Most anticipated fiction releases of 2021

For my final post about my most anticipated releases of 2021 I will be rounding up books that interest me that can be categorized as either fiction, literary fiction, or short stories. I lumped these genres together because I did not find enough literary fiction releases I am excited about to merit a seperate post and short story collections usually do not get as much buzz – the combination is a bit clumsy because my taste in short stories skews towards the at least slightly speculative. You can find my round-ups of SFF releases here and of non-fiction releases here. I organized the books below by publication date and clicking on the covers will lead to the books’ Goodreads pages.

A Crooked Tree by Una Mannion (published by Faber & Faber, January 28th 2021)
The blurb sounds like the book is a thriller but it isn’t and I am intrigued to no end: “When their mother pulls on to the verge and tells Ellen to ‘Get Out’, they all know that is what she is going to do. What none of them know as they drive off leaving their twelve-year-old sister on the side of the road five miles from home, with the dark closing in around her, is what will happen next.” I have an e-ARC for this and hope to be able to get to before the year ends.

Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz (published by Grove Press, February 2nd)
This is such a great short story collection that I have already read and reviewed here. These dark but never hopeless stories focus girlhood with all its edges and are impeccably structured with incredible prose. I really hope this will find many readers. Lauren Groff blurbed it and agrees with me, for whatever this is worth to you.

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder (published by Bloomsbury, February 2nd 2021)
I was so excited for this, I requested an ARC both from the US and the UK publisher and for some reason got both. Broder’s debut novel is one of my all-time favourite books and even if I didn’t love this one quite as much, her writing is as sharp as ever, her characterisation is still so real it hurts and the has cemented her place on my list of favourite authors.

Kink ed. by R. O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell (published by Simon Schuster, February 9th 2021)
The list of contributors reads like a who is who of a certain kind of literary fiction writer (one that I happen to adore), featuring short stories by Roxane Gay, Carmen Maria Machado, Brandon Taylor (my favourite story on the bunch!), Alexander Chee, and many more. The anthology is as good as I hoped it would be – my review can be found here.

Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap (published by Small Beer Press, February 9th 2021)
This collection sounds incredible: dealing with myths and urban legends and being an immigrant. I have also recently read a bit of what Yap said about the process of writing this, of deciding not to write for the white gaze, and I am extremely looking forward to this. It’s possible that this will be too scary for me but I am willing to try anyways.

Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh (published by Berkley, February 23rd 2021)
I will read whatever Nalini Singh publishes next. I just love what she does, so much that I will even read every thriller-type book she writes. I don’t even really know what this is about, except that bones have been found ten years after everybody thought a woman left her rich husband and now her son starts investigating.

Redder Days by Sue Rainsford (published by Transworld Publishers, March 4th 2021)
I really enjoyed Rainsford’s earlier novel (review here) and jumped on the opportunity to receive an ARC of this book which I accepted without reading what the book is about. I adore her prose and her combination of the weird and horrific with the mundane. That this book features twins (I love stories about siblings) makes me even more excited.

Eat The Mouth That Feeds You by Carribean Fragoza (published by City Lights Books, March 23rd 2021)
Myriam Gurba blurbed this – so I am interested. This part of the description particularly appeals to me: “In gritty, sometimes fantastical stories about Latinx life, women challenge feminine stereotypes and make sense of fractured family histories.” I also do not read enough book published by smaller presses and hope to remedy that.

The Rock Eaters: Stories by Brenda Peynado (published by Penguin Books, May 11th 2021)
This collection of short stories has been compared to Kelly Link and Carmen Maria Machado, and to be honest, I didn’t need to know more to decide I wanted to read it. I like short stories that combine elements of speculative genres with literary fiction and this one sounds like it will deliver on that.

Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor (published by Riverhead, June 22nd 2021)
Hands down my most anticipated book on this list. I (shamefully) still haven’t gotten around to his Booker shortlisted Real Life but I am actually more excited for his debut collection of short stories. His story in Kink was by far my favourite and I cannot wait to read more of his stuff.

