In recent years I have experienced a few reading slumps. I chalked it up to distractions from social media, an abundance of binge-worthy releases on Netflix, and other areas of life getting in the way (ie. planning a wedding, moving to a new country, you know, just little things…) While distracting myself with Instagram one day, I somehow came across the beautiful page @allcharacterswanted by the lovely Alexandra, and was introduced to the #Bookstagram world.
Upon discovering this aesthetically pleasing corner of social media, I was so inspired to read! Not only read, but take photos of my books, my reading nooks, my bookish props. I eventually started my own account (@thenoveldiaries) and then, of course, this blog.
While I looked to Bookstagram for motivation to read the books I already had, I did not expect that my To Be Read list would also grow exponentially. In addition to reminding me of books that I had forgotten I wanted to read, I have been inspired to read new genres that I had not previously considered, and books I probably wouldn’t have even heard of otherwise.
These three books have popped up time and time again, and are now officially on my TBR:
1. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
By the time this blog post goes up, there is a good chance I will already have this book in my greedy little hands. With the onset of October and fall, the title of this book alone had me intrigued. Bookstagrammers young and old have recommended this Young Adult horror novel. As someone who is completely fascinated with the Jack the Ripper case (I find a way to work it into a Social Studies, English or Science lesson at some point every school year), it was a no-brainer to add this book to my Halloween seasonal reading list.
Stalking Jack the Ripper is the first in a series (Hunting Prince Dracula and Escaping Houdini follow), and is the first release in James Patterson’s new children’s imprint. The premise is that while indulging her dark fantasies in her uncle’s forensic lab, a young socialite is drawn into the Jack the Ripper case. Stay tuned for a review as this will probably be my next read!
2. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
This is another ubiquitous book in the Bookstagram world. There are even accounts named after the novel. Both the author and this title have a long list of awards behind their name already, including New York Times Bestseller list and the Michael L. Printz Honor book award. I would typically not read a book that fell into the category science fiction or fantasy, but I’m all for trying new things!
Even the synopsis of this book has my head spinning, but I am determined to read it! Librarian Lazlo Strange has the opportunity to seize his dreams and seek out the mythical world of Weep. There are goddesses and warriors involved. As I write this, I am aware that this book is so not my typical choice in a read. But in the spirit of stepping out of my comfort zone and finding new inspiration, I will attempt it. I’ll let you all know how that goes!
3. The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
This novel, centring around a love affair and a historical mystery, is much more in my wheelhouse than my other two Bookstagram Made Me Do It picks. To be honest, I may have come across this book in my bookstore sojourns even without Bookstagram, but beautiful cozy photos of this novel paired with autumn leaves, steaming cups of tea and fuzzy blankets give me all the I-must-read-this-book-NOW feels.
While I did not read The Lake House by Kate Morton, I have seen it on the list of a multitude of book clubs I respect, and imagine The Clockmaker’s Daughter will be the same.
I plan to read and review all of these books before 2018 is done. Check back for full reviews as I venture into the world of historical serial killers, fantastical worlds and clockmaker’s daughters.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some of my favourite and most influential Bookstagram accounts: