A Peek at My To Be Read List

I have a pretty sizable To Be Read List that consists primarily of books I’ve picked up over the years, and put to the side for later. Some I have read a couple chapters of, others I have picked up on impulse. My colleague Dee will abandon me in charity shops on our lunch break because I get too distracted by the book shelves.

One thing I want to do this year, is to read fifty two of the books from the list below . Firstly; I could do with the space, secondly; I can’t in good conscience buy another book, when I have twenty half read books waiting to be finished or collecting dust.

  1. The One from the Other – Phillip Kerr
  2. Fallen – Lauren Kate
  3. The Outcast – Sadie Jones
  4. Us – David Nicholls
  5. A Beautiful Mind – Sylvia Nasar
  6. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  7. Rendezvous and other stories – Daphne Du Mauirier
  8. Castle Dor – Daphne Du Mauirier
  9. The Flight of the Falcon – Daphne Du Mauirier
  10. Frenchman’s Creek – Daphne Du Mauirier
  11. Jamaica Inn – Daphne Du Mauirier
  12. Julius – Daphne Du Mauirier
  13. I’ll Never Be Young Again – Daphne Du Mauirier
  14. The Parasites – Daphne Du Mauirier
  15. The Devil and Miss Prym – Paulo Cohelo
  16. Eleven Minutes – Paulo Cohelo
  17. The Pilgrimage – Paulo Cohelo
  18. The Valkaries – Paulo Cohelo
  19. The Alchemist – Paulo Cohelo
  20. The Dolls House – M J Arlidge
  21. The Memory Keepers Daughter – Kim Edwards
  22. The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes – Anna McPartlin
  23. One Plus One – Jo Jo Moyes
  24. The Ship of Brides – Jo Jo Moyes
  25. The Goldfinch – Donna Tarrt
  26. Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
  27. The Island – Victoria Hislop
  28. The Woman Who Stole My Life – Marian Keyes
  29. The Visible World – Mark Slouka
  30. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
  31. Yes Man – Danny Wallace
  32. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  33. #GirlBoss – Sophia Amoruso
  34. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  35. Pursuit of Happiness – Douglas Kennedy
  36. How to Be a Woman – Caitlin Moran
  37. How to be a Girl – Caitlin Moran
  38. Not That Kind Of Girl – Lena Dunham
  39. Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain
  40. Second Chance – Jodie Picoult
  41. The Wives of Henry O – Johana Moran
  42. French Luietenants Woman – John Fowles
  43. Nanny Returns – Nicola Klaus & Emma McLaughlin
  44. Pay it Forwards – Catherine Ryan Hyde
  45. 127 Hours – Aron Ralston
  46. Revenge Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger
  47. I Heart Paris – Lindsey Kelk
  48. When God Was A Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  49. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  50. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
  51. The Wizard of Oz – L Frank Baum
  52. Mrs Winter – Susan Black
  53. Paper Towns – John Green
  54. It – Alexa Chung
  55. Bridget Jones Baby – Helen Fielding
  56. The Muse – Jessie Burton
  57. Living Dolls – Natasha Walt
  58. Knife Edge – Mallori Balckman
  59. The book of Lost Things – John Connolly
  60. The Bridge of Spies – Giles Whittell
  61. Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort
  62. Wild – Cheryl Strayed
  63. We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
  64. The Pianist – Władysław Szpilman
  65. We Bought A Zoo – Benjamin Mee
  66. A Brothers Blood – Michael C. White
  67. Dark Half – Stephen King
  68. Rose Madder – Stephen King
  69. Desperation – Stephen King
  70. Revival – Stephen King
  71. Dream Catcher – Stephen King
  72. Insomnia – Stephen King
  73. The Stand- Stephen King
  74. Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
  75. Before I Go To Sleep – S J Watson
  76. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas – John Boyne
  77. The Girls – Lori Lousens
  78. Bill Bryson at Home – Bill Bryson
  79. Salmon Fishing in the Yeomen – Paul Torday
  80. Yes Please – Amy Poeler
  81. The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  82. Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee
  83. The Marble Collector – Ceceila Ahern
  84. Book of Tomorrow – Ceceila Ahern
  85. Strong Woman – Karen Brady
  86. The Hobbit – J R R Tolkien
  87. Lord of The Ring; The Illustrated Edition – J R R Tolkien
  88. The Mystery of Mercy Close – Marian Keyes
  89. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  90. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
  91. The Almost Moon – Alice Sebold
  92. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany
  93. The Dry – Jane Harper
  94. The Girlfriend – Michelle Frances
  95. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
  96. The Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch AlbomThe Five People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
  97. The Savage Altar – Asa Larsson
  98. Zodiac – Robert Graysmit h
  99. The Girl of Ink & Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  100. Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
  101. Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism – Natasha Walter
  102. His Bloody Project – Graeme Macrae Burnet
  103. The Lie Tree – Frances Hardinge
  104. Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick
  105. My little book of Lykke – Meik Wiking
  106. My little book of Hygge – Meik Wiking
  107. If I Stay – Gayle Forman
  108. On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan
  109. Enduring Love – Ian McEwan
  110. Ariel – Sylvia Plath
  111. The Shadows In The Street – Susan Hill
  112. Mrs De Winter – Susan Hill
  113. Heartless – Marissa Meyer

