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.

 

dsc_0069

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.

dsc_0056

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.

dsc_0060

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.

dsc_0064

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.

dsc_0078

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.

dsc_0076

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

dsc_0074

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 🙂

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 

This is the year I read Jane Eyre

wp-1455010500736.jpg
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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

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 🙂

Reading Challenge: Stephen King

dsc_4518.jpg

Stephen King novels are what made me fall in love with reading as an adult. I’ve always been a fan of the horror and macabre, I can distinctly remember an early nightmare involving my ballet class and Dracula when I must have been seven. My dad is also a fan of horror, and never had the strongest respect for age ratings. If he’d watched something and deemed it appropriate, we were then permitted to watch it. Species and Poltergeist were in no way appropriate at the time for my ten year old sister or eight year old brother, but they weren’t permanently scarred.

The first Stephen King book I can remember getting my hands on was Carrie, and I scoured charity shops for that thing for months. Sadly it went over my head, at twelve the change of media in the narrative ruined the progression of the story, which is funny as I now have a new respect and love for the novel. I think the next King novel I found was The Shining which cemented my love of King.

If I find a King fan I honestly get so enthusiastic and over excited. Sadly though, I haven’t opted for King novels recently. I’ve leaned more towards romance, drama or fantasy novels. The last King Novel I read was Cujo which I devoured, I couldn’t put it down, it reminded me why I fell in love with Stephen King novels. There are few other novels that I become so completely obsessed with.

So I’m setting myself a reading challenge of a Stephen King Novel a month, for the next year. This will be alongside the Book Club monthly read, I’m pretty certain I can do two novels a month. All but one, these have all been grabbed from charity shops, I’m attempting to control my spending and this was an easy way. I will also be re donating any I don’t fall massively in love with.

    1. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
    2. Doctor Sleep
    3. Misery 30/01/17
    4. The Green Mile 7/7/14
    5. Stephen King On Writing
    6. Stephen King Goes To The Movies
    7. The Dark Half
    8. The Stand
    9. Gerald’s Game (thank you Sam!19/04/2016
    10. Christine
    11. It 2/10/2016
    12. Needful Things 6/5/16

bonus Horns: Joe Hill 11/4/2016

I have already read 1 and 3 and started reading 8 around six years ago and kept getting distracted. I’ve left half of this list free (I had, now I only have one free space!) to enable me to find a King novel I really want to read. I’m tempted by Dolores Cailborne, Different Seasons (Where Shawshank Redemption is found as a short story) and am considering allowing myself a cheat book with Joe Hill (king’s son)’s Horns.

Either way expect more book reviews! Do you have a favourite author who’s back catalogue you would like to make your way through? Do you have any Stephen King Recommendations?

– Emily


This last month in books: five different stories

I read a crazy number of books this month…

I am a book hoarder, and I tend to re-read books I enjoy. If I donate a book (I will never throw away a book unless it is unreadable, even if it’s a Jodie Picoult and the conclusion makes me so angry) it’s because I will never read it again. The first place I look when I get to a charity shop is the books, then the clothes. I must have 100 books, around 50% of which I’m yet to read. So,entires this hoarding is amazing (so many choices), other times it’s an inconvenience (lots of books take up lots of space).

One of the ways I attempt to control this hoarding is with a Kindle. I don’t notice any discernible difference between the two mediums in the experience of reading. The biggest benefit of owning a kindle for me is that this small device can potentially store hundreds of books, minimising the physical space they take up and reducing the weight I carry around on a daily basis. I have a tendency to hoard Kindle books also, i browse the monthly and daily deals and download books I’ve wanted to read and buy them whilst they’re on offer. 

This Kindle stock piling served me well, as I read Miss Peregrine, our book club read, in about a week, and needed something enganging quickly afterwards as a balm. As an aside, I read the majority of the Mindy Kaling novel and Sue Monk King novel whilst in Amsterdam, travelling I find goes hand in hand with a good book. In a normal month, three is normally the meaximum number of books I could read

Miss Peregrine’s School For Peculiar Children: Ransom Riggs

This was a book club read. It was such a disappointing book for me, that it spurred my reading to cleanse my mind of it’s lacking. The novel had potential, but it ended at an odd point, and left a lot of questions. Only one book clubber was a fan! The story is about a young teen who afternl his grandfather passing away in a dramatic situation, travels to a Welsh island to explore his grandfather’s past armed with a box of odd photographs. This New York Times Bestsellers is being made into a film, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

£5.12      2/5

The Miniaturist: Jessie Burton

 This was the antithesis to Miss Peregrine. I’d been putting off reading it, as for I thought it was a story of a wife having an affair with a Miniaturist, I was so wrong! The novel is a story of secrets, dreams, social order and secrets. If you enjoyed Rebecca I would recommend this novel, it has the same themes of being an outsider in a large house with secrets and rules surrounding you but that’s as far as the comparison goes. I struggled to put this book down, and spent the interim discussing different themes with my friend Katie who had already read it. It’s the story of a young girl who marries an older rich and successful man, and weeks after the wedding moves in with him, his sister and thier servants. It’s a house full of whispers and secrets, of feeling unfulfilled and dreams.

£2.84       4/5

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy Kaling

I bought this because I loved the title. I’ve never watched anything with Mindy in it but the clips I’ve seen for The Mindy Project look amazing. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend this one, but I enjoyed it. It was interesting to see into someone’s childhood and the story of how they built themselves up professionally. I enjoyed the book, but it would be back to the charity shop if it was a physical book.

£4.99      3/5

The Secret Life Of Bees: Sue Monk Kid

Another case of misunderstanding, I thought this was a feminist novel. Not a clue where I got that idea from. What it is instead is a story of a young white girl who runs away from home to find out more about her mums past. It is set during the American Civil Rights Movement and focuses on this little girl coming to know herself whilst caring for Bees and living with three Black sisters, and her maid. It’s interesting and fill of mystery and secrets. Fans of The Help would enjoy this. (

£3.99      4/5

The One That Got Away: Simon Wood

This was an easy read, the sort of thing you take one leave behind. It’s a story about a woman escaping a serial killer but leaving her friend behind. Aside from the guilt she feels at her actions, the killers finds her again. It was an easy book to finish the month off with, if your a fan of Criminal Minds like me, you’d probably enjoy this!

£3.98     2/5

I have read exactly two pages so far this month. 7 days ago we chose our new book club read: The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens and Im finding it hard to get into, not that ive particularly tried, im two pages in. Ive finished one magazine this week, thats the most taxing read ive provided myself with. Though if we’d gone with World War Z or Night Circus I would probably have finished the book already… Not at all bitter…


This is not a sponsored post, I like books and simply wanted to share another post on the topic.

Most of  the instagram pictures are other people’s images that were public, I have embedded them to share some of my favourite images. The copyright belongs to the owner of the image and not me.