Category Archives: Book Haul / TBR

July Book Haul

Great news, guys, I stuck to my goal! I’ve been trying to acquire five books or less every month in 2017 because I want to work through a bunch of unread books already on my shelves, but I think this is only the second time I’ve actually accomplished it. Because books. They’re so tempting. Here’s what’s new –>

  1. Final Girls by Riley Sager. This is my July selection from Book of the Month Club, a slasher thriller about a handful of girls who’ve all been the “last one standing” after a murder spree. Now their initial survival is making them targets again, and this time the escapees won’t all survive. I’ve already started reading this book, but I think I’ll be finishing in early August.
  2. The Alienist by Caleb Carr. Here is an extra selection from BOTM that appeared on their list earlier this year, but was initially published in 1994. It fulfills a slot in my 2017 reading challenge, so I added it to my July box and will definitely be reading it before the end of the year. It takes place at the turn of the 19th century, which is one of my favorite time periods to read about, and features a psychologist (or alienist) as part of the team to solve a grisly murder.
  3. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. I pre-ordered this book earlier this month because I’ve loved Ware’s previous two books and I wanted to get my hands on this one as soon as possible. This one’s a thriller about a body that washes up on shore and a group of women who were friends from childhood who’ve made a game out of lying. Now it seems that one of them has been lying to the others and someone’s life is at stake… I would’ve read this one already, but the mail was slow so I’m starting today.
  4. The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I bought the first two books in this series in paperback at the end of 2016 and had kind of been waiting to read them until I could get this one to match and finish out the collection. The paperback came out this month, and now I’ve read book one and intend to be reading book two literally at any moment, so I’ll definitely be getting to this one soon. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this trilogy’s ending, and I can’t wait to see for myself how it’ll end.


And that’s it. My short and sweet July book haul list. This is one haul I’m sure will be completely crossed off my TBR before the end of the year, which I’m proud of. It means I’ve made smart choices about what I will actually be reading soon. This is what I was aiming for all year, but I’ve only accomplished it maybe twice, so I expect bigger book hauls on the horizon. I already have a Book Outlet order planned for August, so we’ll see how far off my goal of 5 I’ll be next month.

What new books are you looking forward to reading? Have you read any of these?


The Literary Elephant

August TBR

I’m in one of those reading moods where I just want to read everything all at once and the certain knowledge that I won’t have time to read every book before I die is extremely depressing. It’s made me a little more impulsive than usual with what I’m picking up to read next. In July, I set my TBR much larger than I could manage, so that I would have plenty of choice in what to read next. The problem with that tactic is that when I started working on my August TBR my first instinct was to add all the extra books I hadn’t gotten to from July because I felt like I’d failed for neglecting them. But I don’t want my TBRs to make me feel like I’m failing, so I’m trying a new tactic. This month, I’m only listing the bare minimum in my TBR, the books I know I will absolutely be getting around to–the next books in series I’m reading, the reading challenge fulfillers, etc. When I finish those, I’ll decide what to read next as I go. Here’s what I know for sure I will be reading in August–>

The book you voted for in my latest Choose My Next Read post:

  1. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien. The category was “first in a YA series,” but I’m also counting it as August’s Classic of the Month. (My classic of the month was supposed to be Dumas’ vengeful The Count of Monte Cristo, which I still really want to read but I have other long books in mind for August so I’m going to put that one on hold for now.) This one’s about a hobbit going on an adventure in search of treasure, and there’s an elf and a dragon, I think, and that’s all I know. But I’ve been meaning to read this book for years, and I can cross two reading goals off my list with this one book so I’m going to pick it up in August.

A reading challenge book:

  1. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I love a good murder mystery, and this one also fulfills a slot in my 2017 reading challenge (book based on a true story). Also, there’s a movie coming out based on this book in November and I’ve never seen an Agatha Christie-based movie but I want to. It follows a murder case that’s taken place on a train, where everyone is a suspect and anyone could be the next victim. I don’t actually have a copy of this one in my hand yet but it will arrive in a few days and it’ll probably be a fairly quick read.

