I feel like most people have a TBR (to be read) shelf. In my case it’s a bookcase. A bookcase I ordered a year or so ago because I didn’t have any place to put all the books I was buying when traveling and it was the one piece of furniture that none of my apartments that I’ve lived in over the last 5 years seemed to come with. I put it together myself and nearly split the wood trying to twist a nail in properly. It’s flimsy and not the best quality but it’s done what I wanted it to do. It’s held my books during my stay in Korea.
That stay is quickly approaching its end. My contract ends at the end of February and I’ve got a lot of books to read before going home. I’ve allowed myself only a few books to keep. The rest I’ve got to read before I go. So let’s go through the list. What are the books? Where did I get them? Why are they on my TBR list?
How To Train Your Dragon series- This is my current small mountain. I found the first seven books at an Aladdin in Gangnam. It’s not the full series by Cressida Cowell since there seems to be at least 6 more. I’ve really enjoyed the movies and I picked them up excited to read more about the adventures of Hiccup and Toothless. I also figured these books would be good and spark interest with my old students. (see where do my books go).
Shopaholic series- I’ve grabbed a few of these after reading the first. While classics are a big part of the books I’ve read while living abroad, the second largest slice of the graph pie would have to be books where I’ve already seen the movie and am now very curious what the books are about. They’re also quite plentiful. I’ve already done this with the Princess Diaries series and like the previous section (HTTYD). In this case it’s because I didn’t realize there was a book. I read the first one awhile ago and enjoyed it so I’m curious about the next ones. I got these at Lagniappe.
Uglies Series- I borrowed these books from a friend who got them from an Aladdin. These books were all the rage when I was in middle school/ high school and I never got around to reading them. So I figure now’s my chance. Expect a review soon. When I’m done with them they’ll be returned to my friend who I don’t think got a chance to read them before she let me borrow them.
Sense and Sensibility– I picked this up in an underground bookstore in Taipei. I love Jane Austin and have only begun reading her books as part of my “classics are easy to find” part of living abroad. I’m looking forward to reading it, it’s also one of the few Jane Austin novels I have in actual paperback and not as an e-book.
Gilded– Do you ever get drawn to a book by its spine? That’s me in this case. I kept going past it on the hunt for specific books/series at an Aladdin and I kept getting drawn to it. Probably because it was in pristine condition which is rare for a used bookstore. Then I flipped it over and saw it was set in Korea and I dumped it into my stack of books and didn’t think twice about it.
Isle of the Lost– We’re back on that I saw the movie, oh hey there’s a book??? train. In this case I spotted the bright green cover of Isle of the Lost and then saw the Disney’s Descendants sticker on it second at an Aladdin and decided I had to grab it. I love the movies, I’m a sucker for musicals and Disney Original Films. Now if only I could find the rest of them. That’s probably the most recent book I’ve stumbled upon at an Aladdin that’s in English anyway.
Childhood’s End– This book I brought with me last time I went home. I brought a couple with me but I’ve been putting off reading it since a friend gave it to me to borrow in college. From my understanding it’s a dystopian science fiction story where some alien creature plays mind games with the people they capture. It’s a short and small book so I’m hoping to read it quickly and then maybe send it back to my friend?
Dragon Rider– I love books by Cornelia Funke. She’s probably most well known for her Inkheart series which the first one was made into a movie. But my favorite book by her is The Thief Lord. (Which also was made into a movie but it didn’t garner as much attention.) Dragon Rider is a book I’ve been wanting to read but haven’t gotten around to, but I found it at an Aladdin and figured it’d be a good book to donate to my old school library when I’m done with it.
Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too- This book is a graphic novel one of my friends suggested to me. She’s a psychiatrist without a ton of time to read and after my mother died she suggested it. It’s rare for her to suggest a book, so I put it on the top of my TBR list. I couldn’t find it in Korea and didn’t want to resort to buying it on my Kindle right away, so instead when I was in Singapore and at Kinokuniya with my friend at the Takashimaya mall we asked if they had it and they did. So it’s one of the books I bought while there.
