Tag Archives: book haul

Book Haul 6.18

After last month’s successful goal-reaching, I knew failure was imminent. And here it is. Despite my 2018 goal of acquiring no more than 3 books per month, I’m hauling more than 3 books… again. But I have no regrets this time, because I’ve been keeping up with reading these new books and mostly loving them.

As always, the titles are linked to my full reviews in case you’re interested in seeing what I thought about these books.

Here’s what’s new on my shelves this month:

  1. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. This book came out at the very end of May and I received my copy in the very beginning of June. I read it right away because I just can’t resist Ruth Ware’s novels, although this one turned out to be the biggest disappointment for me among her oeuvre. Despite the deliciously creepy atmosphere, the mystery was totally predictable and pretty low-stakes. I’m not ready to quit Ware’s books yet, but I’m definitely hoping for better luck next time. I rated this book 3 stars.
  2. Not That Bad ed. by Roxane Gay. This is a nonfiction collection of essays written by thirty women who have something to say about rape culture. This book has all the punch and social commentary that I loved when I read Gay’s memoir, Hunger, but it also features a wide variety of writing structures and styles that I liked a lot more than Gay’s prose. Every story in this book is unique and important, and there wasn’t a single essay I disliked, though there were a few that stood out as particularly strong. I absolutely recommend this book: for women. For men. For the world, etc. I rated this book 5 stars.
  3. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Here is my Book of the Month Club selection from June. Sort of. I actually chose The Anomaly, which I will be reading in July, but I ended up swapping with my mom. I was totally fine with that, because I’ve really been in a rare romance novel mood this month, and I’d heard lots of good things about this one, which features an autistic heroine. I flew through this book and enjoyed reading it, but a few things bothered me. (Not the autism. I thought that aspect was handled very well.) I rated this book 3 stars.
  4. When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy. The Bailey’s Women’s Fiction Prize consisted of a pretty attractive longlist this year, and even though the winner has already been announced I’m still interested in picking up some of the nominees I haven’t made time for yet. This is one of the titles from the shortlist, a novel about spousal abuse that takes place in India. I mean, I was expecting it to be good, but it’s a powerful literary masterpiece and I loved it. I rated this book 5 stars.
  5. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Another romance novel. The Kiss Quotient left me wanting something more, and even though these characters were less impressive than Hoang’s, this book did deliver. It’s not without it’s flaws and does require some suspension of disbelief, but it lacked the problematic details that pulled me out of The Kiss Quotient and so I ended up liking this one more. In any case, it was a quick read that helped combat a reading slump. I rated this book 4 stars.


That’s my list. I was pretty lax on trying to stick to my 3-book goal, so I’m actually surprised this haul isn’t longer. I hate not meeting goals, but this was not a bad month. It’s the first time all year that I’ve read every book as I acquired it, so even though I bought more than I should have I still managed to shrink my TBR. I’m calling that a win. Also, even though a couple of these did not live up to my expectations, none of them were complete duds– another win. I’ve been having a pretty excellent reading month, and I’m excited to share my complete wrap-up with you soon, because I read even more than these five books this month.

What titles did you pick up in June? Have you read any of these books?


The Literary Elephant


Book Haul 5.18

I am shocked to say that for the second time in 5 months I have achieved my goal of acquiring 3 books (or less) per month. I was actually on the fence about whether or not I would make it this month because I ordered a few extra books toward the end, but according to my shipping info I won’t have to worry about hauling them until June– which means May has been a phenomenal success. It’s probably been about two years since I’ve hauled less than three books in a month, which is why my TBR shelves are a catastrophic mess. But this month, I’m back on track.

Here’s what’s new on my shelves in May:

  1. Still Lives by Maria Hummel. Book of the Month Club has some phenomenal selections sometimes, so it’s always a struggle for me to just pick one every month without worrying that I’m judging wrong and missing a great read, but I’ve been doing pretty well this year about sticking to one per month and it feels great to be able to finish reading my book within the month, and check out more books later on if the reviews look tempting. For May I chose Still Lives, an art-filled mystery novel about a missing woman who painted herself as dead women. I was attracted to the possibility of a feminist slant in this one, but unfortunately didn’t find much to excite me on that account. I am, however, pleased with myself for reading this book within the month, and I didn’t have a bad time reading it. You can click the title to see my full review.
  2. The Outsider by Stephen King. This is a brand new King release this month, so of course I pre-ordered it. (The fact that there may come a time in my life when Stephen King is no longer publishing new novels is one of my greatest sorrows.) I have heard that The Outsider is more of a crime novel than his usual brand of horror, which seems a little less exciting to me, but I am still looking forward to picking this one up anyway. If the cover is anything to judge by, it should be still be a creepily wonderful book, and I don’t want to know any more about the plot before I start.


