Christmas Haul 2013

And so this is Christmas.
And what have you done?

Well, I have been unwrapping books and I like that. I love receiving books as gifts – especially when it’s books I have been wishing for for a long time. So here’s my Christmas Haul!

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  • Octavia Butler: Kindred. A sci-fi novel dealing with slavery. How could I resist that? Besides, everyone who has read this one, has been raving about it and it sounds really intriguing. A modern black woman is taken from her time and transported back to the South because of a drowning white boy. She’s apparently his nanny – and a slave! I’m so looking forward to reading about how a modern black woman deals with living in this time.
  • Khaled Hosseini: And the Mountains Echoed. I have only read The Kite Runner but it was so good and I have been regretting that I haven’t bought A Thousand Splendid Suns yet. I was hoping that it would become available together with Hosseini’s new book, but so far, no such luck. Still, I have the new one and it’s supposed to be wonderful as well so I will probably love it!
  • Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence. This year’s Christmas Classic (the classic, my boyfriend gifts me for Christmas) is Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. I am so looking forward to reading it and I hope I like it because I have received  the Norton Critical Edition so essays about the book takes up more pages than the actual novel itself in this edition! This will be my first Edith Wharton novel and I have so high hopes for both this novel as well as her other novels.

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  • Stephen King: Doctor Sleep. I have been eagerly awaiting this novel. I love The Shining, both the book and the movie, and when I heard that King was writing a sequel, I of course needed to get it. And here it is, looking all pretty with a cat on it’s cover?! My boyfriend also wanted to get me The Shining but apparently it’s sold out and we have to wait for a new edition. I really want to read them back to back so I think I’m going to wait with this one until I get The Shining.
  • Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch. Donna Tartt is a wonderful author and I have loved both The Secret History and The Little Friend. I have been waiting for this one for a couple of years and it’s finally here and looking big and amazing and I hope to get around to this one really soon.
  • Ib Michael: Himlen brændte. (The sky burned) Years ago, I attended a lecture about one of the biggest natural disasters in the history of the earth. On June 30th, 1908, there was an explosion in Tunguska in Siberia and it completely destroyed a huge area of the tundra. And the explosion is still a mystery. I have fascinated by this ever since and when I saw a novel about this event, I had to have it.

And finally, the debut novel of Selma Lagerlöf: Gösta Berlings Saga. I got a pretty old edition of this book, first published in 1891. I have never read Selma Lagerlöf and only know her as the author of Niels Holgersens underbare res a venom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Niels). I don’t know what this one is about but I’m looking forward to getting to know more of Lagerlöf’s writing.

So this was my haul this year. Some amazing books and I’m really looking forward to reading them! How was your Christmas? Did you receive any books or other great gifts? I also got some cool plates and a backpack and the kids had a wonderful time (although we now have two Furbys in the house…!) so this was a great Christmas!

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Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

toptentuesday-1The tree is is ready, reindeer food has been thrown in the garden and cookies and chocolate are waiting for Santa next to the tree. We are ready for him to show up and decorate our tree and put our presents beneath the tree.
Because that’s our tradition in our home. Santa decorates our tree and brings the presents while we sleep. The family arrive at 3 PM and then we eat, sing Christmas carols while walking around the tree and then we exchange gifts at about 6 PM or so – and then for the rest of the evening…
So this is the list of the books I hope to find tonight.
As always, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

