January TBR 2015

“It’s time to begin, isn’t it?”

Happy early New Year to all of you who have subscribed to me (thank you!) and to those who have only just come across my blog (hello!). I know it’s two days early, but I have a feeling I’m going to be hungover on New Years and therefore won’t be able to type coherently let alone decide what books to read. My New Year’s Eve is going to consist of watching the ball drop on my couch with my SO. The two of us will drink champagne and other alcohols while feasting on a wonderful meal of Stouffer’s mac & cheese and chicken nuggets. It will be splendid. :”D

So I’m picking my books today. Because champagne usually kicks my ass.

First, if you remember, I decided to join Katytastic’s TBR Jar Challenge. And if you also remember, I mentioned needing a jar. Well… I found a jar. It was full of hot chocolate powder, though. So after a lot of hot chocolate drinking, I now have a jar!

IMG_0909Instead of a typical tbr jar that contains all the names of books I have yet to read, this one contains twelve challenges to complete. Each month, I will draw one and in addition to the rest of my tbr list for the month, I’ll read a book that fulfills the challenge on the slip I pull. So I pulled one:


A book that is not a novel. As I’m writing this right now, I have no idea what I will read to fulfill this, but by the time you get to the bottom of this post, I will have gotten up, gone through my books and chosen one to add onto the list (it’ll be at the bottom of my list since I already know what the others are, yay). So onto my January to-be-read!

 1. S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst

This book I’m very much looking forward to getting farther into. This is the most intriguing book I think I’ve ever come across in my 24 years of reading books. The book itself contains another book. Goodreads probably does a better job describing it than me, but here I go, my best shot:

The book within is called “Ship of Theseus” by VM Straka. As you read this book, you notice it is translated by someone who has schizophrenia and is obsessed with Straka. Then you begin to see notes scrawled in the margins by someone who has also read the book. Soon after a second person begins to scrawl in notes as well. As you continue to read “Ship of Theseus” you begin following a second story in the margins as the two readers interact with each other and try to find out more about the mysterious author and the schizophrenic translator. And throughout the book, there are things you’ll find folded up in the pages, like news articles and maps and lists that the readers have made. It’s so fascinating turning a page and having something unexpected fall out. That’s the why book comes in a box, so none of the pieces go missing before you can get to them. I really like it! So you’re really reading a book within a book. I’ve already started it and even though it looked daunting with all the different color notes along the sides, I soon picked up a knack for knowing when to pause in reading the main passage of the book and switch to reading the notes that follow along. It’s a lot easier than it sounds and I can’t even explain how I figured out when to pause. I just… did. And if you pick this up, I’m sure you’ll be able to see it too. I am SO excited to continue this book. I feel like even if I end up hating the plot, the fact that it’s just so damn fascinating and interactive will compel me to write a review for it. Though from what I’ve read so far, I feel like I’m going to love this. Political intrigue, conspiracy, I love it I love it I love it!

2. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

I’ve been reading this book since September and I still have over 150 pages to go. I don’t know what it is about this book, I just can’t read it quickly. But, honestly, I’m loving it. Right now it’s sitting at a solid 4 stars, could bounce higher if the ending is spectacular.
I think part of what is taking so long with this book is that the plot is not immediately obvious, I suppose. Going into it, I didn’t realize that. The book instead is about the city New Crobuzen, in which the story is set. China Mieville breathes life into this city to the point where I feel like I could walk down its streets, see its sights, smell its smells, interact with all the different creatures he has created. It’s so wonderful. My goal is to finish this book this month. I think that if I finish this one and no other, I’ll be satisfied (I mean, I hope that doesn’t happen, but whatevs. I’d still be happy).

As far as I know, this book is part of a three book set of companion novels, of which I also own the second one, The Scar. And if that book is anything like this one in writing style, I’m sure it’ll be just as rich and fulfilling. Looking forward to finishing this one and hopefully getting to the next very soon.

3. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This is another one I’m still reading. This one’s progress is a lot slower than the others, purely for the reason that I’m reading it aloud with my SO a chapter or two at a time, and with all the holiday stuff going on recently, we haven’t touched it in a couple weeks. I’m really hoping to get back to it soon before I begin to forget everything that’s happened so far. This book actually contains five books, but I’m not counting them as five on my goodreads, just because they are all relatively short and when combined together, make a decently large sized tome. So I’m going to leave it at that.

For the few of you remaining on this planet who have not read or heard of this book, it’s about uh… well, hitchhiking, towels, aliens, poetry, robots and sarcasm. It’s so wonderful, I highly suggest it.

4. The Diviners by Libba Bray
This book is one that I picked up recently and then put down purely because I grew distracted by other books. I really am liking this book though. And lucky for me, the Reading Adventures Book Club on Goodreads has chosen this book as one of their January picks. So guess what, perfect opportunity to resume reading this and hopefully finish it. This is a chunker of a book though man, holy cow. And from what I’ve heard it’s the first of a series, not a stand alone like I thought it was when I originally purchased it. Those goofies, making me emotionally invested only to take those emotions and rip them apart in what I am sure will be a cliff hanger at the end of the book. Mark my words, there will be a cliff hanger.

This book is set around the 1920s and the main character is definitely a flapper. I really like Libba Bray’s writing in this – she writes the 20s really well – the slang used, the implied social roles and their alteration during this decade, the history, it’s all wonderful. This book, if you couldn’t tell from the title has a supernatural twist. I love it.

5. The Keepers of the Garden by Dolores Cannon
I think this is going to be an awesome read. This is my TBR Jar Challenge book. This book I actually borrowed from a friend before winter break with a promise to get it back to her by the beginning of the spring semester, so it was perfect that I would pick ‘not a novel’ for the challenge this month. This book is written by a hypnotherapist that specializes in regression and past lives. I’m not 100% sure if I buy into this or not, but I’m keeping an open mind. Anything is possible, right?

The book I believe is about a case this woman had where she regressed a man and he slowly revealed his past lives. Now, when you hear about past lives, you think great kings, raccoons, blah blah. Earth species. But this man, as he goes farther and farther back, begins revealing past lives he’s lived as extra-terrestrials. Alien past lives. How awesome is THAT?! It will be so awesome to read about. I can’t say I’ve read anything like this before, fiction or otherwise. I can’t wait to pick this one up.

So that’s it, my January TBR. I’m hoping to finish all of these, but we’ll see what happens. My classes resume on January 20th and as soon as that happens my reading is going to take a nose dive, so I’m hoping to have the majority of these finished before then. Wish me luck, and happy reading!

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