Ten Books We Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To (and Totally Plan to get to in 2018!!)

It’s time for my first Top Ten Tuesday of 2018! And it’s also the last of the TTTs on the Broke and the Bookish for a while.  Next week, things will be moving over to That Artsy Reader Girl, so start checking over there for more great prompts and blog responses.

Without further ado, here are ten books I wish I had gotten around to reading in the year 2017. Maybe these books will have better luck in 2018.

  1. Sourdough by Robin Sloan
  2. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  3. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  5. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  6. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  7. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
  8. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
  9. The Idiot by Elif Batuman
  10. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by [Reid, Taylor Jenkins]The Lying Game: A Novel by [Ware, Ruth]A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel by [Towles, Amor]Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel by [Khong, Rachel]The Idiot by [Batuman, Elif]

What books did you mean to read last year but are finally going to get to this year?

Limiting My Book Spending

I never thought that I own too many books.  Until now.

I have never been a huge spender.  Really, the only thing I spend my money on are books and music.  So I’ve never really had to budget.  Now, though, I recently purchased a home and have to seriously think about my budget.  I’m going to stop spending as much in general, at least to start, to make sure I have enough money for my new expenses.

The first thing I’m going to limit will be my book buying.  I didn’t realize just how many books I had until I had to pack them all up to move!  I own so many great books already, that I don’t need to buy so many new books this year.  And I now have access to a really great library.  I’m hoping between the library and my NetGalley account, I’ll be able to resist the urge to buy new books this year.

I’m not going to ban myself from buying new books altogether, though.  I plan on keeping my Book of the Month Club subscription, and I’m still thinking about whether to keep my Parnassus First Editions Club subscription.  Maybe the knowledge of a new book or two a month will help prevent me from going out and and going on shopping sprees.

I plan on using another motivator to limit my book buying this year: the promise of a shopping spree next year. For every 100 pages I read from a book I didn’t purchase in the year 2018 (from a book I already own or a library book), I will set aside $1.  At the end of the year, I will take the money I’ve saved and spend it on books!  This will also be a great motivator to read a ton.  The more I read the more money I will have to spend!  I will be sure to update my progress and my page total on a fairly regular basis.

Is there anyone else trying to curb spending?  What motivators are you using?

January TBR

I’m usually not one for TBRs.  I am a huge mood reader.  But, I’m willing to give it a try, because there are a lot of books I really want to get through in the next couple of months.

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau.  For my Classics Goal.

Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth.  I’d love to finish this before the new American Crime Story comes out this month all about the assassination of Versace.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris.  I have started this interesting and different graphic novel already, and it shouldn’t take long to finish.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.  Getting to this because it made the Tournament of Books Short List.

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich.  See above.

And finally, I’m going to start Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.  I have no dreams of finishing this month, but it’s a book I’d like to finish by the end of the year.

What are everyone else’s plans for the month?  Got any good reads in line?

Picking a Classic

With the new year, I’m going to start making a big effort to read from my Classics List.  I plan on adding a classic or two to my TBR stack every month, while still reading whatever new releases and backlist books speak to me at the time.

When I scanned my list, looking for the perfect read to kick off this project, I found myself stuck.  How do I choose?  What if the book I pick is a dud?  What if I hate the experience so much it discourages me from continuing with this project?

Finally, after stressing and indecisively weighing my options, I chose a book I’ve already read and know I like.  This is a safe choice.  I know I’ll enjoy it, and I know I’ll feel satisfied after reading it, thereby encouraging my continued pursuit in this reading journey.  I also chose a very short book.  I think a few quick reads to get some books under my belt will build some momentum, make me feel accomplished early, and encourage further reading.

So the first book from my classics list I chose was….

 

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau.

 

I took a class on Thoreau in undergrad and adore all of his writing.  It’s been a number of years since I’ve read any Thoreau, though, and would love to see how my thoughts have changed as I’ve grown.

It is a really short read, so I’ll be finished quickly and plan on reporting back soon on my thoughts.

Why I Follow the Tournament of Books

I have always been fascinated by bookish awards. I would pick up children’s books when I saw the little silver emblem stamped on the front cover and hand them to my parents to buy without even attempting to find out what the plot was. Now, as an adult, I tend to do the same thing. When the Man Booker longlist is released, I feverishly scour the internet for the best deals on the books already released, and search for the ones that aren’t on NetGalley. The goal is to always read all the books before the shortlist is announced, and if not that, by the time the winner is crowned. Unfortunately, I lose interest when I do not have enough time to order and read thirteen books in six weeks, especially when half of them are arriving from overseas, and I fail to finish even half of them by the time the longlist is whittled down to half. I like collecting the Man Booker selections, because it is a chance to discover new books I haven’t heard of yet, and sometimes even get a heads up for something good soon coming to the U.S. Usually I’ve only heard of a few books and read even less.

Now, with the Tournament of Books, the novels selected are usually more popular and discussed online more often; they’re almost bordering on mainstream. They are books that I’ve picked up at the bookstore numerous times, telling myself I’ll get around to reading them someday. Well, someday comes during the Tournament of Books season.

The long list has been released. Seventy-two of the year’s best books, as decided by the staff at The Morning News. I’ve heard of well over half of the long list selections, and actually own a large portion of them. I’ve read very few this year, however, and now I will take a slightly strategic approach to reading the selections. Strategic because my goal is to read the books that will end up on the shortlist, which won’t be released until January 3rd. There are a few that are pretty safe bets, like Fever Dream (the Summer Reading Challenge winner) and Lincoln on the Bardo (the winner of the Man Booker this year). But there are others that I really want to read that have less of a chance, like Huck Out West and My Favorite Thing is Monsters (I don’t think there’s ever been a graphic novel on the short list).

