A new short to-read list

I’ve discovered a something interesting: If I have to choose a book from the many, many unread books on my shelves and Kindle, I have a hard time choosing. I get paralysed by choice. I dither. If on the other hand, I have to choose from a short selection of just ten or so books, it’s much easier.

So, I’ve started putting together short to-read lists. I noticed the effect late last year when I did Megan’s Semi-Charmed book challenge. I liked the challenge, but I found it a little overly prescribed. So, since then, I’ve been choosing ten books and just aiming for balance. I don’t want too many books of one genre, or with one set of themes. I don’t want too much non-fiction or two many books that are either super long or super short.

So far it’s worked pretty well. I tore through the list I made in January and didn’t do badly with the one I made in February either. As I write, I only have two books left from my February list. It took me longer to get through than the January one, obviously, and I think that was in part because of a couple of books I enjoyed less than I expected to, and also in part because I realised too late that it was less balanced in terms of themes than I’d planned. Ah well, we live and learn.

Anyway, it’s now time to come up with a new list. As with the others, it’s perfectly possible that something will come up that will disrupt my plans. Maybe I’ll just suddenly be absolutely desperate to read something off-list, or maybe I’ll be so slow at reading that I’ll need to bump a planned book in favour of an extra book club read. I’ll certainly not read them in order. Whatever, I do what I want. It’s just a guideline.

A new short to-read list
The list!

So, here’s what I’m thinking, bearing in mind that I probably need about two book club slots*:

  1. The Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh*
  2. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  3. Bodies are Where You Find Them by Brett Halliday
  4. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Feminity by Julia Serano
  5. Book club choice: Eleanor & Park
  6. Leave it to Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse
  7. Star of the Sea by Una McCormack
  8. Earth: The Power of the Planet by Iain Stewart and John Lynch
  9. Miss Marple Stories by Agatha Christie
  10. The Immortals by S. E. Lister*

There. Maybe slightly heavy on the sci-fi, I guess, but it’s not all sci-fi and there’s some nice low brow to balance the high and a little non-fiction to balance a lot of fiction. Oh, and a really good blend of older and more contemporary books. That should keep me happy for a couple of months, at least. There’s just something about making a list like this that puts me in a mood for reading. Now I can’t wait to get started!

What are you planning to read over the next few weeks and months? Do you like having a short to-read list to choose from or would you rather pick things more or less at random as they take you fancy? Let me know in the comments!


*Edit: This list has changed a bit. Partly because one of the book club choices was a book I’d already read (The Sellout by Paul Beatty), partly because while I thought I owned a copy of Lucky Jim it turns out that I actually don’t, and partly because I had some time off work which meant I could read books that are too heavy to tote about in my handbag.

As a result, the first book club choice got swapped for The Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh. Lucky Jim got swapped for The Immortals by S. E. Lister and I ended up reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchel and Decipher by Stel Pavlou before I finished my list. Oh, and I ran out of books while travelling and ended up reading The Devil Wears Prada because it was already on my Kindle. Ah well, I never promised perfection.

4 thoughts on “A new short to-read list

  1. Nice idea.
    My recent move gave me a new way to tackle this as I donated virtually all the books I’ve already read to charity. So I have one shelf with about 10-15 books on it to read. Once I’ve read one, it’ll get passed on or donated.
    (I also have a Kindle with about 40 unread books so the choice is still there if nothing on the shelf catches my eye).
    Moving forward, once I clear the ‘unreads’ I think I’ll try your method, as I get stuck that way too sometimes. It was part of the reason I like bookclub!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very impressed with your downsizing. I think I could get rid of clothes and other stuff but books would be a struggle.
      We missed you at book club last night! I’ll set up the next event soon 🙂


  2. So I just came across your blog while searching DnD. But have you read any of the Dungeon and Dragons books? I would recommend the Legend of Drizzt series. It’s a fast paced fun read, all while giving you some amazing information into the world of DnD.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome! And thanks for stopping by 🙂
      I haven’t read any of the DnD books yet, (although my group keep recommending them as well) mostly because I’m afraid that I’ll end up losing an entire week the moment I try one, but it’s on the to-do list! I’ll definitely look up Legend of Drizzt, so thanks for suggesting it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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