That’s it. That’s all I brought in new this month. I’m almost positive I’ll go over my 3-book goal in June because I was expecting one more of my orders to arrive within May, but for now I’m really happy with this list. New books are awesome, but I definitely feel better when I can actually keep up with them. I did manage to read more unread books than I acquired this month, so yay!

What was your favorite May release? Anything you’re excited about coming up in June?


The Literary Elephant

Book Haul 4.18

April is my birthday month, so I didn’t bother expecting to stick to my 3-book buying rule. (So far I’ve met that goal only once in 2018, but there’s still time.) It’s been fun picking up way more books that I needed this month, but it has also reminded me of why the 3-book rule is in place: I’m starting to feel overwhelmed again about the unread books on my shelves. I think May will be a very different sort of month for me as a result, but before we get there, these are the new books on my shelf in April:

  1. In March I bought (and read) 6 books from the new Penguin Modern collection, and loved them enough to buy 6 more in April. I have not read any of this new batch yet, and all I know about them is: most of these authors were familiar to me, they cover a range of fiction and nonfiction topics, and they’re about 60 pages each (which is why I’m counting all 6 as one book here). I’ll provide more info in my upcoming reviews, but for now I’ll just list my new titles: Notes on Nationalism by George Orwell, Lance by Vladimir Nabokov, The Breakthrough by Daphne du Maurier, Vigilante by John Steinbeck, Food by Gertrude Stein, and Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer by Wendell Berry.
  2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. A classic, a birthday gift, and a recommendation from a friend. It’s been years since I read Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and lately it’s bothering me that he has other great works I haven’t checked out yet. This one focuses on the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s, a piece of American’s history that has always interested me.
  3. Origin by Dan Brown. Another birthday gift. My grandma has been sharing the books in this series with me for years, and I think part of the reason she was so eager to pick this one up for my birthday is because she wants to read it herself. I’ve already read this one so I can pass it on to her. This one is typical Robert Langdon, but while I still enjoy the plots of this series I am outgrowing their narrative style. A mixed-thoughts review will be coming soon.
  4. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. The last of my birthday gifts. I’ve heard some interesting things about this book over the years, but all I remember at present is that Stephen King recommends it. I’m a big King fan so I thought I’d give this one a try. I think it’s supposed to be kind of creepy, so I’m planning to read this one in October.
  5. I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman. I’m a sucker for discounts and Barnes and Noble exclusive editions. This is the third B&N exclusive that I bought in March, though it didn’t arrive until April. It’s been years since I’ve read a Gayle Forman book, but I have liked what I’ve read and this newest novel features four lost souls helping each other find their way.  Plus the cover looks perfect for spring, and now that the snow is finally gone here it finally feels like spring.
  6. Circe, by M Miller. I’ve heard some great things about this book and I do love Greek mythology. I caved and bought the beautiful UK edition, which is possibly the prettiest book on my shelf to date. I was hoping to read this one within the month but it just arrived days ago and I haven’t had time yet. I’m planning to get to it in May.
  7. The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil. Here is one of my April Book of the Month selections. I let myself break my one-BOTM-book-per-month rule for 2018 because birthdays only come once a year and what better (self-)gift than books? This one is a memoir, a genre I’ve been especially enjoying this year. This one follows an African girl through disaster in Rawanda and eventually to the US as she tries to move on from the war in her past.
  8. Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall. My second April BOTM selection is a Gillian Flynn-approved thriller set to release in May. I like early finished copies and I loved Flynn’s books, so this seemed like an obvious choice. But I read this one already and didn’t actually like it much. It’s about a weird sex-game gone wrong, but it was more than the plot that went wrong for me with this one. (Click the title to see my full review.)
  9. The Oracle Year by Charles Soule. And this is the April BOTM selection I was most excited for, a sci-fi drama about a man who wakes up one morning with certain prophecies about the future. I’m really bummed that I didn’t read this one within the month, but my BOTM box arrived so late in April that I only picked up the one that I thought would be the fastest read, and I decided to save this one for a time when I could read it more leisurely. I’m hoping that’ll be really soon now.
  10. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. I mentioned in March’s book haul that I’ve been in a mood for some YA fantasy, and while I haven’t actually read much of that lately, this craving has still been influencing my book buying. Here’s a first-in-a-series YA fantasy that I know absolutely nothing about other than the series has been getting pretty high reviews. Also it’s won an award, which seems promising.
  11. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I don’t know much about the premise of this book either, but I do know it’s a completed trilogy that I’ve had my eye on for a while, and it’s becoming a movie soon. This is probably the next YA fantasy I’ll read, and hopefully that’ll happen soon because I feel a bad habit in the making, of buying rather than reading when I’m in a certain reading mood. That seems counterproductive.
  12. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. Same fantasy-craving reasoning, although I do know a bit more about the premise of this one. Three princesses must battle each other for the throne of their kingdom. I believe these sisters possess different kinds of magic, and they’re trying to kill each other subtly rather than the usual brutal duel-to-the-death stuff. This is the first book in a trilogy that’s going to end later this year, so I’m hoping to get on board before the final book is released.


