There were A LOT of books I wanted to read in 2018 and just didn’t get around to, so I couldn’t resist participating in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. It turns out working in a public library is both the best and the worst thing that can happen to your TBR. It’s great to have first access to books, but really messes with your backlist reading when you’re constantly surrounded by what’s new and shiny! Here are some of the titles I didn’t quite get to last year:
10. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
I picked up the entire trilogy at a used bookstore on a friend’s recommendation in 2017, but I still haven’t read any of them. Daughter of the Forest is the first book in a historical fantasy series that takes inspiration from Celtic mythology though, so obviously this is right up my alley! I can’t wait to finally check this out in 2019.
9. Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault
Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and Mary Renault is generally viewed as the queen of historical fiction, so I feel a bit like a Fake Fan for never having picked up any of her novels. A close friend has also been raving about her works for as long as I’ve known her, so I really need to make an effort to read some Renault.
8. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Yet another book that I’m sure I’ll love when I finally get around to reading it! This one is pretty much universally adored throughout the book blogging community and is one of few fantasy novels that my mom’s read that I haven’t (she loved it). I really need to catch up.
7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
In 2018 I crossed one longstanding classic on my TBR off when I finished Jane Eyre. Rebecca has been on that list nearly as long. I ending up opting for different classics than I intended to, reading Anna Karenina and Onegin in the fall instead of Rebecca, but 2019 is the year – I promise!
6. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
This was on my five star predictions list in December 2017, so it’s about time I pick it up! I’ve seen a stage adaptation of this book (which I adored), and I know it’s one of Rachel’s favourites, so I know I’m going to love it, I just need to set aside the time for backlist reading in order to appreciate it!
5. Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
A lot of the books I meant to read last year fell victim to my magpie tendency to pick up new and shiny books spotted at the library instead of what I really wanted to read, or to a lack of time to read. Record of a Spaceborn Few was an issue of availability. Although published in October (in Canada, in the US it came out in July), copies are STILL On Order at my local library. Sigh. My library is wonderful and offers access to so many books I wouldn’t be able to afford to buy/have the space for in my apartment, but the waiting can be killer and the fact that it’s been almost three months and this book is still not available to borrow is definitely a little frustrating. Oh well, there are always other books to read in the meantime.
4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley/The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
I read Frankenstein over a decade ago in university and remember really enjoying it, but I hoped that 2018 would be the right year to revisit this classic. As an added bonus, I hoped to have the story fresh in my mind so I could pick up Kiersten White’s YA retelling from the perspective of Elizabeth Frankenstein. More than most classics though, Frankenstein feels like a very seasonal read and when my fall filled up and we moved into December, I just didn’t feel like reading it any more. This fall I’m definitely going to get through both of these though!
3. The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
One of my most anticipated sequels of 2018 and I still haven’t picked it up! Generally if an author publishes a book a year in a series then I don’t always feel the need to re-read because I remember events well enough to continue on. If it’s been more than a year though, my memory gets a little choppy. I read The Traitor Baru Cormorant in summer 2016 and it’s a (brilliant, brutal) book full of politicking so I felt like I needed a re-read before picking up the next chapter in Baru’s saga, but I just ran out of time in 2018. This year I will definitely be reading both books in this brilliant series.
2. The Iliad by Homer/The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
I was first on the holds list at Toronto Public Library for The Silence of the Girls. I checked back daily until it appeared in the library catalogue and had the satisfaction of being number one. But it’s 2019, the book has been published, copies have gone out and come back, and my hold is still set to inactive. Why? Because although I have a pretty good grasp on Greek mythology, I really wanted to read The Iliad first. If you’ve ever looked at a copy of The Iliad though, you’ll know it’s a monster of a book, and (stupidly) I wound up committing to read another monster (Anna Karenina) in Fall 2018, so The Iliad went unread. I’ve enlisted a friend though and we’re planning to start in the next few weeks! Wish me luck so I can cross both of these books I’m sure to enjoy off my TBR in 2019!
1. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Of course the number one book I meant to get to last year and didn’t is the first in Robin Hobb’s Farseer series. Robin Hobb has been on my TBR for quite literally years! I’m a huge fan of the fantasy genre and have made strides over the last few years to read sci-fi and fantasy works written by women and authors of colour, but I’ve neglected backlist authors in the genre. I was sure 2018 would be the year and even agreed to be part of a buddy read of Assassin’s Apprentice with a few friends. Well, newer, shinier books came out and I had a tumultuous year personally and I kept pushing back the buddy read. Suddenly it was 2019. So I’m making a public vow that this will be the year I finally read Assassin’s Apprentice! Seriously. If you don’t see a review in a few months time please nag me until you do!
Have you read any of these? Which ones should I bump up my TBR? Let me know in the comments!