Down the TBR Hole #6

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

It’s time for another TBR post!

So, last week we got down to 728 books and I’m now at 723 which is excellent as it means I managed to remove 5 during the week – two of those were books I read and so got off the list, and I deleted a couple more books. I actually ended up getting rid of two historical fiction books I kept in previous weeks (I kept them due to owning them, but I decided to donate my copies instead)

Anyway, as you all probably know by now, this tag was started by Lia  and the rules are:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Now, this week isn’t going to be as exciting as the rest because it turns out the next five books on the list are all classics and so I’ll be keeping them all as part of my goal to read more classics.  This means I won’t be doing my usual “Keep/Remove” part as it’ll basically be the same each time. Instead, I’ll just show you the five books that I’m keeping.

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These are:

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – I’ve read a couple of Dickens already and always meant to read more. It’s one of my “one day I’ll read this” books.

The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer – I have a really cool old copy of this and so I need to get myself a modern version to actually read (because I don’t want to damage my copy)

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe – Another of those classics that everybody knows that I just haven’t got around to reading.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle – This is the third book in the Sherlock Holmes collection as I read the first two years ago and adored them. I think I didn’t have the third one at the time and then I just forgot about reading more. Shall definitely need to change that as I really enjoy them!

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens – Another Dickens. I think I might read this one before Great Expectations as I’ve seen the film and adored it.


 

So, as you can see my TBR list remains at 723 but it’s slowly going down due to my pruning the middle of the list. I’m going to stop removing books from it now except for this tag as I no longer feel as much pressure and my goal of reading books to get them off the list has been very effective so I think I’m going to focus more on removing books by reading rather than deleting them. Because of this, I’m thinking of doing a feature on Sundays where I post about the books I read that week and mention any that I read thanks to doing this tag. I figure since I read so many books that I can’t discuss them all in detail at my monthly wrap-ups, a weekly wrap-up will make more sense, especially as I don’t always review all the books I’ve read and this gives me a way to talk about them.

Have you read any of these classics? Which would you recommend I read first? Any other classics you think I should add to my list?
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Down the TBR Hole #5

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

It’s Monday! That means time for another Down the TBR Hole post! Apologies for not having one up last Monday as I was deciding whether or not to continue doing this feature due to the fact I’m now making a lot of progress reducing my TBR without this tag. However, it is still quite fun and I enjoy reading these when done by others and I can never get tired of talking about books!

So, last post I’d got my TBR pile down to 750 and I’m proud to say that it’s now at 730 which means in the last two weeks I managed to reduce it by a whole 20 books! Most of that has been through removing books however I’m also making a concerted effort to find and read some of the shorter books on my list.

Anyway, as you all probably know by now, this tag was started by Lia  and the rules are:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Time for the books!


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It’s another Arthurian book! I’m definitely keeping this on my list as I do still plan on reading more Arthurian literature eventually and I think I might pick one up soon as part of my “Read more Classics” goal.

Verdict: KEEP

 

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So, despite me adoring the Celts and everything Celtic, I have not actually read this book and only really added it because I was adding all Celtic-related books at the time. I feel I know enough about the Celts now that reading this won’t teach me anything new and I have other books I can read if I want to strengthen my knowledge.

Verdict: REMOVE

 

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Did you know I’ve never read the Percy Jackson series? Yep, it’s been on my TBR list for a while but I never got into it when it first came out and so it’s always been one of those “I’ll get around to it eventually”. I have the first book already otherwise I would have selected this as one to get out from the library. I’m holding off on reading it for now though because I know if I enjoy it, I’ll have the entire series to read which will only increase my TBR list!

Verdict: KEEP

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So, I like wolves and I adored The Sight when I was younger and so decided to try and find more books involving wolves. Of course, I added this book based on the name alone and then promptly forgot about it. While checking it out for this tag, I noticed a lot of bad reviews and so feel it’s probably not worth checking it out.

Verdict: REMOVE

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It’s another wolf book! This one, however, I actually own as I read a lot of positive reviews and I think it was a personal recommendation from a friend. I never got around to reading it because it’s the first in a series and so that was putting me off, however my library has the second two in the trilogy and so if I choose to read it, it’ll be easy enough to read it all if I enjoy it.

