Top Ten Tuesday: Back-to-school freebie

Top 10 TuesdayAs usual, it’s been a while since I’ve participated in a Top Ten Tuesday topic, but I couldn’t resist this back-to-school freebie! The topic asks for anything school-related, so my list is going to be the top 10 books I’d put on the syllabus for a “Mystery Novel 101” course, in (roughly) chronological order:

1. Edgar Allan Poe, “The Purloined Letter” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” — Technically these are short stories, but Poe is, according to the Poe Museum website, “widely acknowledged as the inventor of the modern detective story.” Both of these stories are notable for their surprise endings, although the solution to “Rue Morgue” would be considered insulting by most contemporary mystery lovers!

2. Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone — This one is remarkable for its use of mutliple points of view to describe the crime, the theft of a valuable jewel. It also exemplifies the sensationalism (and, unfortunately, Orientalism) typical of some 19th-century British literature, but it’s still a very compelling and suspenseful story.

3. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes — Obviously this list wouldn’t be complete without some Holmes and Watson on it! I picked Memoirs, even though it’s not the first collection of Sherlock stories, because it contains some of the canon’s most notable moments, including the introduction of Mycroft (“The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter”) and the dramatic confrontation with Moriarty (“The Final Problem”).

4-5. Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and Murder on the Orient Express — I may be a bit biased because I fell in love with Dame Agatha’s novels at an impressionable age, but I couldn’t resist including two of her most famous novels! Both of them have twist endings, and while they may not be very shocking now, that’s only because so many other authors have followed in her footsteps! Also, “30 Rock” did an amazing homage to Orient Express in episode 515, “It’s Never Too Late for Now.”

6. Anthony Berkeley, The Poisoned Chocolates Case — I don’t remember how I first came across this book, but I do remember my utter delight upon finishing it! This novel is a perfect example (and send-up) of the mystery tropes and conventions that, in 1929, had already become popular enough to satirize. Six armchair detectives each propose a solution to a murder, and each of them is amazingly plausible and clever (although, of course, only one is correct)!

7. Vera Caspary, Laura — I had to include a noir crime novel on the list, and while I could have gone with The Maltese Falcon or The Thin Man, I decided on Laura for the purely subjective reason that I really love the movie! But the novel is quite clever as well, and it uses the Wilkie Collins-esque technique of multiple narrators, some of whom are not exactly reliable.

8. Something by John Dickson Carr — Here I must admit with shame that I actually haven’t read anything by John Dickson Carr, despite his prolific career spanning the 1930s to the 1970s. But he is generally acknowledged to be the master of the “locked room” or impossible crime, a genre that has proved to be both popular and long-lasting.

9. Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, The Laughing Policeman — Scandi-crime has become popular in recent years, but in the 1960s, Sjöwall and Wahlöö were among the first Scandinavian mystery writers to gain fame in the US. This novel, an installment in the Martin Beck series, deals with a mass shooting on a public bus where one of the victims is a policeman. It’s a wonderful procedural that realistically describes the routines, the tedium, and the false starts that plague real-life criminal investigations.

10. Luis Fernando Verissimo, Borges and the Eternal Orangutans — Possibly the strangest book on the list, this novel is an homage to Edgar Allan Poe by way of Jorge Luis Borges. It’s hard to describe without giving too much away, but it’s very clever and a very quick read!

 

Advertisements

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring forward

Top 10 TuesdayWith spring less than a week away (hooray!), it’s time to examine the TBR pile and decide what to read in the upcoming season. This topic came at the perfect time for me, since I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. I’m working my way through the monolithic War and Peace, and the shorter books I’ve been reading on the side have generally not thrilled me. Luckily, I’m very excited about some of the books on this list! Here’s what I’m planning to read this spring:

1. Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea — I already have this one checked out from the library. I’ve only heard good things about it, and I love a good World War II novel!

2. Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King — Obviously. I loved the first three books in the series and can’t wait to see how it ends! #SaveGansey (I do think he’s going to die, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has to STAY dead, right?)

3. Jacques Philippe, Interior Freedom — I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while, and Lent seems like the perfect occasion. I really loved Fr. Philippe’s Time for God, so I’m confident that I will find this book equally edifying.

4. Cindy Anstey, Love, Lies and Spies — Regency romance plus “fake relationship becomes real” plus spies plus gorgeous cover? This book checks ALL my boxes, y’all!

