top 10 tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2018

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish which is now hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week’s topic:

January 22: Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To

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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb.  I had a planned buddy read with Chelsea for this book back in JULY but then we mutually dropped that ball and it’s been sitting on my shelf ever since.  Obviously I’m not a big fantasy reader, but I’ve been curious about Robin Hobb for a while as she’s such a big name in the genre, and I know she has a million books set in this world so I’m just really really hoping I fall in love with it.  Anyway, our buddy read is now tentatively scheduled for some point in the next couple of weeks… pray for us.

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Villette by Charlotte Bronte.  I’m a big Jane Eyre fan but that’s only one of two Bronte novels I’ve read (the other being Wuthering Heights – how predictable).  I do eventually want to read all of the Bronte novels and I think the next one I want to pick up is Villette, it just sounds very much like something I will enjoy, and I already know I love Charlotte’s writing.

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The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan.  I read the first 20 pages of this when I was in the Bahamas and then decided to opt for The Magpie Murders instead for the third book that I read on that trip, but this promises to be very dark and twisted and obviously that’s what I’m all about.

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The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan.  What is with me and this book?!  It’s been on my TBR I think since 2015, I’ve owned a copy for years, I’ve packed it with me on several trips, I’ve loved 2/2 of Ryan’s novels that I’ve read…. and I still haven’t gotten around to this and I have absolutely no idea why.  If I need you guys to hold me accountable for reading one book in 2019, it’s this one.

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The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson.  I have had a lot of great conversations with Ren at What’s Nonfiction about Maggie Nelson which all basically end with her saying ‘you need to read The Red Parts‘ and me agreeing ‘I definitely need to read The Red Parts‘ and yet, I still have not read The Red Parts.  This is one that’s consistently available with zero holds on Overdrive so I’m planning on picking it up there when I’m in the mood, but the problem is that I tend to forget about books I want to read if I don’t physically own them or have a digital ARC.  So, maybe I should just buy a copy?!  Either way, I’m going to try to get to this soon.

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The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.  I don’t even know what this book is about, but a couple of years ago a friend who knows my taste well told me she thinks I’ll love it, and then she lent me her copy when I was visiting her last year… and I still have not picked it up.  Soon, hopefully!

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Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith.  I don’t read a whole lot of poetry but that’s something I’m going to try to change this year.  I bought this book as soon as it came out because it sounded brilliant, but it’s still sitting on my shelf.  Plus, I love Danez Smith on social media so I’m very eager to try their work.

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The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.  I have been in possession of Hadeer’s copy of this book for literally years at this point.  I think it intimidates me because I don’t read a whole lot of nonfiction outside of memoirs, but I do really want to pick it up this year.

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The Gloaming by Kirsty Logan.  Like a lot of people I think I was first drawn to this because of its striking naked hardback cover, but the summary sounds fantastic as well.  I haven’t read anything by Kirsty Logan and I’ve been meaning to change that for years now.

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Still Lives by Maria Hummel.  I skipped BOTM almost every month in 2018 but this was one of my only selections all year… and I still have not read it.  I’ve not been hearing terribly promising things (it has a 3.35 on Goodreads) BUT it’s about the contemporary art scene in LA which is ridiculously up my alley, and the author is from Vermont and I like to read locally.

Have you guys read any of these books?  Which should I prioritize?

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37 thoughts on “top 10 tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2018

  1. I read the first two of Robin Hobb’s trilogies in 2018 and I really enjoyed them.The first one was a little too slow for me, and I usually like slowly paced fantasy, but the second book was wonderful. I hope you’ll enjoy Assassin’s Apprentice!

    I haven’t read The Gloaming (I’m in love with the cover though), but I adore Kirsty Logan’s short stories. I’ve had The Gracekeepers for a long time, so hopefully I’ll get to it in 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard Assassin’s Apprentice isn’t the best book ever, but I’m such a stickler for starting at the very beginning wherever possible, so unless I absolutely HATE this book I’m prepared to push through and get to the more exciting ones. I really hope I like her though!

