Category Archives: TBR

March TBR & Reading Goals

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In March, my goal is to keep up with my goal of reading one short story collection per month (setting the bar low, you guys) and also to #readmyowndamnbooks! Of course I went to the library today immediately after setting that goal, but that’s OK. A lot of what I want to read this month are books that I hauled during February, because they just look so pretty and tempting. I’m especially intrigued by The Last One by Alexandra Olivia, which seems to be about an apocalyptic event that takes place during a reality TV show and involves the contestants having to determine what is real and what’s staged. My short story collection pick for the month is There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya; how can you resist a book with a title like that? Will the title itself be longer than the stories? I guess I’ll find out!

I’m considering adding another monthly challenge for myself in addition to reading one short story collection per month, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be too much pressure for a mood reader like me. A few months ago I joined the Book of the Month Club, and so I’ve been getting at least one (but actually more like 2 or 3) recently published books per month from this subscription service. I haven’t actually been reading my Book of the Month within that month, though, because that’s tough for me to do; I’m thinking, though, that I’d like to try reading at least one Book of the Month Club book each month this year, regardless of which month I actually received it. Last month I read Bryn Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things (which was actually voted Book of the Year for that subscription service in 2016) and this month I think I’m going to go with Sara Flannery Murphy’s The Possessions. It seems like a book that’s right in my wheelhouse; it’s about a woman working for a company that organizes spiritual possessions for relatives of the recently deceased.

I have a few other random titles on my physical TBR for the month as well. I picked up a copy of Amanda Lovelace’s The Princess Saves Herself in This One, a poetry collection supposedly similar in style and theme to Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey (which I LOVED) and am hoping to read that in one sitting this month. I’d like to FINALLY get to Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, which I’ve been meaning to read for months now and am embarrassed I haven’t yet picked up. And finally, I think I’ll probably want to read at least one YA book this month, and when I was at the library I found On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis, which I saw highly recommended by one of my favorite booktubers. It’s a science fiction story about an autistic girl attempting to get her family places on one of the last spaceships leaving a dying Earth.

Lab GirlWild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

As far as audiobooks go, I actually want to finish Lab Girl by Hope Jahren this month. I’m still on the waiting list at my library, but I’ve really been struggling to get into any other audiobooks lately and I feel like I need to finish the one I’ve already started before I’ll be able to start anything new. If I do manage to finish Lab Girl, then Wild by Cheryl Strayed is next on my audio list. I’m pretty sure I said exactly these same things last month about audiobooks, but unfortunately not much has changed on the audiobook front since then!

 

What are you all planning on reading in March? Let me know!

 

 

February TBR

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I avoided making a TBR list for January because I felt the hints of an oncoming reading slump and wanted to try to avoid it by not putting reading pressure on myself. It worked (sort of)–I did end up reading a lot in January, but they weren’t the books that I had really wanted to read; even if I didn’t really have a TBR, I sort of subconsciously did make one.

So for February, I’m back to making an actual TBR. I’d like to actually pick up books that I’m really excited about and have been really looking forward to reading and challenge myself to stick to that TBR as much as possible. (We’ll see how that goes.) I’d like to start by finishing the books I started but wasn’t able to finish during January, and finish by starting some enticing new ones. And, most importantly, I actually really need to #readmyowndamnbooks.

Currently reading and would like to finish in Feb:

Our Endless Numbered DaysEverything I Never Told YouLab Girl

I’ve been in such an audiobook slump lately (I’ve talked a lot in the past about how not being an auditory learner kept me away from audiobooks for a long time, but I’d actually gotten into a pretty decent rhythm with them until recently) and so I wasn’t able to finish Lab Girl by Hope Jahren within my checkout time from the library back in December; unfortunately I’m still on the wait list for it, so I’ll have to see if I’m able to get ahold of it in February. If not, it goes on the TBR for March. I’m about 1/2 of the way done with the audio of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and, since I just checked it out from the library for another two weeks, I am very hopeful about finishing it this month. The writing is really beautifully done; I don’t typically pick up books that are mainly character studies like this one is, but it’s really resonating with me so far.

