Monday, 13 March 2017

Shopping My Shelves (and giving away books!)

Hey people, it's been a while... I've been having a wonderful time reading whatever I want and having very low commitments blog-wise. It's making my brain feel better I think - either that or just leaving me more room to be anxious about other stuff!

Either way I reorganised my books the other day during a fit of wanting to hide from the world. They're now shelved by publisher, which is pretty much the only way I've never shelved them before and it means they no longer fit on my (two bookcases worth of) shelves! When I was going through them though I realised, as you do, that I'd forgotten I had a lot of them and while I've done a pretty good job of passing on things I know I'll never get around to, I thought a fun thing to do might be to go through them in a bit more depth. Cue a new thing I'll be doing over on my Instagram: Shopping my Shelves. 

Each day (or sporadically, depending how ingrained this becomes) I'll post a picture of a book chosen at random from my shelves of unread books, plus the blurb and a little on where I acquired it/how long I've had it for and a summary of whether I'm going to add it to my pile of books to get to immediately, put it back on my shelves for eventual reading, or pass it on! If it's a book that's being passed on, you dear friends and readers will be able to request it. I'll send one parcel a month for free (up to 2kg - 2-3 books) to a UK person, and other than that you can just cover postage & I'll send you books. I do this fairly often on twitter, but I thought this would be really fun, give me something to post on Instagram rather than just pictures of my lunch, and enable me to share even more bookish love with you lovely people.

Hopefully I'll also make you aware of some brilliant books in the process. If you're not already following me do come and say hi! I'll be using #shoppingmyshelves and will have a page here on the blog for books currently on offer. Look out for the first post this evening!

For reference purposes, here's what my bookshelves of unread books look like:

There are between 300 - 400 books pictured. I have a lot of books. I do not need any more books. I will undoubtedly get more books. We are so far failing absolutely on the spending freeze front, but we are becoming way more mindful of what we're spending and why and I hope this exercise will help more with my book buying! Wish me luck!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

London Bookshop Crawl 2017

Where to start with this post? If you've been around the blog for a while you'll have seen that the bookshop crawl I started last year to brighten up February, support bookshops and meet fellow book lovers got a lot bigger this year. Because of that I've been busy madly co-ordinating everything and organising groups and haven't had time to worry about how it was actually all going to work. As we got closer to Saturday I found myself getting a bit apprehensive...

However Saturday morning hit and we headed out to Foyles, the meeting point for the people who were in the four groups we ran during the day. Many other people took part in the crawl across London and it was amazing seeing tweets of where they'd been and all the bookshop love going on - one of my favourite things about the day!

We were a little late to Foyles due to some train/breakfast issues so lots of people were already there when I arrived - some familiar faces and a lot of new ones. If you were feeling overwhelmed I was totally there with you! It was lovely to meet so many people though, and we spent a little while chatting and handing out books (some of us had posted books we wanted to rehome on social media beforehand so it was fun to put faces to names and make some shelf space all at once) and the tote bags we'd had printed for the day.

Rhys and I were leading group 3 and headed off to Orbital Comics. Personally I love and adore Orbital, and they were giving away free comics to bookshop crawlers which was amazing. Rhys got Doctor Strange and I picked up volume one of March by John Lewis which was recommended to me by Elena (and many others). I've actually already finished it and it's just as brilliant as everyone says it is - I highly recommend it! I'm not sure there were a huge number of comics fans in our group, and so we thought it would be good to split up, as our second stop according to the itinerary was Gosh! Comics.

Rhys took most of the group off to Oxfam Books in Bloomsbury where they were given free chocolate and badges and generally seem to have had a whale of a time! Katie, myself and Jane (who it was awesome to finally meet after a while of Ninja Swapping and chatting online) headed off towards Gosh where we found Katheryn, Hanna, Charlotte and Laura (and Peter). This was particularly exciting for me since I last saw Charlotte and Hanna three years ago, before Sam was born, and we've been trying to meet up again ever since! I think I did a good job of creeping up on them and generally involving myself in conversations that didn't involve me, whilst accusing them of bitching about us. Excellent friend, me.