I would like to flag that this does not include my regular book collection, any Kindle books (read or unread) or the books i want to read one day.

Some of these books I have had for over a decade (I tried, and struggled to read A Clockwork Orange when I was 18. It’s partly in Russian… Lolita was returned to me after a break up)

So many I’ve picked up and put down again because it’s been slow, or other exciting books came around (The Stand, The Almost Moon, Go Set A Watchman)

I’ve impulse bought so many authors. Rebecca, is one of my all time favourite novels so when I spotted a collection of Daphne Du Mauirier’s stories I snapped them up. I will always pick up by Cecila Ahern, Jodie Picolt and Stephen King novels I haven’t read when I spot them in a charity shop. And at one point, I decided I needed to expand my reading and picked up a load of Paulo Cohelo novels.

I need to stop buying books…


Thank you Matt for taking another blog photo. I would also like to point out, the blurriness is my inability to stand still during a long exposure.

Some of My Favourite Reads.

Reading is an absolute pleasure that I never have enough time to do. When I was younger and had a seemingly un ending amount of free time, I loved nothing more than getting lost in a world of words. The feeling of belonging I always longed to find with my peers, I found between the pages of books that introduced me to worlds I would have never normally come into contact with. And as I took on university and went into the world of full time retail work whenever I was feeling lost I would find my solace in great books. Books have never let me down, books have never hurt me and books will always be there for me. As is said in one of my favourite plays and films The History Boys:

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something — a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things — which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.’

A good book can change your life. So here are some that have truly touched me in some way.

 

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1). To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee.

I first read this book when I was 14 years old. That first time I didn’t quite understand the magnitude of the court case storyline and found myself focusing on how much of myself I saw in Scout. I have since read and re-read it at least half a dozen times at differing times of my life and I’d like to think I now understand the varying nuances of this fantastic story, but still I can never read it without Scout’s character resonating with me. In Scout I found a like minded soul whose voice always feels like its echoing a version of myself that still lives in the child in me. From the themes of racial injustice to childhood innocence to gender roles and many more there is something in this epic piece of literature that will excite and inspire anyone. If you haven’t yet you must read this book, it will touch your heart in a way you can not even begin to imagine.

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2). Regeneration – Pat Barker.

This is one of the few books I have been required to study, that was not ruined by the analysis process. Set in Craiglockhart War Hospital in World War 1, it tells the story of soldiers with shell shock (what we would call post-traumatic stress disorder) and the radical therapeutic treatment they received. In it we hear stories of fictional characters such as Billy Prior and we also get fictionalised accounts of War Poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. The novel deals primarily with the idea of the effect that war has on the psychology of the soldiers, specifically the hugely damaging effects of the trench warfare of World War 1. Told with harrowing beauty this book really makes you think about what we have put our soldiers through.

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3). Wild: A Journey fro Lost to Found – Cheryl Strayed.

I powered through this book on a holiday in Ibiza. I opened it up and was riveted. Telling the story of a woman who drops her life to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and through the trial and tribulations finds her way back to herself. If you’ve ever felt like you’re floundering, or that you don’t know what you’re doing with your life or that you are just completely lost this book will undoubtedly kick start you on your way back to path. It did for me.

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4). Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer.

An expansion of an article about Christopher McCandless, the book tells the story of how this young man ended up dead in a bus on the Stampede Trail in Alaska.

