Finding Balance

So I’ve been away from reading for a long long time which has been clearly shown by the lack of activity on this blog. I’ve read six books this year – one of these took me five months. About a year ago I wrote about a reading slump caused by Don DeLillo’s Unterworld The Book that Defeated Meand how I thought I was back to reading regularly again – but I wasn’t.

I thought I would always prioritize reading but I haven’t. And when I think about it, it really annoys me because now is the wrong time to not be reading. I have a daughter in the first grade who is learning to read right now and research (Paul Kropp: How to Make Your Child a Reader for Life (review)) shows that one of the things that helps kids learn to read, is to see their parents read and having reading be an important part of the entire family’s life. So I feel like I have been letting her down by choosing other things over reading.

Because that’s what I have been doing. I have been caught up in other activities than reading. I have a full-time job, I have two young children, a boyfriend, a dog, four bunnies … I have a lot going on each day that I have to take care of and that means that I have a limited time for other activities.

Hobonichi & Midori

Hobonichi & Midori

Back in February, I bought a Nintendo 3DS and started playing a game called Fantasy Life and loved it. I played Animal Crossing and loved it. And then I fell back in love with journaling, memory keeping and story telling. I used to be a scrapbooker and last year I started writing daily in a Moleskine and this year in a Hobonichi as well as I fell in love with Midori Traveler’s Notebook. And then recently Project Life.

All this is great and I have been enjoying it all. I’m the type of person who goes all in when I get a new interest. I spend all my time doing that thing and I talk about nothing else. For years, my main interest was reading, books, literature and minting this blog about it. For the last year or so I have been drifting through interests and I have enjoyed them all. I still want to play Nintendo games, I want to journal every day and tell mine and my family’s story and keep our memories. I want to get back into crocheting. I want to do all these things – but I also want to read.

So what I guess I’m striving for, is balance. I’m trying to find ways to fit in reading into my life and maybe accepting that I don’t need to go all in every time but need to find a way to fit everything into my life. I guess it’s all about prioritizing.

I guess you’ll be able to track my progress in my efforts to achieve balance in my life by following this blog. If it fades into nothing, you’ll know I failed.
I guess if I start posting every day, I’ve failed too.
This is not going to be easy.

Balance!

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Holiday Reading

Each year at this time, there are some hard decisions to make. When going on holiday, one of course have to bring a book – or several. I agonized over this for days before I finally decided on which three to bring.
holidayreadingThese two are the ones that I actually got to read during the week we spent on the beautiful Spanish island of Mallorca. Now, I’m not one for spending too much time on a beach or next to a pool but the good thing about it is, that you do get some time to read. And luckily I brought these two amazing books – or rather this one long book split into two – and I loved them. I just finished them today so I will try to write reviews soon(-ish).
I also brought NOS4R2 by Joe Hill with me but didn’t have time to start reading it.
When spending time on the beach, I did notice that a lot of people were reading. The beach is the place where a lot of people read – more than people do in other places, or at least it seems so to me but then I don’t use a lot of public transportation (unfortunately). And after all the talk about the book being dead, I was happy to see that books were still the main go-to for people on the beach. Books or magazines. Things that doesn’t break when you get sand in them. Now I’m not coming out against e-books – I love my Kindle – but I still really liked to see people reading and people reading books.
And as you can see from the above picture, even though I try to keep sand out of my stuff, I still got sand – and a small fly – in my books…
Even though I was really impressed with the quality of books in the various tourist and beach shops, I didn’t buy any books for myself. We did however pick up a wonderful children’s book for the girls.
CuevasDelDrachThe last day we visited the amazing Cuevas del Drach. These caves are huge and beautiful and within the caves is one of the largest subterranean lakes in the world. When we exited the caves, we were completely awed by what we had seen and had to get this book about two children visiting the caves together with their grandparents and meeting the dragon living in the caves, Drach.
61pBtbFe4nL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_The book is called Mariona & Max in the Caves of Drach. I love the idea of creating children’s book based on real places like this and I have enjoyed reading this book for the girls and talking to them about what we experienced on our trip. Especially since I haven’t found any books written by people from Mallorca, taking place on Mallorca or something similar. So we settled for this and it’s such a nice book.
According to the back cover, this book is part of a collection of books introducing kids to various places around the island – however, I haven’t been able to find any information about other books.
Anyway, that was my vacation experience and my holiday reading. What are you reading this summer?