Verdict: KEEP


 

So! At the end of that, my TBR pile is now 728 books which I’m quite pleased with given my goal for this week was 730 and that’s what we started with. I’m hoping to hit 725 by next Monday and as I think I want to keep all of the books next week, that means I’ll need to read at least 3 books off my list. I’ve taken a couple short ones out from the library though so fingers crossed I can make my way through them all!

Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with the decisions I made? Are there any books you think I’d like based on what I kept? Let me know!

Down the TBR Hole #4

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

So last week, I managed to get this down to 760 books and throughout the week I’ve managed to get it down to 752 which means that not only have I already achieved my goal of 755, but I should be able to get it down to 750! I managed this by having a wee clear out of some sequels of books I didn’t enjoy (I was originally just looking to get rid of a few to balance out ones I added, but ended up finding more to remove than I thought!)

Anyway, let’s look at the books this week!


 

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So we’re still at the point I was in my historical fiction phase and although I really like Boudica, I’m not sure if I’m really in the mood for reading a huge trilogy about her.

Verdict: REMOVE

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More historical fiction. I’ve read quite a few of the books in the Tudor series and I think this is one of the only ones I haven’t read but again, not really in the mood for it and I don’t even think I own it.

Verdict: REMOVE

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So this is a sequel series to another one that I’ve read and loved and for some reason just never got around to reading. I remember loving the first one and it includes weather magic which is something I adore. I would go request this straight away, but I think I want to re-read the first duology to remind me of the world and characters.

Verdict: KEEP

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So this is another historical fiction novel, this time about pirates, however the author is one I really enjoy and I actually own this book and I’m always more reluctant to remove books I own as I’d have to physically get rid of the book (as if I take it off Goodreads but leave it on my physical TBR that’s just cheating). I think this is one that can stay but that might get removed later if I’m in desperate need of trimming my TBR.

Verdict: KEEP

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More historical fiction! I promise we’re almost finished with it now. This is another book I own so again I feel that I should keep it. It was also a gift from my mum so I’d also feel bad about getting rid of it without at least trying to read it.

Verdict: KEEP

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I’ve managed to get rid of two books this week which brings us down to 750 for the week which is fantastic. I’m super proud of that number and hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up this pace and hit my goal of 700 books sooner than I thought.

Looking at the books for next week, I think I might struggle getting rid of them which means I need to try and read as much this week as possible!

Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with my choices? Any books you’d recommend based on what I kept?

Book Blogger Hop: May 19th – 25th


Book Blogger Hop

So I’ve decided to take part in the Book Blogger Hop this week as the question was one I found quite interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing everybody’s answers.

What do you do with books you no longer want? Do you donate them? Do you take them to a half-price bookstore? Does a friend or family member benefit?

For me, the main thing I do is donate them. There are multiple charity shops near me and as they’re where I buy a lot of my books, I find it only fair to donate the ones I don’t want. My city also has a charity that provides books to homeless readers and so I’ve donated to them too although they only accept paperbacks in good condition and as I buy many books used, they’re often not good enough quality.

A lot of my books from when I was younger were all given to my half-sister and I’ve done one giveaway on Twitter with a book I loved. I’m also planning on attending some book swap events as I’ve done that before and it was a fun way to both get rid of a book while getting a new one.

Down the TBR Hole #3

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Yep! It’s that time again! Last week, my TBR list was at 768 books after completing this however I did a bit of cleaning on it (I had some duplicates on it that I removed) I’m now at just 763 which means I only need to remove three books this week to keep on track for my target of reducing it by five every week!

So, time for the books!


 

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Pretty sure I just added this based on the name. It’s a historical fiction novel set in Wales however it’s super long and I have no urge to read it at all.

Verdict: REMOVE

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So this is another Arthurian book that I added during my Arthurian phase and although it’s meant to be very good, I just don’t really have any urge to read it either. Maybe once I start reading Arthurian books again I’ll want to read more, but until then there’s no point leaving it on my list.

Verdict: REMOVE

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It’s a classic and I really enjoy Russian literature so this is definitely staying. I think the only reason it’s been on my TBR for so long is that I haven’t got around to buying it yet (as I know getting a good translation is super important)

Verdict: KEEP

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Another Arthurian one, although this is a medieval classic and so I’m torn on whether to get rid of this or not. As I’ve already gotten rid of a couple, I think I’m going to keep this for now.

