This past Sunday after attending my regular Dharma service at my local Buddhist temple, I decided to go to a used bookstore. It was a beautiful Spring day, I was properly medicated to fight off the histamine twirling in the air, and, most importantly, my anxiety was very calm and almost non-existent. As someone who battles agoraphobia every single day, this was such a rare occurrence. So… I decided to take massive advantage of it!
Lately, I have been turning more to my local, hole-in-the-wall bookshops to help support local communities and also because I find these places to be much more welcoming and able to help me find obscure titles. As a person who avoids hyped shit like the plague, obscure reads are totally my jam, Yo.
Today, I wanted to share my mini-haul with y’all. I ended up finding some neat little gems that I never thought I would come across; a few of them are even super rare editions. This is another reason to check out local bookshops: treats in every nook and cranny.
As per usual, everything is broken down by genre. Please, let me know if you have read any of the listed books, or if any of them catch your interest. 😊
Mystery & Horror
A Dark Anatomy (Cragg & Fidelis Mystery #1) by Robin Blake
- British Literature, Historical Fiction, Crime Mystery
- It is the year 1740 and George II is on the throne. In a small village in Lancashire, a squire’s wife is discovered in the woods with her throat brutally slashed. Embarking on their very first investigation, coroner Titus Cragg and doctor Luke Fidelis try to solve the woman’s murder but are faced with obstacles steeped in superstition and corrupt officials.
- I love dark, twisted mysteries. Throw them into a historical European setting and you have my full bloody attention!
Hello Mr. Bones & Goodbye Mr. Rat by Patrick McCabe
- Irish Literature, Horror, Supernatural, Short Stories
- In Hello Mr. Bones, two damaged souls have managed to turn their lives around thanks to the love they share. But as the weather grows drearier, evil begins to run rampant in the streets, causing their fates to take a turn for the worse. In Goodbye Mr. Rat, we follow the spirit of an IRA bomber as he watches his ex-lover while she returns his ashes to his home-town in Ireland, where the townsfolk have very special and dark plans for this young woman from Indiana.
- Supernatural stories have been satisfying my thirst as of late, and I am always on the look-out for #OwnVoices Irish literature. This has both. SOLD!
The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2) by Thomas Harris
- Horror, Psychological Thriller
- As part of her search for a serial killer named “Buffalo Bill,” FBI trainee, Clarice Starling, is tasked with visiting a man in a high-security facility for the criminally insane, a man named Dr Hannibal Lecter. This former psychiatrist has peculiar tastes and a curiosity for the darkest, deepest corners of the mind.
- Sir Betrothed knows that I have been in the mood for dark, twisted thrillers and mind-fucks lately, in terms of my reading. So, when he found this on one of the shelves of the store, he told me I needed to get it ASAP.
- I found that this is the second book in a series. I ask you, friends: do I need to read Red Dragon before picking this up? Or can I just read this as a stand-alone?
The Last American Vampire (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter #2) by Seth Grahame-Smith
- Supernatural Horror, Alternate History
- This is the sequel to the novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and continues the story of a vampire named Henry Sturges.
- I bought this book because I thought it was a stand-alone and it sounded really interesting to me. But now that I know it is the sequel to another title, I will have to hunt that one down. *sobs*
The Paying Guest by Sarah Waters
- British Literature, Historical Fiction
- In 1922 London, a widow, Mrs Wray, and her unmarried daughter, Frances, find themselves obliged to take in tenants to make end’s meet. A modern, young couple come to stay with the women, and they bring with them a string of unsettling things, changing Mrs Wray’s and Frances’ lives in ways they could not imagine.
- I have heard many great things about Sarah Waters as a historical fiction author, so when I saw this book, I decided to give her a shot.