5. Jen Chaney, As If!: The Oral History of “Clueless” As Told by Amy Heckerling, the Cast, and the Crew — “Clueless” is one of my all-time favorite movies, so obviously I need to read this! Luckily, a friend of mine owns it and was willing to lend it to me. I MAY even give it back to him at some point!

6. Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast Another book I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and I think it would be nice to read it in April. Who doesn’t love Paris in the springtime?!

7. Morgan Matson, The Unexpected Everything -— After Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Since You’ve Been Gone, I think Morgan Matson is officially on auto-buy status. Can’t wait to read this May release!

8. V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic -— I’ve been seeing LOTS of buzz about this one, and it looks really good! I think this is one of the books I’m most eager to read right now.

9. Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate — This book has been on my radar for a while, but I was never really convinced to read it until I saw a review comparing it to Sarah Addison Allen. SOLD.

10. Kristan Higgins, If You Only Knew — I love Kristan Higgins, and this is her only book that I don’t yet own. I will be rectifying this situation soon!

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2015

Top 10 TuesdayWith only a few weeks left in 2015, ’tis the season to choose our favorite books of the year! So, even though I haven’t been blogging much these days, I figured this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is the perfect excuse to jump back in! Here are my top 10 favorite books of the year:

1. Naomi Novik, Uprooted — Every once in a while, you come across a book that feels like it was written especially for you. For me, Uprooted is one of those books. From the plucky heroine to the gorgeous setting to the romance to the wonderfully nuanced depiction of female friendship, I loved basically everything about this book. My review is here.

2. Zen Cho, Sorcerer to the Crown — It’s probably obvious by now that I will read anything that can be described as “Georgette Heyer plus magic.” This book is a fantastic addition to the genre and features two underdog protagonists: a Sorcerer Royal who is ostracized for his African descent and a woman whose magical abilities are much greater than is socially acceptable for young ladies. I haven’t gotten around to reviewing this one yet, but trust me, it is an utter delight!

3. Mary Doria Russell, Epitaph — Although I don’t usually read Westerns, I absolutely loved Doc when it came out, so naturally I had to check out the sequel as well. Russell has a gift for making the legendary figures of the Old West seem like living, breathing people. My review is here.

4. Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun — This is a stunningly written contemporary YA about art and guilt and family relationships. While there are multiple romances, the heart of the book is the relationship between twin siblings Noah and Jude and how it changes as they both grow up. My review is here.

5. Genevieve Valentine, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club — This is one of the most unique fairy tale retellings I’ve ever read, setting “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” in the jazz clubs and speakeasies of 1920s Manhattan. Lovers of historical fiction and/or fairy tales should definitely check it out! My review is here.

6. Jean Webster, Dear Enemy — If you enjoy epistolary novels and old-fashioned romance, you’ll be absolutely charmed by this book about frivolous Sallie McBride and how she comes into her own by becoming an orphanage administrator. My review is here.

7. Lauren Willig, The Other Daughter — I’m a big Lauren Willig fan, and this is my favorite of her standalone books, set in England in the 1920s. My review is here.

8. Heather Demetrios, I’ll Meet You There — Another excellent YA contemporary novel about a girl and a boy who are both trying to escape life in their dead-end small town. Additionally, the hero has lost a leg in Afghanistan and is struggling with both physical and emotional scars. My review is here.

9. Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost — Let’s face it: any Sarah Addison Allen book is probably going to end up on my best-of-the-year list. This wasn’t my favorite of hers — I don’t think Garden Spells particularly needed a sequel — but it was still a lovely, magical read. My review is here.

10. Ellie Marney, Every Breath — I couldn’t resist this Aussie take on Sherlock Holmes! James Mycroft is a volatile genius with a penchant for getting into trouble; Rachel Watts is his best friend (and maybe more), who becomes his voice of reason and his partner in solving a murder. I’ve already got the second book in the series on my shelves! My review is here.

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR list

Top 10 TuesdayIt’s time for another seasonal TBR list for Top Ten Tuesday! A lot of my favorite authors tend to come out with new books in the fall, so this list was an easy one for me to compile. Here are 10 books I’m excited to read this fall, in no particular order:

1. Deanna Raybourn, A Curious Beginning — I really liked the first few Lady Julia Grey mysteries, and I keep meaning to read more by Deanna Raybourn, but for some reason I haven’t yet. A Curious Beginning is the first book in a new mystery series, so I’m excited to see how it will compare.

