There has been a lot of talk in the blog-o-sphere about “MUST READS” for 2014. Some people are in the habit of making a reading list every January and I have to admit, that’s not a bad habit to have. I didn’t think I had a list but after some reflection, I realize it’s a more a mental one that something I consciously put together.
I actually have two lists. The first is a list of books I want to read for the purpose of researching pending projects or investigating things that I am interested in that may turn into ideas for future projects. Most of that is non-fiction but not all of it. At the top of that list for this year is “The Mabinogian”, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest and illustrated by Alan Lee. I was able to procure a copy of this beautiful book for FREE when I worked at Chapters. According to Harper Collins, this book (which has Welsh roots and is known to be the origin of the Arthurian legends) is “Widely recognized as the finest arc of Celtic mythology…”. Because of this, I was inspired to learn Welsh years ago and (after a ton of distractions) I have decided to start up my lessons again so that I can have more than the most basic grasp of this dying language.
The second is a list of books I want to read just because I want to read them. I will admit, I often add old favourites to that list. I was rather occupied with the Author Quest all summer so I didn’t do any recreational reading for fear it would distract me from my work. But I did make a mental note of a few titles I wanted to read once Dec 21st hit. The first was a re-read (for the third time… or is that the fourth?) of “The Seduction of Water” by Carol Goodman. I coveted that book for MONTHS while I was working at Chapters but didn’t have the spare money to purchase. (This was in the years preceding e-Books) It’s a Selkie story, a love story, a mystery, and now a staple in my “read this at least once a year” pile. I just finished it, so it was time to choose another for the nightstand.
I stumbled upon the “Books and Quills” YouTube channel via Wonderly.com and watched a few of Sanne’s videos. I starting thinking about all the books I have in my library that – for one reason or another – I haven’t yet read. So on my way home from work I swung by Starbucks (all this thinking about books resulted in a craving for steamed milk), and gave some thought to putting a “Must Read in 2014” list together.
Once I changed into my comfys and fed the Hooligans, I headed downstairs to take a look at the bookcases and pull a few titles out. Within 10 minutes, I had a pile of 10 books that I was carrying back upstairs with me. I added two more that I had already planned on reading this year.
“The Monk” by Matthew Lewis
“Greyfriars Bobby” by Eleanor Atkinson
“The Complete Short Stories of Oscar Wilde”
“Harry Potter” by JK Rowling ( I know, I know )
“Writing as a Sacred Path” by Jill Jepson
“From a Buick 8” by Stephen King
“A Kiss of Shadows” by Laurell K Hamilton
“The Golden Book of Faerie” by O.R. Melling
“Women Who Run With the Wolves” by CP Estes, PhD
“The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova
“Selected Poems and Tales” by Edgar Allan Poe
Let’s chat for just a moment about “The Historian”, shall we?
I have become convinced that this novel will be my undoing. I found it in the bargain section at Chapters years ago, took it with me to Ontario when I went to visit my Grandmother, and STILL haven’t finished it. This Goliath has been haunting me. It’s a great story and I found it really enjoyable. I WANT to finish it. But it requires a commitment from the reader that I haven’t been able to make as of yet.
It’s a massive 720 pages, to start. That in and of itself is daunting when you know that you have several projects pending and a stack of research material calling out to you from your desk. But from what I read so far it’s well worth the effort. This story takes you on an exciting journey across continents, as well as back and forth between two generations. It begs the question, “What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world?”
The list will certainly grow as time goes on, but for now these are the 12 books that I MUST read this year. So, how about you? What’s on your list of “must read in 2014”?