Ten Books I Plan to Read in 2017

My last post like this was all the way back in 2015, and it’s funny because I still haven’t read most of those books. But this year will be different, I say, for the fourth year in a row.

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1) The Winds of Winter, by George R. R. Martin.

That’s right, I’m calling it. This book will be published this year. I know I said this last year and the the year before that, but I mean it this time. I mean, he has to finish it eventually, right?

Right?

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What a boring cover

2) Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

I pick this book because it’s short, it’s supposed to be great, as well as an easy read. That’s what I love about YA books: they’re all quick to read, even when they’re bad. Plus, Emma Watson was in the movie adaptation, and come to think of it, I haven’t seen her act in anything since Harry Potter, so I hope to watch it after finishing this. 

Image result for extremely loud and incredibly close3) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathon Safran Foer

I remember seeing the trailer to this movie and thinking, “I don’t know what this is about, but I like it.” I never got to see to see the movie, but I heard the reviews for both it and the book were very divisive. It was either the most beautiful, heartwarming novel you’ve ever read, or a three hundred page piece of trash that belongs in the depths of hell.

I will get to decide which it is.

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4) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Fun fact, I actually read the first fifty pages or so, and found it fascinating. Sure, the main character was kind of a jerk to his friend, but I assume he’ll grow out of that. Plus I really want to learn more about the history of the middle east. The gist of what I know is this: Afghanistan got fucked over real bad in the 1970s, and I’m pretty sure the Russians were responsible, because the Russians are sort of awful like that. Although I’m sure the U.S. was also at fault in one way or another, because at one point in the novel Henry Kissinger was mentioned, and that guy’s famous for being a bit of a war criminal. Either way, I doubt this book has a happy ending.

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5) The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

I also read about 80 pages into this book, and I loved every moment of it. Although I do find it kind of arrogant of the author to just ignore the rules of punctuation. “Pff, I don’t need commas or quotation marks,” I can imagine him thinking. “My story is just that powerful.

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6) Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King

I know, I know. It’s been over three years and I still haven’t read this book. However, I recently started getting back into King’s Dark Tower series, after putting it aside for a long time, so I think I’m ready to go back into his work. 

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7) The Price of Salt, by Patricia Highsmith

It’s a romance novel about two lesbians in the fifties, which was recommended to me by Engie from Musings from Neville’s Navel. While I wasn’t a fan of The Maze Runner, I do tend to love most of the books she recommends me. Like A Game of Thrones, or Between the World and Me, or The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Or V for Vendetta.

So intend to get around to reading this book, and the pages will be soaked with my heart-shaped tears.

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8) Life, the Universe, and Everything, by Douglas Adams

This is the third book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and if it’s half as funny as the first two, I will be in for a good time. 

Seriously, though. You know how rare it is for me to laugh out loud when reading a book? Usually I just smile, or exhale out of my nose, but Adams sends me into fits. And then I find myself thinking about scenes from the books months afterwards and I crack up again, and then I have to explain to people why I just started laughing for seemingly no reason.

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9) I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson.

I remember seeing the Will Smith movie adaptation for this, and thinking, “meh, seven out of ten.” But apparently the book is completely different? Also, the book is currently sitting on a shelf in my basement, and no one knows how it got there, which adds quite a bit to its mystique.

10) Maggie Stiefvater’s new book, whatever it is.

Stiefvater’s become one of those authors whose books I would immediately buy the moment they were released. Other authors include John Green, Markus Zusak, George R. R. Martin, and Suzanne Collins. If any of them publish a new book this year, I guarantee I’ll be buying it, no matter what the circumstances.


So what are you planning to read this year? And if you’ve read any of the novels above, feel free to share your (non-spoilery) thoughts. Oh, and Happy New Year!

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10 Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

“But Matt!” you say. “It’s eighteen days into the new year, and you’re only just now writing this post?”

Well in my defense, I was busy. Also, it was cold outside, and I was distracted by the lack of snow.

Well, here it goes.

1) Ski Club!

Fun fact: I have not actually been to a mountain yet this year, in part due to the complete and utter lack of snow so far. Thanks a lot, El Niño!

“My bad.”–Current El Nino

But hopefully they’ll be at least a little bit of snow soon, and I’ll be able to finally complete my transformation into the next Shawn White.

2) Finally getting to read The Winds of Winter

Is it considered a jinx if I just assume that the next book in A Song of Ice and Fire will be released this year? Well too bad, because if I don’t tell myself that, I will have to cry. And I am one ugly crier, I’ll tell you that. 

Oh, and is anyone willing to bet on the release date? Because my money’s on August 19th.

3) The completion of The Raven Cycle, by Maggie Stiefvater.

I can hear some of you saying things along the lines of, “But I haven’t read these books, so I can’t relate!” To which I say, “Well, you should probably get on that, real quick.”

