January TBR

January TBR

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s the 1st of January 2016 which means that it’s time for my January TBR post.

This year I’m choosing a few books per month for my TBR. These will include 1 or 2 books from my re-read challenge, 1 book from my monthly prompt challenge, and 1 or 2 random books that I want/need to read. The rest of the books I read will be completely random.

Books I want/need to read:

Kraken by China Miéville

krakenWhat it’s about:

Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears?

For curator Billy Harrow it’s the start of a headlong pitch into a London of warring cults, surreal magic, apostates and assassins. It might just be that the creature he’s been preserving is more than a biological rarity: there are those who are sure it’s a god.

A god that someone is hoping will end the world.

The Monk by Matthew Lewis

The MonlWhat it’s about:

The Monk was so highly popular that it seemed to create an epoch in our literature’, wrote Sir Walter Scott.

Set in the sinister monastery of the Capuchins in Madrid, The Monk is a violent tale of ambition, murder, and incest. The great struggle between maintaining monastic vows and fulfilling personal ambitions leads its main character, the monk Ambrosio, to temptation and the breaking of his vows, then to sexual obsession and rape, and finally to murder in order to conceal his guilt.

Inspired by German horror romanticism and the work of Ann Radcliffe, Lewis produced his masterpiece at the age of nineteen. It contains many typical Gothic elements – seduction in a monastery, lustful monks, evil Abbesses, bandits and beautiful heroines. But, as the Introduction to this new edition shows, Lewis also played with convention, ranging from gruesome realism to social comedy, and even parodied the genre in which he was writing.

Metamorphoses by Ovid (Golding’s 1567 translation)

GoldingWhat it’s about:

Bringing together a series of ingeniously linked myths and legends, Ovid’s deliciously witty and poignant Metamorphoses describes a magical world in which men and women are transformed – often by love – into flowers, trees, animals, stones and stars.

First published in 1567, this landmark translation by Arthur Golding was the first major English edition of the epic, which includes such tales as the legend of Narcissus; the parable of Icarus; and the passion held by the witch-queen Circe for the great Aeneas. A compelling adaptation that used imagery familiar to English sixteenth-century society, it powerfully influenced Spenser, Shakespeare and the character of Elizabethan literature.

This month’s challenge: Read a book published before 1900

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (published 1794)

the mysteries of udolphoWhat it’s about: 

`Her present life appeared like the dream of a distempered imagination, or like one of those frightful fictions, in which the wild genius of the poets sometimes delighted. Rreflections brought only regret, and anticipation terror.’

Such is the state of mind in which Emily St. Aubuert – the orphaned heroine of Ann Radcliffe’s 1794 gothic Classic, The Mysteries of Udolpho – finds herself after Count Montoni, her evil guardian, imprisions her in his gloomy medieval fortress in the Appenines. Terror is the order of the day inside the walls of Udolpho, as Emily struggles against Montoni’s rapacious schemes and the threat of her own psychological disintegration.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneRe-read challenge:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

What it’s about:

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

What it’s about:

Harry Potter’s summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors – and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone . Dobby’s sinister predictions seem to be coming true.


I need to read The Mysteries of Udolpho, Metamorphoses, and The Monk for university so they’re my main priorities. I’m glad that The Mysteries of Udolpho fits with my prompt challenge for this month.

What are you planning to read in January?

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3 thoughts on “January TBR

    1. Ovid is great. One of my favourite classical writers 🙂 Along with Virgil.

      I’ve heard good things about Six of Crows but I don’t know if it’s a book that I’d enjoy. Happy reading!


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