Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Monday, September 30, 2019

Read The World - China - Lost on Planet China

Book: Lost on Planet China
Author: J. Maarten Troost
Pages: 400
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: NO (but he spent time there)
I have visited: NO (but my husband has and our son was adopted from Hunan, China)

This is my 111th read for the year.

I have read another book about China this year, but I really didn't like it.  I have been searching for another to add to my permanent Read The World bookshelf, and came across Troost's book.  I have read two of his other books for my challenge, and loved them both, so I was excited to see this one.

I also want to say that China has a special place in my heart.  We adopted our son from China when he was 14 months old.  Now our sweet boy is 13 years old, and the light of our life.  I am so grateful to have him in our family.  My husband was the one who went to get him when we adopted him (I had two young daughters at home I couldn't leave) but I hope to one day return to his place of birth and see the country of his heritage.

This is the story of the author's time in China.  He and his wife were thinking about moving their family there as a change of lifestyle, so Troost went to see the country for himself.  He spends several months visiting some of the most well known sections of the country, and his recount of his time there is both information and hilarious.  Troost has a knack for story telling that keeps readers engaged even when he is filling our head with facts about the places he is visiting or living.  

Troost gives quite the entertaining insight of what it is like to be emersed in the Chinese culture.  He talks about the constant smog, the pushing and shoving, and taking your lives in your hands when you cross the street.  All things my husband also reported about his trip to China all those years ago.  

This book is laugh out loud funny.  I really think he is a talented writer, and I enjoyed this book just as much as the other two of his I have read this year.  I highly encourage you to read his writing.  It is a refreshing take on non-fiction material that should not be missed.

Stars: 4 1/2

Friday, September 27, 2019

Read The World - Thailand - The Beach

Book: The Beach
Author: Alex Garland
Pages: 448
Takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: NO
I have visited: NO (but I am going in the spring!)

This is my 110th read for the year.

I should have picked a book about Thailand that was more about travel, since our plan is to visit there in March.  But I decided to go with this fiction novel instead.

This novel opens with our main character - Richard - visiting Bangkok, Thailand.  While staying in a seedy motel, Richard is next door to a guy who kills himself his first night there.  Richard wakes up to discover the man dead, and a map left to him titled "The Beach".  Richard talks to a young French couple who were also staying at the hotel, and tells them about the map.  The three of them decide they are going to try and get to this Beach- which is legend among Asian travelers.

When they arrive, The Beach is everything they thought it would be- a hidden gem away from the tourist who flock to Thailand's main islands.  They find others who have lived there for years - hidden from the world.  Richard and the two French travelers are taken in by the existing group and allowed to stay.  

Richard soon discovers that The Beach and its inhabitants are not what they seem.  It is becoming clearer why the guy who gave Richard the map killed himself.  Richard soon discovers that there is too much danger in staying on the island for much longer, and plans a way to escape.

This book was fine.  It has its highs and lows.  It is an easy read, but not all that exciting.  Well - I take that back - it SEEMED like it was going to be exciting.   That there was going to be some big mystery about the beach and the people who lived there.  But it never really lived up to my expectations.  The ending was a let down.  The characters were not overly developed.  The plot is kind of all over the place.  I was hoping for better - more suspense.  

Eh.  It will stay my Thailand book for now.  It wasn't terrible.  Maybe I will find one about the history of the country I like instead down the line.

Stars: 3

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Extra Book: The Whisper Man

Book: The Whisper Man
Author: Alex North
Pages: 368

This is my 109th read for the year.

I have gotten a lot of reading done lately.  Now that the kids are back in school, and our schedule has found a good rhythm, I am able to fit in more reading time.  And as the weather turns, and we are outside less and less, I tend to turn to books to fill the hours.

I borrowed this book from my library and was anxious to read it, so I got it done quickly.  I am happy to be able to finally read some of the books that have been on my list a long time.


