1 Sep 2015

Top 10 books that I want to read in the next 12 months (#3)


Todays Top 10 Tuesday is: Books that I want to read in the next 12 months. (#3)

I will hold my hands up and admit that I do not read enough, nowhere near enough, and hopefully this year I can make a concerted effort to read one book a month. I think the biggest problem I have (as someone who is ridiculously indecisive) is choosing the books. I am often swayed by my own personal mood or public interest or opting for total randomness or...yes there is another or...an author that I have read a lot of in the past.

In order to select these books I looked up some Top 10s and selected a few that sounded appealing and then I picked two books that I knew I would definitely read (and as they are graphic novels they don't have a huge time commitment). I still came up one short! Hopefully by the time I reach the end of the list I will have one....but feel free to offer recommendations...I would like to listen to an audiobook and wondered if you had ever listened to one and if you would recommend it. I am hoping that this might be a way of reading whilst stitching?!

So....without further ado...

1. A heartbreaking work of staggering genius by Dave Eggers

Its supposedly autobiographical but not, a made-up story based on reality or at least that's my interpretation of various descriptions. According to Goodreads, five of my friends have this on their shelves, two want to read it, one gave it 4 stars, another 3 stars and another gave it 2 stars! Hmmmm...mixed reviews wouldn't you say? I like to read books people rave about at least 10 years plus after they raved about it so I should at least enjoy that aspect of this book. The last book I read that was raved about was 'The Great Gatsby' and although I understood the themes and what people were saying and yes, I did enjoy the story, it wasn't really all that for me. I don't think I liked the narrator much or the tone of it...but I have gone off at a tangent! lol Lets move on...

2. Fear of flying by Erica Jong

Mini description from Goodreads says its "Bored with her marriage, a psychoanalyst’s wife embarks on a wild, life-changing affair". Ordinarily a story about a bored housewife would not appeal to me, and an affair again not really interested but...I thought I had read a book by Erica Jong and I enjoyed that so seeing an Erica Jong book on a Top 10 list meant that i would pick that to guarantee (I hope!) enjoying one of my challenge books but I can't find it and fear I may have mistaken her with someone else! Doh! Anyhoo, three of my goodreads friends have rated it and all have given it 4 stars, so thats good!

3. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Goodreads describes the story as:

Middlesex tells the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family, who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City and the race riots of 1967 before moving out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret, and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

AND...I already had it on my want to read shelf for a reading challenge I started last year with a colleague and have yet to start...so this is doubly important!

Eight goodreads friends, three 3 stars, two 4 stars and a 5 star!

I am apprehensive about this only because it is an epic and I have an aversion to epics or family sagas but I might be missing out and this could be the book to convince me...could it?

4. Last exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr

Courtesy of Goodreads, Last Exit to Brooklyn is described as: a raw depiction of life amongst New York's junkies, hustlers, drag queens and prostitutes. An unforgettable cast of characters inhabits the housing projects, bars and streets of Brooklyn: Georgette, a hopelessly romantic and tormented transvestite; Vinnie, a disaffected and volatile youth who has never been on the right side of the law; Tralala, who can find no escape from her loveless existence; Harry, a power-hungry strike leader with a fatal secret. Living on the edge, always walking on the wild side, their alienation and aggression mask a desperate, deep human need for affection and kinship.

This book was banned in the UK when it was first published in 1964 (I hope I can find a copy) and I am curious to see why it was so shocking, what revelations are there? with the current level of exposure to popular culture and its glamourous and murky undercurrents, can we still be surprised and shocked by humanity? I'm keen to find out...and also...I will never forget that woman on my tour who chased a young man across the Brooklyn bridge in New York thinking that he was an actor!

5. Middlemarch by George Eliot

I saw this on the list of Top 10 books of all time and knew it would be an instant pick, why you ask? I remember seeing George Eliot books on my mums bookshelf and I know that she enjoyed them. I have always been curious as too why, and I think there may be a TV adaptation of this? anyone know? keebs?? so if I have to abandon the book halfway I might be able to save myself by watching the TV film. Hehehe....oh...is that cheating?

Goodreads friends have rated it from 2 stars to 5 stars so some inconsistency there, but wikipedia describes it for us....

The novel is set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch during 1829–32,[1] and it comprises several distinct (though intersecting) stories and a large cast of characters. Significant themes include the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy, political reform, and education.
Although containing comical elements, Middlemarch is a work of realism that refers to many historical events: the 1832 Reform Act, the beginnings of the railways, the death of King George IV, and the succession of his brother, the Duke of Clarence (the future King William IV). In addition, the work incorporates contemporary medical science and examines the deeply reactionary mindset found within a settled community facing the prospect of unwelcome change.
A political comedy written by a woman in the 19th century...of course its going on the list!

6. Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

A little intro here courtesy of amazon...
One Thursday lunchtime Earth is unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this is already more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun. And the Galaxy is a very, very large and startling place indeed.Fear not though! I shall be describing the books myself once I have read them :)

I haven't see the film of this, and I have never read this before, but I am aware of its cult status! I just think it may be time for me to see what all the fuss is about.

40 Goodreads friends read have this on their shelves and surprisingly only ten have yet to read it...there were a couple of two stars but i noticed that one of those people tends to only give two stars so I shall bear that in mind as the remaining 28 people rated it 4 or 5 stars! Have you read this?

7 & 8. The Walking Dead Book 24 & 25

Some of you may know that I love the graphic novels of the walking dead even though I do not watch the TV show. I will have to read these two as I feel like I am committed to it now but Book/Volume 23 was disappointing for me and I am hoping that 24 & 25 will not be. Volume 24 came out today but I can't get it till pay day....but fingers crossed it doesn't disappoint.

9. Too Close to Home by Susan Lewis

Goodreads description:

Jenna and Jack Moore have moved their family to Wales for a fresh start. For vivacious, happy-go-lucky fifteen-year-old Paige the future is full of promise.

But suddenly everything changes. Paige becomes more and more withdrawn. The closeness she once shared with her mother a distant memory.

It then becomes clear that Jack has secrets too. Preoccupied with her younger children, her husband’s fidelity and their fledgling publishing company, Jenna doesn’t realise the extent of her eldest daughter’s unhappiness until the unthinkable happens.

I saw this listed as a top read for this year and thought I should pick something current, it doesnt seem like it will be a happy book! None of my goodreads friends have read this so I am completely alone here..unless...have you read it? Is it on your list?

I am thinking that book number 10 needs to be a very silly laugh out loud devil may care kinda novel but they don't have that genre on Goodreads :(

10. Recommendation from Blog readers.....comment below with your recommendation! I am at your mercy so pick somethink good!

If any of you noticed, I mentioned Goodreads! so feel free to add me as a friend if you are about there and I think then you can see my shelf and my progress and I yours.

Here is the link: MEEEEEE!!!!


Also, go and check out Tiffstitches and Keebles blogs to see what they have listed! Links to the left of me, followers to the right...whoooo...stuck in the middle with you - ooooo -oooooo!







10 comments:

  1. Ooh there are some great books here! I read Middlemarch for my English degree and it is still one of my favourites. Hitchhiker's Guide is very very funny.
    I'm not a Susan Lewis fan, her books just don't grab me. But I will be interested to see what you think of her.
    I would suggest something post-apocalyptic, how about another recent publication "Station Eleven" by Emily St John Mandel? It gets 4 stars on Goodreads. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was still thinking about it weeks/months after I finished it. One of my favourite books ever is "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell but my mum has just tried to read it and says its too confusing so it may not be an easy read.
    Or have a look at "The Aspern Papers" by Henry James if you want something quick and period, with a great twist at the end.
    Can you tell I love reading?

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    1. Ooh! Thanks for the recommendations - Station eleven might have to go on the shelf to read :) I have not read Cloud Atlas but did watch the film and that itself was pretty confusing...Im confused now thinking about it but maybe in book form you get more of the details?
      Reading is the greatest escape!

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  2. If you prefer standalone books, try Folly by Laurie R. King. I have listened to the audiobook maybe 10 times now? It's my go to book when I'm anxious and can't settle. The narrator has an excellent voice. The story line is great as well and something about it helps me right myself.

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    1. 10 times? wow! That is some recommendation, and I am intrigued to read/hear it. Maybe that will be my first ever audiobook!

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    2. i listened to a clip but the voice is not for me :(

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    3. i shall opt for the paper version of that instead :)

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  3. Lots of great choices! I really enjoyed Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I don't read hardly at all anymore because I can't read and stitch. Maybe I should try audiobooks! Best recommendation I can make is anything by Jodi Picoult; her books aren't light or funny, but they're wonderful reads. For funny, try Jasper Fforde. Lots of delicious satire!

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    1. Ooh thanks Kate! I think we are in the same boat with having to choose between reading or stitching. I am going to try an audio book this month, once I can find a voice that won't annoy me! lol I actually listened to a snippet of a book that didnt sound at all like my cup of tea but the way the reader is telling it I am thinking I should go for that one. I shall let you know how I get on!
      I may need to dedicate one weekend a month to reading - an IHRW instead of an IHSW! lol The first weekend of every month? I might try it this weekend, I have a few books on my kindle sitting idle.

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  4. If you are trying Douglas Adams for the first time then I would recommend Terry Pratchett too. Specifically Wyrd Sisters which is (very) loosely based on Macbeth.
    Most of my currents reads are either YA or Fantasy. I'm a Children's Bookseller!

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    1. I have read snippets of Terry Pratchett and they definitely appeal to me but I have never been too sure which book to choose as he was so prolific. Feel free to recommend any genre!

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