reading · Thoughts

My 2017 Reading List

Goodreads told me I read 11,805 pages in 2016. It works out to be 32 pages per day, which was my guess. I’m going to base this year’s list off 30 pages a day, 15 pages for the big books. If I finish more books, great, but if not that’s okay. I’ve participated in Goodreads challenges for three years, and until 2016 I had won both of them. I was worried about not making my quota, but it helped me realise it was the journey and not the amount. I will finish all of my wonderful books one day, and I’ll have a good time doing it  🙂

silver-brumby-kingdomSilver Brumby Kingdom
By Elyne Mitchell
The Silver Brumby Series #5-8
423 Pages – 28.5 days

The first Silver Brumby book was published in 1958 to great acclaim, and the continuing success of the Silver Brumby series has ensured Elyne Mitchell as one of Australia’s best-loved children’s authors.

This edition contains
Moon Filly
Silver Brumby Whirlwind

Son of Whirlwind and
Silver Brumby, Silver Dingo.

It is the second volume to enjoy after The Silver Brumby Centenary Edition and continues the story of Thowra, the silver stallion, king of the brumbies, and how his mysterious legend weaves itself in his extended herd of brumbies.

on-writingOn Writing
By Stephen King
238 pages – 8 days

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”

In 1999, Stephen King began to write about his craft — and his life. By midyear, a widely reported accident jeopardized the survival of both. And in his months of recovery, the link between writing and living became more crucial than ever.

On Writing is both a textbook for writers and a memoir of Stephen’s life and will, thus, appeal even to those who are not aspiring writers. If you’ve always wondered what led Steve to become a writer and how he came to be the success he is today, this will answer those questions

the-kill-orderThe Kill Order
By James Dashner
Maze Runner #0.5
331 pages – 11 days

Sun Flares have unleashed devastation on the Earth. Mark and Trina were there when it happened, and against the odds they survived.

But now a violent and highly contagious disease is spreading like wildfire. Worse still, it’s mutating, and people are going crazy. Mark and Trina will do anything to save their friends – if only they can avoid madness and stay alive…

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-themFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Original Screenplay
By J. K. Rowling
288 pages – 9.5 days

Explorer and Magizoologist New Scamander has just completed a round-the-globe trip in search of the most rare and unusual magical creatures. Arriving in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when Newt’s case is misplaced and some of his fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone…

the-fate-of-the-tearlingThe Fate of the Tearling
By Erika Johansen
The Queen of the Tearling #3
478 pages – 32 days

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch.

As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies – including the evil Red Queen, her fiercest rival, who has set her armies against the Tear.

To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable – she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy, and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.

Now the endgame begins and the fate of Queen Kelsea – and the Tearling itself – will finally be revealed…

phantom-bullet-006Phantom Bullet 006
By Reki Kawahara
Sword Art Online #6
291 pages – 9.5 days

In an effort to discover the truth behind Death Gun, Kirito has entered the Bullet of Bullets tournament in Gun Gale Online. Both he and Sinon the sniper girl have made it to the finals, and the reality of what they discover is stranger than anything they could’ve prepared for. As Sinon is forced to face her own past, lives are on the line once again, and Kirito struggles to connect Death Gun to events in the original SAO game – but can Death Gun’s bizarre rampage be stopped in time?

the-third-eyeThe Third Eye
By Lobsang Rampa
256 pages – 8.5 days

Only a chosen few are given the power of the third eye.

Lobsang Rampa is just seven years old when oracles prophesy a monastic life ahead. And so he leaves home to enter Chakpori Lamasery, an order as yet untouched by the Chinese invasion. There, under the great masters, he learns the mystic art of centuries.

Above all, he experiences the highest honour of a Tibetan’s life, the opening of the third eye, and so enables us to share his clairvoyant vision of a magical world.

zombie-warZombie War
By Nicholas Ryan
318 pages – 10.5 days

It was conceived in the deserts of Iran – a monstrous terrorist plot that would change America forever – and it was unleashed in a football stadium one sunny Sunday afternoon.

‘Zombie War’ is a detail account of the zombie apocalypse as it sweeps through the southern states of the USA and how the American military struggles to contain the infection. Written as a combination of narrative followed by interviews with the combatants, the books is a chillingly realistic portrayal of the devastation and the dreadful cost to all those who survive…

mothers-rosaryMother’s Rosary 007
By Reki Kawahara
Sword Art Online #7
202 pages – 6.5 days

Kirito and Sinon’s battle with Death Gun is over, but mere weeks later, something strange is afoot in the next-generation VRMMO ALfheim Online. A new duelist with a custom Sword Skill is defeating all comers – including Kirito! But when Asuna faces this duelist, she receives something she never expected: an invitation to join an exclusive guild. But what is their goal? The game of death is long-since over, but it’s effects on the survivors remain. Their lives have been changed forever, and not everybody is coping so well…

passing-strangePassing Strange
By Daniel Waters
Generation Dead #3
386 pages – 13 days

Karen DeSonne always passed as a normal teenager – and now that she’s dead she’s still passing – this time, as alive.

