Happy new year


I suppose it’s a little late for a new year greeting, unless you’re Chinese, but I’d really like to say happy new year to everyone. January is always an exciting month because we all get our reading priorities outlined, and we all make new lists, try to sort through our TBRs, all that.

My TBR pile is not as daunting as it used to be. The past couple of years I’ve greatly limited my purchases and now I find myself going over the shelves, thinking, I have nothing to read!

But of course there’s The Savage Detectives, waiting. There’s Foucalt’s Pendulum, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath. There’s Fingersmith, Netherland, The Tale of Genji, Of Human Bondage, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. A Moveable Feast and All the Names and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. And Wolf Hall and All the Pretty Horses, Two Lives, and In the Skin of the Lion. I could go on and on. There will never be nothing to read, thankfully.

So there is my 2014 reading list. Well, part of it. Deep down I am jumping with excitement just looking at the titles. I really, really hope to get to all of them. And then afterwards I’ll feel better buying more.

Meanwhile, I’m in fantasy mode, enjoying the absurdities of A Game of Thrones. Like in life and in chess, good men do go down here. I have seen the past three seasons of the show but thought a little backstory would be fun. Books always make things clearer.

So are you reading mostly from the TBR pile this year or are you giving yourself complete freedom to acquire?

12 thoughts on “Happy new year

  1. I have an intimidating pile of TBR books now, but I have told myself that I will only keep the review books that I really liked and for now, it seems to be working. I still have to read Eas of Eden as well so, let’s compare notes!

    • Hi Elena, I know what you mean. So many good books out there that some review books could be a possible waste of time. In this case, it helps to be picky! It would be nice if we read East of Eden at about the same time, though I’m betting you’ll get to it first ha ha.

  2. Happy New Year, Claire! Good to find you in your new/old home. Your reading plans sound great! I’ve read a few of those, and enjoyed them. I reviewed Netherland and The Savage Detectives on my blog a few years back. I don’t have a solid reading plan for the year, other than a general idea of reading more contemporary literary fiction, which means probably buying more new books and neglecting my TBR list for another year!

    • Happy happy new year, Andrew! It feels nice to be back. These titles are just the ones from my shelves that I remember off the top of my head. I have to get to them sooner or later, preferably sooner because I’m trying to discipline myself not to purchase until I’ve knocked off about 80% off of the TBR. Pretty ambitious, I know. It’s going to take a lot of willpower!

      I’ve been off the radar when it comes to contemporary lit the past couple of years so I’ll look to you to get me back on track. :) My stuff on the shelves are mostly either older classics or modern classics. I will certainly go back to your reviews of Netherland and The Savage Detectives when I’m done with them for added insight, which you are always wonderful at giving us. Cheering you on on new acquisitions!!

  3. I love your picture! A Game of Thrones is such a good read, perfect for any weather. East of Eden is another good read. If you get to it, I hope you enjoy it. Happy New Year!

    • Hi Vasilly, thank you! I took that photo after getting off the bus last November, a couple of days after the first snowfall of the season. It was a very slushy and icy day, I remember.

      I’m enjoying A Game of Thrones a lot, reliving the show and getting deeper into the heart of the characters besides. Looking forward to East of Eden so much. Have you read The Grapes of Wrath or planning to?

  4. I never saw the mini-series of Game of Thrones, but I certainly loved that novel. I’m not usually a huge fan of fantasy, but that book was so engrossing! The only problem is I shouldn’t have let a lot of time lapse between that and Clash of Kings because I got a little confused on the characters…

    • Hi Bellezza! Are you planning on reading the rest of the series? I just recently got A Clash of Kings, all ready! Are you planning on watching the show? I think you should! This is one of the rare times when I’d seen the film before I read the book. And it’s effective because the show gets you into it so much and then the book enhances the experience. The TV series is very well done and mostly true to the books, but of course reading them afterwards just lets you in on the secrets of their hearts..

    • Hi Olduvai, thank you! That picture was from the first really cold day in November, one afternoon when I was walking home from work.

      I don’t know if you’d prefer reading first over watching. I certainly always do. Except, in this case, I wasn’t planning on reading the books, so I didn’t have any second thoughts about watching the series without having read them first. It was only afterwards when I thought about reading them just to see if there were any tidbits that we’ve missed, like details about family histories and, especially, delving deeper into the characters’ thought processes, as I was sure the books would do. In the end I found the reading enriched the watching even more.

      I will recommend doing as I did, watching first before reading, and only in this case, because, as it is a series, the thrill is in not knowing what’s going to happen next. If you already knew what was to happen next, watching wouldn’t be as fun and thrilling. The show stays almost completely true to the book—only a few minor details off—so in reading afterwards what you’ll gain is the fun of learning the histories of why things are and what happened before they were and also discovering the innermost desires of the characters. The fun in this for me was not just for myself either. Everytime I found some tidbit out, I’d go to my husband and tell him.. so this is why so-and-so was being this-and-that. Well, I hope this helps and I hope you enjoy watching and reading the series soon! I’ll be on to the second book soon enough. :)

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