Objects of Desire: Stories by Clare Sestanovich (published by Knopf, June 29th 2021)
I am always looking for short story collections to read – as such when Brandon Taylor enthusiastically reommended this on Twitter that was enough for me to add this to my TBR. This part of the blurb made this a highly anticipated release: “In these stories, thrilling desire and melancholic yearning animate women’s lives–from the brink of adulthood, to the labyrinthine path between twenty and thirty, to middle age, when certain possibilities quietly elapse.”

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder (published by Harvill Secker, July 1st 2021)
The description of this book about a new mother who thinks she is becoming a dog and developing dog-like impulses sounds like it could be the very best thing to come out next year. If the writing is as sharp as the blurb makes me hope, this could very well be my favourite thing I read next year. I combines many things I am interested in: disaster women, early motherhood, surrealism. I hope it’s as good as I hope it is!

Magma by Þóra Hjörleifsdóttir tr. by Meg Matich (published by Grove Atlantic, July 13th 2021)
I often appreciate books about women in their early twenties who are in difficult/ abusive relationships, the cover is absolutely brilliant, and Rachel made me request this on NetGalley. I always want to read more books in translation so this seems an obvious choice.

Appleseed by Matt Bell (published by Custom House, July 13th 2021)
Matt Bell blurbs all my favourite short story collections – yet I have not read any of his books. I really want to remedy that and why not go with his newest book first. This seems to be a climate chance novel with dual time-lines (past and future), combining speculative elements with thruiller tropes – and I am here for it. (I am also now wondering if this book would have better fit with my SFF list but I am expecting more of a litfic slant here.)

Matrix by Lauren Groff (published by Riverhead, September 2021)
I love Lauren Groff’s writing and want to have one day read everything she has ever written. I have two books of her backlist left to read and I am even willing to read a book about nuns during the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine if she is the one writing it. There is something about the way her sentences flow that works extremely well for me. (no cover yet, so Goodreads link here.)

Most anticipated non-fiction releases of 2021

I love thinking about all the great books that will come out in an upcoming year. I am not always that great at following through and actually reading the books but writing these posts is always a favourite part of my blogging year. I have already talked about my most anticipated SFF releases of 2021 here, today I want to highlight some of the amazing sounding non-fiction titles I am excited about (although I should probably just call it as it is: my most anticipated memoirs with the odd essay collection thrown in). Clicking on the covers will lead to the books’ Goodreads pages because I am not good at giving summaries.

As You Were by David Tromblay (published by Dzanc Books, February 16th 2021)
I am already reading this and it’s as brilliant as I hoped but also as gruesome as I figured it would be. Tromblay talks about intergenerational trauma, PTSD, abuse, and growing up Native. It is written in second person, addressing himself, in a way that seems custom-made for me to love.

Women and Other Monsters: Bulding a New Mythology by Jess Zimmermann (published by Beacon Press, March 9th 2021)
A book combining Greek mythology, female monsters/ villains, and feminism?! Sign me right up! I have an e-ARC of this book and I am very excited to get to this. I haven’t read Zimmermann’s writing before but couldn’t just not grab this when I had the chance. This sounds RIGHT up my alley.

Girlhood by Melissa Febos (published by Bloomsbury, March 30th 2021)
I have wanted to get to Febos’ writing for ages and somehow never do read her. I am determined to change that in 2021 – and this collection of essays, combining theory and memoir (my favourite kind of non-fiction writing) sounds incredible. It has also been compared to The Argonauts, a book I really enjoyed.

Broken by Jenny Lawson (published by Henry Holt, April 6th 2021)
I enjoyed the previous two memoirs by Jenny Lawson and cannot imagine this one being much different. I like her tone and her unflinching honesty regarding her mental illness while remaining funny. Here she chronicles her experience with an experimental treatment of transcranial magnetic stimulation, and I am very interested in this angle.

