Tuesday, 7 June 2016

BOOK TALK | (Update) Ten Books I Hope To Read Before Summer

At the start of the year I compiled a list of ten books I hoped to read before the beginning of summer, and now with June very much here, I thought I'd share an update on how the challenge of mine progressed.

I mention 10 books however with one of the listed titles being the entire Chronicles of Narnia series, it was actually 16 books total.

| You by Caroline Kepnes |
DNF. I had high hopes for You, however I ended up DNF'ing because the story telling format was just too creepy for me. Not scary creepy, but stalker creepy. Obviously the blurb alludes to the stalking within the book, but the depths of the narrative just gives you the chills as a reader and I found I couldn't continue.

| Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Year of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami |
DNF. As I found with another Murakami book previously, I just couldn't connect with the story.

| The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton |
TBR. The Miniaturist is still sitting on my unread shelf, and I'm looking forward to reading it in the future.

| A Suspension of Mercy by Patricia Highsmith |
Read + enjoyed. This was my third Patricia Highsmith book, and just as with the previous books of hers, I thoroughly enjoyed the unfolding story. Patricia Highsmith is great at keeping you hooked on the chase.

| The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North |
DNF. Another book I had high hopes for, and whilst I did make it to the 100+ page mark in this book, I just didn't feel compelled to pick it up and want to read. For that reason, I ended up giving up on the book. I'm not somebody who forces myself through a book I'm not enjoying.

| Left Neglected by Lisa Genova |
Read + enjoyed. I'm really falling in love with Lisa Genova's writing, and whilst Left Neglected wasn't on par with Still Alice, the book itself was a powerful read and I look forward to reading more of  her work.

| The Complete Collected Short Stories: Volume One: 1944-1953 by Roald Dahl |
Bookmarked. I have a bookmark in the middle of this collection of short stories. When compiling my list of ten books originally I kind of anticipated not having this one completed by the deadline anyway. I still have a bookmark within the book because I'm not making enough time for it, not because I don't want to read - I'm thoroughly enjoying discovering Roald Dahl's adult fiction.

Conclusion
5 (11) read + 3 DNF + 2 TBR.

I'm really happy with the progress I've made on my unread shelf, and this list was definitely motivation to read my own books. I think I'll be compiling another list of this kind sometime soon with books I hope to complete before the end of the year.
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14 comments

  1. You're doing awesome! That's great progress! I wish I could set a TBR and actually stick with it.

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    1. Thanks, Brandie!

      It can be tough sticking with a TBR, especially when being a mood reader, but that's why I made this a doable goal with a realistic time frame for me as well as a variety of books. Holding myself accountable here on the blog is quite motivating to read the titles too!

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  2. I'm so glad you explained your DNF which makes me more intrigued with You, this is definitely on my summer read list. I love all Lisa Genova but Still Alice holds a special place in my heart. Her newest on my summer list also. Great going.

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    1. When someone DNF's a book I always want to know why. Haha! In many ways, the reason I DNF'ed You is kind of a testament to the author's writing - I felt like the narrative was very chilling and I even felt like a stalker myself! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on You.

      I totally agree with you regarding Still Alice.

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  3. Great job! And good for you for DNFing books that just weren't working for you. I've been on the fence about You. It sounds good but at the same time it also sounds a little too creepy. I've also been really wondering about Murakami.

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    1. Thanks, Katherine!

      I was never really someone who put down books before but in the past couple of years I've gotten a lot better at leaving the books I'm not enjoying... Perhaps DNF'ing a little too freely!!

      Although I haven't gotten along with any of his work so far, I'd definitely say Murakami's work is worth experiencing.

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  4. You're doing a fantastic job with reading through your list!

    I tend to have a little trouble with short stories. I never know if I should space them out or just read them all in one glorious weekend. I would love to know what you think of the Dahl stories when you finish them!

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    1. Thanks, Lindsey!

      I have the exact same thoughts regarding short stories! I feel like I should read them all in one go, but then there are chunksters like the Dahl collections and you can burn out on devouring them all in the one go. I'm thinking of focusing a little more on my short story collections next month, hoping to get a few that I have bookmarks in finished by reading one or two a day alongside my regular reads.

      I'll be sure to share my thoughts on the Roald Dahl collections once complete... But from what I've read so far, well worth looking in to.

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  5. I listened to The Miniaturist on audio a bit earlier this year and really liked it!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I feel like the book is one I'd enjoy, but I just need to make the right time for it as for me it's the kind of book that needs dedicated reading as opposed to flitting in and out of, which is the kind of reading mood I've been in lately.

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  6. You did great! Though its always disappointed to have some DNFs, you gave them a fair shake and they've still been crossed off your list, one way or another. I tend to be a mood reader, but I think I really would benefit from doing something like this-- I'd just have to be very thoughtful about what I put on the list to have a realistic shot of completing it.

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    1. Thanks!

      I totally get what you mean - I'm such a mood reader and so going in to a TBR list I wanted to be realistic with time frame as well as have variety in the titles. Creating a TBR in this way was super beneficial to knocking down my unread shelf; I'd definitely recommend giving it a go.

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  7. Good for you for being willing to DNF books. I'm really terrible about doing that. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia. Those are awesome books!

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    1. I used to be terrible at DNF'ing books, Julie. I'd hold on to them until they had been read, but I realised (for me) that just wasn't realistic. I make sure I've given a good effort before DNF'ing, and always try to reach a 100+ page mark before deciding it's truly not for me. Also, some books I give more than one try and return when in a different mood, but I find more often than not my initial feeling tends to remain.

      I'm so glad I finally discovered, explored and enjoyed Narnia!

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