasi-history, both in literature of antiquity and modern fiction.
4) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Another one which probably needs no introduction, but just in case: a black man is accused of raping a white woman in the Deep South. This would lead to enough racist ugliness, institutionalised injustice, and mob hysteria now, but factor in the setting of the Great Depression and it gets even worse. I have no idea why I’ve never read this, or why I overlooked it when writing my Classics Club TBR, but I’m hoping to get to it soon.
5) The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
I have no idea what this is about, and confess I bought it chiefly because I thought it matched my edition of The Day of the Triffids. It turns out that it doesn’t. I am sure it will still be amazing. Goodreads describes it thus:
“In the community of Waknut it is believed mutants are the products of the Devil and must be stamped out. When David befriends a girl with a slight abnormality, he begins to understand the nature of fear and oppression.” (I’ve truncated the synopsis, because it contains what I consider to be a spoiler). Frankly, this sounds even better than Triffids, and I can’t wait to start it.
Very excited about my Friday Finds! What have you added to your TBR this week?