Monday, January 02, 2012

Bye-Bye Vacation! Hello 2012 Wannareads!

I'm up early this morning enjoying the last day of my 11-day holiday vacation, and what a vacation it's been! I always love the new year because I feel so wonderfully energized and challenged. Ready to kick the new year's butt, yo! I'm certain there are a lot of changes ahead in 2012, but I just have to prepare myself as best I can.


While I'm not making many plans for 2012 reading, there are far too many books that have been on my shelves for YEARS. It's just scandalous that I haven't gotten off my tookus and read these books, so they're super-priority to get off the shelves (good or bad) this year. Specifically, I've come up with a BIG THREE books to obliterate from my shelves in 2012...




Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro  came to my attention back in my Yahoo! Groups days. Many respected book friends and fellow bloggers impressed me with their reviews, and it's been sitting on my shelves gathering dust ever since!!! 

Blurb: Set in a (barely?) alternate England in the late 1990s, Never Let Me Go is the sum of Kathy's memories. Kathy is one of many "donors" who have been brought into being for purposes that, while well-intended, can come to no good. Ishiguro's novel touches on the issues surrounding human cloning and identity and "what if." Then again, human clones are nothing new. Know any identical twins? They may be clones of one another, but that doesn't preclude them from having discrete selves. Never Let Me Go doesn't put science on trial; rather, it takes humans to task on the willful, too-prevalent misuse and misunderstanding of science to further parochial, sad ends. 


The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell is another recommendation from the Yahoo! Groups days. Les was the first blogger who really put this book on my radar, and it's ridiculous that I've yet to read it. I have a physical copy SOMEWHERE, but it's buried in boxes, so I have a feeling I'll download a copy this year. 


Blurb: The Sparrow, an astonishing literary debut, takes you on a journey to a distant planet and to the center of the human soul. It is the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a twenty-first-century scientific mission to a newly discovered extraterrestrial culture. Sandoz and his companions are prepared to endure isolation, hardship and death, but nothing can prepare them for the civilization they encounter, or for the tragic misunderstanding that brings the mission to a catastrophic end. Once considered a living saint, Sandoz returns alone to Earth physically and spiritually maimed, the mission's sole survivor — only to be accused of heinous crimes and blamed for the mission's failure.


I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is one of those books that surfaced on my radar slowly but surely over time as pretty much every group discussion participant and blogger I know loved it. And somehow I never jumped onboard aside from actually buying a copy. Oy! 


Blurb: I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle" — and the heart of the reader — in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.


Do you have any long-time residents on your shelves that you're trying to evict in 2012? Share! I might have them on my shelves, too. In truth, I probably do!

35 comments:

  1. Ooh I can't wait to see your thoughts on Never Let Me Go!

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  2. It's my last day of holiday too. I don't mind going back to work tomorrow but I also wouldn't say no to a few extra days off!

    I really must read Never Let Me Go this year too. Like you I have some excellent books on my shelf that have been there far too long.

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  3. Looking forward to it, Amanda. I've read nothing but good things about it.

    Sam, same here. I'll enjoy my colleagues and the activity when I get there, but vacation is just so luxuriously lazy. Let me know when you're ready for Never Let Me Go...maybe we could buddy read and discuss it!

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  4. Never Let Me Go was made my top ten list a few years ago and it still has stayed with me. Freakin' amazing.

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  5. I haven't read any of those yet - but I hate having books sitting on my shelves unread - crying & whining :-) I have Storm of Swords (George Martin) just begging for me to read it - and since it's the only unread book on my shelves, it just taunts me every day!

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  6. I had Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures in my TBR pile for over a year, and finally read it last month. It was much better than I expected, and I was sorry I hadn't read it sooner!

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  7. I have many long time residents... they are nice to me and don't make a lot of noise so I let them stay... I do need to read them though...

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  8. I Capture the Castle has my favorite first line, EVER! (Okay, Rebecca is a close second.)

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  9. Nevet Let Me Go is an amazing read, and I am so envious that you are going to be experiencing it for the first time! I also want to read The Sparrow, and think that I am going to add that one to my list too. I have a list that I have put together too, and I am hoping to plow through a good portion of it by mid-year. Good luck with all of this, Andi!

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  10. I love all three of those books!!!

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  11. WHY DO WE DO THIS?! One of my new goals is to read new books more quickly. I'm hoping that this will actually prevent me from spontaneously buying books. Also books that I'm gifted--not really fair that I wait years to read them, huh?

    Never Let Me Go is a great one. Enjoy!

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  12. I LOVED the Sparrow and Never Let Me Go. after you read the Sparrow, you will have to read absolutely the sequel, The Children Of God, a bit less tough morally speaking.
    Russell is one of my favorite female writers. I read her Doc this past year.
    Most of my books come from the library, so I don't really have anything waiting on my bookshelves, but I plan to read a lot next year. see with my 2011 recap: http://wordsandpeace.com/2011/12/30/year-of-reading-2011/

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  13. I love the Castle book. Wonderfully written, and the movie version is sweet, too. The other two books have never interested me.

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  14. I have tons of long time residents. I'm too easily distracted by shiny new books.

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  15. I adored I Capture the Castle when I read it years ago! I think you're going to love it as well. I also have The Sparrow to get to...le sigh.

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  16. I don't have to work until Wednesday (hooray!), but I'm already excited and energized to get back to work and sad that life will no longer allow me to read so much. I hope you get to all three of those, as they are all somewhere on my "I should read that" list. Happy 2012 reading!

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  17. I need to read more from my shelves in general this year so I can clear the way for new books!

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  18. Love both Never Let Me Go & The Sparrow. I actually meant to reread the Sparrow last year but never got around to it, maybe this year.