Anyway, at Gosh I decided to theme my comics buying for the day and got volume 2 of March. I'm slightly kicking myself now for not having bought volume 3 as well, but never mind! I've never been to Gosh before and I'll definitely be going back - I loved the layout as the upstairs is laid out much more like a bookshop than other comic shops I've been to, and I found it really easy to browse. Their selection was awesome and the staff were great - the 10% discount for bookshop crawlers helped too!

After we'd rounded up all the people we were supposed to have we made our way over to Persephone. After a couple of minor mishaps (we got split up from a couple of people but found them again at the other end) we finally made it, to find the rest of our group had already finished! Agreeing to meet them at Blackwells we went for a browse. I love Persephone books. They're a small (teeny) bookshop with a publishing house in the back and they publish books by forgotten writers, mostly women. I've yet to read a Persephone book I didn't like so my choices this year were mostly random. Taking advantage of the 3 for £30 offer (they're usually £12 per book) I grabbed High Wages by Dorothy Whipple, because I bought and adored They Were Sisters on last years' crawl, William - an Englishman by Cicely Hamilton, because it's Persephone Book 1, and Miss Buncle's Book by D.E Stevenson.

The last stop before lunch was Blackwells, where I picked up Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta, with some encouragement from Jane! Those of us who'd met last year, plus a few people I was particularly looking forward to meeting, met up for lunch at Pizza Express. It was really nice to chat with everyone and have a little bit of time off from being in charge of everything!

After lunch we embarked on my big mistake of the day. Our next stop was Libreria, which is a really cool little bookshop - really quirky, beautifully and very cleverly designed, but absolutely miles away from the rest of the crawl route and really not big enough for a group! I grabbed The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan which I'd heard good things about, and we were on our way over to Word on the Water.

This was the stop most people were most excited about I think. It's a bookshop on a barge in the Regents Canal and it's amazing. They had a great selection of second hand books, live jazz and a really lovely owner who gave me a book (Bookshops by Jorge Carrion) as a thankyou for organising the crawl and generally enthused about how brilliant it all was so much that it really reminded me why I was doing it in the first place. Independent bookshops are the best. With the last of the unseasonal sun on the water and the saxophone, plus the friendly dog sniffing all of our bags, it was the perfect penultimate stop. I also bought Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop, as it's about a bookshop on a boat and seemed fitting.

We merged the remainder of our group with the remainder of Louise's group at this point. Our final stop of the day was Waterstones' Piccadilly where we had a chance to sit down and have a drink while attempting to remember obscure bookish things and doing a quiz organised by Stephen (thanks again!). Everyone was pretty much asleep by this point, but after some lemonade and a chat I felt sufficiently revitalised to spend my book tokens on A Close and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, the only thing besides March that was actually on my 'must buy' list, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, and the beautiful hardback Victor Gollancz Guards! Guards! to add to our collection.

After that we said goodbye to everyone who was still around and wearily made our way home. Of course being me I'm already thinking about the summer crawl (if you have an idea for where you want it to be - it roams, and isn't in London - please let me know on twitter. At the moment the front runners are Canterbury and Brighton) and ideas to make the 2018 London event even more excellent. If you missed out on the event but would like info about future ones you can sign up for updates here.

I'm sending out a feedback survey this week, but so far all the feedback I've had has been really good. It seems like people had a brilliant day and I'm so thrilled to have met so many book lovers and made so many bookshops happy by pointing people in their direction. This is the stuff I live for guys. It makes me happy.

My eventual haul plus awesome tote bag & badge. The left hand pile were given to me by fellow crawlers, the right hand pile are my purchases...

Saturday, 11 February 2017

On Quitting

I've seriously lost my enthusiasm for blogging lately, and I don't blame the blog. I overcommit myself and I'm really sick of feeling like I can't read what I want to read. Even when constraints are things I'm really excited about and even things I've originated (i.e Re-Readathon, Discworldathon) I've still been feeling really unmotivated. This week has been Re-Readathon and my usual count is 2-4 books finished. This week I've not finished one, and this is partly because of Bookshop Crawl planning but primarily because I'm just having a huge aversion to anything I 'have' to read at the moment.