  1. Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence. Each year, my boyfriend gifts me a Classic which I then read sometime before next Christmas. This Christmas Classic is one of our traditions and Iove it. This year I have wished for my first Edith Wharton. Previous Christmas Classics have included War and PeaceLes Misérables and Madame Bovary.
  2. Stephen King: The Shinging & Doctor Sleep. I love The Shining but I don’t own it and with it’s sequel being published this year, of course I have high hopes to find these two under the tree.
  3. Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch. I love Donna Tartt’s books. She takes forever to write them but they are worth the wait. And The Goldfinch sounds so wonderful, I can hardly contain myself. So, so want!
  4. Kahled Hosseini: And the Mountains Echoed. Third novel from Hosseini. Another of this year’s big books. I own, have read and loved The Kite Runner and I want to read both this one and the previous one, A Thousand Splendid Suns.
  5. Walter Moers and John Brownjohn: The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear (Zamonia #1). Because of SJ, I seriously hope to get this one. If not, I have to order it for myself. The fourth book in this series is called The City of Dreaming Booksfor crying out loud. I have to read these!!!
  6. Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood & MaddAddam. (See how I managed to make this a very long Top Ten?) I want to explore Margaret Atwood’s books. That was actually one of my goals for this year and I haven’t done so… But I really want to read this trilogy so fingers crossed that it will be there and I can dig into it before New Years!
  7. Karl Ove Knausgaard: My Struggle. I have been postponing reading these – or maybe rather trying to avoid reading them. But I keep hearing about how amazing this series are so I promise to stop trying to avoid them and instead embrace them. It’s sort of a modern Proust – so what’s not to like? (says the girl who’ve read one book of the 14 books Danish translation…!)
  8. Féliz J. Palma: The Map of the Sky. I loved The Map of Time. I keep saying it was a wild ride and it was and I want more books that are like that so I’m hoping the sequel will be too.
  9. Andrea J. Buchanan (ed.): It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters
    and
  10. Peggy Orenstein: Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Both of these books for pretty much the same reason. I have girls, two of them in fact, and I really want them to grow up to be independent, strong and with confidence in their own abilities. And since I am a book person, of course I read books about raising kids, raising girls.

(I actually have more wishes but I forced myself to stick with ten – or almost sticking to ten…)
Have a very Merry and beautiful Christmas – hopefully filled with books (and family, love, laughter and all that stuff, but books too!)

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Top ten auto-buy authors

I have been slacking off on participating in the Top Ten so far this year, partly because of lack of time and partly because I’ve found some of the topics really hard to answer, some of them because they were not really relevant for the types of books I read. But I think it is fun to participate and I’m trying to get back in the game with this week’s theme, authors you automatically buy whenever they publish something new.

As always, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

  1. John Irving. I love John Irving’s books. I always buy him. I have almost everything he’s published, only lacking his movie memoir, two of his early books and a short story collection. I haven’t read all his works yet because I’m savoring them and I can’t imagine having no new Irving novels to read. He is a definite auto-buy author!
  2. Haruki Murakami. Murakami is another of my favorite authors where I have a no-questions-asked policy and just buy whatever he writes. I love both his magical realism books and the realistic ones – it’s just all good.
  3. Donna Tartt. I’m not going broke it anything by promising to auto-buy all if Donna Tartt’s future books. So far, she has published two (both of which are in my collection) and has one coming out this year. She published her first book back in 1992 so that’s 3 books in 21 years. I’ve really loved her first two novels so I’m so so excited about a third. Definitely a must-buy!
  4. Joyce Carol Oates. I really try to buy all Joyce Carol Oates’ books when they come out or soon after but it is so hard when we’re talking about a so extremely fast-writing author as Oates. She usually has more than one book coming out each year so I mostly limit myself to her novels. And a novelette. And her diaries. Ideally, I want to own everything she has written but … It’s close to impossible!
  5. Stephen King. So here we have another prolific writer whom I am desperately trying to keep up with. Again, I’m only buying the novels although I am reconsidering this because King writes excellent short stories. But yeah, I buy him even though he sometimes misses.
  6. Terry Pratchett. I buy the Discworld novels. I don’t buy the Discworld companion books and I haven’t (yet) bought any of his other novels or books. I don’t buy the books immediately after publication, though, since when I began buying them I could only get the paperbacks and so I have continued with this format. He never disappoints!
  7. Jonathan Franzen. After The Corrections, I’m buying Franzen’s novels. I loved The Corrections so so much. Again, this is not an author who is going to make me broke. He is not exactly a fast writer.
  8. Jeffrey Eugenides. I really liked Middlesex and so I have bought whatever he has published since. Which is one book, The Marriage Plot. So again, easy to promise to buy all his novels!
  9. Neil Gaiman. He can publish his grocery list for all I care. I’m buying! Even though he is a difficult author to have on the auto-buy list, since he writes in so many different genres and formats. Still, I am so looking forward to his next novel, I desperately want to get Chu’s Day, his children’s book, and translate it to my daughters and he’s also publishing a prologue to Sandman, the graphic novel series, this year, I think. I want it all!!! More, more, more!
  10. J.K. Rowling. I debated with myself whether I should put her on the list since I haven’t bought and have no intention of buying the various companion books to the Harry Potter series. Still, right now, I’m buying any novel she puts out there so on the list she goes.

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2013 is going to be a very, very good year!