White Magic by Elissa Washuta (published by Tin House Books, April 27th 2021)
Another memoir-in-essays about growing up, about addiction, and about mental health, this one connects these musings to cultural beliefs and, yes, white magic to explore “questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule.” This sounds incredible and Washuta is brilliant on twitter.

Negative Space by Lilly Dancyger (published by Santa Fe Writers’ Project, May 1st 2021)
Somebody on Twitter said that this is already their favourite book of 2021, I cannot remember who but it instantly made me add this to my TBR. I am particularly interested in this angle of the book: “But what happens when a journalist interrogates her own rosy memories to reveal the instability around the edges?” What I’ve read of Dancyger’s writing so far, I enjoyed, so I will probably love this.

Well, This Is Exhausting by Sophia Benoit (published by Gallery Books, July 13th 2021)
I adore Benoit on Twitter and really enjoy her advice column (I love a good advice column). I also particularly like memoirs-in-essays, so I have high hopes for this. Especially because I already like Benoit’s way of talking and thinking about feminism. I also expect this to be funny and I could do with more funny books. The brilliant cover doesn’t hurt either.

Never Say You Can’t Survive by Charlie Jane Anders (published by tordotcom, August 17th 2021)
I adore Charlie Jane Anders – which is basically the only reason I am interested in a book about writing. Anders wrote this book during the lockdown and as such it might really help me deal with the way our lives have all been drastically altered. Her writing is usually optimistic which is something I really need right now.

In Open Country by Rahawa Haile (published by Harper, February 2nd 2021 or maybe September 21st 2021 or maybe January 11th 2022)
This sounds incredible: Haile hiked the Appalachian Trail as a Black woman and I am here for a memoir exploring that. I love a well-done travel memoir, especially if it includes hiking. I really hope the book publishes next year but I am finding many different publication dates, no final cover, and no final description. Still, I am stoked for this. (Goodreads page here)

What are your most anticipated non-fiction releases of the year? I am particularly interested in titles in genres other than memoir.

Most anticipated SFF releases of 2021

I love December in the bookish world – everybody is talking about their favourite books (I am still hoping for a few amazing books, so I will post in January) and about the books they are most looking forward to. The last few years I tried to write about my most anticipated books twice a year (for the first and the second half of the year) but as I am back at work from June on (then obviously with a child), I am unsure whether I will manage (I did not this year). Thus I decided to post more than one list now and include books for the whole of 2021. First up are the books I am currently aware of and excited for that can be categorized as SFF (the spectrum runs more from fantasy to speculative romance, rather than proper science fiction). I organized them by publication date; clicking on the covers will lead you to the books’ Goodreads pages.

Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews (published by NYLA, January 12th 2021)
A new book in the Kate Daniels world? Sold. I don’t know much more but already preordered it. I will eventually read everything Ilona Andrews’ have ever written but the Kate Daniels series has my favourite worldbuilding.

Hall of Smoke by H. M. Long (published by Titan Books, January 19th 2021)
I only read as far as the first half sentence of the blurb before requesting this book on NetGalley: “Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream.” I love books featuring gods (see my recommendation post here), which will be completely obvious by the end of this post. Early reviews are favourable and I hope to agree. I do not read enough epic fantasy given how often I adore it.

The Unbroken (Magic of the Lost #1) by C. L. Clark (published by Orbit, March 23rd 2021)
What first piqued my interest is the, frankly, disgustingly perfect cover – I mean, just look at that perfection. I also enjoy the author’s presence on twitter and I am always up for kickass women in my fantasy. And two morally grey women fighting and possibly falling in love? Sign me right up.

The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties #1) by Marina J. Lostetter (published by Tor Books, April 13th 2021)
I happen to really like books that combine more than one genre – when it comes with speculative elements, especially when it’s done in an epic fantasy kind of world, especially so. Thus my interest was already piqued when I realized this was serial killer novel fantasy. That the cover is beautiful didn’t hurt either. I am very excited for the magical homicidal death mask angle and the hints of a plotline and mythology.

