2016 To-Read List. Part One

I am a book lover, but also a mother (full-time job, isn’t it? 🙂 ), and therefore unable to read as much as I wish I could. And yet, I can’t imagine my evenings without a book. Sometimes I can only manage a few pages, but it is still there, the joy of reading – the sweet scent of paper, the rustle of pages just read, the tranquility of your mind while switching off and giving way to another reality… Reading the old way is old-fashioned? I don’t think so. And frankly, I don’t think I’ll ever buy any electronic device to replace the paper version of a book. Even if it is as heavy as The Count of Monte Cristo I’ll have to put in my handbag. Oops, I always talk too much when books are the subject. This won’t be about reading and new technologies. 🙂

This will be about my to-read list of books for 2016, but I must warn you, you won’t see new titles only:

  1. Mightier than the sword, vol. 5 of The Clifton Chronicles, by Jeffrey Archer.

Now I am about to finish Be Careful What You Wish For, vol. 4 of the Clifton saga, so I will start the New Year with vol. 5. I know, it’s a shame being so late with both, since they were published 2014 and the beginning of 2015, respectively, and I am such a massive fan of Sir Archer and his works (I even devoted an MA thesis to three of his novels). But as I said, I can read less than before; and besides, Dumas, Jane Austen, and some others were also in the list for 2015. 🙂  If you haven’t read any of the volumes, let me recommend all of them: Only Time Will Tell (2011), The Sins of the Father (2012), Best Kept Secret (2013) and the other two as well. And if you haven’t read Jeffrey Archer at all, please try him. Of course, it depends on the genre one prefers, but I am pretty sure you will like Archer’s stories. The Mail on Sunday hasn’t described him by accident as “probably the greatest storyteller of our age”.


  1. Cometh the Hour, vol. 6 of The Clifton Chronicles, by Jeffrey Archer.

The sixth book is coming on 25th February 2016 and I can’t wait to have it. The story of the Cliftons and the Barringtons continues, the story of generations. I promise to share my overall opinion once I have read all the novels (it is said to be a seven-volume saga).

  1. Persuasion by Jane Austen.

2007 Edition by Vintage. Picture by Goodreads.com

I love Jane Austen. And Persuasion is the last of her novels I haven’t read yet. I could have read it before of course, but for some reason, I wanted to prolong the pleasure of discovering more of Jane Austen. Brilliant style of writing! So far, I think Emma is her best work (and this is what critics say too, see Devoney Looser’s article), but it is not a final conclusion. 🙂

  1. My Name is Mahtob by Mahtob Mahmoody.

Picture by Goodreads.com

First published on 1st December 2015, the book comes as a continuation of Betty Mahmoody’s Not Without My Daughter. More than 20 years later the daughter tells her story. I have read Not Without My Daughter at least twice (and I almost never reread a book), so there is no way to miss Mahtob’s novel. However, recently I have found out that Sayed Mahmoody has also written a book, and I am interested to see the viewpoint of the father, originally depicted as an unscrupulous monster. This makes another must-read – Lost Without My Daughter (2013) by Sayed Mahmoody.

  1. The Sultan’s Wife by Jane Johnson.

Bulgarian cover of The Sultan’s Wife. Picture by Colibri.bg

Published 2012, this novel undoubtedly attracted my attention. I have always been interested in stories about Arab princesses, Sultans’ harems, the magnificence and darkness behind the walls, and the place of women in Muslim societies. I am enchanted by this world of beauty and mysteriousness, the brilliance and abundance of jewels and finest fabrics, I love the richness of cultures and traditions; but on the other hand, there is so much I can’t understand. I guess, it is one of those things human mind admires and rejects at the same time. So I am quite curious about The Sultan’s Wife.

  1. The Devlin Diary (2009) by Christi Phillips.

Picture by Goodreads.com

Another book that I believe is worth reading and, unfortunately, I have been putting in ‘the waiting list’ for some time. After The Rossetti Letter (2007), the author’s debut, where Claire Donovan and Cambridge professor Andrew Kent delve into the mysterious story of a Venetian courtesan, let’s see what the two historians will be up to this time. Apparently, once again there will be past and present, secrets and murders, and the diary of a Hannah Devlin. Seventeenth-century London and the dark side of history? It sounds good indeed.

To be continued… 🙂

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