2. Rainbow Rowell, Carry On — I adore Rainbow Rowell’s books, but I’m not wholeheartedly excited about this one for several reasons (which I’ll probably detail when I review the book). Nevertheless, I definitely still want to read it, and I’ve put it on hold at the library, so hopefully I’ll be able to form an opinion soon!

3. Zen Cho, Sorcerer to the Crown — Any book that combines Regency England and magic is going to pique my interest, and this one has been compared to Georgette Heyer and comes highly recommended by Jenny. So obviously I had to buy the hardcover, and I can’t wait to read it!

4. Amy Stewart, Girl Waits with Gun — I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this book through LibraryThing. All I really know is that it’s based on a true story about kickass women in the Old West, but that’s definitely enough to convince me to read it!

5. Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows — I gave into the hype about this book and pre-ordered it before I’d even read anything by Leigh Bardugo! Now I’ve read the Grisha trilogy and enjoyed it overall, although I do have a few quibbles with it (reviews will be coming one of these days, I hope!). But I’m still very excited about Six of Crows — I love a good heist story!

6. Kate Beaton, Step Aside, Pops — Oh, how I love Kate Beaton and her smart, silly comics! I already have her first collection, Hark! A Vagrant, and I can’t wait to snatch this one up as well!

7. Seanan McGuire, A Red-Rose Chain — I’ve been invested in this series about since book one, and the most recent installment, The Winter Long, was a huge game-changer for Toby Daye and her allies. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

8. William Ritter, Beastly Bones — I loved Jackaby, so naturally I’m excited to see what will happen in the sequel! Abigail Rook is a wonderful narrator and heroine, and I definitely want to learn more about the mysterious R.F. Jackaby.

9. Charles Finch, Home by Nightfall — This is the latest installment in yet another series I love, featuring Victorian gentleman-detective Charles Lenox.

10. Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey — Halloween is the perfect time to re-read Austen’s hilarious send-up of the gothic novels that were popular in her day. Plus, Mr. Tilney is adorable! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-buy Authors

Top 10 TuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is auto-buy authors — the ones whose books you snatch up or preorder without even checking the synopsis first because they are JUST THAT GOOD. There are definitely several authors that fit this description for me, although most of them come with a caveat…so I guess maybe they’re not true auto-buy authors after all! Nonetheless, here are ten nine authors whose books I’ll automatically buy at least 99% of the time. 🙂

1. Jasper Fforde — I’ve been a huge Fforde ffangirl ever since the first Thursday Next book, and I bought most of his books in hardcover as soon as they came out! I must admit, I haven’t yet gotten  The Song of the Quarkbeast or The Eye of Zoltar, but I do hope to obtain them eventually.

2. Rainbow Rowell — Along with the rest of the Internet, I love love love Rainbow Rowell! She did an author event near me last year, where she graciously signed my copies of all four of her novels. So I’m definitely on board for whatever she writes next…EXCEPT that I’m not going to buy Carry On. I’m pretty skeptical about this particular book (and one of these days, I’ll write a post about my reasons why). But I still definitely want to read it, and I’ve got a library hold on it already!

3. Megan Whalen Turner — I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the Attolia series and own all four books. If she writes another, I will be first in line to grab a copy!

4. Sharon Kay Penman — You can’t beat SKP for well-written, page-turning medieval historical fiction! I have all her books except for her most recent one, A King’s Ransom.

5. Kristan Higgins — My favorite contemporary romance author! I think I actually do have all her books, and I’m super excited that another one is coming out next week! (And yes, it’s on my Amazon wishlist!)

6. Robin McKinley — One of my all-time favorite authors since I first read The Hero and the Crown in elementary school. I own everything she’s written except for a couple of children’s picture books and some stray short stories from anthologies.

7. Julie James — Another contemporary romance author I really enjoy. So far, I have all her books except the latest one, Suddenly One Summer. But I wasn’t as impressed with her last couple of books, so, sadly, I may end up demoting her from auto-buy status one of these days.

8. Sarah Addison Allen — Her books are the ultimate comfort reads, featuring romance and magic and tight-knit communities of strong women.