I’m also part of the way through Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days (print, not audio) and honestly just haven’t been in the right mood to pick it up in awhile, despite the fact that it’s very good. It’s about a young girl who’s essentially kidnapped from her mother by her survivalist father, although she doesn’t see it that way, and about those events and their aftermath once she’s been returned home years later. I’m only about fifty pages in so far.

New TBR books for Feb:

All the Ugly and Wonderful ThingsLord of the FliesKissing the Witch: Old Tales in New SkinsSleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailThe Mothers

I’d love to pick up one of my Book of the Month Club picks during February (since all of them sound so good) and I think I’m going to start with the book that was voted 2016’s Book of the Year–All The Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. I really don’t know how I’m going to feel about this one, but I’m super curious from all the hype. I’d also like to pick up a classic at the beginning of the  year rather than keep procrastinating and never actually read one (like I did in 2016) and I recently ordered a copy of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, which is one of those books that it seems like everyone else got assigned to read in high school but I never did, and then I never picked it up later because I felt like I’d heard so much about it that it wasn’t worth reading. But I changed my mind and would actually like to read it now.

I also want to pick up at least one short story collection in February, and I think I’m probably going to go with Emma Donoghue’s Kissing the Witch, which is a collection of interconnected feminist fairy tale retellings. This sounds right up my alley and I’d meant to read it during Bout of Books, so now I’m actually going to get to it this month. Other TBR picks include Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, which I actually started last night and am really liking; The Mothers by Brit Bennet, because I do not want to be missing out on the amazingness that I have heard about any longer; and Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which will be the next audiobook I start after Everything I Never Told You unless Lab Girl comes in first.

So, my TBR is a little ambitious but I do feel like it’s do-able, although I could always get distracted and pick up something different (let’s be honest, I totally will). But at least some of these are definitely getting read this month! And I’m totally going to hold myself to #readmyowndamnbooks only this month, except for audiobooks.

 

What are you planning on reading in February? Let me know!

Readathon TBRs: 24 in 48 and Diverseathon

I’ve been having a REALLY hard time with TBRs this month; I’ve essentially completely ignored mine except to read all of the graphic novels on my TBR list for Bout of Books. Sometimes I just really get into the mood-reader zone and can’t focus on any lists I’ve made for myself; one of the things I’d really like to do in 2017 is feel less guilty about letting go of my TBR and not pressuring myself to #readmyowndamnbooks if I’m on a roll with library books or ebooks or whatever. Sometimes I just get reading slump-y and can’t focus, and that needs to be OK.

That being said, I also LOVE readathons, and especially creating TBRs for them. In these next few weeks before the end of January, I’m planning to participate in both the 24 in 48 readathon (this will my third time participating) and the Diverseathon (this will be my first time participating!). They sort of overlap, which is awesome: #24in48 takes place this weekend (Jan 21-22) whereas Diverseathon lasts a full week (Jan 22-29).

The 24 in 48 readathon focuses on attempting to read for 24 hours within a 48-hour period (something I’ve never been able to accomplish, and especially won’t this year); you can find out more information here: https://24in48.com/. I’m expecting my participation this round to be less than stellar because I’ll be in D.C. this weekend for the Women’s March on Washington, but I’m planning to grab reading time whenever I can and to keep checking in on everyone’s reading on Instagram and Litsy.

As far as my TBR goes, there’s definitely going to be some overlap with my #Diverseathon TBR (although really, when am I going to have time to read this weekend??), so the only book I really have set aside for #24in48 is Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit, which I think fits in well with both the Women’s March and is a short book that would actually be realistic for me to finish during my trip.

Men Explain Things To Me (Updated Edition)

Diverseathon is a week-long readathon that focuses on reading diverse books, particularly #ownvoices books, and it’s a readathon that began on BookTube but is open to anyone across bookish social media. I first heard about it from Joce’s channel @squibblesreads, and you can find more information on her announcement video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G50d6cQ_Cko&t=0s. (I don’t really use twitter, but you can also check out the Diverseathon account here: https://twitter.com/diverseathon).