So on top of all the good books coming out this year I’ve already  mentioned, there are a couple more. First of, it has finally been announced that this really is the year that Donna Tartt will publish a new book! The Goldfinch will be published in October and I’m so excited about it. It’s only her third book and the first two have been really good so I can hardly wait for this one to come out.

And I just saw yesterday on Facebook that Haruki Murakami has a new book coming out this year as well! I’m really hoping that it will be translated soon so the non-Japanese speaking among us can read it too! I love Murakami’s works so it is always great news when he has a new book out. I don’t know anything else about this but I am still looking so much forward to it.

dan-brown-to-investigate-dante-s-masterpiece-in-new-novel-infernoAnd of course – probably the biggest commercially but not the most interesting literary which is why I haven’t mentioned it before – Dan Brown too has a new book coming out. I liked the first two Robert Langdon books but I was so disappointed in the third one. Still, the third one is inspired by Dante’s Inferno and I love Inferno so I will want to read this one too. I don’t have high hopes though but I hope that he will have moved away from the formulaic writing and write an exciting thriller which doesn’t reflect badly upon Inferno.

So more new books to read. More good books to read. 2013 is going to be such a god year!

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Top Ten Books I Read In 2012

So I read quite a few good books this year, 42 so far and 11 of which I rated 5 stars. Of these, I’ve selected 10 and put together the list below. So it was quite easy to do. They are listed in an order reflecting only on the order I read them in, the last read mentioned first. These are all great books, if you haven’t read them, you should go do so now! As always, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

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  1. Elie Wiesel: Night. Wiesel’s short book about his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps, is almost beyond description. It’s a must read for anyone, simply put.
  2. Victor Hugo: Les Misérables. I haven’t gotten around to writing a review of this book yet but it still seems that I have been talking about it all over the place. Hugo can write about anything and he frequently steers off on a tangent to do just so. Still, this story about Jean Valjean and Colette is a wonderful book, it’s a classic and it’s worth the many pages and the huge amount of time, it takes to take.
  3. Mark Helprin: Winter’s Tale. I really like magical realism. This story of Beverly Penn and Peter Lake and Athansor set in a mythic and fictionalized New York City is written in the most beautiful and lyrical way and I just loved it. So much in fact, that I don’t dare to read another novel by Helprin because I’m afraid that it will not live up to this one.
  4. Koushun Takami: Battle Royale. In some ways, this is the Japanese version of The Hunger Games. A class of kids with weapons are set free on an island to shoot each other down until only one remains. This is much more violent than The Hunger Games and it’s such an exciting book. Pure entertainment.
  5. Jonathan Safran Foer: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. How does a boy handle loosing his father? How does he handle loosing him in the 9-11 attack? This is a wonderful story of a young boy dealing with this loss and at the same time, it’s an experimental novel using pictures and more to tell this story. Foer is an amazing writer and he writes so well and not only uses pictures to emphasize his story, but also paints pictures with his words. And in this way, he is telling Oscar Schell’s story as well as the story of his grandfather who survived the fire bombing of Dresden during World War II.
  6. Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White. So if everyone knew just how thrilling the classics can be, everyone would be reading them. And to get them doing so, everyone should be handed this one and told to go read it. When I read it, I just sat down and read and read and read, ignored everything around me to finish this novel to figure out what happened to Walter Hartright, Laura Fairlie, Marian Halcombe and the woman in white.
  7. Dan Simmons: Drood. On June 9, 1865, Dickens was in a train disaster that influenced him for the rest of his life. This is Simmons’ account of what happened. And it’s amazing and exhilarating and exciting and even when you’re done, you’re really not sure what happened. It was so good!
  8. Lionel Shriver: We Need To Talk About Kevin. I read this in the beginning of the year and … well, after what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it just became an even more important book. Everyone should read this. It tells the story of a mother whose son guns down several of his school mates. Is it nature or nurture who caused this to happen? If it’s nature, can you do something to prevent it from happening? I don’t want to get political here but really, everyone should read this!
  9. Donna Tartt: The Secret History. Richard Papen starts attenting college and taking Classics studies. The group of kids studying Classics studies consists of 5 other students and are taught by the charismatic Julian. But right from the beginning, you know that this group of friends kill one of their own and you’re eagerly reading on to find out why and how this happened. This is Donna Tartt’s first novel and it’s amazing! Much better than other books with a similar theme like Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics.
  10. Yiyun Li: The Vagrants. This is one of those novels that hurts you when you read it but which is worth the pain. It’s set in China in 1979 and it’s about the execution of a 28 years old woman and the consequences of this death. I’m fascinated by China and what happened in China after Mao came to power, after the Cultural Revolution and more. This is a debut novel and you should definitely read it now so you can say you were in almost from the beginning!

