Category: TBR piles

Books I Want To Read Before the End of 2017

Books I Want To Read Before the End of 2017

I knew it had been a while since I’d posted but, as ever, time has flown and I didn’t know quite how long it had been. In all the time that I haven’t been posting, however, I have been reading. So much so that on 21 November, I finished my GoodReads challenge for the year. I set it at 52 books simply because I wanted to have read an average of one book a week by the end of the year. There was a time earlier in the year when I was wading through the Discovery of Witches trilogy when I was sure that this year would be a bust so I’m excessively pleased about not only meeting but exceeding my 2017 goal!

Going into the last five weeks or so of 2017, I wanted to pick out some books that I thought were likely to be top reads of the year. At first, I sorted my ‘To Read’ shelf on GoodReads by highest average rating to see what I had lingering on my shelves and then picked a couple of those as hopefully ones that will be contenders for favourite of the year. And then I looked at the books that I’ve bought or received this year that I was so excited to get hold of and then have just left sat on my shelves and picked a couple of those. I don’t know if I’ll read all of these but I had fun putting the list together so I’m not sure the reading even really matters.

1. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

I enjoyed the first book in this series well enough but then I loved the second one and meant to rattle straight into the third one. I got a bit annoyed with Maas following Tower of Dawn but I really want to get back into the Court of Thorns and Roses series before I forget what’s going on. There’s the added fact that I’ve borrowed this from someone at work and she keeps asking me about it in the way that someone who only has 1 or 2 unread books on their shelves really can…

2. The Unseen World by Liz Moore

I’ve only seen glowing reviews of The Unseen World and I was really looking forward to reading it when I got it and then I sort of forgot and left it sat in a pile. I want to pick it up before I completely forget why I was even so desperate to get hold of it!

3. The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

The blurb makes this book sound bloody brilliant: “Every seven years something goes missing in the remote town of Sterling: people’s reflections, the stars in the sky, the ability to dream. Aila realises that her mother may be to blame for the curse. But some mysteries are buried very deep and some secrets want to stay hidden – and one young woman’s desire to uncover the truth may not be enough to save Sterling from the past”. I bought this when I was in Waterstones with Hanna a couple of months ago and I thought I’d get straight to it and here we are in late November and I still haven’t read it.

4. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb is such a well regarded fantasy author that I’ve been a little bit wary of starting the first instalment of the Farseer trilogy in case I got sucked into the whole world and ended up having to buy all of them. BUT ever since visiting Trakai Castle in Lithuania earlier in November, I’ve really fancied a medieval style fantasy and I’ve had this one for years.

5. United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

Hanna bought me this for my birthday and it’s literally been on the top of my physical To Read pile ever since. We visited a few museums in Lithuania that had some fascinating exhibits on World War II in Eastern Europe and I’ve been looking longingly at this since we got back a couple of weeks ago. I know that the connection is a loose one but who knows how these things work?!

Honourable mentions to the books that ever so nearly made the cut and might yet muscle their way into my reading year: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry; Long Lankin by Lindsay Barraclough; We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

What are your priorities for what’s left of 2017? Any books that you’ve been meaning to pick up all year and just haven’t got round to?

Rest-Of-Winter TBR

Rest-Of-Winter TBR

When I finished Three Dark Crowns over the weekend, I found myself paralysed by indecision over my next read.  I think in part because I acquired a fair few books over the Christmas period but also because  Three Dark Crowns was a bit of a disappointment.  Usually I get a pretty good gut feeling about what I’m in the mood for but I couldn’t work it out. I ended up starting Bird Box by Josh Malerman, which is definitely very readable and had the advantage of being on my Kindle so I could read it when I woke up earlier than Boyfriend and had to try and read in the gloom…
All of that faff prompted me to whittle down a pile of books that I definitely want to get to over what’s left of the Winter so that hopefully when I’ve finished Bird Box, I don’t have as much of a dawdle over my next read…links are to GoodReads.
1.  The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan – I’ve been re-reading the Wheel of Time series over the course of the past year or so and I’ve loved each one even more than I did the first time. Maybe because I’ve since read more fantasy or maybe because of the nostalgia over teen me discovering the fantasy genre.  This fourth book, though, has been a bit of a looming figure for my re-read.  At over 1,000 pages, it’s the longest book in the series and was one that I remember dragging a bit. I definitely want to keep on with the series though and the Winter will be a great time for facing down the slightly daunting page count.
2.  The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon – Why yes, this one is in the list mostly for its title.  It’s also a literary/historical thriller, though, about a mother found dead in a field shortly after the tragic death of her daughter and a diary discovered by a modern day inhabitant of the house that seems to offer clues to what happened.  I bought this recently and it sounds perfect for a snowy weekend.
3.  The Unseen World by Liz Moore – This book has been all over BookTube recently and it sounds right up my street.  It’s about a woman whose father gives her a floppy disk when he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s that supposedly contains secrets about her father’s life.  It’s set in the 80s and I’m definitely sucked in by the hype.
4.  Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama – I’m not going to lie, I bought this almost solely because it had pink end papers and looked cool.  It’s a translated Japanese mystery that actually does sound pretty great (“SIX FOUR. THE NIGHTMARE NO PARENT COULD ENDURE. THE CASE NO DETECTIVE COULD SOLVE. THE TWIST NO READER COULD PREDICT” – call me convinced by Caps Lock).
5.  Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs – I read the first two books in the trilogy last year and I really want to finish the series before I lose momentum.  Also, I promised my mum she could borrow my copy when I’m done so I feel as though I should play fair and get to it soonish.
6.  The Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor – I read the first in the St Mary’s time-travelling unit adventure-type series last year and it was just so much fun.  Sure, they’re a bit overly simplified and they can feel rushed but Hanna’s on the third one and I want to keep on with them too so this can be one for when I’m looking for an easy read.
7.  Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Brian Stevenson – I want to try and branch out a bit this year and read some more non-fiction (I currently read basically none…).  This is one I picked up last year that’s about race and justice in the US legal system, written by a black lawyer who has struggled with the system for years.  It sounds very relevant to current political issues and frankly if I can’t get into a non-fiction that’s based on law, I’m not really sure what I’ll be able to get into.
And that’s it! My tentative TBR list for what’s left of the Winter.  In future months, I’ll probably go with 10 but seeing as we’re already part way through the season, I’m just going to go with 7.  What books are you hoping to pick up in what’s left of the chilly season?

