What will I be reading in 2016?

Some of you will know about my 2016 Reading Challenge.  I have settled on my list (although I reserve the right to change my mind – particularly about the penultimate category!).

I have very much enjoyed thinking about my choices.  Some came to me instantly, as you will see below.  Others took more research, weighing up, or general pondering.  But now that I am finished, I am delighted wth the overall collection.  It will be a good set to contribute to my goal of reading at least 50 books in the year as a whole.

A book published this year:  The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon

The first collection of short stories from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  Out of all the lists of books to be published in 2016 which I skimmed, this jumped out at me.  I remember reading The Curious Incident and being completely dominated by it for weeks afterwards.  I suspect this set of stories will be no different.



A book you can finish in a dayEthan Frome by Edith Wharton

I can’t recall ever having read anything by Edith Wharton.  So this needs to be remedied as quickly as possible.  I love any form of art set in winter, particularly paintings, but novels do it for me too.  I am looking forward to spending a day with the folks trapped in the snow-bound New England mountains.




A book you have been meaning to readGuernica by Gijs van Hensbergen

The biography of a painting.  But not just any painting….







A book recommended by your local librarian or booksellerIn the light of what we know by Zia Haider Rahman

Recommended by the glorious Edinburgh independent bookseller Golden Hare Books.  Not a book I had even heard of.  I see it has very mixed reviews on Amazon.  We shall see….






A book you should have read in schoolSilas Marner by George Eliot

The curse of the English lesson on great literature.  As with many students, any book I was required to study immediately became something to be hated and avoided at all costs.  Such a pity because, if I could talk to my teenage self now, I might well encourage myself to take English Literature at University (perhaps with history of art thrown in – oh and a textiles degree course on the side…).  Anyway, I digress.  Silas Marner was a set text at some point for me, so needless to say, it did not get read properly.  Now is my chance.


A book chosen for me by someone else (in my case by a dear friend):  For all the tea in China by Sarah Rose

For this category, I knew that Clanmother would help me with a fabulous recommendation.  She is wonderfully well read and knows me very well.  Within minutes of asking her to come up with something, she responded with this title – the perfect read for me.  Something combining Scotland, tea, and a riveting read – what could be better?




A book published before you were bornWaverley by Sir Walter Scott

Another Scottish reference, I’m not ashamed to say.  What I am ashamed to admit is that I have never read anything by Sir Walter Scott, so I had better get on with it.  This seemed as good as anywhere to start.





A book that was banned at some pointFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Oh my! How can I not have read this already!! Long has it been on my must-read list, and now I am so excited to be moving it to my newly created definitely-will-be-reading list!!






A book you previously abandonedGilead by Marilynne Robinson

I knew when I started this book the first time round that it was not a page turner; that the beauty lay in the writing and the slow pace of the novel.  But I guess I must have been in the wrong place for it at that point.  These days, I am more disposed to novels where not much actually happens, and where one can savour the ideas and thoughts coming off the page.  I hope this means that this novel and I can become friends after all.




A book you own but have never readH is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

One of my many hobbies is birdwatching.  I love the grace, charm and beauty of birds.  I love their colours, their characteristics.  Everything really.  I particularly love coastal, wading birds.  But I am happy looking at whichever species is there to be seen.  The other day, there were around 20 goldfinches flocking in the tree outside our kitchen window.  Wonderful.  Anyway, this is why I am desperate to read Helen Macdonald’s masterpiece and why I have picked it as my January read.



A book that intimidates youSalem’s Lot by Stephen King

This is the category which gave me the most difficulty.  At first, I thought ‘I’m not intimidated by books’.  But then, on reflection, I realised that there are some types and genres of books which I tend to avoid because I am either fearful of them or daunted by them.  These are mainly: horror; mega fantasy sagas; and anything thicker than about three inches.  So, should this be the moment to step into the world of Game of Thrones?  How about taking on the mighty two-volume Romance of the Three Kingdoms (China’s first ever novel)?  No.  I have just been having a bloggy conversation with one of my friends and book experts about how important it is to push oneself and explore new boundaries.  So horror it is (eek!).  I decided to consult said friend’s blog for recommendations and Salem’s Lot was my pick from his reviews of horror books.  I shall have to build myself up for this one.

