TBR Chronicles #14

April has had no shortage of good reading recommendations with all its shortlists and awards.  In addition to these discoveries I’ve been reminded of two classics which I have for a long while intended to read.

The first is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius which is renowned for being a profound read and with all the insightful quotes you may have come across on the internet it’s hard not to see this book as a ‘must-read-before-you-die’ kind of book.

The other is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman which, in the same vein, is a book of poetry of great life wisdom from which no shortage of inspiring quotes has been taken. 

New to my TBR is a collection of short stories published earlier this year.  An Unrestored Woman by Shobha Rao just sounds too interesting not to read.

“An Unrestored Woman explores the fault lines in this mass displacement of humanity: a new mother is trapped on the wrong side of the border; a soldier finds the love of his life but is powerless to act on it; an ambitious servant seduces both master and mistress; a young prostitute quietly, inexorably plots revenge on the madam who holds her hostage. Caught in a world of shifting borders, Rao’s characters have reached their tipping points.”

Have you read any of these?  Share your thoughts about them.

TBR Chronicles #13

Some months I barely add to my TBR and others I seem to find endless new books that pique my interest.  March has definitely been the latter but I’ve selected just five of my most anticipated to share with you which I think will be great reads.

forty rooms - Olga GrushinThe first on my March list is a novel published this year entitled Forty Rooms by Olga Grushin internationally acclaimed author of The Dream Life of Sukhanov.  It is described as “totally original in conception and magnificently executed” and the idea of the novel is that every woman will inhabit forty rooms in her lifetime.  I’m very interested to read this and since it is also said to “outshines even that prizewinning novel” (The Dream Life of Sukhanov) I’m betting it’s a good read.

Another newly published novel is second on my list from an author who I the high mountains of portugal yann marteladmire for his incredible book The Life of PiThe High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel is set to be completely different from his other famous novel but it has as its centre the characters of his story and this is an element of Martel’s writing that I enjoy so I’m excited for this book.

the yoga of maxs discontent karan bajajThe final fiction novel on my list this month is set to be published in May and from an author completely new to me.  I’ve chosen The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karan Bajaj because the blurb sounds interesting and in general I tend to enjoy books which involve both physical and inner journeys as this one does.

I recently finished Mark Schaefer’s  The Tao of Twitter a concise and the content code mark schaeferinteresting book which has led me to his latest book The Content Code by Mark Schaefer.  I found Tao very useful and I enjoyed both Schaefer’s voice and style of sharing information so I expect to find this book equally as useful.

APE guy kawasaki shawn welch APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch is last on my list and another non fiction book writers looking to self publish should find helpful and which is a recommended read if you intend to self publish your novel or ebook.

Have you read or want to read any of these?

TBR Chronicles #12

A Pale View of Hills ishiguro

I recently finished The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro which I enjoyed so I’ve added to my TBR list his first novel A Pale View of Hills which I hope to be an equally good read filled with his beautiful writing and keen insights.

Originals How Non Conformists Move the World adam grant

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam M. Grant was published this month and it looks to be a very interesting read.  Malcolm Gladwell, one of my favourite authors, wrote: “Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.”  Obviously, I am now sold on reading this book.

Wired to Create_ Unraveling the Mysteries - Scott Barry Kaufman

Another non fiction book which caught my eye is Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman & Carolyn Gregoire.  I have enjoyed reading about creativity recently and GoodReads describes the book as being “Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research and Carolyn Gregoire’s popular article in the Huffington Post, Wired to Create offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people.” I’m intrigued.

Among the Missing - Dan Chaon

I confess I haven’t read very many short story collections but this book comes recommended by Austin Kleon (author of Steal like an Artist & Show Your Work).  Among the Missing by Dan Chaon sounds very interesting and is highly rated on GoodReads as well as being  a National Book Award Finalist for Fiction in 2001 so I figured I’d give it a go.

The Man Without a Shadow_ A Novel - Joyce Carol Oates

The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates was published in January this year and as her latest novel I was naturally interested in it.  It turns out that this new novel is about a neuroscientist and an amnesiac who cannot remember anything beyond 70 seconds.  I’m quite excited to read this one.

