Tuesday 17 March 2015

My Autumnal Reading List

I seem to have hit the winter doldrums rather early this year!

The autumn leaves are only just thinking about turning & already I'm grumbling about the cold and dreading the long, dark nights ahead.

I'm also struggling to find my blogging groove this year. A manic start to the year, followed by a writing slump of epic proportions now. I can't just blame it on our busy life....or can I?

I'm reading some fabulous books, but my reviews of them are far from fabulous. My writing persona seems to be missing in action...or perhaps she simply needs a good, long holiday!

All my recent reviews feel forced & flat.

So right now I'm trying the old 'writing-myself-out-of-a-writing-slump-by-writing' theory by creating a list!

In an effort to work my way through my out-of-control TBR mountain, here is a list of books that I hope to finish by the June long weekend (NSW).

The timing of this list also gives me the chance to use the word autumnal in a post - one of my favourite all-time words in the English language!

To help my 2015 challenges get back on track I will try to read Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte, Watership Down by Richard Adams, Stoner by John Williams and Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler.

A few new releases will be needed to mix things up - One Life by Kate Grenville, A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman & A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.

For light relief, some junior fiction & teen books - The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, Promised by Caragh O'Brien and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Leviathan.

I would also like to read at least one book on the Stella shortlist before the winner is announced on the 21st April.

The next Dewey's Readathon is planned for the 25th April which I hope to participate in again.
However, between now & June, I have a two week trip to Vietnam to look forward to.

I like to read books related to the areas I travel to so I've been researching a few good ones & reflecting on past experiences.

Years ago I read The Quiet American by Graham Greene and way back when in my school days, I studied the Vietnam War in my history class & read Michael Maclear's Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War. I don't feel the need to revisit either of these books right now.

More recently I have read Ahn Do's memoir The Happiest Refugee and his children's book, The Little Refugee. I've also read the picture books I Was Only Nineteen, Mark Wilson's Vietnam Diary & The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland.

But I would like some adult literature set during the various era's in Vietnam's history as well as something contemporary.

Have you read any books set in Vietnam that you could recommend?

What do you do when you have a writing slump?

What are your reading plans for this coming autumn (Southern hemisphere) or spring (Northern hemisphere)?
If you feel like creating a seasonal post on your blog and linking it back here - I'd love to see what your reading plans are.

Later: Thanks to Lianne's comment below I realised my autumnal list idea is far from original or even unique!

Top Ten Tuesday have got in ahead of me!

I do usually check TTT most weeks to see what the topic is, but I had Monday off work this week & now I'm a day behind with everything! Synchronicity? Serendipity? Snap!


  1. Anonymous18/3/15

    I hope you enjoy Stoner! It's such a quiet but powerful read. I also hope to get around to Tenant of Wildfell Hall at some point. Great list, happy reading :)

    My TTT

    1. Thanks for alerting me to the TTT link up - synchronicity is an amazing thing. But it also shows that no idea is a new one :-/

  2. Anonymous18/3/15

    I have a Vietnamese book on my Literature and War Readalong List. Novel Without a Name by Huon Thu Huong. I think she's one of Vietnam's most famous authors. I read another one two years ago about the war. It was amazing. The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh. Not cheerful but beautiful.
    Spring is coming over here. I'm glad. It was a long, cold winter.

    1. Thanks for the book suggestions - I'll look into their availability here :-)

  3. By far, the most powerful book about Vietnam I've read is The Things They Carried.

    Here's to regaining your blogging mojo.

  4. I second the recommendation for The Things They Carried, it's so good! I feel like I've been in a writing/reading slump too. Watership Down is amazing too!

  5. I like your autumn reading list, all good reads and Tenant of Wildfell Hall is very readable and surprisingly modern in many respects. I have also been meaning to re-read Watership Down it was a favourite book back when I was in high school.
    For Vietnam how about the poetry of Ho Chi Minh I am sure their must be a good translation somewhere, I encountered the poetry at uni but I can't remember what the volume was called. Enjoy your trip and happy reading.

    1. Great tip about Ho Chi Minh's poetry thank you - I didn't even know that he wrote poetry :-)

  6. I loved both The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Stoner. Love the variety of books you have chosen to read as the days become cooler.

  7. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is one I want to read too. I haven't been posting much in this New Year because I've been so stinking busy. What an insane start to 2015.

  8. I just read Watership Down for the first time! It was pretty decent. I love The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (I cried!) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson is my favorite John Green book. I hope you enjoy them!! And have fun in Vietnam, that sounds amazing!!

  9. I need to read Watership Down and The Tennant- Anne is the only Bronte I have yet to tackle.I enjoyed Will Grayson, Will Grayson but it was not one of my favorite works by either author- although the humor was great! Have a safe and fun trip!

    Thanks for stopping by The Local Muse

  10. I think I'm at the 'when will summer be over' point now. The grape vine has started to turn red, it actually rained a tiny bit the other day (first time since January!)... soon, surely? Autumn in Adelaide is very pretty too; I think I almost prefer it to spring, as spring to me means that another summer is on its way.

    1. Yes, the Adelaide summers can be long & hot - you regularly top the weather report each night!

      But sadly Sydney doesn't really do autumn.
      My autumn pics in this post are from the Blue Mountains last weekend.

      I hope you get a cool change soon :-)


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