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).

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: 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: ARCs on my shelves part IV (2018)

I was SO proud of myself. I was doing so good. I got my NetGalley ARCs way down (I mean, they were in the single digits for like a hot moment). This is not the case anymore. I, again, have so many ARCs on my digital shelves. And so little time. (You can find my earlier round-ups here, here and here.) But oh, what wonderful books I got.

Still to be read:

356108231The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Publication Date: June 7th

Publisher: Random House, Vintage (Jonathan Cape)

Blurb (from Goodreads): Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences, plus six years, at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Outside is the world from which she has been permanently severed: the San Francisco of her youth, changed almost beyond recognition. The Mars Room strip club where she once gave lap dances for a living. And her seven-year-old son, Jackson, now in the care of Romy’s estranged mother.

Inside is a new reality to adapt to: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive. The deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner details with humour and precision. Daily acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike. Allegiances formed over liquor brewed in socks, and stories shared through sewage pipes.

Romy sees the future stretch out ahead of her in a long, unwavering line – until news from outside brings a ferocious urgency to her existence, challenging her to escape her own destiny and culminating in a climax of almost unbearable intensity. Through Romy – and through a cast of astonishing characters populating The Mars Room – Rachel Kushner presents not just a bold and unsentimental panorama of life on the margins of contemporary America, but an excoriating attack on the prison-industrial complex.

Why I requested this: I wanted to read this since the beginning of the year but then held off requesting an ARC because I had so many unread ones already – but now it is nominated for the Man Booker and here we are.

36396289Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

Publication Date: July 12th

Publisher: Random House, Vintage (Jonathan Cape)

Blurb (from Goodreads): Words are important to Gretel, always have been. As a child, she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn’t seen her mother since the age of sixteen, though – almost a lifetime ago – and those memories have faded. Now Gretel works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature.

A phone call from the hospital interrupts Gretel’s isolation and throws up questions from long ago. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too: the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water – a canal thief? – swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back.

Daisy Johnson’s debut novel turns classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving, Everything Under is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that leaves you unsettled and unstrung.

Why I requested it: Again, it is nominated for the Man Booker – and it sounds absolutely bloody brilliant and I cannot believe this nearly flew under my radar. This sounds SO up my alley, it’s absurd.

40407148Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt

Publication Date: July 12th

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Blurb (from Goodreads): A seductive, sensual and sinister love triangle set in 1930s America and inspired by the infamous Nabokov marriage

Zoya Andropova, a young Russian refugee, finds herself in an elite New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, her home and her sense of purpose, Zoya struggles to belong, a task made more difficult by her new country’s paranoia about Soviet spies.

When she meets charismatic fellow Russian émigré Leo Orlov – whose books Zoya has obsessed over for years – everything seems to change. But she soon discovers that Leo is bound by the sinister orchestrations of his brilliant wife, Vera, and that their relationship is far more complex than Zoya could ever have imagined.

Why I requested it: I am really enjoying the new Bloomsbury imprint Raven Books and this could be brilliant. But my request was pending for forever and then I was accepted after the release date and now I don’t know when I will get to it.

40206019Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young

Publication Date: August 9th

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Blurb (from Goodreads): In Can You Tolerate This? – the title comes from the question chiropractors ask to test a patient’s pain threshold – Ashleigh Young ushers us into her early years in the faraway yet familiar landscape of New Zealand: fantasising about Paul McCartney, cheering on her older brother’s fledgling music career, and yearning for a larger and more creative life.

As Young’s perspective expands, a series of historical portraits – a boy with a rare skeletal disease, a French postman who built a stone fortress by hand, a generation of Japanese shut-ins – strike unexpected personal harmonies, as an unselfconscious childhood gives way to painful shyness in adolescence. As we watch Young fall in and out of love, undertake intense physical exercise that masks something deeper, and gradually find herself through her writing, a highly particular psyche comes into view: curious, tender and exacting in her observations of herself and the world around her.

How to bear each moment of experience: the inconsequential as much as the shattering?

In this spirited and singular collection of essays, Ashleigh Young attempts to find some measure of clarity amidst the uncertainty, exploring the uneasy tensions – between safety and risk, love and solitude, the catharsis of grief and the ecstasy of creation – that define our lives.

Why I requested it: I mean, duh, it sounds like such a me-book. Plus, I recently went to New Zealand and an essay collection/ memoir set there feels appropriate.

39780950Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Publication Date: August 9th

Publisher: Random House UK, Vintage Publishing

Blurb (from Goodreads): In this crackling debut collection Nafissa Thompson-Spires interrogates our supposedly post-racial era. To wicked and devastating effect she exposes the violence, both external and self-inflicted, that threatens black Americans, no matter their apparent success.

A teenager is insidiously bullied as her YouTube following soars; an assistant professor finds himself losing a subtle war of attrition against his office mate; a nurse is worn down by the demand for her skills as a funeral singer. And across a series of stories, a young woman grows up, negotiating and renegotiating her identity.

Heads of the Colored People shows characters in crisis, both petty and catastrophic. It marks the arrival of a remarkable writer and an essential and urgent new voice.