This is the story of Tom Kennedy and his son Jake.  Tom's wife has just tragically died, and Tom thinks a fresh start is in order.  He moves himself and his young son to a town called Featherbank.  He is hoping his son - who is quiet, withdrawn, and seems to have an imaginary friend that he continually talks to - will start to thrive in a new environment.

What Tom doesn't know is that Featherbank has a dark past.  20 years ago, a serial killer was kidnapping children, and murdering them.  The killer was nicknamed "The Whisper Man" because he was lure his victims out by whispering to them.  The killer was caught, and is behind bars, and the town feels like it could move on.

But after Tom and Jake move into their home, Jake starts to hear Whispers in his own home.  A young boy disappears, and the crime is almost identical to The Whisper Man crimes in the past.  Local detectives are now racing the clock to save the young boy, and figure out who is committing the copy cat crime from so long ago.

This is a pretty good book.  I am a fan of horror books, so after seeing this book on instagram, I wanted to check it out.  And for the most part it was scary.  I kept reading because I wanted to see where it was going.  There were chilling chapters, and suspenseful moments that made me jump if someone came into the room while I was reading.  Be warned - this book involves the abduction and murder of young children, and while not overly graphic, it is still the premise of the story.

The only downfall I would say is that it would build and build to a really scary scenario, and then fall short.  Was it scary? YES.  Could the book have taken it to the next level and truly pushed the boundaries of a scary novel?  YES.  It is hard to put my finger on it, but I would be gripping the book, reading a certain scene that was building to a suspenseful situation, and then everything would work out.  You breathe a sigh of relief, of course, but it also left me wanting more.

Is it worth a read?  Definitely.  I am glad I read it, and I look forward to seeing more from this author in this genre.

Stars:  4

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Extra Book: Recruitment

Book: Recruitment
Author: K.A. Riley
Pages: 319

This is my 108th read of the year

I know I have a lot of "extra books" lately.  I seem to be vearing off my challenge a bit.  I do have reasons for that.  One is that a new library in town has a collection of English books and has added a few I have been anxious to read.  Two, now that I am deeper into my Read The World challenge, I am actually running into difficulty getting some of the books I want to read.  A lot of my challenge books are available through the library (ebook) and I have read through those.  Now I am coming to the ones where I am on a waiting list, or I cannot get through the library at all and have to buy.  I have saved those for last in case I come across something else that I can borrow instead of buy.

In short - I have to move slower due to availability.  Just a downside to living in a place where the libraries are mostly German books.  The upside is that I am getting to read a few things off challenge I have been wanting to.  Not all bad.


This is a story about Kress.  In a dystopian future, Kress and all the other 16 year olds in her town are about to turn 17.  Everyone has the same birthday, and on the day they all turn 17, the government comes for them to initiate them into the army.  For most of Kress' life the government has been at war with the Eastern Order.  Each year, they gather the new 17 year olds, take them away, and they are never heard from again.

This year Kress and her friends will get to see what happens once the government trains you to fight the enemy.  They are subject to weeks of training - both physical and mental.  They are forced to work together as a group and told they are the key to winning the war.  However, the longer the training goes on, the less anything about the war and the situation their country is in make sense.  Kress and her friends set out to figure out what is really going on.

This was an okay book.  I love dystopian novels, so anytime one is brought to my attention, I want to give it a chance.  This one was just okay.  It left me with more questions than answers - and not in a good way.  Not where you want to see where the next novel is going to answer those questions and continue a really thrilling interesting story.  Instead it was more questions about the sense of the story itself and all the plot holes.  The book moved slow.  The characters weren't very evolved.  It just wasn't a great start to a series.

I won't be reading the rest.  I am going to let this one go.

Stars: 3

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My Fall 2019 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday was started by "The Artsy Reader"  You can see her blog HERE and join in the fun

Today's Top Ten is:

Books On My Fall 2019 TBR List

I am working on a Read The World Challenge, and most of the books on there are books no one has heard of.

So I am going to list half of my Read The World books that are on my fall list and the other half will be from my EXTRA READS list.  During this heavy challenge, I have started reading a short amount of pages each night in a book off challenge, just so I can read some books I really wanted to try, but didn't fit into my challenge.

