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 focussing 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)

 

Most anticipated releases of the second half of 2019

I love compiling these lists because I love getting excited for books. So far this year I haven’t done so great at actually reading my anticipated releases (here are the ones for the first half of the year) but who knows, maybe that’ll change. Spoiler alert: for somebody who has only read like 3 non-fiction titles this year, I sure am looking forward to many memoirs. I really need to get my reading back to normality.

44795725._sy475_Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Bloomsbury, July 9th
Genre: Non-Fiction

Every review of this I have seen has been glowing – and it sounds like it could be just the perfect book for me. I love non-fiction about women.

46374237._sy475_The Need by Helen Phillips

Penguin / Viking, July 16th
Genre: Horror, Fiction

I read Helen Philips’ short story collection Some Possible Solutions a while ago and while I didn’t enjoy every story, those I liked I absolutely loved. I also think her vague and metaphorical style might really work for me in novel form. I also am always interesting in books about motherhood – and one with a horror slant sounds like just the book for me.

40222541I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi

Harper Perennial, August 6th
Genre: Essay Collection

I am mostly excited for this because Akwaeke Emezi loved it – and I figure everything they love, I’ll love. I also really love personal essay collections, I adore the title, and I usually enjoy the non fiction titles I read published by Harper, so this should be right up my alley.

43126457Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

Random House, August 6th
Genre: Essay Collection

I love Tolentino’s writing and am super excited about a full length essay collection by her. I cannot see myself not loving this. I also adore the old school hipster style cover more than I am comfortable admitting.

43862291Shelf Life by Livia Franchini

Doubleday, August 23rd
Genre: Fiction

This sounds absolutely excellent and I do adore the cover (always a plus). I love stories about women whose life have exploded around them – and this one seems to be interestingly structured as well.

44032417._sy475_Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Faber&Faber, September 10th
Genre: YA, Fantasy

I know nearly nothing about this book except that for Emezi I am willing to read a YA novel. Their writing is exciting without end and while I am even more excited for their upcoming adult novel, I will be reading this nonetheless. But the cover is killing me (and not in the good way).

42188604In the Dream House my Carmen Maria Machado

Graywolf Press, October 1st
Genre: Memoir

This is the book I am most excited about. I adore Machado’s writing and this memoir sounds incredible (it has been getting a steady number of intriguingly high praise).

43682552How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

Simon and Schuster, October 8th
Genre: Memoir

This is the first book published this year that made me cross with myself for choosing to not read any books written by men. I will be reading this the moment 2020 roles around. I love Jones’ writing and this memoir sounds incredible.

42152409Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz

Algonquin Books, October 29th
Genre: Memoir

This is comped to Myriam Gurba’s Mean and Marie Terese Mailhot’s Heartberries. Both of which I adored.

42730332._sx318_The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Harvill Secker, November 5th
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Like many others, I adore The Night Circus. So when Morgenstern’s new book finally got announced, I like many others, squealed. I cannot wait to read this. But the covers are all truly awful.

What are some of the books you are looking forward to?

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. Continue reading “TBR: ARCs on my shelves part I (2019)”