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TSS: Summer Reading

tssbadge1I love summer. It is by far my favorite season. There’s just so much to love about it; sunshine right into the evening, flowers, warmth, greenery everywhere, holidays and weekends away (not this year, but most of them). It’s all about the endless possibility that nice enough weather brings. I like wearing dresses and t-shirts without thinking I’m going to be too cold or I need a jacket.

In addition, I love the heat, more so since I live in a country now which doesn’t actually get that hot. I’m the one who actually enjoys the heat inside a car that’s been parked for a while, who takes every opportunity to sit in the sun (within reason, I don’t like sunburn), and who delights in opening all of the windows in the house to let all the fresh air in. I love especially going home for a visit and feeling the humidity and heat in the air around me as soon as I step out of a plane; I’m sure this is at least partly because we have modern wonders like air conditioning, so it’s never endless, but I’m just happier when I’m slightly too warm.

Then there’s the fact that as a child summer meant almost limitless freedom; for me, it was hours and hours of reading and no real responsibility. Now that I’m an adult and and work full-time, this is no longer the case, but I think summer still retains some of that feeling of freedom. And that means it’s fun to think about which books I want to read this summer and always makes for a good excuse to pull together a pile of all of those books I wish I could just read now.

Here’s what I’m looking at:

summer reading 2014

  • The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan – I read A Natural History of Dragons back in March and loved it. It was just the sort of book I love to read and completely fulfilled the expectations I had of it (which were honestly pretty high). I’ve been looking forward to the sequel ever since and so I picked it up on my last trip to Forbidden Planet in London. Hoping to get to it soon.
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – I don’t know much about this book except for the fact that I want to read it! It’s been gaining rave reviews all over the place and I feel I’ve had it in my TBR for too long already.
  • Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire – I buy pretty much everything Seanan McGuire writes (in actual fact, I do think I own every book she’s published). I’ve so enjoyed all of her books, especially the October Daye series, that it’s always worth giving the next one a shot.
  • A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie – I loved the first book I read by Kamila Shamsie and I’m really looking forward to this.
  • A Darkling Sea by James Cambias – My craving for science fiction has not gone away in the slightest and I’ve had this space opera on my list since I first heard it existed. I had intended to get it last time I went to the United States but actually couldn’t find it anywhere. I was delighted to find it in Forbidden Planet at the same time I bought The Tropic of Serpents and it goes straight into the immediate TBR.
  • Skin Game by Jim Butcher – The Dresden Files are awesome. I have a whole shelf full and there was no question I’d be buying this as soon as it came out. I suspect I’ll get to this sooner rather than later.
  • Hild by Nicola Griffith – The only historical fiction book on my pile, this promises to be an amazing read set in 7th century England around St Hilda of Whitby, starting with her youth in what is now northern England. Very much looking forward to this.

What are you looking forward to reading this summer?

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May 2014 Reading Wrap-Up

For me, May 2014 was a slow reading month, but in all good ways. I spent the first 10 days visiting my parents in the United States, which naturally meant that I didn’t have as much time as I normally would to read (although you might expect the opposite). By the time I’d got back, one of my friends had started work at my current company, so I got a commuting buddy – less time to read on the train, although company I am certainly happy about having. It also looks like we’re going to start driving to work, which eliminates that commuting time altogether. And then I got completely obsessed with Veronica Mars and spent every free hour for the last few weeks watching the show.

Speaking of Veronica Mars, I can’t believe I missed it when it was actually on TV. I think the first season is among my favorite seasons of television ever now. I’m in the middle of the third season now and will probably finish that and the movie this month.

We spent the last weekend of May in London, which was really lovely. Even the weather managed to be wonderful, staying in the low 70’s and sunny most of the time. We went to see the Viking exhibit (a real Viking ship!) and the Ancient Lives exhibit in the British Museum. Naturally, my favorite was the Vikings, while Keith preferred the mummies, but both were really, really interesting. I also brought my husband to his first Shakespeare play at the Globe and we went to Hampton Court Palace for the first time.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Learning how to be mostly vegetarian is also consuming some time (thank you so much for all of the suggestions!) as I’ve been experimenting with different types of cooking and ingredients, like tofu and lentils. So far, I’ve been relatively pleased with what I’ve managed to create, but there has been quite a bit of recipe following as I try and figure out what to do on my own.

