Despite a more than generous Christmas bookhaul and recent book buying trip, as a bookaholic I am, of course, never satisfied and am constantly on the lookout for the next great read. Working on my wishlist always takes me to my happy place and helps to tune out all the stresses of the day. So given that I’ve to go back for yet another trip to the dentist this morning, one which has every potential of bringing pain and the possibility of more dental work, I’m going to visit that happy place and think about the books that I want to read most in 2014. They’re not necessarily all new books coming out this year but they’re all new to me.
1. S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst
Written by the genius behind TV shows like Alias, Lost and Fringe, it’s about a woman who picks up a book left behind by a stranger which is filled with his margin notes. She then writes notes of her own for him and leaves it for him to find. It’s a really unusual reading experience because the book that you buy is the actual book that these two fictional readers are writing in so you’ve got the story they’re reading plus the story that’s revealed through their notes in the margin. And apparently there are lots of puzzles and scraps of paper with additional notes stuck in between pages for you to make sense of as well. It could either be a really weird but fascinating read or just plain weird! It’s a bit pricey just now but I look forward to trying to make sense of this one!
2. Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
I first heard of this book when I read Lisa’s review on the fantastic Bookshelf Fantasies blog and now I see it everywhere in the blogosphere! The story is about two prospective roomates who start to email each other the summer before they will be sharing a room together at UC Berkeley. Apart from the fact I could relate to the nerves and anxiety of moving away to college, the fact that this story involves my beloved San Francisco and equally beloved Berkeley has me desperate to read this one!
3. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
This is the third and final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and there are no words to describe how excited I am for this one to come out! What will happen with the Chimera? What will happen with Karou and Akiva?? This is one of my all-time favourite series and I’m sure this one won’t disappoint!
4. Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience ed by Shaun Usher
I can’t even remember how I came across this book. It’s another one that’s a tad too pricey at the moment but I’m really looking forward to getting a hold of it. It contains over 100 letters from some of the most famous people in history including Zelda Fitzgerald, Fidel Castro, JFK, Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, Katherine Hepburn, Elvis Presley and even Da Vinci. It contains the first recorded instance of ‘OMG’ in a letter to Winston Churchill of all people and even a recipe for scones from Queen Elizabeth II to President Eisenhower. I find it hard to believe that the Queen has ever set foot in a kitchen unless she was touring a homeless shelter but there you go!
5. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
This was another one that I first saw on Lisa’s Bookshelf Fantasies blog and you can read her review here. I just absolutely loved that title and the plot really appealed to the escapist in me and to my love of stories like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The main character is not at a good place in her life – her dissertation isn’t going well and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman. While at her friend’s wedding she wanders off and, as you do, stumbles through a portal into an alternative world where no doubts all sorts of mischief await!
6. Austenland by Shannon Hale
I missed the movie of this one when it was out as it was only on limited release here in Scotland but it seemed like the ideal story for a Jane Austen fan. A young woman from New York, obsessed with Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy goes on the trip of a lifetime to an English countryside resort which caters to Austen fans, where visitors get to dress up and live like they did in Regency times. I would LOVE a holiday like that! Sigh…
7. Almost French: A New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull
The fact that I’d want to read the true story of journalist, Sarah Turnbull’s move from Sydney to Paris shouldn’t come as any great shock to those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while. For those of you who haven’t, I am a wee bit obsessed with Paris and I plan to move there someday and open up a bookshop on the Left Bank, so I’m really looking forward to living vicariously through Sarah’s experiences in this book.
8. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
I read the first in this series, Shadow and Bone, last year and after seeing how many times this one appeared on Best of 2013 lists, I really don’t know why on earth I’ve waited this long to read it! With the latest instalment, Ruin and Rising, due later this year I really need to get a move on so I’m poised and ready to go when it comes out.