Sometimes, I find that online book browsing, updating my Goodreads bookshelf, making reading wishlists and checking for book sales (especially checking for book sales!) is as enjoyable as reading itself. Then I start an amazing book that very nearly physically pulls me in and the real world grows more distant by the second. When I emerge from whatever universe I’ve been visiting, I realize that although sales are fun, nothing quite compares to a great book.
Today I’m taking a break from cooking and travel and talking about the books I want to read in the upcoming months. Salma at the Write Balance & Dixya at Food, Pleasure & Health posted their reading lists not too long ago, and it inspired me to put together mine. Don’t be fooled – my list is literally made up of 450 books at the moment and continues to grow every day. This excludes cookbooks. This list is just the top 10 that have my book nerd juices flowing right now!
I tend to fly through fiction pretty quickly, but my non-fiction interests vary a lot and I tend to take longer to read them. Although this list has some amount of non-fiction, I will put together another list soon. For now I just want to chill and revisit a lot of authors / characters that I’ve met in the past. Here they are!
1. The Almost Nearly Perfect People – Michael Booth
I’m reading this right now actually. Many studies rank the Scandanavian / Nordic countries as the happiest in the world and it’s really refreshing and interesting to see a book that challenges that perspective. Don’t get me wrong – it’s one of my dream regions to visit. The Fjords, Fika, Northern Lights, their Environmental culture, the birthplace of Ikea and H&M? When I hit my midlife crisis and decide to disappear for a while, I want to at least know in advance where the best place to go is. It is so fun to plan my spontaneity!
2. Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee
Who doesn’t have this on their reading list? Seriously. I remember being underwhelmed by To Kill a Mockingbird when I read it in school, ignoring the fact that it was the first book I stayed up until morning light reading (on an out of town trip) because I simply couldn’t put it down. We assume that books on our school syllabus aren’t that interesting, but as we get older, we (ok well me) realize that maybe those teachers knew what they were doing. My favourite piece of literature of all time is a Streetcar named Desire by Tennessee Williams, and I have my 6th form Literature teacher Ms. Pyle to thank for that. I have since also realized that To Kill a Mockingbird’s status as a classic is very accurate and deserved.
3. The Harvest Man – Alex Grecian
There are certain key words or elements in a book that will make me pick it up once I see that the book contains it. Forget the rest of the plot. Victorian London? A reimagined historical event / fairy tale? Jack the Ripper? Alex Grecian’s newest installment in the Scotland Yard Murder Series has all of these elements, and pairs it with characters that I actually really like. I did a silly dance for joy when I saw that his new book was released. The Scotland Yard series enthralled me from the beginning, and now that he has introduced Jack into the series, I cannot wait!
4. Sense of Deception – Victoria Laurie
Speaking of silly dances when new books are released. Victoria Laurie’s Psychic Eye mystery series always keeps me moving (busting out the robot and sprinkler for this one). I love the idea of a psychic helping out the police and FBI and there’s something about the way she writes about Abby’s gift that makes me wish so hard that I had psychic powers. Abby, Dutch, Milo, Candice…she’s created this fictional world of zany friends that I get to visit once a year or so. The first book I bought in this series was as a gift for my mom, but very quickly the purchases stopped being for her and started being gifts for myself. Sorry mom! You can borrow anytime.
5. The Violinist’s Thumb – Sam Kean
I loved Sam Kean’s book on the periodic table – the Disappearing Spoon. It is truly one of the coolest books I’ve ever read because he intertwines science with the true stories of how the periodic table came to be. Geniuses are competitive, people are petty, politics play a part in everything, and it was amazing to learn about the reasons behind the naming of certain elements. Now that he’s tackling DNA, I am ready to be enthralled!
6. Royal Wedding – Meg Cabot
Nostalgia reading! the Princess Diaries, all grown up? Yes please! Meg Cabot’s previous Princess books project Mia as witty, sarcastic, self-deprecating, and dramatic. Mia’s voice is so much more real in the book than in the Disney Anne Hathaway/ Julie Andrews movie, and I can’t wait to see what grown up Mia will freak out about.
7. The Code Book – Simon Singh
Published in 1999, I had this book on my Goodreads to-read list for a while now. I recently saw the Imitation Game that featured the life of Alan Turing and it reignited my desire to become an awesome code breaker. At the very least, I’ll settle for learning to decode my light bill.
8. The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith
I will read anything that J.K. Rowling writes, even if she writes as someone else. The lady revolutionized pop culture as we know it, creating a whole other universe for us to live in. I enjoyed the Cuckoo’s Calling, and I decided that I would stagger her books – I do that with authors that I love. I try to hold out as long as I can so that by the time I finish their book, if I particularly loved it, their new book would be out soon so that I could jump right on it if I really truly needed to. So even though this book came out last year, her new book is due in October. I can finally stop depriving myself!
9. Picnic in Provence – Elizabeth Bard
Elizabeth Bard’s first book ‘Weekend in Paris’ not only made me want to go to France and eat French food with friends and family, it opened up a whole new genre of books for me – food memoirs. How can I NOT read Picnic in Provence?!
10. Sistine Secrets – Benjamin Blech & Roy Dolner
I’m a sucker for hidden codes and messages and mysteries that span decades. Plus you’re telling me that this book says that these mysteries were hidden it in art? Coupled with the fact that I’ve been to Rome and am completely in love with the place?
There you have it. I may need more than a few Sunday Fundays to read all of these books – can you guys get together and work out a schedule to deliver food and snacks for me please? I would seriously owe you one. Or ten. 🙂
What are you reading now / plan to read? Leave me a message in the comments below. I’m always open to a good book recommendation!