And that’s a wrap. 12 (technically 17) new books living with me now, and I’ve read 2 of them. I wish that I could have read every single one of these books in April because these are the books I’ve been excited about lately (and also because my TBR is feeling out of control again). But April was kind of a disappointing reading month for me (wrap-up coming tomorrow) and these new books are just staring me down now, making me feel guilty for buying more than I could handle. New books are exciting, and I’m ending the month 90% happy with my purchases, but… also with renewed determination to stick to my 3-book goal next month so I can read as I go instead of letting things pile up.

Which new books did you buy or read this month? Have you read any from this list?


The Literary Elephant

Book Haul 3.18

New books for March! My goal this year is 3 books per month, maximum; I achieved that goal in February, but I gave in to temptation in March and went way overboard. :/ Here are the most recent additions to my (overflowing) shelves:

  1. Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan. This is my Book of the Month Club selection for March. There were some great choices this month, but again I succeeded in limiting myself to one selection. (I swear the month started out on such a good note, I had no idea I was in for such book-buying weakness later on.) I even read it within the month! It’s a sort of mystery/grief sketch of one Japanese man uncovering the secrets surrounding his sister’s untimely death.
  2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I had a 20% off coupon on the day this one released (a YA fantasy with an entirely non-white cast, the first book in a new series), which seemed like a sign. It’s surprisingly easy to find “signs” that I should buy a book. I don’t think I’ve bought any YA books this year, and I’ve hardly read any– but this one looked like a must. This is my current read and I’m certain I’ll finish it within the month; look at me go, reading my new books promptly! Review will be up next week.
  3. Penguin Moderns. I saw Ariel Bissett talking about this new collection of modern classics on Instagram and I had to check them out. They’re such beautiful little samplers of classic/influential writers from the 1900s, perfectly collectible with a nice range of content. I immediately wanted to read about half of the collection, but I settled on 6 to start and told myself I could buy more if I read and loved these first. I’m counting these as one book here (they’re only about 60 pages apiece so all 6 of them together is about the length of one book). I did manage to read all 6 this month. Here are the reviews: Letter From Birmingham Jail, Create Dangerously, The Distance of the Moon, The Missing Girl, Piers of the Homeless Night, and The Problem That Has No Name.
  4. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I found this hardcover copy in the bargain books section at Barnes and Noble on the day I picked up my parents from the airport. Long story short, they didn’t want to just be picked up from the airport, they thought they should run a bunch of errands as long as they were already out of the house and had a “chauffeur”, so I spent eight hours driving this day and I’ll be honest, when I had a chance to step in to a bookstore I didn’t try very hard to resist even though I already had my three books for this month. I feel kind of bad about not sticking to my allotted number of books (and carefully selecting titles I know I’ll read soon), but I needed a pick-me-up this day so I bought this family saga lit fic novel for cheap.
  5. The Circle by Dave Eggers. After I surpassed my 3 book limit, I let myself go a little book-buying crazy. I’ve been wanting to read The Circle for a long time, but really I didn’t need to own it this month and I picked it up in the store because the color of the cover fit my mood for the day (it’s a bright coral red, if you were wondering). I have no idea when I’ll get around to this one, and all I remember about the synopsis is that it’s sci-fi, and it revolves around some internet company that has access to a lot of private information and is maybe trying to take over the internet or do something shady?
  6. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I did have a coupon when I bought this one, and I bought it in store because every time I looked at it online I wasn’t sure what the size of the big floppy paperback I wanted actually was and I was afraid I’d accidentally buy the mass market paperback or something. I’ve really been in the mood for fantasy lately and I’ve heard that this one is superb. I’m a little hesitant to start because I know there’s no prospective publication date for the last book yet, and also I’m still in the middle of A Song of Ice and Fire. But I’m really excited for this one.
  7. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. I picked this one up kind of randomly, but as soon as I read the synopsis (I actually didn’t get any farther into it than the uncontrollable mind-reading aspect) I couldn’t walk out of the store without buying this one. As I said, I’ve been in a fantasy mood and I was exercising no restraint. This is a YA fantasy trilogy by an author I’ve been interested in but haven’t read yet.
  8. Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Sons of Ares by Pierce Brown, Rik Hoskin, and Eli Powell. Back in the beginning of the month when I thought I could limit myself to 3 books, I was planning to order this one at the very end of the month (with a coupon, because saving money) so that it wouldn’t arrive until April, when I was expecting to go over 3 books anyway for my birthday month. But I ended up ordering it as soon as it was released on the 16th. At least I did read it right away (I love Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series) instead of growing my TBR shelf even more. This is a graphic novel prequel to the Red Rising series.
  9. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I was on the fence about buying this one, and if I had been closer to my 3-book goal I would have waited. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love this series, but in all honesty I haven’t even started the first book yet (Illuminae) and this is the third. But there was a good deal on the Barnes and Noble exclusive edition and, as you can see, the entire second half of this month was a new-book free-for-all for me. Obsidio is the third book in a YA sci-fi trilogy with a uniquely graphic narration style that uses different sorts of documents and files etc. to tell its story.
  10. The Illustrated A Brief History of Time & The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking died this month and it reminded me that I wanted to read his A Brief History of Time, a nonfiction science book. I found this cool illustrated edition that’ll be a great coffee table book (someday when I have a coffee table) and in the meantime I think the pictures will make it easier to read. Science was my least favorite subject in school, but I think mostly because I hated the hands-on part of it. I avoided chemistry like the plague. But I am interested in learning about the world and how things work, and reading beyond my usual comfort zone, so I have high hopes.