Adding to the Shelves

One of my favorite things to do, is to buy new books. Even for those periods of time when I haven’t been reading, I have still bought books. Not so during this recent reading slump. I really haven’t bought any books since February. And that’s actually kind of scary. I haven’t bought any new books and I haven’t kept up with book publishing or anything. I have really  been doing a cold turkey. I’m trying to view it as a good thing since my normal practice of buying books whether I was reading or not, is the cause of my having more than 200 books on my shelves that I haven’t read…
Still, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t acquired new books. But ever since buying a lot of books back in February, only three new books have been added to my shelves.

041549-fc222 First of these are Tolkien’s Silmarillion. When I still was reading a lot and was on track with my goals for the year and just enjoying myself, I was participating in The Official 2014 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader. And I was so lucky to win a book of my own choice, thanks to Adam’s generosity. I had been planning to read The HobbitThe Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion this summer, and since I already owned the first two, I of course asked for The SilmarillionI’m not sure if I ever properly thanked Adam – and now I see that he has stepped down from Roof Beam Reader due to work obligations so he will not be around much. Still, thank you so much Adam! Now I’m back from my hiatus, I’m looking forward to explore Middle Earth!

9781451660326_p0_v3_s260x420The second new book I have acquired during these last 4 months, was a birthday present from my 3 years old daughter. Whenever she is asked what she want to give to someone, she always answers ‘a book’. I can count the number of times, she whispered to me ‘I’m giving you a book, mommy’. And so she did.
Last year I read Félix J. Palma’s wonderful The Map of Time and it was just such a thrilling ride that I haven been looking forward to reading the second book ever since. And this was the book I was so lucky to receive for my birthday thanks to my little girl knowing exactly what her mommy wants – and her father helping her pick out the right book!

978-87-997204-0-8And finally, the third book was a present from my best friend. Henrik has his own publishing company, H. Harksen Productions, where he publishes weird fiction, H.P. Lovecraft inspired fiction and similar themed books, both in English and Danish. One of his latest publication is this Killer Killer by Danish author Morten Ellemose. This is supposed to be following in the tradition from the Hannibal Lecter books and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a very scary read. Maybe I should try to get around to reading it while it’s still summer and the nights are still light. I don’t do scary very well, I’m afraid.

So that’s the books which have been added to my stash recently. So while few in numbers, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a great time reading these. Have you read any of these? Did you like them? And what else have I been missing in books and book blogging in these last months? I feel dreadfully out of touch…