This post is an announcement, of sorts, and before I start I want to apologise to anyone I may be letting down, but I've decided for the sake of still loving books that I need to pull out of all reading commitments for the rest of the year. No more Re-Readathons, and I'll still co-ordinate Discworldathon of course and will still hope to read some Pratchett this year, but overall I'd like to leave the actual posting and running of events to the hosts for each month as I'm finding having to post about stuff to be really off putting too.

I'm feeling like my focus needs to really be on Ninja Book Box, bookshop crawls and book swap, since these are things that I'm enthusiastic about, and I'd love to bring the excitement back to my reading life. I think making these changes will do that.

I'll probably be putting the blog on a little bit of a hiatus. I plan to primarily post short book reviews on Instagram and leave the blog for the occasional parenting/lifestyle/general thoughts type posts and book lists. I'll be on twitter for all the events I organise. I don't want to stop blogging but the fire has really gone out of it at the moment and I think I need to read exactly what I want, when I want, without ANY pressure at all for a long, long time.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Re-Readathon: Day 1-3 Stats & Different Perspectives

My re-reading so far this week has been really reflective of the state of my brain; disjointed! I'm going through a phase of life where I think after this week I'm probably going to throw in the towel for any kind of reading commitments besides Discworldathon (which I'm doing a terrible job of hosting, and I apologise) and Ninja Book Box related things and just read whatever the hell I want for the rest of the year. However it remains that I love and adore the premise of Re-Readathon and I have been doing some re-reading this week, amongst the mass email sending for London Bookshop Crawl, sorting things for goody bags and organising the February book box! 

Day 1,2 and 3 
Books read from: Pride & Prejudice, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Pages read: 90

So that's pathetic, but on the plus side I am really enjoying Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Bennet particularly is hilarious. 

Different Perspectives 

Today's mini challenge is hosted by Gee. She asks us to reflect on a different perspective a re-read has given us, for better or worse. Honestly I don't have an answer for this! I'm not saying I've reacted in exactly the same way every time I've re-read a book, but similarly enough that there aren't any particular books that spring to mind when I think about this question! The closest I can get is my response to Sylvia Plath. 

When we studies Plath at school I really really hated her poetry. It struck me as massively self indulgent, whiny and narcissistic. Honestly, it still pisses me off that she'd compare her relationship with her father to Hitler and the Jews. For goodness sake. But when I re-read a lot of it at University I eventually began to realise that although all my former opinions remain (in my head at least) true, I do have to give her credit for being pretty great with words. 

Here's the poem that changed my mind (from


The prince leans to the girl in scarlet heels,
Her green eyes slant, hair flaring in a fan
Of silver as the rondo slows; now reels
Begin on tilted violins to span

The whole revolving tall glass palace hall
Where guests slide gliding into light like wine;
Rose candles flicker on the lilac wall
Reflecting in a million flagons' shine,

And glided couples all in whirling trance
Follow holiday revel begun long since,
Until near twelve the strange girl all at once
Guilt-stricken halts, pales, clings to the prince

As amid the hectic music and cocktail talk
She hears the caustic ticking of the clock.

Weird because it's definitely not technically her best, but I do still really like it. 

Head over to Gee's blog and link up your entries for today's challenge, and don't forget to let us know how your re-reading is going in the comments or using #rereadathon!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Re-Readathon Day One: Intro Survey & TBR

Hey people, welcome to day one of Re-Readathon. I hope your reading has been going well, and I'll just say now, from the start, that you shouldn't expect my posts this week to be anything less than last minute. I'm going to aim to post every day but we'll see what happens because with organising the bookshop crawl and sorting the February Ninja Book Box not to mention caring for two under fives, everything's a little bit mad around here!

Anyway, here are my answers for the opening survey. Below there will be a master linky for you to link up anything Re-Readalong related all week so please feel free to link up your survey answers and TBRs there!

Opening Survey

1. Tell us a little about yourself!
I'm Bex, I'm the founder of Re-Readathon and many other much crazier internet based projects. I find it impossible to do just one thing at a time, including reading one book at a time. I have an addiction to buying books and live in a house with 300+ of them as well as my two young children and husband. I like milkshakes, singing loudly, Harry Potter and board games, the more obscure the better. I'm also entirely failing at hosting Discworldathon this year!