Verdict: KEEP

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That’s right, I’ve not actually read this despite knowing how short it is. It’s one of those “Oh yes, I should really get around to reading that” books that I never do. So, because of this I shall make it a priority to read it.

Verdict: REQUESTED FROM LIBRARY


So, after all that I’ve removed two books from my TBR which brings me down to 761 books. Because my goal is to remove five every week that means I need to either start a book today to get it off my TBR or get rid of another one from somewhere in my TBR pile. Luckily, I have Saga volume 3 on my TBR list and so not only will I be able to start that today, but I can also finish it so that will bring me down to 760!

Looking ahead at next week, it looks like there are several books I want to keep which means I’ll need to read several from my TBR list in order to hit 755 by next Monday. Fingers crossed I can keep this pace up as this is really helping me reduce my TBR pile (and helping stop me adding too many new ones to it)


Have you read any of the books from this week? Do you agree with my decisions? Let me know!

Down the TBR Hole #2

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

So! I’m back with another edition of Down the TBR Hole! For more information about it, you can either see my other post or read the introduction by Lia, the creator of this tag.

At the end of my last one, my to-read list was 770 books and I’m glad to say that it’s remained at that! (I did add some, but then I read some too so it balanced out). I’m here with another five books and hopefully can remove some more of those too!


 

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So as I mentioned last time, I was in a bit of a historical fiction mood when I first joined Goodreads and so added a lot of historical fiction novels to my TBR list. This one is by an author I’ve read and enjoyed however it’s been on here for ages as I’ve just not got around to it. I was originally going to remove this, but I changed my mind and decided that I’d rather remove it by reading it.

Verdict: REQUESTED FROM LIBRARY

 

592167This is a book I added back while I was at University because it was relevant to my studies. I’ve read extracts of it and I always planned on going back and reading the entire thing once I’d graduated and had more spare time.

Verdict: KEEP

 

 

 

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Well, as I mentioned last time, I’m interested in Arthurian Literature and this is one of the must-reads. I’m half tempted to remove this as it’ll probably still be a while until I read it, but it’s one of those “eventually I’ll read it” books so I feel because it’s essentially a classic, I can let it stay.

Verdict: KEEP

 

 

185407This is another book I added due to University – I took a class on the History and Philosophy of Science and one of my essays was focused on Darwin and on this book. Again, I read extracts but never read the entire thing and it was another I planned on coming back to. However, I don’t own this and remember it being huge and so I feel there’s no point in keeping it on my list. If I change my mind, I can add it back again later.

Verdict: REMOVE

 

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When I first started adding things to my TBR pile, I went through and added all the books that I owned along with all the books my ex had and this is one of those books. As we’re no longer together, I figure there’s no point keeping this on here. I do have another book by this author on my TBR which I actually own, so if I enjoy that then I might re-add this but for now, I’m unlikely to read it.

Verdict: REMOVE

 


 

So, I’ve removed two, kept two and requested one from the library to get it off my list by reading it. I think that choosing one of the books I’m keeping to read soon is another good thing as it’ll help me get books off my TBR list even faster that just removing the ones I don’t want. I’ve a habit of mostly just reading the books I recently added due to forgetting about older ones on my list and so this will help me get around to reading those instead of always focusing on the newer books.

My TBR list is currently at 768 and I’m now setting a new goal to help reduce it faster. I’m aiming to reduce it by five books every week and so that means that I will need to read several books too to help do that and avoid adding new books to it (I can still read new books of course, they’d just go straight to my currently-reading pile). That means that in future, along with the five that I’ll keep/remove in order of them being added, I’ll also remove some from random points in the list or mention ones from the list that I’ve now read and removed that way. This might be a bit ambitious but I’ll try it for at least until I hit 750 and see how effective it was.


 

Anyway! Have you read any of these books? Do you have anything to say about them that might change my decisions? Let me know!

Down the TBR Hole #1

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

So, this is a meme I’ve seen floating around for quite a while and I keep meaning to join it as my Goodreads TBR pile is currently 772 books and so I’m sure I can definitely reduce that a bit!

The Meme was started by Lia and the rules are:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

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Arthurian Romances by Chrétien De Troyes

So, I’m a big fan of Arthurian literature and this is definitely a key text to read for that. I’ve just never actually got around to reading it.

Verdict: KEEP

 

 

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The White Mare by Jules Watson

So, I added this because it’s a historical fiction trilogy set in Celtic Britain and well, that does sound super fun as I enjoy historical fiction and love to study Celtic Britain (and Ireland). 