Why I requested it: I wanted to read this since before its US publication because it sounds brilliant and I am always up for exciting short story collections. Also, the UK cover is STUNNING. (I am currently half-way through and it is as brilliant as I hoped)

39225898Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennet

Publication Date: August 23rd

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books

Blurb (from Goodreads): The city of Tevanne runs on scrivings, industrialised magical inscriptions that make inanimate objects sentient; they power everything, from walls to wheels to weapons. Scrivings have brought enormous progress and enormous wealth – but only to the four merchant Houses who control them. Everyone else is a servant or slave, or they eke a precarious living in the hellhole called the Commons.

There’s not much in the way of work for an escaped slave like Sancia Grado, but she has an unnatural talent that makes her one of the best thieves in the city. When she’s offered a lucrative job to steal an ancient artefact from a heavily guarded warehouse, Sancia agrees, dreaming of leaving the Commons – but instead, she finds herself the target of a murderous conspiracy. Someone powerful in Tevanne wants the artefact, and Sancia dead – and whoever it is already wields power beyond imagining.

Sancia will need every ally, and every ounce of wits at her disposal, if she is to survive – because if her enemy gets the artefact and unlocks its secrets, thousands will die, and, even worse, it will allow ancient evils back into the world and turn their city into a devastated battleground.

Why I requested it: Because it is my most anticipated read of the second half of the year. I adore Bennett’s earlier trilogy and possibly squealed when I was accepted.

39287231City of Lies by Sam Hawke

Publication Date: August 23rd

Publisher: Random House UK, Transworld Publishers

Blurb (from Goodreads): Only a handful of people in Silasta know Jovan’s real purpose in life. To most, he is just another son of the ruling class. The quiet, forgettable friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir. In reality, Jovan has been trained for most of his life to detect, concoct and withstand poisons in order to protect the ruling family.

His sister Kalina is too frail to share in their secret family duty. While other women of the city hold positions of power and responsibility, her path is full of secrets and lies – some hidden even from her own brother.

Up until now, peace has reigned in Silasta for hundreds of years. But when the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army storms the gates, the so-called Bright City is completely unprepared. It falls to Jovan and Kalina to protect the heir and save their homeland – but first they must make their way through a new world of unexpected treachery – a world where the ancient spirits are rising . . . and angry.

Why I requested it: I am finding my overwhelming love for fantasy again (in normal years it is by far the genre I read most of) and I loved the way this sounded (it is also written by a woman, which never hurts a book in my case). The early reviews are favourable and the first sentence is just brilliant. I am super excited about this!

39098246The Corset by Laura Purcell

Publication Date: September 20th

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Blurb (from Goodreads): The new Victorian chiller from the author of Radio 2 Book Club pick, The Silent Companions.

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?

Dorothea and Ruth. Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless. Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality and the power of redemption.

Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

Why I requested it: Again, I am liking Bloomsbury’s Raven Books imprint and felt like something mystery-ish set in the past (which surprised me more than anybody). Laura Purcell’s debut has been racking up praise, so I cannot wait to see how her follow-up is. (Do you sometimes get retroactive fomo? I did get it with her debut.)

37534857City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender

Publication Date: November 20th

Publisher: Macmillan/ Tor-Forge

Blurb (from Goodreads): Five hundred years ago, magi created a weapon they couldn’t control. An infestation that ate magic–and anything else it came into contact with. Enemies and allies were equally filling.

Only an elite team of non-magical humans, known as sweepers, can defuse and dispose of infestations before they spread. Most die before they finish training.

Laura, a new team member, has stayed alive longer than most. Now, she’s the last–and only–sweeper standing between the city and a massive infestation.

Why I requested it: God, this sounds so brilliant. I requested it not thinking I would get it (I don’t think Tor often has the rights for Germany) but here we are and I am SO looking forward to this.

40908694The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Publication Date: February 7th, 2019

Publisher: Scribner (UK)

Blurb (from Goodreads): The eagerly awaited new novel from the author of The Age of Miracles.

Imagine a world where sleep could trap you, for days, for weeks, months… A world where you could even die of sleep rather than in your sleep.

Karen Thompson Walker’s second novel is the stunning story of a Californian town’s epidemic of perpetual sleep.

Why I requested it: I don’t remember who it was but somebody online said this was their favourite of the year so far. So, excited is an understatement. It sounds amazing and the cover is stunning and everything about this screams “read me now”.

Read and Reviewed:

40022793Putney by Sofka Zinovieff

Publication Date: July 12th

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Blurb (from Goodreads): It is the 1970s and Ralph, an up-and-coming composer, is visiting Edmund Greenslay at his riverside home in Putney to discuss a collaboration. Through the house’s colourful rooms and unruly garden flits nine-year-old Daphne – dark, teasing, slippery as mercury, more sprite than boy or girl. From the moment their worlds collide, Ralph is consumed by an obsession to make Daphne his.

But Ralph is twenty-five and Daphne is only a child, and even in the bohemian abandon of 1970s London their fast-burgeoning relationship must be kept a secret. It is not until years later that Daphne is forced to confront
the truth of her own childhood – and an act of violence that has lain hidden for decades.