I’m pleased with myself for reading 3 (soon to be 4) of these 9 within the month; if I had stuck to my original 3-book goal, I would’ve made a dent in my TBR shelf this month. Instead I read 5 (soon to be 6) of my own unread books this month and added 5 unread books, which means my TBR shelf will be down only 1 book this month and not until I finish Children of Blood and Bone tonight or tomorrow. That’s the real goal of my 3-book hauls this year, to lower the number of owned, unread books on my shelves; so I guess I’m glad that at least I’m not ending the month in a worse position than I started. But better luck next time, as they say.

Have you read any of these books? What new books did you pick up this month?


The Literary Elephant

Book Haul 2.18

New books for February! I set myself a hard goal this year of acquiring only 3 new books per month, and I suppose if I couldn’t make it happen in the shortest month of the year then I’d really be in bad shape. Fortunately, I persevered, and am now sharing with you my smallest book haul in over a year. I’m PROUD. (And also so very tempted to celebrate by buying new books.) But for this month, here’s what I got:

  1. King Lear by William Shakespearre. I’m on the hunt for my favorite Shakespeare play, so after a few recommendations I made sure to add this one to my list of classics to read in 2018. I was originally planning to read it in December, but I’ve changed my TBR system and I’m pretty interested in giving this one a try so I might pick it up early. In any case, I’m ready to read it now that I have a nice Pelican copy. I don’t know anything about the plot of this one, but that’s the way I like to read, so please don’t spoil me.
  2. The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller. This one is my February Book of the Month Club selection, and I did manage to read it within the month! I had my eye on four of the selections this time, and I do have borrowed copies of a couple of the other choices in my possession at the moment, but I’m so proud of myself for facing the temptation head-on and sticking to my resolution of only choosing one in my BOTM box. I’m only supposed to be selecting one per month until I’m caught up with my BOTM backlog from last year, so this month was a success in that regard, as well. Follow the link for my review of this one, I had a great time reading it! It’s a sort of sci-fi/fantasy novel with historical and feminist elements, but mostly its a whimsical, wild ride about chasing dreams.
  3. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I guess I did buy a second BOTM selection, but not through BOTM. I bought a regular copy of this one after its release date for the cool cover details that BOTM generally doesn’t include, but also just because I was planning to get this one with a coupon through another bookseller before the February BOTM choices were announced. And I’m glad I did, because this book is GORGEOUS and will look perfect on my shelf next to The Nightingale, which admittedly I haven’t read yet. But I’m excited to read both! This one sounds like a hard-hitting story about abuse and the Alaskan wilderness, and I’ve seen nothing but good reviews. I’m planning to read this one in the next week or two.