So, here’s my plan for the next month leading up to the release of the shortlist: read whatever I want, and keep an eye out for online discussions of longlist selections that are favored to be selected for the shortlist. And when in doubt, I’ll read the short books I can get through quickly so I can get to more books!

Any others out there who will be reading along with the Tournament of Books? What are some from the longlist that I shouldn’t miss?

2017 Tournament of Books 

The Tournament of Books is upon us! I have read a number of these books, and started out familiar with even more. So, what I’d like to do again this year is do a little coverage and predictions for the tournament and the results!

Today I’m going to go through my predictions for the first round. As the tournament goes on, I’ll update my predictions and provide my reactions to the events as they take place. So here we go with the Tournament of Books!
Round One

The Underground Railroad v Black Wave. My pick: The Underground Railroad

The Vegetarian v All the Birds in the Sky. My pick: The Vegetarian 

My Name is Lucy Barton  v Version Control. My pick: My Name is Lucy Barton

The Mothers v High Dive. My pick: The Mothers

Moonglow   v Grief is the Thing with Feathers. My pick: Moonglow

Homegoing v Sweet Lamb of Heaven. My pick: Homegoing

The Nix v We Love You, Charlie Freeman. My pick: The Nix

Play-in Winner v Mister Monkey.  My pick: the Play-in Winner will be The Sport of Kings, which will also beat Mister Monkey. 
Anyone else have predictions for this round? Who do you think will win it all?

Top Ten Tuesday 

Top Ten Tuesday is here! I always love the first few of the year. Recapping the previous year, looking back on what you missed, and looking forward to the year ahead. This week: Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant to Read but Didn’t Get to. 
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles


Commonwealth by Ann Patchett


Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple


The Mothers by Brit Bennett


Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 


The Wangs vs The World by Jade Chang


The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee


When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi


You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott


Any other books I need to add to this list?

Winter Reading List

So lately I’ve been failing at reading. My Fall Reading List was a complete fail. I did start most of the books on my list, but didn’t finish any. I haven’t been reading much in general, actually. But, the end of the year always makes me hopeful for the future. I become motivated to do more, do better in the new year. This is why I’m going to try once again to form a reading list I can use for the winter months. Hopefully I will be more successful this season. 

Classics

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. 
  2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  3. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronze

Nonfiction 

  1. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  2. Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno
  3. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
  4. Hillbilly Eligy by JD Vance

Books Outside My Comfort Zone

  1. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  2. Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
  3. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  4. The Girls by Emma Cline

So that’s my winter reading list! This time of year is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. With the snow and cold, I love getting under the covers with a big, thick book. Here’s hoping this will help me accomplish my seasonal reading list this time around!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

So, tomorrow is the Fall edition of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon!  I officially participated last April, and am excited to give it another go now.  I’ve not really figured out the best way for me to go about a readathon, so I picked out tons of options to turn to tomorrow.  Here’s just a sampling of the books I’ve pulled for the weekend:

The Persephone Book of Short Stories. Some stories to dip in and out of when a novel just won’t do. I’ve read a few in here, but there’s still plenty left for this weekend. 

The Giveness of Things. Essays for the same reason as short stories. And I love Robinson, so I know I’ll love these. 


Missing Millie Benson. A short middle grade biography on one of my favorite authors in existence. I’ve been waiting for a good time to read this!


The Days of Abandonment. I’m hoping reading some of Ferrante’s shorter novels will help me get into her work a little more. And short for the readathon is a plus. 


Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Kind of short, light, easy to read…all a good combo. 


Harry Potter Illustrated Editions. I’ve been holding onto the Chamber of Secrets for a special time to read it, and this may be it.  

Northanger Abbey. Part of the Austentatious Book Club. I’ve barely started, so maybe I can get a chunk in. 

Dracula. An audiobook for the times where having a book in my hands just won’t work. 

Finally…Fables comics. Quick to read and will make me feel as if I’m making progress. I’m around issue 11, and it got really slow. Maybe I’m not into the story arc going on right now…I’ll probably skip it and go on to the next issue if that’s the case. 

So my goals for tomorrow… I don’t know if a page count, or a number of books to finish will be beneficial for me. I really just want to end the readathon feeling satisfied. Vague, I know. 

Anyone set solid goals during the readathon? What are they? Who else is participating? 

Inbox/Outbox for the week of 9/25/16

It’s already the end of September! So crazy to think that so much of the year has gone by. Here’s a wrap up of my book life for the last week of September:

Inbox


To Be Or Not To Be by Ryan North. I loved Romeo and/or Juliet so I needed this!


Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley. I have the whole series and adore it. Alan Bradley is a definite autobuy. 


Outbox

Jughead by Chip Zdarsky. I loved the new Archie so I wanted to try the new Jughead, too. 


Currently Reading

Emma by Jane Austen. Buddy read. I’m surprised to say I’m really enjoying it. It’s not the most amazing book I’ve ever read, but it’s nice. 


The Secret History by Donna Tart. I started the audiobook last year but never finished it. Not that I didn’t like it, though! I just got distracted. The fall season seems to bring out a lot of people rereading this book, so I thought it would be a good time to try it again. 


How was everyone else’s reading week?