2. How often do you re-read books?
I re-read fairly often - often I don't finish my re-reads though. Whenever I'm feeling down or the world is going to shit I reach for an old favourite, most regularly Harry Potter, Little Women, or Fangirl or Attachments, but I'll often just read until I start to feel better again and then move on to something else. Re-Readathon is my chance to actually finish entire re-reads.

3. What is your current favourite book?
I think The Outrun by Amy Liptrot which is absolutely phenomenal memoir slash nature writing, although I did just finish Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi which is entirely as good and better than everyone has been saying it is. Talk about breaking your heart, firing you up and making you fall in love with it all at once.

4. What do you love most about re-reading?
Oh where to start. Re-reading is like my medication. Reading familiar words calms me down so much. I love revisiting worlds that I know I'll be swept up in, or wallowing in nostalgia from re-reads of childhood favourites. For me there isn't really a risk in re-reading like there is in other reads. Yes I've started to re-read things and they've not had the same effect that they did the last time I read them and that's sad but ultimately I just put them down until another time. For years I re-read Little Women annually. In the last couple of years I've only dipped into it, as mentioned above, but have moved to Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for my annual fix of familiarity. I think what I re-read reflects what I need at the time really, and I'm great with that.

5. What's on your TBR? What are you going to read first?
I've tried to keep my TBR a little more manageable this time. Usually I go completely overboard and it's ridiculous but this time I've kept it to six... Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (of course, because it's a new year and I haven't read it in 2017. Plus it'll inspire me for the coming season on the allotment), The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart, because I've been thinking a lot about how connected we all are all the time recently and I'm needing some inspiration to unplug, The Colour of Magic for Louise's readalong for Discworldathon this month, Little Women because it feels like a crime to not include it, The Outrun by Amy Liptrot because I haven't re-read it yet, and I've started with my beautiful clothbound edition of Pride and Prejudice because I saw it at the theatre last week and wanted to remember it better.

Please link up any and all Re-Readathon related posts below!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Re-Readathon Schedule and Kick Off!

So Re-Readathon 5 officially starts tomorrow but since it's Saturday evening and I have small kids who are actually asleep I thought I'd put this up now.

If you have no idea what Re-Readathon is, basically it's a week during which you read something you've read before. You can devote the entire week to re-reading or you can pick up a re-read on the side of whatever else you're currently reading. You can read old favourites or books you just read last year (or even last month). The only rule is that you give yourself some time to revisit books you've already read.

For this Re-Readathon I have two co-hosts, Katie and Gee, and they'll be hosting various mini challenges and events throughout the week. Of course, all of these are entirely optional, but it is nice to get to know each other a little better and chat as well as inspiring each other with what we're reading! If you haven't officially signed up for the event yet please do make sure you do so so that we can all come and say hi to you - you can link up your blog, twitter, Instagram, Youtube channel, wherever you'll be talking about what you're reading, at this post.

We'll also be using #ReReadathon across all social media channels throughout the event. 

And as you can see Day 1, officially tomorrow but have the questions now, is me with the Opening Survey & TBR. I'll be answering this myself tomorrow as well as posting my updated TBR. 

Opening Survey

1. Tell us a little about yourself! 
2. Have you participated in a re-readathon before? How often do you re-read books?
3. What is your current favourite book? 
4. What do you love most about re-reading? Or what makes you wish you re-read more? 
5. What's on your TBR? What are you gonna read first? 

Happy Re-Readathon, everyone! 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Re-Readathon #5: February 5th - 12th

It's a new year and thus time for another Re-Readathon! Those of you who took part last time will know that I was ill and thus the event sort of fell apart. To stop that from happening again I'm so excited to announce that I now have two co-hosts for the event, so please give your loudest cheers for long time Re-Readathon supporters, Katie and Gemma!

The rules for Re-Readathon are simple: during the week it's on, read a book you've already read. This can be a book you've read once or seventeen times, you can dedicate the week solely to re-reading or just pick up an old favourite alongside your other books, it's entirely up to you. We just love it as a week out of any reading obligations, spending time with old friends. 

During the week we'll be running mini challenges and also possibly giveaways and we really encourage the social aspect of the event, so please go and visit other participants and say hi! You can use #rereadathon on social media to easily find each other. 

