Tag Archives: tbr list

September Book Haul, Part 2

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Yes, lots of book buying went down in September. And I don’t regret it for a second, because these books all look awesome. I’m looking forward to a super bookish fall and winter curled up with a hot drink and a good book.

So here’s the second half of my book haul:

The Vegetarian by Han Kang – I had no idea this book was so short (less than 200 pages!) and I have a feeling I’m really going to like it. It’s supposedly dark, surreal, and told from multiple perspectives–all things I enjoy in a book.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi – I mean, I’m not NOT going to buy a new Tahereh Mafi book. That’s just how it is. Although I do hope she returns to YA soon, and the brief hint that she posted on Twitter about her newest project sounds AMAZING.

Gutshot by Amelia Gray – this is a dark short story collection that I know very little about; I think the stories have a lot of grotesque/horror elements, and I’ve heard it’s a bit disturbing. It’s a very short collection, and I’m wondering if I might be in the right mood for it in October.

A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Ausubel – another short story collection with an awesome cover. I read some extremely positive reviews about this themed collection, which is, according to Goodreads, “organized around the stages of life—love, conception, gestation, birth—and the transformations that happen as people experience deeply altering life events, falling in love, becoming parents, looking toward the end of life.”

The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour – I remembered reading about this book on The Millions’ anticipated books list one year, but I haven’t seen it much on any blogs or on Bookstagram. It’s about an albino Iranian boy who is kept in a cage by his mother for most of his childhood and communicates  like a bird. He’s later released and brought to New York City but has difficulty adapting to living as a human; it’s supposed to be good but very, very sad.

What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi – I’ve previously read Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi, and I thought that her writing style was really incredible. I’ve only heard good things about her short story collection, which focuses on the concept of keys. Plus, I just love short stories.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – I think I’m going to really, really enjoy this one, especially since I love reading really long books in the winter. I thought that Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas was intricate and well-thought-out, and that his writing strength was really proven by inhabiting so many very disparate characters in different places and times. I believe that this one has a similar style, but I’ve been trying not to read too much about the plot, since I feel like this kind of book is best if you know very little going in.

The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips – this author is getting comparisons to Haruki Murakami and Margaret Atwood (!) for this short novel about a woman inputting numbers into a database at her job for an unknown purpose; apparently it gets much weirder from there.

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews – this is the penultimate book in the Kate Daniels series, which is by far the best UF series I have encountered and has some of the most lovable and memorable characters from any series I’ve ever read. And I’ll freak out if anything bad happens to them in this book. I’m telling you right now, if anyone dies I’m just going to pretend it didn’t happen. Honestly, I’m sort of nervous to read this one–it might be all buildup to the final showdown that I think we all know is coming in the final volume. Or it could be great! In either case, it’s going to seem make the wait for book 10 seem unbearable.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – AHHHH FINALLY. I don’t even want to read this because it’s only a duology and after I finish, this series will be over.

And apparently I forgot The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin in my last book haul! My review for that book will be up in my September reading wrap-up post (hopefully tomorrow).

 

What books did you all pick up in September? Which of these should I pick up first? Let me know!

September Book Haul, Part 1

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So, I had a rough month at work with lots of stress (fun times!) which, for me, translates into lots of book buying. Consequently, I am getting super excited about my fall and winter reading as my TBR shelf continues to shape up.

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – this is a literary scifi book (my favorite kind!) about a man who travels to a distance planet to act as a missionary, and is separated by galaxies from his wife, who is encountering all sorts of issues on Earth. I’ve seen some very positive and very negative reviews of this one; it wasn’t previously very high on my TBR list, but I saw it was on sale at Barnes & Noble and had to scoop it up. I know a lot of people also really loved Faber’s previous book The Crimson Petal and the White, but the synopsis of that one doesn’t grab me at all.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – I FINALLY got this book from Book Depository after ordering it over a month ago. It’s about a space voyage and focuses on a small crew and their interactions; it seems like it’s universally loved and I’m very excited for it. My favorite kind of science fiction is character-driven and/or focused on the sociology of alien peoples, so this should be right up my alley.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – I actually checked this out of the library twice to re-read it before ACOMAF came out, which was how I knew I should probably just go ahead and buy it. I’m not a fan of Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin, but I do enjoy aspects of this story and it’s one I’d definitely revisit in the future. I’d also like to own this entire series once the other books are released, so there’s that.