However, this has been on my list for ages and I don’t own it yet and don’t read as much historical fiction anymore

Verdict: GO

 

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A Scots Quair by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

So this is a trilogy and the first book, Sunset Song, is a massive classic where I’m from as that’s where it’s set. Not only that but my sisters were both extras in a recent film of Sunset Song so I really, really need to get around to reading this.

Verdict: KEEP

 

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Fell by David Clement-Davies

So this is a sequel to The Sight which I read years ago and adored and when I joined Goodreads, I discovered there was a sequel. However, it’s been six years and I’ve still not actually got the book yet and although it sounds interesting, I’ve pretty much forgotten what happens in The Sight so I’d have to re-read that first.

Verdict: GO

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History of the Highland Clearances by Alexander MacKenzie

Well, there’s not much to say about this. It’s non-fiction about an important event in Scottish History. It’s quite a dense book as I’ve tried to read it a couple times but it’s so important I’m determined to eventually get through it!

Verdict: KEEP

 


 

So, I’ve managed to get my TBR list down to 770 books now. My goal is to eventually get it to under 500 books. Fair warning, when I first joined Goodreads I had recently got my Kindle so added a lot of classics to my TBR pile and was in a big Historical Fiction phase. That and of course as my favourite genres are Sci-Fi and Fantasy, the books I added in those genres mostly got read so there’s not many left at the beginning.

Have you read any of these? Have I made you want to add any to your own TBR pile? Let me know!

Travel Thursdays #2 – Nigeria

Travel Thursdays

So I’m back for my second Travel Thursday! I’ve decided these won’t be a weekly thing just due to the fact that I’ve now decided that I’d prefer to list three books from each place and so obviously that will require a lot more reading. Currently, my plan is to have them every other week, although that may go down to monthly depending on how easy it is for me to get these books.

I’ve chosen Nigeria as my second location due to the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of Nigerian literature recently. I’d also never seen any photos of Nigeria and so thought it would be nice to research that to put images to the landscapes described in these fantastic novels.

If you’d like to take part too, then you can find more information here and please let me know as I’d love to see your posts!

Three Books I’ve Read from Nigeria:

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor – I couldn’t not list one of Nnedi’s books and Lagoon seemed like the perfect choice given that it’s also set in Lagos. I adored this book and you can find my review of it here.

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo – I got this as an ARC and I just loved it. I chose it as my second choice as although there are lots of fantastic books, this one was set in a modern setting while most of the others ones I’ve read have had a more historical setting. You can find my review of it here.

Butterfly Fish by Irenosen Okojie – I chose this as my final book because I enjoyed the alternating stories of modern and historical and also because Irenosen Okojie’s collection of short stories was shortlisted for the fantastic Jhalak Prize. You can read my review of it here.

Three Books I’d Like to Read

The Famished Road by Ben Okri – I’ve had this on my to-read list for quite a while and I’ve actually started it already but only a tiny way in. I really enjoyed Ben Okri’s writing style in Astonishing the Gods and I’ve heard such good things about this that I can’t wait to sit down and read it.

The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta – I’ve already read several of her books and I’ve adored every single one of them. Her writing is absolutely fantastic and I knew she definitely had to be one of the authors that I chose.

GraceLand by Chris Abani – This was a book I discovered while researching this post and it sounded absolutely fascinating and had some excellent reviews.

Three Photos of Nigeria

Lagos Island

Lagos Island and part of Lagos Harbour.

Jabi lake

Jabi Lake, Abuja

The bronze cast of his royal majesty. The Benin monarch

Statue of the Oba of Benin and his servants, Benin City

TTT – Ten Short SFF Books You Can Read in One Sitting

Top Ten Tuesday

So, this is my first time taking part in Top Ten Tuesday but when I saw the prompt for this week, I just had to take part as there are so many fantastic short books/novellas out there! TTT is hosted by Broke and Bookish and they have a link-up so if you enjoy this topic you can find lots more posts about it!

I’m a fast reader so I can read a lot in a day, so I’ve tried to stick to picking books under 200 pages and I’ve stuck to SFF because those are my favourite genres. I would heartily recommend all the books on this list and it was a struggle to pick just ten!

In no particular order, here are 10 short books that I adored!