There was also the reading slump that I mentioned last time I actually managed to blog.

So what did I actually read?

  • Heart of Steel, Meljean Brook
  • The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater
  • Indexing, Seanan McGuire
  • How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days, Laura Lee Guhrke
  • Level 2, Lenore Appelhans
  • Banished, Liz de Jager
  • The King Must Die, Mary Renault

Looking at that list, I can see why I felt fairly uninspired by reading in May. For once, a favorite choice is easy; The Dream Thieves stands out immediately, as did its predecessor, The Raven Boys. I loved those books. Everything else on the list was mostly okay, but nothing stands out.

The list is also distinctly not multicultural; all of the authors are white women (as far as I can tell, anyway) and only one book is set elsewhere in the real world, which is The King Must Die. I’m definitely not hitting my goals here and will need to do my best over the rest of the summer.

How did your May go?

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The Sunday Salon on Bank Holiday Monday

tssbadge1Apologies for the long, unexpected break from blogging! I’ve spent very little time on the computer in the last three weeks; we went to visit my parents on the 1st of May and stayed for 10 days, during which time I pretty much didn’t touch a keyboard (although I meant to). We have now been back for 2 weeks, but my free time has unexpectedly been consumed by starting to watch Veronica Mars and randomly getting back into crochet, as I’ve made two little toys in the space of that time as well. I’ve also been handling most of the cooking and general chores as my husband has had to spend quite a bit of time on some coursework in addition to his normal full-time job.

This is made a bit more complicated by the fact that we’ve turned mostly pescatarian for general health reasons in the last couple of weeks. I’d like to be closer to entirely vegetarian but fish is allowed as a backup at least a couple of times a week. I actually tried to be a vegetarian for a while when I was a teenager but went back – I don’t remember why I stopped, but probably because it made my mom’s life too difficult. It is important now for various reasons for my own health and I’m more or less forcing it on my husband when we’re eating together too. I’m allowing myself exceptions while eating out or a guest at other people’s houses, but in my own we’re going meat free. If you have any amazing vegetarian recipes or any great resources online / in print, please send them my way, as I’m now trying to rebuild my menus.

Excuses aside, I’ve also been having a week-long reading slump, which is pretty unusual for me. I think I’m actually reading five books and have paused in all of them for various reasons:

  • The King Must Die by Mary Renault – I’ve actually heard a lot of really good things about Mary Renault and this book about Theseus seemed like a good place to start. I’ve had it for ages, so it would satisfy one of my once-a-month goals, too. I’ve really struggled to get into it; I know nothing about Theseus and Renault’s writing seems old-fashioned to me and hard to get into. I’m just not interested enough in the story to power through. I’ve only got about 100 pages left so I probably will finish it, but I will probably give away the other of her books that I have.
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather – For some reason I started a book I thought would be meh while I was reading the above meh book. Partly because I needed another book I’d owned for ages and partly because I thought a different style of book would work better. Wrong. I have tried reading other books by Willa Cather and haven’t liked them, but I was much younger. Turns out things haven’t changed for me.
  • Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia by Christopher Clark – Okay, this one is good, it’s just somewhat dense non-fiction so takes a bit longer to read. German history has turned into an interest of mine and the small fraction of this book that I’ve read so far has been great.
  • Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep – Accidentally started reading book 9 instead of book 8 in the series. Why is it so hard to label a book with what number of the series it is? -_- I read about 50 pages before I got to the catch-up part of the backstory that I didn’t recognize. Now need to both acquire book 8 and read it.
  • Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw – And I started reading this because my husband read it and insisted that I read it so much that he emailed it to my Kindle (Humble e-book bundles are wonderful things) and asked every time I was reading whether I’d started it yet. I gave in.

And that’s all the books I’m reading! I hope to finish at least one or two this week because I’m feeling a bit lost with all of them floating around. Fortunately today is Bank Holiday Monday so I’ve not only found time to finish this post, but I also might have time to read for an hour or two. Let’s hope that works. If I’ve missed anything in the last 3 weeks, I’d love it if you let me know, as catching up on blogs is also a daunting prospect.

I hope May and the real start of spring has been enjoyable for all of you!

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Currently: 20.04.14, or, Happy Easter!

tssbadge1Time // Sunday evening, 18:45

Place // My desk

Eating // Nothing just now – earlier, some rosemary and olive bread from the market. Bread is my weakness. There may also have been a salted caramel brownie.

