I’m setting a challenge for myself. I have many novels I want to read before the end of the year. It’s been difficult to read as much as I’d have liked this year because of study, but soon study will be over and I’ll have a lot of time on my hands!
I’ll be posting three lists for this year, each a list of 10 books. Last year I read 50 books. I’ve only read 25 books this year so far, so if I want to beat my last record, I’ll have to read another 30.
So, here is the first list:
1. The Farseer: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (currently reading)
Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic skill – and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.
As you might have see in an earlier post of mine, I am enjoying this novel a lot, probably much more than I would have thought. Though I currently only 130 pages through, I know it’s a story that will only get better, and I can’t wait to keep reading :).
2. Watership Down by Richard Adams (because re-reading counts)
Sandleford Warren is in danger. Hazel’s younger brother Fiver is convinced that a great evil is about to befall the land, but no one will listen. And why would they when it is spring and the grass is fat and succulent? So together Hazel, Fiver and a few other brave rabbits secretly leave behind the safety and strictures of the warren and hop tentatively out into the vast and strange world. Chased by their formers, hunted by dogs and foxes, avoiding farms and other human threats, but making new friends, Hazel and his fellow rabbits dream of a new life in the emerald embrace of Watership Down…
I have so much love for this book. As you’d know just by looking at my blog and the number of times I’ve mentioned it. I’m really enjoying re-reading it so far. I always enjoy re-reading because of how you pick up on things you didn’t notice more, and how it changes your experience of the book. It was such a joy reading this the first time, I’m sure it will be just as speciall
3. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
The shocking thing about the Lisbon sisters was how nearly normal they seemed when their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives. Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux; the sisters’ breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear.
I read the first couple of chapters of this novel last month, and my first impressions were in awe of its satire and Eugenide’s style of writing. It’s a book I can already tell is like no other. I’ve seen the film, so I know the story won’t disappoint, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to like the book even more.
4. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan.
Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery.
With his secret like a brick in his belly, Charlie is pushed and pulled by a town closing in on itself in fear and suspicion as he locks horns with his tempestuous mother; falls nervously in love and battles to keep a lid on his zealous best friend, Jeffrey Lu.
And in vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse.
In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.
This book has been on my reading list for a couple of years now. For some reason, reading the blurb again, it’s reminding me of S.E Hinton’s The Outsiders. I’ve heard so many good things about it, not only as an entertaining read but also as a real piece of literatreI know I’m gonna be a bit repetitive here, but well…I can’t wait to finally read this!
5. The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) by Jasper Fforde
Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.
I loved reading Fforde’s Shades of Grey. Such a unique, creative, sadistic and hilarious book everyone should read. I adore the premise for this novel, it sounds amazing and incredibly funny. Really looking forwards to sinking my teeth into this one, and eventually the rest of the series!
6 & 7. The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood
Goodreads blurb for The Year of the Flood:
The long-awaited new novel from Margaret Atwood. “The Year of the Flood” is a dystopic masterpiece and a testament to her visionary power. The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate, and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability. Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners–a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life–has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God’s Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible. Have others survived? Ren’s bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers . . . Meanwhile, gene-spliced life forms are proliferating: the lion/lamb blends, the Mo’hair sheep with human hair, the pigs with human brain tissue. As Adam One and his intrepid hemp-clad band make their way through this strange new world, Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move. They can’t stay locked away . . . By turns dark, tender, violent, thoughtful, and uneasily hilarious, “The Year of the Flood” is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive.
Goodreads blurb for MaddAddam:
A man-made plague has swept the earth, but a small group survives, along with the green-eyed Crakers – a gentle species bio-engineered to replace humans. Toby, onetime member of the Gods Gardeners and expert in mushrooms and bees, is still in love with street-smart Zeb, who has an interesting past. The Crakers’ reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is hallucinating; Amanda is in shock from a Painballer attack; and Ivory Bill yearns for the provocative Swift Fox, who is flirting with Zeb. Meanwhile, giant Pigoons and malevolent Painballers threaten to attack.
Okay, first things first. I’ve read the first of this trilogy, Oryx and Crake, and thought it was an amazing novel. I’ve read the first few chapters of The Year of the Flood, but for whatever reason it didn’t grab me. However, I am determined to give it another crack. At the very least I’d like to read MaddAddam because my boyfriend gave it to me as a gift and it would horrible not to ever read it.
8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up an object, partially hidden in the snow. It is the Gravediggers Handbook, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
Sometimes I still can’t believe I haven’t read this yet! I love Zusak’s The Messenger and even Fighting Ruben Woolf, but alas… this is a novel in a desperate need to go on my ‘read’ list :).
9. Solitaire by Alice Oseman
In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.
My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.
Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.
I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.
I really don’t.
I really like the sound of this book. I’m hoping I’ll like it as much as I like Paper Towns or Eleanor and Park, but if I don’t, I think it’ll be a really good read.
10. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.
One of my favourite novels of all time is Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere. So when I found out she was publishing another book, well, I got as excited as any book-nerd should! I am not ashamed to say that once I get hold of this book I will most likely not leave my bed!!