When I first saw this week’s topic, I thought it was a bit strange since there is only one month left of the year. For some reason, I naturally interpreted “winter” as “December” since I’m so used to thinking of my TBR in terms of my reading challenges. To be fair, it’s a bit harder to think about which books I’m planning on reading for the rest of the winter because I haven’t decided which books from next year’s challenges I will be starting with. The best I could think of is a few books which I would like to read early on next year, but I can’t know for sure yet.
Throughout the year, I tried my best to spread out some of the books I was most excited for so I didn’t read them all at once at the beginning and leave myself stuck with prompts that I was dreading. I’m a little worried about the sheer number of books I have to read if I want to complete my challenges by the end of the year. Actually, it’s not so much the number but the average length of the books, since I seem to have left myself with a few longer books instead of my usual pattern of mostly YA by this time of year. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s really not such a big deal if I can’t. There’s no “challenge police” who are keeping track of what I read, but I would still love to reach my goal.
Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
1) When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
I’m actually a little surprised I put this book off for so long since it was one of the first books I decided I wanted to try this year. This book is a magical realism story, which is a genre I like but don’t reach for very often. It is about a girl named Miel who grows roses out of her wrist, who befriends Sam, whose life before moving to the town in which they live is mysterious. The Bonner sisters, rumoured to be witches, decide they want Miel’s roses and will do anything to make sure they get them. It’s a tricky plot to explain, especially when I have not read the book yet, but the cover art is stunning and I’ve seen such rave reviews for this one. I’m currently waiting for this one to come from the library, so hopefully it will be here soon!
2) Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino
I read one of Renee Carlino’s books last year and I really enjoyed it, so I immediately went online and looked at what else she had written. I was most intrigued by this book, which is about a writing instructor at a San Diego college who realizes that the plot of a bestselling novel from a mysterious new writer seems suspiciously similar to her own life, meaning that the writer must be the childhood friend she has not seen in more than 10 years. It sounded like such an interesting concept, and I tend to love books that have to do with writing and mysterious authors. This book sounds like it has a lot of potential. It is very unusual for me to pick up any “new adult” books, but this one sounded so interesting that I couldn’t resist giving it a chance.
3) It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Suigura
This book was not part of my original plan for the year, but I started to hear more about it as the year went on. Oddly enough, I remember hearing a lot of criticism for this book being extremely problematic, although when I search for those reviews now, I can’t find anything on the subject. Does anyone know what I’m talking about? This book is about a 16-year-old Japanese-American girl who starts to have feelings for her new female best friend after moving to California. If I’m honest, a big part of why this book caught my attention enough to prioritize it for this year was all the controversy surrounding it. I just couldn’t understand what could be that problematic about it, to the point where people were demanding a rewrite. I’m curious to try it for myself and see what all the hype was about.
4) The Killing Circle by Andrew Pyper
This book has been a bit of a strange one for me all year. Every time I look at the synopsis, I think it sounds so interesting and I want to read it, but it has never been the book I reach for either. This book is about a man named Patrick who joins a creative writing group in Toronto, where a serial killer has been murdering people and taunting the police with notes. Patrick discovers that one woman in his group seems to be writing stories that bear a strong resemblance to the real attacks. It sounds like a very interesting story, and as I mentioned above, I tend to like stories that deal with writing in some capacity. I’m hoping it will be as much of a fast-paced read as many of the reviews seem to say it is. I generally really enjoy thrillers, and this one sounds good!
5) The Widow by Fiona Barton
This is another thriller that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. This one is about a woman named Jean, whose husband has recently died. Jean’s husband was suspected of committing a crime, and now that he is gone, people want to hear her story and know the truth about her husband. Like many good thrillers, the synopsis offered by Goodreads is quite vague but it has been compared to The Girl on the Train, which I loved. I’m a little skeptical about this one because the reviews seem to be quite mixed, but that often seems to the be the case for many thrillers. I tend to like books that are very character-driven, and it seems like this one is a good candidate for that. I’ve also had a copy of this book at home for quite a long time and never picked it up, so it seems like it’s about time!
6) Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
When I read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah last year, it quickly became one of my favourites of the year. I loved Kristin Hannah’s writing style and I immediately went on to Goodreads to see what else she had written. I managed to get copies of several of Kristin Hannah’s books for free over the past year, so there are a few that have been sitting on my shelf for quite a while. I kept putting this one off because I was prioritizing books from the library over the ones I had at home, and because I wanted to make sure I had the time to devote to it since it was a longer book. This book is about two girls who meet and become best friends in eighth grade, following their friendship over the next three decades. Given how much I enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s writing style, I’m hoping to really love this one as well.
7) Our Dark Duet by V.E. Schwab
I read This Savage Song earlier this year, and immediately fell in love with the story and the writing style. I’d been hearing rave reviews about V.E. Schwab for well over a year but never managed to pick up any of her work. I have not yet decided if I’m going to try and squeeze this book in this year or pick it up early next year. Immediately after finishing This Savage Song, I knew that this was a series that I had to buy (and it’s very rare for me to actually buy books anymore). This book is about a world where monsters created by people’s sins have taken control, picking up several months after the previous book left off. I am very excited to find out what happens to Kate and August next. I can’t wait to read this one!
8) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I don’t know what it is about this book, but I just keep putting it off. I’ve had this book in mind for at least two years now, to the point where it’s just getting ridiculous that I haven’t read it yet. Each year, I include it as an option for my reading challenges, and each year I decide to pick up something else instead. I finally decided that enough is enough, and I will read this one by the end of the winter (if not the end of this year). The weirdest part is I actually do want to read this one, so it’s not like I’m putting it off because it lost my interest. It just always comes down to a lack of time or too many other books that I want to read first. It’s received such great reviews from the majority of the reviewers I follow, and it’s just getting silly now that I keep delaying it when I actually do want to give it a try.
9) The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
Aside from the fact that the title seems very appropriate for winter, the “Nordic noir” prompt was chosen as the theme of the month in my PopSugar 2018 challenge group. This book was one of the contenders for the book of the month for us to read as a group, but it ultimately lost out to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I want to read that one also, but I have so many other lengthy books on my list for next year that I decided to go for something a bit shorter to balance things out. This book is part of Nesbo’s Harry Hole series (which I haven’t read, hopefully that won’t matter too much) about a police investigator who is working on a case of a young boy whose mother has gone missing, and instead sees a snowman wearing his mother’s scarf in his front yard.It sounds very creepy!
10) Beartown by Fredrik Backman
If I’m honest, I’m not sure how much I’m looking forward to this one. I’ve always been a bit on the fence about it because although it’s received exceptional reviews, I’m not very interested in books that focus on sports. Unluckily for me, PopSugar decided to include that as a prompt for next year’s challenge, and this book was chosen as the book of the month for February in the Goodreads group. I’ve never been interested in sports and tend to find books that focus heavily on them hard to relate to, but this one seems like it might interest me. I’m glad the group chose a book I was considering anyway as the book of the month since it could be a good motivator to read it along with everyone else. I guess if nothing else, it means knocking out a prompt I’m not excited for early on in the year, which I’ve also found to be a pretty helpful challenge strategy.