The Dust of Promises by Ahlem Mosteghanemi

My final addition to February’s TBR is a fiction novel to be published in April.  The Dust of Promises by Ahlem Mosteghanemi and translated by Nancy Roberts has been earmarked as eligible for this year’s Man Booker International Prize.  Set in Algeria the GoodReads blurb describes it as “A poignant tale of secret lovers brought together and pulled apart as they navigate Algeria’s changing political landscape–from the heady, bright peaks of independence to the dark depths of corruption and disillusionment–this is a sweeping epic and an arresting ode to a once-great country.” 

 

TBR Chronicles #11

This month’s TBR list begins with a book I hope will guide me on the beginnings of the journey I described in New Year, New Goals to teach myself Photoshop.  There are bucket Adobe Photoshop CS6 on Demand by steve johnsonloads of resources available out there from books to online tutorials to help with this but I’ve decided to start with Adobe Photoshop onDemand by Steve Johnson which covers basic to advanced Photoshop skills and can be used as preparation or the Adobe Certification exams.

I am currently reading Super Brain by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi which I am enjoying thoroughly and so I will definitely be reading theirSuper Genes chopra tanzi follow up by Super Genes.  I have really enjoyed the mixture of science and self help advice in Super Brain so I expect Super Genes to be equally interesting.

This next book has been  on my TBR list for a while but it was only when I heard a reference to the uniqueness of 100 years of solitudeColombian magical realism while watching the Netflix series Narcos that One Hundred Years of Solitude by G. G. Marquez popped back into my mind.  I hope to get to this one this year.

A friend of mine gave me her copy of The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho.  I’m a fan of Coelho’s and I haven’t read this novel yet so I was pretty thrilled.  On GoodReads the blurb says: “How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of whom we are?”.  Mission accomplished, I am intrigued. witch of portobello

The last book on this month’s TBR chronicles is a photography book.  It is Negatives by Xu Yong and is Yong’s collection of negatives taken in 1989.  I sa y collection of negatives because they are printed in negative form and you have to use a phone app, held over the negative, to view the photograph which I thought xu yong negativeswas a very interesting concept.  I found out about this book from the article The Best Photo Books of 2015 By Teju Cole from which I took this excerpt:

“Xu Yong had a camera with him on June 4, 1989, during the protests in Tiananmen Square. He took many photographs that day, but he did not print or publish them. But what makes the appearance of these images in book form remarkable is hinted at in the title, “Negatives”: Xu has presented the photos in the form of enlarged negatives. (The photos can be viewed as positives through the camera of a cellphone, with “invert colors” switched on in the phone’s settings.) The negatives have a ghostly tinge, and effectively introduce a distance into our viewing of the events of that still-resonant day. Though Xu himself is careful to disavow any political intent, the long wait to publish the book, as well as the fact of its being published in Hong Kong, makes clear the ongoing censorship faced by the Chinese pro-democracy movement.”

Cole talks about elements of the publication of this book pointing to censorship and I felt that the unique concept of printing this book in the form of negatives instead of processed images may also be part of this.  I would love to see a copy of this book.

That’s it for this month.  I hope you found some inspiration or if you have read any of these I would love to hear about them.  Share your thoughts.

 

TBR Chronicles #10

 

As the end of the year swiftly approaches, it’s got me thinking about my reading challenge and whether or not I’m going to manage to complete it in time.  For this reason, I went over the shorter novels on my TBR list in the hopes of knocking out a few novellas to get my numbers up.  I know that many of you have had no problem whatsoever reading far beyond your reading goals, congratulations to you!  If any of you, like me, are missing those last few books then I recommend a few novellas!

Here are a few of the short novels I have earmarked for reading:

The Fall by Albert Camus

The Fall

I picked this one because many readers say that it is in fact The Fall that is Camus’ best novel and not The Stranger so I’m intrigued.  At 92 pages you’ll have no problems finishing this one quickly.