A library book:

  1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I know this is an adult fantasy in which a boy is chasing a fallen star for the girl he loves, and I don’t know much else other than Neil Gaiman wrote it. I’ve been wanting to read more of his books, and this is the one I found at my library. It looks short and fun, and reading A Game of Thrones in July put me in the mood for more fantasy so I’m going to give this one a try.

Series I plan to continue immediately:

  1. The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. This one was on my July TBR and I didn’t find time for it, but I do really want to continue this series (first book: The Queen of the Tearling). I’ve heard that this second book is the best, and I can’t wait to see what will happen when Kelsea, new queen of the Tearling, will clash with the powerful Red Queen of the neighboring land. Also, Mace is pretty cool. I’m excited to see what will happen next for this crew, especially now that I’ve ordered book three to wrap up the trilogy.
  2. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. I’ve been reading Clare’s Shadowhunter books in publication order this year, and I’ve finally reached the end of her biggest series. This is the 6th book in the Mortal Instruments series, and after I’m through with this one I’ll be moving on to the short story collections, and then to the most recent releases in the Dark Artifices trilogy. I’m so excited for all of that, but first I have to find out how this saga will end for Clary and Jace and the rest of their friends. Will they finally outsmart Sebastian and fix the clave?
  3. A Clash of Kinds by George R. R. Martin. Last month I finally picked up A Game of Thrones again, and loved it just as much as the first time. But now I’m planning to continue, and the length of this one is part of the reason I changed my classic of the month to a shorter book, because right now this is a higher priority for me. I’m finally going to read all of the books in this massive series, and watch all of the episodes. I’m certain I’ll get to this one really soon even though I know it’ll take considerable time to work through. I can’t wait to see what happens next for all of my favorite (and most-loathed) characters.

A Book of the Month Club selection:

  1. Final Girls by Riley Sager. This was my July selection from BOTM, a slasher thriller that looks more suited for October than summer, but I’ve seen some great reviews and I’m a thriller fan year-round. I did read a few pages already, and thrillers also go fast so I’ll probably wrap this one up at the start of the month. It’s about three girls who’ve been the “lucky” survivors of murder sprees, who are now being pushed together and targeted by a new killer because they escaped the first time.


And that’s my list. It’s 7 books, and I’m fairly confident I’ll read more than that, but these are my top priorities at the moment. I needed a non-overwhelming TBR this month. I want to be able to cross everything off the list instead of leaving a handful of unread books at the end of the month. (Although I’ve also got library holds on Midnight at the Electric, Exit West, and Because You Love to Hate Me, plus I’ll have a new BOTM book coming, and I’m still expecting The Lying Game in the mail, so no matter how many books I put on my official list for the month, clearly they keep piling up.) Wish me luck.

What are you reading in August?


The Literary Elephant

Choose My Next Read: Round 3

Here’s your chance to vote for a book you’d like to see me review in August! I’ve been particularly enjoying having some assistance in deciding what to read next from my ever-growing TBR, and I love seeing your feedback on which books I should read and which reviews you’re most interested in. So without further ado, please choose my next read!

The category: first in a YA series

The rules: choose one title from the list I’ve compiled below of unread books from my TBR that fit this category, and vote for it in the comments. The book with the most votes (or randomly selected winner between tied titles) will appear on my August TBR, to be read and reviewed within the month.

The books:

  1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. The 18 year-old ruler of Khorasan takes a wife every night–only to have her killed in the morning. Shahrzad volunteers for one such marriage with the intent of revenge for a friend who died under the same circumstances. She tells stories to keep herself alive, and in the process learns the secrets of the tortured ruler who killed her friend.
  2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. In 2575, there is an ongoing war over possession of a small, icy planet. Kady and Ezra, in the middle of a bad break-up, are forced together in the evacuation and additionally through a plague outbreak. On top of those challenges, the artificial intelligence of the ship seems to be working against their race to figure out what, exactly, is going on in space.
  3. The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. With few survivors left on Earth, those who remain have learned not to trust anyone. Beings who look human but are decidedly not also roam the planet, so when Cassie meets someone new who might be able to help her she must first determine whether he is who he appears or presents a new danger altogether.
  4. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson. Princess Lia is out to break tradition–the tradition of arranged marriage for royalty based on best political gain. She runs away on the morning of her own wedding to settle in a distant common village, unaware that two men are pursuing her–an assassin, and the prince who would have been her husband.
  5. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. Hobbit Bilbo Baggins ventures on a quest for treasure guarded by a dragon. He stands to gain more than gold–through each part of his quest he faces a new challenge that will also teach him in turn to use the complete range of his personal skills and encourage him to learn about his own nature. (I’m counting this as first in a series because I intend to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy afterward, and would be using this one to get me started.)


