It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to start planning which books to read in 2017! I read some great books in 2016, but I also had some rocky reading months. Now I’m getting organized to have the best reading year ever, and these are my picks for January:
- The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I was hoping I could get around to finishing the Raven Cycle in December because I like finishing projects at the end of the year, but I had so many other books already borrowed and planned that I knew it was unlikely I’d manage to finish this quirky, supernatural YA series ahead of schedule. I suppose the beginning of a new year is almost as good a time to tie up loose ends, so I’ll be reading this one early in the month, and with as much as I’ve been enjoying the series so far, I’m sure I’ll like this one.
- All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. This is an adult magical realism book that’s been on my radar for a while, and I finally checked it out from the library in December. It’s due back soon, so I’ll be reading this one early in the month as well.
- Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. I think this is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, but set in a prison. I hated The Tempest, but I think that was mostly because I hated the literary class I had to dissect it for; I’ve really loved the Margaret Atwood books I’ve read so far, one of which was also partially set in a prison, so I’m hoping this book will turn my opinions of The Tempest around. At the very least, I am familiar with the play, and I generally enjoy comparing adaptations to familiar stories. I can’t wait to check this one out.
- Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. I meant to read this one in December, but even though it’s short I just didn’t have time. Also, toward the end of the month when I had originally planned to read it, I decided to read one classic per month for 2017 (check out my Year of Classics choices here) and thought this would be a great choice to start off the year. So I’m adding this winter-y tale to my TBR for the second month in a row, and aiming for better results.
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I read my first Rowell novel last month and was intrigued enough to seek more. This one was lent and recommended to me by a friend, and since I didn’t have time for it in December, I’m making time at the start of the year to check it off my list. I feel bad taking very long to read borrowed books, and I fully trust my friend’s reading recommendations, so even though I don’t reach for YA contemporary stories very often, I’m eager to pick this one up soon.
- City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I’ve actually read this urban fantasy YA book already, but it’s been years. My Shadowhunters history: I read the first three books of the Mortal Instruments series and then stopped because that was all that had been published at the time, and the end of the third book felt like an end to a trilogy, so I wasn’t even aware that more books could be expected until a few years later when the Infernal Devices books started appearing on my radar.Since the end of City of Glass felt like an ending to me, I noted that there were more books in that series but jumped right into the Infernal Devices instead. After reading the first two of those, I had to wait for the third one to be published but somehow just didn’t pick it up. By now, I hardly remember anything about any of the five books I’ve read, I really want to read Lady Midnight, and new years are for new attempts–so I’m going to try reading all of Cassandra Clare’s books in publication order this year. I’m hoping to read them faster than one per month, but I don’t think I’ll read them all back to back, either. I’m just going to start with one in January and see where life takes me.
- Vows by LaVyrle Spencer. My mom lent me this romance novel several months ago, and I feel badly for taking so long with it, but I see her often enough and I know she hasn’t had much time for reading since she lent it to me so that I don’t feel too much like I’m causing any sort of delay for her. My mom hardly ever lends me books, though, so I am intrigued about this one, and it’s another loose end I wish I’d had time to tie up in December.
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I bought so many books in 2016 that I haven’t read yet, and the only way to make it better is to stop borrowing so many books that I don’t have time to read my own. I love the library, and I’ll still go, but I’m going to limit myself there so that I have time each month for at least one book from my own shelf. My one-classic-per-month goal will help with that, because every classic I picked for 2017 is one I already own, but those aren’t the only books from my personal library that I want to read. This one has been at the top of my list since October, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. So I’m going to try very hard to make time for this thriller in January.
I’m hoping to read even more books than this in January, but these are the reads I’m most intent on finishing. I do have other projects I want to work on in 2017, so eight books seemed like a realistic number, in line with the number of books I’ve been reading per month lately. If I read more, I’ll consider them a bonus. I didn’t want to assign myself so many books that I would have to spend February catching up instead of setting up a new TBR. I’ve grown to love setting up new TBRs every month. I didn’t think I would. How do you decide what to read next?
Are any of these books on your list for 2017? It’s a great time of year for a warm blanket and a captivating story. Let me know what you’ll be reading to kick off the new year!
The Literary Elephant