I have a more solid readathon plan in place for this one as opposed to #24in48 (because hopefully I’ll have more time to read!): I’m planning on finishing the audiobook of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and reading the print editions of The Mothers by Brit Bennett and Kindred by Octavia Butler. I’ve been hearing AMAZING things about Everything I Never Told You–I just barely started the audio today, but since I listen to audiobooks so slowly, I’m sure I’ll still only be partway through by the time the readathon starts. I’ve also heard that The Mothers is an incredible read; I don’t think I’ve read a single review that was less than stellar. I’ve mentioned before on my blog that Octavia Butler is one of my favorite authors and that my goal is eventually to read all of her books; everything I’ve read by her so far has absolutely blown me away, and Kindred will be my fifth Butler book.

Everything I Never Told YouThe MothersKindred

 

Is anyone else participating in either of these readathons? Let me know!

Bout of Books 18 Sign-Up, Discussion, & TBR

Bout of Books 18

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

The timing for this round of the Bout of Books readathon is really perfect–it kicks off on January 2nd, so that you can start your reading year strong in 2017. Since it’s a week-long readathon, Bout of Books is less condensed than Dewey’s or 24 in 48, and the past few times I’ve participated it’s worked really well as a reading motivator. In the past I’ve talked about how I prefer to read shorter books and graphic novels during readathons, and I think I’m mostly going to stick to this tradition for this round of Bout of Books. I’ll be out of town during New Years’ Eve weekend, so I’m posting my TBR a bit early so that I don’t forget!

Because it’s so early, my TBR could, of course, end up being a total lie depending on my mood and what I read between now and the challenge, but most of these are books I’ve had in mind as good readathon picks for awhile now, so I actually think it’s going to be pretty accurate.

So Much for That WinterKissing the Witch: Old Tales in New SkinsPull Me Under: A NovelThe Stranger

So Much for that Winter by Dorthe Nors – this short book is actually two novellas with unconventional formats: the first one is told in lists and the second in headlines.

Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue – I’m really looking forward to this short story collection of unconventional fairy tale retellings, and the only way I won’t be reading this during Bout of Books is if I get too impatient and pick it up beforehand.

Pull Me Under by Kelly Luce – I’ve been hearing that this Book of the Month pick tends to be a really immersive read that is impossible to put down, so that should work well for a readathon.

The Stranger by Albert Camus – I’ve been meaning to read this short existentialist novel approximately forever, and this seems like the perfect time.

Giant Days, Vol. 1 (Giant Days, #1)Alex + Ada, Vol. 2Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Graphic novel-wise, I’ve picked out a few options that I think might end up being fun, including the second volume of Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, a series focused on artificial intelligence; the first volume of Giant Days by John Allison and Lissa Trieman, which is about a group of girls going away to college for the first time; and Relish by Lucy Knisley, which is a graphic memoir focused on food.

 

Is anyone else participating in Bout of Books? Let me know!

Most Anticipated New Releases of 2017 (so far)

I love when it gets to the end of the year and I can start list-making: my favorite books of the year, the books I’m most excited about next year, my new and improved reading goals. Since December’s not over yet (thank goodness, since I love December), I thought I’d get a jump on things and start with some 2017 new releases that I’m super excited about. These are all books by authors I already love or new installments in series I’m already a fan of, so it’s definitely not an exhaustive list. I’ll do a post later on about other anticipated releases that I’m excited about from unfamiliar authors, but for now, here’s what I’m already impatiently waiting to read in 2017.

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin (anticipated release August 15th) – the final book in the Broken Earth trilogy is out this summer and I absolutely cannot wait. The first two books were some of the best books I read in 2015 and 2016, and I’ve loved every single thing I’ve read by N.K. Jemisin. If you like fantasy and aren’t reading this series, this is the perfect time to join. It’s set in a world that experiences repeated devastating natural disasters; some characters have the ability to manipulate the earth and are persecuted and controlled for their abilities. There are also mysterious beings essentially made of stone. The heart of the story, though, is about a mother’s search for her daughter amidst the chaos.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Hunger by Roxane Gay (no release date set) – reading Gay’s Bad Feminist was one of my most significant bookish experiences of this year and it left me wanting to read much, much more by this author. This book was actually supposed to come out in 2016 but the release date was pushed back; while Bad Feminist was a collection of essays that hit on so many different topics, this is a memoir focusing on Gay’s relationship with food and her body. I have no doubt it’s going to be amazing.