Drinking // A glass of water

Reading // Just like last time I did one of these posts, I’m actually between books – the space in which I fit blogging, these days. Earlier today I finished The Dynamite Room by Jason Hewitt. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. If anything, it was a bit too literary for me, and I never really felt pulled back to it when I wasn’t reading. In contrast, a couple of days ago I finished A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and did absolutely love it – so still plenty of amazing reading going on. I’m not sure what to read next. I have Longbourn by Jo Baker up next on the immediate TBR pile, but I’m not sure it’s the one for my mood just now. I think I might make a Read-a-thon pile instead and see what catches my eye as I’m pulling books from the shelves.

Watching // I finished watching the second season of Call the Midwife the day before yesterday and immediately longed for the third! Unfortunately, all stores which might sell the DVDs are closed for Easter Sunday, so I have to wait a little bit longer to get my hands on it. We also went to see The Amazing Spiderman 2 in cinemas yesterday, which was okay. Not much else to say about it to be honest, I probably wouldn’t watch it again but it wasn’t a bad film.

Cooking // Amazingly, I’ve been doing a ton of cooking over the last week and a bit. It’s completely thanks to two things – Keith and I have been doing the Insanity workout for the last two weeks, which has been inspiring us to eat better, and the fact that we bought one of the Hairy Dieters’ cookbooks. The Hairy Bikers are a couple of British cooks who have made loads of TV shows and generally go off on their motorbikes to exotic locations and cook delicious-looking food. We became interested in their recipes after a friend cooked us an amazing beef curry and recently these two decided to go on a health kick and publish a couple of cookbooks, as well as make a TV show. These are perfect for doing with Insanity – they’re calorie counted to about the right amount of calories and actually are pretty healthy, easy to cook, and taste really nice. I find that cookbooks often contain elaborate recipes that don’t fit in too well with normal life and this cookbook so far has really been the exception. The recipes have a few more fresh ingredients than I might normally buy, but all the food is stuff we’ll actually eat pretty happily and has turned out well. So far, we’ve had a chicken pot pie, chicken bake, and fajitas, and made a couple of different cooked breakfasts.

Learning // Not actually learning much at present, which sounds pretty bad. I’ve been pouring effort into work and then doing the Insanity workout almost every day for the last two weeks. My brain is a little bit fried. I’m hoping, as usual, that things let up before too long.

Gaming // Nothing here either! As above. I haven’t been prioritising any of the games I want to play. Perhaps another time.

Loving/Hating // Still loving the coming of spring. It feels like new flowers spring up every week, which is just what I need on weekends. It’s also been surprisingly sunny, though not really warm enough for my tastes yet. Struggling with work at present – I wouldn’t necessarily say I hate it, but I’m not anticipating the return on Tuesday. Trying not to think about it until I’m there, and hoping that this week is the end and I can go back to feeling things aren’t too bad.

Anticipating // We’re going to see my parents and taking a long weekend trip to London in May – it’s going to be a busy month but in the best ways. And, next weekend, the Read-a-thon! I’m excited to participate and hope I do the event a bit more justice this time.

Credit goes to Kim for the Currently format!

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The Belated March Wrap-Up

tssbadge1Good bye, first quarter of 2014! I have been so happy to see most of the back of this winter; the daffodils out have been making me really happy over recent weeks and just this last weekend we started spotting a greater variety of flowers and buds on the trees. It’s my allergy season, but this year I genuinely don’t care. I’ll sniffle happily outside if we’re heading towards summer.

As with a lot of months these days, March seemed to slip through my grasp. Suddenly it’s April, and we’re already nearly halfway through the month. How did that even happen?

I read a lot in March. I also went a little bit overboard with the book buying (probably my most egregious sin was buying six books in Forbidden Planet while a little bit tipsy. I guess if my worst crime while tipsy is going into a store full of books and buying too many, I probably don’t have much to worry about), which probably spurred me to read more than I ordinarily would have. I also appear to have gone on a mini fantasy binge in the middle towards the end of the month.

