New Books & Novel Discoveries (January 2023)

It seems with the start of the new year that I wanted to make up for the past couple of light months, as I’ve acquired more books than the previous two months combined. I haven’t gone crazy with the purchasing mind you, but it’s notably more all the same. I suppose with the holidays having passed finally, I decided it was time to let go of the holiday restraint and buy a little more for myself again. I hope the new year has treated everybody well and the weather hasn’t been too miserable.

Enough rambling, on to the books!

New Books


The Gulag Archipelago Vol. 2 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is the second volume recounting the author’s real-life experiences in a Soviet Gulag, told in a novelized way—at least, that’s how I’ve come to understand the idea. The book was a belated Christmas gift from my brother that he thought I would find interesting. I’m open to reading most things, so I’ll try to give it a go some time, my minimal interest in the Cold War era of history notwithstanding. Although, this is the second volume, so I won’t be starting anything until I have volume one.

The Great God Pan and Other Horror Stories by Arthur Machen is a book I’ve had my eye on for a while. For even longer I’ve wanted a volume of stories by Machen in general, going on ten years now, but for a long time I hadn’t found one I was dead set on buying. That changed with this lovely yellow hardcover; the title story is one I already own a small book of, but that’s no matter. I’m happy to finally have such a book. My collection of old weird fiction is expanding further beyond Lovecraft and that pleases me.


The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester was one of two thrift store purchases last month. I first caught wind of the book on another blog; learning about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary is an interesting idea, generally speaking, but for a while I honestly wasn’t serious about picking up a copy for myself. Finding it at a thrift store for a good price, however, along with the book-buying bug being harder to shake, I decided to pick it up. I think my S/O will find it interesting as well, which helped justify the purchase further.

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton was purchased during the same thrift store excursion as the previous book. I actually don’t recall much of what this book is about; I only recall that I liked the author’s previous book, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, so I decided to pick this up since the price was right and the book’s condition was good.

Novel Discoveries

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison is one of a few that I learned about on BookTok. Though I cannot recall too many specifics about what was talked about with the plot of this book, it is markedly a post-apocalyptic story from a female perspective, in a world where most women and children have died off from the catastrophe. I don’t know if I would commit to the whole series, but I’m at least interested in this first one.

The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century by Olga Ravn is a Danish science fiction novel. Though seeming to explore well-traveled territory in the realm of science fiction, the format being a compilation of witness statements compiled by a workplace commission has me really interested in checking this out.

Seduced by a Story: The Use and Abuse of Narrative by Peter Brooks is a book that captured my interest for the simple fact that the power of narrative and storytelling over our lives and understanding of the world has always fascinated me in my adult life, to fluctuating degrees. It looks to be a critique of the way this manifests in modern times specifically, at least partly taking aim at how brands, politicians, and other public figures come with a narrative in tow, ready to be deployed.

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay caught my interest on BookTok because of the fact that the upcoming film Knock at the Cabin is for some reason is giving very little indication of being based on Tremblay’s novel in its marketing. Gives the impression that Shyamalan wants people to think the story is all his idea or something, but who am I to say? Not sure I’ll go out of my way to watch the film, but I’m very interested in the book now.

Closing Thoughts

Not much more to say this month. I’m a little put out that I didn’t get this up during the final days of January, but it’s not the first time this has happened either, so I’m also not too cut up about it. It is miserably cold around these parts, so if it is wherever you are too, I hope you’re doing your best to keep warm and out of the elements.

Until next time, thank you for reading.


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