Monday, January 16, 2017

Ramblings from the Stacks - Reading in 2017

I love the beginning of the year!  There are new lists to be made, new projects to start, new ideas to put into work.  It's all very exciting!  Now I know that really January 1 is not any different from February 2 or November 17 but it FEELS different!  It feels fresh and new and clean.  Now is my time to look at my reading for 2016 and decide what I want to do in 2017.

My goal in 2016 was to push myself more in what I read and I feel like I did pretty well.  Not every book was a hit but I got something out of each one - even if it was learning that a particular sub-genre isn't for me.

But as 2016 wound down I found myself getting overwhelmed in book world.  I love my books and I love getting new books but I feel like I've lost control of the stacks.  There are so many books either stacked up in corners, on my Kindle or on lists to be borrowed from the library and I want to read them all but sometimes it feels impossible.   I've spent some time stacking books and making lists and reading about the challenges that other people are doing (and which I really enjoy following along with!) all the while thinking about what I want to do.  And after a bit of thinking and pondering and overthinking some more I came up with a strategy - I'm going to read what I want to read.  That's not exactly groundbreaking I know but my goal is to do it mindfully.

So I decided to schedule.  I flipped through my TBR and pulled out the first books that jumped out at me.  There's a mix of books - romance, mysteries, fiction and and even a science fiction book.  For now I'm only doing one a month with an occasional classic added in.

My schedule this year -

January - A Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean.  
Reason: I adore Sarah Maclean on the podcast Avon on the Air which has not had a new episode in far too long and have heard fabulous things about a book.  This is the first book in a series that she describes as Regency Era TMZ.

February - Still Life by Louise Penny
Reason: This is a mystery series I discovered after I started blogging and I've been meaning to read it since the beginning.  I love the sound of the Quebec setting and the more procedural style mystery.

March - The Lake House by Kate Morton
Reason: I read one Kate Morton book years and years ago and loved it and swore I'd read more.  That of course hasn't happened but after this book came out I decided I needed to make an effort to make it happen because this one sounds amazing!

April - Tempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper
Reason: I was so excited about this series when it came out.  I love cozies, I love teapots and a whole series involving both just seemed to good to pass up!

May: Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
Reason: It's been described as Regency Clue.  I really must read it.  Since May is my birthday month this book seems like a perfect birthday present to me!

June - Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Reason: I love Douglas Adams' style of humor and this book sounds bizarre and hilarious and completely confusing!

July - Garden Spell by Sarah Addison Allen
Reason: The summer before last I read my very first Sarah Addison Allen book and it was such a perfect summer read.  I've been wanting to read Garden Spell ever since and it seems like it'd be another perfect summer read.

August - Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent
Reason: In August school starts back and I get a little bit of my brain back!  This book sounds like a good change of pace.

September - In the Woods by Tana French
Reason: Pretty much all that I said about Still Life except this one seems a little darker and is set in Ireland.

October - Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Reason: I wanted something a little spooky and I love all things Jack the Ripper!

November - Week in Winter by Maeve Binchey
Reason: Maeve Binchey is an author I've been wanting to read for at least a decade but somehow never did.  I own a copy of this one and it sounds wonderful.  I'm really looking forward to reading this one!

December - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Reason: Last year I attempted to reread Great Expectations which I hated when I read it in high school.  Turns out almost 20 years later I still didn't like it but I could really appreciate Dickens' ability to create atmosphere and memorable characters.  I've always loved this story and this is the year to actually read it!

I've got high hopes for the scheduling!  I'm thinking this is the year I'll finally get some of those "I've been meaning to get that read for ages" books read!  What changes do you hope to make going forward?  Anything you did in 2016 that you plan to keep going?


  1. I love the newness of a New Year too reading- wise, and I agree it can be overwhelming with TBR's and everything. I think a lot of people are just going with "read what you want." You do have a nice mix- hope they're all good! I'd like to read more Douglas Adams this year, and maybe try In The Woods also. And Jack the Ripper would be perfect for Oct!

    Good luck!

  2. I think the scheduling is a great idea! I really want to get The Lake House by Kate Morton (not that I need anymore books lol). I hope you like the Tana French series!

  3. 'Read what you want' is certainly a worthy goal. I think oftentimes blogging makes us like kids in a candy shop. We want to read everything we see. And having a chance to try books early through advance copies adds to the turmoil. I've certainly been there in that overwhelming spot. In any case, love your list. I've read 3 of them and can recommend all I've read. STILL LIFE (of course and all Louise Penny's books), THE LAKE HOUSE, IN THE WOODS (and all Tana French's books). Good luck and happy reading!

  4. Great list and plan! I am a die-hard Tana French fan, loved every one of her books with the excretion of The Secret Place and Kate Morton is on my fav list too. I hope you enjoy those books.
    I am participati with Monthly Motif at Girlxoxo site and that has me selecting good books at a slower pace for this year. Looking forward to your thoughts on you book selections.

  5. I agree with you there's something very liberating about the freshness of January 1 - even if it's really just another day.

    Love your plan... not to pull you into a challenge, but what you've done is essential our Reading assignment challenge, where you pick a book you want to read each month. So if you want to get a chance at some prizes for doing what you're doing and to share along with others you should come by and sign up - you could link to this post as your sign up easily :)

    Good luck with your reading this year!!!

  6. This sounds like a wonderful plan. I decided to switch things around a bit this year with any reading challenges I signed up for. I think it's really important to read what you want to. I really like Sarah MacLean on the podcast too. Unfortunately her books never seem to work for me. My mother LOVES Lousie Penny, though, and i think you will really like those books.

  7. I usually pick another genre after finished a book of a different genre. When I read blogs of book bloggers they mention certain books or authors and I always end up forgetting about what had caught my interest. So for 2017, I created two bookshelves to remind what I'm curious about and what series I'd like to continue.

  8. I like your schedule and see Louise Penny is there; I just began reading her series and am on book 3 today "The Cruelest Month". Gamache is a great guy!

  9. Reading what you want to read is an excellent "plan!"

  10. I love this idea! I am trying to schedule groups of books as well...although I am already way off track for January. I think I need to try to read more of what I want as well.

  11. I love that Louise Penny series, but have only read a couple of them. Reminds me that I need to add more to my Kindle.

    I also have In the Woods, which I've been planning to read for ages...the title is now in my new TBR Jar. We'll see if that method works.


  12. You have some really awesome books ahead of you!!

  13. I am curious about some of your books you have picked out so can't wait to see what you think of them. :)

  14. Very nice. Such abundance but it can all be overwhelming! So good to control in some way. I have a list to with The Lake House on it for 2017 and I'd like to try a Sarah Maclean book as well.

  15. I read the first book in the Louise Penny series - actually listened to the wonderful audio. Hope you enjoy it. Also a fan of MacLean but haven't read the one you mentioned so I'll watch for your thoughts!

  16. Yes! This sounds terrific. So many people are tired of slaving to the book piles this year. I want to read Dirk Gently, too. :)

  17. A lot of those sound great. I've heard Dare's book is amazing! It's on my list, too :D