10 books to read this Spring (maybe)

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish requires me to list 10 novels on my to read list this Spring. An impossible task I fear for one who finds planning and reading do not make for happy bedfellows. I’ve tried – really I have (quit  rolling those eyes would you please) over the last five years. I have pledged my allegiance to various challenges short and long and dutifully listed what I would read as my entry ticket to such events. The list making is the fun part. After that it all goes down hill rapidly. The minute a book title goes on a list, I seem to lose all interest in reading it and instead much prefer something lurking in the darker recesses of the bookcase. So I’ve given up essentially and just read what takes my fancy at the time. 

My list of 10 is therefore offered with full disclosure that I might read all of these. I might read some of them. It’s conceivable, being as fickle as I am, that I will read none of them.  I reserve the right to completely change my mind in the next few weeks (scratch that, I mean next few hours). The most likely one I will read is the book I drew in the Classic Club SpinDiary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith.


My one and only commitment is that whatever I do read, it will be from the collection of books I already own – this is in support of my 2017 goals. 

10-to-read - 2017

Hell’s Gate by the French author Lauren Gaude is due for publication by Gallic Books in April.I have a NetGalley copy for review. Gallic describes it as “A thrilling story of love, loss, revenge and redemption in Naples and beyond.”

GhostBird by Carol Lovekin: Another title by the independent Welsh publisher Honno Press that I picked up as part of my plan to read more fiction from my fellow countrymen and women. This was Waterstones Wales and Welsh Independent Bookshops
Book of the Month in April 2016.

Good Behaviour by Molly Keane: One of the titles I have in mind for Reading Ireland 2017 – I’ve read only one novel by Keane (Devoted Ladies – under her other name of M.J Farrell) so I’m keen to see if this one resonates more with me.

When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen, translated from Finnish by  Lola Rogers. It’s described by The Independent newspaper as a tense family drama. I was more interested in their assessment that “When The Doves Disappeared is indeed a thrilling page-turner but it is equally a shattering family drama and an unsparing deconstruction of history.” I bought this as part of my quest to broaden my reading horizons with authors from many parts of the world.

Twilight in Djakarta by Mochtar Lubis, I picked up a second hand copy of this about four years ago. Its one of only two books I own by an author from Indonesia. The cover has a rather dark, retro feel which apparently matches the mood of the book. It was published about 50 years ago, having been smuggled out of Indonesia where the author was held under house arrest, and depicts social and political events in the capital during the run up to a national election.

His Bloody Project  by Graeme Macrae Burnet. A historical thriller that was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2016. I meant to read it before shortlist was announced and got a bargain electronic copy but it wasnt the right format – I wanted to be able to flick back to previous chapters etc which is never easy on an e reader. But now my sister donated her print copy to me, I have no more excuses.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (note that I erroneously had this attributed to Dodi Smith until an astute reader spotted the error). I know, I know, you are astounded I have never read this classic. So am I. And so I will. At some point

The Finkler Question  by Howard Jacobson. One of the remaining titles on my Booker project list. It has its fans and its detractors. I’ve read the opening chapter and enjoyed it.

Sacred Hunger  by Barry Unsworth. Another Booker prize winner that has been highly recommended by many of you who follow this blog.

How many of these will I actually read? I dare you to make a forecast…..


About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on March 15, 2017, in Top Ten Tuesday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 52 Comments.

  1. I really loved The Diary of a Nobody, it felt so current, and the behaviour so unlike how I had seen the era. Often antique humour can be pleasant and maybe a little quaint, but there’s an incident with a painted bath that had me roaring, as I’m not one to waste paint, either!

  2. I’m also going to try to read Hell’s Gate. Looking forward to see what you think about Jackson. As I just read (finally! The Lottery), I’m curious about this novel

  3. I have read five books on your list. Good Behavior, When the Doves Disappeared, and Sacred Hunger are all wonderful, and I highly recommend them. I was kind of lukewarm on Diary of a Nobody. However I hated The Finkler Question, and wrote a scathing negative review of it.

  4. His Bloody Project is bloody terrific! After your cc spin, it should be next!

  5. I’ve never read Dodi Smith’s I Capture the Castle either and really only became aware of it last year… not sure how that happened!

  6. I’m pretty terrible at planning too, ended up skipping this week’s tag.

  7. I predict you will read the Shirley Jackson book in addition to your Classics Club choice! I read Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth but haven’t read Sacred Hunger. I received three novels for Christmas and I’m pleased to say I’m halfway through the third one now. Along the way, since Christmas, I’ve read and listened to other books from the library and that I bought for book clubs, so congratulations on your success at reading your own books!

  8. I loved We Have Always Lived in the Castle, hope you like it too! You always have an interesting reading list. I’m trying to read more “around the world” so you’ve given me some good ideas. I hear His Bloody Project is very good – and I like anything Scottish.

  9. I Capture the Castle is sweet – have you read it? His Bloody Project had promise but ultimately didn’t deliver, although I know I am in a minority on that one. I couldn’t see the point of the Finkler Question. Looking forward to your reviews.

  10. piningforthewest

    His Bloody Project is a very good read, as is Diary of a Nobody – and it’s a quick read too.

  11. I’m also notorious for changing my reading plans, so I understand.

  12. I hope you read and like We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson 🙂

  13. I’d love to hear what you have to say on His Bloody Project. I’ve heard so many different views on it.

  14. I love making lists but hate being told what to do even by myself so never enter these challenges. I’m always filled with respect for those who complete them, though.

  15. I will not take your dare because I am all too familiar with how these sorts of plans go awry! Nonetheless, I hope you manage to read at a least a couple of them and that you like them immensely.

  16. I’ll look forward to hearing what you *do* read – hopefully the Grossmith as I remember it being very amusing!

    • I shall save Grossmith for when I need cheering up – probably in two weeks time when I have to have more surgery, Though I had better not laugh too much in case the stitches are fragile

  17. I think you may have got a few books / authors confused! We Have Always Lived in the Castle is by Shirley Jackson. Dodi Smith wrote I Capture the Castle!

    Great post though! 😀

  18. Sylvie Marie Héroux

    I loooooove Sofi Oksanen! I read this one in the French translation and I highly recommend it.

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