Around the World in Eighty Days– Classics are just so much easier to find in Korea. I found Around the World in Eighty Days at an Aladdin. I read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne a short while ago and figured I might as well give another Jules Verne novel a try. I enjoyed the movie adaptations with Jackie Chan and Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure from when I was younger.
Demigods and Magicians and The Trials of Apollo – I love the series by Rick Riordan. Since I’ve read the Percy Jackson books and the Kane Chronicles this crossover has been on my list of books to read. I found it and the Burning Maze at an Aladdin. I read the first of The Trials of Apollo awhile ago and have been looking for the rest of them since. I found The Dark Prophecy at the Youngpoong Bookstore outside of Gangnam station exit 11.
The School of Good and Evil: A World Without Princess– I read the first book in this series on a whim when I found it at an Aladdin a couple years ago and loved it. I’m a sucker for a good YA fairy tale with a twist, especially ones set at schools. Found this recently at an Aladdin.
The Land of Stories– One of my college friends who lived in Korea for a couple years spent a couple years when Glee was at it’s heyday and after it became less popular as a huge fan of Chris Colfer. When he published his first book I keep finding interviews and posts about it (but surprisingly not about the content of the book) all over my various social media (because I followed her). So I figured when I saw it at Aladdin I’d give it a try.
All the Wrong Questions: “Who Could That Be at This Hour?”– I loved A Series of Unfortunate Events. When it first came out I never finished it (I have a weird thing about not wanting things to end). So when the Netflix adaptation came out I scoured different Aladdins to reread it and finish it so I could donate it to the school. I’ve been wanting to read other books by him for awhile and finally found one at an Aladdin.
Truckers– Another author I love. I love the books by Sir Terry Pratchett, so when I spotted this book which I didn’t recognize at an Aladdin I figured I’d give it a try.
The Alchemyst– I have this book at home. It’s in a bin of TBR books at my aunt’s house. Last time I went home she was adamant I get rid of as much of my stuff as possible. I remember seeing this book but not whether or not I put it in the donate pile. So I figure I’d give it a quick read before going home to hopefully feel less bad about it in case it is gone when I get back. I found it at Aladdin (Hi, yes I’m addicted to this store. No regrets, especially when it’s like $1.)
Pumpkinheads– I’ve been seeing a lot of this on my twitter feed for awhile and have been wanting to read it since I like Rainbow Rowell’s other works. I have another I think saved on Audible, waiting for me. When I was in Canada for an insanely short trip recently I saw this book in one of the airport shops and decided to get it.
After the Downfall– This is one of the books I’m concerned I won’t get to. This book has been on my TBR list since my freshman year of college. Not due to content or liking the author. I haven’t a clue what it’s about actually. My freshman year of college was around when Borders was closing all it’s locations. So a bunch of friends and I went to a huge one on State Street (which is now an Old Navy) and bought a ton of books at a huge discount. This is one of the books I bought. I grabbed it because I thought the cover was hilarious. It’s a military person on the back of a unicorn and I had to know what it was about. (Though now that I look at it the guy has some Nazi vibes which is concerning.) However due to its insane density it keeps sinking to the bottom of my TBR list, like a rock. I will be insanely pleased if I manage to read this book before going home. I do not want to take it back with me. I brought it with me because I figured it was long enough to tide me over until I could get more books, but I found more books quicker then I got around to it.
Where the Rainbow Touches the Ground– The first time I went home my sisters planned for us to all go to Kentucky as a family vacation. My eldest sister has an arguably worse book problem then I do, and whenever we’re traveling she cannot pass up any bookstore. So we ended up in Frankfort at an indie bookstore called Poor Richard’s Books , the second floor of which was filled to the absolute brim with antique books. It wasn’t well lit, it was dusty and dirty and there was very little organization. My sister braved her allergies and I wandered around with her searching the stacks for anything of interest. I found a few, all but this one that I put back. I don’t have a clue what it’s about but it’s incredibly old and I’m very curious.