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Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013

So this week, the Top Ten Tuesday is looking forward. Which books are the most anticipated books for 2013? I remember doing such a list in January 2012 – and I don’t think that I knew that both Salman Rushdie, J.K. Rowling and many many more great authors would publish books this year. So there’s no guarantees that these ten are my most anticipated books for 2013 – but they are the most anticipated that I know of! As always, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and here is my list for this week.

  1. Neil Gaiman: The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I’m falling in love with Neil Gaiman. I have liked the The Sandman and Death graphic novels for years. I liked The Graveyard Book a lot. And I just loved Neverwhere. So I’m so looking forward to not only reading American Gods and the other books I have yet to get around to but also this new one, coming out in June.
  2. Stephen King: Dr. Sleep. This is the sequel to The Shining. Set about 20 years later, the protagonist of this book is the son from The Shining, Danny Torrance. Well, need I say more? It’s Stephen King for crying out loud. Definitely very anticipated!
  3. Donna Tartt. Yeah. This was on my list of most anticipated books of 2012 as well. I haven’t been able to find a title or a publication date so I don’t know if there’s any chance it will be coming out in 2013 but I’m keeping my fingers crossed since her first two books – The Secret History and The Little Friend – were both so good. 
  4. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Americanah. I absolutely loved Half of a Yellow Sun. It was such an amazing novel and I learned so much about the history of the Nigeria-Biafra war 1967-70 by reading it, a war that I didn’t even know existed before reading this book. I’ve been waiting for a new novel from her and it’s finally here!
  5. Khaled Hosseini: And the Mountains Echoed. I loved The Kite Runner! Again, such a great novel. I haven’t read A Thousand Splendid Suns yet but I have been told that it’s just as good. And now, finally, a new book from Hosseini, 10 years after The Kite Runner and 5 years after A Thousand Splendid Suns. I’m looking forward to this one too!
  6. Joyce Carol Oates: The Accursed. Of course there’s a new book out from Joyce Carol Oates. Nothing surprising there. And of course I’m anticipating it. Nothing surprising there either!
  7. Philip Pullman: The Book of Dust. A companion novel to the His Dark Materials trilogy. Count me in! I’m definitely looking forward to this one. Maybe I can squeeze in a reread of His Dark Materials before this one comes out? And maybe read Lyra’s Oxford too…
  8. Brandon Sanderson & Robert Jordan: A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time #14). Finally. The last book in the Wheel of Time series. Will it come out? Will this series finally be finished? It has been dragging out for so long that I have to see it before I believe it and even though I have only made it through the first 4 novels in the series, this is one of my most anticipated novels, simply because I don’t believe it will actually be published but that the Wheel of Time curse will stop it instead…
  9. Diana Gabaldon: Written in my own heart’s blood (Outlander # 8). I’m slowly getting into this series. I have really liked both Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber so even though I’m so behind on reading this series and therefore can’t pay too much attention to the publication of new books in the series, I’m still anticipating this one.
  10. Adrian Tchaikovsky: War Master’s Gate  (Shadows of the Apt #9). I’ve read the first 4 of this series and I’m so fascinated by the world, Tchaikovsky has created. I own 6 of these and I hope to get some time to read more of this series next year.

I couldn’t find anything about any Terry Pratchett books coming out in 2013 but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

And I cheated and here’s a list of some other books I’m also interested in but not quite as much as those mentioned above:

  • Patrick Rothfuss: The Doors of Stone (Kingkiller Chronicles #3)
  • Marisha Pessl: Night Film
  • Charlaine Harris: Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13)
  • Gail Carriger: Prudence (The Parasol Protectorate Abroad)
  • Jim C. Hines: Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris #2)
  • Paolo Bacigalupi: Water Knife
  • Freda Warrington: Grail of the Summer Stars (Aetherial Tales #3)

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January 2012 – Monthly Wrap Up

So January is over and it’s been a good month. Especially with regard to reading. My goal for this year was to read 52 books and in January, I’ve read 5 books which means that I’m not only on track – but ahead of the game.

Allmost all of last year, each day I logged into Goodreads I was greeted by a sign telling me how many books I was behind so to actually be ahead, is really nice.

The year started really well with 3 5-stars reads – then a very solid 4-stars read and then a book, that was a bit of a disappointment.

