May 2019 TBR: It’s Wyrd and Wonder!

ww-2019-dragon-banner-all-capsI am so excited!

Last year I tried to participate in Wyrd and Wonder but got sidetracked, something that is likely to happen again but I still want to try. I have been reading a lot of fantasy and related genres these last months and I am always up for more. You can find the sign-up post here in case you also want to participate in this fantasy goodness.

I am trying to keep my TBR to a manageable size because I still have plenty of Women’s Prize books left to read before the winner is announced (I am determined to make it through the longlist until then!) but I also always get super excited when thinking about books I could potentially read. I had decided to go with one book per medium – and then my copy of Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse arrived and I couldn’t not include this.

Hard Copy: A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

32200595I am determined to finally finish this series – while I did not love the second book, I do love Schwab herself. She has such a lovely online presence! I also really enjoy her imagination, even if her characters don’t always work for me. Even though this is super long, her writing is readable enough that I should be able to breeze through it, once I get properly started.

Hard Copy: Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse

37920490

I read the first book in this series the moment it came out last year and have been excited for the sequel ever since. It reignited my love for Urban Fantasy which has been dominating my reading this last year. I just adore what Roanhorse is doing with the tropes of the genre and the basis in Native American mythology is breathtakingly done.

 

Audio Book: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

29774026Speaking of long books, the audio book for this is 26 hours long (which always feels like I am really getting something for my money!). I recently moved and now walking to work takes me half an hour, so I get a reasonable amount of reading done this way. Shannon’s feminist dragon fantasy is awesome so far, but also a bit confusing with its big cast of characters – apparently I did not pay proper attention in the beginning because I only remember one of the main characters, so I will have to restart the audiobook.

Kindle Book: The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang

41118857I was lucky to snag my first ever Edelweiss Arc for this one and I cannot even tell you how excited I am to get to it. I really enjoyed the first book in the series and I cannot wait to see where Kuang takes her story next. It will be absolutely brutal, I am sure, but also amazing and I personally am here for it.

 

Graphic Novel: Monstress Vol. 3: Haven by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

41952016I have not been reading graphic novels much lately but I do love the medium. And I particularly love what Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda are doing here. The art is stunning and the world-building intricate and everything about this just works for me. (I have heard people find it very hard to stomach in its graphic depiction of violence so this might not be a series for everybody though)

But who am I kidding; I will probably just keep reading Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling books until I reach the end of the series as published so far.

*Image Credit:  Dragon – by  kasana86.

Holiday TBR (March 2019)

I am going on holiday tomorrow! I am so very excited because I so desperately need a break. My year is absolutely killing me so far (I know I have not shut up about that fact for months) and I am tired and overworked and I cannot wait to take a proper break (mostly. I will still be replying to urgent mails because term starts ridiculously early this year and students freak out and I feel sorry if I don’t reply). As per usual, my boyfriend and me have planned way too many things, so I probably won’t have all that much time to read, but I do have a 12 hour plane ride ahead of me, so I will hopefully finish some books in the ten days I’ll be away.

I will only be packing one (1) physical book:

37539457Normal People by Sally Rooney

I am absolutely, totally, in love with her writing and her characters. They have a way of burrowing into my heart and my brain and staying there even when I am not reading. I could not stand the idea of having to wait ten days before I can finish this book.

 

I am currently in the middle of the audiobook for Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott. I really enjoyed the beginning of the book but it has started to seriously drag. It is altogether way too long, but I do think I’ll be making a serious dent into the book on my travels. If I finish this while abroad, I own the audiobook of An American Marriage by Tayari Jones as the next book on the Women’s Prize longlist.

I am also currently reading Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli which is very very wordy and couldn’t hold my attention during my work weeks. Hopefully being away from work will lead to me finally finishing this book. I also bought Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li, the book on the Women’s Prize longlist I am at the moment most aprehensive about.

But, who am I kidding, I will probably be reading the next few books in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series because they are so much fun and easy to read and really what I look for when I am on holiday.

Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist: Reaction

The longlist is finally here! I am beyond excited and a bit baffled because of the depth excitement. I stayed up yesterday to hear the announcement the moment it went live, something I have never done for a longlist announcement.

My longlist predictions were so wrong, it’s not even funny; I only correctly predicted two books. Of the 16 books on the longlist I have read three, am currently reading one, and three I had never heard of before yesterday. This means that I have an awful lot of reading to do (according to the Goodreads page counts it’s 4023 pages). I will really try to read the longlist but I will definitely DNF the books that don’t work for me.