Whittling down the Box of Shame: The First Ten

When we moved house just over a year ago, I dutifully (if a little resentfully) tucked all of my books up into boxes and loaded them up into the van.  We’re slowly working our way around the rooms of the new house and decorating them one by one but it’s taking us some time to get to the smallest of the bedrooms, which will ultimately be the study/reading room.  It’s up soon (next but one) but we’re not quite there yet.  
Anyway, we’ve started on the next spare room this weekend, which has meant that we had to move the furniture out and into the Future Study/Reading Room.  Which meant making room.  Much though it killed me a little bit, the read books moved up into the attic (TEMPORARILY).  The unread books were the subject of much debate.  I was adamant that they would stay accessible, Boyfriend was adamant that they had to go out of the way while we finish up the decorating.  The unfortunate thing about this whole exercise was that the Box of Shame was the subject of the discussion.  The entire very large box shown on the right is unread books.  Not all of the unread books that I own (shamefully) but enough unread books that if I read nothing but the books in this box, I’m pretty sure I’d still have reading material spare in a couple of years,
There are books in that box that I’d forgotten I owned.  Books that I’ve owned for years.  Although it’s exciting in many ways, it really does make me feel as though I need to stop buying new books for just a little while and start looking to the Box of Shame, so called because I *may* have been using it as a means of bringing in books and mixing them up so that people don’t notice.  Maybe.  Ahem…
Boyfriend and I have struck a deal to solve the “problem” (and he is unmoveable on such things so will be helping me keep on top of it): I can have ten books out of the box at any one time.  When I’ve read those ten books, they will be returned to the attic and I can pick ten more.  Kind of like a more inconveniently enforced seasonal TBR pile.  Obviously, picking ten was ridiculously difficult, especially with someone that doesn’t appreciate books looming over me and telling me to “just pick”.  But “just pick” I did and these are my first ten:
The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time series: Book 2) by Robert Jordan
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey
Steelheart (The Reckoners series: Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
The Quick by Lauren Owen
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
I’ve gone for a mixture of recent arrivals and older books, a bunch of different genres and a blend of YA and adult so that hopefully there will always be something that I fancy.  The Great Hunt obviously isn’t new or indeed unread (and its being included in the ten was a bone of contention that I have moved past) but I’m saving it so that I have something to balance out War and Peace if a miracle happens and I get ahead of the read-along schedule (ha) or if I need a brief respite from all of the Russian names!  
I’ll see you for the next ten soon, hopefully!  I know that I’m not the only one trying to get on top of the number of unread books that I own – if we stick together, I’m pretty sure we can do this!!  Come on, us!  🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: It’s Summer TBR time!

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It’s the Summer TBR edition of Top Ten Tuesday, which means that it’s time for setting some over-ambitious targets! It’s no real secret around here that my reading pace has slowed recently but I’m really enjoying audiobooks at the moment and it’s making me feel as though I’m reading and enjoying books in general, even though I don’t get to spend as many hours as I’d like curled up in a corner with Garfield (the Kindle) or a “real” book.

So what’s on the agenda for this summer? And these are in no particular order so even though I’m saying ‘agenda’, I mean ‘hodge-podge list of things I’ll pick up at some point soon’. My next holiday is early September (long haul flights being the best for reading – Manchester to Boston via Frankfurt has to equal at least one book) so I can at least pick up the stragglers then if my summer is a bit of a bookish bust.

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – another book that I picked up during the Leeds book blogger extravaganza and was dying to read but then didn’t. With the last in the series due out over the summer, it is long past time to get started.

