Bookish Chat About: Birth Date Books

I mentioned at the start of the year that I wanted to show you some of the books I have on my shelves.

I’m all too aware that I can tend to only show you the brand spanking new proofs I am lucky enough receive and my reviews of these. But I have shelves and a book trolley packed with books I’ve had in my possession for a good old while!

It’s my birthday tomorrow so I thought it would just be a bit of fun to show you the books on my shelves that correlate to the numbers in my birth date…..I know right, genius.

So….my date of birth is 22/07/1978 and I’ll be 41 (shut up about it) so I have selected books 22, 7, 19, 78 and 41.

I purposefully didn’t choose from the trolley which houses the new proofs and I also didn’t include my forever shelves as these are the books I’ve read and loved and I probably talk about them a luh-hot.

This is a good selection of 5 books I haven’t read yet, all of which I’m now thinking need to be pushed up the TBR!

So let’s get crackin (I’m going to include blurbs by the way, soz).

First up we have:

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume – published by Windmill



A misfit man finds a misfit dog. Ray, aged fifty-seven, ‘too old for starting over, too young for giving up’, and One Eye, a vicious little bugger, smaller than expected, a good ratter. Both are accustomed to being alone, unloved, outcast – but they quickly find in each other a strange companionship of sorts. As spring turns to summer, their relationship grows and intensifies, until a savage act forces them to abandon the precarious life they’d established, and take to the road. 

I read Sara Baume’s A Line Made By Walking a couple of years ago now. I found her writing style really stark and to the point yet still quite lyrical. I’ve heard good things about this one and have read some great reviews from people who’s taste I trust (Susan at A Life In Books wrote a great review here). It’s a fairly short read and I am looking forward to finally picking it up!

The Edible Woman By Margaret Atwood – Published by Virago.


Marian is determined to be ordinary. She lays her head gently on the shoulder of her serious fiancee and quietly awaits marriage. But she didn’t count on an inner rebellion that would rock her stable routine, and her digestion. Marriage a la mode, Marian discovers, is something she literally can’t stomach …

Please don’t think ill of me……I’ve NEVER read any Margaret Atwood…

I know!

I’ve not even made it all the way through watching The Handmaids Tale on the TV either! Shocking.

However, I did pick up this secondhand copy of The Edible Woman because I trust in Margaret Atwood’s writing despite never having read any of her books. Millions of people can’t be wrong can they?!

This one sounds intriguing and just putting the blurb in this post has piqued my interest more…..hmmmm I need to get to this one soon too!


The Sealwoman’s Gifts by Sally Magnusson – Published by Two Roads.


In 1627 Barbary pirates raided the coast of Iceland and abducted 250 of its people from a tiny island off the mainland. Among the captives the island pastor, his wife and their three children. Although the raid itself is well documented, little is known about what happened to the women and children afterwards.

In this brilliant reimagining, Sally Magnusson gives a voice to Ásta, the pastor’s wife. Enslaved in an alien Arab culture Ásta meets the loss of both her freedom and her children with the one thing she has brought from home: the stories in her head.

Now this one is a beauty! I think I won this one in a Twitter giveaway but I’d already had thoughts of buying it anyway. I like anything linked with sea myths (a blog post to come about this subject soon) and I’m hoping this one has hints of that. We’ll see!

There Were No Windows by Norah Hoult – Published by Persephone


This 1944 novel is about memory loss and is the only book we know of, apart from “Iris about Iris Murdoch” (and arguably “There Were No Windows” is wittier and more profound), on this subject. Based on the last years of the writer Violet Hunt, a once- glamorous woman living in Kensington during the Blitz who is now losing her memory, the novel’s three ‘acts’ describe with insight, humour and compassion what happens to ‘Claire Temple’ in her last months.

This is my one and only Persephone book. I went to London at the end of last year to do my judging stint for The Sunday Times Young Writer Of The Year Award and we did a little whistle stop tour of some of the iconic London bookshops (you’ll find a post on this here).

We of course had to make a stop at Persephone (just before it closed!) and I plumped for this book. I could have chosen soooo many others though! They have beautiful endpapers and matching bookmarks. I could go wild in there!

Finally we have:

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton – Published by Trapeze


Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago? 
Or is there something much darker at play?

Now I’m so surprised that I haven’t got around to reading this one yet. I think it’s because when a book is super hyped, as this one was, I feel like waiting a while and not reading it when everyone else is….do you ever get like that?

I’ve heard great things about it and I know it will be right up my street, so really, what am I waiting for?!?

There we have it. A brief insight into some of the books on my shelves.

Have you read any of them? What were your thoughts?

I’ll be off now, don’t tell anyone I’m 41 tomorrow will you? I’ll never live it down.

See you all soon.

Amanda – Birthday Bookish Chat xx

18 thoughts on “Bookish Chat About: Birth Date Books

  1. Thanks for the link, Amanda. I was about to skip down here and urge you to read Spill, Simmer… but I see I’ve already done that! Many happy returns for tomorrow. I hope it’s full of bookish treats, and cake, of course.


  2. When people talk about Margaret Atwood they sometimes skip over The Edible Woman one. Those people are missing out. Marian is a great character & it’s a great feminist read. The Edible Woman is possibly my favourite of her work. If you only ever read one book by Margaret Atwood this is my pick.

    Happy birthday for tomorrow!


  3. I love this post idea!! I might have to do it myself :’) Out of all of these, The Sealwoman’s Gift sounds the most intriguing to me, I’m adding it to my TBR asap!


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