“Jean-Baptiste Clamence is a soul in turmoil. Over several drunken nights he regales a chance acquaintance with his story. From this successful former lawyer and seemingly model citizen a compelling, self-loathing catalogue of guilt, hypocrisy and alienation pours forth. “The Fall” (1956) is a brilliant portrayal of a man who has glimpsed the hollowness of his existence. But beyond depicting one man’s disillusionment, Camus’s novel exposes the universal human condition and its absurdities – and our innocence that, once lost, can never be recaptured.” (GoodReads)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

I’ve always wanted to read this classic and at 96 pages there’s no reason not to.

“Dr Jekyll has discovered the ultimate drug. A chemical that can turn him into something else. Suddenly, he can unleash his deepest cruelties in the guise of the sinister Hyde. Transforming himself at will, he roams the streets of fog-bound London as his monstrous alter-ego.” (GoodReads)

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha

This is another classic I’ve been meaning to get to.  This one is 160 pages but still doable if you’re short on time.

“In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life—the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom.” (GoodReads)

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Invisible Cities

This sounds a fantastic read and at 165 pages you’ll be through it in no time.

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” — from Invisible Cities

In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo — Mongol emperor and Venetian traveler. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts his host with stories of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and desire, cities and designs, cities and the dead, cities and the sky, trading cities, hidden cities. As Marco Polo unspools his tales, the emperor detects these fantastic places are more than they appear.”  (GoodReads)

Identity by Milan Kundera

Identity

This book is new to my TBR and the concept of identity is interesting to me so at only 168 pages it seems worth it to give it a go.

“There are situations in which we fail for a moment to recognize the person we are with, in which the identity of the other is erased while we simultaneously doubt our own. This also happens with couples–indeed, above all with couples, because lovers fear more than anything else “losing sight” of the loved one.  With stunning artfulness in expanding and playing variations on the meaningful moment, Milan Kundera has made this situation–and the vague sense of panic it inspires–the very fabric of his new novel. Here brevity goes hand in hand with intensity, and a moment of bewilderment marks the start of a labyrinthine journey during which the reader repeatedly crosses the border between the real and the unreal, between what occurs in the world outside and what the mind creates in its solitude.  Of all contemporary writers, only Kundera can transform such a hidden and disconcerting perception into the material for a novel, one of his finest, most painful, and most enlightening. Which, surprisingly, turns out to be a love story.” (GoodReads)

 

Have you read any of these already?  If so, share your thoughts with us.

TBR Chronicles #09

This month has been a bit of a quiet month for new additions to my TBR list.  I have only one new book; The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, which looks interesting. The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science

“In The Happiness Hypothesis, psychologist Jonathan Haidt exposes traditional wisdom to the scrutiny of modern science, delivering startling insights. We learn that virtue is often not its own reward, why extroverts really are happier than introverts, and why conscious thought is not as important as we might like to think…” (GoodReads)

Ultimately it is about happiness coming from within rather than without and as the end of the year approaches I figured I’d try read some books to realign or affirm my mindset for the new year.

Other than this book I’ve just been focusing on which fiction books from my TBR I wanted to read in the final stretch of the year.  I had a couple of false starts at the beginning of the month but I’ve settled on Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo TrilogyPalace Walk is the first novel, which I’ve started reading, followed by Palace of Desire and Sugar Street.

Palace Walk introduces us to his gentle, oppressed wife, Amina, his cloistered daughters, Aisha and Khadija, and his three palace walk cairo trilogy 1 naguib mahfouzsons—the tragic and idealistic Fahmy, the dissolute hedonist Yasin, and the soul-searching intellectual Kamal. The family’s trials mirror those of their turbulent country during the years spanning the two world wars, as change comes to a society that has resisted it for centuries.” (GoodReads)

palace of desire cairo trilogy 2 naguib mahfouz“The novels of the Cairo Trilogy trace three generations of the family of tyrannical patriarch al-Sayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawad, who rules his household with a strict hand while living a secret life of self-indulgence. In Palace of Desire, his rebellious children struggle to move beyond his domination, as the world around them opens to the currents of modernity and political and domestic turmoil brought by the 1920s.” (GoodReads)

Sugar Street brings Mahfouz’s vivid tapestry of an evolving Egypt to a dramatic climax as the agingsugar street cairo trilogy 3 naguib mahfouz patriarch sees one grandson become a Communist, one a Muslim fundamentalist, and one the lover of a powerful politician. Filled with compelling drama, earthy humor, and remarkable insight, Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy is the achievement of a master storyteller.” (GoodReads)

And that’s it for October.  Do you have anything specific you want to read in preparation for the new year?

