Since we are approaching the end of the year I decided to participate in the Bookshelf Love Reading Challenge in order to motivate myself to complete some of my reading goals for 2016. Especially now that I have so many things to do, I need to set a more specific goal if I want to finally read some of the books that I have added on my TBR shelves. I am not going to donate the books that I might not read within that time frame, because I might not have enough time to read all of the them. However, I am going to be posting weekly updates every Sunday in order to keep myself on track. You can find out more about this challenge in the original challenge page.
The guidelines of the challenge are the following:
1. choose a time frame for your challenge
2. select a stack of unread books from your shelves/piles/boxes/book hoard
3. post a photo and/or list of the books on your blog or social media, along with the chosen time frame
4. use the challenge image in your post (if posting on a blog) and link back to the original challenge page
5. leave a link to your post in the comments on the original challenge page, so you can be added to the list of participants
6. read, read, read!
7. donate, sell, giveaway, or recycle any books still unread at the end of the challenge
Now let me tell you which books I have set as a goal to read from October 14th to January 5th.
1. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
I have already started reading this one. In fact this is the second time I have started reading it. I am going to give it one last chance and if by the end of the year I have not finished it, I am going to give the Song of Ice and Fire series up for good and only watch the TV show.
The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros are plagued by civil war, while the Night’s Watch mounts a reconnaissance force to investigate the mysterious people known as wildlings. Meanwhile Daenerys Targaryen continues her quest to return to and conquer the Seven Kingdoms. All signs are foreshadowing a terrible disaster that is to come.
2. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
This is the last Song of Ice and Fire book that I own. So my goal is to read it by January. I really want to know what happens next in the Game of Thrones series but if I have not read the third book by January 8th I will probably watch the next Game of Thrones season long before I read all of the books. Also, the books take up valuable space on my TBR shelf, which stresses me out horribly when it gets too big. I need to finally find the willpower to either read them or donate them to the library.
Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces manoeuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords…
3. The Other Son by Alexander Soderberg
After reading The Indian Bride I wanted to read more Scandinavian literature. This book is in the same collection of books, which are all Mysteries by Scandinavian authors, translated and published by a Greek publisher.
P.S. I just discovered that this is the second book in a trilogy. This is the definition of bad luck! But I’m not changing my mind. I will read it and then read the first book if and only if I like the second. Take that bad luck inventor! (Was bad luck invented?)
The exciting follow-up to The Andalucian Friend, a breakneck thriller that follows Sophie Brinkmann as she faces the consequences of joining Hector Guzman’s crime empire
From the moment Hector Guzman entered a coma, Sophie Brinkmann has regretted joining his crime family. Hector’s right hand, Aron Geisler, is doing all he can to keep the sinking ship afloat and keep Sophie in their steely grip. But when Hector’s brother is murdered in Biarritz, Sophie gains the upper hand, and intends to use it.
Sophie becomes a player in a game where the rules are constantly changing, where loyalty and friendship are rendered meaningless. In order to survive, she must look inward and find her inner darkness. If not, she will be swallowed whole by the forces closing in on her: vengeful mobsters, cunning detectives, charismatic arms dealers, and possibly her own son.
4. The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridalson
This is another Scandinavian mystery that I bought together with the previous one and I really want to read it soon.
By the way this is the sixth book in a series… The bad luck inventor must really hate me! But I am not one to be intimidated. No, sir! I will read it anyway.
In the wake of an earthquake, the water level of an Icelandic lake drops suddenly, revealing the skeleton of a man half-buried in its sandy bed. It is clear immediately that it has been there for many years. There is a large hole in the skull. Yet more mysteriously, a heavy communication device is attached to it, possibly some sort of radio transmitter, bearing inscriptions in Russian. The police are called in and Erlendur, Elínborg and Sigurður Óli begin their investigation, which gradually leads them back to the time of the Cold War when bright, left-wing students would be sent from Iceland to study in the ‘heavenly state’ of Communist East Germany. The Draining Lake is another remarkable Indriðason mystery about passions and shattered dreams, the fate of the missing and the grief of those left behind.
5. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
I read Angels & Demons years ago and now that I own the rest of the books in the Robert Langdon series I want to read them, but I have been putting off doing so for a while now. So If by January I have not read Da Vinci Code I am going to donate them all to the library. The Lost Symbol and Inferno are not on this list, however, if I am not going to read The Da Vinci Code, then I am not going to read the other two either.
An ingenious code hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci. A desperate race through the cathedrals and castles of Europe. An astonishing truth concealed for centuries . . . unveiled at last.
While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci—clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.
Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci—and he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle—while avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every move—the explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever.
6. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Ever since I took an online English Literature course, I’ve wanted to read Robinson Crusoe. I’ve had a copy of it on my bookshelves for a few months now, but I’ve not read it yet because there were other books I needed to read first before I got to it. Now I am putting it on this TBR list both as a reward for reading the other books in it and as an incentive to get me more excited about this challenge.
Shipwrecked in a storm at sea, Robinson Crusoe is washed up on a remote and desolate island. As he struggles to piece together a life for himself, Crusoe’s physical, moral and spiritual values are tested to the limit. For 24 years he remains in solitude and learns to tame and master the island, until he finally comes across another human being. Considered a classic literary masterpiece, and frequently interpreted as a comment on the British Imperialist approach at the time, Defoe’s fable was and still is revered as the very first English novel.
7. Plato not Prozac!: Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems by Lu Marinof
After the seminar in Bulgaria I had decided to read more non-fiction and this is one of the books I picked up. Usually I am a bit hesitant to read non-fiction because I can easily feel bored and stop reading a book if there’s not something interesting enough about it to make me keep want to keep reading it. But I think that this one will not only be an informational read but also an entertaining one. So I’m eager to read it.
If you’re facing a dilemma — whether it’s handling a relationship, living ethically, dealing with a career change, or finding meaning in life — the world’s most important thinkers from centuries past will help guide you toward a solution compatible with your individual beliefs. From Kirkegaard’s thoughts on coping with death to the I Ching’s guidelines on adapting to change, Plato, Not Prozac! makes philosophy accessible and shows you how to use it to solve your everyday problems.
Gone is the need for expensive therapists, medication, and lengthy analysis. Clearly organized by common problems to help you tailor Dr. Lou Marinoff’s advice to your own needs, this is an intelligent, effective, and persuasive prescription for self-healing therapy that is giving psychotherapy a run for its money.
8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This is embarrassing. I feel like everyone has already read and loved Throne of Glass and I have not even glimpsed inside it. I bought my own copy of this beautiful edition while I was in London, but I have not read it yet and I really need to do so.
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
9. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
This is another book that everyone has loved and I have not read. Fortunately, the good thing is that I just bought my copy last month so it’s not one of those books that has been sitting on my TBR forever. It is one of the books I really want to read soon though, so I’m not putting it off.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
10. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Now that I finally have the first book in this series I need to read it as soon as possible so that I can decide if it is worth the money and time to buy and read the next three books in the series so that I can finally read the fifth and last one, which has been sitting on my TBR shelf for years waiting for me to do exactly that. Phew! This must have the longest sentence I have ever written.
Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty – especially if they learn of her Sight – and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.
Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.
Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention.
But it’s too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost — regardless of her plans or desires.
Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.
Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr’s stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.
11. Spiderweb by Penelope Lively
I bought this book last Christmas at the library’s book bazaar and I think that it is finally time for me to read it.