    I have read I Capture the Castle, but I must be the only person who didn't get it. I liked bits of it but it left me feeling more than a little unsatisfied. I do think that maybe a reread would be of benefit though. Whenever I'll get around to that I just don't know :)

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  19. I've read Never Let Me Go and was wowed. I have the other two high on my want list this year, too.

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  20. Wow what a smashing trio! Never Let Me Go was a slow-burner in terms of my post-reading thoughts on it. At first, I was like, well that was good, but not great. But the more I thought about it, the more I was impressed by it.

    I adored I Capture the Castle and I read it as an adult, so it didn't even have a boost of nostalgia helping it out. It was just plainly terrific.

    And though I haven't read The Sparrow but plan to, I am convinced of its greatness by what others have said of it and knowing my own tastes.

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  21. My youngest and middle daughters and husband go back tomorrow but the firstborn and I don't go back until NEXT Tuesday! :):) I'm looking forward to some alone time over the next few days as the firstborn has a part-time job in the mall. Can you believe Jeffrey Eugenides book Middlesex is sitting on my TBR shelf? I want to read his newest as well.

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  22. I have every one of those on my TBR shelves. At some point in time, I will get around to reading them...

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  23. Never Let Me Go has been on my shelf for years until a few months ago when I finally gave it away. :-/ I hope you're able to get to all of your books this year. Good luck.

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  24. The Things They Carried. I bought it because it was referenced on so many lists a year or two ago. Haven't gotten around to it. Sigh.

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  25. Oooh, definitely grab I Capture The Castle. I read it in Scotland last year (the perfect setting!) and absolutely fell in love with the story. Then watch the movie -- so good!

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  26. Christina, freaking amazing is what I'm looking for!

    Tanya Patrice, it's the ONLY unread book on your shelves??!! WHOA! That's impressive. I don't think that's ever happened to me!

    Becca, Heather send that book to me ages ago, and I'm still thinking what an ass I am for not having read it yet. Urrg!

    LOL, Sheila, same here...

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  27. Jill, I HAVE read the first line!!! Maybe even the first couple of pages. But after that, I have no idea what happened.

    Good luck to you working on your own list, Heather! I hope it's a very successful year for you. I can't wait for your thoughts on The Sparrow.

    Aarti, good! I like that vote of confidence!

    Trish, I have no idea why the hell we do this. It's a sickness I think. I like your strategy!

    WordsandPeace, I've seen quite a lot less than I expected on the internet about Doc. I thought I'd see far more reviews. Looking forward to The Sparrow and Children of God. :)

    Nan, I tend to forget there's a movie version of I Capture the Castle. I will most definitely give it a try.

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  28. Kathy, I know exactly how that goes. :)

    Tammy, and realistically I should've put A Game of Thrones on this list too. Eeek! I still haven't read it. Now that e-books are popular (unlike when you recommended A Game of Thrones to me, oh, ten years ago). *walk of shame*

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  29. Thanks, Carrie! I'm ridiculously envious that you have more time off. I'm already eagerly awaiting our MLK holiday coming up. :D

    Amen, Kathleen!

    Fence, it's so hard to squish it all in, eh? Re-reads did not rank as high as I wanted them to this year, but given the small amount of books I read in the first place, it just wouldn't have worked out!

    Very good, Care! Be sure to give me a heads up when you get around to them. Maybe we can discuss. :)

    Christy, thanks so much for weighing in on these three. I just can't believe I haven't read them already. Scads of trusted bloggy buddies have recommended both, they're pretty copies that I own, and they sound fantastic! Ugg! Being a slow reader can be a drag.

    Patti, enjoy that alone time!!! And I can totally believe it re: Middlesex because I HAVEN'T READ IT EITHER!!! I've started a few times but never finished. Oy!

    Michelle, I'm glad to not be alone in this. :D

    Thanks, Natasha! I will need the good luck vibes.

    Amy, story of my life. I'm telling you!

    Meg, it would be a wonderful atmosphere in which to read the book! Jealous is me! ;)

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  30. That is a fantastic trio of books! I had all three unread on my shelves until last year when I read the amazing Never Let YOu Go. I still have 2 to go...hopefully we'll both enjoy them in 2012!

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  31. The Sparrow was one of my best books of 2011.

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  32. I hope so, Jackie! Looking forward to your thoughts on both.

    I'm glad to hear it, Lavender! Thanks for dropping in! :)

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  33. I hope you get to The Sparrow. I don't even have words for this novel (and the follow up novel, which title eludes me at the moment). It is also hard to read sometimes (emotionally difficult). I look forward to your thoughts.

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  34. Thus far, without purposefully doing so, I've concentrated much of my 2012 reading on books that are on my shelves. It helps that I am participating in the Vintage Science Fiction Month as I have a lot of vintage sf that was unjustly being ignored on my shelves.

    I Capture the Castle is on my radar as well. I tried to watch the film once but for whatever reason it wasn't grabbing me and I gave up on it to try another time.

    I'm hoping to get to more already owned books this year, not so much to save money or to slow the accumulation of books so much as that I know there are gems on those shelves and I need to get to reading them.

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  35. Well, you know I'm a huge fan of The Sparrow and I'm thrilled that you are going to make time for it this year. I've read it a couple of times and loved it just as much the second time around. Again, this would be a great audio choice for a reread. I sure hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I wasn't as impressed with the sequel (Children of God), but who knows. You may like it and it does answer a couple of questions that you're left with after finishing The Sparrow.

    I read I Capture the Castle in my pre-blogging days, but from what I remember, I enjoyed it quite well. It's a book-lover's gem.

    I've got Never Let Me Go on my 2012 list, too. I've never read anything by Ishiguro and this one keeps popping up on my radar, so I'll just have to get a copy and get it read.

    Good luck with your wannareads!

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