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The Book That Defeated Me

So. My last post was three months ago. In those three months, I haven’t read a single book. I have tried to read one but in three months, I have been reading the same book. Or rather, I have had the same book lying on my night table next to me and then I have been ignoring it for three months.
I managed 214 pages of it and then … nothing more. And the strange thing is, that I didn’t dislike it. I liked it. I liked it when I was reading it. But I forgot about it when not reading it and if you ask me now, I wouldn’t be able to tell you precisely what it was about. That may be because it was a 800+ pages book and I haven’t reached the part where it all comes together and starts making sense – it might also be because this is not a book for me.
And that bugs me.
Because I want to like this book. I want to like this author.
mdT2qD0PAy_ect1IYhvl5gQ-2The book I’m talking about, the book that has completely destroyed me and made a deserted wasteland of this blog, is Don DeLillo’s magnum opus Underworld. And there are parts of it I really, really like. I have written down quotes and impressions and they are all positive and things I enjoyed. But not enough to keep reading apparently. And then I stopped reading for the first time in 7 years.
When I have read other bloggers write about reading slumps and how to defeat them, I have to admit I have felt a bit superior. A reading slump couldn’t positively happen to me, I thought. I love reading too much, I thought. Reading slumps are for others who just don’t care about books the way I do, I snickered.
Watch me cover in shame!
Reading slumps can happen to everybody, I know now. I should have known earlier, of course, since when I started using Goodreads back in ’07, I was just coming out of a slump caused by too much studying. This was a time when I felt guilty whenever I read something that wasn’t related directly to my master’s thesis.
From this slump, I have learned two things. The first one is also going to sound arrogant, just like my idea that I was immune against reading slumps. A non-reader is just a person who hasn’t met the right book yet. I’m back to reading and I’m just loving it. I’m completely engulfed in this book and am enjoying myself so so much.
The second thing I’ve learned is, that my way back to reading, is fantasy literature. Last thing, I used DragonLance novels mostly and loved it. This time I’m reading urban fantasy – the Jim Dresden novels. I read the first two last year – and I almost finished the third one last night but the World Cup kind of distracted me.
Still, even though the last months have been filled with distractions – I started crocheting, I started trying to journal more in my moleskine and I discovered smash books – I’m hoping that I’m back to my normal dose of reading daily. And with that, I’m hoping I’m back to blogging and I’m hoping that there’s still someone out there reading…

February 2014 – monthly update

So February has been a frustrating month. It seems I just couldn’t find time to read all that much. I have been working a lot all month and have just been too tired. In January, I read whenever I could find time and read through 6 books and lots of pages. This month I have unfortunately prioritized watching sucky tv more. I think it is sometimes easier to just vegetate in front of the tv when you are overworked and stressed out instead of picking up a book even though you know that in the end, you will enjoy the book more.
NightCircus.final_.2But still, I did read 5 books this month and I have still read some amazing good books this month. The first one was Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus which I had postponed reading but absolutely loved when I finally got around to it. The setting in this book was breathtaking and so lovely and I was just blown away by it. An entire black and white circus suddenly appearing out of nowhere and just spellbinding it’s audience. I also really liked the story in this book and the characters and I am really looking forward to Erin Morgenstern’s next novel.
possession-by-a-s-byatt[1]My other favorite novel this month was A.S. Byatt’s Possession. I watched her give a lecture back in 2005 and I was so impressed by her. So impressed that I actually got scared. She is just so clever and knowledgable and I have been really scared that I wasn’t able to get her books. But then I read her The Children’s Book a while ago and really liked it and I watched the movie version of Possession and decided to put the book on my list of reading goals for this year. And then I actually read it. And loved it. It’s a wonderful intelligent book and a beautiful love story. I was so engrossed by the romance of Christabel LaMotte and Randolph Ash. Talk about star-crossed lovers! Add to this that it is a literary mystery with beautiful writing. This is going to be one of my favorite novels of the year – and I can’t wait to reread it. I think it will be one of my favorite novels of all time. It is so intelligent that it can stand to be reread over and over.
It seems that I should learn from this experience not to postpone novels that I really want to read because I’m scared of not being able to get them or scared they are not able to live up to my expectations. I should just read whatever I want when I want it. I might have to work a bit on this before I accomplish doing so!
oryx-and-crakeI also began the MaddAddam trilogy by Margaret Atwood. I will not say too much about this novel or this series here before I’ve read the entire trilogy but I will say that Oryx & Crake is quite an accomplishment and the more I think about it, the more impressed I am. I am reading the second part of this trilogy right now, The Year of the Flood, and I’m just getting more and more impressed. This is clever writing!
My complete list of novels read in February look like this:

  1. Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus
  2. Joyce Carol Oates: Carthage
  3. Susan Hill: Howard’s End is on the Landing
  4. A.S. Byatt: Possession
  5. Margaret Atwood. Oryx & Crake

