MyFutureSelf ~ Reading Part 1

TheCompleteSetWhen I posted about the focus I was making on My Future Self, I didn’t really have much of anything concrete to say about how I’d focus my mind as it came to my reading life. I’ve since given it a good deal of thought. What would make me happy and fulfilled as a reader both in 2013 and to come. While I read quite a bit more than ever last year, I can’t say that I was entirely satisfied. Both the pacing and the volume of review copies simply isn’t sustainable for me going forward. It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy a great many of those books. I did. Something or several somethings were missing. One such thing was not gaining any traction on two of the series I’ve enjoyed in the past and one I’ve wanted to start.

Maisie Dobbs Series: I’ve read the first two books in Jacqueline Winspear’s series about a plucky young woman who users her powers of observation and knowledge of psychology to investigate and solve mysteries in post WWI England. I love Maisie Dobbs. The 10th novel in this series will be published in March of this year. I have no illusions about catching up before Leaving Everything Most Loved, but my intention is to be caught up by the end of the year. In fact, I just started Pardonable Lies yesterday.

The Good Thief’s Guide Series: I love Chris Ewan and I’m so glad that Simon Vance has been chosen to narrate his audiobooks because I fear his work would have passed under my radar had he not been. Again, I’ve read the first two books in the series and adore Charlie Howard for his wry humor and endearing malfeasance. The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin will be published this year, but I hope to hit Vegas and Venice first.

Bess Crawford Series: This series, written by the mother and son team of Charles Todd, is the one I’ve yet to start. I met the authors at the Harper party during BEA and they were charming. I was lucky to purchase inexpensive eBook versions of the first two books in the series and I’m aching to get started. Bess Crawford is a nurse serving in France during WWI. I am hoping that this series will make an interesting counterpart to Maisie Dobbs. There are four books in this series and I hope to read them all before the next book is published.

I am still stewing on a few other focus areas when it comes to my reading life, but as one of my main reading objectives this year I’m embarking on a mission to read The Complete Set.

Have you set out to focus on anything new or different in your reading this year or are you happy with the mix of books you’re reading? I’d love to hear what is keeping you reading this year.


  • At 2013.01.14 06:08, Beth F said:

    I usually just wing it. LOL.

    • At 2013.01.14 12:19, Jennifer said:

      I have been a wing it kind of person in the past. I feel like I got lost last year, though. We’ll see how setting some targets works. I’m hoping that it will be fun.

    • At 2013.01.14 09:16, Jennifer said:

      I have a whole new philosophy this year and that is to read WHATEVER I WANT, WHENEVER I WANT 🙂 It’s liberating and I’m loving it so far! I’m only doing one challenge (A TBR challenge from Adam @ Roof Beam Reader) because I want a stress-free and pressure-free year of reading. So far it’s been fantastic!

      • At 2013.01.14 12:21, Jennifer said:

        In a way, picking up these series feels like reading what I want when I want. I have a couple other strategic reading projects I’ll be defining this month. I’m hoping that combined I’ll have the effect you’re talking about. I know you’re having a great time with your reading. I signed up for Adam’s challenge last year and failed miserably. Here’s hoping that I can play along from the sidelines and succeed.

      • At 2013.01.14 10:13, Julie Merilatt said:

        I read the most recent Bess Crawford book without having read any of the others and enjoyed it. She’s a strong character…

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        • At 2013.01.14 12:24, Jennifer said:

          Have you read any of the Maisie Dobbs books? I’m wondering if I’m going to find myself praying for a Maisie/Bess mashup?

          • At 2013.01.15 09:04, Julie Merilatt said:

            Have not read Masisie…

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        • At 2013.01.14 11:56, Sandy said:

          Yeah I am kind of a wing-it kind of person too. The “commitments” (book clubs, review copies, etc.) can sometimes get me down because I feel like that is all I’m reading. What about the ones that I just want to read, BECAUSE? I’ve cut way back on review copies by the way, but I’m such a slow print reader that it is sometimes still overwhelming. I really need to do a little research into this Good Thief series. I’m wondering if my library has them on audio…

          • At 2013.01.14 12:30, Jennifer said:

            I know what you mean about the review copies. Finding balance is important and when it’s out of whack, I only have myself to blame. I haven’t accepted any since the New Year and am not accepting any until May. As May gets closer, I may push that back a little. I’ve got other plans I’m going to add to this as well and that will keep me busy. Still, I’d like to keep at least one toe into the new releases. There are some magnificent things. If I’ve learned anything over the years, though, is that magnificent books will always be magnificent, even if you read them years later.

            I think you’d love The Good Thief’s Guide series. It’s just plain fun.

          • At 2013.01.14 13:10, bermudaonion(Kathy) said:

            Whatever’s new and shiny usually gets my attention. I quit planning because it never works for me.

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            • At 2013.01.14 19:47, Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis said:

              I’ve read both the Maisie Dobbs series and the Bess Crawford series – and have The Good Thief’s Guide books on my wish list. If you liked the first 2 Maisie Dobbs books, you’ll no doubt love the series. What I particularly like is Maisie’s development. http://www.exurbanis.com/archives/7192#elegy

              I think you’ll enjoy the Bess Crawford series as well although, for some reason, she doesn’t feel quite as ‘complex’ as Maisie.

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              • At 2013.01.14 20:03, Donna said:

                I love the Maisie Dobbs series. Be sure to read them in order. An interesting comparison is to read Agatha Christie or one of the other authors from the same period and look at how they describe post-WWI life as compared to how Winspear does it. Life is much more “real” in Maisie’s world. Christie, et al. seem to want to put the war and all of Britain’s troubles after the war behind them and don’t deal with such things as the labor movement, women’s suffrage, PTSD and wounded soldiers, etc. I hope you enjoy Maisie; I will look up Bess Crawford and start reading that series.

                • At 2013.01.15 10:09, Sheila (Book Journey) said:

                  Have fun! Series kind of freak me out because I love reading all over the board. Some day though there are a few series I want to tackle 🙂

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                  • At 2013.01.15 16:59, Teresa said:

                    I have the Bess Crawford on my TBR list. I”m looking forward to checking it out.

                    • At 2013.01.15 21:11, Kailana said:

                      Two thumbs up for Maisie Dobbs and Charles Todd!!!

                      • At 2013.01.28 19:39, Diane Challenor said:

                        Thank you for introducing me to Maisie Dobbs and Bess Crawford. Good reads! I’ve also, recently discovered the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths, it’s really good too.

                        • At 2013.02.06 19:54, Stacey B. said:

                          This was a serendipitous find for me! In 2013 I have vowed to read more series! trilogies! I need more stories that seem to continue and continue 🙂 Thank you for sharing these recommendations with me! The series that began this quest of mine was The Look to the Future Series by author Mary Metcalfe (http://www.lakefrontmuse.ca/). The books are “Winds of Change” “New Beginnings” and “Road to Tomorrow.” Mary Metcalfe’s writing can be compared to authors Nora Roberts and Jodi Picoult. They are all stories about second chances, dealing with loss and starting over again and allowing love and happiness into your life! I think all of her characters are easy to relate to, flawed, and loveable. I am all about books with strong female characters who I want to see succeed! I feel there are so many books out there for women that feature characters that I pity or feel bad for (no thanks!). I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!!

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