Son of the Storm (The Nameless Republic #1) by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (published by Orbit, May 11th 2021)
I adore fantasy novels that explore the idea that mythologies might have been passed on wrong – and the idea of an island nation that other places insist does not exist with magic of its own sounds like absolute catnip to me. Add shape-shifters and forbidden magic and I am all in. For some reason I never got around to Okungbowa’s debut even though it features gods, so if I like this one, I’ll surely go back and remedy that.

The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley (published by Bloomsbury, May 25th 2021)
To be totally honest, I requested an ARC of this mostly because it was compared to David Mitchell and The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Like I said, I like genre-bending books and I am always looking for something like Mitchell’s writing. This is apparently an alternative history, science-fiction, time-travel kind of book – this will either work brilliantly for me or not at all. I am excited.

A Dance of Smoke and Steel (A Gathering of Dragons #3) by Milla Vane (published by Berkley, June 8th 2021)
I loved both books in the series so far (I haven’t yet read the novella because I am pacing myself). This is the dark and gritty fantasy romance of my heart. I thought the romance worked better in the first book but the world got way more exciting in the second part. Again, this features actual gods, mythology that differs depending on who is telling it, and kickass women – this series is basically custom-made for me. This might be the last book in the series but I am kind of hoping not because there is so much world yet left unexplored.

For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten (published by Orbit Books, June 15th 2021)
I am easily swayed by comp titles, it seems. This one has been compared to Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale, both of which I adored, so this seems like it will be right up my alley. Fairytale re-tellings can be brilliant if they are done right – this seems to be a spin on Red Riding Hood and the wolf is not a monster but a man. Sign me right up, this sounds wonderful.

She Who Became the Sun (The Radiant Emperor #1) by Shelley Parker-Chan (published by Tor Books, July 20th 2021)
Speaking of re-tellings, this is based on Mulan which on its own would have been interesting but the setting during the Ming dynasty intrigues me to no end. I will have to see how I get on with the “pretending to be her own brother” part of the plot, as lying often makes me anxious but everything else sounds just too amazing.

Last Guard (Psy-Changeling Trinity #5) by Nalini Singh (published by Berkley, July 20th 2021)
I cannot wait for this. I loved the first arc of this long-running series and I am excited to see where Nalini Singh takes her story next. I can always trust in her ability to spin stories I enjoy and her worldbuilding is impeccable. I should also be up to date with her other series (Guild Hunter) come next year, so I am also excited for the next book there.

The Thousand Eyes (The Serpent Gates #2) by A. K. Larkwood (published by Tor Books, August 24th 2021)
I am SO excited for this. I adored the first book in the series (review) and loved where it left off. I love the way Larkwood blends fantasy with science fiction, I obviously adore the way she employs mythology, I thought the first book was perfectly plotted, and I just think this could be absolutely perfect. (No cover yet; link to Goodreads here.)

Which SFF books are you most excited for?

Rachel and I have too many ARCs – another try at an emergency readathon (2020 edition)

Last year around this time, Rachel and I created a two-person-readathon to get our amount of unread ARCs under something resembling control. Ask me how that went! (Not great. Not great at all. I was newly pregnant and feeling pretty awful) But, it was fun! So we are doing it again the last two weeks of September and hopefully this time around I will actually make a dent into my (even bigger) mountain of unread ARCs. You are all absolutely invited to join but we don’t have any prompts, we won’t be doing anything fancy like reading sprints, but it is fun all the same!

Most of my ARCs are overdue and I do not even know how this will ever change – but I really am trying to at least get my number of unreviewed ARCs down significantly over the next few months.

I am currently in the middle of two ARCs – these will obviously my priority:

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

Published by Titan Books, October 6th 2020

I did not expect to be approved for this – it is Schwab after all and people have been looking forward to this book for years, but I did and I am so glad. I was super in the mood for her kind of writing and prefer reading on my kindle to reading physical books lately.

Crooked Halleluja by Kelli Jo Ford

Published by Grove Atlantic, July 14th 2020

I am absolutely loving this – but it is also a difficult read due to its content. I am super enjoying Ford’s characterization and her prose. If this keeps up, it will surely be one of my favourites of the year.