Borne

Borne by Jeff Vandermeer (anticipated release September 7th) – I fell in love with the fascinating weirdness of Vandermeer’s writing with his Southern Reach trilogy a few years ago, and this sounds like it will be just as wonderfully strange. Apparently, it’s set in the future and is about a woman named Rachel who finds a mysterious genetically engineered creature that she names Borne; meanwhile, her city is ruled by a genetically engineered bear (?) and there is a mysterious Company doing all of this genetic engineering. I just need to read it. Like right now.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (anticipated release June 13th) – this is a companion novella to Every Heart a Doorway focusing on two of its many interesting characters. This series (is it a series? I hope so, because I’d love more insight into a few more of its characters) is about children who enter magical lands in Narnia-esque ways and have difficulty adjusting to the real world once they return. Some are able to eventually go back to their fantasy worlds and others aren’t, but they all long for those places where they felt most like themselves. The characters in this novella are twin sisters who went to a world similar to that of Frankenstein, which also contains vampires, although the two of them loved it for very different reasons–one because she was fascinated by the science, and the other because she was fascinated by the vampires.

White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)

White Hot by Ilona Andrews (anticipated release May 30th) – I KNOW. This cover is TERRIBLE. It’s a good thing I’m planning to get this on ebook, because wow. This is the second book in a duology focusing on a world where families inherit different types of magical powers, and the most powerful of these families essentially control society. Our main character has the ability to tell truth from lies and gets entangled with an extremely powerful billionaire sorcerer dude. It’s more romance-focused than the Kate Daniels series, and I don’t love it as much as Kate, but it’s still Ilona Andrews and I’ll read anything that she comes out with.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (anticipated release May 2nd) – this is such an enjoyable escapist series; I hesitate to call it a guilty pleasure because I try not to feel guilty about my reading choices, but that describes it pretty well. It’s set in a fantasy world with fairy tale retellings intertwined with the narrative and focuses on Feyre, a formerly human huntress who is learning to control her abilities and deal with a series of threats to her world. I enjoyed the hell out of the last book, A Court of Mist and Fury, and I hope that this one will be just as good (although for some reason I feel like it won’t be, but maybe that’s just me).

 

What books are you excited for in 2017??

November TBR & Discussion

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So, in November, I’d ideally really like to finish the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge; I only have 3 tasks left (read a middle-grade book, read a book out loud to someone, and read a book by or about a person from Southeast Asia) and I think it’s a reasonable plan. I’m planning to actually, finally finish Furthermore for my middle-grade book, even if I have to resort to audio for part of it; I’m hoping to read some books out loud to one of my little cousins for the reading aloud task; and I’ve already started Sorceror to the Crown, whose author, Zen Cho, is from Malaysia.

Beyond that, I’m also planning on taking part in the Tome Topple challenge, which takes place during the last two weeks of November (Nov 18-Dec 1). This challenge is sort of a response to all of the readathons where your goal is to read as many books as possible (which many people respond to by reading lots of really short works and graphic novels) and the goal is to tackle books over 500 pages. It’s nice because it’s very low-pressure; you’re aiming to read as much of one of those giant books as you can, and if you don’t end up finishing a book during the challenge, that’s OK. I personally love really long books, and this challenge is giving me an extra push to try and read one or two before the end of the year. I’ve been thinking that I’d really like to read 1Q84 before 2016 is up, but I have a lot of other options; The Bone Clocks is another strong contender. I’m going to hold  off on setting an official TBR for this readathon because it’s not until the end of the month and I’m expecting a new tome in the mail before then (the first book in the Mistborn trilogy) which might demand me to read it immediately.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear SugarA Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1)The Bone ClocksCrooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)HomegoingGutshot

I did set a loose TBR for November as a whole, which also includes Gutshot by Amelia Gray, which is a book of short stories that are supposed to be dark and disturbing. Amelia Gray is actually doing a reading in my city tomorrow that I’m planning on going to, so I’d like to get my copy of her book signed and then start that one. I found out about the reading just the other day or I’d have tried to read it beforehand! I’d also really like to finish my re-read of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo so that I can finally get to Crooked Kingdom, and I’d love to also finally pick up Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which I have heard nothing but amazing things about.