Here is my list.  I have linked the Amazon page to the book if you are interested in what the books are about.  (click the title)

1) The Toll

        I am really excited about this one and it is at the top of my anticipated fall reads list.  This is the 3rd book in the Scythe Trilogy by Neal Shusterman.  He is one of my favorite authors, and this series has been incredible so far.  Here is hoping the final book rounds out the series perfectly.

2) The Testaments

       I am interested in reading this book, but not sure how I will feel after I read it.  I read the first one and it just made me angry.  And I watched the TV show and got angrier.  Not in love with what is going on in the United States right now.  We will have to see how this one goes.

       Stephen King is one of my favorite authors.  I do end up reading just about anything he writes.  I am always willing to try a new book of his when it comes out.  I have seen this one floating around the highly anticipated fall reads list, so let's hope it lives up to the hype.

               This book was recommended to me by a friend.  It is the story about a reclusive heiress that despite owning a 121 room mansion in New York City, spent over 20 years living in a single hospital room.  The story looks captivating, and it has roots from my home town of Connellsville, PA.  Looking forward to this one.

          Another favorite authro of mine putting out a book this fall.  I really love Jojo Moyes' writing style and have read all of her books, so I am definitely looking forward to this one.

         This is part of my Read The World Challenge  I was hoping to get to this one this summer, but didn't quite make it.  Actually, I thought I would have more reading time than I did, and this is quite a large book.  But I have it on my shelf, so it is time to read it.  The weather is turning colder, and I will be inside more often, so it is time for a big, thick book.

        Another book on my Read The World Challenge.  Two heavy history novels in the fall?  We shall see.

8) Eleni

      This one is on my Read The World Challenge for Greece.  It is the true story of the author's mother, and it looks like it is going to be good.  And sad.  And probably will leave me wishing I would have found a novel about vacationing on the Greek Islands instead.

         I thought I better add something a little lighter to this heavy fall list.   It is on my Read The World challenge list for Turks and Caicos.  Looking forward to this one.

This is my book for my Read The World Challenge for the Country Thialand. Hoping it will offset the heavier reads I picked for the fall. We are actually planning a trip in the spring to Thialand, although I think this one isn't going to be about how nice it is to sit on the beach and drink something with an umbrella.

What is on your list to read this fall?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Read The World - Nicaragua - The Country Under My Skin

Book: The Country Under My Skin
Author: Gioconda Belli
Pages: 400
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO

This is my 107th read for the year.

This is the memoir of the author's life in Managua, Nicaragua through the 1950s-2000s.  She grew up in a wealthy family, shielded from the poverty that surrounded her in the country.  She married early, had children, but something just didn't sit right with her.  In the 1970s she became aware of the inequalities that were surrounding her in Nicaragua.  She joined a group called the Sandinistas, a hidden organization that was working to revolutionize the country.

The book gives her account of the Revolution and those tumultuous years she spent trying to have two lives.  Her marriage fell apart.  She had to leave her children for long periods of time.  She was in constant danger.  And she did it all because of a cause she believed in.  

This is a great book on a lot of levels.  First - the writing is brilliant.  She is a gifted writer and story teller, and I found myself staying up late to finish a chapter, because I was so invested in the material.   As usual - I am introduced to a place and a war that I knew little about.  I saw everything from the perspective of someone who was not only living it, but deeply involved in turning a country around after a dictatorship.  We get her views on the country itself, how it was shaped before and after the fall of the government, and her feelings about the United States involvement at that time.

The only part I had trouble with is that she did cheat on two of her three husbands.  A poet by nature, she traveled almost a vagabond life, and she often strayed.  She had children that she left for months at a time.  When she was exiled, she was separated from them for so long that she didn't think she would ever see them again.  Her committment to the change in Nicaragua came with some heavy price tags, and I was surprised where her family ranked among her responsibilities.  I will give her credit for being honest and blunt, but it was off putting.

