November and December TBR

Hello!

There are three reasons I’m doing a two-month TBR this time around. 1- I have WAYYYY too many books that I want to read, and I can’t decide which ones I want to put for this month, so I’m just going put all of them and say it’s for both months. 2- The beginning of December brings finals, so I probably won’t have time to do a wrap-up AND a TBR in the beginning of the month. I made it a goal for myself to read all of the books that I have here at college before I go home for Christmas, and at this point, there is no way that’s happening, so I’m going to make a really ambitious TBR so that I can prioritize as many of them as possible so I don’t feel like a complete failure.

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

I’m actually currently reading this one. I’ve been reading it for about three weeks, although to be fair I haven’t touched it in like two because I’ve been so busy. I’m also just not as invested in this one.

Emilia and Teo’s lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo’s mother died immediately, but Em’s survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother’s wishes-in a place where he won’t be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat. Seeking a home where her children won’t be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall or their salvation?

Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millett

I am also currently reading this book for a class. I want it to be over already. Honestly. I’m really not enjoying it. The 2.9 average rating on Goodreads speaks for itself.

Lydia Millet’s chilling new novel is the first-person account of a young mother, Anna, escaping her cold and unfaithful husband, a businessman who’s just launched his first campaign for political office. When Ned chases Anna and their six-year-old daughter from Alaska to Maine, the two go into hiding in a run-down motel on the coast. But the longer they stay, the less the guests in the dingy motel look like typical tourists—and the less Ned resembles a typical candidate. As his pursuit of Anna and their child moves from threatening to criminal, Ned begins to alter his wife’s world in ways she never could have imagined.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

This is another book that I will have to read for class. I’m a little more excited about it than I was for Sweet Lamb of Heaven, but not by much. It does have a higher rating of 3.8 on Goodreads, though, so that’s promising.

On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations–all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

Provocations by Søren Kierkegaard

Another school book, yay! I don’t really know anything about this one, but we’ll see how it goes.

The purpose of this new collection is two fold. First, to make Kierkegaard accessible; second, to present in as concise a way possible his “heart,” his core themes, and his passion. Divided into six sections, Provocations contains a little of everything from Kierkegaard’s prodigious output, including his famously cantankerous (yet wryly humorous) attacks on what he calls the “mediocre shell” of conventional Christianity, his brilliantly pithy parables, and his incisive attempts to dig through the fluff of theology and clear a way for the basics: decisiveness, obedience,and recognition of the truth. Arguably the most accessible Kierkegaard volume to be published in decades, Provocations is a must for every serious reader. Indeed, the wealth of sayings and aphorisms collected in one of the sections is reason enough to buy the book.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I’ve put this one off for far too long, and I just want to get it over with.

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself. Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson

Clara has been bugging me to read this for ages, so of course, when my birthday rolled around, she sent me a copy. Thank you, Clara, I will now read it and satisfy your insatiable nagging. 😛 Nagging aside, I really am very excited to read this one.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more. She also has a secret. Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it. When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

Emma by Jane Austen

I was supposed to read this last month, but then I found out that the Austentatious book club is reading it this month, so I decided to save it. I am absolutely determined to get to this book this month, since I’ve owned it for 3 years.

Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

This book was a birthday present from my mom, and I’m so excited for two reasons. 1- it’s signed. 2- I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time AND it’s being made into a movie. So perfect timing.

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here? Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

I will read this book. I will. I swear. I know I’ve been saying that for months. But I will. I promise. I am determined.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman

Another one that I’ve been putting off for months…. I have a problem.

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

I really wanted to read this one early on in the school year, because I like reading contemporaries in the summer, but I never got around to it. Hopefully I’ll be able to convince myself that reading contemporaries in winter is also fun.

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I’ve been saving this one for winter, and I’m hoping to time reading it with the first snow of the season (whenever that happens, it certainly isn’t happening now).

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

I just recently found the time to visit my town’s local bookstore, and I picked up 5 books while I was there. This was one of them.

I can’t seem to find a real summary of this, but I’m sure you know the general idea. Vampire. Blood. Classic, etc.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

This is another one that I picked up at the local bookstore. I’m not really sure why, I sort of  just picked it up on a whim. I don’t know very much about this book, but the premise seems interesting.

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Yet another book that I picked up from the bookstore. I’ve been wanting to read this book for quite a while, and my roommate here at school is currently reading it for a class, so I’m hoping to pick it up soon to share in some discussion with her.

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

I’m so excited to pick this one up after having read Wolf by Wolf last month. Definitely going to pick this one up soon.

I won’t put a summary here because of spoilers.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

I can’t believe I haven’t picked this book up yet. I’m so excited to read it after loving An Ember in the Ashes. Hopefully going to get to this soon.

Again no summary because spoilers.

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

I’m sorry, Clara. I’m sorry. I know. It’s taking me too long to pick this one up. I promise it will happen soon.

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death. Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has? For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her. And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself. As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I want to pick this one up sooooo badly. I loved Illuminae, so I have no doubts I’m going to love this one.

No summary – spoilers.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Yet another book that I can’t believe I haven’t picked up yet. It’s going to happen very soon, because I need to find out how this duology ends. NOW.

I realized I forgot to talk about my TBR jar in my October Wrap-up, again. I had two challenges for the month of October –

  1. Read a Classic
  2. Read a book that you’ve owned for more than a year

I managed to only complete task 2 by reading Lucky by Alice Sebold, so task 1, read a classic, is going to roll over into the next two months.

My TBR Jar challenges for November and December are –

  1. Read a Classic
  2. Read a book by an author you’ve never read before
  3. Have someone else pick book for you (Clara I’m looking at you)

What books are you planning to read this month? Tell me in the comments!

-Sky

 

 

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