My To Read Pile

I’ve never really had a to-read pile before.

Sure I make lists of books I want to read on websites like Goodreads, and sure, in the back of my mind all the time I have books I really, really want to get hold of. But I’ve never really pulled books out of my shelf and piled them up next to my bed, taken a long hard look at them and decided, “By the end of the year, goddammit, I’m going to read all of these!”

I did that this weekend though.

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Back in April I got bought the complete Dark Tower, a series I have always wanted to read but never got around to, and I figured that this year would be the year to read it in. As you can see from the list, I’m nearing the end – just two books to go – but I’m taking breaks inbetween them. I love reading Stephen King, but he’s definitely one of those authors who’s tricks do become very apparent after just a couple of books in a row. Since April, my bedside table has been piled high with Dark Tower books, and I’ve watched them slowly move onto my bookshelves. When there was just two left, I realised they looked a little lonely, and I decided to make a reading pile for the next few months.

So, apart from King, what else have I included?

Iain Banks is another author I’ve been working my way through recently, certainly in his M Banks incarnation. Last year I read my first Culture novels, and enjoyed them. Someone (actually, pretty much everyone ever) said that Player of Games was the best, so it made its way onto the list.

I was lucky enough to be one of the winners of the entire Not the Booker Prize shortlist from The Guardian a few weeks ago. So far, three of them have come through. Despite the tearing Cairo got on the books blog, I’m going to give it a go, namely because it still sounded weird and interesting. Out of those three though (Smoke is Rising, Cairio and First Time Solo), Smoke is Rising really leapt out at me as something I’m probably going to enjoy.

The two I’m most troubled about picking up are Seconds and The Shining Girls. I loved Scott Pilgrim, though I hated his first book, so Seconds will either be a continuation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s brilliant developing career, or a return to bland melodrama. The Shining Girls is a different story. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book, and yet, I’d heard nothing but good things about Zoo City, which just might be one of the worst written books I’ve read in ages. I’m cautiously optimistic about both of these books though.

There are others in there too, but after reading Dave Hartley’s blog the other day, I’ve realised that there is a lack of female authors. I have three books by women on my to-read shelf, and after realising last year that I read barely any female written books, I decided this year to read at least one a month. That hasn’t happened. I’m determined to be better at this.

So, is there anything not on that shelf that you think should be? Let me know in the comments!

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