Last year I read about 50 pages a day. This year, I wanted to do better. My goal was 100 pages a day. Sadly, February has been the month where it dropped. Not only below 100 but actually below 90 (although I ended the month just above 90 pages a day). I know it’s silly getting caught up in numbers and that the important thing is the reading experience. I know I should care more about reading amazing books and taking the time to really enjoy them than care about the amount of books I read. Still, I can’t help it. I want to read many books and therefore I want to read a lot of pages each day. And I just haven’t read all that many pages in February and it depresses me like hell, especially since I could have read so much more if I had just kept on prioritizing reading above other relaxing pastimes.
I’m actually a bit amused that I feel this way because five books in a month is excellent given my current schedule. I think I will have to think quite a bit about whether this focusing on pages a day is actually benefitting me or rather stressing me out. Five books is good – especially since these weren’t short books and they were really good books.

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Susan Hill: Howard’s End is on the Landing (review)

9781846682667‘I climbed two flights of elm-wood stairs to the top landing in search of a book, and found myself embarked on a year of traveling through the books of a lifetime.’ (location 101-109)

I have a tendency to use books about books to keep my enthusiasm about books and reading at a high level at all times. It’s not that often that I need something to feed my enthusiasm but it’s not often either that I read memoirs about books and reading. According to Goodreads, I’ve only read two – Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch and this one, Susan Hill’s memoir about reading at home for a year. I’ll probably add Alan Bennett’s wonderful The Uncommon Reader to the list though. Still, it’s not like this is a genre I read a lot – and I kind of wonder why. When you are a reader, there’s something nice and cozy about sitting down and reading a book about someone else who loves to read. Or at least there should be. But maybe – or probably if I judge by my large experience of reading two memories and one novel about the love of reading – reading isn’t something you should read about. Or at least not about other people reminiscing about their reading. Which is probably a bit problematic for me, since in a way, that’s what’s book blogging is all about…
Anyway, to hurry on, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Susan Hill’s Howard’s End is on the Landing. It’s a nice quiet book about a year spend reading only books already in the house, inspired by her discovering how many unread books she actually owned. And so she goes around in her house, picks up some books, read some in part and other in full, rereads others and basically just reacquaints herself with the books she has collected through her life as well as the memories attached with them.
As a writer, she of course has the advantage of having actually met some of the people she has books by and therefore is able to relate anecdotes about them. One in particular that struck me, was how she remembered meeting Iris Murdoch for the last time and this sad image of a very clever woman lost to Alzheimer’s. Also the image of her arriving home one night and finding both her husband and her two daughters immersed in Harry Potter books was an enjoyable one.
Authors discussed include Enid Blyton, Charles Dickens, Trollope, Elisabeth Bowen, E.M. Forster as well as many others. Virginia Woolf also gets a lot of pages – especially since she has inspired Hill in many ways, both with her writing and her publishing. And this is probably one of the key point of the book – Susan Hill is more of a writer than she is a reader. Not to say she doesn’t read or love to read. She does indeed. But she is a writer and the book is a writer’s guide to and exploration of her home library.
Throughout her year of reading from home, she puts together a list of 40 books that she could survive on, if she had to choose only 40 books to keep. She doesn’t discuss them all or give reasons to why they are on her list, but it’s an interesting exercise. Of all the books you’ve read throughout your life, which 40 would be the keepers that you could live on for the rest of your life? She includes the list at the end of the book and it’s an interesting diverse list – and quite different from what mine would look like.
One thing that did struck me as a bit peculiar was, that she never seemed to be sad that she could only read what she already owned and wasn’t allowed to get any new ones. I love book buying and tend to go a bit crazy when I visit a good book store and have a lot of trouble with not buying books all the time – even though I have enough unread books on my shelves to be easily able to spend a year reading just these. She doesn’t seem to miss book buying in any way. I know I couldn’t go an entire year without buying books – but she never mentions it.
Susan Hill is a very different reader than me. She writes all over in her books – but doesn’t write her name in the beginning of the book. I do the opposite. She keeps her books all over her house, randomly organized. My novels are organized alphabetically by author’s last name and on a big book case in the living rooms. We don’t have stacks of books all over the house like she does. Still, I would love to visit her house. Keeping books that way seems like a treasure trove of reading experiences and it would be fun to spend some time discovering her unexpected treasures. It’s not wonder that she got inspired to just explore this book heaven for a year. For us as readers, it would have been more fun if we could do the same and not just read about it.

