Books I plan to read in 2014, but may end up using as coasters

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I have big reading ambitions this year. In 2013 I finished my 40th book just a few hours before midnight on New Years Eve. I have terrible time management skills but the fact that I could actually do it, I could read 40 books, work three jobs, volunteer and have some semblance of a social life, well that just proves that I kicked time management’s arse.

This year, I doubt anything will be different. I’ll say I want to read 50 books this year instead of 40 but I’ll most likely be drinking out of a champagne bottle next New Years Eve without a care in the world and I’ll forget that I have never been able reach my 50 book goal. But fuck it. It’s my goal nonetheless. I’ll at least try to brainwash myself into thinking I can do it.

With that in mind, these are the books I’m most looking forward to devouring this year.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (currently reading)
Having just visited NYC in May and the museum that features quite explosively in the first chapter, I’ve felt a great tug on the ol’ heart strings when I read the dust jacket. Sure, I’m totally daunted by the sheer size of the book. I often don’t look twice at tomes this large, but this book is so attractive that I just had to buy it.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
I’m reading this book for two reasons. After scanning the first page, it sounded like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory was the narrator, so obviously I’m in. I’m also interested in finding out what all the hype is about. I like hype, so it bodes well for a good read.

The Emperor of Paris by C.S. Richardson
I’ve been trying to get my hands on this book for ages. Ok, it’s not actually that hard to find… but every time I set foot in Chapters, I kept forgetting the name of book AND it’s author. I certainly didn’t want to be that customers who asked the CSR to help me find the book “with the green cover with all the feathers on it”, so I just let it go. But then I walked in to the store over Christmas holidays and there is was, face up on the floor between Fiction Authors M-N and O-R. Meant. To. Be. So now it’s hanging out on my nightstand, ready to jump into my reading rotation.

Perfect by Rachel Joyce
I was sent an ARC of this book through Netgalley but I never got around to reading and reviewing it in 2013. Sorry Mrs. Joyce. I know how much you were looking forward to my thoughts on your latest protagonist. I promise I’ll hit you up shortly.

What the Nanny Saw by Fiona Neill
When I’m not reading, I’m often found behind the computer screen looking at celebrity gossip. Isn’t everyone? So when I heard the premise for this book, a well-to-do family who’s caught up in a scandal and their nanny is probed for info, I was captivated. I will admit that this is a book I started in 2013 on my trip to Montreal, but then someone gave me a copy of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and it was placed neatly back on my nightstand. All is fair in love and reading, right?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Rowell’s novel Fangirl was one of my favourite books of 2013. Sure, I have my Masters in English Lit but I fucking love a good teen novel. I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity reader.  So I’m going to spend a good chunk of 2014 reading the rest of her novels. You’ll also see Attachments in my reading queue. Once I find an author I enjoy, I stick with them for life. I’m an author monogamist, if you will.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Whoever is in charge of Random House of Canada’s Goodread account claimed in a review that this book is a cross between Wool, Harry Potter and the Hunger Games. I have no effing clue what Wool is, but if you write Harry Potter and Hunger Games in the same sentence, I will be all over your book. Case in point. AND I was lucky enough to get this book as an ARC through Edelweiss. Thanks bys!

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
I’ve had this book on my to-read list on Goodreads for ages. I remember reading the premise of the novel and thinking “why in the hell didn’t he take the train?” and ever since I’ve wanted the answer that burning question. But more importantly, someone on Book Riot mentioned that Colin Firth would be an ideal audiobook narrator for this and OMG IT MUST BE THE BEST BOOK EVER! What a date I’ll have with this book when I get around to it. All those daydreams I’ll have of Firth’s sultry british voice whispering the story in my ear. Yeah. I’m just going to start that book now, actually.

Here’s Looking at You by Mhairi McFarlane
I had a twitter exchange with Mhairi McFarlane a couple months back after reading her first novel You Had Me At Hello. I praised her for the book, because it was awesome and it made me want to call in sick to work so I could keep reading… and also because I REALLY needed to know if her character Mindy was based on Mindy Kaling. She was! And McFarlane informed me that no one else had picked up on the influence, so obviously I felt like a real keener. The fact that McFarlane actually responded to my pretty inane tweet wins her books a forever spot on my nightstand.

The Fever by Megan Abbott
I saw the cover of this book on Goodreads a few days back and I was hooked by the first sentence. “The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the…” I don’t care what it threatens. You had me at “mysterious contagion”! If you know me, you’ll know that I’m totally obsessed with/fascinated by people dying from infectious diseases.  I’m actually writing this while watching the new SyFy show Helix. I’m weird. I’ve known it for ages and if you never read this blog again because of it, then so be it. But the synopsis of this book is stellar and I want it. Hopefully my ARC request gets granted!

So there are other books in my 2014 reading queue and if I want to reach 50 books by the end of next year, then hopefully other books catch my eye in the meantime. What else should I be reading? Gimme recommendations please!

I won’t date you if you don’t read

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The least attractive thing you can say to me is that you don’t read.

A guy that reads is important to me. I’ve mentioned this to a few friends recently and I either get an awestruck expression in return that says “how do you function on a daily basis?!” or I’ll get a vigorous nod of agreement. Long story short, if you’re an avid reader, you want to spend your time with a fellow reader. If I have to start cheating on my books, I want to cheat on my books with a guy who can appreciate what I’m doing for him.

But I’m not entirely stuck up. While I have dated a series of non-readers lately, I won’t turn down a date with a guy because he doesn’t have a bookshelf dedicated to contemporary British Literature. [Note: That being said if you’re reading this, you’re a guy and you do have a bookshelf like that, please leave a comment below — I think we could make each other very happy.] Mostly, I just want to spend my time with someone that reads occasionally. A couple books a year even. Or a frequent newspaper reader. I’m not that picky. I can’t afford to be these days.

While it would be super attractive to spend a Sunday afternoon lounging on a couch with a guy reading Hemingway, I think dating/marrying a fellow avid reader would cause a lot of headaches. First of all, where would we put all the books?! I already have books scattered across three different rooms in my house. I could never dream of pairing down my library. Giving away a book is like taking away one of my children! Not that I really know what that would feel like, but I like to imagine that it would feel similar. And then there would be the issue of merging collections. Obviously we’d both end up with the same copy of a book and then we’d have to decide who got to keep theirs and who had to put their book in a tupperware container in the basement. Nobody puts Baby in a corner! (Fact: I’ve never watched Dirty Dancing but I love saying that line in my best Patrick Swayze voice, which is simultaneously my worst Patrick Swayze voice). While I’d love to date a guy who wrote little post-it note quotes and snuck them into my favourite books, it would probably be a relationship that ended in disaster… or at least a few torn book-covers.

All I know for sure is that my perfect guy would appreciate that I’m a library card carrying member of society. And that my card actually had no purpose, because my local librarian has my card number memorized. Is that too much to ask for? But what about the rest of you… would you date someone who doesn’t read?

I just really wanted to talk about myself… why else would I create a blog?

I date books professionally. I wouldn’t say I do so by choice… but hey, I take what I can get. When I can’t line up a hot date for a Friday night (and this happens pretty much every Friday night), my latest book boyfriend and I will curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and if he’s lucky I may put on a really great new playlist on Songza — banjos just really set the mood. We’ll stare at each other for hours and while I hold him, he’ll tell me a story. And at the end of the night, I’m not worried if he’ll call me, or if he has another girl on the side. It was fun while it lasted.

In all seriousness, there’s nothing I’m more passionate about than a good book. I invested most of my time as a child in creating an elaborate card catalogue for my picture books and needed both my mother’s arms to carry back all the books from the library each Saturday morning. And I was that strange, glasses wearing, gangly girl in junior-high who carried a book under her arm at all times and who you probably threatened to beat up.[Side note: If you were that girl, the one with the really bad haircut and the black lipstick who couldn’t pronounce the word “bitch” properly, then I thank you. Look how far I’ve come since then!] Although I’ve lost the terrible wavy layered hair and invested in a few pairs of skinny jeans (thanks, Seestor!), my love affair with books thrives into adulthood… mostly because I have a credit card.

But heed this warning —  while I’m generally an affable young woman, if you see me lounging in the waiting room doctor’s office, pouring over my Kobo with only momentary breaks for a sip of coffee… it might be best not to interrupt. You don’t poke the animals at the zoo now do ya?