So, to books:

Fiction

  • The Arrow of Sherwood, Lauren Johnson
  • Empress, Shan Sa
  • A Dance with Dragons: Part 1, George R.R. Martin
  • One Night in Winter, Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • Secrets of the Demon, Diana Rowland
  • The Chalice, Nancy Bilyeau
  • Night Broken, Patricia Briggs
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black
  • A Tangle of Magicks, Stephanie Burgis
  • The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Promise of Blood, Brian McClellan
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
  • Panic, Lauren Oliver
  • A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan

Non-Fiction

So yeah, that whole writing about every book I read again thing? It really isn’t happening. I’m a bit disappointed in myself, but at the same time, I have a lot to write about if I can dig some motivation up from somewhere.

Fortunately, I am still accomplishing those reading goals I set out in the beginning of the year. One book by an author of colour, which was Empress, and One Night in Winter is set in Russia. I also acquired Empress in 2008, so it satisfies my other condition of reading books bought pre-2013. I need to get better at that, though; all the rest of the books came from 2013 and 2014. I actually could get better at all of the goals, but I had a rough second half of the month, so I’ll let myself off a little.

Over the rest of April, I would hope that I’ll be able to get a few more posts going; I’ve got a lot of great books to review and I would like to re-start some mini reviews. I’ve also, believe it or not, had several post ideas going in my head, but whether or not they will make it to the blog is another question altogether. That said, it’s a four day weekend coming up, and I am really hoping to draft up some posts and schedule them out. We’ll see!

How did your March go?

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TSS: Currently, 30.03.14

tssbadge1Time // Late Sunday afternoon, 17:15

Place // Same desk as always

Eating // We’ll be having a beef rogan josh for dinner – an experiment from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals

Drinking // Just water at the moment

Reading // I’m not reading anything right now. I finished Panic by Lauren Oliver this afternoon and Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan yesterday. I’m pondering what to nominate for the Hugos and still not firm on what to choose. I’m going to have to pick something eventually, there’s just one day left. No idea what I’m going to read next. Kingmaker by Toby Clements is next up on the TBR pile, but I’m not sure I’m in the mood for the Wars of the Roses. I might keep my head in fantasy while I ride out the next couple of stressful weeks.

Watching // Still watching a crazy number of shows and mostly just seem interested in making it worse for myself! We seem to be sticking with Red Dwarf right now and Breaking Bad when there’s more time in the evenings. I started watching Call the Midwife for when my husband is too busy with his final university course to watch with me. He’s never a huge fan of historical dramas, but that doesn’t mean I have to miss out.

Cooking // I’ve been cooking a little bit. As mentioned above, I’m attempting a Jamie Oliver 15 minute meal later on tonight, and am trying to get back into it. Some, at least.

Learning // Back to the crocheting. I finished this interesting-looking frog just yesterday:

crochet frog

He’s not perfect, primarily because I ran out of the light green yarn before I could make his eyes, but it’s been a while since I actually finished a crochet project, so I’m just happy to have one done.

Gaming // I’m not sure I’ve even touched a game since the last time I played Halo 3 weeks ago. Oh, I tell a lie – I have played a little bit of Final Fantasy XIII, just to try and finish that game once and for all. With 2 sequels it can’t be that dreadful.

Loving/Hating // Loving the daffodils, the occasional nice days, the sunshine. I’ve been doing the 100 Happy Days challenge for the last week and making more of an effort to find things that make me happy. It’s working, a little, although at the same time I worry that it means I’m giving off this false message of perfect happiness to the social media world. Definitely not true. It’s reminding myself that happiness is a choice; that I can focus on the lovely things that make life wonderful and ignore everything that is getting me stressed and depressed. Ignore maybe isn’t the right word, but I have a bad habit of remaining worried and stressed about things that I either can’t help or can’t do anything about at a given time.

Anticipating // The end of the current round of stress at work. I had a moment two weeks ago when I thought things weren’t too bad and the universe seems to have decided to punish me for it. I want to go back to thinking things are not too bad. I’m hoping that time will come in a couple of weeks, but we’ll see.

Credit goes to Kim for the Currently format!

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TSS // Currently 09.03.14

tssbadge1Time // Sunday evening, 19:08

Place // The usual desk

Eating // Not much right now; I had a veggie pie earlier and will be having pulled pork for dinner.

