the birthday book haul

Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is having a lovely November so far. It’s been nice for me because it was my birthday last week so I got to see my friends! I also went to a cat cafe and oh my gosh the cats there were so adorable!


To celebrate my birthday, I also decided to treat myself to some books! I don’t typically buy that many books, especially physical copies because I do not have the space, but I thought why not, y’know?


Small Beauty
by jia qing wilson-yang

Short synopsis: Mei, grieving the death of her cousin, abandons her life in the city to live in his now empty house in a small town. There she connects with his history as well as her own, learns about her aunt’s long-term secret relationship, and reflects on the trans women she left behind. She also brushes up against some local trans mysteries and gets advice from departed loved ones with a lot to say.

Why I want to read it: There’s something about the premise of this that fascinates me. It sounds like it’s got aspects of love, grief, family, and also exploring queer identity. It’s quite short as well, only 160 pages, so I look forward to seeing if it can pack a punch in less than 200 pages.

Little Blue Encylopedia (For Vivian)
by Hazel Jane Plante

short synopsis: A queer love letter steeped in desire and grief, the novel sifts through a queer trans woman’s unrequited love for her straight trans friend who died. The story is interspersed with encyclopedia entries about a fictional TV show set on an isolated island. Ultimately, Little Blue Encyclopedia reveals with glorious detail and emotional nuance the woman the narrator loved, why she loved her, and the depths of what she has lost.

Why I want to read it: Contrary from what the title says, this is not a encyclopedia, but I have to find out why it was named as such. It’s another book that sounds absolutely heartbreaking, and so unique too with its formatting, so of course I had to get it.

The Atlas Six
by Olivie Blake

short synopsis: The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians in the world. Each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation. This year, our six are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely – but, only five will be initiated, the other eliminated. As the year progresses, the six potential initiates fight to survive prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, while finding out that the elusive society is more than it seems.

why I want to read it: Okay, so I have already read TA6, but I’ve been wanting my own physical copy to annotate. I actually couldn’t find this in any of the bookstores I usually use because it was sold out everywhere. It actually made me happy though since I took this to mean that lots of people have been buying the book! My lovely friend Taylor so kindly offered to send me her copy of TA6, and I can’t thank her enough for it because I’m SO excited to get to reread and annotate it now.

The Decagon House Murders
by by Yukito Ayatsuji, translated by Ho-Ling Wong

short synopsis: The members of a university mystery club decide to visit an island which was the site of unsolved murders the year before. They’re looking forward to investigating the crime, putting their passion for solving mysteries to practical use, but before long there is a fresh murder, and soon the club-members realise they are being picked off one-by-one. The remaining amateur sleuths will have to use all of their murder-mystery expertise to find the killer before they end up dead too

why I want to read it: If a title contains the word murder then my interest is immediately piqued. The blurb also vaguely reminded me of one of my favourite animes, Hyouka, but with a lot more murder this time. Not to mention, I do adore a good murder mystery, so this will be interesting to read!

Sappho’s poems
by Sappho, translated by Mary Bernard

short synopsis: These hundred poems and fragments by Sappho are all that survives toeffectively bring to life the woman whom the Greeks consider to be their greatest lyric poet. Mary Barnard’s translations are lean, incisive, direct – and considered the best ever published. 

why I want to read this: I’ve always wanted to read Sappho’s poems, so I was so happy to find this in an indie bookshop! It’s not that long, and I’ve been getting more into poetry lately so I’m eager to start it.

Alone With You In The Ether
by Olivie Blake

short synopsis: Two people meet in the armory of the Art Institute by chance. Both obsessive, eccentric personalities, Aldo Damiani and Charlotte Regan struggle to be without each other from the moment they meet. The truth—that he is a clinically depressed, anti-social theoretician and she is a manipulative liar with a history of self-sabotage—means the deeper they fall in love, the more troubling their reliance on each other becomes. Alone With You In The Ether shows a glimpse into the nature of love, what it means to be unwell, and how to face the fractures of yourself and still love as if you’re not broken.

why I want to read it: I’ve been wanting to read more books by Olivie Blake, and this is the one that has been recommended to me the most. I vaguely recall another blogger mentioning it a post, and despite being someone who doesn’t read much romance I was immediately intrigued by it.


other bookish things

After weeks of deliberation, I got an e-reader! I’ve been eyeing different ereaders for the past few weeks, because reading ebooks on my phone is definitely taking a toll on my vision (I even had to get new glasses with a stronger prescription).

After some deliberating, I decided to go with the Kobo Nia. It was one of the cheaper options, and I get most of my ebooks on kobo anyway. Plus, it had Overdrive linked in so that I could access library books!

Kobo Nia
image from the kobo website

Not entirely book related, but I also bought myself a new bullet journal! I bought from Notebook Therapy and it looks soooo pretty.

image from notebook therapy

Look at the holographic edges! I’ve been having a lot of fun being able to write and be creative.

If any of you bujo and have any tips (or any pinterest boards for inspiration!) please let me know ❤

Overall it’s been a lovely birthday – and while 25 is a terrifying age, I’m excited for what’s to come next!


Thank you all for reading!

25 thoughts on “the birthday book haul

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