A new year means a new book goal– and I’ve already failed it. In 2018 I’m challenging myself to acquire no more than three books per month, with strong intent to read them within the month I acquire them. I’m determined to work hard at that this year, but apparently harder in the second month because January was a lost cause. I received 4 books as belated Christmas gifts on the 1st, and since that already put me over my goal I wasn’t as careful about exercising restraint. Here’s what’s new:
- Emma by Jane Austen. I love this edition (Vintage Classics) and maybe someday I’ll have more that match because right now I have five different editions between the six Austen novels on my shelf. I know absolutely nothing about the plot but that hasn’t stopped me from loving other Jane Austen novels. This is going to be my first of (at least) twelve classics for 2018, but since I revamped my TBR system those twelve might not fit neatly one per month, as Emma did not. I am planning to get to this one soon though.
- The Waves by Virginia Woolf. This one also found its way to my 2018 classics list, but it’s a bit farther down. It’s the same pretty Vintage Classics edition as Emma, a matching Christmas gift. All I know about the plot is that (I think) a child dies while a group of friends are playing at the beach, and the narration explores how the other characters are affected by the loss. I think I’m going to like it a lot, and I don’t think it’ll be sitting unread on my shelf in 2019, which is the real goal for new this year. I want to get as close as I can to reading every new book I acquire in 2018 before the end of the year.
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. A Christmas gift, again. I think this is the only Rowell book I haven’t read yet (along with its companion, Carry On, which I won’t read until after Fangirl). I’ve been saving these two for last, so I’m hoping to read and love them both this year. This one features a girl who’s starting college and trying to find her (metaphorical) feet through fanfiction after a family tragedy. She feels more at home participating in an online fandom than out in the real world, but now that she’s in a new place she needs to reconcile her online life with the changes around her.
- A Poem for Every Night of the Year ed. by Allie Esiri. This is the last of my Christmas gifts. I have been reading a poem per day, as the title suggests, and it’s been interesting. I’ve recognized a few of the poems for January already, and I like how some of the poems are connected to their significant dates– different celebrations and commemorations of writers from around the world, etc. It’s just a little something calm and interesting to wind down with at the end of the day, and I do intend to keep up with these throughout the year.
- As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner. This is my BOTM choice for January. I didn’t read much historical fiction in 2017 but I want to dip my toes back into that water. So I chose this heart-wrenching book about Spanish Influenza in 1918 Philadelphia, a subject I knew next to nothing about when I chose it. I want to pick up more books this year about new-to-me subjects. This is my current read, so I’ll have a review up soon.
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. This was BOTM’s book of the year winner for 2017, so I had to add it extra to my box. I’m making it a rule in this year not to add extras, but I couldn’t skip “book of the year” from my favorite subscription box. This one’s another historical fiction; it looks hefty and wonderful and I just know it’s going to be a quality read, which was my intent for 2018 reading: quality over quantity. All I remember about the premise is that the protagonist travels between Ireland and the US in recent history, trying to reconcile his personal and national history with present society.
- Iron Gold by Pierce Brown. I mean, it’s Pierce Brown. I love his Red Rising books. This one came out on the 16th, and I’m planning to pick it up as soon as I finish As Bright as Heaven. I bought a signed copy and I’m beyond excited to see how it’ll turn out for Darrow and crew (ten years later plus new characters) as they struggle to rebuild a better society on the bones of the one they ripped apart in Brown’s first three books. I hope this new installation is as beautifully chaotic as the rest of the series has been.
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. True crime has been piquing my interest for a while now but I haven’t really delved into the genre yet. This will be my first true crime novel (a sort of classic of its genre, I think) and I expect to like it a lot. It seemed like a good place to start and I expect it’ll show up on my next TBR in February. I think the murders it covers take place in the 1960’s, but I really like going into books as blind as possible so I didn’t look into details. (I’m sorry if a lot of my descriptions are vague on books I haven’t read, but I really don’t want to know more before I read them.)
- Aramada by Ernest Cline. I read and loved Cline’s Ready Player One in 2016, and I’ve heard over and over that that’s the better book, but this one’s got a gorgeous cover and I need to see for myself how well Cline’s writing transfers to another novel. It’s clear from the cover that this one has something to do with space invasions/battles but I don’t remember if it also involves a game, as well. I’m getting Ender’s Game vibes, but I really don’t remember the premise. It was on sale and my previous appreciation for Cline’s writing was enough of a motivator for me to pick this one up.
- Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while, but I bought it on a whim. This is the kind of un-pre-meditated book shopping I’m aiming to eliminate in 2018 by limiting myself to 3 books per month (It’s not that I regret buying this book, it’s that I regret buying any books on a day when that wasn’t in my plan). If I end up loving this one I do intend to read more of Albertalli’s books, but since I think they’re companion books, I want to read them in publication order and this is the first. In this one, something private of Simon’s is sent in an email to all the kids at his school, which causes his love/social life to blow up. I think.
So those are my new books. New BOTM selections will be posted in mere hours and I already know of one more that will be arriving in my mailbox in February, but I’m going to try really hard to stick to my 3 book goal. We’ll see what happens.
In the meantime, I am pleased that I’m already currently reading 2 of these, and planning to pick up at least 3 more within the next month. But still, that’s only half of the list, and I want to be eliminating unread books on my shelves this year, so here’s to doing better as the year progresses.
What new books did you pick up this month? Do you have book-buying resolutions? Have you read any of these?
The Literary Elephant