My to-be-read pile is shameful. Ignoring my boyfriend’s Warhammer books, our shared bookshelf is positively drowning in stories that I’ve never read, with books stacked upon books as we struggle to make space for all the things I’ve not even touched since bringing it back from the bookshop.
My friend Charlotte, enabler of my book hoarding habit and all-round great gal, turned me on to a possible solution from My Reader’s Block: The Mount TBR Challenge. So excited by the possibility that I might finally crack through a few titles, I wrote a whole article about it for Nothing In the Rulebook — you can check it out here. The crux of it is that there are several different mountains to choose from, depending on how many books are in your pile and how many you feasibly think you’ll read. I went for Mount Blanc, which is 24 books.
So far, I’ve knocked two off the list — The Autobiography of James T. Kirk and The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell. They were, admittedly, not that long (although thoroughly enjoyable!) but they’re on the pile, so it’s not cheating.
Currently, I’m reading Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman on Kindle when on the bus, and The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells when at home. When flicking through my Kindle trying to find the next book to read, I realised that I had over 100 books sitting on there that had never been touched. Add the 50 or so on the bookshelf that have yet to be cracked open, and that’s a lot of bloody books. I can see myself aiming to scale up.
As I mention in the NITRB blog though, I’m hoping that this will help spur me on to keep writing myself. Although I’m not setting myself any hard and fast goals for the time being (New Year’s resolutions are always a waste of time for me as I end up breaking them fairly quickly), I am intending to at least produce a few things this year, and keep submitting to competitions. And if that helps me get a novel on the go, I’m all about that. But I’m also enjoying taking the time to discover some fantastic new worlds, as well as revisit others with a different point of view. So wish me luck — see you at the summit!
Believe it or not, I’ve not read that many books this year. It might not seem like a wildly shocking fact, but I used to read a book a week – sometimes two, if the mood struck. It’s not that I don’t have loads of books to read, it’s that I have a tendency to get a bit too attached to my 3DS or a show on Netflix. That’s the thing – with so much media to consume out there, when do I have time to do it? Something’s got to take a back seat, and sadly, it’s been books for most of this year.
However, with the weather getting colder, and the fact that I’d not joined the library service in this county yet weighing on my shoulders, I decided to pop up there and grab some books. I’ve now read more books in a month than I think I’ve read in about a year, which is great! Here are a few I’ve really enjoyed so far…
Barbara Hambly – Those Who Hunt the Night
God, I love vampires. I especially love vampire books with really 80s covers.
Set in Edwardian London, this is a mystery novel worthy of Conan Doyle, but with creatures that skulk in the darkness and a hero that rides an early Norton motorcycle. It’s not a huge book, but it’s gripping – I finished it off in just over a week. Although its main character is a human – the unlikely warrior James Asher, don at Oxford University with a secret past – the vivid nature in which the vampires are portrayed, particularly the dashing Don Simon Ysidro, won me over. Ysidro is a total babe.
Warren Ellis and Phil Jimenez – X-Men: Exogenetic
I’m a comic person too (Marvel pls), but I don’t have time to keep up with single issues, so I usually grab a few trade paperbacks when I can. Exogenetic, set in the events following M-Day, sees seemingly dead mutants revived with Sentinels lurking within their hollow husks of a body. It pits the X-Men against some of their biggest enemies, all at the hands of one particularly evil genius. It’s not Ellis’ most cerebral work, but it is great fun.
Ann Leckie – Ancillary Justice
Where to start? I can’t believe this is a debut novel. It’s so elegantly crafted, a true tale of revenge but from the eyes of a ship’s AI, no less, stranded in an ancillary body and left to seek out its destroyer. Most interestingly, the novel’s main character (and the Radchaii in general) uses the pronoun ‘she’ to refer to people of all gender. Although it threw me to start with, it made me realise just how male-centric most sci-fi books are, and it was a refreshing change to visualise a character as female upon first instance, rather than male. I’m thoroughly looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.
On the to-read pile, I’ve got The Relic Guild by Edward Cox, of which I have heard Very Good Things.
What have you been reading lately? Please post your recommendations in the comments!
xoxo – Robyn