A disclaimer: I’m agreeing only to read the first book of any of these series in August. I do own the next books in each of these sets, and I do intend to continue at least through a second book in all of them, but when I get around to a second book in a series depends on my interest level in the first and what else I’ve already planned for upcoming months. But I will absolutely read at least one of these books in August.

Please lend a hand. Drop a name. Leave a vote in the comments, because there are too many books on my TBR that I should’ve already read and I don’t even know where to start. Which of these books would you like to see me review next?

The deadline: Wednesday, July 26, 10 pm US Central Time.

May the best book win!


The Literary Elephant

June Book Haul

I had a goal of buying only five books this month, and… I almost made it, until the Book Outlet sale. Without the Book Outlet books I ordered this month, I acquired only 6 books in June, and at the time that I bought book 6 I thought, “I could resist this if I really wanted to, but I already failed my goal so why not?” So I’m going to keep trying for 5 books per month in the future, but in the meantime, here are my 14 new books from June:

  1. Vicious by V. E. Schwab. This one technically arrived in my mailbox on the last day of May, but I had already posted my monthly book haul so it carried over. I still haven’t read any V. E. Schwab yet, but she’s high on my list, and after much consideration I think this will be the first one I will read. I was hoping to get to it in June already, but I got a little off of my TBR so probably July. I think it’s about a bunch of college kids who are trying to become superheroes, which sounds pretty awesome.
  2. White Fur by Jardine Libaire. The Book of the Month Club selections for June hit the mark for me exactly, so I couldn’t resist filling my June box with the maximum number of selections–3 books, all brand-new in June. This one’s a gritty Romeo and Juliet type romance, and I’ve already read and adored it.
  3. The Sisters Chase by Sarah Healy. Here’s my second BOTM selection, which I’ve also read already. Sometimes I’m bad about reading my new books promptly, but I was already off of my TBR when my BOTM box arrived and I couldn’t help myself from diving right in. In this one, two sisters fourteen years apart in age suddenly find themselves parent-less and set off across the country, trying to escape the past and find their way by any means necessary. All the emotions come out in this book.
  4. A Million Junes by Emily Henry. And this is my final BOTM pick for the month. I haven’t read Henry’s previous publication yet, but this magical realism YA romance sounded exceptional and as soon as I finished reading the blurb I added both of her books to my TBR. I’m actually starting this one now, and quite enjoying it.
  5. The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry. As long as we’re talking about Henry’s books, I might as well admit that her first book also found its way to my shelves this month, via the Book Outlet sale. This is another YA magical realism with some romance, and I believe it’s a completely separate story but set in the same world as her newer release. I hope to get to this one soon, as well.
  6. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I’ve been hearing a lot about this series since its third book came out earlier this year, so when I saw how cheap it was on the Book Outlet sale I added it to my cart, along with:
  7. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. This is book two in the same series. I believe they’re a futuristic fantasy/dystopia set that’ll eventually be seven books long, which sounds like a nice break from all the trilogies I’ve been reading lately.
  8. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Long reputed to be the first modern novel, this classic was written in the early 1600s. Whenever I find a long classic I want to read, I tend to buy it because they’re easier when I don’t feel rushed by a library due date or an impatient friend. I found this one also on Book Outlet and it’s more of a long-term reading goal than an immediate one, but I’m making an effort to read more classics lately so hopefully it won’t be unread on my shelf for too long.
  9. Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King. Another Book Outlet find. I’ve heard great things about A. S. King’s writing, and this book in particular. I think it’s about a boy with a grief-addled family who’s also being bullied, but he escapes through adventurous dreams about the place where his grandfather died in the Vietnam War in an effort to escape his harsh reality.
  10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. I know very little of the plot–I think a boy finds a neighbor’s dog dead in the yard at night and is trying to piece together what happened. I picked this one up because I have a metal bookmark that’s printed with the titles of “50 books to read before you die,” and this one’s on that list. I’ve liked the books I’ve read from that list so far, so I didn’t really need to know more about this book than that.
  11. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I loved Jodi Picoult’s books in high school. I think it was around the same time I was reading a lot of Nicholas Sparks books. I haven’t ready anything of either of theirs lately, but there are still a few Picoult titles I’d be interested in checking out to see if I still like her stories or have grown out of them as I believe I’ve grown out of Sparks’. I’ve decided to give her latest release a try, and I figured I might as well buy it cheap from Book Outlet and add it to my high school collection of Jodi Picoult novels.
  12. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. My eighth and final Book Outlet selection. Oddly, I hadn’t even heard of Dennis Lehane until I chose his newest publication, Since We Fell, as a BOTM selection a couple months ago. I still haven’t read that one yet, but when I discovered he was the author of Shutter Island (I love that movie), I was very interested in checking out some of his other works. This looked like a good place to start, although I think technically I will start with Since We Fell before moving into more of his books. In any case, I’m intrigued.
  13. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Barnes and Noble classics are only $5 each right now, so of course I had to pick one up. So I combed through the display looking for all the classics at the forefront of my long-term TBR and chose the thickest one. There’s just something so pleasing about getting a long book for a little money. This one’s full of romance and tragedy, which is my favorite combination in a classic.
  14. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan. I’m a sucker for those staff-picks displays at bookstores, even at the big chains like Barnes and Noble. The sale books and the staff picks are the first two things I check at any bookstore. When I went into Barnes and Noble planning to buy one $5 classic of undetermined choice, I checked out those staff recommendations and couldn’t resist this new release. It looks like a mystery about a death at a bookstore that’s also connected to past violence and weird use of books. I’m looking forward to reading it soon.


