Stacking The Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga’s Reviews that shares the books (both physical and virtual) that you recently purchased, borrowed from a fellow reader or the library, won from a giveaway, or received as gifts. Stacking The Shelves will post on Saturdays as new books are added to my shelves.
It’s been a while since the last Stacking The Shelves post! I always try to be good (i.e., not buy any books) in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and I did pretty well with my ban again this year. Of course, I put books on my Christmas list instead, just to make up for it. 😉
Today’s post will be a mix of gifted books and other additions to my (overflowing) bookshelves. And, since last year’s reading plan worked out amazingly well, I have a new one for 2016 and will share that, too.
Finally, this is the first post using photos taken with my new camera. I’m still learning some of its functions, but for the most part the pics came out pretty well!
The Christmas Gifts
From top to bottom:
20,000 Secrets of Tea: The Most Effective Ways to Benefit from Nature’s Healing Herbs by Victoria Zak (Health / Reference): The family friend who gave me this knows me too well. 😉 This focuses not so much on “normal” teas (black, green, etc.), but on spices, flowers, fruits, and other types of herbs or natural ingredients that can be ingested as tea would be. (The more accurate terms would be “herbal infusion” or “tisane,” but who’s keeping track? *wink*) This will be a welcome companion for The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies, which I bought last year for novel research and home remedies and has been fascinating so far.
Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, Books #2 and #3) by Laini Taylor (YA Fantasy): I kid you not – I FREAKED OUT when I unwrapped these two books!! (That got some rather interesting reactions from the family. 😄 ) Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of my favorite non-2015 books I read last year, so these were easy picks for my first two reads of 2016.
The Twelfth Stone by Jana Laiz (Fantasy): My friend and I had spotted this book at the Boston Book Festival in October. (Jana and her publisher Crow Flies Press are both based in Massachusetts, where I live.) Neither of us had any idea that The Twelfth Stone was a Celtic-inspired fairy story until I read the back cover. I would have bought it right there and then if I wasn’t being cautious about my budget then… So, imagine my surprise when that friend gave me The Twelfth Stone for Christmas. Turns out she had bought it when I was at a different BBF session, and got it signed by the author!
From left to right:
The Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palombo (Historical Fiction): I’ve already read The Violinist of Venice, since the author had sent me an signed ARC last year. However, I really wanted to a) show my support when the book was released in December, and b) see the gorgeous final cover in printed form. So, of course I had to buy it. Congrats again, Alyssa! 🙂
Truthwitch (The Witchlands, Book #1) by Susan Dennard (YA Fantasy): I’m still wary of heavily hyped YA fantasies (such books don’t always satisfy me), and Truthwitch is exactly that for Winter 2016. However, the premise sounds so cool! And the primary relationship is a friendship between two female leads. There isn’t many of those in speculative fiction, regardless of the specific genre or target age group. So I’m crossing my fingers and really, honest-to-goodness hoping that Truthwitch will be worthwhile.
The Reading Plan for 2016
Last year’s reading plan was an awesome success! Not only did it help me prioritize my reading choices, but it also reminded me to dip into my “backlist” (unread books still sitting on my shelves) once in a while. The other thing that’s kept me organized is the rather precarious stack of books shown in the photo above. It sits next to my bedroom chair, where I do most of my reading; and basically, whatever is on top is the next book I’m going to read.
Here’s a general plan of what I want to read in 2016, after I finish the Daughter and Smoke and Bone Trilogy:
- 2016 Books: Staying on top of new releases is still important to me. So, like last year, I’m going to read any 2016 books I buy as soon as I can.
- Fairy Novels: Last year I read 7 books as part of my “market research” project to better understand how my WIP compares to published novels with fairy or Fey characters. However, there are SO many fairy stories out there that I’m going to continue the project this year and in 2017. The only problem is, I’ve run out of such novels to read, with the exception of The Twelfth Stone. I’ll have to nab some more soon!
- Andy Weir’s The Martian: Yes, I loved the movie. No, I still don’t have the book. But I’m fixing that the next time I go to Barnes & Noble, and you bet I won’t wait long to read it. 😀
- Continuing Series I’ve Started: I enjoyed the first installments of several completely published or in-progress series last year and am hoping to continue as many as possible in 2016. That said, I’ll keep my expectations low and make two series / second books my priorities for this category:
- Starting Series I’ve Yet to Read: I’m abysmally behind on so many speculative fiction series, it’s not even funny. However, I already own several “first books,” and these are the next five in my Leaning Tower of Books (and therefore the series I should have time to start in 2016):
- Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms Series, starting with The Demon King
- Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass Series, starting with Throne of Glass
- Jay Kristoff’s Lotus War Trilogy, starting with Stormdancer
- Marie Lu’s Legend Trilogy, starting with Legend
- Morgan Rhodes’ Falling Kingdoms Series, starting with Falling Kingdoms
- Catching Up on Classics & Other “Backlist” Titles: I’ve only chosen a few, given how many books I’ve already listed, but these are my classic or “backlist” picks for this year:
* I haven’t bought this book yet, but it’s the same case as with The Martian: I’m reading it as soon as I get it!!
What books did you recently buy or acquire? Have you read or are planning to read of the books discussed above? Also, what are some of your reading priorities for 2016?