Without much further ado, here is the longlist in all its glory:

The Silence of the Girls Pat Barker
Remembered Yvonne Battle-Felton
My Sister, the Serial Killer Oyinkan Braithwaite
The Pisces Melissa Broder
Milkman Anna Burns
Freshwater Akwaeke Emezi
Ordinary People Diana Evans
Swan Song Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
An American Marriage Tayari Jones
Number One Chinese Restaurant Lillian Li
Bottled Goods Sophie van Llewyn
Lost Children Archive Valeria Luiselli
Praise Song for the Butterflies Bernice L. McFadden
Circe Madeline Miller
Ghost Wall Sarah Moss
Normal People by Sally Rooney

My thoughts:

Read: I am beyond thrilled The Pisces by Melissa Broder made the list; it was by far my favourite book of last year and I want more people to read it. In case you need convincing, here is my gushing review for it. I am also happy to see Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi on the list, which I also adored (my review). I was a bit worried that Emezi wouldn’t want to be included as they are non-binary but they are pleased so I am pleased. I am keeping my fingers crossed that people will try to make an effort to use the correct pronouns though (the first glimpse on twitter makes that seem unlikely). The only other book I have read is Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss, where I seem to be the only person online to not have enjoyed it all that much (my review) – but others really do, so I am glad for its inclusion.

Currently reading: I have started Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli a while ago and really enjoyed the first few pages but found the prose very wordy – I am excited to see it on the list though because that means there is at least one book I don’t need to hunt down.

Well pleased: I am super excited to get to Normal People by Sally Rooney; I finished Conversations With Friends yesterday and I am so very much in love with it that I will read everything Rooney ever publishes (I spent yesterday periodically exclaiming “What a book!”) – and Normal People sounds brilliant. I am also happy to see both Circe by Madeline Miller and The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker on the list; I adore feminist myth retellings and I have heard great things about both books. I did not think both would make it but I am glad for it. I am also really excited to have an excuse to finally take the plunge and read Milkman by Anna Burns, a book that scares me but also sounds really great. I opted for the audiobook version of this as I have heard listening to the prose makes the book more accessible. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is another one of the books I did want to read at some point anyways and this is a welcome excuse to prioritize it.

Cautiously optimistic: I requested a review copy of Ordinary People by Diana Evans last year and didn’t get approved but it does sound like a book I could really enjoy. Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott isn’t quite a book I would have picked up on my own but I have heard great things about it. I am not good with books that deal with injustice, but again I have heard brilliant things about An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, so hopefully I will enjoyed it. I hadn’t heard of Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn but it is a short book that actually sounds like it could be my cup of tea.

Slightly pessimistic: While Number One Chinese Restaurant Lillian Li sounds interesting, I have read rather negative reviews of it – however, sometimes my taste is different to Goodreads’ average and I might enjoy this more (after all, The Pisces has a dreadfully low rating as well and that book is perfection). Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton could be great but it is also really outside my wheelhouse.

Really dreading: Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden does not sound like my type of book at all – and the blurb includes this: “educational, eye-opening account of the practice of ritual servitude in West Africa.” and I do not really appreciate books that are meant to be educational. I am hoping to be proved wrong.

Overall I am mostly pleased (The Pisces!!!) but also sad for a few notable exclusions. I was really hoping for both My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh and Motherhood by Sheila Heti because I really, really want to read these books. I was also hoping for Women Talking by Miriam Toews because it sounds intriguing but I don’t know whether I’ll get to it without the added push. I also thought there would be more overlap with the Man Booker longlist and would have really liked The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh and Everything Under by Daisy Johnson to get a shout out because I really liked both books and think the authors are awesome.

What are your thoughts? Are you still planning on reading the longlist?

TBR: December 2018

I had given up on setting myself TBRs a few months ago as I never actually read the books I was “supposed to”. But this month there are a few books that I really should get to. I am behind on my ARCs for one thing but more importantly, next year I am planning on only reading books written by female and non-binary authors (more on that soon). This does mean that there are a few books I do need to get to this month or they will have to wait for over a year; an idea I am not too fond of.

So without much further ado, here are the books I want to read this December, starting with the books I am currently reading.

Currently reading

 

To be Read

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (ARC)

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri (ARC)

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom (ARC)

The Winter and The Witch by Katherine Arden (ARC)

To Be Read if time allows

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley

Do you have some books you want to read before the end of the year? Do let me know!

TBR: ARCs on my shelves part V (2018)

I have not talked about the ARCs I added to my virtual shelves in three months and while I did not request as many ARCs as I have done in the past, I have acquired a few and want to talk about them.