But when her dead friends are accused of a high profile murder and forced into hiding, it’s up to Karen to prove their innocence. Which means doing the unthinkable and becoming the girlfriend of bionist zealot Peter Martinsburg, who she suspects of framing them. But if Peter finds out who Karen really is, the consequences for her will be worse than death…

the-battle-of-evernightThe Battle of Evernight
By Cecilia Dart-Thornton
The Bitterbynde #3
458 pages – 30.5 days

With vital fragments of her memory restored, Tahquil-Ashalind also regains the Langothe, a terrible longing for the world of the Faêran, for which there is no cure, but to return there. She undertakes a journey to seek the Bitterbynde Gate, the only remaining way into that world. But when Tahquil’s companions are ruthlessly abducted she abandons this purpose in spite of the dreadful yearning, and sets out to try and rescue them, venturing into the land of Darke, and the blackness of Evernight…

dead-rageDead Rage
By Nicholas Ryan
290 pages – 9.5 days

When Steve Bannon and the crew of the fishing boat, ‘Mandrake’ sailed into Grey Stone habor, they sailed into the very jaws of hell.

The zombie apocalypse has overtaken the coastal town and Bannon must fight for his own survival in a horrific world filled with unimaginable peril and betrayal…at the highest, and most personal levels.

Dead Rage is a white-knuckled ride into the frenzied terror of the apocalypse, where friends become enemies and every step is a life and death struggle.

world-without-endWorld Without End
By Ken Follett
The Pillars of the Earth #2
1111 pages – 74 days

On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed.

As adults their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war. One boy will travel the world but come home in the end; the other will be a powerful, corrupt nobleman. One girl will defy the might of the medieval church; the other will pursue an impossible love. And always they will live under the long shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed on that fateful childhood day.

(I just need to express how much I REALLY want to read this book now, after reading the blurb. Because I have the hardcover copy, the blurb was on the inside flap of the jacket and I hadn’t read it before. I can’t wait!! I might even bump this one up the list. It sounds fantastic!)

By P.C. & Kristin Cast
House of Night #11
306 pages – 10 days

“There was a terrible shriek, and the Neferet apparition rushed forward. It surged from our circle, like a black tide. With the sound of a thousand skittering spiders, the spectre fled through the main entrance of the school and then disappeared completely.”

Drastically altered after her fall, Neferet is clinging to life with one goal in mind: to regain her strength. But she’s still capable of deadly harm, and her quest for vengeance will wreak havoc at the House of Night.

To make matters worse, something’s going on with Zoey. She’s feeling strange and stressed all the time. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, considering a powerful immortal is on the loose and she’s having some boyfriend issues. Again. But is there something bigger at work? Z might not have long to find out. Light and Darkness are out of balance, awakening Old Magick. And Old Magick always demands a sacrifice…

By Kirsten Krauth
259 pages – 8.5 days

Layla is only 14. She cruises online. She catches trains to meet strangers. Her mother, Margot, never suspects. Even when Layla brings a man into their home.

Margot’s caught in her own web: an evangelical church and a charismatic pastor.

Meanwhile, downtown, a man opens a suitcase and tenderly places his young lover inside.

just_a_girl tears into the fabric of contemporary culture. A Puberty Blues for the digital age, a Lolita with a webcam, it’s what happens when young girls are forced to grow up too fast. Or never get the chance to grow up at all…

master-of-the-gameMaster of the Game
By Sidney Sheldon
The Game #1
495 pages – 16.5 days

Who is Kate Blackwell?

She is the symbol of success, the beautiful woman who parlayed her inheritance into an international conglomerate. Winner of a unique position among the wealthy and world-renowned. And she’s a survivor, indomitable as her father, the man who returned from the edge of death to wrench a fortune in diamonds from the bleak South African earth. Now, celebrating her ninetieth birthday, Kate surveys the family she has manipulated, dominated, and loved: the fair and the grotesque, the mad and the mild, the good and the evil – her winnings in life. Is she the…

Master of the game?

secrets-of-the-tidesSecrets of the Tides
By Hannah Richell
391 pages – 13 days

Every family has its secrets.

Some are small, like telling a white lie or snooping through a private drawer. Others are more serious, like infidelity and betrayal. And some secrets are so terrible they must be hidden away in a deep, dark place, for if they ever came to light, they would surely tear a family apart…

The Tides are a family full of secrets. Returning to Clifftops, the rambling family house perched high on the Dorset coastline, youngest daughter Dora hopes for a fresh start, for herself and for the new life she carries. But can long-held secrets ever really be forgiven? And even if you can forgive, can you ever really learn to love again?

the-laughing-clownsThe Laughing Clowns
By William McInnes
287 pages – 9.5 days

When a developer asks Peter to assess a prime piece of Queensland real estate – the Pickersgill Peninsula Showgrounds – he jumps at the chance. It will give him time out from having to be with the family he loves. And it will take him back to his childhood home; to his parents, his twin sister, Pearl, and his brother, Gary, the TV weatherman.