A book you have already read at least onceAn equal music by Vikram Seth

After the last category, this is like a soothing breeze, or putting on a cloak of gossamer silk.  I don’t tend to read books more than once.  But I knew straight away that I would be picking An Equal Music for this category.  Those of you who know my LeapingTracks blog, will know how much I adore classical music.  This novel is an homage to the beauty and transformational power of music.  I can’t wait to read it again, to write about it, and to play music from it on my other blog.




So there you have it.  As i said at the start of this post, I am really excited about my choices.  Do let me know what you think.  And tell me what you are reading too.  Remember, I’ll be needing recommendations to fill up the rest of my quota to reach my minimum-50 goal! 🙂


26 thoughts on “What will I be reading in 2016?

  1. Just discovered this blog Liz. I see my comment on your FB post about Sargent was very apposite! Good luck with all the reading & I look forward to the posts. H is for Hawk is also on my to-read list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Liz. This is an impressive list and an impressive challenge. Some of these books would take me a year to read in themselves but then I am not a fast reader as you know. This is such an interesting collection. ‘For all the Tea in China’ particularly grabbed my attention. I’ll look forward to your reviews with relish. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mum – so pleased it has caught your attention. I’ll make sure I get ‘For All The Tea’ as a ‘real book’ so I can pass it on to you in due course 🙂 xxx


  3. Guernica sounds like a really interesting read, I shall have a look at that one myself. Fahrenheit 451 was harrowing because they burn books, it’s the worst world I can imagine but despite that I did find it a good read.

    You’ll do fine with ‘Salem’s Lot, King writes in a way that makes it easy to devour large portions of the book at a time and his character building is effective. I do hope you get along with it but even if you don’t it is a lot shorter than Game of Thrones which is in its favour.


    1. It will be good to compare notes on Guernica in due course – I will as ever be keen to know what you think. Thanks for the words of support about Salem’s Lot – that makes me feel a whole lot better!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love Ste’s book reviews because he is always honest about what he thinks of a book and I know he has really read it – unlike some reviewers! I avoid horror books so I sympathise with you in having to read one and admire you for facing your demon! I bought Curious Incident a couple of years ago and I am ashamed to say I still haven’t read it. I have read Edith Wharton’s ‘The Age of Innocence’ and loved it but have read nothing else by her. Silas Marner is a favourite of mine. I was happy to read set books at school as long as I didn’t have to be examined on them or learn yards of quotes. I had already read the O’ Level set books so I didn’t bother reading them again and so failed my English Literature exam I am so ashamed to say! Waverley is the only Scott novel I have read not because I didn’t enjoy it – I did, once I had got used to his style of writing. I just haven’t got round to reading any other book of his and they aren’t so easy to find these days. Vikram Seth is an author who I have been meaning to try for a while and the Ray Bradbury is also on my to-read list. I will be so interested to find out what you think of all these books. I have ordered H is for Hawk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Clare, wow! What an amazing response to my post, thank you 😀✨ looks like we will be reading ‘H’ at the same time so we can compare notes soon. Everything else you say is very interesting. And yes, I am a big fan of Ste – although he also causes me problems by constantly revealing new things to add to my already large to-read list!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know!! I have heaps of unread books upstairs and a long list of others not bought yet. I’m not sure if I’ll ever catch up as I also enjoy re-reading ‘old friends’.


      2. Oh dear! I don’t think I would ever make any progress at all if I spent too much time re-reading things. I often think I might go back to something, but then get pulled onto the next new thing – in fact I usually have four or five books on the go, which is a challenge in itself!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I try to resist re-reading but somehow I get in the mood for a certain book and there seems to be nothing I can do but give in! I often have more than one on the go but not ever as many as four or five!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fun idea and a great list! I’ve read Seth and H is for Hawk from your list but not the others so I hope you’ll get a chance to give us your feedback on some of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks to Letizia I just discovered your blog. Am smiling because I posted about Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Challenge this week, too. You’re list is wonderful, so well thought out. So many books, so little time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ally, thanks so much for stopping by! Really pleased you like the reading list – I am very excited about the challenge!! 😀


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