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Chris McCandless’ life long quest for truth is documented alongside tales of other liked minded maverick truth seekers. It will make you reevaluate everything you believe and how you view society and the way it works. It will make you want to find your own truth.

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But listen to his lesson, no matter how disillusioned you feel with the world ‘happiness only real when shared.’

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SPECIAL MENTION: The Wild Truth – Carnie McCandless.

Written by Chris McCandless’ sister it informs Into The Wild as it fills in the gaps she asked Jon Krakauer to leave. It also details her own inspiring story of overcoming struggle with no one to help her but herself.

 

So, what books should I read next? I’d love to hear about the books that have touched you.

 

Thanks for reading. Speak soon – Sally 🙂

A Book Review: Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

I first discovered Rainbow Rowell around eighteen months ago. After reading a snappy review of Eleanor and Park in a magazine, the title jumped out at me when it was a kindle deal. I picked the novel up a couple months later when I needed a distraction, and quickly lost a lot of sleep to a story I couldn’t put down.m I have since read a fiar bit of Rowell’s back catalogue.

So in September when I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands, my mum and I went on a trip around Truro charity shops (I love charity shopping), and I found Fangirl. For a pound.

The book focuses on Cath and her experiences when she first goes to university college with her twin sister. It touches on themes of first love, discovering yourself, familial relationships, friendships and most importantly and very importantly: fanfiction.

Cath(er) has a twin sister Wren, and university is the first time the two of them have existed as separate entities, a choice that was not Cath’s. The story is very much about Cath managing her anxiety, developing herself as a new writer whilst continuing her well established fan fiction, and standing up for what is important to her.

The characters are well rounded and believable, and very loveable. Reagan is a definite favorite. One thing I love about Rowell is when she writes less convetionaly beautiful characters, such as Reagan, rather than making her characteristically bubbly and happy she is herself. All imperfections accepted, confident in her own skin and a force to be reckoned with. If you enjoy Young Adult stories which have strong female leads, witty writing and a bit of love story its one to pick up.

A good book to pick up after this would be Carry On, the fan fiction that Cath writes throughout the novel is focused on the Carry On series a magical fantasy story which is more than inspired by Harry Potter

If you’ve yet to read Fangirl the wonderful Goodreads have a sample of the first thirty of so pages which you can find here.

In case you needed convincing that she was an absolute babe, Rainbow has a board on Pinterest entirely curated of Fangirl fan art. It is a thing of beauty, and was the perfect thing to help with the comedown after finishing such an awesome book.

– Emily

I will actually be dropping this off at my local charity shop soon, unless someone would like to take it off my hands?

I would rather be reading 

I am on a self imposed reading break, and its making me slightly sad. Instead of getting lost in the pages of a new world I’m studying for an industry certificate, and I thought my graduation heralded the end of academic exams…

If I was reading right now, I’d be flicking through one of these :

The Night Circus 
Circuses and magic, why wouldn’t I want to read this.

On the road 
A gift from my brother a few years back (is there anything better than a gifted book) that came with the dvd which we watched together. This is a reference to our mutual The O C obsession.

Elizabeth is missing 
A mystery novel that I passed to my mum the minute I got it home, after meeting her seal of approval I can’t wait to read this.

Yes please 
I love Army Poehler, and want nothing more than to spend hours with her steam of consciousness.

It 
I probably have around 300 pages left of this bad boy and really need to finish this to make some headway through my reading challenge 

Have you read any of these books, or are they on your to read list?

Emily 

Little collective book review: A Man Called Ove, Me Before You, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime 

​I’ve always been an avid reader, and part of my intentions with this blog was to review a my latest reads as I discovered them. Currently i am reading a lot, I have a new extra long commute each day and I easily spend ten hours a week reading just in trains. This post is a mini review of sorts, either these books arnt obsessions or I’ve found it difficult to clearly articulate why I loved them.im finishing them with a simple keep or donate, i pick up a lot of books from charity shops and like recycling them in this way. If you wanted to see a few of the previous books I’ve shared on here this is a good place to find them.

A Man Called Ove:

This was my last book club read, my new job makes it awkward to get to book club in time. I’m hoping, against hope, that next meeting (August 4th) will be one I can make! Anyway, I didn’t know what to expect with this book, I recognised the cover from a recent Waterstones display and had been mildly intrigued by the novel.

It took around four chapters to move from apathy for Ove to actual tears. This was  an addictive page turner of a book. I’m about to lend it to my boyfriend’s mum, but when I get it back I have a feeling I will be re-reading it.