For my audiobooks this month, my top two priorities are Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, which I’ve already started and is already just wrecking me emotionally, and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, which is so ridiculously popular that I’ve gotten really curious about it. My audiobook listening tends to be sporadic; I listened to 4 audiobooks last month, but who knows how many I’ll get to this month. I do have a road trip coming up in mid-November with about a six-hour drive to get to my friend’s wedding and six hours back. That means 12 hours of bonus audiobook time, and I plan on taking full advantage.

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about Nonfiction November, and it sounds like a really great reading challenge–essentially your goal is to read as much nonfiction as you can in November, or to read more than you usually do, and there are specific tasks involved. I decided that I won’t be participating, though; I do like reading nonfiction, but I’m still a mostly fiction girl at heart. I typically read 1-3 nonfiction books a month, and that seems like a good amount for me.

 

What are you guys planning to read in November? Let me know!

October TBR

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So, in October I’d like to get a lot of Halloween-themed reading done, in the spirit of the RIP reading challenge, but I might get derailed due to new releases. Don’t get me wrong–I think Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom and Ilona Andrews’s Magic Binds might fit in fairly well with the challenge (I guess you could call them both dark fantasy? Although with Kate Daniels that might be stretching it a bit), but I feel like to fully appreciate the new release of next-in-series books in two of my favorite series, I need to go back and do some re-reading of previous installments, and that could slow me down in terms of devouring new content. In September, I feel like re-reading the majority of N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season really helped me appreciate The Obelisk Gate more; I feel like this is true for a lot of new releases, as it’s hard for me to pick up right where I left off when the previous book was released a full year ago. In particular, I really want to finish my re-read Six of Crows; I’ve actually been meaning to re-read it ever since I finished it last October because I was so in love with the characters and the heist plot, but then I sort of forgot about my re-reading game plan until literally the day of Crooked Kingdom‘s release.  I also need to reread the most recent Kate Daniels book, Magic Shifts, to make sure that I’m all caught up before I dive into Magic Binds.

So, yes, that’s lots of re-reading to get done (especially since my progress on Six of Crows is super minimal so far, oops), and I think my re-reading will be battling with my new reads for most of the month. The other thing that could throw off my October TBR is the fact that Dewey’s Readathon comes back on October 22nd! I love participating in the 24-hour readathon and am planning on saving at least one of my new releases to enjoy on that day.

The VegetarianCrooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)The Daylight Gate

Here’s what I’m planning on reading in October, ranked from most to least likely to read:

The Vegetarian by Han Kang – I’m currently reading and really enjoying this very dark short novel.

The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – I fell in love with Winterson’s writing when I read The Passion earlier this year, and I’m very excited to check out this short historical fiction novel focused on witches.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – I just need to finish my reread of Six of Crows!

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews – ditto, except with Magic Shifts! The problem is that Magic Shifts was my least favorite book in the series, by far, so I’m not super psyched for the reread.

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)Let the Right One InBird BoxForest of Memory

Bird Box by Josh Malerman – I’m currently listening to this on audiobook and doing so very slowly, in part because the book tends to freak me out if I listen to it while driving alone at night and in part because I’m not loving it. It definitely fits the October vibe, though.

Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal – I’m probably going to read this novella during Dewey’s.

Let the Right One In by John Adjvide Lindqvist – I bought this book when I was in New Orleans for a conference last October, and have been planning it for an October read for basically a year. I do love vampires, so I’m hoping this one works for me.

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente – I’m so intrigued by this book and by Valente as an author, but I’m skeptical about my ability to finish all these books in one month. We’ll see!

Sorcerer to the Crown (Sorcerer Royal, #1)In a Dark, Dark Wood

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – I’m on the wait list for this audiobook, and if I ever finish Bird Box, this will be my next audio pick for October.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – this book is on my must-read in 2016 list, but I’m thinking it probably won’t happen in October unless I finish a bunch of Halloweenish reads early on. Most likely, though, it’s going to end up on my November TBR as well.

 

What are you all planning to read this month? Anyone planning on reading some seasonal Halloween-ish books? Let me know in the comments!