‘Putney’ is a bold, thought-provoking novel about the moral lines we tread, the stories we tell ourselves and the memories that play themselves out again and again, like snatches of song.

Why I requested it: It sounded intriguing and the cover is beautiful. And I enjoyed it but it made me need a shower. (You can find my review here)

Have you read any of these books? Which are you most excited about? Do you have any arcs that you are dying to read?

 

Reading List: Science Fiction

As I have written in my resolutions for 2018, I really want to read more Science Fiction this year. When I started reading more non-fiction and short stories, I just went with books on best of the year lists that sounded interesting. Somehow that does not work for Science Fiction for me; mostly because I want to read a specific type of Science Fiction, I think so, at least. I took the recommendation I already got into account and then went with a Twitter thread with recommendations for people who like N. K. Jemisin (because I do).

These are the books that I want to read in the upcoming months (I don’t do well with fixed TBRs so I will have to wait and see how it goes).

A Close and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2) – Becky Chambers

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I have already started this and as was the first one, this book is just so very lovely. I love Becky Chamber’s optimistic imagination and how she creates aliens that feel alien but are still sympathetic. The third book in the series (Record of a Spaceborn Few) is supposed to come out on July 24th, 2018 and I am very excited about it.

NineFox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee

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I am a bit intimidated by this book but also super intrigued. It was nominated for a Hugo and has been very well-received. I think this will be one of the books I am getting to later in the year though.

Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox #1) – Rachel Bach

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One of the books that were recommended for readers of N. K. Jemisin and written by a woman. This is pretty much all I know about this book but that often works out fine for me.

The Book of Strange New Things – Michel Faber

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The author has been on my radar for a while and now that it has been recommended to me I am very eager to get to this book soon. It seems to straddle the line between Science Fiction and Literary Fiction and I am here for that. Also I was warned it is weird which I will take as a recommendation.

All Systems Down (The Murderbot Diaries #1) – Martha Wells

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I just LOVE the series title. This is also a book that was recommended to me and it sounds absolutely brilliant. It is also a novella which fits into another of my reading resolutions. So I am very excited.

Places in the Darkness – Christopher Brookmyre

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This is apparently a crime novel set in space. Which somehow intrigues me more than it should. But intrigue me it does.

Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota #1) – Ada Palmer

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Mixing Enlightenment philosophy with Science Fiction is a sure way to intrigue me. I read the first chapter and it seems dense but super fascinating. I cannot wait to see what I make of it.  If I like it there are two more books in the series already out which is always a plus.

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) – James S. A. Corey

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This is the book I will be reading next. My partner and me will try to read it at the same time to be able to talk about it. If I like this, there are so many more books in this series to read, it makes me giddy. I am also very sure I will like this. Also, the TV show looks amazing!

Have you read any of those and what are your thoughts? Do you have other recommendations for me?

Wrap Up: October 2017

I had such a great reading month! I read 8 books and enjoyed them all. I also rated three of those books five stars, which hardly ever happens.

Books read in October:

  1. City of Miracles (The Divine Cities #3) – Robert Jackson Bennet: 5 out of 5 stars
  2. The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3) – Rick Riordan: 3 out of 5 stars
  3. The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead: 4 out of 5 stars
  4. may we shed these human bodies – Amber Sparks: 4 out of 5 stars
  5. The Chronology of Water – Lidia Yuknavitch: 5 out of 5 stars
  6. Everything Here Is Beautiful – Mira T. Lee: 4 out of 5 stars
  7. Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) – Jeff VanderMeer: 5 out of 5 stars
  8. The Mistfit’s Manifesto – Lidia Yuknavitch: 3 out of 5 stars

Favourite of the Month:

The Chronology of Water, hands down. This is my favourite of the year so far and I cannot imagine a book taking that title away from this brilliant, mesmerizing memoir that challenged how I thought about the genre. I cannot recommend it enough. I have two of Lidia Yuknavitch’ novels left to read and I will have to pace myself. She has also written two short story collections that I have so far been unable to find; but I will keep on looking.

Currently reading:

Again, too many books to list. At the moment I am taking a break from requesting NetGalley books in the hopes of finally getting to all the books I have already on my shelf (both virtual and real) and haven’t read yet. I also had a look at ratings I gave NetGalley books and while I found some brilliant books, I also read a lot of books that I wouldn’t have finished otherwise (and wouldn’t have missed) and there are some books that I have kind of DNFed but not officially (I am thinking of just doing one “shame on me” post and talking about the unfinished NetGalley books there…). I have given myself the permission to read the arcs that interest me the most in any given moment (even if they won’t be published for months) because that just works better with how my reading moods are. And then when I have finished all those arcs I will only request from a few select publishers and only books I absolutely 100% want to read NOW.

What I want to read next:

I am planning on getting to the books in my 5 star prediction post sooner rather than later because I kind of cannot wait to see how accurate my predictions were. I also want to get to the next book in Jeff VanderMeers Southern Reach trilogy because I have not quite given up hope to find some answers.