2018 Reading Goals

Posted December 26, 2017 by Kim in top ten tuesday / 13 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Published: March 26th, 2004
Publisher: Penguin Books

Ron Chernow, the renowned author of Titan whom the New York Times has called“as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we’ve seen in decades,” vividly re-creates the whole sweep of Alexander Hamilton’s turbulent life—his exotic, brutal upbringing; his titanic feuds with celebrated rivals; his pivotal role in defining the shape of the federal government and the American economy; his shocking illicit romances; his enlightened abolitionism; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804. Drawing upon extensive, unparalleled research— including nearly fifty previously undiscovered essays highlighting Hamilton’s fiery journalism as well as his revealing missives to colleagues and friends—this biography of the extraordinarily gifted founding father who galvanized, inspired, and scandalized the newborn nation is the work by which all others will be measured.

The Hamilton soundtrack is the first American album I ever bought. I’m not sure what to do with it now, because all I really wanted were the songs.

Like many others, I fell in love with the musical and the titular character at the heart of it all: Alexander Hamilton.

The ten-dollar Founding Father without a father
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder
By being a lot smarter
By being a self-starter
-Alexander Hamilton by Lin Manuel-Miranda

Of course, you can argue the relevancy of Aaron Burr or George Washington, and I would raise no objections. Ron Chernow has penned a few biographies, and I am the proud owner of three of them.

Which is nice and all, but it might be prudent to, oh you know, read them too. If I can successfully ignore how long they are, it’s possible I could make substantial progress with the first of the Chernow’s books I’ve purchased.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Published: October 16th, 1847
Publisher: Smith, Elder & Co.

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead and subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

The twenty pages of Jane Eyre I have under my belt were nothing if not surprisingly easy to read. Of all the classics I’ve collected (and you guessed it —haven’t read) this one seems like it has the prettiest prose. I love, love, love beautiful writing so I’m hoping that I’ll finally get through this book in 2018.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Published: January 28th, 1813
Publisher: T. Egerton, Whitehall

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners—one of the most popular novels of all time—that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues

I finally watched most of Pride & Prejudice movie, which wasn’t quite enough to make me salivate over reading this book immediately. It’s going to happen though, because you can’t enjoy your share of romance without hearing about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

I’ll admit I tried tackling this book once, and I was bored twenty tedious pages in. That’s why they say that first impressions shouldn’t count, right? That’s what they say, right?

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Published: October 10th, 1957
Publisher: Random House

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators?

Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world’s motor — and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.

Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life — from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy — to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction — to the philosopher who becomes a pirate — to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph — to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad — to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels.

You must be prepared, when you read this novel, to check every premise at the root of your convictions.

This is a mystery story, not about the murder — and rebirth — of man’s spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events, a ruthlessly brilliant plot structure and an irresistible suspense. Do you say this is impossible? Well, that is the first of your premises to check.

Maybe.

Hopefully.

I watched a Criminal Minds episode with a quote by Ayn Rand, okay.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass (#5)
Published: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

KINGDOMS WILL COLLIDE.

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

I made it halfway through this book before I found out how it ends and I’m saying this now:

THIS BOOK IS NOT HAPPENING UNTIL I GET MY HANDS ON THE LAST ONE.

I’ll probably find my way back to it sometime in the summer and start over from the beginning. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish Tower of Dawn as well and by then, the last book will be on its way to me.

Until then, I’m sending my love to Rowan and Aelin.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices (#1)
Published: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

Before I start reading Lady Midnight, I’d like to at least read The Tales of Shadowhunter Academy. If I’m feeling encouraged, I might even embark on my fourth re-read of all of Cassandra Clare’s books, starting with City of Bones. (don’t do it don’t do it you have new books to read discourage discourage)

I’m looking forward to meeting Emma and the Blackthorns soon. But really, all this impending heartbreak could have been avoided if someone had just stopped Julian and Emma from being paratabai because dude you know you’re gonna catch feelings.

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
Published: Disney Hyperion
Publisher: January 1st, 2014

“A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, Can we do this anonymously? Because I don’t need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week.” So begins Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic–and sarcastic asides–to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who’s who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. “If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that.” Dramatic full-color illustrations throughout by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco make this volume–a must for home, library, and classroom shelves–as stunning as it is entertaining.

If I owned anything that could be a coffee table book, this would be it. (and the beautiful Harry Potter illustrated editions) It’s a behemoth of a novel, with glossy illustrations and heavy paper quality. I love it a lot, but there is rarely a more inconvenient book to lug around to read.

The only reasonable way for me to read this is to finding a day where I have nothing lined up and sitthis book down on an empty table. It’s a lucky thing that I’m so fond of Percy Jackson’s narrative voice. I’m not even going to think about Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes right now, but I’m excited to learn some new things about the Greek gods.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (#1)
Published: September 27th, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Many moons ago, I flew through Daughter of Smoke and Bone, made my way through the sequel, and skimmed my way well into half of the conclusion. I’ve retained little to nothing, except a couple of bookmarked quotes (which I think are epic) and a lot of love from Brimstone (who didn’t have nearly enough page time).

I’d say a dutiful revisit is in order.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicles (#1)
Published: March 27th, 2007
Publisher: Penguin Group DAW

Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.

A high-action story written with a poet’s hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

Saying that I’m going to tackle an epic high fantasy like The Name of the Wind is a hard commitment to stay true to. The tenth anniversary edition is a beautiful copy though. If I say I’m going to do it, I’m damn well going to try and read it. The beauty will only help.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published: September 10th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Eventually I’m going to have to figure out if Rainbow Rowell is an author for me, and I can’t do that if I keep buying her books only to put them on the shelf for years. Personally, I’m a little more interested in Carry On, but I’m still debating on whether or not it’ll be a better experience if I had the context of Fangirl first. Maybe I’ll end up enjoying it more if I started with Carry On, and then read about a girl who also fell in love with Simon and Baz. Maybe I’ll flip a coin.

What books are you most excited to read in 2018?

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13 responses to “2018 Reading Goals

    • Kim

      It definitely is a beautiful cover 🙂 It makes me want to pick up the book sooner rather than later, but I’m still a procrastinator at heart.

  1. I didn’t love the P&P movie but I adore the BBC 1995 miniseries and I love the book. I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone years ago but never got around to reading the next 2 so I definitely need to re-read it soon because I really want to finish the trilogy.

    • Kim

      I hope we’ll both achieve that goal and knock out Pride and Prejudice in 2018! The backlog of books never seems to end though 😮

      Happy reading!

  2. The Name of the Wind is on my list, too. I’ve picked it up and put it down too many times this year. I don’t know why I can’t seem to finish it even though I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Fangirl has been on my TBR since I bought it for my daughter a few years ago.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

    • Kim

      Haha, perhaps that edition will make its way to you soon then 🙂 I’ve been eyeing Daughter of Smoke and Bone for the past few days trying to decide if I want to re-read it. The series is so long that I almost can’t justify spending that time when there’s so many newer releases I haven’t caught up on. I do want to finish the story soon though.

    • Kim

      Atlas Shrugged is nothing if not a door-stopper of a book. I would be proud just to finish it, but I’m sad to hear that it didn’t end being one you loved. I’m excited to read Fangirl soon! I’m just trying to decide if I wanna start with Carry On or not.

    • Kim

      Congratulations! I tried reading Pride and Prejudice a couple times too, so it’s reassuring to hear that someone else go through it 🙂 I hope your next classic reads will be engaging from the beginning.
      Kim recently posted…2018 Book HaulMy Profile

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