I usually read a few books at the same time but try to read different genres. Once I finish Crooked Hallelujah, I will pick one of my more literary fiction ARCs, and once I finish Addie LaRue, I will choose another speculative novel.

Literary Fiction

Machine by Susan Steinberg (published by Pushkin Press, August 6th 2020)

The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld (published by Knopf Doubleday, September 1st 2020)

Pew by Catherine Lacey (published by Granta, May 14th 2020)

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi (published by Faber & Faber, August 20th 2020)

Of those four I am most excited about Emezi’s second novel – I adored Freshwater and have high hopes that this will also be a favourite.

Speculative Fiction:

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri (published by Orbit, November 2018)

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron (published by HarperCollins, September 2019)

The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez (published by Titan Books, August 11th 2020)

Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam (published by Bloomsbury, October 6th 2020)

I am most excited about Empire of Sand – but I also never pick it up. I am fairly certain I will love it – many people with similar tastes to mine have already adored it, I love speculative romance, and Suri is a delight on twitter. I really should finally get to this. But I am also intrigued by Alam’s book, who is also a delight on twitter – but I also scare easily, so we will have to see how this horror/ fantasy/ thriller hybrid works for me.

I have also quite a few ARCs I have read parts of but for some reason did not finish. I hope to return to some of these and decide whether I want to keep reading.

This list of ARCs is by far not complete but it is more than enough to keep me occupied for more than the two weeks the readathon runs. And also, who am I kidding, I recently got an ARC of Melissa Broder’s second novel Milk Fed which does not release until next year but which I will probably read before anything else because I am so very excited (and this is how I manage to never ever catch up on my unread ARCs).

May 2020 TBR: It’s Wyrd And Wonder

ww2020-schedule-header-e1582553375586Every May I try to participate in Wyrd and Wonder, a month long readathon hosted by Lisa of Dear Geek Place, imyril of There’s Always Room for One More, and Jorie of Jorie Loves a Story. And every May I am only partly successful. I am kind of assuming this year will be no different (given that I will be giving birth at some point in May) but I still couldn’t not participate because I like the sense of community so much.

I am not even going to try to give myself a structured TBR but rather wanted to show you (and myself if I am being honest) some of the options I have. I will surely concentrate more on the romance side of fantasy because this is what I gravitate towards when my life is stressful.

I want to start reading Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series again; I still prefer her Psy-Changeling Series, but her writing and her character work are just always so very impeccable. I also weirdly have two books in the middle of the Psy-Changeling series unread and I am hoping to finally finish those before the next book in the series comes out later this year.

I will also catch up on the Hidden Legacy series in preparation for the upcoming release. I just adore Ilona Andrews’ writing, it is fast-paced and impeccably structured, often funny but always exciting, with interesting familial relationships – and I adore how they weave their romances into plots I would like even without it.

Except for those three series, here are a few more fantasy novels that are languishing unread on my shelves, in no particular order:

I will pick up whatever I feel like and hopefully that will translate into reading a few books that have been on my shelves for way too long. I am also currently reading N. K. Jemisin’s incredible The City We Became – which I am adoring as was to be expected.

 

IMAGE CREDITS: Flaming phoenix by Sujono SujonoDecorative phoenix by Tanantachai Sirival – both from 123RF.com

TBR: ARCs on my shelves part I (2020)

I have not felt the need to write up a post like this in quite some time – but I have quite a few ARCs now that I am super excited for and want to share that excitement. For many reasons, I am even worse at following TBRs than I used to be but some of these books I am so very much looking forward to that I am hoping to read and review these books before their publication date for a change.

49385085._sy475_The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mantel

Picador, April 30th

Station Eleven by the same author is one of my all-time favourite books, so you can imagine how excited I am that this newest book of hers is getting rave reviews. I need to carve out a day to immerse myself in what is likely to be one of my favourite books of the year.