9. Jandy Nelson — I loved I’ll Give You the Sun so much that I had to get The Sky Is Everywhere right away! I’m definitely looking forward to her next book!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite books of the year so far

Top 10 TuesdayWe are officially halfway through 2015, which feels very strange! But this week’s Top Ten Tuesday asks us to reflect back on the first half of the year and list our 10 favorite reads so far. I’ve read a lot of good books this year, but there are a few that definitely stand out! So, without further ado, here are my 10 favorite books of the year so far (not counting re-reads):

1. Naomi Novik, Uprooted — This is, without a doubt, my favorite read of 2015 so far! It’s everything I want my epic fantasy to be: great characters, a compelling plot, magical writing..honestly, I felt like this book was written just for me! My review is here.

2. Mary Doria Russell, Epitaph — Despite my general lack of interest in Westerns, I really enjoyed this sequel/companion novel to Doc, which describes the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral and examines its growth into an American legend. My review is here.

3. Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun — I wasn’t expecting to love this one as much as I did! But I was blown away by the writing style, and I ended up really enjoying this story of love (both romantic and fraternal) and redemption. My review is here.

4. Genevieve Valentine, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club — This retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” is set in the jazz clubs and speakeasies of New York in the Roaring Twenties. If the premise appeals to you, you’ll love this one! My review is here.

5. Ellie Marney, Every Breath — The tagline on the U.S. hardcover edition of this book says, “What if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door?” And that’s really all you need to know, isn’t it? 🙂 My review is here.

6. Heather Demetrios, I’ll Meet You There — Another teen romance that I unexpectedly loved! This one is about an ambitious young woman trying to leave her tiny town behind, and a Marine who comes home from Afghanistan missing a leg. The book doesn’t shy away from darkness with these issues, but the overall message is one of hope. My review is here.

7. Sarah Addison Allen, First Frost — This novel, a sequel to Garden Spells, isn’t my favorite of Sarah Addison Allen’s books. But it’s still a lovely, light, magic-infused novel that was a pleasure to read. My review is here.

8. Elizabeth Bailey, The Gilded Shroud — I have a soft spot for historical mysteries, especially those set during the Regency era, and this one is well-written and feels very authentic. The mystery was perfectly fine, but the real enjoyment for me was the period atmosphere. My review is here.

9. E.C. Bentley, Trent’s Last Case — This vintage mystery is an oldie but a goodie. Fans of the Golden Age will like this book but still be surprised by a few twists in the plot! My review is here.

10. Annie Barrows, The Truth According to Us — This novel, set in a small town in West Virginia during the Great Depression, is an excellent family saga about decades-old secrets, as well as a sensitive portrayal of a young girl’s coming-of-age. My review is here.

What are your favorite reads of the year so far? Are there any books you just want to shove into everyone’s hands? What should I add to my TBR list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Meta edition

Top 10 TuesdayI was surprised to discover that this week marks the five-year anniversary of the Top Ten Tuesday meme! In honor of the occasion, this week’s topic is your 10 favorite Top Ten Tuesday topics so far. It was hard for me to pick just 10, and I have to give honorable mention to the seasonal TBRs, the best-of-the-year lists, and the most anticipated new releases of a given year or season. But here are 10 topics that I really enjoyed thinking about and compiling lists for, in no particular order:

1. Top Ten Favorite Authors in [Historical Fiction] Genre — There’s nothing I love more than discovering a new author, so I was happy for the opportunity to recommend some of my favorite authors in a beloved genre, in hopes of giving that thrill of discovery to someone else!

2. Top Ten Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit — Although I’m too much of a chicken to read horror books, for some reason I still try to read seasonally appropriate things around Halloween. I love the annual Halloween TTT because it yields such a huge variety of recommendations! There’s almost always some great suggestions that even a scaredy-cat like me will enjoy!

3. Top Ten Words/Topics that Will Make Me Pick up a Book — This was one of my very favorite lists to compile, because it really made me think about what makes me tick as a reader. From spies to epistolary novels to slow-burning romance, I now know what to look for as I scan the bookstore (or my own shelves) for my next great read!