      I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Gracekeepers, I’ve heard such good things about that!

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  2. I hope you get along better with Still Lives than I did. I didn’t think it was bad per se, just a lot slower paced and less feminist than advertised. But on the whole, I love this list and am looking forward to your reviews! I would also like to read more Brontes and Donal Ryan and Ian McEwan this year…

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s definitely a possibility! I don’t think I would have been quite as disappointed if I had known what to expect. It is interesting how sometimes that seems to work in my favor (My Sister the Serial Killer, The Water Cure) and sometimes it just doesn’t. I hope Still Lives will be a good surprise for you.

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  3. Robin Hobb just gets better with every book! I started with assassins apprentice too last year, now have moved to the next trilogy in the world and loving it. Hope you enjoy reading them. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so bad at TBRs that I have like a million books I wanted to get to but didn’t.
    These books all (except for the Hobb maybe) seem like books you’d really love! I did not get on with The Gracekeepers when I read it ages ago but I have heard consistently great things about The Gloaming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha ‘except for the Hobb’ – you are probably going to be right about that, but I SO hope I will randomly love it. I need a good epic fantasy series to get invested in. The Gracekeepers really does not sound like my kind of book, but I have high hopes for The Gloaming!

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  5. I really hope you’ll finally get to The Red Parts, I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! (Although I’m worried I’ve over-hyped it by now). It’s such a unique book. It’s also not particularly long, I think that sometimes helps when you’re considering what to pick up next, like especially if you’ve finished something more time-intensive and need one that’ll be wrapped up more quickly. It’s good for those times!

    I’ve heard excellent things about The New Jim Crow, it seems intense but rewarding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I FOR SURE will. No worries at all 😂 I do know plenty of people who didn’t like it half as much as Bluets, but since we all know how I felt about that I’m hopeful that my opinions on Nelson’s other work will align with yours.

      Yes, I think that’s exactly what The New Jim Crow will be like! I really just need to buckle down and read it…

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  6. Remember when we talked about buddy reading The New Jim Crow and never did? Although now that I’m saying it I’m very concerned it was someone else. I’m pretty sure it was you, though.

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  7. Haha if by ‘mutually dropped the ball’ you mean me pushing our reading date back until we were into 2019! But this is the year! Some of these I’d also really like to read at some point, including Villette and The Gloaming, and I need to give Donal Ryan a better, less distracted try.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A bit late with my comment, but I so hope you get to Villette in 2019! One of my all-time faves — definitely not as “perfect” as Jane Eyre in terms of structure or plotting, but it is such an incredible look into the passions and psychology of a sharp but reserved young woman, and it takes a few truly wild turns, too. And its protagonist has some similarities with Selin from The Idiot, so I hope that bodes well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is THE BEST possible way to sell any book to me. I am desperate to meet a character in 2019 that I love half as much as Selin, and ‘sharp but reserved’ is a combination of traits that appeals to me a great deal. And I often find that those imperfect books are the ones that speak to me the most… I wholeheartedly love Jane Eyre but it’s almost TOO good? I really hope Villette becomes a new fave! Thank you for the recommendation, I am definitely going to try to prioritize this now!

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      • Amazing!! I really hope you love it. I definitely identify with Selin and Lucy Snowe a lot, and while I think both books are really well written regardless of ~relatability~ it’s always a bummer when my friends will come back from those books and say they found Selin or Lucy frustrating or boring, lol. But yeah, Villette definitely unspools in weird directions in some places, but I love it all the more for that 🙂

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      • I can’t even remember the last time I related to a character as much as Selin, so I am SO with you there. I usually try not to take it personally when a book I love doesn’t go over well with someone, but hearing that Selin is a boring protagonist is one of those things where it’s like ouch, my heart. So, I am already prepared to love Lucy. I’m really excited to get to it now!

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