For today’s instalment in ‘I loan too many books from the library that I will never end up reading,’ I want to talk about the books sitting on my bedside table staring at me and making me feel guilty.
There is a rather large stack of books sitting atop my bedside table threatening to fall over if I don’t make my way through them (or return them to the library or my bookshelf) as soon as possible. Sometimes I dream that I’ll be able to read them all in one afternoon, and then I try and get bored halfway through the very first one. It has to be incredibly good for me to read a book in one sitting. But I digress, my reading habits aren’t the point of this blog post, the point, is to run you through my TBR. I know I usually do a monthly wrap-up and TBR post, but I’m changing things up a little because I am feeling wild. Also I have a pretty nasty cold and it’s playing with my brain. Now, lets get into it!
Tender is the Night
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Did I pick this up at the library purely because the cover was fancy and yet minimal? Why, yes. Yes I did. Do I have a good track record with Mr. Fitz’s books? Why, no. No, I don’t.
According to the blurb, Tender is the Night, is not my kind of book at all, that means it chronicles the lives of married couple as they face life and romantic dramas. There doesn’t seem to be any magic involved, nor advanced technology threatening their lives, but I’m all about broadening my reading horizons. So, I’m going to give it a try. An earnest try. I promise.
Here, have a blurb:
Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick’s harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character, Tender Is the Night is lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.
Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner
If you’ve read a few of my blog posts before, you’ll know that I love a little book series that Amie Kaufman wrote with Jay Kristoff called The Illuminae Files. In fact, saying that I love it is like saying I love brownies, which is a gross understatement because my feelings for brownies transcend love. For that reason, I’m excited to read Unearthed. I’m roughly 20 pages in, and I really enjoyed what I read earlier on in the month. The only reason I put it down is because I really wanted to read another book in my bedside stack and so I convinced myself that reading them simultaneously was a good idea (plot twist: it was not). Unearthed promises to be some kind of Indiana Jones in space, and I am definitely here for that. Also, physically, it’s an incredible book. It just feels right, you know? It’s got this perfect heigh to width to thickness ratio and it’s the perfect amount of floppiness. Holding it makes me feel happy.
Here, have a blurb:
When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.
For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.
In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race..
Maria V. Snyder
This is the aforementioned book that I thought would be a swell idea to read simultaneously with Unearthed, as you can imagine I’m not very far through this one either. My bookmark (Mikaela! You actually have a bookmark?????) is sitting on page 65, so it’s safe to say that my simultaneous reading was neither equal nor successful. Like Unearthed this book is completely my cup of tea (although it’s nothing like Unearthed, sorry if I misled you). This YA fantasy novel is jam packed with magic (it practically calls my name) and it’s giving me major inspiration for my WIP (which is why I haven’t been reading a great deal).
Here, have a blurb:
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…
The Catcher in the Rye
J. D. Salinger
This title is very familiar to me, I know it’s a classic straight off the bat… but I couldn’t tell you what it’s about. It’s sitting right next to me, so I should read the blurb, but honestly I just picked it up because the cover was cute and I also feel like I should have read it by now… I also like how it feels in my hand. Not as good as Unearthed, which is this gorgeous floppy thing, but it’s got the height to width to thickness really down pat.
I really need a blurb, so have this one:
The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.
A Game of Thrones
George R. R. Martin
During every anatomy class I sat during University someone would undoubtedly bring up Game of Thrones (the TV show, of course) and even more so in every single dissection we ever did. “Oh do you watch Game of Thrones?” “No.” “Have you seen the new episode of Game of Thrones?” “No.” “Did you see what happened to Jon Snow?” “I don’t know who that is, and no.”
Having graduated two years ago, I feel like I should maybe try to find out what this Game of Thrones phenomenon is all about. I’m currently 118 pages in and I’m not sure I understand the hype? I also feel like that’s a bad thing to publicly say… I definitely need to power through the rest of the book (which is HUGE) before I make a judgement.
Here is the blurb:
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones
The Way of Kings
I love the fantasy genre but I’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson (nor George R. R. Martin, but hey, whatever), which I feel like I have to rectify because I love the fantasy genre and these people are big names there. The Way of Kings was the only book I could find in my library by Brandon Sanderson, and luckily it was the first in a series (I think) so it looks as though it will be my beginning with this author.
Here, have a blurb:
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.
One such war is about to swallow up a soldier, a brightlord and a young woman scholar.
Madness, Rack and Honey
Ah, my love. My one true love. You know how sometimes people ask you what one book you’d take if you had to be deserted on an island? I used to say a ‘How to Get off a Deserted Island’ or ‘How to Survive on a Deserted Island’ handbook because i’m both snarky and practical, but I understand that kind of defeats the purpose of the question. Although I’m still sorely tempted to use those answers, I’ll also swap it out with Madness, Rack and Honey on occasion, because if there was one book that I had to choose to read for the rest of forever, it would be this one. It’s so good it doesn’t even have a blurb, not on the book, nor on Goodreads. I don’t know how I’m supposed to summarise it if the author, editor or publishers couldn’t but I guess I’ll give it a shot. Madness, Rack and Honey is a collection of seven letters on
poetry the life experience of artists and creatives, namely poets. I love this book a lot. A lot, a lot.