 

TBR Chronicles #08

This month Margaret Atwood’s new book, The Heart Goes Last, was published.  I really enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale and have a lot of her other books on my The Heart Goes LastTBR so it just makes sense that her latest offering goes on the list.

Another new release coming next month is David Mitchell’s Slade HouseSlade House is the novel which follows the highly The Bone Clocksacclaimed The Bone Clocks which I have also earmarked for reading.  I have quite a few David Mitchell books on my TBR too so these two new releases were not only exciting but also a kick in the rear to get said rear into gear and get through some of these great books.

This month I added a John Steinbeck book to my TBR.  The truth is that Slade Housedespite being aware of his books’ status as classics of literature I have never really found myself all that interested.  Probably because Grapes of Wrath is the one everyone raves about and it doesn’t seem to pique my interest.  East of Eden, however, I am now very interested in because Steinbeck is said to have spoken of East of Eden with pride:East of Eden

“It has everything in it I have been able to learn about my craft or profession in all these years.” He further claimed, “I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this.” (Read the article)

The final addition to my TBR list this month comes from Italo Calvino but not in the form of his fiction.  Why Read the Classics?Calvino’s Why Read The Classics came to my attention as I have been working on creating my own list of novels to include in Lilolia’s Friday Book Feature post series which used to follow some popular book lists.  I read an article on Brain Pickings with excerpts from this book about how to classify classics and there were some points I agreed with and so I was convinced to read this book.

 

Have you read any of these?  I’d love to hear what you thought.

TBR Chronicles #07

Recently, the movie version of Lisa Genova‘s novel Still Alice came out.  I am very interested in the story and only just came aug still aliceto know of Genova’s novels upon discovering the movie’s book beginnings.  So, before I watch the movie I’d like to read the book. (GoodReads)aug rework

I read an article on Forbes in which founders picked their best startup book and the one that caught my eye was Rework by Jason Fried & David Hanson.  I’m looking forward to this one as its blurb on GoodReads has it as a very different business book from the norm. (GoodReads)

aug this is how you lose herI’m just about done reading The Brief & Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz which I have deeply enjoyed.  One of this book’s characters is the protagonist of Diaz’s new book This Is How You Lose Her.  I will definitely be reading this one.  Keep an eye out for my review of Oscar to hear more about the awesome stuff of Junot Diaz. (GoodReads)aug nothing is true

Earlier this month the Guardian 1st Book Award announced the 2015 longlist and from it I have 3 picks I’m hoping to be able to read.  The first is Nothing is True & Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev which looks very interesting. aug shore(GoodReads)

The 2nd is The Shore by Sara Taylor which spans 200 years and follows a family from the past into an apocalyptic future.  I’m dying to see what it’s all about.  It has been compared to David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas so that really sold me on it. (GoodReads)aug grief

The 3rd and final book is Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter.  A story about a family and their grief after losing their mom/wife.  This one just spoke to me personally and I do love Ted Hughs so hoping to read this one. (GoodReads)

See anything you fancy?  Read any of these? Share your thoughts with us.

TBR Chronicles #06

This week the 2015 Man Booker Prize Longlist was released.  This is my most anticipated lit prize of the year and you can be sure that the longlist will have a few gems on it.  This year I’ve picked two books from the list that I expect to be really good.

The Fishermen by chigozie obioma

The first is The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma.  This novel stood out for me because of what Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries and Man Booker Prize winner, said about it: “Awesome in the true sense of the word…Few novels deserve to be called ‘mythic,’ but Chigozie Obioma’s The Fisherman is certainly one of them. A truly magnificent debut.”  I’m sold.  If that’s not enough for you then how about the New York Times saying: “Obioma truly is the heir to ­Achebe.”  I must read this book! (GoodReads)

