These Packages Were Hard to Carry to my Res Hall: A Book Haul

For those of you who don’t know, I’m currently at college/university (either/or depending on which side of the pond you’re from) at Denison University in the Middle Of Nowhere, Ohio. The school is built on top of a hill, or on The Hill, and my trek from the mail room to the tiny room where I live is not a fun one. And it’s harder to get there when I have weird shaped and heavy packages to take with me. This post is dedicated to those packages that made the walks to my warm bed that much harder.

The majority of these I received unsolicitedly from publishers or agencies, and one bonus book appeared that I ordered weeks ago at 2AM that I completely forgot about.


I received The Two of Us by Andy Jones just today, actually, from Simon and Schuster. I believe this is a romance between two people and they have to fight to keep their relationship alive throughout their changing lives. I’m not sure if it’s my cup of tea right now, but I can appreciate the balloon on the cover. Nice and cheery.


These next two are from Penguin Random House, and I kind of lied because Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys was not unsolicited, I asked for that one. And I read the first 40 pages! And I liked it! But I’m in a severe reading slump, which I don’t think I’ve had since 2014, so reading has been sparse lately. But I’m super interested in her new WWII novel. I really want to read it before it comes out just so that I can say I read it before it came out, but I’m not sure that’s likely to happen. The other novel I received from Penguin Random House is Oh! You Pretty Thing by Shanna Mahin which is a novel about a young actress and the stresses of Hollywood, I believe, but it just makes me sing David Bowie.


Another large package I got today! This one gets the award for making my walk home the hardest. These books were sent to me by the WME talent and literary agency. Among these are I Was Told There’d Be Cake: Essays by Slaone Crosley (a title I can really relate to), The Vacationers by Emma Straub, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (which I already own but like this edition better than the one I have), You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman (which sounds reminiscent of Requiem for a Dream, kinda), and Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (which is gorgeous and I should read before my wife Emma Watson stars in the movie adaptation). Few. A lot to carry, a lot to type, a lot of space taking up my cupboard under the stars.


The one book I bought! With my own hard-earned money!! I actually have no idea where the money came from and it probably was not hard-earned. This is Free Love and Other Stories by Ali Smith, which is a collection of LGBTQ+ short stories. It’s not specifically LGBTQ+ but Ali Smith is known for writing those types of character naturally, not as a one-time-speciality which is awesome. I’ve read the first story (a couple days ago and didn’t keep going, I know, it’s the reading slump, it’s hurting us all) and it was really nice. I’ve been wanting to read Ali Smith for a while and I’m pretty excited to read the rest of this.

This was a nice break from all the work I was getting done today (yeah, look at me, Miss Only-One-Class-Today-Watched-A-Movie-For-Homework), now back to the studying (that’s a lie, I’m going to get dinner with a friend).

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Were they worth carrying up a giant hill + to the 4th floor of my res hall? Let me know in the comments!

xx, Emily


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