Over these few days, he will come to realise that sometimes when you go back to where you came from you find out how much you actually have, and how much you could lose. He just has to make his mind up, and listen to the advice that’s given by, of all people – the King of Hot Dogs.

But will he?

stardusts-foalStardust’s Foal
Created by Joanna Campbell
Written by Chris Platt
Thoroughbred Ashleigh #15
172 pages – 5.5 days

Ashleigh Griffen’s beloved horse, Stardust, is actually going to have a foal. While Ashleigh prepares Stardust for the birth, the Griffens take in Ashleigh’s cousin, Emily, a girl about Ashleigh’s age whose dad is recovering from a long illness. Emily claims she loves horses, but she’s awfully clumsy around them – and her careless mistake results in Stardust being exposed to strangles, a horse disease that endangers both Stardust and the foal she carries! Will Stardust be strong enough to deliver the foal safely?

an-ordinary-manAn Ordinary Man
By Paul Rusesabagina
With Tom Zoellner
261 – 17.5 days

Confronting killers with a combination of diplomacy, flattery, and deception, Paul Rusesabagina managed to shelter more than twelve hundred Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the Hotel des Mille Collines, of which he was general manager, while homicidal mobs raged outside with machetes during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

His autobiography takes the reader inside the hotel during those hundred days and relates the anguish of those who saw loved ones murdered in cold blood. He describes how he felt when pouring the Scotch and lighting the cigars of killers in the hotel’s poolside bar, even as he was trying to hide as many refugees as possible in the guest rooms upstairs, and the betrayal he felt at the international community’s refusal to help.

An Ordinary Man reveals Rusesabagina’s inner world as he discusses the racial complexity of his own life (a Hutu married to a Tutsi) and the strength he drew from his father’s example and Rwanda’s traditional hospitality. He asks the question: What causes an entire nation to go insane? and goes on to consider the responsibilities of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, exploring the tremendous power of words to sow hatred, but also to bring life and hopes.

An Ordinary Man is above all an extraordinary tale of courage, modesty and the resilience of the human spirit.

the-twistrose-keyThe Twistrose Key
By Tone Almhjell
The Twistrose Key #1
354 pages – 12 days

Something is wrong in the house that Lin’s family has rented – Lin is sure of it.

The clocks tick too slowly. Frost covers the flower bed, even in a rain storm. And when a secret key marked ‘Twistrose’ arrives for her, Lin finds a crack in the cellar: a gate to the world of Sylver.

This frozen realm is the home of every dead animal whoever loved a child. Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with Rufus, the pet she buried under the rosebush. Together they must face danger and adventure to find the missing Winter Prince and save Sylver from destruction.

They are not the only ones hunting for the boy. In the dark hides a shadow-lipped man, waiting for the last Winter Prince to be delivered into his hands.

By A. G. Howard
Splintered #1
371 pages – 12 days

Alyssa Gardner hears the thoughts of plants and animals. She hides her delusions for now, but she knows her fate: she will end up like her mother, in an institution. Madness has run in her family ever since her great-great-great-grandmother Alice Liddell told Lewis Carroll her strange dreams, inspiring his classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

But perhaps she’s not mad. And perhaps Carroll’s stories aren’t as whimsical as they first seem.

To break the curse of insanity, Alyssa must go down the rabbit hole and right the wrongs of Wonderland, a place full of strange beings with dark agendas. Alyssa brings her real-world crush – the protective Jeb – with her, but once her journey begins, she’s torn between his solidity and the enchanting, dangerous magic of Morpheus, her guide to Wonderland.

But no one in Wonderland is who they seem to be – not even Alyssa herself…

maos-last-dancerMao’s Last Dancer
By Li Cunxin
445 pages – 29.5 days

In a small, desperately poor village in north-east China, a young peasant boy sits at his rickety old school desk, interested more in the birds outside than in Chairman Mao’s Red Book and the grand words it contains. But that day, some strange men come to his school – Madame Mao’s cultural delegates. They are looking for young peasants to mould into faithful guards of Chairman Mao’s great vision for China.

The boy watches as one of his classmates is chosen and led away. His teacher hesitates. Will she or won’t she? She very nearly doesn’t. But at the last moment she taps the official on the shoulder and points to the small boy. “What about that one?” she says.

This is the true story of how that one moment in time, by the thinnest thread of a chance, changed the course of a small boy’s life in ways that are beyond description. One day he would dance with some of the greatest ballet companies of the world. One day he would be a friend to a president and first lady, movie stars and the most influential people in America. One day he would become a star: Mao’s last dance, and the darling of the West.

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