Poot, Bodie, D’Angelo and Wallace are on a quest to find a mythical welsh king.

These books are magical, and they sort of remind me of HBO’s The Wire, which may seem ridiculous to anyone who’s seen The Wire and has read these books, but hear me out: the pacing, man. Maggie’s pacing in the first three books, at least, is so similar to the pacing of any season of The Wire (particularly seasons 1, 3, and 5), in that it’s extremely patient, and the moment you start to feel like not much is happening, everything starts happening at once, in a way that doesn’t seem rushed at all. The way both stories build momentum is nothing short of stunning. 

4) A Plethora of TV shows.

Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Veep, The Walking Dead, possibly The Leftovers, all are coming back this year, and it’s going to be awesome. (Well, except for maybe the Walking Dead, but I’ll be watching it either way.) 

There’s also a TV adaptation of Stephen King’s time travel novel 11/23/63, starring James Motherfucking Franco, so that should be cool. 

I’m also hoping for a mini-series based on Stephen King’s It and The Stand, but that’s probably not going to happen. 

5) Finally finding out if those colleges accepted me or not.

I’ve gotten one acceptance letter so far, and another one didn’t decline me, but they instead put me on a waiting list. So that leaves three colleges of whom I shall patiently wait for a reply. 

This patient waiting has so far consisted of staying within view of my mailbox from 11 to 3 every day, and rushing outside the moment I see the mailman show up. I then open up said mailbox, only to be disappointed by the lack of large envelopes inside. 

Look at all these happy white people.

6) College!

I choose to believe that college is nothing but nonstop drugs, sex, and partying, and will continue to think of it as such until I actually get there, where I will promptly discover that I was ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CORRRRREEECT! (#ooorah)

I know you can’t see me right now, but rest assured that I am currently fist-pumping in the air as hard as I can. And now I’m chugging an entire bottle of vodka, just to prepare myself for the binge-drinking that will be required of me in several months. Where did I get this vodka? I don’t remember, but it tastes like what mouth wash would’ve tasted like had it been mixed in hand sanitizer first.

Bernie wins the election for this look alone.

7) The Presidential Election.

I’ll be eligible to vote for the first time this year, and I definitely will, mostly because well, why would anyone not vote if given the chance? 

I haven’t watched any of the GOP debates. Well, I have, but I had to stop after just a little bit, because I was getting some serious 1984 vibes from it, and it was unnerving. The last democratic debate (basically, the only one I’ve watched in full), was a lot more bearable, although holy shit guys, the moderators had such an obvious bias against Martin O’Malley, it was just plain sad. (Why let the guy on stage at all if you’re not going to let him speak?) 

8) A spacecraft is totally going to land on Jupiter.

Fun fact: NASA has released a spacecraft that is set to land in that giant-ass planet in July, so that’s pretty cool.

And you should know that the fact that I’m now listing things that have no effect on me means that I am out of ideas, and am completely phoning in the last three bullet points.

9) The Summer Olympics!

I’mma be honest. I’d forgotten that the Olympics were even a thing that exists, but now that I’m reminded of it, I couldn’t be more pumped. Is Michael Phelps going to compete again? Will Usain Bolt run super duper fast this time or just super fast? Will anyone actually watch the golf tournament? Only time will tell.

10) The Super Bowl

Was it just me, or were last year’s advertisements for the super bowl really, really bad? I remember thinking, “Come on Coke. Come on Bud Light, Doritos, Ford, etc.. You spend millions of dollars per second on these ads and this is the best you could do? I’m disappointed. You all disgust me.”

Hopefully those companies will actually put some goddamn effort in this time.

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Well, that’s all I could think of. How do you feel about this list? What are you looking forward to this year? Also, am I a terrible person, or is this GoDaddy commercial not the funniest thing ever? It was withdrawn from the Superbowl due to OUTRAGE and to be honest, I don’t really get why it’s so offensive. It’s shocking, definitely, but much better than the obvious sexism shown in all their other commercials.

Oh well. Maybe I am just a terrible person.

Totally forgot to mention this . . .

I recently did a collaborative review with Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel, for the Doctor Who episode: “The Witch’s Familiar.” 

But Matt! That episode came out over a week ago, and the review itself came out five days ago. 

Yeah, well too bad. You should all go over and comment on it anyway, and then maybe check the rest of the blog out. Then you should go take that Sarcastic vs. Genuine quiz I did a few days ago, because c’mon, guys, I need more participants. 

In completely, one hundred percent related note, last night I had a dream that a release date for The Winds of Winter was announced, and then just twenty minutes ago I found myself questioning whether that had actually happened. It didn’t.

Needless to say, I’m disappointed.

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“Life is meaningless and full of pain.”—-George R. R. Martin.