4. Top Ten Best/Worst Book-to-Movie Adaptations — I had tons of fun making this list, mostly because I felt compelled to share movie trailers for each of the films I selected. I picked five “best” and five “worst” adaptations, and I had a lot of fun reliving some of my favorite cinematic memories — not to mention ranting about some of my least favorite ones! 🙂

5. Top Ten Book Turnoffs You Encounter While Reading — As a corollary to #3, this list was helpful in thinking about what I should avoid in selecting books! It also helps to know what things trigger a knee-jerk reaction in me, so that I can include a caveat in any negative reviews; what bothers me may not bother another reader.

6. Top Ten Favorite Movies or TV Shows — I loved this topic so much, I couldn’t resist doing two separate lists, one for movies and one for TV! What can I say? I’m a binge-watcher at heart. 🙂

7. Top Ten Things You Like/Dislike about Romances in Books — As is well documented by now, I’m a sucker for a good love story, so it only makes sense that I would love this topic too!

8. Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes — Although I don’t keep a log of my favorite book quotes or anything like that, I do tend to remember sentences or passages that jump out at me. I think the list I made three years ago is still pretty accurate!

9. Top Ten Books that Came Recommended — This topic is great because so many of the books I’ve read and loved have been recommended by bookish friends and fellow bloggers! I’m so grateful to the online bookish community for giving me countless hours of joy in the form of great book recs!

10. Top Ten Favorite Love Stories — See #7. 🙂

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for such a fun, popular, and thought-provoking meme! If you’re a fellow participant, what were some of your favorite topics?

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer reading list

Top 10 TuesdayThe seasonal TBR lists are some of my favorite Top Ten Tuesday topics. I love seeing what other people are reading! And normally it’s easy for me to come up with 10 books I’m planning to read within the next few months, since I tend to schedule my reading pretty far in advance. This year, though, I’ve been taking a less structured approach to reading, so I couldn’t come up with 10 strong contenders for my summer TBR list! Still, I did manage to decide on the following eight possibilities, in no particular order:

1. Kate Bolick, Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own — I don’t read much nonfiction, but I’m intrigued by this book, which is supposed to be “a revelatory and slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single.”

2. Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility — This year I’m rereading all six of Austen’s major novels, and it’s been years since I’ve read S&S, so I’m really looking forward to revisiting it!

3. John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps — Since I started doing the Vintage Mystery Challenge a few years ago, I’m always on the lookout for interesting mysteries and thrillers published before 1960. This one fits the bill (published in 1915!), it’s short, and Hitchcock made it into a movie, so why not?

4. Lauren Willig, The Lure of the Moonflower — I can’t WAIT for this book to come out in August! I’m dying to read Jane’s story, which will hopefully be the best Pink Carnation book of all!

5. Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, How My Summer Went Up in Flames — My OTSP secret sister gave me this book, which looks like an adorable summer read! I’m in a bit of a reading slump lately, so it’ll be nice to rejuvenate with some brain candy!

6. Deanna Raybourn, A Spear of Summer Grass — I’ve had this book for years and somehow never got around to reading it. But I really liked the first few Lady Julia Grey novels, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one too!

7. Mary Stewart, The Gabriel Hounds — I love Mary Stewart’s novels of romantic suspense, and this is one I haven’t read yet. It’s set in and around Damascus, which should be really interesting to read about!

8. Jean Webster, Dear Enemy — I LOVED Daddy-Long-Legs when I read it a few years ago, and this is the sequel, featuring Judy’s good friend Sallie.

What books are you desperate to read this summer? Which books should I add to my list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach reads!

Top 10 TuesdayMemorial Day has come and gone, which means beach season is here! And this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is on point, asking for 10 of our favorite beach reads. Here are some of my recommendations for books that should be in your beach bag this summer:

1. Morgan Matson, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour — I love books about road trips! This one has a bunch of awesome playlists, some photos of the various places described in the book, and a lovely romance between the titular characters.

2. Rainbow Rowell, Attachments — Obviously I am a huge Rainbow Rowell fan, along with the rest of the Internet. But I still think Attachments deserves more love! It’s a totally charming novel about a guy who falls in love with a girl through reading her emails (which is not creepy because it’s his job; he does email surveillance for the newspaper where she works).

3. M.M. Kaye, Death in Zanzibar — The basic plot of this one is: Girl travels to exotic location, becomes embroiled in murder and espionage, and falls in love. If that premise appeals to you, read this book!

4. Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile — You can’t go wrong with Agatha Christie, but this is one of my favorites by her. It’s a murder mystery set on a luxury cruise down the Nile, and there are subplots and intrigues and red herrings aplenty!

5. Nick Hornby, Funny Girl — I’m cheating a bit by putting this one on my list, since I am actually still reading it now. But it’s a very entertaining novel, set in the 1960s, about a girl who wants to be a TV comedienne and her lucky break as the star of a BBC sitcom. It’s a bit different from Hornby’s other novels (though I can’t quite put my finger on why), but it’s still funny and not too heavy, and I’m enjoying it a lot so far!

6. Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl — My guess is that if you haven’t read this book already, you’re not going to read it at all. But I just thought I’d mention that it’s a perfect beach book, in my opinion. It’s compulsively readable and very fast-paced, and it can definitely be devoured in an afternoon. Just don’t take it on a honeymoon vacation — it doesn’t exactly paint the rosiest picture of married life!

7. Rhys Bowen, Her Royal Spyness — If you’re into historical fiction but don’t want to think too hard about it, this series is the perfect choice! The main character is a young woman who’s distantly related to the British royal family, but she’s also broke, so she earns money by doing discreet investigative work for the queen. Implausible, yes, but also lots of fun!

8. Sophie Kinsella, I’ve Got Your Number — I’ve read a few of Kinsella’s books, including the first in her popular Shopaholic series, but this novel is her best work, for my money. Poppy’s phone gets stolen, and she finds Sam’s phone in a garbage can. When she starts using the phone, Sam tracks her down, and the two strike up an unconventional correspondence.

9. Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races — I’m sneaking this book onto the list because it’s one of my very favorite books of all time! But it IS set on a beach, so I figure it fits the topic. 🙂

10. Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette — I was reluctant to read this book at first, but it turned out to be a lot warmer and funnier than I expected! There’s also a short trip to Antarctica in it, which should be a nice antidote to the summer heat!

So, what are some of your favorite beach/plane/vacation reads? What books should I add to my beach tote this summer?

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top 10 TuesdayNow that spring is finally (FINALLY!) in sight, it’s appropriate that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is the spring TBR list. This year I’m trying not to schedule my reading too far in advance…but I’m failing a little bit with that goal. 🙂 Between library holds, new releases, and the few reading projects I’m still doing, I have a full plate this spring! Here are some of the books I’m planning to read:

1. Nick Hornby, Funny Girl — I’m a huge fan of Nick Hornby’s, so I was thrilled to see that he just came out with another book! This one is set in the television world of 1960s Britain, which sounds intriguing!

2. Rachel Hartman, Shadow Scale — I recently read and enjoyed Seraphina, so I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this sequel.

3. Juliet Marillier, Dreamer’s Pool — Juliet Marillier is one of my favorite authors, and this is the first book in her Blackthorn & Grim series.

4. Anne Cleeland, Murder in Thrall — Saw this one at Barnes & Noble and then discovered that my library has it, so I figured I’d give it a shot! It appears to be a mystery set in contemporary England with a romantic element.

5. Elizabeth Wein, Black Thorn, White Raven — This one has been on my TBR list for ages, and it’s finally coming out at the end of March! Can’t wait!!!

6. Jane Austen, Mansfield Park — I’m doing a year-long read of Austen’s novels with some folks from LibraryThing, and MP is slated for March/April. It’s been years since I read the book, so I’ll be interested to see how it strikes me this time around!

7. Intisar Khanani, Thorn — This retelling of “The Goose Girl” looks very interesting. I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale!

8. P.J. Brackston, Gretel and the Case of the Missing Frog Prints — Speaking of fairy tales. 🙂 The synopsis of this reminded me of Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crime series, and that can only be a good thing!

9. Katie Van Ark, The Boy Next Door — I received this book as a gift from my #OTSPSecretSister last month, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. But ever since “The Cutting Edge,” I’ve been a big fan of love stories featuring figure skaters!

10. Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) — I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while, but I’ve been saving it for the 24-hour read-a-thon in April. (Yeah, I’m planning my reads a month in advance, so what?) I read Tina Fey’s Bossypants during a previous read-a-thon and found that it was a refreshing break in the midst of all the fiction I was reading.

So that’s my list, although it’s certainly subject to change! What are you planning to read this spring?