T5W | Books To Finally Read in 2017

top 5 wednesdayWelcome one, welcome all, to ‘Emma Remembers Top 5 Wednesdays Exists And Decides To Join In’… again. Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is Books You Want to Finally Read in 2017. As Sam says: these are those books you meant to read in 2016 or 2015 or 2014 and never got around to. Those books that have been sitting on your TBR for a while, and you really want to get to. These aren’t upcoming 2017 releases; these are older books that need your love too!

It will surprise precisely no one that I have a proverbial tonne of books that I’ve meant to read for months and months and, let’s face it, years and years. The problem is, obviously, that the book industry rather rudely continues to persist in publishing more and more new books every single day, adding even more titles to the already lengthy ‘to be read’ lists we all have in the back of our mind, or on a metaphorically groaning Goodreads shelf. Unless I make a concerted effort to “get to” those books I’ve been meaning to for years, I probably never will. So this week’s topic will be a very useful step towards accepting that fact – and, as we all know, acceptance is the first step. Hopefully 2017 will be the year I take a rather logical and proactive approach to finally reading some of those titles that have been sadly abandoned on my TBR shelf for too long. So let’s have a look at the 5 I most want to finally read in the upcoming year…

5. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt (x)goldfinch

I really love Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and every time I read it I fall back in love with the tone of Tartt’s writing. So, needless to say, I bought The Goldfinch once I became aware it was a thing – if I recall correctly I treat myself to it in Waterstones during a day trip to Edinburgh with my friends. The fact I bought it from an actual shop and paid full price for it says something about how much I did want to invest in Tartt’s writing. Yet, my lack of, oh you know, actual reading of it might suggest otherwise. I’m just a little intimidated by it, if I’m honest. But that’s silly and I need to get over it and just dive into it soon!

doriangray4. The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde (x)

I know, I know, but Emma I thought you’d already read this? Well, no, not entirely. I don’t know how far through this novel I actually got. I don’t remember finishing it and yet I feel like perhaps I did – but I wonder if the only reason I think this is because I know how the story ends? Anyway, I don’t consider myself to have read this book because I barely remember the experience of reading it. Therefore I definitely need to finally get to it (properly) in 2017. Also because my friend Liz very kindly bought me a beautiful edition (it’s one of her favourite books!), so it would be rude not to read it, frankly.

3. Moby Dick- Herman Melville (x)mobyd

This is one of those self-titled ‘project books’ that really probably isn’t as much of a tricky read as my mind seems to have decided it will be. I’ve wanted to read Melville’s famous novel for years – I’d say my many viewings of the Matilda film in my childhood probably had something to do with it – but only now am I starting to feel like I’m old enough to be able to properly appreciate it… once I get around to it, that is. The fact of the matter is that if I don’t prioritise this, I never will, regardless of how much I do want to read it.

jstrange2. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell – Susanna Clarke (x)

Anyone aware of this book will probably know the main thing that has constantly put me off finally picking this up – yep, that’s right,the sheer size of it. Now, generally speaking, I’m not one to read short books anyway so it’s not the actual page count per say but, rather, the (im)practicality of trying to read this has meant it has been shelved for a long time. There is no way I could justify trying to fit this in my bag every day and as I tend to read on the train, it’s just impractical. However, those problems are a thing of the past – I’ve now bought the audiobook via Audible so I really have no excuses left. 2017 will be its year!

1. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy (x)annakarenina

I cannot count the amount of TBRs and Resolutions posts this book has been on over the years. I’ve even started it (and got a sizeable chunk of the way through it!) on numerous occasions. But, as always, something else has cropped up along the way and I’ve ended up setting it aside in favour of shorter or easier books. I say “easier” but actually, the last time I tried to read it, I was pleasantly surprised by how readable this book is. It’s just not finish-able, to me, apparently. 2017 is the year I will change that. Hold me to it, people, I mean it.


So there we have it – those were the top 5 books that I want to finally read in 2017.

Do you agree/disagree with my choices? Do you have a Top 5 Wednesday list or post of your own? Be sure to link it below if so; I’d love to take a look!


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17 thoughts on “T5W | Books To Finally Read in 2017

  1. Kate W 08/12/2016 / 00:14

    I’m tackling War & Peace in 2017 – it’s been on my reading bucket list forever. A blogging buddy is tackling Les Mis (providing each other with some very-long-books-moral-support!).

    Of your list, I’ve read Anna (a long time ago) and The Goldfinch. The Goldfinch is WONDERFUL.

    • Emma 08/12/2016 / 15:21

      Haha I’m sure the very-long-books-moral-support will prove to be very helpful!

      If it wasn’t for the sizeable books I already have here, I’d be trying to tackle War & Peace too – looks like 2018 could be its year instead. :P Best of luck on conquering that mammoth of a book!

      I have heard nothing but good things about The Goldfinch so I’m glad to hear your support for it. Hopefully I will really enjoy it – I don’t think it’s a long-shot considering I did love The Secret History so much.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Jess (beaucoupbooks) 07/12/2016 / 23:24

    All these novels intrigue me but when novels are really large it really puts me off reading them :(

    • Emma 08/12/2016 / 15:22

      I know that feeling entirely! I think next year I’m probably going to try reading a book and listening to its audiobook too, to see if that makes the reading process any easier.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Jess (beaucoupbooks) 08/12/2016 / 15:31

        I’ve done that before with uni books and it really does help. Audiobooks can be expensive though :(

      • Emma 08/12/2016 / 15:48

        I know that struggle! Thankfully a lot of classics tend to have free/accessible audiobook versions through my local library, otherwise I probably wouldn’t even consider it as an option.