If you'd like to take part please blog, vlog, Instagram or tweet about your intentions (with a link back to this post please!) and link it up below. For your convenience, we have an easy tweet you can send already written for you, just click the link below. 

Tweet: I'm doing #Rereadathon 5!Spend a week re-reading with me?

What'll be on your TBR? 

Monday, 16 January 2017

London Bookshop Crawl #2

London Bookshop Crawl is happening again and its popularity has exploded, as mentioned in my previous post. Because of this there seems to be some confusion about details for the day and this would appear to be the easiest way to clear those up!

Last year, on the first London Bookshop Crawl, there were less than 30 of us and we went around a route created by myself and chatted and had a lovely day. This year the intention is to do the same, but because of the interest we've had it's going to have to work a little differently.

I pretty much organise this event on my own, but thanks to help from some lovely past crawlers we are running four groups this year, each of a similar size to last year (so 25-30 per group), because it's very important to me that people have the chance to connect with each other and meet new book lovers without the day becoming totally overwhelming. I know some people deal well with huge groups but I don't and I know a lot of others don't either, so the groups are staying small, for this year at least. Small groups are also essential for some of the smaller bookshops that we'll be visiting on the day, as large numbers would overwhelm them. These four groups will be visiting 7 bookshops over the course of the day - the bookshops are pretty much the same for each group but the itinerary is different, allowing us to stagger the arrival of groups at smaller shops and helping them to deal with the crazed book lovers descending on them! People who sent a message asking to be in the guided groups before the spaces were gone have been allocated a group and we'll be sending more information to them this week.

However because we didn't want anyone to miss out on the day, we have extended the crawl throughout Greater London and are putting together a huge list of bookshops who'll be taking part and providing special offers and discounts for bookshop crawlers. We'll be circulating this list along with some suggested routes and a printable bookshop crawl ID card to everyone who has a free ticket via Eventbrite so anyone who wants to will be able to take part on the day. We'd also love everyone to use #LondonBookshopCrawl to share where they go and what they buy and even to meet up with other crawlers if that's something they're interested in doing.

The only difference between being in a guided group and doing the tour alone is that people in guided groups will be following a set itinerary and meeting a few new people, but as of writing this post there are 400+ people with Eventbrite tickets who aren't in guided groups, so I'd say the chances of you stumbling across another bookshop crawler during the day are quite high!

It's basically going to be a huge celebration of the excellence of bookish people and bookshops and we hope you'll join us, whether or not you got a place in a guided group (which, to be honest, are just a group of people walking around visiting bookshops anyway!).

Friday, 13 January 2017


A few days ago my blog turned six. I KNEW I would forget so I mentioned it on twitter several days beforehand, but I thought I should write something here (especially since I've been so awol recently!) to mark the occasion because the fact is that blogging has pretty much changed my life.

I could talk about all the books I've read since I started, and I will if you give me long enough, but really for me blogging has been the gateway to things and people and experiences and even a business. Here are some things that have come from six years of blogging:

  • Friends of the most wonderful (and offensive. Hi, Laura!) kind. They are not just blogging friends, they are real friends friends, especially the two other Southerners, and they enable me to buy books and eat cake and shout rude words in the children's section of bookshops and sing songs from Les Mis loudly outside Queen's theatre. One of them can walk around for hours in the most ridiculous (and beautiful) shoes, and one sends me secret santa parcels that make me cry and talks to me about minimalism and another I'm just looking forward to getting to know better. And one of them is from all the way over in America and has actually come and stayed in my house and I LET HER GO TO FOYLES ALONE BECAUSE I'M A TERRIBLE FRIEND (and then her luggage weighed so much she couldn't carry it anymore). These are people I would have never met without the wonderful world of book blogging and I am extremely grateful for them. 
  • Ninja Book Swap. Although I've recently had to close it to new participants I love the swap so much. It was the first time I ventured into a joint project with a person I (at the time) had never met before and Hanna and I had a lot of fun running it together. I'm excited to keep running it with the group of swappers I already know and trust, and I've met so many fantastic people through it as well as acquiring so many amazing books and sending many many copies of The Night Circus to people...