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld – another book I’ve already read, this was a 5-star book for me a few years back. The writing is beautiful but discusses such horrific things; it’s a short book but done so, so well. The Enchanted focuses on death row inmates and an investigator working to gather information for the inmates’ defense; it’s brutal and real, but told in this sort of strange, detached way with fairy tale elements introduced throughout the book. If you haven’t read it already I highly recommend it.

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi – this is the last book in one of my absolute favorite YA series, and I’ve been wanting physical copies of these books for awhile. Now all I’m missing is the second book, Unravel Me; I’m just waiting for it to pop up on Book Outlet.

Speak by Louisa Hall – this was a total impulse purchase on Book Outlet, and it sounds fantastic. Seriously, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads: “A thoughtful, poignant novel that explores the creation of Artificial Intelligence — illuminating the very human need for communication, connection, and understanding. In a narrative that spans geography and time, from the Atlantic Ocean in the seventeenth century, to a correctional institute in Texas in the near future, and told from the perspectives of five very different characters, Speak considers what it means to be human, and what it means to be less than fully alive.” This one is moving to the top of my TBR list.

The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan – this is about a girl struggling with schizophrenia and attempting to determine what is real in her world as she starts to encounter elements of fantasy. This was nominated for a ton of awards in 2012 and won both the Bram Stoker Award and the James Tiptree Jr. Award.

Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen – reading Second Star by Alyssa Sheinmel last month (a YA retelling of Peter Pan set in Southern California) put me in the mood for more Peter Pan retellings. I prefer retellings where Peter is cast as the villain, as I’ve never liked him; he has always seemed very creepy to me. This is an adult version of the tale that focuses on Captain Hook as the protagonist, and how an adult woman appearing in Neverland throws a wrench into the story.

 

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I also hit up a really great library book sale earlier this month and picked up 11 (!) books (at $1 each, this was definitely a steal). This particular book sale seemed to have a lot of classics/modern classics and not a ton of contemporary fiction that I was interested in. I seem to be having this problem lately where I really just have not been reading classics at all, despite continuously setting goals to do so; I read a ton of classics in my late teens but have tended to read more contemporary works in recent years. The problem is that I buy a ton of classics and they are sort of sitting on my shelf judging me. The reason I keep buying them is that I know I’ll get to them at some point in my life; I may drift in and out of classic-type moods through the years. Who knows!

Anyways, the book I’m most interested in from this haul is Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, which is written in an experimental format that seems to divide readers between love and hate. I also am interested to see if Susanna Clarke’s short story collection The Ladies of Grace Adieu is as wonderful as I found Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

 

There’ll be one more book haul post this month, as I am suffering from a severe BookOutlet addiction. Has anyone read any of these? Which should I pick up sooner rather than later?

 

May Bookish Plans and #SmashYourStack TBR

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I’m extremely excited for May reading after an odd yet fun bookish April. This month my focus is going to be reading books from my physical TBR shelf for the #SmashYourStack challenge, and I’m really excited about my options. I’m also really looking forward to participating in Bout of Books from May 9-15; I had so much fun during the last challenge in January.

Here’s my May #SmashYourStack TBR! Ranked in order of my excitement level, although I’m very psyched for all of them.

 

Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked TalesMr. SplitfootThe Girl Wakes: StoriesA Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)City of Dark Magic (City of Dark Magic, #1)The Good GirlDeath My Own WayLeo@Fergusrules.Com: A Novel

 

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt – For real, this time. It’s been on my TBR list for the past few months and I’ve yet to finish it, but that’s for a very legitimate and odd reason: because I like it so much. Hear me out! Sometimes when I’m really loving a book I have an extremely hard time actually reading it, because I only want to read it when I’m in the right mood to fully appreciate it. I also have a hard time reading it because I don’t want it to be over. But now I’m over halfway through Mr. Splitfoot, and I’m so intrigued that I absolutely have to know what happens very, very soon. It’s seriously amazing so far.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – I’M SO EXCITED. I was re-reading parts of A Court of Thorns and Roses the other day in preparation for this book, which comes out on Tuesday, and I seriously can’t wait to start it. My goal is to finish Mr. Splitfoot before this one comes in the mail (I pre-ordered it and the release date is Tuesday, so I’m not sure when it will get here? Do stores try to get it to you by the release date or after?) so that I can devote my full attention to it once it comes out. I’m hoping that this book is more akin to the last part of ACOTAR, which was the more interesting part in my opinion.

