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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Been Meaning to Read …

It actually feels quite shameful to lay down all these raved-about books I know I’ll probably love, but haven’t actually gotten round to reading yet. This is the book blogger/avid reader’s ‘dirty laundry’ equivalent; possibly worse than admitting you dog-ear pages or read the autobiographies of reality-TV stars.  
I’ve missed the bandwagon on a few books now … But I do get round to reading them, eventually, and chastise myself for the delay.  
The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins was a classic example where I acknowledged the hype, assumed Katniss would be my spirit-animal, but just didn’t feel like joining the nail-biters waiting for books 2-3. So I read the trilogy in one go about six months before the first film came out and had the predictable OH MY GOD, DO YOU ALL KNOW HOW AMAZING THESE BOOKS ARE?!? reaction. 
I think there’s a slight difference in my regular ‘To Be Read’ pile and my ‘Been Meaning to Read’ pile. The main one being – I know I’ll love these books when I do actually read them. Which I think is where the shame of not actually reading them in a timely manner comes from. I’m only delaying my own enjoyment, and how crazy is that!  
But there’s also certain sweetness in the build-up, of coming to a book long after the bandwagon has departed the station and I’m left to savour and think on a book in my own time, without the pressure of other fans buzzing around.  And they’re also a sort of fail-safe; books I can reach for, to pull me out of my reading slumps.
So here they are – the books I’ve been meaning to read - and will no doubt enjoy - but just haven’t cracked open yet. Feel free to bemoan my delay or tell me any books I should also be not reading (?) or feel free to air your own shameful titles you’ve been meaning to read.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I have read the first chapter of this and was suitably impressed with the luscious writing and fantastical set-up. And isn’t it going to be turned into a Tim Burton film? I bought this when it was first released and it seemed to turn everyone into a fangirl/fanboy … and then I put it aside because it seemed a bit like dark chocolate I wouldn’t want to gorge myself on. I will get back to it, one day.

The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

I think after being seriously underwhelmed by ‘The Scorpio Races’, I was slow to take ‘The Raven Boys’ on, even though the premise sounded much more like the ‘Mercy Falls’ Stiefvater I fell in love with. I’ve felt doubly guilty for not starting this one after Wendy at the midnight garden wrote some rave reviews (and the second book seems even better than the first – which is practically unheard of!). 

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

I’m about to remedy this, because I’ve since moved Patchett’s ‘Bel Canto’ from my ‘Been Meaning to Read’ pile, to my ‘Read it - Loved it’ pile. I kind of knew I would because she was recommended to me as someone in the same vein as Geraldine Brooks and Barbara Kingsolver … who I both love. So ‘State of Wonder’ can now come into my life and dazzle me too (though I’m dubious about everyone’s claim that it’s even better than ‘Bel Canto’. How is that possible?!) 

Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore

I actually had to read some of third book ‘Bitterblue’ when I judged the 2012 Inky Awards. But it became very clear, very quickly, that this is one series I didn’t want to skimp on by jumping into the end and missing all the good beginning and middle. 

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Winner of the 2012 Printz Award, I was actually about 80 pages into this book and really enjoying it … but then my brain couldn’t hold on to all the seemingly disparate threads and I had to let go, with a promise to try again at a later date. Look, it’s in the very blurb that it’s a book of unconnected events that eventually tie together beautifully – I’ve just got to psych myself up for it and be in the right frame of mind.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I have no excuse. This is a sure-fire contender for my ‘All Time Favourite Books’ list. I don’t know why I haven’t. I’m sorry, okay?!

October Daye series by Seanan McGuire

I have actually read the first book ‘Rosemary and Rue’, and on the strength of that went out and bought the next four books in the series. I keep meaning to read them on my holidays in one go, but never seem able to psych myself up for the emotional pummelling I know will be in store for me (the first book left me a bit of a wreck). Maybe this Christmas I’ll finally sit down and read 1-7! 


  1. OMG!!
    You really have to read The Night Circus and the October Daye series.
    These books are so so good.
    I'm definitely gonna re-read The Night Circus during the holidays.

