TBR: ARCs on my shelves part I (2019)

I cannot believe the year is nearly half-way over and I haven’t talked about the unread ARCs on my virtual shelves even once. I have been a pretty awful blogger this year – I don’t have all that much time for it and I have also not been feeling like reading books I should be reading. My reading has been overwhelmingly done by whim (except for the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist) and as such I have fallen off the ARC-waggon a bit. I have so many overdue ARCs that I am feeling guilty about – but I also recently acquired a few more that are either not much overdue yet or in a few cases aren’t published yet. I am hoping that putting these on my blog will lead to me actually reading them soonish.

40947778The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

Publication Date: June 11th, 2019

Publisher: Angry Robot

Blurb (from Goodreads): The Pride of Jai was supposed to be humanity’s greatest accomplishment—a space station made entirely by humans and their primitive computers, without “divine” cyber-technology provided by the sentient quantum supercomputers worshipped as Gods. And it was supposed to be a personal triumph for its young lead scientist, physicist Yasira Shien, whose innovative mathematics was key to the reactor powering it.

But something goes wrong in Yasira’s reactor, leading to an unexplained singularity that destroys The Pride of Jai and most of the people on it—and placing Yasira in the sights of angry Angels, the cyborg servants of the Gods.

According to the angels, Yasira’s reactor malfunction was the latest in a rising tide of disasters, intentionally caused to exploit vulnerabilities in the very pattern of spacetime and usher in horrific beings from beyond reality itself. They believe that the woman behind the disasters is Yasira’s long-vanished mentor, Dr Evianna Talirr—and they believe that Yasira, Dr Talirr’s favorite student, is the only one who can help them find her.

Spirited off to the edge of the galaxy and with her whole planet’s fate, and more, hanging in the balance, Yasira must decide who to trust: the ruthless angels she was always taught to obey without question—or the heretic scientist whose plans could change everything she knows to be true about reality.

Why I requested it: This just sounds awesome. I do love books about gods and AI gods seem like the logical sci-fi equivalent.

41085049Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O’Keefe

Publication Date: June 13th, 2019

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK/ Orbit

Blurb (from Goodreads): Sanda and Biran were siblings destined for greatness. Her: a dedicated soldier with the skills to save the universe. Him: a savvy politician with ambitions for changing the course of intergalactic war.
However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda’s gunship gets blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later upon an empty enemy smartship who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system and everyone in it is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe.
Now, separated by space and time, Sanda and Biran will find a way to put things right.

Why I requested it: I saw some great early reviews for this and thought this sounded like the type of science fiction I might adore. That it seems to prominently feature a sibling relationship is a definite plus as well – I love stories about siblings.

44800301A Woman Like Her by Sanam Maher

Publication Date: July 11th, 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Blurb (from Goodreads): A beautiful woman in winged eyeliner and a low-cut top lies on a bed urging her favourite cricketer to win the next match. In another post, she pouts at the camera from a hot tub. She posts a selfie with a cleric, wearing his cap at a jaunty angle. Her posts are viewed millions of times and the comments beneath them are full of hate. As her notoriety grows, the comments made about her on national talk shows are just as vitriolic. They call her Pakistan’s Kim Kardashian, they say she’ll do anything for attention. When she’s murdered, they’re transfixed by the footage of her body.

Drawing on interviews and in-depth research, Sanam Maher pieces together Qandeel’s life from the village where she grew up in the backwaters of rural Pakistan, to her stint in a women’s shelter after escaping her marriage, to her incarnation as a social media sensation and the Muslim world’s most unlikely feminist icon.

Why I requested it: This sounds absolutely fascinating. I haven’t been reading enough non-fiction lately and really want to remedy that.

36510722Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publication Date: July 23rd, 2019

Publisher: Quercus Books

Blurb (from Goodreads): The Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark, one-of-a-kind fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

Why I requested it: I have only read Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s short stories so far but always loved them. I am hoping to love this full-length work of hers. Also, gods: I love fantasy involving gods so much I have written a recommendation post.

45785525Knock Wood by Jennifer Militello

Publication Date: August 13th, 2019

Publisher: Dzanc Books

Blurb (from Goodreads): Anchored by a wooden ring and the superstition of a knock that prevents misfortune, Knock Wood centers on three intertwined elements: the life of a mentally ill aunt in an abusive marriage; Jennifer’s high school romance with a boy who eventually dies of a heroin overdose; and an extra-marital affair characterized by an otherworldly connection. Cause and effect reverse as significant events—an arrest for a felony committed in high school, a trip by train to meet an illicit lover, and a suicide attempt on those same New York tracks—seem to influence one another outside of time and space.

Why I accepted it: I was offered an ARC for this and couldn’t not say yes; it sounds like such a me-book. I adore fragmented memoirs a whole lot – and the author is a poet, a combination that often makes a book incredibly impressive to me.

43862291Shelf Live by Lidia Franchini

Publication Date: August 29th, 2019

Publisher: Random House UK, Transworld Publications

Blurb (from Goodreads): Launching an intelligent, perceptive new voice in fiction, Shelf Life is the exquisite, heart-wrenching story of a woman rebuilding herself on her own terms.

Ruth is thirty years old. She works as a nurse in a care home and her fiancé has just broken up with her. The only thing she has left of him is their shopping list for the upcoming week.

And so she uses that list to tell her story. Starting with six eggs, and working through spaghetti and strawberries, and apples and tea bags, Ruth discovers that her identity has been crafted from the people she serves; her patients, her friends, and, most of all, her partner of ten years. Without him, she needs to find out – with conditioner and single cream and a lot of sugar – who she is when she stands alone.

