January Book Haul

Finally, a manageable book haul! I didn’t spend money on a single book this month, so the number of books I acquired isn’t as scary as other recent months. Still larger than I intended, but manageable. I’m proud of myself for saving up some book money in the first month of the year, but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep that up. I’m really excited about some anticipated 2017 releases. But I’m going to be reasonable about it. Here’s January:

  1. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book, but I’m so enamored with the idea of telling a story through the eyes of secondary characters that I had to see for myself. This is an idea I’ve been playing with for my own writing, so even if I end up disliking the book, I think it’ll be a good learning experience to find out what works and what doesn’t. Even better, without trying I managed to buy a signed copy of this one! This one, and the next 6, came from a Book Outlet order during their Boxing Day sale; I purchased them in December and they arrived early in January.
  2. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. This is an adult fiction novel about, I believe, a dysfunctional family who stand to inherit a “nest” of money left in a trust by their late father. Except there are rules for receiving the money, and all of the siblings’ funds are at stake. Plus, of course, the cover is absolutely divine. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while, and I think I’ll be reading it in the spring/summer.
  3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. My positive experience with Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle books has renewed my interest in YA series, and I always love a good fantasy tale. I’ve heard good things about this series, although I’ve also found that many people who say it’s a great series end with, “I just haven’t picked up the third book yet,” which is a little suspicious, but we’ll see. I found a nice Christmas sale with this entire set available, so I also picked up the sequel:
  4. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. Although I’ve already got a little list going of the next few YA series I want to read, I’m glad to have these books in reserve. There’s almost nothing as satisfying as knowing I can avoid that crippling anxiety of not having the next book in a series at hand when I want it. Honestly, that’s more or less how I’m determining what to read when, because I’ve learned (yet again) how difficult it is to get lost in a great new release and then be left hanging until the next publication (ahem, ACOMAF). I also grabbed the third book in the trilogy:
  5. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. You may have noticed by now that I really know next to nothing about the specifics of this series. I did read the synopsis, but it’s been months. I like jumping into books without knowing too much about them, so lately I’ve been reading synopses and blurbs, deciding which ones I want to read, and then waiting until I’ve forgotten what I learned about them to start reading.
  6. The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld. I’ve been more interested in magical realism recently, and this one looks really intriguing. There’s some sort of magical prison, and a woman with unique powers, and I think a priest factors in somehow, too. It looks like a short, captivating read with a great cast of characters and I’m excited to find a more promising read in this genre than my last pick.
  7. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. In my last haul, I mentioned that I have a mild interest in accumulating the books of Gabaldon’s Outlander series, but I’m really more enthused about the TV show than Gabaldon’s writing style, so I’ve picked up the first two books now with the TV covers and I’m perfectly content to wait for the next two seasons’ release (the show’s been contracted through season 4 so far) to acquire those. I like to be able to look back on my favorite parts or double check details, but I’m not looking for a full series reread anytime soon, so no hurry.
  8. Lucky You by Erika Carter. This is my first month with Book of the Month Club, and I’m so excited about it. I only selected one book for January (I can see how easy it will be for me to jump off the deep end and add all the possible extras, so I forced myself to start small while it was still manageable). This one’s about  a trio of twenty-something girls–and one boyfriend–who are having a little trouble getting their lives started and decide to run away and live in the woods instead of dealing with their problems. Except reality follows them, of course. This one’s not in bookstores until March, which is a cool bonus as a BOTM member to have access to a book that’s not even released to the public yet.
  9. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn. This is a bonus short story bound alone in book form that arrived in my January Book of the Month box. I was so excited to see this “Happy New Year extra” in my box because 1. I love free books, and 2. this one was already on my TBR. It’s so short I’ve already squished it into my reading schedule, and found a perfectly sized spot for it on my overflowing bookshelves. It’s weird and creepy and utterly unique.
  10. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. My mom bought me this book on a sale. I’ve been wanting to read Sherlock Holmes, and I think this will go well with that. There are so many great YA books these days–not just unique stories, but unique takes on familiar stories, like this Sherlock spinoff. I wish the YA category had been as diverse and exciting as it is now back when I was first discovering it.
  11. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve been wanting to read the Grisha trilogy and this accompaniment duology so badly, and now that I have all the books I will start picking them up probably in February. I used my Christmas gift card plus a nice sale discount and my membership perk of free express shipping to order this set from Barnes and Noble after the holidays, which also included:
  12. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. This is the second book in the Six of Crows duology. I’m pretty sure I’m going to absolutely love these books, and they have the gorgeous red and black ink on the sides of the pages that make these books stand out even more. I can’t wait to get started on these.


The fact that I ended up with a dozen new books in a no-buy month that I felt pretty good about sticking to is a little sad. I’m going to try to stick to a book budget in February, but I already have a few new books in mind so we’ll see how that goes. It’s not that I mind buying books. I love reading them, and I love having them available to reread whenever the mood strikes me, but I need to get my “bookshelf TBR” in order. This is the year, I swear.

Anyone else still depressed about a single lifetime being too short to read all the books?


The Literary Elephant


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