My 2019 Bookish Resolutions

My penguin clothbound classics

Happy New Year everyone! In 2018 I read 105 books. I enjoyed reading books across many different genres from YA to historical fiction to romance. In 2019 I want to read more books from my unread shelf. I have so many books that have been waiting patiently for my attention, many of them classics, and this is the year that I want to get stuck into them.

Last year I set myself the challenge of reading 60 books and ended up blowing that goal out of the water. But classics take me a bit more time to read than modern books. For that reason I’m going to set my goal at 70 books this year so I don’t feel too much pressure.

Books that are on my to be read pile in 2019 include:

Classics on my shelf that I want to read

  1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  2. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  4. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  6. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  7. Nineteen-Eighty Four by George Orwell (re-read)
  8. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  9. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (re-read)
  10. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (re-read)
  12. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  13. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  14. Persuasion by Jane Austen (re-read)
  15. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (re-read)
  16. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (re-read)
  17. Emma by Jane Austen (re-read)
  18. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (re-read)
  19. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  20. The Iliad by Homer (re-read)
  21. The Odyssey by Homer (re-read)
  22. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
  23. The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier
  24. The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
  25. The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
  26. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier (re-read)

Fiction & Crime fiction on my shelf that I want to read

  1. My Jojo Moyes collection

    The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

  2. The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
  3. Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
  4. The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (11 books in the series!)
  5. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
  6. Night Music by Jojo Moyes
  7. The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
  8. Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
  9. The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (re-read)
  10. Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
  11. The Cuckoos Calling by Robert Galbraith (and the next few books if I like this one)
  12. The Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  13. The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  14. The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes (re-read)
  15. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
  16. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

YA fiction on my shelf that I still need to read

  1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
  4. The Rift by Rachael Craw
  5. Dry by Neal Shusterman

Books from my husband’s shelf that I might read

  1. Misery by Stephen King
  2. Carrie by Stephen King
  3. The Shining by Stephen King
  4. The Outsider by Stephen King
  5. Elevation by Stephen King

There are a lot more books but I’ll see how I go! There are only so many weeks in a year!

Books I want to get (even though I already have so many books to read)

  1. The Wicked King by Holly Black (the sequel to The Cruel Prince)
  2. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (I loved The Hating Game so really want to get this when it comes out at the end of January).
  3. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks (I enjoyed The Wife Between Us so look forward to getting this book some time soon).
  4. Becoming by Michelle Obama (I’m hoping to get my hands on this biography and devour it).
  5. Mythos by Stephen Fry and Heroes by Stephen Fry (I love Greek mythology and have had my eye on these books for a while. Maybe this is the year I get them!)
  6. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (This book looks so intriguing and I’m seeing it everywhere. I’ll keep my eye out for an inexpensive copy).
  7. The Wedding Date and The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (These books are all over bookstagram and look like the perfect, frothy holiday reads. I might get them ahead of my holiday in March).
  8. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (This is a New York Times #1 bestseller that I’m seeing everywhere. It looks like a powerful book so I’m hoping to grab a copy at some stage).

I’ll leave my list here for now. I’m going to try very hard to read books that I already own but I’m an impulsive reader who is easily swayed by what other booklovers are reading. So I’m not going to be too hard on myself if I buy too many new books. Still, I will give this list my best shot.

 

What about you? What are your bookish resolutions for 2019? I’d love to hear them.

My Best Reads of 2018 (September to December)

Just in the nick of time before 2018 closes, I want to share my favourite reads from September to December 2018. Simply click on the links below to read the original reviews. These books are in no particular order and all were amazing in their own unique way.

1. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng review
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Category: Fiction

This was a recent read of mine which I devoured. It’s about a Chinese American family dealing with the death of sixteen-year-old Lydia Lee and trying to find their way back to each other. I couldn’t put this down.

Read this if you want a beautifully written novel about a family in crisis.


2. The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Lost Man by Jane Harper review
The Lost Man by Jane Harper, ISBN 9781743549100, 366pp

Category: Crime/Mystery

The Lost Man is Jane Harper’s third novel and it’s her best book yet. I read this in 24 hours because I was hooked on trying to solve the mystery. I thought that The Dry was good, Force of Nature was even better, but The Lost Man is now my favourite. My husband read this as well and we both gave it 5 stars.

Verdict: A top-notch mystery that you have to read!


3. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoag review
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoag, ISBN 9781786496768, 321pp

Category: Romance

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It’s a romance with lots of steamy scenes but it has enough differences to make it stand out. For starters, the female protagonist has Asperger’s and her love interest is a male Asian American gigolo. It’s a twist on the Pretty Woman story and is a lot of fun.

