Nov 3, 2013

The Return of Long-Awaited Reads Month

Long-awaited Reads Month button showing a pile of books
Some of you might remember that last January, Iris and I hosted a blogging event called Long-Awaited Reads Month. We originally came up with it as a plan to cope with the January blues, but because these things are more fun when shared, we decided to open it to the whole of the Internet. Long-Awaited Reads Month 2013 was a huge success — I spent it devouring Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series and finishing Jo Walton’s Small Change trilogy, and the result was the most satisfying reading month I’ve had all year — so we’re bringing it back in 2014.

As we explained last year, the rules are very simple and the event is meant to be completely relaxed. Here’s what you have to do:
  1. Read books you’ve been excited to read for a long time but never seem to get to in January. You can do this exclusively for the whole month (my approach), you can do it for just one week, or you can simply try to get to one or two of these books in January. Your level of commitment is entirely up to you!

  2. At the beginning of January, Iris and I will post something signalling the official start of Long-Awaited Reads month. If you’re taking part, you can come back to these posts and leave us a link to a LAR-related review; you’ll then be entered in a giveaway for a book you’ve always wanted to read that is up to $15/€11/£10 on BookDepository (open worldwide).

  3. If you want to talk about the event on Twitter, the hashtag is #LARMonth.

  4. Have fun!
Simple, right?


Now, I don’t want to take the spontaneity away from my plans by committing to reading specific books; but having said that, everyone loves a good reading list, and this post will be a lot more fun if I tell you about some of my long-awaited reads. So even though I make no commitment, here are a few of the books I could read come January:

  • Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis: I already had them in mind last year but ran out of time. Will 2014 be the year when I finally get to them?

  • The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie: Because Adichie is amazing and I must read everything she’s ever written. I actually own this short story collection, so no excuses.

  • Octavian Nothing duology M.T. Anderson: About time I fill this huge gap in my YA knowledge.

  • A Mind of its Own by Cordelia Fine: Cordelia Fine has another book and I’ve owned it for almost a year and still haven’t read it: something’s clearly not right here.

  • Starlight by Stella Gibbons: I loved Westwood, another one of her recent reissues. I meant to read this shortly after, but obviously that didn’t happen.

  • Emily of New Moon series by L.M. Montgomery: I’ve had a lovely little boxed set with this series for a good three years now, and it has lingered unread on my shelves. I have to confess, though, that the gorgeous covers on the recent Virago reissues might have been what swayed me for good.

  • A Face Like Glass and The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge: I could happily rename the event “Read Frances Hardinge forever in a loop” month, to be honest. The only sad thing is that when I finally get to these there will be no more books of hers for me to read.

  • The Exiles by Hilary McKay: Hilary Mckay! Self-explanatory, right?

  • James Tiptree, JR.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips: This biography is so sure to touch on so many things I’m interested in I can’t even. Why it’s lingered unread on my shelves for years and years is therefore a complete mystery.

  • How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ: Exactly as above.

  • Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente: Folk tales! Gorgeous prose! What’s not to love?
I’m sure that if I get to any of these I’d have a splendid reading month; but then again, I might end up reading something else entirely and still have a great time. That’s the beauty of keeping things relaxed.


I hope you’ll consider joining us for LAR Month — even if you can’t commit for the whole of January, it’s so satisfying to finally get to a book you really want to read but can never make the time for. The only thing that could possibly make it better is doing it with blogging friends.


  1. Count me in! Yaaay! I really enjoyed it, last year. I read Spindle's End finally, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have so many on my shelves now to read I didn't get to this year!....Drood is one...I'm so happy you and Iris are doing this again. Interesting that it was your best reading month of the year, too, isn't it?

  2. Ooo, I might have to join in this time, but I'll probably make myself crazy trying to choose which long-awaited reads to finally read, as there are faaaar too many of them on my shelves!

  3. Would love to join in and will be thinking of what to read! I may have to read Doomsday Book after saying I would for the last 2 years!

  4. Writing up my post right now. This is exciting! And Blackout and All Clear are actually quick reads because the story is so engaging. I've already been thinking about a reread of the pair. But first I have to get to those long-awaited reads! :)

  5. Hahahaha, dammit, Ana, you're killing me. I didn't know there were new covers for the Emily of New Moon books. They are indeed so beautiful! I thought I had the One Best Copy already and now I am doubting everything!

    Ahem. You should definitely read Emily of New Moon this month. Ignore the actually quite creepy Dean Priest storyline please. It is creepy but the rest of the series is soooo charming.

  6. I'm in! Just put the picture on my sidebar.

  7. You've got a great list of books! This sounds like great fun. I'll try to put a list of books together now!

  8. OH YAY!!! I'm so glad you and Iris are doing this again!!! Three of my favorite books of the year were read for your 2013 round (and they were all on my shelves because of you!)--The 10pm Question, Bad Science, and The Night Watch. I'd be willing to bet the same will happen in 2014. :D

  9. This fits in perfectly with James' TBR Double (Triple, this year?) Dog Dare... can't wait!

  10. I've just said this on Iris's post, but count me in. Love the idea, discovered some gems through it, and would love to do it again. I haven't heard of Montgomery's Emily series, so if you review that I'd love to hear your thoughts. The Blue Castle was a lot of fun, even if it's an adult's book.

  11. I will think about this because it lets me make lists :)

    The Exiles is so great! And the second book is good too (the zoo for bad people). I think there's a third but it came out probably after I'd moved on from Mckay and haven't got back round to it since becoming a grown up.

  12. I love the sound of this event will have to consider taking part :-)

  13. Sounds like a great idea, I just need to start narrowing down what I want to read the most :)
    There is a long long list...

  14. Oh, sounds like fun! I think I will join up.

  15. I really love the idea of this one! I have so many books on my shelves that I just have not gotten to for years. Hopefully this will incentivize me to pull one (or perhaps more) down from the shelf. As I've come to realize this year, just because you have never been motivated to read them before now doesn't meant that they are not really, really great books!

  16. Perhaps I will finally get to Among Others by Jo Walton? It would be about time...

    Also, I have Deathless sitting on a pile of library books I brought home on Sunday. I am hoping to crack it open soon...

  17. Oh, oh, I want IN! This sounds like a fantastic idea, and it's not as though I need a REASON to read long-kept DWJ titles or a spare Robin McKinley or Sharon Shinn or THE NIGHT CIRCUS... but they're just not on the *new* radar anymore, and I'm not sure I'd get around to them if I didn't...

    So yes. I'll be here in January, with bells on. Thanks!

  18. This sounds wonderful! I've had Gormenghast sitting on my shelves for so long I think it's going to start growing its own ecosystem in dust and cobwebs if I don't read it soon. Dark, gloomy January seems like an appropriate month for this book, so count me in :)

  19. Count me in, too! I'm finally going to read One Hundred Years of Solitude!

  20. I've been planning on reading Alice Munro in January, an author I have meant to read for a long time so I might just join you and make it a whole month. Trouble is I have so many Long-Awaited read I am going to have a hard time figuring out what to choose in addition to Munro!

  21. Oh, how fun! I'm in.

  22. I can't believe that I'm just now seeing this post! Count me in!

  23. I think I will commit to Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal because I have been meaning to read something by her ever since she started the Write-A-Letter-EVERYDAY-in-February event. :)


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