October Haul

We survived October, everybody!
I mean, sure, it had its perks (Halloween, anybody? As well as the beginning of fall?) 

It was, for me at least, also the month of every single one of my professors going “let’s give them all the work – and let’s give it to them now”.

Not to mention, of course, that because I did buy so many books last month (it’s all Waterstones’ fault anyways!), I (or, that is, my wallet) spent most of the month recovering.
If you know me at all, though, you’ll know that (of course) I still found a way to buy some (pretty great, if I say so myself) stuff this month – and you’ll find all of that in this post…
So let’s get started!

First of all, of course: books. As I mentioned in last month’s haul-post, I had to order a bunch of books for school because I couldn’t really find them here. Then there was a whole bunch of books that I also had to wait to buy – not because I couldn’t find them here, but simply because, well… I prefer not to spend 2 hours in line in the campus shop, thank you very much. Either way: here are the books I bought this month!
  • Nord Perdue, Nancy Huston: a French book to begin the list, indeed! As you may (or may not) know, I do study French (as well as English and Dutch) literature and linguistics, so quite a lot of my time is spent just trying to make my way through set reading. This one, as well as the next two, I have to read for my course on “Littérature Francophone Moderne” – also known as: literature written in French, but not in France. This one in particular talks about the difficulties and the challenges that can be found in being bilingual.
  • L’Enigme du Retour, Dany Laferrière: set reading for the same course as the previous one, this book tells the semi-autobiographical story of a man who, when his father dies, has to return to Haiti, where he was born and has to bury his father, only to find that this country doesn’t seem to fit him anymore than his new, chosen country (Canada) does. I’ve already started reading this one, and so far I am really liking it – the writing is quite easy to follow, and the author’s style is very entertaining!
  • Ignorance, Milan Kundera: the third book I have to read for Littérature Francophone Moderne. As you may have guessed, this course especially delves into the problematic side of being expatriated and (as such, forcedly) bilingual. This book too, looks into that, as it follows a man who has to leave everything – including his own family – behind, as he escapes Czechoslovakia…
  • Histoire de la Langue française, J. Chaurand: this one is somewhere inbetween a manual and an actual ‘book’: it’s part of a series that tries to make diverse subjects more accessable to non-specialists, and this one in particular discusses the phonological, grammatical and syntactical evolution from Latin to modern French, set within its historical context – it may sound boring, but I’m a total language-geek, so I actually really love this. Of course, it helps that it’s told in a pretty simple language J
  • Le Roman de L’Histoire du Graal, Robert de Boron: another one for a French course, but this time for ‘Littérature Classique” – basically: French literature before there was even really such a thing as literature for fun. The fun part? We get to read knight- and King Arthur-tales and get graded for it!
  • Merlin, Robert de Boron: same author as last time, and as such, of course: same course as well. I actually already finished this one, and even though it is really explicitely religious (this is literature from the middle ages we’re talking about, after all) but I really enjoyed reading this – I’ve always been intrigued by the figures of these tales (King Arthur, Merlin, the knights of the Round Table, …) so it’s really fun to be able to get to know a bit more about it!
  • Perceval ou le Conte de Graal, Chrétien de Troyes: final one for Littérature Classique – although we also have to read the first part of Don Quichotte (by Cervantes), I already owned that one, so Perceval is the last one that’ll appear in this particular haul. Again, this is a tale of knights, so I love it – ‘nuf said!
  • I have another course for which I had to buy a whole bunch of books, English Literature: Postromantic Materialism, but there’s just too many of them to discuss them all thoroughly, so I’ll just give you the highlights here:


o   The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge: weird – just really, plain old weird. But I did actually quite enjoy reading it.
o   To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf: I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually quite enjoyed reading this one – even if I’m still not entirely sure whether I actually enjoyed the book as a whole or not.
o   A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh: first of all, ‘Evelyn’ is a guy. Second of all, even if it was written in a very easy-to-read way, I felt like I needed to take a shower after finishing it. That probably says it all.
o   The Love Story of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot: Loved it – absolutely loved, and already re-read it 3 times.
o   Tono-Bungay, H.G. Wells: I’m making my way through this one right now – let’s just say it’s been slow going so far… as such, this is also the only one I’ve actually already read – or even just know anything about (what can I say, there’s just too many books to be read)… So here goes the rest:
o   The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark: no idea what this is about – I just have to read it, after all
o   Lanark, Alasdair Gray: the only thing I can say about this one is that I really like the cover – now just to hope that the book actually lives up to it.
o   You have to be Careful in the Land of the Free, James Kelman: this one is supposed to be really funny? I’ve heard? I hope so, at least, because so far, this course hasn’t really had much to laugh about…
o   NW, Zadie Smith: the best thing about this book might just be that it’s the last one I have to read for this course – so far, that’s also all I really know about it…
Anyways, that’s that for books – I know, for someone who said last time that there probably wouldn’t even be a haul this month, I sure do seem to have bought a lot of these, don’t I? It doesn’t stop there, however – I know I said in this post that I’m not that much of a beauty products-adherent, but there are two notable exceptions to that rule: nail polish and hairdo’s.
As far as nail polish goes, let me just simply tell you that these are just the ones I keep at my dorm, to have something for any occasion (I have at least as many at home!)
(and yes, there are about 6 different colours of red in there –what can I say, I love me a nice red nail!)
This month, I bought (only) three of them, but I do really like them: I bought this white one:
Let’s just ignore the fact that I am physically uncapabale of colouring within the lines – be they on paper or just my nails…
This grey-ish black one (I love these types of colours, the almost-black-but-not-completely-type):
 And a pink-red-ish glitter polish. Although you’re supposed to be able to wear this by itself, I much prefer it as a top coat, specifically on a really dark colour or to better bring out a red polish – and of course: here’s an example of both of those:
(and these are actually the grey-black and the white polish I also bought this month – I’ve really been loving those!)
I feel like you can’t really see the full effect on this one – even though I specifically went outside to get the full glitter-effect – so you’ll just have to take my word for it: a dark pink base layer, then a blood red layer on top of that, and finish off with the sparkle layer – I haven’t been able to stop looking at my nails since I painted them… And that’s another good thing: nail polish usually tends to last 2 hours or less with me, but this combo has actually stuck it out for 3 days already – so YAY for that as well!
As I said, my other thing, as far as beauty products go, is anything to do your hair with – in this particular case: this gorgeous pin I got from Six…
It cost next to nothing, and the colours are just gorgeous… Plus, it catches the eye, but in a subtle way ànd it allows for a lot of different uses, so, yeah, definitely love this one as well!


And that’s that! In a way, I guess you could say that my prediction from last month did come true: I didn’t spend a lot of money on stuff that wasn’t for school – but the nail polishes were definitely worth it. And so far I’m even quite enjoying the set reading, so there’s that at least! What were your best / worst buys this month? Have you read any of the books in that (long) list? Definitely let me know below!