Friday, 7 November 2014

My To-Read Pile; November 2014 Edition

My current pile of Books to Read is getting bigger and bigger (to be fair, not helped by the fact that one of them is pretty massive) so I thought it was about time I posted a little list of what's on my to-read list, including both those that I'm genuinely looking forward to reading, and those that I've already tried and failed at but feel obligated to give a second chance...

And The Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini - Buy it here!
Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. 

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. 

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page

This is the book that I'm currently reading, and according to GoodReads I've been very very very slowly making my way through for a month now. I'm not going to say too much about this book because I am speeding up with it so you'll see a proper review of it soon enough - I'm really liking it! It took me a while to get into it but I persevered because I liked The Kite Runner so much, but now I'm finally getting there with it and really enjoying it. So, that's all you get on this one for now because you're going to see it soon enough!

The Humans - Matt Haig - Buy it here!
After an 'incident' one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he's a dog.
What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ?

I'm sort of...not massively looking forward to this book, which is worrying as it's the newest I've bought. I remember seeing this in Waterstones and being excited by the idea, but then completely forgetting about it. Then, a few days later I got home, ordered something else, and it came to £1 short. I am that person who adds something else more expensive than shipping just so they don't have to pay the shipping fees, so I suddenly remembered I wanted this book and quickly added it on. Now I've read the back again the premise is no longer anywhere near as interesting to me as it once was, but we'll see!

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind -Yuval Noah Harari - Buy it here!
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.
How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power ... and our future.

I'm going to get very nerdy on you here and admit that I can't accurately convey to you how much I want to read this book. It's huge and I want to read every page. I first saw it on Amazon and thought I would love it, but wasn't 100% certain. Then I saw it in Waterstones and couldn't resist flicking through it - I lasted about a minute before deciding that I'd buy it. I am really, really, really looking forward to this book. Please don't disappoint me!

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson - Buy it here!
It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not...Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan's earlier life in which - remarkably - he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun, feel-good book for all ages.

I saw people first start to get excited about this book quite a while ago now but for some reason it just didn't appeal to me at the time. I liked the idea of it, but something about it just wasn't really working for me. I would read reviews, add it to my basket and then remove it again, and for whatever reason I kind of wanted to read it but also kind of didn't. Then Waterstones had a buy one get half price sale that included it, so here we are today!

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Jay Fowler - Buy it here!
Rosemary's young, just at college, and she's decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we're not going to tell you too much either: you'll have to find out for yourselves, round about page 77, what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.
Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There's something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other, that began all of Rosemary's trouble. So now she's telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it's a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.
It's funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. We hope you enjoy it, and if, when you're telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern - it's pretty hard to resist - don't worry. One of the few studies Rosemary doesn't quote says that spoilers actually enhance reading.
I'm going to be completely honest with you - I basically picked this book up because the cover art reminded me of The Shock of the Fall and I really liked that book. Basically, you can sell me a book if it has a tree on the front cover, clearly. But this book does seem to have done well and I think it has the potential to be really interesting - and yes, I just realised I picked this book up without even looking inside.

The Unpredictable Consequences of Love - Jill Mansell - Buy it here!
In the idyllic seaside town of St Carys, Sophie is putting the past firmly behind her.
When Josh arrives in St Carys to run the family hotel, he can't understand why Sophie has zero interest in letting any man into her life. He also can't understand how he's been duped into employing Sophie's impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited.
St Carys has more than its fair share of characters, including the charming but utterly feckless surfer Riley Bryant, who has a massive crush on Tula. Riley's aunt is superstar author Marguerite Marshall. And Marguerite has designs on Josh's grandfather...who in turn still adores his glamorous ex-wife, Dot...
Just how many secrets can one seaside town keep?

At one point, I was really really excited about this book. I absolutely never buy fiction books as hardcovers but I bought this one on release date and then promptly never read it. It's one of those things where I bought too many books at once, the others were more exciting to me, and then it just kept getting pushed back. I do intend to read this one at some point though.

Life After Life - Kate Atkinson - Buy it here!
What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath.
During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.
What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?
Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.

This is the first of the books that I have tried to read already. In fact, I have made several attempts at this book and I just do not like it. I loved the concept, I was so excited, but I find it so incredibly boring. It's too descriptive, nothing seems to really happen, I can't follow what's going on because I find it far too dull to get anywhere with and I just really do not like it. But I WANT to, so I keep it in this pile in the hopes that one day I'll suddenly enjoy it.

Insurgent - Veronica Roth - Buy it here!
Fighting for survival in a shattered world… the truth is her only hope.
The thrillingly dark sequel to No. 1 New York Times bestseller, DIVERGENT.
I have done bad things. I can’t take them back, and they are part of who I am.
Tris has survived a brutal attack on her former home and family. But she has paid a terrible price. Wracked by grief and guilt, she becomes ever more reckless as she struggles to accept her new future.
Yet if Tris wants to uncover the truth about her world, she must be stronger than ever… because more shocking choices and sacrifices lie ahead.

I hate this book, but I have spent about four months now trying to read it despite this just because I liked the first one so much. Like, really really liked it. I took it to the gym with me, I took it to read on my breaks, I remember being really late to a party once because I wanted to read more, that's how much I liked Divergent. I was also that one person who actually really liked the movie. This? Rubbish. Hate it. Can't follow it, boringly written, and it makes me so sad because I was so excited after my love of the first one. I will continue trying, resentfully.

So, that's my list of books on my to-do list right now! I am thinking of starting a book club so that'll at least make sure I keep making my way through all these books (especially because while taking the photos for this post I suddenly thought of another book I wanted and ordered it quickly, yes, despite the fact that this post is basically making a point of the fact that I have a backlog and need to stop doing that). What's on your to-read list?


  1. And the Mountains Echoed made me cry so hard at the end. I really didn't like The One Hundred Year Old Man though, although the rest of my book club enjoyed it.

  2. Fab reading list, I love Kate Atkinson! I love your blog and I have followed you with Bloglovin and GFC. If you ever get a chance to check out my blog I would be delighted, thanks!

    Camille xo


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