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  1. The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson

I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and so I couldn’t make a list of quick reads without including this in it! Not only is it short, but it’s also one of my favourites by him and I’d definitely recommend it.

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2. The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz

It’s a charming f/f asexual sci-fi novella. What’s not to love? Seriously though, it’s great. You can find my review of it here

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3. The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster

I’m a huge fan of weather magic and will instantly read any book that features it. Not only does this novella include it, but it includes fantastic female characters, queer pirates and POC (just look at that cover – it’s stunning!).

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4. Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

It’s a fantastic steampunk fantasy novella that has some fantastic worldbuilding and sets the ground for what I expect will be a fantastic series. I’m in the middle of writing my review of it, so expect that up soon!

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5. Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

A great sci-fi novella featuring a group of mismatched individuals waking up on an abandoned ship. You can read my review of it here.

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6. Runtime by RoAnna Sylver

I felt Chameleon Moon (which I adore) was a bit too long to be included here, but Runtime is a fantastic short story and an excellent introduction to several characters along with the world of Parole so it definitely deserves a place on here. You can find my review here.

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7. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

This post-apocalyptic novel features giant killer plants. I picked up it for that reason alone because I adore books with odd apocalypses and this did not disappoint!

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8. The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

The first in the fantastic Mangoverse series, it’s full of diversity and is just such a positive, happy read. Find my review here.

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9. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

I think this is the longest on here, but it’s just such a fantastic read that I couldn’t put it down. I loved the concept which is “conflict is light years away so hundreds of years pass between deployment and the return home of soldiers” and I really enjoyed both seeing humanity progress between each deployment and how the returning soldiers coped with the changes in society.

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10. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Stardust is one of the few books where I love the film adaption almost as much as the book itself. I saw the film first and was a huge fan and so obviously had to go read the novel. It’s wonderful, and I’d definitely recommend it.

So! That’s my first Top Ten Tuesday! What did you think? Have you read and enjoyed any of these books? Are there are you would recommend to me based on my choices here?

Travel Thursday #1 – Scotland

Travel Thursdays

Welcome to the first Travel Thursday post! For those that missed my post last week, you can find it here explaining what I’m doing.

Anyway, the first place I’m doing is my own country, Scotland! Now, Scotland has a lot of literature to choose from and so at first I thought “Ahh, how will I manage to cover it all!” so instead, I’m just going to pick a few books that I have read, and a few that are on my TBR list.

Three Scottish Books I’ve read:

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The Comet Seekers – This is the most recent book I’ve read and I just adored it. I’ll be writing a review soon so won’t say too much, but it’s basically the story of two characters and how their lives intertwine until they eventually meet. However, we only get to see them when there is a comet in the sky which means we only get small glimpses into their lives.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Well, this is a classic and I know a lot of people have heard of it but probably haven’t read it so I decided to include it. This is just a short novella, but it’s very enjoyable and I’d definitely recommend it.

Robert Burns – This is poems, rather than a novel, but I love them so much I just had to include them. You can’t make a post about Scottish literature and not include him! My favourite poem is “To a mouse” although Tam O’ Shanter is also fantastic. Best part is, you can find a lot of these online!

Three Scottish Books on my TBR list:

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The Sunlight Pilgrims – I found this book on a list of “Excellent Scottish Novels of 2016” and so picked it at random because I liked the cover (same place I found The Comet Seekers which I chose for the same reason) and so I don’t know too much about it as I think going in knowing nothing will be fun.

Sunset Song – Well, this is another Scottish classic and has been on my TBR list far too long. As you may be able to see from the picture, it’s considered one of the best Scottish Books and it’s set not far from where I grew up. I definitely need to get around to reading this soon!

But n Ben A-Go-Go – This is a book I just discovered today while making this post and I just had to add it to my list. It’s set in the future where global warming has caused the oceans to rise and the only dry land in Britain is the Scottish Highlands. Not only that, but the entire novel is written in Scots and so I just had to have it. I’ve already ordered a copy so will dive in as soon as it arrives.

Three Photos of Scotland:

DSC03332Ring of Brodgar, Orkney

DSC03803Somewhere in the Cairngorms

DSC05570Aberdeen

So, have you been to Scotland? Read any Scottish literature? Added any of these to your own TBR list? Let me know!

(All book covers from Goodreads, all photos of Scotland are my own)