If I know you in real life, chances are I’ve mentioned that we’ve bought a new house and were moving into it on 7 December 2018. Hell, if you didn’t know me in real life and you just happened to pass me in the street, chances are I mentioned it anyway.
I love our new house. It’s a cottage in a tiny rural village (seriously, the owner of the sole village shop commented that she didn’t recognise us when we walked in) but which was extended backwards to join with an old workshop so it’s all twisty and quirky, with stone chimney breasts and fireplaces, and argh.
Anyway, much as I love it, I’ve spent weeks packing and organising and generally falling over with tiredness. I was also realistic about the prospect of not seeing the large majority of my books again for a good few weeks/months. I mean, we know where they’re going to but, much as I attempt to convince my partner otherwise, they’re hardly a priority. With that in mind, I separated out the books that I’m likely to want to read in the immediate future and subtely slipped them into the back of the car when nobody was looking… Between these and Christmas books, I should be alright for a little bit 🙂
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
I’m actually in the middle of reading this already and I love it. I mean, it’s taken me a fortnight so far and I’m only 4/5 of the way through it, which is the longest by far I’ve spent on any one book so far this year, but that’s moving for you.
It’s very similar to Nevernight, but more serious and much more detailed. Honestly, it’s so engrossing and the world building is wonderful, but it’s not something you can just pick up in an idle moment.
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
If I’d clicked that this book was about institutionalised time travel, I’d have picked it up a long time ago. Much like The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., The Chronicles of St. Mary’s, and The Psychology of Time Travel, there’s nothing I like more than government-sanctioned temporal shenanigans.
I think this one is about a scholar who goes back in time to study the Plague. I don’t know the rest of the plot, but my psychic powers tell me that she somehow gets stuck and has to find her way back to the 21st Century. Hey, I love this genre, but I know its tropes.
House-Bound by Winifred Peck
I own so many Persephone classics and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten around to reading any of them. In theory, however, in my new house I’m going to have my pretty collections of matching books in the dining room behind glass cases… which means I actually have to read the damn things.
This one looks interesting and snarky, kind of like The Diary of a Provincial Lady, which I adored. It’s dry and funny, and so I have high hopes for this novel, which is about a group of middle class women who suddenly realise they can no longer afford household servants…
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I bought this book, as well as the above three, all on the same book shopping jaunt with Charlotte. Plus another four, obviously. I picked it up purely based on the cover, Charlotte told me that it was good and so I shrugged and added it to the pile. I’m just that suggestible when it comes to books.
I should add that I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series, particularly the second book. I might start this series in the New Year as I have A Thing about finishing existing series in the year I start them. I mean, I never stick to it, but it’s a distinct preference regardless.
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
This may seem like an odd choice for a TBR pile, considering I get the title wrong, forget the author constantly and actually have no idea what it’s about. And that would be a totally fair assessment.
My logic is that I recently read Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which I bought at the same time as The Riddle of the Sands and in the same pretty Penguin edition. I was pleasantly surprised by Tarzan and my supposition (which admittedly now seems somewhat faulty) is that this book may be good too. Even though it’s by a different author, about a different topic. Huh.
Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake
I was hoping to conclude this trilogy this year and was disappointed/frustrated to learn that, actually, the author couldn’t finish this in three books after all.
Even though she definitely could.
That said, I do enjoy this series and I am looking forwarding to reading this installment. It’s a YA fantasy that’s just a bit different from all the others. No prophesy, no ‘chosen one,’ no dark and brooding boy… just good old triplet princesses attempting to murder each other. What more could you possibly want?
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
I’ve had this book for years and never picked it up, despite knowing how amazing it’s supposed to be. I just don’t suppose I’ve been in the mood for what looks to be heavy (both emotionally and in a literary sense) war fiction.
However, I recently reread All Quiet on the Western Front (review here) after attending the Remembrance Day church service with the Scouts, and it horrified me, as always. Birdsong is supposed to be a wonderful book and, if people can live through those experiences, I’m damned sure I can survive reading about them.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
I wasn’t bothered about this book for a good, long while – it just didn’t seem to be my kind of thing. But then I was ambling through Waterstone’s on my lunch break one day (having a book shop so close is lethal), and had a flick through. I think I needed a second book for The Offer, as always.
Anyway, I had a little smirk even on the very first page. It seems like it might be a lot more interesting and funny than I’d expected, so I’m definitely going to give it a go. It’s potentially the very thing to cheer me up during what I’m sure will be a long and miserable January.
All links go to my reviews, where there is one:
The Collector by John Fowles
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (it is Christmas, after all!)
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
The Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe
The Pirates! in an Adventure with Moby Dick by Gideon Defoe
In an ideal world, we’ll be able to get my books out and on cases within a few weeks. And who knows, that may happen. I have the luxury of having a boyfriend who, whilst not a reader himself, does understand how important my books are to me. So it might happen… right?