Keep

Me Before You: JoJo Moyes 

Sam Clafin and Emila Clarke are two actors I have a soft spot for and the trailer for the upcoming film sold me on this story.

It’s a very simple love story with truly human characters. The story tragic yet bittersweet and very well written. You can truly appreciate the perspective of each charwxt, and the sheer length of the book (512 pages) means you have a good amount of time to make this story a part of your life. One parr of the story which has stayed with me even now, is Louisa’s experience with the maze.

Even with all this, I won’t be holding onto this book. As true as Louisa and Williams’ feelings are for each other, the story left a bad taste in my mouth because of how much William relies on Louisa for part of his care, that payment takes this from being a sweet uncomplicated relationship that would see Louisa in real hot water if she was a professional carer. That said I will be seeing the film, and I will be crying. Lots.

Also, now I’ve reflected on the story I might need to re read it to give it a chance…

Donate (eventually) 



The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Nighttime

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There’s not much for me to say about this one, aside from the fact I really liked the idea and uniqueness of this. I found this a very hard read I had to force myself though, I didn’t enjoy it (as much as I wanted to!) and it is in a pile for the charity shop, where it can hopefully find a new home.
Donate 

If you’re reading this and thinking I would love to read that… Im happy to lend out a out book, just promise you’ll return it! Drop me a message on Twitter if you want to chat books @Maytooctober_ 

And if you’re looking for a new blogger who also talks books check out Alice and Becca.

– Emily 

This is the year I read Jane Eyre

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This is a cheat, this is Secrets of the Tides as I cant find my physical copy of Jane Eyre!

I’m a big reader, and I always have been. My earliest memory is walking around a book fair at my first school with my mum. Traditionally if I don’t finish what I’m I’m reading I give up because I can’t get into a book. Jane Eyre is a different sort of beast all together. I’ve read this story four or five times and never managed to get past a certain part. Its not that I cant get into it, It would be on my favourites list, if I could only finish the thing!

The strangest thing about all of this, is that the first couple sections when Jane is living with her cousins, and her childhood at the school are amazing. Also when she starts as a governess and when she meets Adele are also parts I really enjoy. But something always seems to get in the way, and I get distracted, and I never know the fate of Jane and Mr Rochester.

I refuse to let myself watch any of the films until I’ve finished the book, as I want to experience the truest version of the story before I experience someone’s retelling. Which as a huge Mia Wasikowska is a very difficult temptation to resist.

This month I’m reading A Man Called Ove because of book club, and then there’s the Stephen King reading challenge I’ve set myself. But I will finish Jane Eyre

I have downloaded it on Kindle, and will read it in my downtime. Conveniently, now my commute time is increasing I will have much more time to read.

On A side note, I’m on Good reads, do you have a profile? and do you have a book like this that you’ve never been able to finish as much as you have wanted to?

– Emily

The Last Three Books I Read.

In the reading department I am a very lucky girl. I work in a school where they have a drop and read policy…basically for 25 beautiful minutes a day I get paid to read. This has given me the chance to power through some books I’ve been dying to read.

So here is the list of the last three books I got to read at school.

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The first book I took on was Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder because I was told to read it at university and never got a chance. For those of you who are not history nerds this might seem to be a bit of a dull choice but if you’re like me it was super interesting. It was a fascinating discussion comparing the death tolls of the Stalin and Hitler regimes in eastern Europe and it comes up with some brilliant points and surprising insights.

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The next book I took on I have been dying to read since I first saw and fell in love with the film Into The Wild. If you seen the film the book is in the same vein but you really get to know parts of Chris’ past better though still not enough. If you haven’t seen the film then watch the film it’ll capture your heart, imagination and sense of adventure and you’ll want to read the book.

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A huge contributor to Into The Wild was Chris McCandless’ sister, who for reasons she explains, felt it wasn’t right to tell the full details of the truth to Jon Krakauer though made sure to let the essence sink in. Many years later she decided, again for reasons she explains, to write her own book truly outlining the violence of their past that lead to Chris’ need to walk Into The Wild.

I would implore any history nerds to read Bloodlands and any lovers of truth and right to read Into The Wild and The Wild Truth and get to know Chris McCandless, you won’t regret it.

What have you guys been reading I’d love to know??

Thanks for reading. Speak soon – Sally 🙂