‘A book which is left on a shelf is a dead thing but it is also a chrysalis, an inanimate object packed with the potential to burst into new life.’ (location 73-79)

First lines: It began like this. I went to the shelves on the landing to look for a book I knew was there. It was not. But plenty of others were and among them I noticed at least a dozen I realised that I had never read.

  • Title: Howard’s End is on the Landing
  • Author: Susan Hill
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Year: 2009
  • Pages: 236 pages
  • Source: Own collection – Kindle
  • Stars: 3 stars out of 5

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3 Years Old!

Go-Game-Guru-3rd-birthday                                                               Source.

Today I’m celebrating. Today The Literary Bunny celebrates it’s three years birthday, three years of existence. And I’m rather proud of that. Mostly because I like this blog, my little place on the internet, and I like it quite a bit. I like writing about books, both for myself but also because it gives me the opportunity to talk with others about the books I read and sometimes get other perspectives on the books. There’s no doubt that this whole blogging universe is amazing and inspiring. There’s no doubt either that if I stayed away from the blogging world, my wish list wasn’t so completely out of control. But where’s the fun in that?! I like being a part of this blogging community even though I don’t always participate as much as I would like. But I read a lot of blogs even though I don’t always get around to commenting and I love keeping up to date this way.
I don’t plan on changing a lot on the blog in the next year. It’s slowly and steady growing and I like that. Of course I wouldn’t mind being Freshly Pressed again here at WordPress because the one time that happened, it was a mad and wonderful ride but I also like this more quiet form of existence with slowly more and more people following, more people to talk books with.
The only change I am planning right now, is that I want to start participating in Wordless Wednesday. I want to make this blog become more true to it’s name so each Wednesday, I hope to share a picture of one or more of the bunnies – and then we’ll talk books the rest of the time!
There’s no doubt that books are my passion and if I could go back and change something, I would have studied literature at university. But it is probably for the best that I didn’t so that books can stay a hobby – but I do hope to study it some day although just for my own enjoyment.
I want to thank all you wonderful people out there who keeps coming back, who keeps signing up and who keeps commenting. You are a huge part of the reason why The Literary Bunny is still alive, jumping around and wagging it’s long ears.

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Reading Challenges 2014

I have learned one thing about myself in 2013. I never learn.

And yes, I am aware of the absurdity of the above statement.

But it’s still true.

The thing is, I love to challenge myself to read. Both to read very different types of books but also to read a lot. But throughout this year, I’ve been wondering why I feel this need and why I just don’t read whatever I want to and feel like. And yet, despite these feelings, I have found some challenges for 2014, I really want to participate in… Yeah, I know!2014tbrbutton
But it’s hard when people post great challenges that I feel will help me get through some books that I want to get through. Like Adam from Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge. I own a lot of books that I haven’t read – and that I have owned for years but haven’t gotten around to actually opening or in fact reading. And each year I do challenge myself to read some books from my shelves so it seems obvious to be a part of this challenge. For this challenge, you have to read 12 books from your shelves – 12 books, that you have owned for more than a year. You are allowed to list two extras if for some reason you can’t finish any of the first 12 you pick – and here’s my list:

  1. Monica Ali: Untold Story
  2. A.S. Byatt: Possession
  3. Fyodor Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment
  4. Kenneth Graham: The Wind in the Willows
  5. Benjamin Hale: The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore
  6. Frank Herbert: Dune
  7. Robin Hobb: Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy)
  8. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude
  9. Steve Martin: An Object of Beauty
  10. David Mitchell: Ghostwritten
  11. Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus
  12. Bob Tarte: Enslaved by Ducks
  13. Extra: Paul Auster: The New York Trilogy
  14. Extra: Michael Chabon: Cavalier and Clay

russian literature 2014 (1)O from Behold the Stars are challenging us all to read more Russian Literature. I have already read War and Peace, Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov and I’ve loved them all. I own two more Dostoevsky books that I have owned since 2010 but haven’t read – and they are on my Classic Club list. So it seems obvious that I have to join that challenge as well – and besides, this challenge works well with the TBR Pile Challenge. I’m only going for level 1 for this challenge which is to read 1-3 books by Russian authors.

chunkster challenge 2014aAnd of course then there’s the Chunkster Challenge. I have participated in this one before and since I like reading chunksters, this one seems obvious as well. Add to that, that it’s very easy to combine this challenge with the two mentioned above and we have three challenges that feed into each other so maybe I have learned a tiny bit from this and the previous years. I’m hoping to read 10 chunksters, that is 6 books with more than 450 pages.

And finally – here’s my own reading challenge. This challenge has a tendency to just get bigger each year because even though I’m aware that I never complete it, I just keep adding books and challenges and then I transfer the things I didn’t read from the year(s) before and well, we end up with an unruly mess. And that’s where we are again. So I’m desperately hoping to actually complete this challenge and get everything read from it so I can start with a clear slate next year and maybe, just maybe, make a challenge that I actually have a chance to complete!

Christina’s Reading Challenge 2014

Read 52 books.
End the year with fewer books on my to-read list than I started it with (January 1st = 195 books.)

  1. Read at least one book by each of my five favorite authors:
    a. John Irving
    b. Stephen King
    c. Haruki Murakami
    d. Joyce Carol Oates
    e. Terry Pratchett

  1. Explore the following authors (ie read at least one book by each)
    a. Jasper Fforde
    b. Roddy Doyle
    c. Patrick Rothfuss

  2. Christmas Classic: Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence

  3. At least three non-fiction books

  4. Read at least one book by a Danish author

  5. Read 10 books from my Classic Club List

  6. Challenges:

    1. The Official 2014 TBR Pile Challenge: 12 books.

    2. Russian Literature 2014: 1-3 books

    3. 2014 Chunkster Challenge: 10 books of 450+ pages.

  7. Reread: J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings

+ the books I didn’t read from my 2012 list of reading goals:

  1. Don DeLillo: Underworld

  2. Finish Sherlock Holmes

  3. One non-fiction about philosophy: Coppleston vol. 1

+ the books I didn’t read from my 2013 list of reading goals:

  1. Margaret Atwood

  2. One non-fiction book.

Books from friends

From Henrik: Gene Wolfe: The Book of the New Sun

From Peder: Lauren Binet: HHhH

So there we have it. About a billion books that I want to read this year. We’ll see how it goes. Right now I’m determined, making plans about how I’m going to tackle all this and feeling good about it. But – I haven’t started work yet. This is the last day of my Christmas vacation so no wonder I have a lot of time to read. But tomorrow, it’s back to work, back to taking the girls to kindergarten and I know how busy we all are. So all my carefully laid plans may crumble tomorrow already – we’ll see. But even so, I’ll still try!

The Books I Missed in 2013

I didn’t read a lot of new books in 2013. Not at all. I did buy some but not as many as I had hoped. So to remember the books I really wanted in 2013 and inspired by Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm, here are some of the books I wish I had bought and/or read.

