Like many other book lovers, I have quite a large physical TBR pile just waiting to be read. I’m really trying to not buy more books until I have read more of the books I already own. Here are the ones I want to read the most and will hopefully get to soon.
This one people either tend to love or not really like, I want to read it to see which side I fall. Plus I really love the synopsis for it, people traveling to fantasy realms is always up my alley. It has been sat on my shelves for at least 6 months now and it isn’t that long so I really to get to it.
I read my first Murakami book in 2018 and oh boy, this book is now one of my favourites of all time! One of those books I feel everyone should read at least once. I’m not a huge re-reader (ok not a re-reader at all) but I will for sure be reading this book again in 2019, and probably once a year until I die to be honest. Please read it!
Most people who have read this book describe it as being an anime in book form, and that is pretty accurate. What a fun, emotional ride. Being a huge fan of Japanese culture and mythology I enjoyed this SO much. Great cast of diverse characters, good and evil and a giant monstrous centipede. The sequel comes out in 2019 and I can’t wait.
My first V. E. Schwab book and what a great introduction to an author. Self made super villains, switching timelines and great characters. This book challenges morality and the way we perceive what’s wrong or right. Who will you root for?
2018 was also a discovery of my new favourite author and I ended up reading the majority of his English translated work. Sound of waves in particular touched me and gave me all the feels, another one I will end up re-reading. I still have some of his books to read in 2019 but I’m savoring them like the precious gems that they are.
I feel like this was quite a popular book from 2018 and rightly so. It has a lot of trigger warnings for sexual abuse, violence and rape though. It also features a F/F romance and is written really well in my opinion. The sequel is out in 2019 and I will for sure be picking it up, this book leaves on a bit of a cliff hanger and I need to know how this plays out.
Another awesome Japanese author discovery for me, this book is made up of 11 short stories that all inter connect in some way and will leave you feeling CONFUSED, but in a good way. An excellent unique read and another that I would recommend everyone to read at least once.
I recently posted my review for this book but in summary, a VERY dark Alice in wonderland inspired story, set some years after the events of the original story. Trigger warnings for extreme violence and sexual abuse. Revisit all of the old Alice in Wonderland characters with a very evil twist.
Set in the future where all illnesses are cured, humans can live forever, no poverty or hunger issues. So how do they keep the population down? Random people get chosen to become Scythes and they get to pick and choose who dies, for good. Great read aside from the unneccessary romance.
A pleasant surprise, I went in to this thinking it would be more of a children’s book but I was WRONG and it was amazing. A school that children come to after they return from spending years in a different world. Loved the humor, characters and dark themes.
A great author debut from 2018. Multi perspective fantasy adventure trying to reclaim the magic that was taken from them very brutally. There is one character I didn’t really like and some insta love that didn’t make too much sense but over all a fun read. The sequel comes out in 2019.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
‘Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?‘
I’ve finally read it, and I’m glad I read The Assassin’s Blade first. I think Sarah’s writing and the characters keep me coming back for more as the plot is definitely questionable at times. Also some of Celaena’s decisions make me literally ask “Why?!” The ending of this book wasn’t what I was expecting and I found it a little disappointing. I’m still moving straight on to Crown of Midnight!
Sadie by Courtney Summers
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
‘Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.’
This was my first audio book experience as I’d heard such great things about it. It was very immersive as it features a full cast and half of the book is basically a podcast anyway. Triggers warnings for sexual assault, pedophilia, drug addiction and PTSD. Listening to this kept me firmly hanging on to the edge of my seat the whole time, although the ending wasn’t very satisfactory and I wish we got more of an answer. I found the representation in this regarding young victims of sexual assault to be very accurate and eye-opening and this book should be read by everyone. Monsters really do hide in plain sight.
The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
‘Niki Jumpei, an amateur entomologist, searches the scorching desert for beetles. As night falls he is forced to seek shelter in an eerie village, half-buried by huge sand dunes. He awakes to the terrifying realisation that the villagers have imprisoned him with a young woman at the bottom of a vast sand pit. Tricked into slavery and threatened with starvation if he does not work, Jumpei’s only chance is to shovel the ever-encroaching sand – or face an agonising death.‘
This was quite a wild ride. I picked this up to read as it is Pewdiepie’s book club pick of the month, and I love to read Japanese authors and I hadn’t read Kobo Abe before. This book made me hate sand. Sand now disgusts me and I’d be quite happy to never feel it again. Abe describes in such a way that you really feel Jumpei’s frustration and desperation. Some parts are sexually explicit and others are just disgusting. An interesting read but one I doubt I will be rereading in the future.
ALL BOOKS FEATURED IN THIS REVIEW WERE PURCHASED BY MYSELF.
This is my own personal list, reading Japanese authors earlier this year actually got me back into reading fiction on a regular basis so they really hold a special place in my heart. All of these books I gave 5 stars. If you haven’t read Japanese authors before, these are the ones I would really recommend giving a go. I still have a lot of books from each of these authors left to read so I will probably make more of these lists in the future. If you have any favourite Japanese authors or books that aren’t on this list, please feel free to leave me a recommendation in the comments and I will check it out.