Still to be read:

38633526Vita Nostra by Sergey & Marina Dyachenko

Publication Date: November 1st, 2018

Publisher: HarperVoyager

Blurb (from Goodreads): The definitive English language translation of the internationally bestselling Ukrainian novel—a brilliant dark fantasy with “the potential to be a modern classic” (Lev Grossman), combining psychological suspense, enchantment, and terror that makes us consider human existence in a fresh and provocative way.

Our life is brief . . .

While vacationing at the beach with her mother, Sasha Samokhina meets the mysterious Farit Kozhennikov under the most peculiar circumstances. The teenage girl is powerless to refuse when this strange and unusual man with an air of the sinister directs her to perform a task with potentially scandalous consequences. He rewards her effort with a strange golden coin.

As the days progress, Sasha carries out other acts for which she receives more coins from Kozhennikov. As summer ends, her domineering mentor directs her to move to a remote village and use her gold to enter the Institute of Special Technologies. Though she does not want to go to this unknown town or school, she also feels it’s the only place she should be. Against her mother’s wishes, Sasha leaves behind all that is familiar and begins her education.

As she quickly discovers, the institute’s “special technologies” are unlike anything she has ever encountered. The books are impossible to read, the lessons obscure to the point of maddening, and the work refuses memorization. Using terror and coercion to keep the students in line, the school does not punish them for their transgressions and failures; instead, their families pay a terrible price. Yet despite her fear, Sasha undergoes changes that defy the dictates of matter and time; experiences which are nothing she has ever dreamed of . . . and suddenly all she could ever want.

A complex blend of adventure, magic, science, and philosophy that probes the mysteries of existence, filtered through a distinct Russian sensibility, this astonishing work of speculative fiction—brilliantly translated by Julia Meitov Hersey—is reminiscent of modern classics such as Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, Max Barry’s Lexicon, and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale, but will transport them to a place far beyond those fantastical worlds.

Why I requested it: I love Russian literature and this one sounded right up my alley. And then my slump hit. Continue reading “TBR: ARCs on my shelves part V (2018)”

TBR: Novellas in November (2018)

This year I am planning on participating in Novellas in November. You can find an overview of the history of this event and further links on Laura’s blog.

There are two (main) reasons why I am trying to participate in Novellas in November:

  1. One of my reading resolutions was to read more novellas this year. I haven’t really done that.
  2. My reading has been super slow these last few weeks.

I am not very good at TBRs (which is why I have stopped setting myself any), so I will have to wait and see how it goes this month, but I do have a few novellas I want to get to. I will try to read as many as possible in a single sitting in the hopes of getting into the groove of reading again.

35954933The Strange Bird by Jeff VanderMeer

I adore Jeff VanderMeer’s writing and own a few books of his that I haven’t read, but for some reason I have not picked any of his books up in months. Crossing this one off my TBR would be ace.

25667918Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

I have heard amazing things about this series, but I also DNFed one of Nnedi Okorafor’s other books (man, that one was disappointingly romance heavy). I want to like her writing more than I do, I think. But, this is less than 100 pages long and will hopefully be as great as everybody says it is.

22359316Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I would be nice to have read at least one classic book this year. I have neglected older books altogether this year and maybe that is a mistake. I have not read any Steinbeck but I have the nagging feeling that I would adore his work if I just got off my butt and actually read one of his books

32606889The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy

This sounds SO brilliant. And creepy. And disturbing. I was super excited when I bought it and really should get to it before the year ends.

 

35519101Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries #3 by Martha Wells

I have read the first two in the series earlier this year and really enjoy the characters and the humor. It is just fluffy enough to hopefully sooth my reading despair.

Are you planning of participating in Novellas in November? What are your reading plans in general?

TBR: The last three month of the year (a male author selection)

I will only be reading books written by women and non-binary people next year. It seemed like a good idea when I decided on that a few months ago. My reading taste leans towards books written by women anyways and I got so annoyed at the articles proclaiming that men don’t read women – and being the good economist I am, I decided to show the market that I can do that as well – I mean being a woman and only reading women.

There are a few books that I am fairly hyped about that I won’t get to next year, but I figure waiting a few months before I read them won’t kill me. But, and this is the idea behind this post, I own a few books written by men that I do want to get to before the beginning of the year. So I will try to read them in the next few months (I have not been following any TBRs whatsoever, so we will have to wait and see whether I actually do read them). Here are some books I am excited about, in no particular order.

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

number9dream by David Mitchell

Please get me excited about these books because they are all books I am sure I will enjoy (probably love) but some of them have been on my shelves for over a year. And if I don’t pick them up in the next three months, they will gather dust on my TBR shelf for longer still.