TBR: January 2012

TBR: January 2012

January 2, 2012


Happy New Year, folks. Here we are in the first month of 2012 and I wanted to kick of my year of monthly themes by telling you about my TBR pile for the month. It’s unlikely that I’m going to get to all of these books, so perhaps it’s misleading to refer to these as the books I’m definitely going to read this month.

As a reminder, I have chosen a theme for each month of 2012. Around the beginning of the month, I’ll do an introductory post like this one, tell you a little about the theme, why I chose it, and a list of some of the books I own that I hope to get to that month. I’m trying to limit the number of books I buy, as my bookshelf is already overflowing with books I haven’t yet read. My goal is to read at least four books a month. In most cases, I have many more than four books that fit into each theme. It would be great if I manage to read more than four; what I don’t read I can save for December 2012, which I’ve designated a “free” month. I hope that explanation make sense.

So let’s talk about this month’s theme. For January, I’ve chosen to read books in the fantasy and paranormal genres. If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure I understand the difference between the two. I’ve tried Google and asking people who I thought might be able to explain the difference, but have gotten varied explanations. One explanation I’ve come across is that fantasy involves the creation of a fantastical world and paranormal is set in our world but includes vampires, werewolves, or other creatures that don’t really exist. If this is the case, I’m not sure I understand the difference between paranormal and urban fantasy. In the strictest sense, I suppose urban fantasy suggests it must take place in an urban setting. Perhaps paranormal can take place anywhere in our world. So would this mean that all urban fantasy is paranormal, but the converse isn’t necessarily true? Furthermore, is all paranormal also romance? In other words, is it possible for a book to be paranormal but light on romance? Clearly, I’m confused. If someone would like to explain this to me in the comments, I’d appreciate it.

Despite my confusion over the difference between the two genres, I can recognize books that must fall into one of the two. I actually have a ton of books that are either fantasy or paranormal. YA novels in these genres especially appeal to me. Thus, most of the books on this list are YA.

TBR: January 2012

My TBR pile (which is actually two piles here) for 2012

Here we go, in no particular order:

  1. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
    This is one of those classics I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to. Oddly, one of the things that made me hesitant to read this was the fact that the main character is male. I don’t know why gender of the main character should matter to me. After all, I’ve enjoyed plenty of books with male main characters (including Harry Potter) and some of the other books on this list have male main characters. Yet, it seemed to be a sticking point for this one book in particular. I know, it’s completely silly. A Wizard of Earthsea appears to be relatively short. I may read this one first, since my week has been a little out of wack with the recent holidays.
  2. Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black
    I have several books in my pile that involve faeries. Incidentally, the only novel I recall reading that involved faeries was Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater, which I didn’t like. At all. Yet, I really want to like a book about a faeries. I bought Tithe in part because of Bitch’s “100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader” list. Despite the fact that I don’t like the way Bitch handled the drama surrounding that list and my disagreement about some of their selections, it still made me aware of books I hadn’t been aware of before. Also, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Tithe and Holly Black in general.
  3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    The only Neil Gaiman book I’ve read was Coraline, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I also have a copy of Gaiman’s book Stardust, but decided to hold off reading it. This isn’t an official rule, but I’d like to avoid reading more than one book by the same author in a single month. So I choose to include The Graveyard Book in this list because the premise of a boy being raised by ghosts really appeals to me right now.
  4. Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
    There are a couple of reasons for my choosing to include this book. I love the concept of killer unicorns. There’s a blurb on the cover by Tamora Pierce and I love Tamora Pierce (yes, a silly reason to choose a book). Also, like Tithe, Rampant appears on the aforementioned Bitch list.
  5. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
    Julie Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series has been getting lots of hype in the corners of the Internet I spend a lot of time lurking. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I must admit that the hype made me curious. It’s another book on my list that contains faeries, and considering my desire to read more books with faeries, it seemed appropriate to include it. The thing that makes me a bit nervous is that the synopsis on the back makes it sound like there are at least some similarities to Twilight, and considering my feelings about Twilight, that’s probably not a good thing. I don’t know, maybe there aren’t any similarities at all and I’m just making that up.
  6. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
    OK, so I’ve technically read this one once before, but found myself unable to review it because I wasn’t sure what to say about it. I’d really like to read it again to see if I can come up with things to say about it. And can I just say that the girl on the cover reminds me a lot of Angelina Jolie?
  7. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
    It sounds like Lisa Mantchev’s series, starting with Eyes Like Stars, combines two of my favorite things: theatre and YA fantasy. Need I say more? There also might be faeries in this one.
  8. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
    Another novel about faeries. The synopsis on the back mentions that the main character is an actress and I’m kind of wondering how much that plays into the plot. Anyway, this might be interesting.
  9. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
    To be honest, this was something I purchased and am now regretting. I saw that it was about a fallen angel and was all “that sounds awesome!” After I got it home, I saw the reviews that said it was like Twilight but with angels. And I have to admit, the synopsis does kind of make it sound like Twilight. Still, now that I own it (and can’t return it), I’m willing to give it a shot. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. If not, I can always rant about it.
  10. The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong
    A book about a girl who sees dead people, which sounds very…Sixth Sense. And I mean that in a good way.
  11. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
    Yes, I realize this was written with an adult audience in mind. I’m ok with that. I bought Grossman’s book because I keep hearing that it’s like Harry Potter for adults. And I’m feeling very nostalgic for Harry Potter right now.
  12. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
    I have this in eBook form, which is why it’s not in the picture above. Like The Magicians, this is written for an adult audience. Apparently, the last living werewolf is depressed and goes on sex binges. Which could be something I find enjoyable, depending on how it’s done.

I’m sorry for the monster of a post, dear readers. Have you read any of the above books? Any advice as to which book I need to make sure I read this month?

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