Unfortunately for my book-buying habits, I don’t celebrate any winter holidays that involve much gift-giving. If I’m lucky, I’ll receive a couple of gift cards, and with the costs of books lately, they don’t go very far. Actually, for some reason I’ve received a ton of Starbucks gift cards this year, even though I don’t drink coffee! I love their frappucinos and some of their food though, so it’s still a great gift. I think this year was the first time I actually thought to put books on my wishlist for my birthday a couple of months ago, and I received quite a few of the books I was most looking forward to. It’s been quite a while since I bought any books for myself, so it wasn’t too hard to think of books that I’d love to receive as a gift.
Top 10 Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
1) Uprooted by Naomi Novik
One of the challenges I faced when trying to put together my birthday wishlist was whether to ask for new books that I was looking forward to trying (but might not like), or ask for a copy of favourites from the year. The list I came up with was a mix of both, and this one was one of the first books that came to mind once I decided to pick a couple of books that I’d already read and loved. This is a book that I can definitely see myself coming back to in the future and re-reading more than once. I generally tend to enjoy books that have this kind of fairy-tale atmosphere, and I’m so glad this one lived up to all the hype.
2) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I read this book last October and I absolutely loved it! I have to say that it was not exactly what I expected based on the synopsis, but I adored the writing style and the story overall. It always feels a bit weird to me to buy books that I’ve read not too long ago since it will be a while before I revisit them, but I would love to have a copy of this one on my shelves. It’s another book that I can see myself re-reading repeatedly. I was hesitant to add this to my birthday wishlist since I wasn’t sure how much preference I had about whether to get the hardcover or paperback. Sometimes I’m very picky about which version I want. Since this one ended up on my wishlist but I did not get one yet, it’s an easy pick as a book I’d still love to receive.
3) The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
This is yet another book that I’ve already read and thoroughly enjoyed, and I would love to have a copy of my own. This is by far one of the best books I’ve read in the past couple of years, which is saying something since I’ve read somewhere in the range of 350 books in the past three years alone. I went into this book not expecting very much, and ended up absolutely blown away! It was one of the rare books that really exceeded my expectations, and I would love to have a copy. I actually didn’t even think of adding this one to my wishlist until just now, and that’s something that needs to be changed right away!
4) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This is a tricky one to have on my wishlist because there’s a very specific edition of it that I want, but it does not seem to exist anymore. When I first read this book, I had a hardcover edition that included the illustrations, and (for lack of a better word) was a normal-sized book. Since then, I’ve only ever seen two versions in stores: a paperback edition with no pictures, or a (very expensive) hardcover with pictures but that is a weird shape/size. This is one of the few books that legitimately made me cry and I really want my own copy, but I’m adamant about having a copy with the illustrations since I think they add a lot to the impact of the story. I’ll settle for the awkwardly sized one if I have to.
5) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
I spent years collecting different classics, yet for some reason, this one was never on my radar at all. I finally read it toward the beginning of 2016, and it quickly became one of my favourite classics, on part with Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. It is one of the few classics (or at least ones that interest me) that I don’t own yet, and I would love to add it to my collection. My problem with buying classics is finding a decent edition. I originally collected the Wordsworth editions, which were available when I was a kid for about $3 each, and once those stopped existing, I switched over to Penguin. I’ve been looking for Rebecca, but haven’t found a good version yet. I’m kind of surprised I hadn’t read this one much earlier, since it was similar to many of the others that I enjoyed.
6) Heartless by Marissa Meyer
When I put together my birthday list, I wanted a mix of books that I’d already tried, and newer books that I was looking forward to. I finished the Lunar Chronicles series this year and absolutely loved it, so I’m really looking forward to trying more of Marissa Meyer’s books. I enjoy retellings, and especially those that tell familiar stories from different perspectives. The Queen of Hearts is such a weird character and I think her backstory could be really interesting. Given how well Marissa Meyer did with all of the fairy tales in the Lunar Chronicles, I’m expecting this one to be just as good. It was a Book of the Month for one of my Goodreads groups this year, but I couldn’t fit it in. It’s definitely top of my list for next year.
7) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
In a way, I have mixed feelings about this one. When I read Fangirl, I loved the snippets of Cath’s fanfiction that were interspersed throughout, and like many fans, I would love to read the full version. The only reason I’m hesitant about this one is because this one picks up essentially mid-series in the fictional Simon Snow series. It seems a bit weird to just jump straight into it midway through, although I would assume that Rainbow Rowell provided enough backstory in it to make it easy to follow. Plus, it’s similar to Harry Potter, and that’s enough of a selling point for me on its own!
8) The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater
One of my goals this year was to start several of the highly talked about fantasy series that I’d been hearing about all over blogs and vlog channels. I was so glad to find that all of these series really did live up to the hype! I’ve only read the first book so far, and it quickly became one of my favourites of the year. The characters were so compelling and seemed so real, and I fell in love right way with Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style. I’ve avoided her books for a while since I’d only heard of her Shiver series, which involves werewolves. It seemed too Twilight-esque, but given when I know now about her writing, I might be willing to try that one too. The Raven Boys grabbed my attention right away, I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
9) A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
This is another series that I actively avoided for a long time because I didn’t think it would interest me much. The more reviews I heard for it, the more it seemed like I was missing out on something. I’ll admit that when I first started the book, I wasn’t quite convinced that it lived up to all the hype, but the further in I got (as in, closer to where Rhysand became a major player), the more I got into it. By the end of the first book, I was hooked and looking forward to reading the rest. I’d love to receive this series as a gift to see if the other two books hold up to all the hype surrounding it. I’d especially love to find out more about Rhysand and the other Courts.
10) Red Queen collection by Victora Aveyard
This may have been the series that I was most worried to try since the reviews for it have been so mixed. I was nervous to try it after seeing so many people complaining that it was nothing unique, and came across as a mix of other dystopian series. While I can see where these complaints might come from, I was drawn in by the writing style and I thought the story was great even if it was not the most unique. Ideally, I would love to receive a set of the entire series as a collection, but the version pictured here that has the first two books and the two “between-the-number” books would be a great start as well. I’m looking forward to reading more of this one.
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