Verdict: Read this if you want a romance book with an unconventional plot


4. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han Review
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Category: Young Adult

After watching and loving the Netflix movie based on this book, I just had to read the whole series. It was such a fun, sweet coming-of-age novel. I don’t read a huge amount of YA books but I really enjoyed this series.

Verdict: A thoroughly enjoyable YA read.


5. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty review
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, ISBN 9781743534922, 493pp

Category: Fiction

Liane Moriarty is one of my automatic-buy authors. I loved this latest book set at a wellness retreat and told from the point-of-views of nine strangers. It explores so many different themes such as: grief and loss, love and family, loneliness and identity. It’s funny, entertaining and sad.

Verdict: Another brilliant book from one of my favourite authors.


6. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi book review
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. ISBN 9780241975237, 305pp

Category: Historical fiction

Homegoing tells the story of two branches of an African family starting from the 18th century. One family line stays in Ghana, the other deals with the hardship of America and slavery. Each chapter tells the story of a different descendant, both men and women, and keeps going from the 18th century through to the present day. I learned a lot from reading this novel.

Verdict: A beautifully written, powerful novel.

 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

If not, what great books have you read lately?

Further reading:

My Best Reads of 2018 (January to April)

My Best Reads of 2018 (May to August)

My Best Reads of 2018 (May to August)

This is a little bit belated but better late than never. I’ve read so many fantastic books in the last four months. It’s hard to choose my favourites but I will do my best. Here are my best reads of May to August 2018 in no particular order. Click on the title below to read my original review.

My Best Reads of May to August 2018
My Best Reads of May to August 2018

1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Category: Fiction

This was the first book I ever read by Kristin Hannah and I’ve since read two more of her books. Set in the wilds of Alaska, it’s a story about living in the wilderness, domestic violence, love and community. It’s an amazing read.

Read this if you want to be carried away to the Alaskan wilderness by a story that tugs on all your emotions.

2. Circe by Madeline Miller

Category: Literature

Circe was a five star read for me. It had everything: a strong female protagonist, Greek mythology and beautiful writing. I loved this book’s feminist slant.

Read this if you love strong female characters and mythology. Continue reading

20 Bookish Problems That All Bookworms Understand

bookworm problem mismatched books
When your book series is not the same size

I’m always talking about how much I love books. But like everyone else, sometimes I get annoyed by the little things. These bookish problems are certainly not the end of the world but some days they can make me go aargh!

Today in the spirit of getting them off my chest, I’m listing my bookish pet peeves.  So here they are in no particular order: Continue reading

Why I Changed My Opinion About YA Books

Why I changed my opinion about YA books
My growing collection of YA books

Until recently I wasn’t a huge Young Adult (YA) book fan. Don’t get me wrong, I still read books like The Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight series but I mostly did this because the popularity of both of these series was too huge to ignore. Even my husband and my dad read and loved The Hunger Games. But I thought these books were an anomaly that transcended their intended audience. Gosh, what did I know?

I didn’t read YA books because as an adult I assumed these books were too juvenile for me. I didn’t even read books in this category when I was a teenager. At about age twelve I just jumped straight to reading all the adult books on my parents’ book shelves. Continue reading

Why Do You Like Reading Books?

Why do you like reading books? That’s a question I often get asked in a horrified tone by the non-bookish people in my life. People who never read, don’t understand why I do. I’ve long since given up trying to win them over to reading. In fact, I often turn the question back on them and ask ‘Well, why don’t you like reading?’ For me, reading is something I do as naturally as I breathe. I just have to read because I love it. But let me try to delve a little further into the ‘why’.

Why do you love reading books?
Why do you like reading books? There are so many reasons…

I love to read because I’m interested in the world and other cultures. I can learn so much about places I may never go from reading about them. Or I end up visiting these places because I’ve read so much about them. One of the reasons I went and lived in the UK for a year and a half was because of all the English literature I read. I can also learn about different experiences and points-of-view such as what it’s like struggling with your sexuality, or dealing with racism, or living in poverty.

Continue reading

How do you tackle your to be read pile?

One problem that bookaholics are always dealing with is our never-ending to be read pile. I currently have more than fifty books waiting patiently for me to read them. Some of these books have been on my shelves forever.

My never-ending to be read pile

With such a huge pile of books to be read you would think that I would stop buying more books but unfortunately I don’t work that way. I am easily swayed by other people’s recommendations, pretty covers and new release books surrounded by buzz and so my pile keeps growing and growing. Maybe I should stop sugar-coating it and just admit that I am greedy when it comes to books. I see, I want, I will maybe read it later. Continue reading