Drinking // Copious amounts of tea to keep myself alert enough to get some work done

Reading // I’m currently in the middle of two books, the first half of A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin and One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore. The first is my commuting book on my Kindle. I’ve recently been tackling longer reads on the commute because I know I’ll make consistent progress while sitting on the train, although it took me a really long time to get into ADwD given how much I remember loving the previous books in the series. As for the latter, I’m about 150 pages in and completely hooked. I really want to know what’s going to happen to these arrested children in Stalinist Russia, and I hope it isn’t the worst.

Watching // We are watching too many shows right now thanks to our recent sign up to Netflix and its wealth of treasures. We discovered Sherlock quite recently and I have very happily jumped on the Benedict Cumberbatch bandwagon. We have just the last episode of season 3 left so please no spoilers. We also just recently started continuing with Breaking Bad and will then move on to House of Cards. When we don’t have much time, we’re re-watching Red Dwarf. 

Cooking // I’ve still not been getting on as well as I should have been with cooking this year. Maybe now that it’s lightening up in the evenings my motivation will come back. I’m still pinning recipes away so the desire to make delicious food hasn’t diminished, at least.

Learning // Not much to be honest. I’m considering investing in my first DSLR and getting better at photography. I did a bit of crafting towards the start of the year and re-taught myself how to knit, but I haven’t kept it up.

Gaming // In my new quest to get used to first-person shooters, I am playing the first Halo game on my Xbox. I can’t say I’m in love with it, but I must admit it’s helpful after a stressed day at work.

Loving/Hating // I love how warm it was today and the fact that daffodils are popping up! I can’t wait for summer; my husband says I’m wishing my life away, but I am so tired of being cold.

daffodils 2014

Mostly hating that it’s not really spring despite one lovely day. It’ll be cold again tomorrow.

Anticipating // Summer; visiting my parents in May; planning this year’s holiday (still not decided).

Credit goes to Kim for the Currently format!

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TSS: Good-bye February, Hello March

tssbadge1February did not hold much excitement over here – in fact, I felt like I was away from home a lot, given that we kicked off the month with a weekend visit to family and the month consisted of not one but two trips for work. Small ones, but time away from home nonetheless. I’m taking this weekend as an opportunity to relax, at least a bit, and recharge, although there is some work that I need to catch up on (isn’t there always?).

In reading terms, February started off slow, as I read two non-fiction books simultaneously. Things warmed up pretty soon, though, and in the middle of the month I rocketed through The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, reading two in a day and the third one in a day shortly afterwards. I can already tell you those were the standout books of the month.

As for the rest:

Fiction

  • Spilt Milk, Amanda Hodgkinson
  • The King’s Damsel, Kate Emerson
  • Cinder, Marissa Meyer
  • Scarlet, Marissa Meyer
  • Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale
  • The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Queen Jezebel, Jean Plaidy
  • Blood Kin, M.J. Scott
  • Gabriel’s Ghost, Linnea Sinclair
  • Cress, Marissa Meyer

Non-Fiction

  • Montaillou, Emmanuel La Roy Ladurie
  • Germania, Simon Winder

I managed to continue holding to my reading goals, although just barely; Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland is both by an author of color and set partly in India. Both of my non-fiction choices were set outside of the UK and US, and so was Queen Jezebel, which was set in France. I know Europe isn’t actually very far outside of my comfort zone, but it’s an improvement. I didn’t succeed in writing review this month, though. In fact, I hardly blogged at all.

Favorite of the Month

cinderscarletcress

Book of a Thousand Days should probably be in here too. I just devoured these books; they were the perfect reading experience for a month when I truly felt down in the dumps and stressed for a number of reasons. Really loved them and would highly recommend them.

Ahead for March

Primarily I’m hoping everything calms down a little. I’m also hoping to plan that holiday I mentioned. I need something to look forward to until the current malaise subsides! The increased light in the mornings and evenings is getting me there, bit by bit.

I’m also hoping to read:

  • Empress by Shan Sa (actually for real this month – it’s next on the pile!)
  • One Night in Winter, Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin
  • The Iron Kingdom, Christopher Clark

What’s on your schedule for March?

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TSS: What I’ve Been Up To

tssbadge11. Discovering why everyone I know is obsessed with Sherlock. I have managed, amazingly, to find a show that my husband and I both like, mostly because I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. This is a brilliant show – alternately funny and clever and suspenseful. We’ve got one episode left of series 2 and then it’s on to series 3. We’ve also been watching the old Star Trek movies for the first time, for me, and it’s kind of nice, as though I’m catching up on some of the history of science fiction.