47545450._sy475_Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh

Hamish Hamilton, May 7th

I really enjoy Mackintosh’s debut novel and am currently loving this one – I am about a quarter of the way through. Her prose is even better than in her first novel and I love the way in which she uses dystopian settings to explore human behaviour. People looking for a more classical dystopian novel are bound to be disappointed – but I get the feeling that this is just not the type of writer Mackintosh is.

44778722._sy475_The Shapeless Unease by Samantha Harvey

Grove Atlantic, May 12th

This is a non-fiction book about the author’s struggle with insomnia. I have read the first few pages and it seems like just my type of book. It is just the right mix of personal and experimental that I really appreciate in creative nonfiction.

52272255._sx318_sy475_Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight

Bloomsbury Publishing, May 14th

A book about a failed PhD student, obsession, and poisonous plants sounds like it could be perfect for me. I am hoping for difficult women and introspective narration.

50186889._sx318_sy475_Sisters by Daisy Johnson

Jonathan Cape, July 2nd

I adored, adored Johnson’s debut and have been looking forward to her next book ever since. Her prose and imagination are just perfect and her brand of magical realism really works for me. I am beyond excited for this one, which focusses two sisters and their complicated relationship.

43301992Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford

Grove Atlantic, July 24th

The cover drew me in and then the blurb featured this brilliant sentence: “Against the vivid backdrop of the Red River, we see their struggle to survive in a world—of unreliable men and near-Biblical natural forces, like wildfires and tornados—intent on stripping away their connections to one another and their very ideas of home.” – and I could not not request this. I love stories about familial relationships and I am interested in the influence religious devotion can have on those.

51541496._sx318_sy475_Luster by Raven Leilani

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, August 4th

Honestly, this novel about a twenty-something woman getting caught up in a couple’s open marriage sounds like it could be similar to The Pisces, which is always enough to convince me to try a book – I have been chasing that high since reading Broder’s magnificent book about a horrible woman.

48637753._sy475_The Harpy by Megan Hunter

Grove Atlantic, August 11th

Again, a book by an author whose debut I really enjoyed, this also has possibly my favourite cover of the year. The premise of a woman whose husband has cheated on her and in return has agreed to be hurt by her three times sounds incredible – coupled with Hunter’s strong prose, this could be a favourite for me.

Most anticipated books of the first half of 2020

There will be so many incredible sounding books released next year that I have been thinking about this post for weeks. As usual, I will for now concentrate on the first half of the year and hopefully write another post some time around June when more books will have been announced. I have tried to no go totally over-board and only include books I am sure I want to get to. You can find more books on my radar on my Goodreads.

I will mostly focus on books that aren’t part of ongoing series but there are plenty of those I am excited about; for example: Headliners (London Celebrities #5) by Lucy Parker, Dirty Martini Running Club #2 by Claire Kingsley, Shorefall (Founder #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett, Alpha Night (Psy-Changeling Trinity #4) by Nalini Singh (hands down my most anticipated release of the entire year).

Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey (Knopf/ January 7th, 2020)

45754997Miranda Popkey’s first novel is about desire, disgust, motherhood, loneliness, art, pain, feminism, anger, envy, guilt–written in language that sizzles with intelligence and eroticism. The novel is composed almost exclusively of conversations between women–the stories they tell each other, and the stories they tell themselves, about shame and love, infidelity and self-sabotage–and careens through twenty years in the life of an unnamed narrator hungry for experience and bent on upending her life. Edgy, wry, shot through with rage and despair, Topics of Conversation introduces an audacious and immensely gifted new novelist.

Everything about that blurb appeals to me – that it has been praised as similar to Sally Rooney alone would have been enough to make me excited though. Continue reading “Most anticipated books of the first half of 2020”

Books written by men in 2019 that I am now excited about

I didn’t read any books written by men in 2019. And mostly it really didn’t change that much about my reading choices. But now that 2020 is nearing, I am actually really looking forward to reading men again. Because there are some really exciting books I missed last year or series that finished.

