The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
+ This won The Man Booker Prize last year and after reading the synopsis, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I've seen mixed reviews and it's a bit of a mammoth read so I'm going to wait until I have the time to dedicate to it, but this is one I'm determined to read this year. It seems to have a bit of everything; some unsolved crimes, ghostly activities and a flurry of characters to get to know. I snapped it up for a bargain price yesterday.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
+ I think this is something I would really love and I have a feeling that I'll really be able to identify with the main character, Cath, who is painfully shy and worries about things quite a lot. Her twin sister, Wren, has decided that she doesn't want to be one of a pair anymore and sounds like she's much more of a social butterfly than Cath is. I'm debating whether to wait for the paperback release at the end of the month or just cave now and get the hardback.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
+ Another Rainbow Rowell book, but this one seems to get more solidly positive reviews and although it's not something that I would usually go for, I definitely want to read it to see what all the fuss is about. It sounds like it would inadvertently be a real trip down memory lane to remember how you felt when you first fell in love.
Quiet by Susan Cain
+ For pretty much all of my life I've been told that I shouldn't be such an introvert. All of my school reports said that I was mostly an okay student but I needed to 'participate more in class discussions'. My shyness was always presented to me as a negative trait and it took me a long time to accept that this is just part of who I am. I'm an introvert. And now there's a book pointing out all the wonderful things that introverts have to offer, so I need that in my life. I almost picked this up the other day but I put it down and I'm kicking myself, so this is next on my list of books to buy I think.
Stoner by John Williams
+ Once one of the great forgotten novels of the last century and now a best seller. This is a book I don't know a lot about, other than it seems to have a very dedicated and loyal following. I've heard words like compelling, brilliant, and even, masterpiece attributed to it and I certainly want me a piece of that!
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
+ One I purchased at the end of last year and one I'm determined to read very soon. The beat generation is endlessly interesting to me at the moment and I think this book is going to be one I'll either love or hate. A blend between fiction and autobiography, I'm intrigued to learn a little more about Kerouac's personal exploration and pushing the limits of the American Dream.
Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
+ This is a combination of an extended essay on existentialist ideals and a fictional exploration of a man who is trying and struggling to restore a sense of meaning to his life. I read this a long time ago, undoubtedly a lot of it went completely over my head at the time and I think it would mean a lot more to me if I read it again.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
+ This edition is absolutely stunning, I saw it in Waterstones the other day and it's one I would adore to have sitting on my shelf. Esther Greenwood is fighting both a battle with her own desire for perfection and another with unrelenting mental illness. A semi-autobiographical book, this is a classic and one that I think is a must-read.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
+ I haven't read anything by either John Green or David Levithan and this sounds like it could be a pretty good place to start. Two very different teenagers who share a name, cross paths one day and suddenly find themselves heading in new and unexpected directions. Looking forward to this one.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
+ This book has been described as one that stays with you long after you've finished reading and I think that's the mark of a truly incredible read. Ness takes Siobhan Dowd's final idea before her premature death and has created a moving novel about coming to terms with loss. It sounds heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
+ Auggie was born with a facial abnormality. He wants to be an ordinary 10 year old but other ordinary 10 year old's aren't stared at wherever they go. He's been home-schooled by his parents but now he's being sent to a real school and he's dreading it. He just wants to be accepted and to convince his classmates that underneath everything, he's just like them. This sounds like a really important book, I'm so pleased that it exists and it's one I definitely want to read this year.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
+ I've never read anything by Neil Gaiman before and although I'm not really sure where to start, I think that this could be a good one. It begins 40 years ago when the narrator's family lodger steals their car and commits suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers that are best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond this world are on the loose and it will take everything just to stay alive. Sounds pretty intense but the description is so intriguing, I have to know what happens!
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
+ This is a book that I keep hearing people mention but I don't know very much about it. There are only a few committed customers at Mr Penumbra's, but they never seem to actually buy anything. Instead they borrow obscure volumes all according to some elaborate arrangement with Mr Penumbra himself. Clay concludes the store must be a front for something larger so he ropes in some help from his friends to find out exactly what's going on. It sounds like a really fun and modern read that I keep hearing nothing but great things about.
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
+ My mum picked up a copy of this before a long train ride and she said she was pleasantly surprised by it. She's a very picky reader and although she wasn't bowled over by it, she enjoyed it so I'm quite looking forward to giving it a go. Cecilia discovered a letter, written in her Husband's handwriting that says it's only to be opened in the event of his death. She's curious (as I would be!) and she opens it. Inside is his confession to a terrible mistake he made that could wreck their family as well as the lives of others.
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
+ Allan Karlsson is sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, waiting for the party he didn't want in the first place. Everyone is going to be there, but Allan is not. He climbs out of the window, wearing his slippers, and begins a very unlikely journey that reveals amazing things about Allan's earlier life. Allan sounds like an utterly wonderful character and I'm very much looking forward to this book.
One Day by David Nicholls
+ A charity shop bargain, this has been sitting on my shelf for a little while now and it's about time I got around to reading it. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation and tomorrow they must go their separate ways. Where will they be on this one day next year? Or the year after that? And every year that follows? This isn't my usual type of read at all and I think I'm going to save it for a little later in the year - I'm picturing myself sunning myself in the garden with a glass of lemonade and this book.
Are there any books that you especially want to read this year?