  1. Yiyun Li: The Vagrants. A wonderful book with a very gripping rendering of life in China in 1979. Heart-breaking. 5 stars.
  2. Donna Tartt: The Secret History. A very intelligent book about a group of very intelligent Classics students who re-enact a Bacchanal with – in their view – troubling consequences. 5 stars.
  3. Lionel Shriver: We Need to Talk About Kevin. A very disturbing read where a mother in letters try to come to terms with her son being a high-school killer. Definitely not a book for new mothers! 5 stars.
  4. Stephen King: 11.22.63. King’s take on the JFK assassination. A really great time-travelling book where King explores the America of the late 50s-early 60s. Very compelling read. 4 stars.
  5. Chan Koonchung: The Fat Years. A book that could have been so much but failed to live up to it’s potential. Still inspiring a lot of thoughts though. 3 stars.

I’ve read 2200 pages – the longest book this month was Stephen King’s 11.22.63 checking in at 740 pages. On top of that I’ve read one e-book: The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung.

I’m also on track with challenges, I think. I’ve read 4 books for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge where I’ve signed up for 25.  And I’m doing even better on the Chunkster Reading Challenge. I am committed to read 6 chunksters and I’ve already read 3.

See more on my challenge page.

For February, I first of all want to finish Terry Pratchett: Unseen Academicals. But then I really want to spend some time reading Charles Dickens since on February 7th, it’s the 200 years anniversary for his birth as well as watching some Dickens related movies and TV. But more on that later.

Donna Tartt: The Secret History (Review)

So this is my second novel by Donna Tartt – and her first novel. And it’s an amazing first novel. Our main character, Richard Papen, starts attending Hampden College when he’s 19. Here, he starts taking Classics studies. Now at this college, Classics studies is only for the select few. In fact, the entire class consists of 5 other students – Henry, Francis, Bunny and the twins Camilla and Charles. And their professor, Julian, requires them to take all their classes with him – only in a few cases does he allow them to take classes with other professors. This means, that the Classics group becomes a little tight knit group of friends. Now the other 5 have known each other for a while and are for the most part very privileged kids and this is the group Richard tries to enter.

And he does succeed. To a certain extent. He becomes friends with them but still, he feels that they keep something hidden from him. When he finds out that they’ve had a bacchanal where they’ve accidentally killed a man, he is drawn even closer in – and finds out, that he wasn’t the only one left out.

In the very beginning of the book, in the prologue, we’re told that the group kills one of their own. They kill Bunny. The rest of the book is an investigation of the events that led to the murder – and what happens afterwards.

This is a mystery, an intellectual thriller. It’s a book about very privileged kids, not very lovable or charming, but you still end up somewhat caring about what happens to them. And you care a lot about what happens in the book. Each time I sat down to read just a little bit, I ended reading much further and for longer time than I intended. This is a page turner in it’s own way – especially after Bunny has died.

In a lot of ways this book is over the top – we have murders, suicides, drugs, incest, sex, alcoholism. Everything is exaggerated. But it reminds me of the Greek tragedies where everything too was so excessive. In a good way, I mean. I think the structure of this book can be viewed in the light of hubris, ate and nemesis – like any good Greek tragedy. For the first part we follow the characters’ lives. Their self-indulgences, their aloofness towards other students, their relationships with each other. And in a lot of ways, they’re really arrogant. It’s a tough group for Richard to get into because of this – but when he becomes a part of it, he becomes a part of the arrogance as well. Especially Henry, the leader of the group, is so superior in his intellect and knowledge that he hardly can avoid feeling superior to everyone else. But we all know, the gods punish hubris – and then the madness begins. They reenact a bacchanal, kill someone and that leads to the whole affair with Bunny. Also – the whole idea of them being able to have a bacchanal is pure hubris. Of course, it’s Henry’s idea. And after the bacchanal, after all the craziness, after ate, we know what follows. Nemesis. If there’s one thing this book teaches, it is that actions have consequences – even if you think you can get away with murder, there’s a price to pay. I like that in a book that has the studies of Classics as a major part of the plot, the author uses the traditional Greek story telling tricks to tell her story.

I was fascinated mostly with the character of Henry. He personifies the whole hubris-ate-nemesis theory in this book. He’s so intelligent and so intellectual, he can read several languages and has a huge knowledge. But he doesn’t know how to live. How to act. How to just be. Until he murders someone, that is.

