December TBR

This is another overly ambitious list, but it’s my final chance to fit in the remaining books I wanted to read in 2017 and I’m going to TRY. SO. HARD. There were so many more books that I just know I’m not going to end up getting around to before the end of the year, but here are my top priorities for December reading:

  1. The Alienist by Caleb Carr. This is a book for my reading challenge. I’ve already started this one, as it was on my November TBR as well, but November was just too busy for me to finish everything I wanted to. I should be able to wrap this one up pretty quickly in December. It’s about a psychologist (or “alienist”) trying to catch a murderer at the turn of the 20th century.
  2. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. Another book for my reading challenge. I’ve only read Donoghue’s Room, so I’ll be interested to try another of her books. I believe this one takes place in Ireland, and there’s a girl who’s a miracle… I don’t remember much, but the synopsis did catch my eye at the end of 2016 and I’m glad I found a way to fit it into my reading challenge.
  3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker. A book for my reading challenge. If I get really desperate, this one could fill two categories for me, so I want to get to this one soon just in case I can see that I’m not going to make it through my list by the end of the month and need to count this one twice. I don’t actually have my hands on a copy yet, but I’ve got a hold at the library so I will have it in my hands soon.
  4. The Iliad by Homer. A reading challenge book, carried over from my November TBR. I’m ashamed that I haven’t gotten around to this one yet, since it was also my classic of the month for November. I was so busy though, and home so little, and I didn’t want to be carrying around the giant edition of this book that I own, a collection that also includes The Odyssey. I miss Greek mythology from my Latin classes at school, and I have read part of this story before so I think it’ll go much faster than it looks once I get started.
  5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Here’s my December classic of the month, which also fulfills a slot in my reading challenge. And also, it’s almost Christmas. I want to be reading a Christmasy book. You can’t go wrong with the ghosts of Christmas, right?
  6. Some Luck by Jane Smiley. I had to amend one of the categories of my reading challenge slightly, and this is the book that will fit the edited slot. I don’t know much about this one other than that it’s the first novel of a trilogy about a family in Iowa. And I once had the opportunity to meet Jane Smiley but I failed.
  7. Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Another book for my reading challenge. I had better get to this one within the month because I ordered my own copy just to make it easier to pick it up after I forgot to hunt for a copy at my library. I mean, I did get it on sale, but I really only bought it to help me through this reading challenge. And surprisingly, I know very little about this play. I believe there are witches? I’m going to find out.
  8. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer. Here’s the final book for my reading challenge. I might not actually read this one. I’m not in the mood for WWII historical fiction, and I know it’s going to be iffy whether I’ll actually get everything done for my reading challenge anyway. And if I count The Color Purple for two categories, as I mentioned above, I don’t technically need this one. It feels like the lazy/cheating route out of completing my reading challenge, so we’ll see how it looks toward the end of the month. I will try to get around to it if I can, but I don’t even have a copy of the book in my ownership right now.
  9. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. I made it my mission to read all of Cassandra Clare’s books this year, and I’m so close. I have two left, and I already own a copy of Lady Midnight. If I don’t get back to the library to check out a copy of Lord of Shadows this month (I’m waiting to buy my own copy until the matching paperback comes out), I do want to at least get through this one before the end of the year since it’s already on my shelf, and because it was already published when I decided to read all of Cassandra Clare’s books this year. Lord of Shadows was not, so I’m willing to give it a pass until 2018.
  10. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve read the entire Grisha trilogy earlier this year, and Six of Crows more recently. I enjoyed them all, but Six of Crows was definitely my favorite, and I’m dying to read the sequel. If it wasn’t for my reading challenge, I would have read it already, but here we are. I really want to wrap up this duology before the end of the year, because it’s nice to wrap things up in December (except I’ll still want to read Bardugo’s Language of Thorns in January) and also because I must find out what happens next!
  11. Aesop’s Fables, by Aesop. I’m not entirely sure when I started reading this, but I think it’s been about a year now. I was just reading a few of the fables every day, but at some point I got too engrossed in whatever novel I was reading to keep going and now I’m still only halfway through the collection. I just want to wrap it up because it’s December and I want to start 2018 fresh instead of in the middle of things. This one’s a lower priority but I am planning to get back to reading a few fables every day to see if I can finish it pretty easily within the month.
  12. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin. I started reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series this year without big hopes of finishing it in 2017, so when my fall work schedule got so busy I paused this one to come back to it when I had a better chance to give it my full attention. I was really liking it before I put it down, but I lost momentum by setting it aside and now I’ve got so many other things to read before the end of the year that I just haven’t picked it back up. If it’s at all possible, I do want to get back to this one in December, and back to the Game of Thrones TV series as well.
  13. The Power by Naomi Alderman. This was my BOTM pick for October, right in the midst of my busy fall schedule and my sudden realization that I might not make it through my reading challenge if I don’t work harder at that. I’ve got a little stack of BOTM books I haven’t gotten around to yet, but neglecting this one threw me off for November as well, and who knows what I’ll do about December’s selection. I want to read all of my BOTM books (I’m considering making January a BOTM catch-up month because I’m planning to do another year of BOTM and I don’t want to keep falling behind), but this one’s at the top of the stack and I feel like reading it will get me unstuck. Also, the story sounds so intriguing: a change in the power dynamic of the world as women discover they have the power to physically shock other humans with their hands. I’ve seen it compared to Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which I enjoyed, so I’m looking forward to it.