2. Crushed by Eliza Crewe – I read the first in the Soul Eater series, Cracked, last year and really loved it so I was over the moon to snag the next one on NetGalley and not have to wait until August. I’m a little wary of the blurb (which refers to good girls having a weakness for bad boys…ugh) because one of the reasons I was super keen on the first was that it didn’t major on stalker-romance. Not wary enough to avoid the book, though, obviously.
3. The Lie by Helen Dunmore – I know, a book about World War I doesn’t exactly scream summer read but both my Dad and Ellie Lit Nerd recommend it and I am powerless to resist. Bring on the tissues.

4. Running Away: A Memoir by Robert Andrew Powell – I’m currently in the last few months of training for the Great North Run in September. After the roaring success that was Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley, I’m really looking forward to another inspirational running story to keep me on track (which I’m going to let you think is a pun even though I run on roads…). Maybe the hardest thing is going to be to resist the urge to go haring into signing up for a marathon, instead of the half marathon events I’m currently pumped for.

5. The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker – I’ve seen so many positive reviews of this (the latest being Sam’s over at Tiny Library) and I need to read it. I’m not-so-patiently waiting on my library’s list for the audiobook and when I get to the top of the list, this will be in my car straight away.
6. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut – another not particular sunny read but one that I came across over the weekend while I was consolidating my boxes of books so that they were a little less sprawly. We aren’t really close to getting the study done yet so they’ll be living in boxes a little while longer but at least this one is now at the top because I spotted it and remembered how much I wanted to read it. Plus, short.

7. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas – only partly inspired by the TV series featuring handsome chaps! I figure that a bit of sword-fighting and general daring antics will be spot on for lazy afternoons in the garden.

8. Poison by Sarah Pinborough – these books look gorgeous and I’ve been eyeing this one up since Ellie ever so kindly bought it for me for Christmas.
9. The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines – another book that I’ve had for such a long time but must get to. The ever lovely Hanna bought this for my birthday last year and I really want to read it. Really, really. It’s time.
10. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan – I’m not sure whether this will pop up but I have been having super bad cravings for some Wheel of Time and I have the final books (I think I have three left to go) but it’s been years since I read Book 10 from the series and I want to really love the last few books and I don’t think I’ll be able to do that based on hazy memories. I owe it to teenage me to re-read but I’m really not much of a re-reader so if this does make the cut, colour me surprised.
A bit of a mixture, actually! Just writing that has made me super excited for summer reading and itching to get home and get started! What have you got lined up for the next few months?! Sharing is caring!

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR 2013

What’s that?  It’s Wednesday, you say?  Shhh…

I’ve actually been meaning to take part in Top Ten Tuesday for ages but I’m always so late at noticing what the week’s topic is that I never get round to actually posting a list on Tuesday.  Kind of like this week, I suppose!  

Regardless, this week’s topic (hosted, as always, at The Broke and the Bookish) is one that means I get to nosey through my To Be Read list.  The likelihood of me sticking to this list is roughly slim to none but I do so love making the lists…

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – This series has obviously been back all over the blogosphere recently with the release of the second instalment in the series.  I recently went through a phase where I wasn’t getting on too well with YA.  I’m reading Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll at the moment, though, and have been surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed it so I’m tentatively putting Daughter of Smoke and Bone back on the menu.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – Other than the obvious? Because my Dad recently read it and raved about it.  I have a paperback copy, though, which I carried to and from work for one day before declaring it too heavy. I’m fifth in the waiting list for an eBook copy from the local library at the moment…

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin – Mid-way through A Game of Thrones, I was sort of on the fence. By the end, I was (as all readers seem to be) completely hooked and will no doubt be getting to the second before too long.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – I bought this really soon after the paperback came out because I was *dying* to read it.  However long after, I still haven’t read it.  In my head, it’s the perfect book for when spring finally starts to peek through.

HHhH by Laurent Binet – I *love* the sound of this one!  The blurb describes it as “a seemingly effortless blend of historical truth, personal memory, and Binet’s remarkable imagination”.  Can’t wait.

The Yard by Alex Grecian – “1889, London. Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror is finally over. But a new one is just beginning…”  One that I’m probably going to read sooner rather than later, while the snow is still swirling and the evenings are still a touch gloomy.

 The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – Reading A Game of Thrones reminded me how much I loved epic fantasy.  Great, huge, tomes of fantasy.  The Mistborn trilogy is next up, I think.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – Just because everybody seems to love it and I haven’t a clue why I am still yet to read it.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – Ellie has made Warm Bodies sound irresistible.  I got approved for a copy on NetGalley, which was extremely exciting.  So maybe I should read this next. This list is actually confusing me no end…

And last but by no means least…

Regeneration by Pat Barker – I’ve borrowed this from my Dad as part of my decision to read some great books this year that I’ve been meaning to read for years.  I think I’m saving this for when I have the time to really mull my way through it because it sounds very…moving: “[Bookone in Pat Barker’s series of novels confronting the psychological effects of World War I, focuses on treatment methods during the war and the story of a decorated English officer sent to a military hospital after publicly declaring he will no longer fight…it combines real-life characters and events with fictional ones in a work that examines the insanity of war like no other



And that’s it!  This season’s reading 🙂  Anything I absolutely should grab right away? Anything I should be dodging?  What are YOU reading this season?