Still, I have one issue with this book. Or I think I do. I’m not sure. The more I think about it, the more perfect the ending may be. At first, I thought it was too easy. It shocked me but I thoughtt the author could have solved it better. But now, I think it was just right. I don’t think it could have ended any way. Greek tragedies also always ended with people dying left and right. Why shouldn’t this modern tragedy not end up the same way?

  • Title: The Secret History
  • Author: Donna Tartt
  • Publisher: Penguin Book
  • Year: 1992
  • Pages: 629 pages
  • Stars: 5 out of 5 stars


Something to be excited about in 2012

Edited December 30th – because I find out something HUUUUUGE. John Irving is publishing a new novel already! YAY! So that’s definitely something to look forward in 2012! And – the next one is coming in 2015 so we don’t have to wait too long for the next one either!!! The new novel is called ‘In One Person’. It’s about a 60-year-old man and is written in first person – Irving’s first novel in first person since Owen Meany. I can’t wait… Bu tI have to wait till June 2012…

This also means that my list now contains 12 books I’m looking forward to in 2012 – very fitting!!

So I’ve been doing a bit of research and I’ve realized that there’s a lot of really interesting books scheduled for publishing in 2012. I’ve compiled a list here of some of these – the ones, I’m most interested in reading.

  • Donna Tartt. I don’t know the title of this book yet but I’m so excited. Donna Tartt has so far written two books, I’ve read and loved one of these. I plan on reading her first novel next year and hopefully also the new one. The Little Friend, her second novel, was really a great book so I have high hopes for both these reads.
  • Joyce Carol Oates: Mudwoman. I love Joyce Carol Oates. She’s an amazing writer and I hope to make it through all her novels one day – a pretty hard task since she has written so many and keeps writing at least one a year. This one has been compared to Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier so how can it be anything but great?
  • Stephen King: The Wind Through the Keyhole. King is one of my favorite authors – he’s a master story teller. This book is an installment in his Dark Tower series, a series that I unfortunately haven’t started yet but I’m looking forward to it. I hope to start reading Dark Tower next year – just as soon as I’ve finished 11.22.63 …
  • Hilary Mantel: Bring up the Bodies. I’ve read Mantel’s Booker Prize winning novel Wolf Hall and liked it. I felt like my knowledge of English history was seriously lacking and that got a bit in the way of my enjoyment. Mantel is an excellent author, the writing is superb – but just as with The Satanic Verses and War and Peace, it helps if you know something about the subject before reading the novel.
  • China Mieville: Railsea. Mieville is one of those authors who has the potential to be one of my favorite authors. I’ve only read UnLundun which I really liked, but it’s a ya novel so it’s not necessarily a good one to compare the rest of his work to. So next year, I plan on reading at least one other Mieville novel (The City and The City) and maybe this one as well. Or Kraken. I’ve been meaning to read that one for a while.
  • Terry Pratchett: The Long Earth. This is a sci-fi series from Pratchett that he had written a lot of before Discworld took off – and because of that, The Long Earth was abandoned. So this is something completely different. I’m definitely looking forward to this!
  • Michael Chabon: Telegraph Avenue. Chabon is another author who has the potential to become a favorite (btw – a third author who has this potential is Jonathan Franzen!). Anyway, I’ve read a couple of novels by Chabon (Wonder Boys and The Final Solution) and I’ve liked them but they haven’t lived completely up to my expectations. Still, I definitely want to read more by Chabon so this one made the list as well.
  • Anne Rice: The Wolf Gift. It’s Anne Rice. It’s werewolves. What’s not to like??? Actually, I’m not that big a fan of werewolves and I haven’t read that much by Rice but still – it has potential!
  • Freda Warrington: Grail of the Summer Stars. This is the third novel in the Aetherial Tales series. I’ve read the first and loved it. It was new and refreshing so of course this one made it on the list.
  • Carlos Ruis Zafon: The Prisoner of Heaven. I’ve read The Shadow of the Wind and it was amazing. This is the third in that series so really looking forward to moving on to the second and third installment in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series.
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky: The Air War. This is the 8th installment in the Shadows of the Apt series. I’ve made it through the fourth first novels and they are really interesting and fascinating so until I finish this entire series, I’m looking forward to each new novel.

Hm – I think this list really shows that I need to get a lot of reading done in 2012. There’s a lot of books and series that I want to read and books I look forward to but where I need to read some other books before I can read them… I need to organize my reading better in 2012! More on that later!