Happy New Year everyone
Well, as most of you know, I've started my third novel, What If (in between lying about on the sofa, reading, eating too much and playing various board games over the festive period. Tomorrow, back to the laptop with a vengeance and I feel better rested for it.
But, in between writing and all the other hats an author wears, what will I be reading this year?
Well, apart from the 500 books that I haven't read yet...plus the 400 on my Kindle (less than many in my Kindle FB group, I can assure you!) I thought I would start with those I got for my birthday and Christmas, as well as those I downloaded with my Amazon voucher on Christmas Day.
So, who's first up?
Carole Matthews - With Love At Christmas - I've been a big fan of Carole's chicklit for many years and think I have all but one of her books and that was simply because I was too busy writing last year to read as much. I started reading this yesterday morning and have read about 200 pages already.
I see this being a 4 star. It also addresses a few serious issues, which I thought was a welcome change from everything being light-hearted.
Party Games - E J Greenway - I discovered this author on Twitter last year and this will be reviewed on my blog at the end of the month. A political thriller with lots of suspense and more than a touch of romance. I have been having problems putting it down, but forced myself to, as I think Christmas books should be read over the festive period, and I wanted to read Carole's book before Valentine's Day! But as soon as I finish that (soon) I will be back to Party Games. Another 4 star I reckon.
The Racketeer - John Grisham - I LOVE John Grisham. He's only had a few I wasn't fussed with and those were all non-legal thrillers. That said, Skipping Christmas (a change in genre for him, too) was fab! Looking forward to reading this very much. As it's a hardback, I always feel I should read those first.
Miracle At The Museum of Broken Hearts: A Christmas Novella - Talli Roland - I had read Build A Man, a total chicklit read, very funny, about plastic surgery, last year and have since downloaded Construct A Couple, the follow up, which I will read later this year. However, as MATMOBH is a Christmas novella, I will read that first. And, just to confuse matters further, Talli had released a second Christmas novella, Mistletoe in Manhattan: A Christmas Story, which I also downloaded and will read after this first novella. I am expecting chick lit at it's best and I'm sure she won't disappoint. This is the woman who tweeted from hospital on Christmas Eve to say she'd just had her epidural! For the record, when my time comes later this year, I will NOT be following suit (although I might catch up on some reading!)
Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe - Jenny Colgan - Now, I haven't always been thrilled by Ms Colgan's books. I have read a few good ones and a few that were just all right. However, my first book last year I believe was Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams, which was fantastic. So, I decided I would wait to see what Jenny brought out next. Along came Christmas At The Cupcake Cafe. But, as it's a follow up to Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, I was obliged to ask for both for my birthday!
A Merry Little Christmas - Julia Williams - for the same logic as above, ie it will hopefully still be January when I am reading this, possibly with snow on the ground, this comes next. I have read a few of Julia's and was most miffed last Jan when on holiday in Sri Lanka to start reading Last Christmas on my Kindle, only to realise I had already read it. Got home and discovered had previously bought the paperback!
The Black Box - Michael Connelly - again, love Michael Connelly and can't wait to read this. When I've been reading a lot of chicklit, I tend to want to either read something along the lines of crime, legal thriller, travel or cultural to mix things up a bit!
Staying Away at Christmas - Katie Fforde - I love all of Katie's books which I have read, although I admit to owning a few more which I haven't read yet. Shame on me! Another that has to be read before the crocuses bud!
A State of Jane - Meredith Schorr - I had been hoping to read this book on my Kindle when on holiday in Madeira in November, but I only read one book on holiday (it wasn't a lying by the pool type of holiday after all!) I met this author via an author Facebook group last year and loved the cover and the blurb. Looks like a great chicklit read and I hope to have Meredith on the blog (must remember to ask her!) in February.
The Mystery of Mercy Close - Marian Keyes - I love Marian's books and again this is another hardback which I am keen to read before it comes out in paperback. I am hoping, from the reviews for something akin to Rachel's Holiday (which I read in Spanish!)
Santa Maybe - Scarlett Bailey - do you see a theme here? I do like my Christmas books! The problem with getting them as Christmas presents, is Christmas is almost over by then! I read The Night Before Christmas last Jan on holiday and loved it, so was keen to snaffle this one, too.
One Hundred Names - Cecelia Ahern - again, I love most of Cecelia's books and what I love about them is they are all so different. That might mean that you vastly prefer some over others, but I think it's both brave and exciting. This book has had great reviews, so am looking forward to it immensely. I have been chomping at the bit for a new Cecelia book, since I read The Time of My Life early last year and which was hysterical and heart-warming at the same time. Such an usual concept. You couldn't really class Cecelia as chicklit, more Women's Fiction, although PS I Love You is more chicklit.
27 - R J Heald - another author I met on Twitter, but whose tweets intrigued me and whose blurb engaged me. Hope to have her on the blog Feb/Mar (again, must ask her!) To my mind, this is similar in some ways in style to my own Sign of the Times,as it features lots of characters, although with a different subject, so perhaps why I am so interested!
I have just realised that this blog post will hopefully help me read books in order, rather than willy nilly pick one up (no bad thing that, but I do have those I definitely want to read sooner rather than later)
The Rose Petal Beach - Dorothy Koomson - long-anticipated. I love Dorothy's books. My Best Friend's Girl is still my favourite, but very much looking forward to reading this hardback. Women's Fiction at its best.