  3. Emma's Library 07/12/2016 / 23:02

    One of my reading challenges for 2017 is to read an equal amount of classics to YA and most of these are in that tbr pile, next to some Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, and perhaps Daphne du Maurier.

    • Emma 08/12/2016 / 15:42

      That’s a really amazing reading challenge idea – I wish I had the motivation to do that, to be honest.

      Have you read any Dickens, Gaskell, Eliot, or du Maurier before? I keep meaning to read more Dickens (I’ve read A Tale of Two Cities, Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, and Great Expectations – all because of university haha) and I have no excuse now I’ve got a complete set of his novels. Do you have a strategy for which ones to tackle first? I always don’t know quite where to go next in terms of his novels … now I really am just making up excuses!

      Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South is one of my favourite books, and I studied Mary Barton for a university course in Victorian literature, so I’d heartily recommend either/both of those.

      Me and George Eliot don’t get along very well because of a horrible reading experience of Adam Bede (again, had to finish it for university, at the end of a very long semester when I had way too much work to do without adding a long book on top of it) but I’ve been eyeing up Middlemarch for many years.

      And Daphne du Maurier wrote (possibly) my favourite book of all-time, Rebecca, so if you haven’t read that I’d really recommend it.

      Sorry for the mammoth comment but, as you can tell, Victorian lit classics were a big part of my reading at university so I can’t resist talking about them.

      Best of luck with your reading challenge in 2017 and thank you for reading and commenting. :)

      • Emma's Library 08/12/2016 / 16:47

        No don’t worry about it. I like Victorian Literature too, unless it’s the Brontes then I’ll avoid them like the plague. The only one I got on with and liked a lot was Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

        In terms of the others I’ve read all of them except for George Eliot but I’ve got Middlemarch on my shelf and I’ve been wanting to read it for ages. Out of Gaskell I’ve only ever read Wives and Daughters, and Cranford, and I really like them both so North and South + Mary Barton are a must. Rebecca is the main Du Maurier I want to read and I’m determined to read and finish it. I tried it a couple of times in the past but could never get through it so I want to know if it was just me or the book itself. When it comes to Dickens I don’t really have a strategy as such, and I’ve only read Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectation, and Hard Times are the three that I want to get round to the most though. I always want to read more classics and Victorian Lit in particular as that’s my favourite period (lit and history wise) so thanks for some of the recommendations!

  4. Rebecca 07/12/2016 / 22:14

    I never did read Anna Karenina but I would like to get to it some day. I’ve read the rest on your list and love them all – except MD. Although it has some amazing quotes, it’s a difficult read unless you’re a fan of whale blubber. There’s a lot to do with blubber. All I remember is the darn blubber.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin’

    • Emma 08/12/2016 / 15:43

      Hmmm well I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of whale blubber so I’ll take it under advisement. :P

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Anzel van der Westhuizen 07/12/2016 / 20:52

    This is a fantastic list!
    I do hope you’ll love The Goldfinch once you get to read it – it’s one of my favourites, besides The Secret History, of course.
    I’d love to give Anna Karenina a read one day soon, myself. And Jonathan Strange has been sitting on my shelf for years, nearly unread – I dip into it every few months, but it is yet to grab me.

    • Emma 08/12/2016 / 15:46

      Thank you! :P

      I’m optimistic that I will enjoy The Goldfinch, what with having adored The Secret History. I’m anticipating less classical references in this one… but, hey, who knows.

      Well I hope you get to those, or other books you’ve been meaning to get to, in 2017. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  6. mhmcneill 07/12/2016 / 19:17

    I have a copy of “Anna Karenina” I’ve been avoiding for a while because it is so stinking LONG. I started “Les Mis” in October and, full disclosure, I think I’ve read maybe 100 pages. I don’t usually set new year’s resolutions, but finishing that gargantuan book might be a good one!

    • Emma 07/12/2016 / 19:22

      I agree Anna Karenina can look really intimidating from just the sheer size of it! Despite the length, I really did find it easy(ish) to read, for a classic it seemed quite accessible.

      I actually read large chunk of Les Mis as I did my final university dissertation of the subject of portrayals of revolutionary France in different mediums – full disclosure: to this day, my professor thinks I read the entire thing but I just cherry picked the chapters and sections I needed. :P It’s a wonderful book but it’s just SO long and Hugo has a habit of going off on a tangent – it really is a challenge, so I think it would be a good candidate for one to set as a reading resolution.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. :)

      • mhmcneill 07/12/2016 / 19:26

        Wow, your professor must think you’re quite the overachiever. I can’t imagine reading “Les Mis” from cover to cover for any kind of academic purpose unless I were majoring in, well, the study of the entire book. ;)

        And you’re welcome! I enjoy reading your posts.

      • Emma 07/12/2016 / 19:29

        Haha, if they wished to entertain that delusion then I wasn’t going to burst their bubble.

        To be fair – it was my fault for choosing to focus on revolutionary France! I mainly just wanted to find an excuse to talk about the musical of Les Mis in an academic essay, so I ended up developing my dissertation’s topic around that desire. I compared it to Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and, even though it was a slog to get through the bits of Les Mis I needed, I had so much fun writing the essay because it was something I was really interested in.

        Aww thank you, that’s very kind of you!

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