It’s that time of year when we all make fabulous resolutions so that by mid-January we can all feel like complete failures for having broken them all already. So, in the spirit of the season, here are the resolutions I plan to break over the coming months…
1) Cut back on taking freebies for review.
2) Make time for re-reads.
3) Reduce the TBR to no more than 70 by the end of the year.
4) Stop reading so many new-to-me authors (since the precious gold is hidden amongst a fair amount of dross) and catch up on the back catalogues of authors I know I enjoy.
5) Read more classics, including some Dickens and a book a month for the Great American Novel Quest.
6) Read more sci-fi/fantasy.
Hmm… I currently have 17 unread review copies, and have requested 6 more, so Resolution 1 is looking a bit shaky. I think we all know Resolution 3 isn’t going to work out. Resolution 4 is problematic since the TBR currently contains books by 54 new-to-me authors.
But I’m delighted to say that the TBR has increased dramatically to 133 – delighted since the increase is because I’ve added loads of things I want to re-read plus some sci-fi – AND I’ve wasted a happy few hours making up (yet) another lovely, lovely spreadsheet scheduling all my reading for the next few months so as to keep on top of Resolutions 2, 5 and 6. I won’t stick to it, of course, but the joy of lists is surely in the making of them… a beautifully over-complicated spreadsheet feels like an achievement in itself.
So here’s some of what’s coming up – judge for yourselves if they meet my intentions…
I enjoyed Zoran Drvenkar’s Sorry a lot, despite it being darker than my normal fare, so I’ve been waiting impatiently for this one to be released for Kindle. Doesn’t sound my kind of thing at all really, but then neither did Sorry…
The Blurb says “It’s a late-summer night in Berlin and notorious criminal Ragnar Desche isn’t too happy. He’s just found his brother, Oskar, dead, frozen stiff and sitting in his home next to a swimming pool full of marijuana plants. Someone’s flooded the pool and stolen a Range Rover, but what’s worse is that Ragnar’s huge cache of drugs is missing—and he’s going to want it back. Meanwhile, nearby, a group of teenage girls are out at the movies. Thinking about boys and worrying about acne, they notice that the prettiest member of their clique is missing. She hasn’t been seen for days, and the trouble she’s found herself in is about to set all of the girls on a collision course with the Desche gang and drag them into a fight for their lives—a fight that might turn out to be more evenly matched than it first appears.
A gritty, pulsating, psychological thriller told through the eyes of an enormous cast of characters, You is an audacious and unpredictable combination of pulp, pluck, and revenge.“
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Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences – just started reading this one and it looks as if it will be interesting, though I feel I might end up arguing with him as often as I agree with him. We shall see! Courtesy of NetGalley.
The Blurb says “Over the course of the twentieth century, scientists came to accept four counterintuitive yet fundamental facts about the Earth: deep time, continental drift, meteorite impact, and global warming. When first suggested, each proposition violated scientific orthodoxy and was quickly denounced as scientific — and sometimes religious — heresy. Nevertheless, after decades of rejection, scientists and many in the public grew to acknowledge the truth of each theory.
The stories behind these four discoveries reflect more than the fascinating push and pull of scientific work. They reveal the provocative nature of science, which raises profound and uncomfortable truths as it advances. This absorbing scientific history is the only book to describe the evolution of these four ideas from heresy to truth, showing how science works in practice and how it inevitably corrects the mistakes of its practitioners. Scientists can be wrong, but science can be trusted. In the process, astonishing ideas are born and, over time, take root.“
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The Blurb says “An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.
Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, “Station Eleven” tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.“
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When I read Aatish Taseer’s earlier book Noon, I had a couple of reservations about it, but overall felt he was a compelling storyteller and one to watch. So I was delighted to be offered this via Amazon Vine.
The Blurb says “The Way Things Were opens with the death of Toby, the Maharaja of Kalasuryaketu, a Sanskritist who has not set foot in India for two decades. Moving back and forth across three sections, between today’s Delhi and the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s in turn, the novel tells the story of a family held at the mercy of the times.
A masterful interrogation of the relationships between past and present and among individual lives, events, and culture, Aatish Taseer’s The Way Things Were takes its title from the Sanskrit word for history, itihasa, whose literal translation is “the way things indeed were.” Told in prose that is at once intimate and panoramic, and threaded through with Sanskrit as central metaphor and chorus, this is a hugely ambitious and important book, alive to all the commotion of the last forty years but never losing its brilliant grasp on the current moment.“
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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.