The Chimes by anna smaill

The second novel I chose from the MB longlist is The Chimes by Anna Smaill.  This novel is set in “a reimagined London, in a world where people cannot form new memories, and the written word has been forbidden and destroyed.  In the absence of both memory and writing is music.”  Yes, please!  The rest of the longlist will no doubt be taken apart by my fellow book bloggers so I’ll wait to hear what you all have to say before I pick anything else. (GoodReads)

VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography by david duchemin

New to my TBR is Visionmongers by David duChemin.  This book comes highly recommended for those who want to take their photography into a more commercial direction.  duChemin is said to be very readable; with a writing style that is both informative and enjoyable to read.  Looking forward to this.  (GoodReads)

This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking john brockman

I recently became aware of the books of John Brockman, publisher of edge.org, who poses a question to some of the greatest and most influential minds of our time and their answers become the subject matter of his books.  The truth is I want to read them all.  Check them out on GoodReads and you’ll see what I mean – interesting stuff!  The book that makes this list is This Will Make You Smarter edited by John Brockman.  The question Brockman poses for this book is “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” with contributions from Daniel Kahneman, Jonah Lehrer, Richard Dawkins, Aubrey De Grey, Steven Pinker, Daniel C. Dennett, Matt Ridley, and Brian Eno to name but a few. (GoodReads)

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything ken robinson

The last addition to my TBR this month is The Element by Ken Robinson.  An oldie (originally published in 2000) but apparently a goodie for those looking to read into creativity and self-fulfillment.  This book is about finding the point where your natural talent and personal passion intersects – finding your element.  (GoodReads)

What are your thoughts?  Have you read any of these?  I’d love to hear about it – you might save me some time.

Save

TBR Chronicles #05

Last month (May) was a slow month for my TBR so I decided to wait until I had a post-worthy amount of books to talk about.  Over the years of writing this blog I’ve noticed that come mid-year my reading verve dies down a bit.  I have no idea why this happens but it’s a time when I tend to read slower than the rest of the year.  I’m in the southern hemisphere so it might have something to do with it being Winter.

On PhotographyI’ve been thinking a lot about photography recently.  More specifically about the theory side of it.  One of the books I featured on my A Photographer’s Theory Reading List post was On Photography by Susan Sontag.  A few people have mentioned this book really changed their perspective of the art of photography so this one makes the TBR list. (GoodReads)

I’ve read a couple of Louise Erdrich‘s novels and The Plague of Doves is next for me.  It is about the same family featured in The The Plague of DovesRound House which I enjoyed so I’m keen to revisit them.  I expect to enjoy this book as I have the others. (GoodReads)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain has been on my TBR for a while.  I consider myself quite introverted and so was drawn to the book.  I find the world can be a little too noisy for my liking sometimes so I’m intrigued as to what the book has to say. (GoodReads)

Juno Diaz has been on my radar for a while but I always seem to forget I want to read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Waosomething by him when I’m picking my next read.  I read an excerpt recently from The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and found the writing so beautiful that I knew this would be the one. (GoodReads)

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the WorldLast but not least is Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami.  Murakami is another author I’ve been dying to get into but I couldn’t figure out where best to start.  This post on Book Oblivion helped me decide to go with this one because it was recommended as the first one of his books dealing with the unconscious  to start off with.  (GoodReads)

Have you read any of these?  What did you think? Any other similar recommendations?

Save

TBR Chronicles #04

The Complete Photographer

This month I have some books that are a little different from what I would normally select.  This is in part due to my recent refocus in my working world.  I’ve decided to take on new challenges professionally and so the first new addition to my TBR is Tom Ang’s beautiful book The Complete Photographer.  This book is not your average photography book and covers 10 different photography genres accompanied by tutorials and lots of other information.  It also has very cool interviews with acclaimed professional photographers which is a nice addition I think.  I can’t wait to get stuck in! (GoodReads)

Captured in Time: Five Centuries of South African Writing

The second new book on my TBR is a book I happened upon in the ‘on sale’ section of the bookshop.  I hadn’t heard of it before but as soon as I saw it I knew it would be interesting.  It is Captured in Time: Five Centuries of South African Writing by John Clare. This is a book about South African history but not from the perspective of historians.  Instead we glimpse the past through the words of those that not only lived in those times but wrote about them as well.

