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Three’s a Crowd

My reading pattern had always been haphazard. I’ll take a look at my pile of TBR and depending on how I feel that day and the library due date, decide the next book I wanted to read.


I have been toying with the idea of theme read and how many books of consecutive similar read before I say enough is enough. This also goes against my preference to alternate my reading genre; for example if I finished reading a non-fiction book, a short fiction book ensued. If I read an incredibly difficult book, the next one I wanted it to be a light read. I think haphazard read is fine, but I wanted to draw more value out of my time spent reading. Value that can only be achieved by comparative analysis, in-depth research of a topic or trying to link up all the similar trends and patterns indiscernable by the untrained eyes.


I thought a consecutive 3 books of the same theme should provide a good overall view. First book for introduction, second book for comparison, third book for affirmation. I’ll tag it “The thought of three” or “Three’s a crowd”, couldn’t quite decide yet. This list of books are enough to keep me busy for the year!


I have a few themes in mind, based on my TBR pile:


1. Travel with a mission : books that narrate personal spiritual or purposeful travel odyssey

  1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. Adventure Capitalist by Jim Rogers
  3. Duende By Jason Webster


2. Things I need to know : a pile that I need to get through for me to function in real life, rather than the make-believe world I immerse in my obsessive fictional reading habit!

  1. The rules of parenting by Richard Templar
  2. The first 90 days by Michael Watkins
  3. Introduction to Social Housing


3. Moorish Arabian Influence : my in-laws are from this heritage, so it pays to know a little bit more!

  1. Andalus By Jason Webster
  2. The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah
  3. In the Arabian Nights by Tahir Shah


4. Prize Winners: I have been meaning to read (b) and (c) for a long while, an introduction to some big names in American literature

  1. The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
  2. In America by Susan Sontag
  3. “Herzog,” by Saul Bellow
  4. In Free state by VS Naipaul (might drop this from the list to make this theme solely for the National Book Award prize winner)


5. Michael Palin’s travel adventures: I just fall in love with Basil Pao’s wonderful travel pictures and Palin’s travel reportage. Lets just say I read Palin because his travel books were dirt cheap to purchase them.

  1. New Europe
  2. Himalayan
  3. Pole to Pole


6. The stories of pea-brained women : I am still not sure about this theme, I don’t like pea-brained women. This is just the urge to take advantage of that little book shelf tucked in the corner of my office kitchen.

  1. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
  2. Bridget Jones’ and the edge of reason by Helen Fielding
  3. Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella


7. Haruki Murakami: After Hard Boiled wonderland, Murakami had left me in a dreamy state, I can’t wait to lose myself in his make-believe world again.

  1. Norwegian Wood
  2. The wind-up bird chronicle
  3. Kafka on the shore


8. Kazuo Ishiguro: Might drop this list if I have more interesting books to read. Ishiguro’s book is the kind that makes you drifted away with a feeling of emptiness and loss. I need to brace myself before I’m ready to feel that way again.

  1. The remains of the day
  2. A pale view of the hills
  3. When we were orphans


9. Margaret Atwood: Atwood had so many of her books shortlisted for booker prize list and had won the booker prize twice. Her Wilderness Tips is brilliant, she writes about the inner turmoil of being a woman. it is a woman thing, every woman reader likes to read about what other woman feels and experience, and that they are not alone in feeling that way. So yeah, I need a dose of some of that too!

  1. Cat eye’s
  2. Alias Grace
  3. Blind Assassin


10. An end to the series: These are books that will fulfil the completion of books read about a particular author.

  1. The Host by Stephenie Meyer – to read all books written by her including the Twilight Vampire saga.
  2. Tea time for traditionally built by Alexander McCall Smith – to complete the series of the No. 1 Ladies Detective agency.
  3. A few more adventures of Tintin graphic novels to fulfil a childhood dream of reading all Herge’s work on Tintin and friends.


11. Movie tie-in: I have got The Reader by Bernhard Schlink on reserve list. Might decide to include another two movie tie-in to complete the list.

  1. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink



Staying on course would be a tough challenge for me. I still cherish my liberty to read whatever I want and wherever I want. I am going to give this a go, and see how it works out. I might decide to cheat and break the theme, if a more interesting book came up! Tell me what you think.

About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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