There are a few quotes from the book that I want to leave in my review because above everything else, she wrote some very powerful words.  With everything that is happening in the United States right now, these hit home for me.

"A war can be won with any class of people, but a fair, ethical system of government cannot be put into place, if the people who take it upon themselves to do it lack those qualities, or sacrifice those values along the way."

"I can't think of a better life than one dedicated to passion, to dreams, to the stubborness that defies chaoe and disillusionment."

" The future is a construct that is shaped in the present, and that is why to be responsible to the present is the only way of taking serious responsibility for the future."

Stars: 4

Friday, September 20, 2019

Extra Book - Mrs. Everything

Book: Mrs. Everything
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Pages: 480

This is my 106th read for the year

I listened to this book, and it was LONG.  It is a 16+ hour listen, just in case you think this is how you would like to absorb this reading material.

This is the story of two sisters - Jo and Beth.  The book starts when they are young girls in the 1950s, and continues through to 2022.  It is told in both of their voices from both of their points of view.  Their lives encounter many twists and turns - love, hardship, loss, marriage, divorce, children, etc.  Their lives take on two separate paths - neither the girls expected - after a tragic loss in their family.  The girls stay in each others lives, but have a lot of ups and downs.  In the end, they realize that they need each other and are able to put all their past troubles behind them.

I don't want to give any spoilers away for this book, so I kept my recap brief.  I will say this - I am a big Jennifer Weiner fan - have read all of her books and have enjoyed them.  Up until now.  This book - be warned - this book contains just about every situation women in the 20th situation could possibly face.  The first 25% of the book was really tought to get through.  It did start to redeem itself after that, but the book is just way too long.  And there are way too many things happening to one family.  It was one depressing scene after another through almost 500 pages.  I never really felt anything for any of the characters.

I would say skip it.  It was disappointing on a lot of levels.  

Stars: 2

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Read The World - Slovakia - Maria Gulovich - The School teacher Who Saved American Lives In Slovakia

Book: Maria Gulovich - The School teacher Who Saves American Lives in Slovakia
Author: Sonya N. Jason
Pages: 286
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: NO
I have visited: NO

This is my 105th read for the year

This is the story of Maria Gulovich - a member of the Slovak underground.  It tells the story of how she helped American soldiers while they were all trapped by enemies.  Since she spoke multiple languages, she was able to get them to safety, and helped find food and shelter.  She was awarded the Bronze Star by the US Government for her bravery during WWII.  

I was drawn into thisWWII book based on the fact that it was about a woman who helped Americans.  I have read quite a few books about WWII for my Read The World challenge, and this looked like new spin on a terrible story.

The problem was - this book is very very dry.  It isn't particularly well written, and it has trouble weaving the story of Maria herself into what other stories the author wants to tell about the men she was with.  I had a hard time continuing the read, but I really wanted to read the story of Maria.  IT is a shame that it is muddled in the midst of these side stories.  I just couldn't get drawn in.

I wouldn't disgard the story - this woman did some amazing things to save these men.  She is a truly extrodinary person.  Just know that this reads more like a text book than a novel.

Stars: 3

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Extra Book - Recursion

Book: Recursion
Author: Blake Crouch
Pages: 366

This is my 104th read for the year.

You may see a lot of "off challenge" books over the next few months.  A new library has opened up here in Basel that has a pretty nice English book section.  So I am going to use that to grab some of the titles I have been longing to read, but am on the "forever and a day" waiting list for the e-book versions.


This dystopian novel takes you through what would happen if we developed a way for someone to go back into the past and change things.  Cop Barry Sutton is a cop who is investigating something called False Memory Syndrome - something that is widely known but has not yet been explained.  People remember lives in parallel to the one they are actually living.  It makes them go mad - feel like they are losing their minds.

Helena is a neurologist looking for a cure for Alzheimers before her mother succumbs to it - trying to save memories so that patients don't lose who they are.  She invents a machine that can "change" people's memories, but the consequences of that prove disatrous.

Helena's chair that she invents falls into the wrong hands and it is a race to stop them for using it to cause world chaos.  She and Barry have to work together to solve a problem she didn't mean to create.

This book was pretty good.  I read it over one day because I borrowed it.  It is a fast paced book that you are going to want to speed through to see where it is going and how it will end.  The story took a little while to build up to where it was going, but once it got there, I felt that it almost moved too quickly.  That too many things were happening to the point of exhaustion.  The timelines and do-overs actually got to be a bit old after awhile.  The ending wasn't great, but not terrible.  It is so hard to write a satisfying ending.

I am a fan of Blake Crouch overall.  I have read his Wayward Pines series (and watched the TV show).  I read Dark Matter.  Both great books.  I was anxious to dive into this one because I love dystopian future novels.  And I would say overall it was a worthy read.  

Stars: 4

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Things I Like To Eat or Drink While Reading

Top Ten Tuesdays was started by The Artsy Reader.  Check out her blog HERE, and play along!  It is fun.

Today's Top Ten is: Things I Like To Eat or Drink While Reading.

I will say this.  I read quite a bit in two places:  On our public trams here in Basel, and in bed.  I do read during the day when I have some time, but mostly - it is the other two.

I say this because here in Basel - you are not allowed to eat or drink on the trams.  Ever.  It is an extremely strict rule and it is why the trams in Basel are immaculate.  Pretty sure they are cleaner than my house.

And I don't eat or drink in bed.  I read right before I go to sleep, and I have tried tea or water, but that just ends up being a long night of constantly having to use the bathroom.

So that leaves during the day.  Here are my favorites.   I am only listing 5.

1) Coffee

       This is number one.  And most mornings is a full meal.  I love coffee and would drink it all day long if it wouldn't keep me up all night.  I will sit at my kitchen table or in my hammock and sip coffee (okay sip a little coffee with a lot of cream and sugar) while I read.  It is a great way to start a day.

2) Chips

      This is my second favorite thing to munch on while I read.  I mean the American style chips - not French Fries.  Pretzels, Salt and Vinegar Chips, Sour Cream and Onion.....mmmmm.  Any go well with a book I am reading.

3) Tea

      In the evenings and I have a chance to sit and read, I like a cup of tea.  I love flavored teas with a little sugar and sometimes a little milk.  Even in the summer months, I enjoy a hot cup of tea.

4) Gummy Candy

      Don't laugh.  If I am reading an intense story -  scary or mystery for example - a pack of Hairbo gummy candy does the trick.  I like to munch when the story is suspensful, and gummy candy fits the bill.  Want to know a little secret?  "Gummi" in German means rubber.  Fun fact to know before you ask someone for Gummies at the grocery store.  You're welcome.

5) French Bread

       The foods I am mentioning and the amount I read, makes me wonder if you think I weight 8000 pounds.  Luckily I have a pretty active life style in the city, and that keeps me from becoming the shape of a circle and able to enjoy some of my favorite foods.
         I love hard, French Bread.  Each day our bakery makes fresh batches and about once a week I snatch a loaf for us to enjoy.  We eat it sometimes just plain or along with some of our favorite Basel cheese.  But mostly I just rip off a piece and munch while I read.  Especially if I don't have a lot of time.

What are your favorite foods while you read?


Monday, September 16, 2019

Read The World - Suriname - The Cost Of Sugar

Book: The Cost Of Sugar
Author: Cynthia McLeod
Pages: 265
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: YES
I have visited: NO

This is my 103rd read for the year

I actually didn't know where Suriname was when I started to read.  Again - that is a great reason to read the world.  I am learning about countries that I knew very little to nothing out, AND I am getting a geography lesson.

This story takes place in the late 1700s in Suriname on two plantations.  The story is told through two step sisters named Ezra and Sarith who are part of a wealthy Jewish family in the area.  They are the same age, and grow up together, but end up leading two different lives.  Their husbands, their plantations, their slaves - all play a part in their life stories as they live through the slave war in Suriname.

This was an okay book.  I know it has been translated, and I think that was part of the problem.  The writing was just very juvenile, and the story was choppy.  I didn't really like any of the characters.  There is an interesting story underneath the so-so writing, but I really had to trudge through this book to finish it.  

Stars: 3

Friday, September 13, 2019

Read The World - Serbia - The Last Window Giraffe

Book: The Last Window Giraffe
Author: Peter Zilahy
Pages: 130
Book takes place in the country - YES
Author is from the country: NO
I have visited: NO

This is my 102nd read for the year.

I think the easiest is the Amazon review for this book: "This book is about the madness of everyday life under a dictatorship.  It shifts in theme and time, testing the borderlines of prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction, history and autobiography - all in the unassuming guise of a child's ABC.  Filled with his own striking photographs, Peter Zilahy gives fascinating insight into a whole other universe behind the Iron Curtain."

This very short book reads mostly like an poetic encyclopedia.  It isn't an easy read, but an interesting one.  It is sad, creative, historical, informative, and beautiful all in one.  Would I recommend giving it a read?  Can't really tell.  The style is very hard - even in this short book - to keep your attention.  It took me awhile to get into it.  But I am glad I gave it a try and it will be a nice addition to the shelf.

Stars: 3

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Extra Book - Prognosis

Book: Prognosis
Author: Sarah Vallance
Pages: 275

This is my 101th read for the year.

This is the true story of the author and her life after a severe head injury.  She was working on her Ph.D. when she was thrown from a horse.  Not wearing a helmet, she hit her head hard on the ground and quickly found that she was suffering from a severe concussion.  She was having trouble with simple tasks.  Short term memory was shot.  She felt angry, depressed, and frustrated.  Her IQ dropped significantly.

She spent the better part of a year trying to figure out what to do.  And then she started to rebuild her life.  She got a job, she started her Ph.D. work again.  She moved to a new country.  She found love.  And while her troubles were never far behind, she was able to regain somewhat of a normal life.  It was easy for her to hide from others what was really going on in her mind.

It has been almost 20 years since her accident, and according to her, she has hardly had any improvement.  She has atrophy in parts of her brain that constantly keep her concerned.  She has really not found the answers that she was hoping for to improve her brain function, and she doesn't know what the future holds.

This was a fair book.  I really, really don't want to judge it because it was written by someone who states her IQ is around 90, and was able to accomplish so much.  The writing isn't great, but I didn't really expect it to be.  Actually - based on what the author is going through, it was good.  The story is sad and frustrating.  She doesn't get a lot of help for her head injury, which is frustrating to the reader.  She doesn't have a lot of support, and she had a rocky childhood.  She went through several failed relationships.  At the end of the book she ends up in a permanent relationship that is still in place today.  But her mother was someone she could never please.  She came across a lot of people who didn't really understand what she was going through, and had little patience for her.  

It would be a good read if you have ever known anyone who had a head injury.  What goes on behind the scenes in incredible.  They find that it is very very hard for the adult brain to bounce back after a severe injury like the one the author had.

Stars: 3 1/2

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

100 Books Read In 2019 - What are the stats

Now that I have read 100 books, I want to recount what I have accomplished so far this year.

So in 8 months that was

Books: 100


Words: 31,217


Read The World Challenge Books
 (that I read since January): 84


The rest have been fun "off challenge" books.


The shorted book I read: Ada's Violin at 40 pages


The longest book I read: Fire And Blood at 736 pages


The biggest reading month: February with 25 books read


The slowest reading month: July with 7 books read

This was a lot of fun!  How has your reading year been so far?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My TBR List That I Am Avoiding Reading And Why

Top Ten Tuesday was started by That Artsy Reader.  Check out her blog and try this fun game for yourself!

Today's topic is: Books On My TBR List That I Am Avoiding Reading And Why.

This one isn't a complicated one.  People recommend books to me all the time.  I stick them on the list and then I think....I will get to them at some point.  And then months or years go by and I still haven't read them.  Reasons are always varied.  But they don't seem to get any closer to the top of the list.

These are in no particular order.

1) Middlemarch

        This one was recommended to me by a friend.  And it is on the list of "Top 100 Books to Read Before You Die".  It is a classic.  So I put it on the list.  Even though, truthfully, it may remain there for a long time.  I have read several classics, and really struggled with a lot of them.  BUT - I do try to read at least one every year, so maybe this year this will be the one I pick up.  Maybe. 

2) War And Peace

        Okay- this one will probably remain on the TBR list until I get to the end of time.  SO BIG.  Which I shouldn't use as my first reason not to read it, considering I have read the Game of Thrones series.  I am not sure it would even interest me.  I keep it on the list partically because I feel like I have to.  Shouldn't EVERYONE read War and Peace?  I would say no.  But then I, maybe someday I will be bored just enough to pull this one out and try it.  Maybe.

3) The Lord Of The Rings

        I am actually interested in reading this series.  After reading Game of Thrones, I feel like I would really enjoy this series if I gave it a chance.  I did watch the movies.  Didn't love those, but they weren't terrible.  I mean it is JRR Tolkien.  I am just not sure I want to start a heavy trilogy.  And those books never seem to fit into the challenges I am trying each year.  So it might need to stay on the TBR a little longer.

4) The Devine Comedy

       Another one that is on the 100 To Read list.  I have it on my shelf.  I look at it all the time.  I even bought a cliffsnotes guide to help me get through it.  I pull it down, I look at it, and I put it back.  It is just daunting.  But I WANT to read it.  We have seen Rodin's sculptures in Paris and Botticelli's art related to the book, and it intrigued me.  I need to make a point to read this one.

5) Dark Tower Series

       I am a huge Stephen King fan.  I have read almost all of his books.  These sit on my shelf (my husband read them) and I still have not got to them.  I really need to, but there are a lot of them.  I keep thinking that one year I am going to do a challenge where I just read book series.  Maybe then I will get to this one.

6) A Brief History Of Time

        Stephen Hawking is amazing.  There is no denying it.  I have seen the movie and several documentaries, but have never read this book.  It is HUGE.  And it seems like it would be an incredibly hard read.  I think I would be really proud of myself if I conquered it.  PLUS - I am extremely interested in the content, so I think that would help.  So.......someday.

7) Great Expectations

            Ah, Charles Dickens.  I read "A Christmas Carol" and did enjoy it very much.  Different than the movies, which was a nice surprise.  (not a lot, but some).  We did a Charles Dickens tour the last time we were in London, which was a lot of fun.  I watched the movie about his life.  I wanted to put all of his books on my list.  And there they sit.  Haven't moved them up to the top yet.  Again - other things just get put in front of it.  Reading challenges, popular books......the classics just keep circling the bottom of my TBR pile.

8) Les Miserables

          I just recently bought a beautiful, leather bound edition of this book.  This is one of my husband's favorite stories.  I have seen the musical on Broadway 4 times.  I do not love it.  I don't.  It is depressing.  The music?  Beautiful.  The story?  Haunting.  I do have the book on my TBR list.  I keep wondering if it will be better than the musical.  More depth.  More character development.  But it is so big.  And so sad.  Not sure I really want to tackle it.

9) The Complete Sherlock Holmes

        My husband is the biggest Sherlock Holmes fan.  We have visited the house in London.  He has read all the books.  We have a beautiful leather bound collections book.  I have not ever opened it.  I look at it all the time.  Run my hand over the book, pick it up occasionally.....and then put it back.  I am sure the stories are amazing.  I need to read them. I WANT to read them.  I just can't bring myself it get into them.  No good reason.

10) Americanah

          I had actually put this on two different reading challenges for two different years.  And then I never got to it.  Well - actually for the one reading challenge, I discovered it wasn't going to fit where I needed it to, so I took it out.  BUT - it still remains something that I really want to read.  The reviews for this book were incredible, so I want to get to it.  Soon.

That is my list.  What is on yours?