Those are my new books. I’ve already read two of them. I’m aiming to stick closer to 5 in July, and this time I’m pretty confident. Generally after I spend more money than I planned, I compensate for the empty-wallet guilt by spending very little afterwards. But then again, I was pretty confident that I could stick to 5 books in June, and look what happened. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

What new books did you pick up in June?


The Literary Elephant

July TBR

I have a TBR for July, but after I jumped all over the place with my reading in June, I don’t trust myself as much to stick to the plan, and thus it’s a loose plan. There are a few different parts to my list for July, so let’s look at those.

First, the winner of this month’s Choose My Next Read vote:

  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. This one’s about a Lithuanian teen who ends up in a Siberian labor camp with some of her family, and is trying to convey to her father, who’s been separated from them, what has happened to them–through her art. It’s a YA WWII historical fiction.

Second, the books I didn’t read from my June TBR that are being carried over to this month:

  • Vicious by V. E. Schwab. I believe this one features a few college students who are working together to create superpowers for themselves. Surely that will go awry. This will be my first V. E. Schwab book, and I’ve heard excellent things not only about her plots, but about her beautiful writing style, so I’m eager to check it out.
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I read Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy earlier this year, and have been meaning to start this tale of an epic Ravkan heist ever since. All I know is that it has new characters but takes place in the same world, and that I’m probably going to love it.

The books I currently have on loan from my library:

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This was a new YA release in May and has been receiving rave reviews. I know that it’s about a girl who watched her best friend die, and that it was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a book that I’m sure will live up to its hype.
  • A List of Cages by Robin Roe. This is another 2017 YA release with great reviews. As far as I know, this one’s about struggling foster siblings  helping each other find their way through some similar difficulties after they’ve been separated and have found each other again.
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while and finally found it at my library. Again, phenomenal reviews. All I know is that it features a crotchety old man with new neighbors who unearth a big story from the man’s past that will change all their lives in the present. I’m hoping for something like Mr. Fredrickson from Up.