That’s my entire list of new books for February. It’s short, but I think I made some good choices, and I’ll definitely read all of these within the year. I’ve only read one of three so far, but I did read four previously unread books from my shelves this month, so even though two of these are still unread I am actually down one book on my owned-books TBR this month, which also feels good. Success on so many levels.

Which new books did you pick up in February? And what’s good in new YA? I didn’t see much that caught my eye for YA in February, but I’m looking forward to some March releases!


The Literary Elephant

Book Haul 1.18

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. 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


December Book Haul

I done good. So far. I know there are a few days left in December, but I’m not anticipating buying any more books in that time and I have lots more updates and 2018 plans to share with you in upcoming days, so today is Book Haul Day!

My goal for most of 2017 has been to acquire a maximum of five books per month (I usually fail, so I’m lowering that goal for next year, yikes) and even with Christmas this month I managed to add only five books to my shelves! That seems like an odd thing to be excited about, but 2017 has just been out of control for me when it comes to buying books (no regrets) so I’m glad to end the year on a more successful note. My new books:

  1. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This is my BOTM selection from December, and I have not read it yet but I’m planning to get to it (and several other BOTM books that I fell behind on) first thing in January. I’m proud of myself for only choosing one book for my December box even though most of them looked great. All I remember about this one is that Eleanor Oliphant is not fine, that she has a strange relationship with her mother, and that the way she interacts with the world tends to alienate her from the people around her. I’ve heard good things, and I can’t wait to see for myself.
  2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I’ve read the first three books in Maas’ ACOTAR series. Even though my interest in those is waning, I wanted to check out her other big series. I’ve seen mixed reviews for the Throne of Glass books, but even though I didn’t like A Court of Thorns and Roses much I was interested enough to read the entire novel and continue the series anyway; so I’m planning to read at least Throne of Glass and decide from there how far I want to go in the series. I think the final book comes out in 2018, so if I do end up wanting to read them all, now’s a good time. All I know is that there’s a female assassin, maybe on a mission from the king, and there’s a love interest once she’s in the castle. Fingers crossed for ACOMAFquality writing.
  3. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. My one Christmas gift book, and I picked it out myself. (No one buys me books because they’re afraid I will already have, have read, or not like the ones they pick.) I found a signed copy on sale at Barnes and Noble, and I thought this would be a great way to complete my 2017 reading challenge without having to read the Pulitzer Prize winner that I fell out of the mood for, so I asked a family member to stick it in my Christmas box. I haven’t completely finished, but I’ve read a lot and I’m loving it. One of the most intriguing aspects for me has been seeing the Underground Railroad as a literal train, but of course there’s a lot more to love about this one. I fully intend to finish this novel within the week.
  4. It by Stephen King. I’ve been meaning to read It for years, and the interest definitely increased around the time of the new film adaptation in 2017. But I was busy, and It is extremely long, and excuses, excuses. I’m tentatively planning a buddy read for this one in January, which should be fun because 1) it will be my first buddy read and 2) it will be so satisfying to cross a book this giant off of my TBR so early in the year. I know there’s a scary clown and maybe it’s targeting a group of kids in the town and maybe the adults secretly know what’s going on because of something that happened when they were kids. I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers, so most of my knowledge is pieced together from the movie trailers and really I don’t know much about the book yet. But I’m excited to change that.
  5. Great Tales of Horror by H. P. Lovecraft. No real reasons or excuse for this one– I knew I wasn’t up to five books yet, and I found this short story collection on sale for less than $4. For a 600 page hardcover book, that’s a deal too good to pass up (for me, anyway). I’m not sure exactly when I’ll get around to reading this one, but I do like Stephen King and Shirley Jackson and Edgar Allen Poe, so I think I’ll definitely find something to enjoy in this collection. Some of the titles look familiar, but these stories will be my first foray into Lovecraft’s oeuvre.


That’s a wrap. December’s been a pretty good reading month, and I’m working on my reading wrap-up already even though I’m still in the middle of a couple books I hope to finish before the end of the year. I’m so pleased with my book haul this month, even though I haven’t actually finished reading any of the books on it yet. It just makes me more excited for what comes next. Stay tuned this week and next week for updates on my reading/buying/writing/blogging goals and more good stuff, because that’s coming up pronto. I can’t believe it’ll be 2018 in like, three days. So much to read. So little time.

What new books did you add to your shelves in December?


The Literary Elephant