Top 5 books to read in 2018

Just like the start of 2017, I again have a list of books that I definitely want to read in the coming year! Unfortunately, I didn’t quite meet my goal last year, but 2018 will be the year I read the books that have been on my TBR for quite a while now!

5. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations, Dickens’ funny, frightening and tender portrayal of the orphan Pip’s journey of self-discovery, is one of his best-loved works. Showing how a young man’s life is transformed by a mysterious series of events – an encounter with an escaped prisoner; a visit to a black-hearted old woman and a beautiful girl; a fortune from a secret donor – Dickens’ late novel is a masterpiece of psychological and moral truth, and Pip among his greatest creations.

I actually had to read this book for uni last year, but I didn’t manage to finish in time (in other words: I only read about 100 pages and then quit because I thought it was boring). However, I really want to read and actually finish this book this year! Also because it’s part of the Rory Gilmore Reading challenge!

4. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s — 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.

I got this book from my Dad for my birthday two years ago, but I still haven’t read it. Maybe that’s because it’s 1000+ pages, but maybe also because I don’t really know what it’s about. I have now read two books by Murakami and loved both, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading this one!

3. The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel

This unforgettable odyssey into the distant past carries us back to the awesome mysteries of the exotic, primeval world of The Clan of the Cave Bear, and to Ayla, now grown into a beautiful and courageous young woman.

Cruelly cast out by the new leader of the ancient Clan that adopted her as a child, Ayla leaves those she loves behind and travels alone through a stark, open land filled with dangerous animals but few people, searching for the Others, tall and fair like herself. The short summer gives her little time to look, and when she finds a sheltered valley with a herd of hardy steppe horses, she decides to stay and prepare for the long glacial winter ahead. Living with the Clan has taught Ayla many skills but not real hunting. She finally knows she can survive when she traps a horse, which gives her meat and a warm pelt for the winter, but fate has bestowed a greater gift, an orphaned foal with whom she develops a unique kinship. One winter extends to more; she discovers a way to make fire more quickly and a wounded cave lion cub joins her unusual family, but her beloved animals don’t fulfill her restless need for human companionship. Then she hears the sound of a man screaming in pain. She saves tall, handsome Jondalar, who brings her a language to speak and an awakening of love and desire, but Ayla is torn between her fear of leaving her valley and her hope of living with her own kind.

Two years ago (or is it three already?) I read The Clan of the Cave Bear, the first book in the “Earth’s Children”s series. Maaaaaan, I love prehistoric stories – they are just so … magical. Somehow I still haven’t read the second book in the series, so I hope to do so in 2018!

2. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders—Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon—who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead…victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

Audacious, inventive, brilliantly imagined, A Clash of Kings is a novel of dazzling beauty and boundless enchantment;a tale of pure excitement you will never forget.

After quitting halfway through the TV series the first time around, I finally finished watching until the seventh season. This series is a masterpiece! I love it and can’t wait for the last season to come out! At the same time I’ll be quite sad that the series will be over, so I’ll be reading A Clash of Kings (the second book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series) in 2018 to enjoy the drama in Westerns a little longer!

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

‘Stronger than a man, simpler than a child, her nature stood alone.’ So Emily Brontë appeared in the eyes of her sister, Charlotte. Her one novel, Wuthering Heights, published a year before her death in 1848 at the age of thirty, similarly stands alone as perhaps the most passionately original work in the English language. This dark, unforgettable story of Catherine Earnshaw and the swarthy Heathcliff ‘is moorish, and wild, and knotty as a root of heath’, and Emily Brontë records the progress of their love with such truth, imagination, and emotional intensity that a plain tale of the Yorkshire moors acquires the depth and simplicity of ancient tragedy.

This book has been on my TBR for way too long. I think it’s now more than five years ago since I bought it in a secondhand bookstore, but I have never read it. I have tried, I really did, but it was still to difficult for me to read in English back then (I guess). Now that I’m a little older and have better understanding of English (and read tons of other English books) I think I’ll manage! This book is also on my January TBR, so I hope to cross it of this list soon!

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