41880609On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

I heard nothing but great things about this book. Apparently it is partly told in second person narration which is one of my all-time favourite things (I have even written a recommendation post), and if I am being honest I am sold by that fact alone. The language is supposed to be stunning and the story told fragmentally – I cannot see myself not loving it.

Mark Lawrence – Grey Sister and Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2 & #3)

I really enjoyed parts of the first book in this trilogy when I read it last year and the consensus seems to be that the second and the third book are genuinely great as well. I am a big fan of kickass women in fantasy, so even though I do not particularly love the “magical school” trope, I am super invested in this series and especially the worldbuilding.

42389859._sy475_October Man by Ben Aaronovitch

I love this series and cannot wait to get stuck in the world again. I really enjoyed how Aaronovitch finished the first part of his series and am very excited to see where this goes next. The book is also set in Germany which is bound to be interesting for me.

 

41088576Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

Hands down the most difficult book to not read the moment it came out, this is the beginning of the second trilogy in Hidden Legacy series. I have adored pretty much everything I have read of this author duo and cannot imagine this being different. I still haven’t read the novella set between the two trilogies and will probably be doing that as soon as 2020 starts.

37589179._sy475_Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer

I love Jeff VanderMeer’s writing and I am planning on eventually reading everything he has ever written. This book is set in the same world as Borne, the first book I read of his and one that has stuck with me to an incredible degree. Especially considering that I didn’t adore it as much while reading it (review). His imagination is just wonderful though and I don’t want to stop reading his work.

43682552How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

This memoir sounds incredible – Jones is a poet and apparently mixes poetry and prose for this book and I am personally here for that. Everything I have heard about this book makes me certain I will love it and I cannot wait to pick it up in 2020.

Are there any books you are planning to pick up in the new year? Have you read any of these that I should prioritize?

Sci-Fi Month 2019 TBR(or sci-fi books written by women I own and haven’t read yet)

November seems to be THE month for readathons – there is Non-Fiction November and Novellas in November, but I am most excited about this one: Sci-Fi Month 2019. I adore the community and I am hoping that my enthusiasm for them will finally properly re-introduce me to the blogging world. Sci-Fi Month is hosted by Imyril over @ onemore and Lisa over @ deargeekplace. You can still join up here. I’ll be using this readathon as a motivation to finally pick up some more of the science fiction books I own (true to brand, only those written by women) and hopefully to get back into the groove of reviewing regularly.

I am notoriously bad at following TBRs but I do love compiling them and I had fun looking at the books I own and haven’t read yet. If I read two of these books I will see that as a success.

Priorities

24100285Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

I love everything about the premise. I am a huge (unironic) fan of the Eurovision Song Contest and cannot wait to see what Valente and her signature imagination can do with it. Also, the tagline is a thing of genius: “In space, everybody can hear you sing.” I really need to finally get to this.

32802595Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

I absolutely adore Chamber’s brand of optimistic sci-fi and I cannot believe I still haven’t read this. I haven’t been in the mood for any spec-fic that is dark and twisted, so this one should work perfectly for me.

 

ARCs

40947778The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

I keep talking about this book because it is so ridiculously up my alley: I mean, AI gods? How much more custom-made for me can any sci-fi book be? But then I never pick it up. I really want to change this soon. And I would love to have at least one ARC-review up for Sci-Fi Month.

41085049Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O’Keefe

This one fell victim to my reading slump (or rather, slump involving anything not romance related) – I read the first few chapters and did enjoy it but didn’t love it. I am determined to finally make a proper dent into it though! I like stories about siblings and I like closed room sci-fi and I like stories set in different timelines.

Maybe

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz and Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

I bought those two books when I decided I wanted to read more science fiction early in 2018 – that I still haven’t picked them back up is maybe not the best sign. But then again, I got overly ambitious and bought way too many books at once. Both come highly praised as well – especially Ancillary Justice has won pretty much every prize there is to win and my boyfriend who reads more science fiction than I do really loved it.