Here, then, are the words not so much of historians, biographers and journalists but of settlers, explorers, hunters, travellers, missionaries, soldiers and politicians as well as of novelists, playwrights and poets.”

I expect this to be a very insightful read. (GoodReads)

Dust

Next is a book that has been on my mind for a while.  I kept hearing about it and it has received good reviews so I hoping to get to it soon.  Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor is set in Kenya and tells the story not only of a family in the wake of the murder of their son and brother but also of the dark past that looms still.  (GoodReads)

The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy

The final addition to my TBR is a book that caught my eye because it appeals greatly to my OCD nature.  It is a book of the photography of Ursus Wehrli entitled The Art of Cleanup: Life Made Neat and Tidy and features photographs in sets of two.  The first shot is of a normal ‘messy’ scene like a bowl of cereal for example and the second shot is of the same bowl of cereal except the elements have been separated and organised so we get to see all the parts that made up the bowl of cereal in an organised and ‘clean’ way.  It is magnificent!  I’m sure I have not done the book justice in my description so please go over and have a look at the wonderful images. (GoodReads)

Save

TBR Chronicles #03

The Book of DisquietI recently read An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine and from it I added two books to my TBR list.  The first one is The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa.  I’ve always wanted to read something by Pessoa because he is such a literary legend but I’ll admit I felt a bit apprehensive as to where to start.  After reading a few quotes from this book however, I’ve decided to start with The Book of Disquiet. (GoodReads)

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The second book I added is The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid.  I was intrigued by this book because of the effect it has on a character in Alameddine’s book and Hamid has also been shortlisted for many top lit prizes so I’m fairly sure it’ll be a very good book.  (GoodReads)

The Colour of Magic (Discworld, #1)

Terry Pratchett passed away recently and I decided to do a post about his Discworld series and in so doing decided, I, too, needed to embark on the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.  The series is made up of around 40 books so there’ll be no shortage of reading material once I get going.  (GoodReads)

The Buried Giant

A new and highly anticipated novel came out this month and I had to add it to my TBR list.  The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro is quite a big deal at the moment since it is the author’s latest offering in a decade.  It is said to be a little of a departure from his previous novels since it is set in Arthurian Britain but that just makes me even more interested.  (GoodReads)

The Miniaturist

The last addition to the TBR this month is The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton which has caught my eye because firstly lots of people are talking about this book and secondly it won the Specsavers National Book Award so I reckon it’s got to be good!  (GoodReads)

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Feel free to share with us any of your March book finds.

Save

TBR Chronicles #02

The HakawatiThe Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine has been on my TBR for a while but I had forgotten about it.  It wasn’t until the NBCC Fiction Finalists were announced and Alameddine’s novel An Unnecessary Woman drew my attention that I remembered he had written another book that I’d intended on reading.  I was quite taken by An Unnecessary Woman so without doubt the Hakawati will be read fairly soon.  Euphoria

I added two more novels from the NBCC finalists.  The first being Euphoria by Lily King.  I was drawn to it initially because of its beautiful cover but the blurb was also captivating.  It was inspired by the life of “revolutionary” anthropologist Margaret Mead whom I have never heard of, however, the story is set in the 1930s and tells of a passionate yet destructive love triangle involving three anthropologists.  Ooh la la!

On Such a Full SeaThe second is On Such A Full Sea by Chang Rae Lee.  This novel is set in a future America after much decline.  I like these kinds of books very much so I’m naturally drawn to it but I’m even more inclined to read this one because it’s about a woman who leaves her labour settlement in search of her husband who has mysteriously disappeared and all that she encounters on her dangerous journey.  Sounds like it’ll be a great read.

The Western Canon by Harold Bloom is another new addition to my TBR.  I was inspired to read this as I came across a The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Agesfantastic reading list taken from the appendices of Bloom’s book which includes the most important works in the western canon from the days of Euripides and Plato to the 21st century.  Unfortunately the book itself doesn’t deal with all the works he lists in the appendices only a few he deemed especially important but I’m intrigued to read it since people seem so vehemently divided on Bloom himself.