  • London Bookshop Crawl - in case you're not aware, this is pretty much the reason I've been missing from the blog for a while. Last year I decided it would be cool to get random bookish strangers from the internet to come book shopping with me and lo and behold we had an amazing day going round lots of different bookshops and I got to meet some Ninja swappers face to face and made a lot of excellent new friends. It was always going to be an annual thing and we all thought it would be bigger this year, but this year I decided to put the event on Facebook and currently we're running three groups for the day and have literally 300 others taking part on their own. There are bookshops all over London joining in and it's totally insane, but very very wonderful and I'm terrified and excited and hoping it's going to be just as amazing as last year's was. (If you want to join the madness the Facebook event is here). If it hadn't been for my experience with Ninja Swap and with meeting Laura, Katie, Hanna, Ellie and Charlotte in real life I never would have had the guts to start this, so thanks blogging!

  • Ninja Book Box. This is the most recent of my bookish projects, but blogging has made me so much more aware of publishers in general and there's no way I ever would have had the thought of starting up a subscription box of any kind without seeing all the other wonderful ones there are out there and realising that there isn't one that did exactly what I wanted - gives you books from all genres published by independent publishers along with gifts that are beautiful as well as being actually useful. Without blogging and all the previously mentioned confidence boosting projects I would have never had the guts to launch a Kickstarter which was really successful due to phenomenal support mostly from online friends, and now here I am with a business and once again thanks blogging!
So yes. Six years ago I'd just moved across the country with my fiance and was living in a teeny tiny flat with a teeny tiny shower and terrible windows on the high street with VERY LOUD buses going past constantly and now I'm married with two kids and a lovely house with a garden and all sorts of bookish shenanigans going on. It's pretty miraculous really, thanks for being here for it. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

#Discworldathon: In the Beginning...

Welcome to Discworldathon, a year of celebrating all things Discworld. If you're new to the series, this month is designed to help you work out where might be best for you to start. If you're not new to the series, feel free to weigh in in the comments with where you started/where you'd advise newcomers to start!

This is the Discworld Reading Order produced by Epic Reads and it's a handy, colour coded way to decide which order to read the books in. Each colour represents a character or theme - just pick a colour and follow it. Easy, right? 

But what if you know nothing about Discworld? Well, either you can find someone who knows you well who's already a fan and can give you an idea about which characters might be most 'you', or you check out my little guide below! 

If you've ever mentioned your desire to read Discworld to anyone it's quite likely they've told you not to start with The Colour of Magic. Although it's the first book in the series even Terry Pratchett didn't think it was the best. Honestly Wyrd Sisters, our readalong book for January is probably as good a place as any to begin, although it's technically the second book in the Witches 'series', but the writing is hilarious and the story is gripping. If you're still baffled, here's a little synopsis of the characters...

Wizards - you'll get a better introduction to them when Louise hosts next month but they're basically a bunch of ageing, slighly bumbling magic men who think they know a lot more than they actually know about the world. They also have some strange ideas about...well, most things, and have a librarian who is an orangutan. 

Witches - the antithesis of the wizards. A (smaller) group of women (not) lead (they don't believe in leaders) by Granny Weatherwax who believes in 'headology' and has no idea what the theatre is. The witches are the ones who actually get things done in the Discworld. 

Tiffany Aching - some of the witches (notably Granny Weatherwax) also feature in the Tiffany Aching books, but these are the ones I recommend most often to people starting out. Tiffany has help in her  world-saving endeavours from the Nac Mac Feegle, a group of vicious, hard-drinking pixies...

Death - Death is brilliant, and this is probably one of the only times you'll hear that said. A big skeleton with piercing blue eyes riding a horse named Binky, he's constantly struggling to understand mortals and has the occasional midlife (mid death?) crisis...

City Watch - These are my favourite books. Commander Sam Vimes sort of accidentally becomes in charge of turning the Night Watch from a shambles of inept, bumbling men into a cohesive system of law enforcement. He's pretty put-upon and has to deal with all sorts of idiocy and prejudice along the way. 

There are lots of other stand alone type books, and the Moist von Lipwig books which also (in the above infographic at least) encompass some of the other 'industrial' books, but hopefully this little intro gives you some kind of ideas about where you might want to start. 

Those who are familiar with the series already feel free to weigh in in the comments or over in the Goodreads group!