Madras on Rainy Days by Samina Ali
- Indian Literature, Islamic Literature, #OwnVoices
- The story takes place in Hyderabad and follows a family who is about to participate in wedding festivities as their daughter, Layla, is betrothed to a handsome, engineer who also happens to be a stranger to her. As the wedding approaches, Layla realises that this wedding is a mistake. As she tries to back out, her mother is convinced that her daughter must be possessed and takes Layla to see an alim, or a mystic healer. As things become more tense and complicated, Layla discovers that she has no choice but to marry the stranger.
- It is #OwnVoices Asian Literature. Need I say anything else? Also, family stories slay me every time.
The Tears of Artamon Trilogy by Sarah Ash
- British Literature, Epic Fantasy
- Raised by his protective mother in the sunny clime of the south, Gavril Andar knows nothing of his father—or the ominous legacy that awaits him. But his innocence is about to be shattered. The man who ruled the wintry kingdom of Azhkendir, a man infused with the burning blood of the dragon-warrior known as Drakhaoul, has been murdered by his enemies. It is his fiery, chameleon-like blood that pulses through Gavril’s veins. The news is Gavril’s first taste of death—but it will not be his last. For blood is the liquid that seals his fate. Expected by clan warriors from the north to avenge his father’s murder—and still his unquiet ghost—Gavril is kidnapped. He soon learns that becoming Drakhaon means not only ascending to the throne of Azhkendir but changing, in subtle ways at first, into a being of extraordinary power and might.
- I am always on the look-out for epic fantasy that is not part of a larger universe (Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance) or ones that are not your typical fantasy serials (The Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire). I had never heard of this trilogy or author, and the bundle of trio was on sale, so I snagged it.
Cha-No-Ya: The Japanese Tea Ceremony by A.L. Sadler
- Non-Fiction, Cultural Reference: Japan
- This was the very first book every written that goes into extraordinary detail about the Japanese Tea Ceremony, what it means to the Japanese people in terms of culture and identity, as well how it has shaped and continues to shape the cultural heritage of Japan.
- I had been wanting to get this book for a long time, so when I found the 1977 reprint of it in near pristine condition, I picked it up.
Jodo-Shinshu: A Guide by Jodo-Shinshu Hongwanji International Centre
- Non-Fiction, Religion
- Jōdo-Shinshu is a sect of Buddhism that originated in Japan and this book is an essential reference and guide to the origins, teachings, and practices of the Jōdo-Shinshu path of Buddhism.
- As a practising Jōdo-Shin Buddhist, I am always looking to obtain more knowledge and understanding of this faith. This is an out-of-print book that I have been searching for for a very long time. When I discovered a like-new copy, I had to grab it.
Vagabond Volume 1 by Inōe Takehiko (Japanese)
- Manga, Seinen, Martial Arts
- Shinmen Takezo is destined to become the legendary sword-saint, Miyamoto Musashi—the most renowned samurai of all time. For now, Takezo is a cold-hearted killer, who will take on anyone in mortal combat to make a name for himself. This is the journey of a wild young brute who strives to reach enlightenment by way of the sword–fighting on the edge of death.
- THIS IS THE FIRST EDITION OF THE ORIGINAL JAPANESE MANGA!! THE FIRST EDITION OF VOLUME ONE, HOW COULD I NOT GET IT, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE IT IS IN BLOODY GOOD CONDITION?!?!
Kodansha’s Romanised Japanese-English Dictionary by Timothy J. Vance
- Non-Fiction, Reference, Education
- Pretty self-explanatory: this is the Romanised (English letters) dictionary of Japanese words to their English counterparts.
- I FOUND THE FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINT OF THIS BOOK! Had to get it, especially as a learner of the Japanese language.
That does it for my impromptu used books book haul!! I am quite ecstatic to read almost all of these, and the horror ones will probably be my go-to books first. I got everything listed here for about $30-$40 total, which is astounding considering how much a couple of them are actually worth!
Thank you so much for stopping by today and checking out my haul. I wish you a lovely day ahead. Until next time, happy reading and happy otakuing! 💙