As we walked into Oxfam Books in Hampstead, we could hear the echo of our bookshelves’ cries: “No, have pity on us, no more!”. We didn’t listen, or I wouldn’t have been taking pictures of my new books in the garden. With a budget of £20 to grab as much as we could and satisfy very different tastes in reading, my boyfriend had quite the adventure inside Oxfam. Despite it being a tiny shop, it has a fantastic selection, with lots of popular books as well as quirky bits, all in good to perfect condition. Here is a breakdown of what we got.
STUFF THAT HAS BEEN ON MY READING LIST FOREVER
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
These two books have been mentioned to me so many times that I probably had dreams about them. These are the obvious choices, the first two volumes I picked up. I’ve already finished A Visit From The Goon Squad and – spoilers – it’s fantastic.
STUFF THAT HAS BEEN ON SAM’S READING LIST FOREVER
World Without End by Ken Follett
Under The Dome by Stephen King
I’ll admit it: I forced my boyfriend to read Pillars Of The Earth earlier this year, so I was happy to see he spontaneously picked up the sequel, which is one of my favourite summer reads ever. Under The Dome was at £5 instead of £35, so he just had to get it – especially because it’s one of the few Stephen King books he hasn’t read, while I’m still struggling with The Dark Tower.
The Pope’s Rhinoceros by Lawrence Norfolk
All My Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
We don’t quite know how to justify these ones. They looked interesting/funny, so we just went for it despite having no idea of what they were all about. Turns out the Portuguese tried to give the Pope a live rhinoceros as a present. For real.
DAMN YOU, WATERSTONES!
The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber
We thought we’d escaped it, but no – as always, one does not simply walk into Waterstone’s. Our only full-price buy of the day has to do with my strange passion for the Shakespeare authorship question and its numerous variations. This is a novel in verse. Yay challenging reads!