So there we have it. Thirteen books sounds unlikely, but not impossible, so we’ll see what happens this month. Your guess is as good as mine, at this point. If you’re interested in my reading challenge progress, you can check out my last update, and/or stay tuned for the final results, which I’ll post at the end of December or early January. In the meantime… happy reading!

What are you reading in the last month of 2017?


The Literary Elephant

18 thoughts on “December TBR”

    1. I’ve heard so many good things about it! 🙂 I’m sad it’s taking me so long to get through the duology, especially after how much I enjoed SoC. I can’t wait to get to it!

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      1. I just finished the series last week. I can’t believe I didn’t get to it sooner! I’d wanted to read the Grisha Trilogy, and while that was good, I wasn’t as into it as I am with six of crows, so I put off six of crows far longer than I should’ve. I tried to read some other books before crooked kingdom, but nothing held my attention without knowing what happened after six of crows, so I ended up reading it immediately after.

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      2. I felt the same about the Grisha trilogy; it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t inspire me to pick up SoC right away. Once I did, I loved it, but I also did enjoy taking a break between SoC and CK just because the plot is so fast-paced. I want to be able to read CK slowly enough to savor it, because I just know I’m going to be sorry it’s over!

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      3. That’s exciting to hear! I did see rumors about a Nikolai book, but I haven’t been following up with that possibility. I would definitely read more Nikolai! Siege and Storm was his chance to shine, but that ended up being my least favorite Grisha book because it seemed like so little was happening. I hope a new book will be a better opportunity for him! *checking it out on Goodreads right now*

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      4. Me too! I love the way he talks, and while I liked Six of Crows better as a book, no character in the series has been able to match Nikolai’s greatness.
        I do hope that King of Scars talks a bit about the characters from Six of Crows, the way Six of Crows does to the Grisha Trilogy. I do love the ending of Crooked Kingdom, but I still have questions. I wish it were a trilogy!
        (I’m going to shut up now so I don’t accidentally spoil anything.)

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      5. Haha thanks for resisting the spoilers! I hope that I’ll get around to reading CK and be “in the know” soon, though. 🙂
        I know what you mean about the SoC characters– they’re great as a team, and sometimes that can overshadow their individual personalities. I did gain a lot of respect for Inej though, and Kaz once I knew more about his backsory. But yes, I think Nikolai has a lot of potential as an individual character. Especially as a leader of Ravka, I think he’ll have a uniquely interesting story. That’s definitely going on my TBR.

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      6. My favorite character in Six of Crows was Kaz. I would think to the other chapters, “Get out of the way! I want to read about Kaz!”
        In Crooked Kingdom, I did like the other characters more, especially Wylan and Inej. Kaz is still my favorite from Six of Crows, though.
        My favorite in the Grisha Trilogy was Nikolai, followed by Harshaw (and Oncat) and Zoya.

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      7. My fave from the Grisha trilogy was the Darkling. Well, in books 1 and 2, before he was just evil. I read a Grishaverse short story about his childhood too, and I loved seeing his character when he’s vulnerable and/or trying to be good. In book 1 he had so much potential, it was hard to tell whether he was a villain or secretly trying to be helpful, but I think in the end a lot of his potential wasn’t realized, which was disappointing. I also appreciated Oncat. 🙂
        I’m hoping CK will reveal more deep dark character secrets, because I think reading about Kaz and Inej’s pasts was what really made me love them. A lot can change in a novel the size of CK. I’m so looking forward to it!

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      8. I loved The Darkling too! He was a surprisingly loveable villain (even though the villains are usually my favorites). I’m probably going to read A Demon in the Wood sometime after I finish Language of Thorns.


      9. Ah, yes, A Demon in the Wood was the Darkling short story I read. I loved it! It really adds some depth to the Darkling. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
        I don’t always like the villains. Sometimes they’re just evil, and that’s boring. The best villains are the ones you don’t know are villains– the ones you root for because sometimes good people do bad things, but there’s still hope. That’s how the Darkling seemed to me in Shadow and Bone, and I want to remember him that way always…

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    1. Thank you! It’s great to hear that about The Wonder– I thought Room was well written, but the premise of The Wonder sounds so different that I wasn’t sure what I should expect from it. That’ll be one of the first books I start in December, I think, as will The Color Purple. I have quite a variety of books ahead of me this month, and I’m looking forward to getting through as many as I can. I hope you have a good reading month ahead of you, too!

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