    1. I know, I know - it just about kills me! Even more so because I OWN THESE BOOKS and they stare at me in all their loveliness and I know I've just gotta get on the bloody bandwagon already :)

  2. I love this post SO much because I am the same. SO many books, how to find the time to read the ones you KNOW you're going to love. I've read a couple from your list. The Night Circus is beautifully written, it's a wonderful story. I can't wait to see how it will look on screen - it has the potential to be absolutely stunning.

    I read The Raven Boys and liked it but I've made no attempt to buy The Dream Thieves yet and I don't know why? I read these books sometimes (Divergent is one, Shadow & Bone, Daughter of Smoke and Bone) and I hold off on reading the next! Maybe I'm subconsciously waiting for them all to be released so I don't have that agonising wait and forget things?

    I haven't read Code Name Verity yet and I'm pretty sure that I would love it and I've gone to buy it so many times and just haven't clicked the button. I think we all have these guilty little secrets, the ones we haven't read yet even though we know people that love them so much and we're sure we'll love them like crazy too. I haven't read other John Green books (only TFiOS). I also loved the first 2 books in Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series and I own most of, if not all of the rest but have I read them yet? Nope. Do I have a reason for not having read them? Nope!

    1. I KNOW, right?!
      I think I'm also going to write a post on book series I started, but haven't picked up the second book of yet (I'm ditto for 'Days of Blood & Starlight', even though I LOVED 'Daughter of Smoke & Bone' - what gives?!)

      I felt like such a fraud a few times at MWF, when 'Code Name Verity' was name-checked on at least 3 occasions by authors I love, and I just nodded along pretending I knew how amazing a book it was they were raving about. Gah!

      But it is nice having this little pile of gems I can reach into anytime I like and be 99% sure I'll have an enjoyable reading experience.

  3. i've got addicted to october daye series and it's only get better and better in my opinion sadly i still must get a few book ( and last one released) i love it!! so i hope you will get time for it

  4. I cannot, CANNOT wait until you read the Graceling books and Code Name Verity. Verity destroyed me in the best possible way and Fire ignited me in the best possible way. :)


    1. I know! I got a fair way into 'Bitterblue' and was like "I don't know what's going on ... BUT I LIKE IT!"

  5. I know exactly what you mean by "meaning to read" books, but I really, REALLY hope you read the Graceling books soon!! They're some of my FAVORITES, ever. The Raven Boys has been a meaning to read book for awhile and I finally bought it today, actually!

    1. Ok. It seems like the 'Graceling' books and 'Raven Boys' are the two to bump up on the 'been meaning to read' list. Nice to prioritize at least ;)

  6. *throws The Raven Boys at you*
    I was underwhelmed by Scorpio too. Read these books, read them now!

    1. NOW I'M REALLY EXCITED TO READ 'Raven Boys'! Everybody is raving about them. Ok. Pressure is working and it's creepy up the 'been meaning to read' pile!

  7. I am right there with you with Night Circus and Code Name Verity, I have to find the time to get to those.

    But omg, READ RAVEN BOYS--as you know, I was underwhelmed by SR too, so we may be Maggie taste twins. And GRACELING is amazing, it's a definite must read...even though I didn't like the two sequels quite as much, hah.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. I fully expect there to be mud on my face after I read 'Code Name Verity', especially. It has all the ingredients to be one of my all-time favorite books, and I know this, but still... I'm slack. Maybe it's all the pressure?

      Ok. I clearly must read 'Raven Boys' by the end of 2013. I know you gave 'The Dream Thieves' a rare 5-star rating which piqued my interest even more.

      P.S. - Yay, for someone else who didn't "get" SR. It was very ... pretty .... and literary ... but I almost felt like it should have been a short story, not a concept to run with for sooooooo many pages.

  8. The Night Circus has been on my list for some time too. I often pick it up, but for some strange reason, just can't bring myself to start. I'll be stalking your blog now to see when you get around to reading it too :)


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