2. Exercising (half-heartedly). We have been going out to eat more often last month and this month, mainly because we can without worrying for the first time in our married lives. I’m sure it will get old – in the meantime I’m working to try and get rid of calories by moving around more than usual, and enjoying the good fortune while it lasts.

3. Dreaming of this year’s holidays. I’m considering what seems like tons of options, although I’m trying to do it at a fairly low cost. I initially wanted Russia for our five year anniversary, coming up this autumn, but I also want to go properly and we’re trying to save money, so that’s probably out this year. I’ve been thinking of returning to Andalusia and going to Cordoba and Seville, or going to Sicily, or going to Greece, or Germany … there are too many choices even just within Europe and, while I want to get to them all, I also want to do so much of the world justice.

4. Trying to find some sort of motivation to get into something outside of my job – my life has gone much too far down the path of work, sleep, eat, occasionally read a book, repeat. I feel as though I never have any time, but the time I do have I tend to spend wondering what to do and deciding on which of my too many hobbies to actually invest time in. This is an ongoing problem, as I’ve alternately tried writing, crocheting and knitting, and gaming, with nothing really holding my interest. Winter blues, I hope – I’ve been seriously looking forward to spring and the prospect of weekends out and camping and historical sites.

5. Gaming, a little, as above. I’ve long had problems playing first person games, mainly due to what I think is some form of motion sickness, especially when I’m playing up close on my PC. But there are so many amazing games and I don’t like that I’m restricted based on that, so I’ve decided to work on acclimatizing myself by playing them in short bursts. Currently working on Bioshock in half hour segments, and playing Castlevania on my PC whenever I feel like gaming otherwise.

6. Reading plenty but, sadly, not blogging. I’ve been having plenty of blogging ideas and don’t really want to stop, but the barrier for actually posting them seems to rise the longer I spent not posting. I’ve read plenty of interesting things, and sometimes even fall back into the old habit of thinking what I’ll write as I’m reading, but then I don’t actually write whatever it is. Work in progress, just like number 4.

How’s February treating you?

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TSS: The Annual Christmas TBR Explosion

tssbadge1Because my birthday and Christmas are so close together, I’ve always had a glorious few weeks where my to be read pile explodes and I find myself possessing books I’ve craved all year long. Most people I know well enough to exchange gifts with understand that pretty much all I want is books, so I’m lucky enough to receive books as gifts; this year I also … um … bought myself several as a birthday present. Kind of a celebration on lifting the TBR ban.

On top of this wonderful yearly addition to the physical TBR pile, Amazon also tend to put Kindle ebooks on sale around the New Year. This naturally means that I jump on the opportunity to possess wishlisted books at the ridiculously small price of 99p or £1.99; since Christmas I’ve acquired over 20 ebooks.

First, though, the physical books:

IMG_0815

I’m particularly excited about Dangerous Women, although I think it will take me a while to read as it’s much too big to take with me on the train. But I’m actually looking forward to all these books, including the out-of-print Dreamsnake, one of the few remaining Hugo and Nebula award winners written by a woman that I haven’t read yet (the other one is Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold which I have somewhere).  The Raven Boys comes as a recommendation from Ana and Jodie. I think I also read about Biting the Sun on a blog but can’t actually remember where.

Then, there were the ebooks. I can’t take a picture of these, but I can list them:

  • The Grass is Singing, Doris Lessing
  • The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
  • The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
  • The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • First Grave on the Right, Charley Davidson
  • Cinder, Marissa Meyer
  • Heart of Steel, Meljean Brook
  • The Countess Conspiracy, Courtney Milan
  • Across the Universe, Beth Revis
  • The Valley of Amazement, Amy Tan
  • One Summer: America 1927, Bill Bryson
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
  • Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
  • We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo
  • Harvest, Jim Crace
  • Life after Life, Kate Atkinson
  • The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton
  • Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914, Max Hastings
  • Instructions for a Heatwave, Maggie O’Farrell
  • Goddess with a Blade, Lauren Dane

I’ve actually read three of these already – We Need New Names (fulfilling one of my monthly goals) and Life after Life, both of which I loved. The third was A Countess Conspiracy and above I’ve linked to my mini review post in which I discuss it.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, the pace of book acquisition has slowed down since then – otherwise I think I’d never catch up! Which of these do you think I should read next?

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