Why I requested it: It is blurbed by Sophie Macintosh, whose debut The Water Cure I loved last year. I am also always interested in stories about women and their identities, so this whole blurb just pulled at me.

43521657The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Publication Date: September 12th, 2019

Publisher: Orbit

Blurb (from Goodreads): In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Why I requested it: The hype. The blurb sounds like I will either adore or hate it and I am obviously hoping for the former.

43865368The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Publication Date: September 19th, 2019

Publisher: Ebury Publishing

Blurb (from Goodreads): The resistance starts here… No one speaks of the grace year.
It’s forbidden.
We’re told we have the power to lure grown men from their beds, make boys lose their minds, and drive the wives mad with jealousy. That’s why we’re banished for our sixteenth year, to release our magic into the wild before we’re allowed to return to civilization.
But I don’t feel powerful.
I don’t feel magical.

Tierney James lives in an isolated village where girls are banished at sixteen to the northern forest to brave the wilderness – and each other – for a year. They must rid themselves of their dangerous magic before returning purified and ready to marry – if they’re lucky.

It is forbidden to speak of the grace year, but even so every girl knows that the coming year will change them – if they survive it…

Why I requested it: I tend to really like the spec-fic titles Ebury publishes – so I gambled on this one. I also like books set in magical forests and books prominently featuring women, so I am keeping my fingers crossed to enjoy this.

Have you read any of these? Which should I prioritize?

44 thoughts on “TBR: ARCs on my shelves part I (2019)

    1. Once the publication date comes and goes it becomes ever more difficult for me to pick up an arc. I have been a lot better recently about not requesting so many, so I will hopefully manage to get on top of them at some point.

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  1. I’m also feeling very overwhelmed by my ARCs, even though I’m not drastically behind them – just a lot to get through in the next few months! Although I’ve now just requested The Grace Year because of this post …

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  2. I recently read Velocity Weapon and absolutely loved it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I also have Gods of Jade and Shadow as e-ARC too! I hope I love it. The Outside, Shelf Life along with The Grace Year sound pretty interesting too!

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  3. I think this is the first time I’ve ever had more overdue ARCs than not-yet-published ARCs and I feel a bit guilty about it. I think one of my 2020 goals will be to go back and read the ARCs I missed so I can have a clean slate… eventually. Shelf Life sounds so good! And I’m very curious about The Ten Thousand Doors of January – my gut tells me I will hate it but I’m also intrigued, so I’m looking forward to your review of that.

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    1. It is SO difficult to prioritize ARCs that are overdue I find. I really should just get on with it but for some reason I never do.
      I love that you are already thinking about 2020 – as if the year isn’t only half way over! I am thankfully getting better at not requesting that many books so I am kind of hoping to have a clean slate at some point as well – wouldn’t that be lovely?
      I think Shelf Life will be excellent. I have really high hopes.
      The Ten Thousand Doors of January could be brilliant or the worst thing ever, I hope it isn’t too YA-y.

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      1. I feel the same way! It’s not even like I lose interest in the books themselves, I just lose motivation once the publication dates have passed.

        It’s never too early to reflect on your reading goals! And I’m always trying to find ways to incorporate more backlist books into my reading.

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      2. I feel like if I slow down and read the ones I am already late with, I won’t make it to the others in time. And then I read something entirely different anyways.

        I should just stop buying books. Maybe then I will at some point get my TBR to a reasonable number.

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  4. Oh boy, I’m with you. My “older than 4 months” category on Netgalley has increased to 10 and I’m trying not to be too anxious about it. And I’m both scared and excited for Ten Thousand Doors of January. On one hand, it’s a story about the power of stories, which I always always love. On the other hand….there;s a LOT of hype around it, and my track record with hyped books hasn’t been very good this year.

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    1. I am always glad to hear I am not alone. I have fallen of the waggon so so bad! I still have a feedback ratio of 90%, so at least I don’t stress about that, but I hate when I have this many books that have been published already that I still haven’t reviewed.

      I have not been loving YA these last few years but Ten Thousand Doors of January sounded too good to give it a miss. I really hope to enjoy it!

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  5. I also have a copy of The Thousand Doors of January and don’t really have any expectations right now.. I don’t know what to expect really. I am currently reading The Grace Year (I know, it’s super early, I probably will hold my review for a while) and am really loving it. I went in with high expectations and it is living up to them!!

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    1. I am so glad you are enjoying it! Ebury publishes really great specfic when they publish it. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be the dystopia that works for me.

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      1. Serpent and Dove. It was SUCH a disappointment for me… I was SO hype for it and even almost traded to get a physical ARC, but now I’m glad that I didn’t because it was a really disappointing read for me. Some might love it, but it just wasn’t what I wanted it to be.

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  6. The Qandeel Baloch biography sounds amazing – we’ve got a proof copy at the shop and I’m umm-ing and ahh-ing over it at the moment, since I’ve got so many others to read! But I do remember reading a magazine article about her a few years ago; the book looks like it might be fascinating and disturbing in equal measure.

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    1. Once I made it over the fabled 80% mark on NetGalley I got better at not getting stressed out. But right now I really am in deep. I got three more arcs since posting this.

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      1. I don’t request that much. To be honest, I am really bad at obligated reading, so since I’ve caught up I’m only now requesting things that I’m really excited about, lol.

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  7. Pingback: ARC Of The Moment

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