Series I hope to continue this month:

  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. This is the third and final book in the Infernal Devices trilogy. This has been so long coming. It’s been years since I first read the two earlier books in this trilogy, and after rereading them earlier this year I’m dying to find out how it all ends for warlock Tessa and her Shadowhunter friends in Victorian London.
  • The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. This is the second book in the Queen of the Tearling trilogy, which I just started reading last week. There’s a lot of world-building and plot layout in book one, but even so I loved it and can’t wait to see what happens next for Kelsea and the Red Queen and everyone caught between them.

A new release I want to read ASAP:

  • The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. The publication date for this new thriller is July 25 in the US, and I will be reading this one as close to that date as possible because I have been eagerly anticipating a new Ware thriller since I finished reading The Woman in Cabin 10 last August. I don’t like to know too much about thrillers going in, but I do know that a woman walking her dog along a river finds a dead body that sets this one in motion.

My classic of the month:

  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. I have a cool annotated (and illustrated) copy of this one and it seems like a good summer-type classic. It will be my first but probably not my last Robert Louis Stevenson read, and I’m looking forward to it. It must be about sailing, and treasure, and adventure…

Some extra books I’ve been eyeing on my shelf lately:

  • All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. This is a BOTM book I have backlogged on my shelf, and I’ve been meaning to read it for months. It’s about a young girl who’s father is a meth dealer, and who becomes unlikely friends with one of her father’s henchmen after he wrecks his motorcycle.
  • Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I really want to read this one in the summer, and summer dwindles fast so I hope I’ll be able to fit this one in somewhere soon. It’s a YA novel that features a teen girl who’s best friend has gone away and left her a list of activities to keep her life from becoming too boring and complacent in the absence of her wilder friend.
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I’ve actually read this one before, but only this first book of the Song of Ice and Fire series. I have been wanting to finish all five books that are published so far, and I think it would be best to just start over. This also seems like a good summer endeavor, because all that snow in Stark north is too miserable to read about in actual winter. It’ll be good to get back into this series and all the characters I love/hate.


Those are the books I will likely be choosing from in July, 13 in total. I doubt I will have time to read 13 books this month, and after I veered from my plan in June I can’t even guarantee that I won’t be picking up something totally unexpected in addition. Some of these categories are higher priorities than others–I will certainly be reading the Choose My Next Read winner, the library books, my classic of the month, and probably that new release. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Also, if the July selections from Book of the Month Club look anything like the irresistible choices from June, I will probably feel the need to cram an extra BOTM book or two in there somewhere, but I won’t know until the new selections are announced on the first. So I have a TBR, but I have no idea what will actually happen with my reading schedule in July.

If there’s anything on this list you particularly want to see a review for, please let me know in the comments below because that really helps me prioritize what to read next when there are just too many good choices!

What are you reading in July?


The Literary Elephant

June TBR

I wanted to do something a little different with my TBR this month. I wanted to create a short list of must-reads and a longer list of books to choose from in the reading time I would have left afterward. But the more I looked at all the time the short list would leave me and the great books on that longer list of choices, the more I narrowed them down; soon I had a full length list of must-reads and not many choices left. So below you’ll find a pretty normal TBR, although I left some flexibility in it to keep things interesting.

  1. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. I’m prioritizing the Shadowhunter books because I’m right in the middle of the two older series and I’m excited to get to the Dark Artifices soon, so I will definitely be reading at least one Cassandra Clare book this month. I think it’s highly likely that I will also be reaching for Clockwork Princess, the final book in the Infernal Devices trilogy (and next in publication order) later in the month if I reach the end of the list early. I won’t explain what these are about here because 1. many of you probably know about the Shadowhunter books by now, and 2. if you don’t, these are middle/end-of-the-series books and spoilers are cruel.
  2. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. This is my classic of the month (it’s about a man who can’t work because he’s turned into a bug). Since I set up a schedule of twelve classics I wanted to read this year and I haven’t ditched the plan yet, I’ll definitely be reading this month’s classic so I can keep up with my list. Although I decided months ago to read this one in June, I’ll also have a choice with this one–the actual story of Metamorphosis is pretty short, but the copy I bought also has other stories in it. I’ll leave it up to impulse whether I’m going to be reading those other Kafka stories in June.
  3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I’m starting another series, guys. A trilogy. Shocker. I’ve been having such a hard time choosing which series to dive into next because there are so many good ones I want to read this year, but I checked this one out of the library so I’ll definitely be reading it soon. I think it’s about a special magic book that’s been lost and is unexpectedly found by some unsuspecting soul, and there are witches and maybe vampires? I don’t remember, but it sounded fun and I grabbed it at the library to stop myself from purchasing three more books I don’t even know yet if I’ll like. I’ve made a wise money decision! I feel like an adult!
  4. A BOTM book. Here’s a bit of flexibility in my TBR. I have a small backlog of BOTM books (Swimming Lessons, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, and Since We Fell), and I don’t know yet what the June selections will be (they’re announced on the first), so by the time my BOTM box arrives I’ll have several to choose from. I’ll read one of them for sure, but who knows what it’ll be.
  5. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. I decided to add an extra interactive post to my monthly repertoire in May to help me decide which unread book from my shelf to read next. (You can watch for it again near the end of June–I think I’ll try it at least one more time with a fresh category to vote from.) I had fun with it, and I hope the three people who voted had fun with it, but I led myself straight into the dilemma of offering five books to choose from and no plan for a tie-breaker. Since I originally had a shorter list this month anyway, I decided just to read all three books that received a vote, and this was one of them. It’s a YA first-in-a-series book about a new Kansas girl who steps in to solve some problems that have arisen in Oz after Dorthy went a little power-crazy and turned the well-known fantasy world upside down.
  6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Here is another book that received a vote from the unread selections I posted about in May (check out this link if you’re interested in the layout/process or want to see the other selections). I had originally planned to read this one in October, but I have too many books I want to read around then. Also, I’ve been really intrigued by this one for years and it’s beyond time I finally fit it into my schedule. It’s about a traveling magical circus, at the heart of which are two competing magicians who fall in love, but aren’t both supposed to survive the deadly “game” they’ve been pushed into.
  7. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. This is the final book that received a vote from Choose My Next Read: Round 1. It’s a fantasy novel (first in a trilogy, because clearly I like to start a million series at once and try to juggle them) about a girl who becomes a queen and finds that leadership is not what she expected. I know there’s magic that involves a special sapphire, and an evil queen (there are multiple queens in this world) and some politics and a quest for revenge. Beyond that, I’m going in blind on the strength of the reviews and recommendations I’ve seen for this series.
  8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I gave myself a month away from the Grishaverse, but it didn’t feel like a vacation. I missed Ravka. I feel like this should be a low-priority book because I’m not invested in the story yet (this is the first book in a duology), and I own it, so it’s not going anywhere while I put it off; but I know in my bones that I’m too impatient to wait any longer so I might as well add it to the official list. I think it’s about a big heist that a group of misfits work together to pull off in the same setting as the Grisha trilogy.
  9. Vicious or A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Here’s another choice I’m leaving myself. You may remember (kudos if you do) that A Darker Shade of Magic appeared way at the end of my May TBR, but even at that time I knew I was assigning myself more books than I would probably have time for. As I feared, I didn’t manage to read it in time. I still really want to, so expect to see it being reviewed in the next month or two, but since I have several first-in-a-series books in this list already, I am considering reading Vicious for now instead. I know for sure I want to start reading Schwab’s books this month, but I’m going to let myself choose which one I feel most in the mood for later in the month, once I’ve decided how many of these other series I intend to continue juggling.


And that’s my TBR for June. It’s pretty fantasy-heavy, and there are several new series I’ll be starting this month, which doesn’t really seem like what I was expecting for June, but it looks good. I also have several extras (with more genre variety) in mind in case I finish the list early, but nine books already looks like a full month for me, so we’ll see. Although there are nine books in this TBR photo, those are subject to change, according to the choices I left open in the descriptions above. I just like to have a visual map for the month, even if it’s a tentative one.

