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.

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Terry Pratchett & the Discworld Series

150312152121-terry-pratchett-exlarge-169Yesterday we received the sad news of Terry Pratchett’s passing.  Pratchett is a beloved fantasy writer best known for his Discworld series.  He has been honoured with an OBE and many literary awards for his work.  His books have sold upward of 85 million copies and have been translated into 37 languages.  His popularity is rivalled only by that of J K Rowling in the fantasy world.  Pratchett has listed JRR Tolkein, Robert E Howard, H P Lovecraft, and William Shakespeare as inspiration as well as mythology, folklore, and fairytales.pratchett the end tweet

The Discworld series is 40 books strong with the very first one, The Colour of Magic, published in 1983.  Since then Pratchett has written about two Discworld books per year.  The 41st book was due out later this year.  Fans of Pratchett may be wondering if this is the end of the Discworld series and while it seems that may be true I have read in a New Statesman article from 2012 that Pratchett was happy to have his only daughter, Rihanna Pratchett, carry on the series.

“the Discworld is safe in my daughter’s hands”

Whether fans will be happy about this or not, I have no idea.  However, the end of the Discworld series remains to be seen.  Many, including myself, have not yet read the series.  Pratchett is known to have had a good sense of humour and his fantasy series reflects this.  It is a comical and satirical series often including parallels with current cultural, political, and scientific issues.

I have included the full book list of the Discworld series to guide you on your Discworld journey should you wish to embark upon it.  Many of the Discworld books are also part of sub series which I have included in brackets after the publication date.

The Discworld Series:

1          The Colour of Magic [1983]    (Rincewind #1)

2          The Light Fantastic [1986]    (Rincewind #2)

3          Equal Rites [1987]    (Witches #1)

From BuzzFeed’s 26 Discworld Quotes About Life, The Universe, And Everything

4          Mort [1987]    (Death #1)

5          Sourcery [1988]    (Rincewind #3)

6          Wyrd Sisters [1988]    (Witches #2)

7          Pyramids [1989]

8          Guards! Guards! [1989]    (Ankh-Morpork City Watch #1)

9          Eric [1990]    (Rincewind #4)

10        Moving Pictures [1990]

11        Reaper Man [1991]    (Death #2)

12        Witches Abroad [1991]    (Witches #3)

13        Small Gods [1992]

14        Lords and Ladies [1992]    (Witches #4)

15        Men at Arms [1993]    (Ankh-Morpork City Watch #2)

16        Soul Music [1994]    (Death #3)

17        Interesting Times [1994]    (Rincewind #5)

18        Maskerade [1995]    (Witches #5)

19        Feet of Clay [1996]    (Ankh-Morpork City Watch #3)

20        Hogfather [1996]    (Death #4)

From BuzzFeed’s 26 Discworld Quotes About Life, The Universe, And Everything

21        Jingo [1997]    (Ankh-Morpork City Watch #4)

22        The Last Continent [1998]    (Rincewind #6)

23        Carpe Jugulum [1998]    (Witches #6)

24        The Fifth Elephant [1999]    (Ankh-Morpork City Watch #5)

25        The Truth [2000]

26        Thief of Time [2001]    (Death #5)

27        The Last Hero [2001]    (Rincewind #7)

28        The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents [2001]

29        Night Watch [2002]    (Ankh-Morpork City Watch #6)

30        The Wee Free Men [2003]    (Tiffany Aching #1)

31        Monstrous Regiment [2003]

32        A Hat Full of Sky [2004]    (Tiffany Aching #2)

33        Going Postal [2004]

34        Thud! [2005]    (Ankh-Morpork City Watch #7)

35        Wintersmith [2006]    (Tiffany Aching #3)

36        Making Money [2007]

37        Unseen Academicals [2009]    (Rincewind #8)

38        I Shall Wear Midnight [2010]    (Tiffany Aching #4)

39        Snuff [2011]    (Ankh-Morpork City Watch #8)

40        Raising Steam [2013]

41        The Shepard’s Crown [2015?]    (Tiffany Aching #5)

2013 Christmas Reading List

The Christmas holidays are fast approaching and it is a special time to be with family as well as the perfect time to settle into some good reading.  I’ve put together a reading list of 12 books which I think will be perfect for the festive season.  Most are from this year but there are one or two classics which you may or may not have read.  I’ve also tried to include books from multiple genres so there should be something for everyone or if you like all genres then you’ll get a bit of everything.  If you have an suggestions please feel free to share them with us.

