New Year's Reading Resolution

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With all the New Year’s Resolutions flying around out there like mosquitos at a Louisiana Crawfish Boil, I thought I’d let you in on one of my resolutions. It’s not to get in shape or workout more or eat healthier (all worthy things which I try to do regardless of the calendar dates). Rather, this resolution is all about reading. I guess you could call it my New Year’s Reading Resolution. (It’s an enjoyable alliteration, no?) 

Each year I set myself a goal of the number of books I wish to read by December. Last year, I committed to reading 40 books. I’m not a very fast reader, I’m just committed. So, while there are those of you out there who can read several books within a week (a feat to which I bow in deference), I am satisfied if I can read a book a week. I hate the idea of pressure and stress detracting from one of my most enjoyable past times, so I don’t feel the need to set too lofty a reading goal. For 2018, I’m setting that goal at 45 books; if I meet it and stack a few more on, mores the better. 

This year, I have a couple of titles which I am very excited to stack on that pile of 45. Here are a few that have me positively percolating with anticipation.

The English Wife by Lauren Willig


This title does not come out until the 9th of January, but I must confess that I’ve been anticipating its arrival for many months. I am a huge Willig fan, having discovered her Pink Carnation Series many moons ago. She’s a great lover of the Scarlet Pimpernel, and her Pink Carnation Series is a wonderful homage to the Baroness’ works (see more about the Scarlet and the Pink here). This novel is one of her stand alones, but I have enjoyed every single one of those as well. 

And, speaking of the Scarlet Pimpernel, I have just discovered another salute to his elusive self. 

Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt

I’ve never read anything by Ms. Pratt, but I must confess to being inordinately excited about the prospect of encountering the Scarlet Pimpernel plot laid out in modern times. Oh my word, what will she do with him. Not to mention Marguerite. I’m rather excited to see how Pratt develops Sir Percy’s wife. Will she even be his wife? Or is matrimony too old-fashioned for the spy world of today? Sometimes I wonder…

The English Wife is not the only new release which I am eager to gobble up. There are three more I'm excited to see hit the shelves in 2018.

A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn


Raybourn is one of the best. It’s that simple. Whether you prefer her Lady Julia Gray series or her Veronica Speedwell series, the fact remains, you’ll be hard pressed to encounter such a proficient and worthy writer. I’m so confident in her acumen to deliver a well crafted story that I don’t even second guess it anymore, I pre-order all her books at my local books store (shout out to Parnassus Books in Nashville). This one comes out in mid-January with the added boon of having the author herself come to Parnassus Books for a meet and greet. (2018 is shaping up beautifully.) For more about Deanna Raybourn, see this post here and here

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams


Anything Williams writes also goes automatically to my pre-order list. This novel has me on tenterhooks of excitement, though, as she was so generous as to let me in on the plot line of it early on when I got to meet and chat with her for my birthday in Brooklyn. Not only are Beatriz’s novels delicious and full of poignant soul and tender love, the woman herself is kindness itself, not to mention a very classy woman with exceptional taste in music. (She’s a great lover of opera; see post here.) Alas, I shall have to wait until July for this book to make it into my hands. That’s all right, though, as I do have to play catch up with A Certain Age, The Wicked City, and Cocoa Beach. I suppose all those titles could be added to the 2018 TBR pile. Read about another one of my favorites by Beatriz here and here.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

While I do have catch up to play with some of St. James’ books, too, I’m excited about this one’s release in March. I figure I can read through the two I have left of hers before that month rolls in. I do tend to read more diligently in the colder months when the sun insists on setting at 430 P.M. St. James specializes in books that have a supernatural, somewhat horrific or frightening aspect to their plots. Her women are intrepid and her storylines are gripping to the period. 

Then there are the novels which have been published for a year or a few years or are actually classics I haven’t gotten around to yet. 

The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis

I don’t know how I missed out on these books. The Chronicles of Narnia have been my old friends for many, many years. However, it was not until last year that I learned of the C.S. Lewis’ foray into outer space with The Space Trilogy. So, without knowing a thing about Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, or That Hideous Strength, other than their authorship, they are on my 2018 TBR list. Besides, I'm starting to try and branch out from my ordinary reading roads. Space sci-fi is definitely out of my box. 

Beatrice and Benedick by Marina Fiorato 


This novel explores the previous relationship hinted at in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. As I will be teaching that play coming up in the next few months, I think it would be fun to see someone’s take on their early interaction and what happened to lead to all the bitterness between them. Furthermore, I plan on reading this one to see if it would be something fun to assign my student for extra-curricular reading. It does qualify at Young Adult Fiction, so it might be right up her alley. 

And, finally, as recommended by one of my readers, Susan:

Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman


I have never read anything by Goodman, although I have seen her books at the library frequently. However, Susan recommended her to me with the highest of praise and considering that Susan has exceptional taste in the books that she reads, I don’t need more encouragement than that. This particular plot line looked really intriguing. I love a little intrigue set to a backdrop of secrets with a dash of folklore for fun. Throw in a suspicious death, and it's reading catnip for me, and with six cats, I know all about catnip and it's feline allure. 


There is an honorable mention. Karen White, Lauren Willig, and Beatriz Williams, otherwise known as the Three W’s (WWW), have collaborated together for their second offering. As yet, it is unnamed, although Lauren Willig told me that I should keep my eyes peeled for a cover/title reveal in the next month or two. As The Forgotten Room was spectacular, I’m sure this one will be fabulous as well. {I’ve heard tell it has to do with the Lusitania, for all you history buffs out there.}

So, dear reader, what is your New Year’s Reading Resolution? Are there any books that you are particularly excited to crack open this coming year?