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 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)

 

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)”

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.

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!