The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice (Wolf Gift Chronicles #2)

The Wolves of Midwinter (The Wolf Gift Chronicles, #2)The novel opens on a cold, gray landscape. It is the beginning of December. Oak fires are burning in the stately flickering hearths of Nideck Point. It is Yuletide. For Reuben Golding, now infused with the wolf gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this Christmas promises to be like no other . . . as he soon becomes aware that the Morphenkinder, steeped in their own rituals, are also celebrating the Midwinter Yuletide festival deep within Nideck forest.  From out of the shadows of the exquisite mansion comes a ghost—tormented, imploring, unable to speak yet able to embrace and desire with desperate affection . . . As Reuben finds himself caught up with the passions and yearnings of this spectral presence and the preparations for the Nideck town Christmas reach a fever pitch, astonishing secrets are revealed, secrets that tell of a strange netherworld, of spirits—centuries old—who possess their own fantastical ancient histories and taunt with their dark, magical powers… (read more on GoodReads)

Silent Night by Robert B Parker (Spenser Holiday #42.5)

Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday NovelIt’s December in Boston, and Spenser is busy planning the menu for Christmas dinner when he’s confronted in his office by a young boy named Slide.  Homeless and alone, Slide has found refuge with an organization named Street Business, which gives shelter and seeks job opportunities for the homeless and lost.  Slide’s mentor, Jackie Alvarez, is being threatened, and Street Business is in danger of losing its tenuous foothold in the community, turning Slide and many others like him back on the street.  But it’s not a simple case of intimidation.  Spenser, aided by Hawk, finds a trail that leads to a dangerous drug kingpin, whose hold on the at-risk community Street Business serves threatens not just the boys’ safety and security, but their lives as well. (read more on GoodReads)

Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones #3)

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones, #3)What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth?  Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day? Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.  In a triumphant return after fourteen years of silence, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is timely, tender, touching, page-turning, witty, wise, outrageous, and bloody hilarious. (read more on GoodReads)

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Starry Night: A Christmas NovelCarrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.   Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a mega-bestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.  Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart. (read more on GoodReads)

Tenth of December by George Saunders

Tenth of DecemberInstantly astounding and enduringly haunting, one of America’s greatest writers gives us his most dazzling short story collection yet.  His most wryly hilarious work to date, Tenth of December illuminates human experience and explores figures lost in a labyrinth of troubling preoccupations. A family member recollects a backyard pole dressed for all occasions; Divisional Director Todd Birnie sends round a memo to employees he thinks need some inspiration; Jeff faces horrifying ultimatums and the prospect of Darkenfloxx’ in some unusual drug trials; and in an auction of local celebrities Al Roosten hides his own internal monologue behind a winning smile that he hopes will make him popular. Although, as a young boy discovers, sometimes the voices fade and all you are left with is a frozen hill on a cold day in December…With dark visions of the future riffing against ghosts of the past and the ever-settling present, Tenth of December sings with astonishing charm and intensity, and re-affirms Saunders as one of our greatest living storytellers. (read more on GoodReads)

Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

Christmas BlissChristmas is coming, but Savannah antique dealer Weezie Foley is doubly distractedboth by her upcoming wedding to her longtime love, chef Daniel Stipanek and also by the fact that her best friend and maid-of-honor BeBe Loudermilk is due to give birth any dayand is still adamantly refusing to marry her live-in-love Harry. Listeners have come to love these characters in Mary Kay Andrews three previous Savannah novels: Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, and Blue Christmas.Christmas Bliss offers Andrewss legions of fans the best of many things: familiar characters, a new novella for Christmas, and a celebration of Mary Key Andrewss own favorite pastime-antiquing. Blue Christmas was a fan favorite, and now Christmas Bliss is sure to fly off store shelves and into the hands of Andrewss fans in bestselling numbers. (read more on GoodReads)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas CarolThe story of Ebenezer Scrooge opens on a Christmas Eve as cold as Scrooge’s own heart. That night, he receives three ghostly visitors: the terrifying spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Each takes him on a heart-stopping journey, yielding glimpses of Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit, the horrifying spectres of Want and Ignorance, even Scrooge’s painfully hopeful younger self. Will Scrooge’s heart be opened? Can he reverse the miserable future he is forced to see? Now in an unabridged edition gloriously illustrated by the award-winning P.J. Lynch, this story’s message of love and goodwill, mercy and self-redemption resonates as keenly as ever.  (read more on GoodReads)

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #20)

Hogfather (Discworld, #20)Its the night before hogswatch.  And its too quiet.  Where is the big jolly fat man? Why is Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say Ho Ho Ho? The darkest night of the year is getting a lot darker… Susan the gothic governess has got to sort it out by morning, otherwise there won’t be a morning. Ever again… The 20th Discworld novel is a festive feast of darkness and Death (but with jolly robins and tinsel too). As they say: You’d better watch out… (read more on GoodReads)

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson (Alex Cross #19)

Merry Christmas, Alex CrossIt’s Christmas Eve, and Detective Alex Cross has been called out to catch someone who’s robbing his church’s poor box. That mission behind him, Alex returns home to celebrate with Bree, Nana, and the children. The tree-decorating is barely under way before his phone rings again–a horrific hostage situation is quickly spiraling out of control. Away from his own family on the most precious of days, Alex calls upon every ounce of his training, creativity, and daring to save another family. He risks everything–and he may not make it back alive for Christmas dinner. (read more on GoodReads)

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #20)

Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot, #20)

On the night before Christmas, cruel, tyrannical, filthy rich Simeon Lee is found in his locked bedroom with his throat cut. Now Hercule Poirot must put his detective powers to the test to solve one of his most chilling cases – and to prevent a clever killer from spilling more blood. (read more on GoodReads)

Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914 by Stanley Weintraub

Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914

It was one of history’s most powerful,yet forgotten,Christmas stories. It took place in the improbable setting of the mud, cold rain and senseless killing of the trenches of World War I. It happened in spite of orders to the contrary by superiors; it happened in spite of language barriers. And it still stands as the only time in history that peace spontaneously arose from the lower ranks in a major conflict, bubbling up to the officers and temporarily turning sworn enemies into friends. (read more on GoodReads)

CLAUS, A Christmas Incarnation by C J Coombes (In 3 Volumes)

CLAUS: A Christmas Incarnation, Volume One, The Child1854. Elizabeth Dennison, a now elderly woman, awaits the arrival of a long lost acquaintance. The meeting, initially dreaded as much as desired, fortunately rekindles an old friendship. It is in this reunion, a passing of memories and knowledge, that the guest requests specific details of Elizabeth’s life. So begins a story during the early 1800’s, days after Elizabeth Dennison is removed from her home and sickly mother to be cared for by the wealthy Claussen Family. A favor for which, in return, she is to provide service as a maiden servant. At a young age, Elizabeth faces a wary relationship with the Claussens and her new surroundings. Most of all, she is both frightened and mesmerized by Christopher Claussen, a powerful man and husband to Lady Rebecca. It is this relationship that ends up sweeping Elizabeth away from her home in Scandinavia to battle the perils of a voyage across an ocean, and a life on the American frontier. Elizabeth comes to believe that Christopher holds sway not only over her life, but the world as a whole in something more than a natural way. He is god-like in her eyes and becomes very much the focus of her fragile childhood years. Volume one is a fulfilling read unto itself without the need for further reading. It is a saga rich with ambiance, details of the era, and characters that are as real as life. If you desire to be swept away with Elizabeth on a journey through time and emotion then you will not regret purchasing this story. (read more on GoodReads)

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