BeowulfI added one book to my TBR while preparing a FBF on JRR Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings.  It is Beowulf translated by J RR Tolkein.  I have wanted to read Beowulf for myself ever since I saw the film.  I figured there can only be so much you can fit into a film so I’d like to read the epic in its entirety.  When I found out JRR Tolkein had done a translation I was sold.  The Bees

My final addition is The Bees by Laline Paull.  This one I came across on fellow blogger FictionFan’s TBR Thursday post and it sounded so different from anything I’ve come across that I couldn’t help myself.  It is described as The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games which sounded completely irresistable to me especially since I read The Handmaid’s Tale recently and really enjoyed it.

I’d love to hear what you think of any of these books that you may have read.  Maybe you could save me a bit of time or on the contrary push one of them up to the top of the pile!

Save

TBR Chronicles #01

The CorrectionsThis month I added two books from my Friday Book Feature posts to my TBR.  The first one was The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.  I’ve been meaning to read something by Franzen for a really long time and after doing some reading about The Corrections I thought why not start with the novel that made the All TIME 100 Novels list.  It’s won some book awards and has enthusiastic reviews so I’m hoping not to be disappointed especially since it is very long.  (GoodReads)

The Crying of Lot 49

The second book from the FBF was The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon.  Pynchon has multiple novels on the All TIME 100 Novels list and is included in a few university literature reading lists.  This book sounded particularly interesting if not a bit wacky which intrigues the hell out of me.  The reviews are a bit polarised so all in all I’m not too sure whether I’ll fall in with those who loved it or not although I do expect it’ll be entertaining.  (GoodReads)

PenumbraThe 2015 Etisalat Prize Shortlist was released this month and from it I’ve added Penumbra by Songeziwe Mahlangu to my TBR list.  He’s a South African author and I’m hoping for a win for him.  The blurb of this novel sounds great and it falls within one of my favourite genres – crime fiction.  (GoodReads)

What Galileo Saw: Imagining the Scientific Revolution

A fellow blogger, FictionFan, really enjoyed the non fiction book What Galileo Saw: Imagining the Scientific Revolution by Lawrence Lipking.  It takes a look at the scientific revolution of the 17th century going beyond the science and showing the interconnections of science, literature, and philosophy.  I’m expecting this to be very thought provoking.  (GoodReads)

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with AutismAnother non fiction book that made it onto my TBR list this month I happened upon by chance.  I was looking at David Mitchell’s novels on GoodReads and noticed a book he’d done the translation of; The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen year old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida.  I am fascinated by the enigma that is Autism and what goes in the minds of these children.  This is a memoir which shows how the autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds.  I’m looking forward to this one.  (GoodReads)

Lila (Gilead, #3)

I first noticed Lila by Marilynne Robinson on the NYT best sellers list.  It’s been on there a few weeks and the novel has also made the NBCC finalists so I’m intrigued.  This novel is, however, the third in the Gilead series so I’ll probably have to start with the first two; Gilead, and then Home both of which are already on my TBR list.  (GoodReads)

A House for Mr BiswasAnd finally, my eye returns to a novel long since on my TBR list but which had sunk to the very bottom.  A House for Mr. Biswas by V S Naipaul.  101 Books did a post recently, A Fragrant of Forgotten Experience, in which he included an excerpt from the novel.  The passage was so beautiful I was newly inspired to read it. (GoodReads)

Save

The TBR Chronicles Begin…

I spend a fair amount of time reading about books to read and getting wonderful recommendations from friends and fellow bloggers.  My TBR list is an intricate mess, an ever increasing mammoth of what will probably be a lifetime of reading.  The list grows far more quickly than I can tick off books I’ve read but it is a reflection of all my reading goals.

I have always loved reading.  It has been a safe haven and an escape hatch.  Since I started this blog, though, I have defined some reading goals for myself; to read as much as I can from as many cultures as I can, to read for pleasure, and to read the books deemed important (or classics) in world Literature.

And so my TBR list was born.  I have toyed with the idea of sharing the full list but I don’t think that would make for good reading since each book has its reasons for getting on the TBR list.

I hope to share with you new books I’ve added to my TBR list recently and go over some that have lain in wait for some time.  I hope you find some new recommendations for yourself and if you’ve read any of the featured books I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And so The TBR Chronicles begin…