Seven Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

Alright, so I can pinpoint the exact point when my TBR got out of control (you know, again). I’d been doing so well – I’d got it down to a solid 250 books or so, which is good for one of us (but not for the people at work, who I’m not convinced actually believe I have that many unread books). But then… AUGUST. I got a lot of Amazon vouchers for my birthday and I also started a new job with a frankly amazing library right next door. Seriously, they have pretty much every new release going and it’s free to reserve.

I now have 301 of my own books to read and 15 out from the library.

I know, I know. In my defence, I might be renewing the hell out of those library books, but I’ve never once had to take a book back unread! On the downside, that means that I’m not doing so well with my own books. I think I’m going to need to find some sort of TBR challenge next year to try and get it back under control. I’ve had two years challenge-free, it’s probably time.

Here’s what I’m hoping to read in the next four and a half weeks:

1) Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

This is one of the books I bought with my Amazon vouchers. I bought A Natural History of Dragons and The Radium Girls in the same batch, and I loved both of them, so fingers crossed for a hattrick. Also, look at me, reading (some) books right after I’ve bought them!

I actually really liked Laini Taylor’s first series, starting with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, for the most part. I’ve heard really great things about Strange the Dreamer, so I definitely want to get this read before Christmas.

(Not to mention that it’s huge and I need the space on my TBR shelves…)

2) The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

Another August acquisition. I did warn you.

Charlotte bought me this one for my birthday and I was really excited about it. It’s essentially the story of the Holocaust, but as reenacted by mice. People have been telling me this is good for quite literally years, so it’s probably time.

I’m going try and read this soon, I think. It doesn’t seem like the kind of book you want to be reading too close to Christmas…

3) Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Warner Townsend

Not only is this a library book, but it’s one I haven’t even picked up yet! I have a problem, people.

This is a 1926 novel about a 48 year old spinster who moves to a tiny village to get away from her cloying brothers and their wives, and ends up embroiled with witchcraft and all sorts of other shenanigans.

I ran into the library the other day to check they had it (they do – Huddersfield Library has everything), and tomorrow I’ll be ‘trading in’ one of my books that I don’t want quite as much, in order to check out this one instead.

It looks a bit like Miss Buncle’s Book, I think, which is never a bad thing.

4) Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I know I’m late to the party with this one. It’s been out for ages and even the second one has been out a while now.

The thing is, every time I open the book in a shop, I just have to put it back down again. It seems like half of each page is italicized and my brain sees it and goes… ‘ugh.’ Now, I don’t know why some of the text is in italics and I’m sure there’s a good reason, but I’m instantly prejudiced. I just don’t like it when narratives flit back and forth between time periods, or characters, or whatever the hell it’s doing.

*coughs* Anyway, so many people I trust have read this book so I am going to have to take the plunge. I am looking forward to it, once I’ve got past my initial knee-jerk distaste, because I know I’ll like it.

Famous last words, I’m sure.

voyage of the basilisk uk book cover marie brennan isabella trent series

5) The Voyage of the Basilisk (Lady Isabella Trent series #3) by Marie Brennan

I haven’t gotten around the reading the second book in this series, but I did ramble enthusiastically about the first – review is here.

The second book had a slightly different tone to the first but it was just as good, and I’m really excited to see what turn The Voyage of the Basilisk will take. Either way, I’m sure it will have the usual charm and elegance that makes these books so wonderful.

And dragons. It’ll probably have those too.

6) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I can’t actually remember on whose blog I discovered this, but I’ve earmarked it for that quiet time between Christmas and New Year.

It’s a wartime novel involving a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France, so I admit that it doesn’t seem like the most festive choice. However, I love to settle down on those lazy days with a chunky, engrossing novel and this seems perfect.

It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015, I believe, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to wile away the time with this one.

7) They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

In the New Year I want to get away from reading new releases a little because I think I need a bit more variety in my bookish intake.

Until then, however, I really do want to read They Both Die at the End. And yes, I know that this book has the huge potential to profoundly irritate me, people that I trust have loved it and I’ve read the first few pages and really enjoyed it.

The premise sounds really interesting so I’m definitely going to give it a go.


And that will do for now. Whilst I’ll probably end up reading more than seven books before 2018, there are no others that really, absolutely jump out at me as something I have to read soon.

Will I even read any of the above books? Possibly not. C’est la vie.


  1. Ellie Warren says:

    Strange the Dreamer is lovely, but quite different from DoSaB I think, definitely less romancy. I need to read more of the Lady Trent dragon books…I would really thank myself if next year I manage not to get distracted by all the new stuff.

    1. Hanna @ Booking in Heels says:

      ‘Less romancy’ is almost always a good thing.

      I know, that’s pretty much my unofficial goal for next year – Do Not Get Distracted By All The New Stuff, but it’s unlikely I’ll succeed. I wasn’t too bad until I found Huddersfield Library!

  2. You’ll have to give us an update and tell us how you did! I need to read Strange the Dreamer for sure—probably won’t manage it this year, though! And I need to read Godsgrave, since I got that one from ALA—I enjoyed Nevernight!

    1. Hanna @ Booking in Heels says:

      Haha, ‘not well,’ is the answer to that one! I’ve read eight books or so thus far, but only two of them have been from this list! I read Nevernight and then immediately had to read the sequel, and I’ve read Lolly Willowes as well.

      Ah well, I can’t say I really mind too much 🙂

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