Have you read any of these books? Are any of them in your summer reading plans?


The Literary Elephant

May Book Haul

I did so well this month! I actually read more books than I bought. I read as many books from my own shelves as I bought. I mean, that was my goal for every month this year, but I think this is the first time I’ve actually achieved it. And I’ve already read several of these! New books make me so happy, but I’m proud of myself for sticking to a reasonable number this month. Hopefully the smaller number doesn’t make this a boring book haul, because I’m excited about all of these.

Books I bought in May:

  1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This is a Gothic classic that has been intriguing me since I read Jane Eyre. I haven’t read a lot of Gothic literature, but I’ve liked what I’ve read, and this one has been recommended to me. I already have twelve classics to read in 2017, but I may even pick this one up as an extra in upcoming months. And if not, it’ll almost certainly be on my list of classics for next year. I ordered this one around the time of my birthday in April, but it took a while to ship. I wasn’t in a big hurry for it anyway, although I am growing more and more eager to read it. It’s pretty rare, I think, for a book to be both popular in its own time, and a long-standing classic, so I’m interested to see if this one lives up to its reputation.
  2. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. Despite its overpopularity for a bit there in 2016, I did love The Girl on the Train when I read it, and I liked the movie. I appreciated that the protagonist is fallible. I’ve been in such a thriller mood lately that I thought this one would be perfect, but now that I’ve read it I wouldn’t call it a thriller at all. In any case, I had to see where this author was going after The Girl on the Train before all the hype (or the bad reviews, if it goes that way) could ruin it for me. When I saw BOTM was adding it to their extras in May, I added it to my box so fast and I almost didn’t even care what the actual monthly selections were going to be. They were good though, in case you were wondering.
  3. Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane. This was my Book of the Month Club pick for May. I was sold at the “literary thriller” description (yep, another thriller), and the fact that this is the same author of the mindwarping novel Shutter Island. If I hadn’t already had so many books in mind to read in May, I would have read this one already, so I’m hoping to get to it soon. I think I want to start leaving my monthly TBRs a little more open, so I have room for unexpected new releases and discoveries that I don’t want to wait for. I’m falling a little behind with my BOTM books, and I think it’s because I tend to plan a pretty rigid TBR for the upcoming month before the new selections for BOTM are announced. I’m still just as thrilled about the books (like this one) that I have yet to read, though.
  4. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I have been waiting for this release (book three in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series) since I read book two in December. Don’t even get me started on the hellish two week wait I endured between its release date and the arrival of my own copy, when reviews started pouring in and that cliffhanger from book two was at the forefront of my mind. But I finally got my hands on this book and read it in about three sittings. Next time, I will have a better plan regarding ordering a new book in a series that I can’t stand to wait for. It’s one thing to wait for a publication date to arrive, but quite another thing to wait for a copy once the rest of the world is already reading the book.
  5. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. When I ordered ACOWAR (above), I had an argument with myself about whether it was better to have books on my shelf that I actually enjoy and could see myself rereading, or that look nice in a set. Meaning, I didn’t think I would want to own book one of this series, but it seemed odd to only own book three. So I ordered ACOMAF, book two, along with ACOWAR, and I’ve already skim-read it again and could maybe even see myself wanting to buy and reread book one at some point for a full series reread, maybe around the time book four comes out. For the Feysand scenes, mostly. I didn’t really like Rhysand in A Court of Thorns and Roses, though it was clear to me that he wasn’t as evil as he was depicted by Tamlin. But this isn’t a review, so I’ll leave it at the fact that I really liked ACOMAF and I’m glad to own my favorite part of this series, at least, if not the whole thing at the moment.


I’m really happy with this haul. It feels like a good place for my book-buying to be at present. I’m going to set a goal for myself to stick to 5 books for June, just to see how it goes having a planned amount to stick to. (You’d think I would have tried that sooner, but here we are.) I’m mentioning it here to help hold myself accountable, but we’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, you can help me plan my June TBR by checking out my first ever Choose My Next Read post! There are a few hours left to vote for the selection you’d like to see me read and review in June, so go look at the list and tell me what I should read next!


The Literary Elephant