35519101Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

I enjoyed both ealier installments of this series – and Murderbot is just the perfect protagonist. This could double as the only book I read for Novellas in November so I am indeed very tempted to pick it up. Especially because it would be a very quick and fun read.

I really hope I’ll manage to pick up at least some of these books. Are you planning on participating in Sci-Fi Month?

Rachel and I have too many ARCs – a “hold me accountable” TBR

I have too many unread ARCs on my shelves and I am starting to get really annoyed at the fact. My reading has been very different the last I don’t even know how many months (actually I do know; since October last year) and as a result I haven’t read the books I thought I would read but have not stopped requesting books either. Which means that at the moment I have the ridiculous number of 26 unread ARCs, 15 of which are past their publication date. I don’t know about you all but for me, once I don’t manage to read an ARC by its publication date, chances are I won’t read it anytime soon – which is stupid because I want to read those books! I am not alone in this, so Rachel @paceamorelibri and I have decided to hold each other responsible and do a two week long stretch of reading ARCs, starting on September 1st. You should join us!

High priority:

39714124Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Published November 2018

I was approved for this ARC after it had already been published and then I just never got around to reading it. Which is a shame because apparently it features gods (possibly my favourite thing ever! See recommendations here) and a really well-done romance – this book could not be more up my alley if it had been written with me in mind. I figure if I read it now I can get hyped about the next book in the series, which will be released in November.

42123790._sy475_Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson

Publishing Date: Oktober 1st 2019

Pretty much the only Booker longlisted book I am interested in this year. I adored Winterson’s memoir when I read it last year and have wanted to read more of her ever since. This sounds absolutely brilliant I really should get to it before the short list is announced – so that I have at least one potential horse in the game.

 

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

Publishing Date: September 12th 2019

I was a bit apprehensive when I requested it but it so anyways because the hype got to me. But since then people whose taste I trust have loved it – so I am really looking forward to this. I do love a good portal fantasy but I don’t love books about books. But the reviews are so good!

 

40947778._sy475_The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

Published June 2019

I have a complicated relationship with scifi. I want to love it and often adore the premises but then never super enjoy the books. This one sounds SO brilliant and made for me though. I mean, AI Gods? (Like I said, I adore books about gods) How could I not request a copy? I really need to get to this.

44282599._sy475_Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

Published August 2019

I have been looking forward to this book for ages, so I have absolutely no excuse. I really, really want to read this. But for some reason I have not been able to read non fiction lately at all. I hope this will change soon!

 

Unsure and will do a Try A Chapter Tag with

40407148Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt

Published July 2018

Another book I received after its publication date – and one I keep forgetting that I own. It is losely based on the Nabokov marriage and I think it would be interesting to compare it to what I learned about Vera and Vladimir Nabokov reading Stacy Schiff’s incredible Vera a few weeks ago. It is, however, historical fiction, a genre I frequently struggle with and have mostly given up on. Hopefully this will work for me now.

40060700The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell

Published March 2018

I requested this when I was trying to read as many eligible books for the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction. And then promptly never picked it up. It isn’t quite my type of book but the reviews are good. I will have to read a bit and see how much I like it.

 

44596261._sy475_Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Publishing Date: September 3rd 2019

I wished for this because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. However, I apparently did not expect to have my wish granted (it is the third wish I have had granted, so maybe I am a unicorn?) – I am not sure I will love this. I have struggled a lot with YA these last few years, so this might not work for me at all. It does sound interesting though and maybe myself-imposed absence in the YA world will help me like this.

Read a bit and need to decide whether I want to keep reading:

I have the habit of starting a book and putting it down at some point when I am not immediately loving it. I have five ARCs that I have read at least some part of but for some reason or other put down again. I need to read a bit more of each of these books and then make the decision whether I want to keep reading or not.

City of Lies by Sam Hawke

Cala by Laura Legge

Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O’Keefe

The Snakes by Sadie Jones

Knock Wood by Jennifer Militello

 

Please join us in our attempt to finally make a dent into our ARC piles! Which of these books should I prioritize? (I cannot promise to actually listen to anybody)