Birthday and March ‘20 Haul

Hey everyone, and welcome back to the blog! Today, I’m here to talk about the books I was gifted for my birthday, as well as all the books I’ve borrowed from the library, and of course, hauled for my shelves or my Kindle. These books were borrowed from the library and relatives before the UK lockdown in conjunction with Covid 19 Coronavirus. It has meant that the end of the month and my birthday has been a bit quieter than usual, and it has been difficult mentally. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, so without further ado, let’s begin, and fair warning, there may be spoilers.

The first book I received for my birthday was from the pets, and that was The Umbrella Academy Vol 3: Hotel Oblivion by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, which is a graphic novel. This is the third volume in The Umbrella Academy series, which follows a group of children who are trained and turned into adult superheroes and supervillains. This instalment picks up after the events of the previous book, and so many people want to take down Sir Reginald Hargreeves’ wonder-children. He has a solution for that though… I got the first two volumes last year for my birthday, so this was lovely.

ua hotel oblivion

The next two books I received were from my best friend, and those were The Sandman: Preludes and Noctures by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III, and The Sandman: The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Michael Zulli and Steve Parkhouse. These are graphic novels which follow Morpheus, the King of Dreams in worlds of dreams and nightmares, and these are volumes one and two. We’d been talking about this series on the phone, so I’m delighted to have them!

I then unwrapped a gift from my sister-in-law and that was The Dead Zone by Stephen King, which is an adult horror. This follows Johnny, who is involved in a car accident and goes into a coma. When he wakes, life has been turned upside down. Not only has his fiancee left him, but he has an ability to see into the future… I’ve seen The Simpsons parody, but I bet it will be nothing like that!

the dead zobe

The first book I borrowed from the library was a book I had ordered in, and that was The Beast by J. R. Ward, which is an adult fantasy. This is the fourteenth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, which follows a group of warrior vampires, and their romances. In this instalment, Rhage is struggling to find his place in the world, although he has it made with his wife, Mary. When an injury takes him out, he finds ways to cope, but it isn’t long before both Rhage and Mary’s worlds are torn asunder… I love this series, and although, I have been spoilt for this, I’m still looking forward to it.

the beast

The next book I picked up was Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen, which is a YA contemporary. This is the first book in the Loveboat, Taipei series, which follows Ever, as she is sent out to Taiwan on a study programme, however it’s not like she truly thought it would be. Loveboat is a place where anything goes, adults look away, and everyone is free. How far will Ever go? Will she learn something about herself on this journey? This isn’t my usual kind of book, but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.

The next book I got out was How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran, which is an adult contemporary. This is the second book in the How to Build a Girl series, and picks up after the events of the previous book. Johanna aka music journalist Dolly Wilde is nineteen, and lives in London. She has unrequited love for rockstar John Kite, but has had a fling with comedian Jerry Sharp. Jerry is trying to destroy all the women he’s had flings with, including Johanna, but how can one girl stop a powerful, famous man? I think this is in line with the #MeToo movement, and so I’m curious to see how Moran will approach this.


The next book I borrowed was The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks, which is an adult fantasy. This is the first book in The Night Angel series, and follows Azoth, a guild rat, who takes a risk in apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint, an accomplished assassin. Azoth must turn his back on his old life, take a new name, navigate a world of politics and magic, and create a flair for death… This sounds really good, and I’m so happy I found this!

the way of shadows

The final book I borrowed from the library was In the Dark by Andreas Pfluger, which is an adult translated thriller. This follows Jenny Aaron, an elite police tracker. When a mission saw her abandon a colleague and lose her eyesight, Jenny is crushed. Nothing keeps her down though, and she is soon called into a case where a prison psychologist has been murdered and the inmate in question will only speak to Jenny… This sounds really interesting, and I hope I enjoy this!

in the dark

I also borrowed a book from my mum and that was Broken by Martina Cole, which is an adult thriller. This is the second book in the D. I. Kate Burrows series, and follows Kate as she investigates cases of children being abandoned. One child is not so lucky, and Kate finds the case tough – she’s a parent herself, and her lover has problems of his own… I really enjoyed the first book, so I hope I’m going to like this one too!


The first book I bought this month was preordered way back in July ‘19, and that is House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, which is Maas’ first adult fantasy. This is the first book in the Crescent City series, which deals with the Fae and all manner of supernatural creatures. Half Fae Bryce had a good life, until a demon murdered her closest friends. When Bryce finds herself at the center of the investigation, help is offered in the form of Fallen angel, Hunt. Now the pair must dig through Crescent City’s dark underbelly… I’m so excited for this, it’s ridiculous! As I preordered, I also got a gorgeous print, which has not arrived in the mail yet. At the time of purchase, this was £10.99.

house of earth and blood

The next book I bought was Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi, which is a young adult fantasy. This is the second book in the Legacy of Orisha series, which follows a group of people trying to bring magic back to their world. Picking up after the events of the first book, Zelie and Amari have successfully brought magic back, however, it has also ignited magic in the nobles, as well as the maji. Zelie must now struggle to unite her people, in a world where everyone is powerful. Add onto that, she must help secure Amari’s right to the throne… I loved the first book in the series, and I’ve been highly anticipating this! This is also the Waterstones exclusive edition, with gorgeous sprayed edges, to match my copy of Children of Blood and Bone. At the time of purchase, this was £7.59.

children of virtue and vengenace

The first eBook I bought was The Binding by Bridget Collins, which is an adult fantasy. This follows Emmett as he begins an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder, where he is able to capture memories – even the bad ones. In the workshop, the books are stored meticulously. And then, Emmett sees his name on the spine of one… This is a gorgeous cover, and it initially drew me in. The plot sounds ethereal, and I hope I like it. At the time of purchase, this was 99p.

the binding

The second eBook I bought was Lock Every Door by Riley Sager, which is an adult thriller. This follows Jules, heartbroken and homeless. Jules is offered a job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, a prestigious building in Manhattan. There she meets Ingrid, who confides that the building is not all it seems. And then Ingrid goes missing… I read this last year, and saw it was on offer on the Kindle store, and couldn’t resist adding it to my collection. At the time of purchase, this was 99p.

lock every door

The next book I bought on Kindle was My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, which is an adult dark comedy. This follows nurse Korede, who is always cleaning up the messes her sister, Ayoola, leaves behind. These messes are usually ex-boyfriends, but it’s all self-defence. Korede knows she should get her sister help and call the police, but blood is thicker than water. When Ayoola starts dating Korede’s unrequited crush, a doctor at local hospital, Korede can’t let him go the same way as the others… I’ve heard mixed things about this, but I do enjoy dark comedy, so I’m sure to like it – I think! At the time of purchase, this was 99p.

my sister

The next eBook I got was Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury, which is a YA horror. This follows Alva who faces an uncertain future. Everyone knows what happened to her mother all those years ago, but now dark forces are stirring. Alva has to question everything she thought she knew about her past… This has been described as a ghost story, so I’m really interested to see if I get the shivers! At the time of purchase, this was 99p.

hold back the tide

And the final eBook I bought was The Poison Garden by Alex Marwood, which is an adult thriller. This follows Romy, who is twenty-two, pregnant and alone, after escaping the confines of the cult where she was raised. Now she must keep her and her unborn baby safe in this new world, learn who her family is and why her mother abandoned her. Romy must learn that you can’t walk away from a dark past without it coming back to haunt her… This sounds so good, and I love books about cults! At the time of purchase, this was 99p.

the poiso garden

So that completes my March ’20 haul. Let me know what book/books you have bought this month, because I’d love to know. How are you keeping safe with the lockdown?

– ReadWriteZoe.

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