In My Mailbox #37 OR ‘Hey look, I haven’t died.’

New book collection - Caitlin Moran, Brent Weeks and pseudo-psychology!

Wow – apparently I haven’t posted an IMM since my birthday way back in August. Since neither you nor I want to sit here and trail through the huge list of all the books I’ve got since then, I figured we could draw a line under it and we’d start again this week.

So. At the top is Pride and Prejudice #49 – so called because it is, naturally, the 49th edition of it that I own. Obviously. It was brought back from the US as a present for me, and as it’s one I’d never even seen before, I was more than thrilled. One more to fifty!

Under that there are two books that I bought on a whim from King’s Cross today (incidentally, has anyone else noticed that they’ve moved the Platform 9 3/4 sign?) as I was killing the hour and a half before my train. Station bookshops generally tend to only stock the so-called bestsellers, but I managed to find two that vaguely interested me.

The orangey-yellow one is called You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney and theoretically it’s a look at how we delude ourselves in everyday life – like how our memories differ from what actually happened or how we convince ourselves we must appear to others. I had heard of it before, but it’s not my usual type of book so it really was a whim-buy (I know, buying books on a whim… who’da’thunk, right?).

Signed copy of The Blinding Knife by Brent WeeksThe one underneath that, if you tilt your head upside down due to my half-asleep photography skills, is Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre. This actually seemed a strange book for such a small WH Smiths to carry as it’s quite obscure, but that’s fine by me. I’ve had enough badly-chosen treatment and medication from the NHS to be willing to read up on it. Worst case scenario  – even if it’s not helpful, it’s heavy enough to quite literally throw at my case-team.

Under that… *jiggles with glee* The best piece of luck I’ve ever had when it comes to book buying. I was wandering aimlessly around Leeds one lunchtime between classes, and I found my way into Waterstones, as is so often the case. Only this time there was an empty desk set out with a fairly long queue snaking away from it, and so I asked a nearby shop assistant about it… and Brent Weeks was due any second. Brent Weeks!

Signed copy of Moranthology by Caitlin Moran

If you haven’t read his books, you need to. The Night Angel trilogy starts with The Way of Shadows, continues in Shadow’s Edge and finally concludes in the masterpiece of adult fantasy that is Beyond the Shadows. This is easily, easily my favourite fantasy series of all time – I’ve read it twice through and each time I’ve ended up a whimpering wreck swearing that she would never read anything else ever again.

So imagine how amazing it is to absently wander into a bookstore, and right in front of you is your favourite author, ready and willing to sign his new book for you. Surprise! I swear I nearly died, sobbed and threw up at the same time. He’s a really nice man too and took the time to chat properly to each and every person in front of him. I was so excited by my sheer good luck that I came away with not only personalised, signed copies of The Black Prism and The Blinding Knife (his new series), but also a signed copy of The Way of Shadows. Well I wasn’t not going to get the first book of my favourite series signed, was I?

Funnily enough, the same Waterstones also had signed copies of Caitlin Moran’s books in store too. I adored How To Be A Woman and while I wasn’t technically going to buy her new book, Moranthology, straight away…. hello? Signed? *shrugs* I don’t know if the Leeds branch saw me coming and frantically whipped out a marker pen to scrawl signatures on all my favourite books, but I’ve pretty much filled my spend-£100-stamp-card just on that day.

So not a massive haul, all told – Lord knows I’ve done much worse. I’m more than happy with it though – five signed books (including new copies of the ones I already owned) due to sheer luck and a new Pride and Prejudice? Sounds like an amazing week to me!

What arrived in your mailbox this week? Have you ever been as lucky in a bookstore as I was?


  1. Oh my gosh, do you really own 49 copies of Pride and Prejudice? If there is any book that one ought to won 49 copies of, it is certainly Pride and Prejudice 🙂

    I only own 3 physical books, but I also have downloaded free versions on phones, ipad, and kindle.

    Glad to meet someone who loves P&P!

    Happy reading 🙂

    Here's my IMM

    1. Hanna says:

      I do! I have them arranged in size order on my shelf! I keep meaning to do a post on them but I haven't got round to it yet. Watch this space 🙂

  2. Ellie says:

    OMG YOU HAVEN'T DIED! That's excellent, because I was just about to send you an email or something to check… Dude, I need you alive. I really do. In fact, I might email you anyway. 🙂

    Okay, cryptic rambling aside, Bad Pharma is on my wishlist (the NHS and mental illness, not a happy couple) so I'll obviously be awaiting your verdict on that one. It was only published a couple of weeks ago, and Ben Goldacre's kind of a big deal in popular science writing, so that's probably why WHS deigned to stock it for ten minutes in-station… Also super-jealous about Moranthology! I've pre-ordered the paperback for next year, just because it's such a huge book, but by the sounds of it it has a lot of my favourite columns of hers from the Times Magazine so I'm sure I'll be a happy reader come May! 😀

    1. Ellie says:

      P.S. A couple of weeks ago I bought 'Let's Pretend This Never Happened' because you told me to. I also bought 'The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake' because… er, you told me to. It's amazing, you go further away and your bookish influence gets STRONGER! 😉

    2. Hanna says:

      I loved your e-mail. I read it on the train after a crappy day and it cheered me up. Expect a reply shortly 🙂

      Oh please, the NHS and any illness that isn't remotely OBVIOUS isn't a happy couple, mental or otherwise :/

      Haha, as soon as I heard that you weren't moving just yet, my first thought was 'I wonder how many books she's bought…'

  3. Ellie Warren says:

    I tought this might be a photo of your buried under a mountain of books 😉

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