At age sixty-five, retired anthropologist Stella Brentwood buys a cottage in Somerset, England, and slowly acquires neighbors, a dog, and a professional curiosity about the country village where she intends to settle and put down roots for the first time. She has spent her life studying communities of people–their families, social structures, how they welcome outsiders into their midst-remaining an observer, privileged to share in their intimate life but not obliged, and finally unwilling to tie herself closely to any lover, friend, or social group. In Somerset, Stella once again finds an opportunity to become part of the web of relationships that make for human society, as well as a chance at true friendship and love. How will independent-minded Stella, Lays reluctant to make an emotional commitment, respond? Written in exquisitely nuanced prose, Spiderweb is a captivating and deeply moving novel, a brilliant vision of our modern experience.
12. The Last Juror by John Grisham
Also a book I bought at my local library’s book bazaar last Christmas. It is a mystery and I have been on a Fantasy/Mystery reading mood lately. (Okay, let’s be honest with each other, I am always in the mood for a good Fantasy/Mystery.)
In 1970, one of Mississippi s more colorful weekly newspapers,The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a 23-year-old college dropout, named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.
The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courthouse in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.
But in Mississippi in 1970, life didn’t necessarily mean life, and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.
13. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
I found this one when I was looking for books that fit my Book Riot Read Harder Challenge at the beginning of this year. Now that I have made my sister buy it for me (because duh it is expensive) I really do want to read it. I have never read a biography before and I think it will be an interesting experience.
From best-selling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs’ professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs’ family members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.
14. The Fox Hunt by Fani Pantazi
I am currently reading this one. I am only a few pages in but it is one of these books that grab your attention from the first sentences and I am guessing that it is going to be one of those books that keep your attention to the end. I will tell you all about it as soon as I have finished it.
He is living in perfect happiness with his wife and child, until he discovers that his beloved is cheating on him. And then, in just one moment, he loses the ground beneath his feet and everything around him is turned into rubble. After this traumatic experience and a painful divorce, he hates all women and his only goal from now on is to find a scapegoat.
In another part of the city, an unsuspecting young woman lives her own feigned happiness, until she discovers the horrible secret her husband has been hiding from her. After the inevitable divorce and the deep wound that it caused, one thing is for certain: She will never trust a man again in her life. The only thing she cares about now is her little daughter.
What will happen when these two people meet? How cruel can he be and how much more can she be hurt?
Two people who will be forced to realize that sometimes life makes our biggest decisions for us…
15. Philosophy: The Latest Answers to the Oldest Questions by Nicholas Fearn
Another non-fiction/philosophy book that I really want to read.
Ποιος είμαι; Τι ξέρω; Τι πρέπει να κάνω; Όλες οι απαντήσεις στα πλέον διαχρονικά καθημερινά ερωτήματα από τους πιο φημισμένους σύγχρονους φιλοσόφους. Ένας ευφυής και διασκεδαστικός οδηγός με τις απαντήσεις που δίνουν οι σημερινοί φιλόσοφοι -για παράδειγμα πως η ελεύθερη βούληση και η ταυτότητα δεν είναι αυτό που φαίνονται, ότι η διαφορά ανάμεσα στο καλό και το κακό είναι συχνά απλώς θέμα τύχης ή ότι μια μέρα όλοι θα είμαστε χορτοφάγοι- ο οποίος μας βοηθά να αλλάξουμε τον δικό μας τρόπο σκέψης.
16. The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé
Another book I bought recently. This one is very short and it sounds like a very funny book so I can’t wait to finally read it. (Warning: The description at the back cover of the Greek edition is simply hilarious, much better than this one.)
Has your life been a failure? Let’s make your death a success. With the twenty-first century just a distant memory and the world in environmental chaos, many people have lost the will to live. And business is brisk at The Suicide Shop. Run by the Tuvache family for generations, the shop offers an amazing variety of ways to end it all, with something to fit every budget. The Tuvaches go mournfully about their business, taking pride in the morbid service they provide. Until the youngest member of the family threatens to destroy their contented misery by confronting them with something they ve never encountered before: a love of life.
17. Το Χάδι του Ανέμου by Joelle Lopinot-Μαστραντώνη
This is another book from my September Haul that I really want to read and it is a short one too. I couldn’t find a translated edition for this book. If one exists then please tell me in the comments and I’ll put a link to it in this post.
Η Αυγή μεγάλωσε σε μία βάρβαρη οικογένεια που την κακοποίησε και την ταπείνωσε. Ωστόσο, βρήκε τη δύναμη, το σθένος και μια δίψα για ομορφιά που δεν μπόρεσε καμία ασχήμια να σκοτώσει. Γνωρίζει μια μέρα τυχαία τον Ζακ, ένα διάσημο γλύπτη, και κοντά του ανακαλύπτει το ταλέντο της. Τι κρύβεται όμως πίσω από το μίσος των γονιών της; Γιατί της είναι απαγορευμένη η αγάπη;
Σε κάθε της βιβλίο η Ζοέλ Λοπινό-Μαστραντώνη θίγει ένα καυτό κοινωνικό θέμα, αναλύοντας το ψυχολογικό υπόβαθρο των ηρώων της. Ένα συναρπαστικό μυθιστόρημα με αναπάντεχα γυρίσματα που θα σας κόψει την ανάσα ως και την τελευταία του λέξη.
18. Priestess of the White by Trudi Canavan
Now that I have the first book in the Age of the Five Trilogy I am ready to dive into another Trudi Canavan series. I loved all of her previous books and my goal now is to read all of her books that I have not read already.
In a land on the brink of peace—watched jealously by a ruthless cult from across the sea and beset by hidden enemies—five extraordinary humans must serve as sword and shield of the Gods.
Auraya is one.
Her heroism saved a village from destruction; now Auraya has been named Priestess of the White. The limits of her unique talents must be tested in order to prove her worthy of the honor and grave responsibility awarded to her. But a perilous road lies ahead, fraught with pitfalls that will challenge the newest servant of the gods. An enduring friendship with a Dreamweaver—a member of an ancient outcast sect of sorcerer-healers—could destroy Auraya’s future. And her destiny has set her in conflict with a powerful and mysterious, black-clad sorcerer with but a single purpose: the total annihilation of the White. And he is not alone . . .
19. The Cleft by Doris Lesing
I first found out about this book in the same book recommendations video in which I had discovered The Indian Bride. Since Mara was so right about The Indian Bride I am really looking forward to seeing if she was right about this one as well. Plus from what I’ve heard about this book it’s going to be amazing!
In the last years of his life, a contemplative Roman senator embarks on one last epic endeavor: to retell the history of human creation and reveal the little-known story of the Clefts, an ancient community of women living in an Edenic coastal wilderness. The Clefts have neither need nor knowledge of men; childbirth is controlled through the cycles of the moon, and they bear only female children. But with the unheralded birth of a strange new child—a boy—the harmony of their community is suddenly thrown into jeopardy.
In this fascinating and beguiling novel, Lessing confronts the themes that inspired much of her early writing: how men and women manage to live side by side in the world and how the troublesome particulars of gender affect every aspect of our existence.
20. The Diamond Alpha by Nora Pylorof – Prokopiou
This book was on my first book haul on this blog. I have not read it yet—obviously. I really did want to read it but I was constantly picking up other books and I forgot about it for a while. Now the time has come for it to be read.
Eight women (including the narrator) who all have in common the letter A, which is the first letter of all of their names, and a diamond ring that has been passed down to each of them for many generations.
The book is set in Thessaloniki of the 20th century and talks about, each of these woman’s struggle to become autonomous, and to oppose the male presence in their lives.
To be honest I started this challenge last week and I have already read two of the books on this TBR. However, I have been really busy and hadn’t had the time to write this post before now.
Lastly, I have a few e-books that are also part of my tbr right now, but I’m not going to add them to this list.
Now it’s your turn…
How are you doing with your reading goals for 2016? Are you participating in any challenges? Have you/Are you participating in the Bookshelf Love Reading Challenge?