Second Chances - Maria Savva - a real find of an author for 2012. Coincidences featured in my top 10 books of the year and Haunted would have made it into the top 20, had I written one! I downloaded two books by Ms Savva on Christmas Day, this and Pieces of a Rainbow, which I will read later in the year. I love that she switches genres all the time.
The Girl You Left Behind - Jojo Moyes - I had been dying for months to read what would be my first book by this author, Me Before You. It was the only book I read on holiday and it was fantastic. So I promptly asked for this and The Last Letter From Your Lover for my birthday. I got this, but not TLLFYL, which I will have to forage for later in the year (if I ever get through all these books, whilst writing my own and most likely giving birth early April!)
Sophie's Turn - Nicky Wells - a rockstar romance - I won this in a competition last year and have been trying to get around to it. Hope to have Nicky on the blog in March (really must remember to ask authors if they can come on!)
Touched by the Light - Linn B Halton - I actually intended to download The Restaurant at the Mill, but in the end, downloaded this with my Christmas voucher. Am sure TRATM will be read in the future. Women's Fiction. Another author whom I met on Twitter last year.
The Dream - Maria Savva - had to mention this separately, as have been wanting to read this for months. I am spacing out my Ms Savva books to savour them more!
Ten Years On - Alice Peterson - I may have to read this earlier, as I hope to interview Alice on the blog in March. I read Monday to Friday Man about 18 months ago and loved it. I can't wait to get stuck in. Excellent chicklit. Alice has also since brought out some others which I am keen to read, but I am trying (ha ha ha) not to be too over-ambitious about how many books I can read this year, whilst writing my own and caring for a newborn! (place your bets! I put 35 on my Goodreads list, but I only managed 38 last year, sans baby!)
Breaking the Rules - Cat Lavoie - another author I met last year through an author FB group. Loved the cover and the blurb, so on the list it went! I have been adding lots of Canadian and US authors to my TBR in the past 12 months. I love reading about new places. More excellent chicklit expected.
Fourteen Days Later - Sibel Hodge - another author I met through FB last year. I had been dying to read her The Baby Trap for some time, but on Christmas Day, for whatever reason, instead, I was drawn to this book and downloaded it. It promises a fab romantic comedy.
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson - I think this book speaks for itself. I had to buy it for the title alone. For the same reason I had to buy The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian in previous years - wacky titles! I also may have to buy My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece for the same reason!
Picture Perfect - Lucie Simone - another author I met on FB last year (it has its uses, although I far prefer Twitter to FB!) Again, I actually wanted to download Lucie's A Taste of Italy, given that I am Italy-daft, but instead downloaded this. A Hollywood novel. Maybe I should move it to Feb, to read when the Oscars are on!
Kismetology - Jaimie Admans - I saw this book reviewed on an author friend's blog a few months ago and added it to my TBR then. Loved the title and the concept so it was waiting for my Amazon voucher! How virtuous am I? Usually I just buy everything as soon as I see it, but was trying to be good last year! Promises great chicklit.
You Had Me At Hello - Mhairi McFarlane - I liked the title and it was high up on the Amazon chart at the time, so I noticed it. Had also been recommended it by a friend on Goodreads.
The Love of My Life - Louise Douglas - this was high up in the Amazon chart last year, so lots of people read it and told me it was great, so eventually I gave in and downloaded it! Does look good!
Fashioning A Romance - Libby Mercer - now I just read Libby's new short novel, Unmasking Maya, which I loved and was very well written. I loved that it was set in San Francisco, which rivals New York for my fave city in the US. So I simply had to download her first book, although she has told me it's a romance and I don't normally read Romance. But then she told me UM was a romance, too...and keep your eyes peeled as Libby will be on the blog in January!
OK, so I have already accounted for 31 out of the 35 books I aim to read in 2013...oops! So what else might make it on that list? Well, I expect a Terry Tyler book out by Spring. I discovered Terry's books last year and have read all of them, so book 5 is awaited with anticipation and who knows if I am lucky, I might get book 6, too! My favourite so far has been Nobody's Fault, which made it on Sooz's Top 10 of 2012
Jenny Colgan is due to release The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris in March - it has chocolate in it and it's set in France. What more do you need to know?!
Jodi Picoult - The Storyteller is due out in March also. I love her books, although wasn't as taken with Lone Wolf as the others.
Victoria Hislop's - The Last Dance and Other Stories will probably get downloaded at some point, as I love her books, with The Island still being my favourite.
And last but by no means least, I have a few Emily Barr novels waiting to be read, which I have promised myself I will read this year. I loved The First Wife and her latest Stranded, although the latter was very different in content to her other books, but none the worse for it!
And well, really, if I manage all of those, I think I will have done pretty well!
If I ever get through all of these books, I still have lots of birthday and Christmas money, which unlike normal, I am keeping, rather than splurging all at once, so I can get more lovely books!
Feel free to leave a comment on the blog with what you're most looking forward to reading in 2013. Have a great year everyone and tune in on Friday for An Interview with Elke Feuer.