200px-CuckoosCallingCover The-Abominable 15796700 NOS4A2_cover 5164ef45e4b0cac6e79bc1a8 73.Eleanor Catton-The Luminaries MadScientistsDaughter-144dpi 220px-The_Immortals_Of_Meluha 9780316044769_p0_v1_s260x420 1594205027.01.MZZZZZZZ tumblr_mbrmj9nBOt1r4zpe9 joyland 14284 The-Demonologist-cover-230x347 9781444730647  the-wave 201306-omag-debut-wecker-284xfall

  1. Robert Calbraith: The Cuckoo’s Calling. This was of course one of the important books of the year. It was interesting to see how this book got good reviews but didn’t sell – until it was revealed that it was actually written by J.K. Rowling. And then it ended the year on several ‘Best of 2013’ lists. If someone can get me to read crime novels, I think it’s J.K. Rowling. I’m at least willing to give this one a try.
  2. Dan Simmons: The Abominable. Ever since reading Drood, I’ve been wanting to read more by Dan Simmons. It’s about adventurers traveling to the summit of Mount Everest – or possibly running from something on Mount Everest. I’m sure it’s creepy!
  3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Americanah. I loved Half of a Yellow Sun. Not just because of it’s compelling story, but because it taught me things I didn’t know. I think it will be the same with this one.
  4. Joe Hill: NOS4A2. This book is an example of a book where the title alone sells it! And I’ve heard nothing but good about it so I need to get this one.
  5. Hannah Kent: Burial Rites. This book about the last woman to be sentenced to death in Iceland, sounds amazing. It reminds me a bit about Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace and I really want to read this one!
  6. Eleanor Catton: The Luminaries. The 2013 Man Booker Prize winner. It sounds intriguing and fascinating but with the way it’s written, it also runs the risk of being a bit gimmicky – so far, the reviewers seem to agree that it’s absolutely amazing.
  7. Cassandra Rose Clarke: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. Cat’s tutor is a robot who is perfectly happy to just teach her. But then the government grants rights to the robot population and suddenly, Finn has to find his own place in the world. Another great sounding novel!
  8. Amish Tripathi: Immortals of Meluha (Shiva #1). This is the first book in the Shiva trilogy, a fantasy series about hindu gods. How cool does that sound?
  9. Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Watcher in the Shadows. I really liked The Shadow of the Wind and this book about a mysterious toymaker who lives as a recluse in an old mansion surrounded by his magical beings sounds so amazing.
  10. Ma Jian: The Dark Road. The tagline of this novel reads ‘If a panda gets pregnant, the entire nation celebrates. But if a woman gets pregnant she’s treated like a criminal. What kind of country is this?’, how can I resist that?
  11. Matt Bell: In the House Upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods. A young couple is unable to have children so the husband takes it out on every animal living in the lake and the woods. The wife somehow learns to sing objects into being. It sounds like a fascinating book about what happens when you so badly want children but is unable to have them.
  12. Stephen King: Joyland. King has two books coming out this year and this is the first one. It’s about amusement park serial killers and I don’t t need to say more because if you like King, you will get this!
  13. Douglas Lain: Billy Moon: A transcendent Novel reimagining the Life of Christopher Robin Milne. This is one of the books I’m probably the most excited about. I think it’s some kind of twisted look at Christopher Milne’s childhood and on the Winnie the Pooh stories and I can’t wait!
  14. Andrew Pyper: The Demonologist. This sounds like some kind of Da Vinci Codebook but taking Paradise Lost as it’s starting point. And that’s is it’s selling point to me.
  15. Warren Ellis: Gun Machine. A detective finds an apartment filled with guns. Each gun leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. This book sounds just so cool.
  16. Sonali Deraniyagala: Wave. This woman lost her husband and sons in the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. This is a book about grief. I am sure it will be almost unbearable to read but still, I want to.
  17. Helen Wecker: The Golem and the Jinny. This seems to be a very interesting book which combine Jewish and Arab mythology. It’s about two supernatural creatures in New York – and of course they are drawn together.

It’s funny – some of these were on my list of books to watch out for in 2013 but for some reason or another, they have dropped completely from the radar – or at least from my radar. I heard a lot about the Warren Ellis book – but I don’t think I’ve read a single review… I know I’m not even close to listing all the books that I could be interested in reading but still, I think I will print this list and take it with me whenever I happen to be somewhere with a decent bookstore and hope to pick up some of these amazing sounding books!