The Girl Wakes by Carmen Lau – I’m really excited to read this book of dark feminist fairy-tale retellings, and it looks like the perfect length for Bout of Books. I picked it up at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair last month and I’ve been anxious to dive in ever since. I mean, read this blurb and tell me this book doesn’t sound awesome: “A beautifully vicious first collection of retrofitted fairy tales, with whip-smart swerves, darkly funny moments, and razor-sharp language. Like Angela Carter meets Let the Right One In with a dash of Lady Vengeance tossed in for good measure.”
—Brian Evenson

City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte – this was a total impulse buy at one of the library used book sales I hit last month, and I feel like I’m going to be in the mood for a lighthearted fantasy option this month. Its blurb on Goodreads calls it a “rom-com paranormal suspense novel,” which sounds like it could potentially really work for me. There are a couple of not-so-great reviews I’ve seen on GR, but sometimes you really need to ignore reviews and just read something for yourself.

Leo@fergusrules.com by Arne Tangherlini – another book I picked up at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, this book is described as “a post-modern tilt at Alice in Wonderland, a computer-age Huckleberry Finn, leo@fergusrules.com is above all the story of a young woman’s search for the lost world of her ancestors in a society in which technology has replaced community.”

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood – I’ve ranted before about my love for Margaret Atwood, and I’m so interested to see what her short fiction is like. I’ve heard that this collection has a lot of horror influences and dark themes, which I’m totally on board with.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica – I hope I like this book, but I’m not getting my hopes up. It’s supposed to be Gone Girl-esque, and I really enjoyed Gone Girl, but I’m not sure how I’ll feel about something similar but not the same. I hated The Girl On the Train, for example. But it will be good to have a fast-paced thriller option for Bout of Books, so I’d like to try it.

Death My Own Way by Michael S. A. Graziano – Another BSPBF find, this one was described to me as being “extremely weird” but very good. Here’s the blurb: A man dying of cancer wanders naked into Central Park and embarks on a twisted, fetishistic, hilarious journey toward a deeper understanding of life. A story of vulnerability, brashness, and the universal need to find some comfort and philosophy before the journey ends.” Sounds super interesting, and it’s a very short read–perfect for Bout of Books!

 

Additionally, there are a few books not on my physical TBR shelf *gasp* that I may also read this month, depending on my reading moods and how I’m doing on my challenges (audio/library/ebooks):

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader GinsburgThe Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)The Bone KnifeThe Awakened Kingdom (Inheritance, #3.5)

 

 

Has anyone read any of these books? What did you think? And what is everyone reading in May? Feel free to link to your TBR posts 🙂

April TBR and Getting Psyched for Dewey’s Readathon!

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It’s my favorite part of the month: the part where I make a massive TBR list that I then immediately start to deviate from. I ranked these in order of most likely to actually read this month to least likely.

There are a couple of factors that went into my TBR decisions this month: I need to bounce back from my most recent book I thought I’d love that was just okay (Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman) and, more excitingly, I need to plan for Dewey’s 24-hour readathon on April 23rd!!!

I participated in the most recent Dewey’s readathon in October, and had an amazing time reading straight through Carry On by Rainbow Rowell in one day. I read a graphic novel too! It’s a fun and interactive celebration of reading, and I’m pumped to participate again this month. Unfortunately, I have to work the morning of the Readathon, but am planning on audiobooking to and from work and then getting down to hardcore reading/blogging as soon as I get home. I’ll be posting a more specific pre-Readathon game plan later in the month 🙂

So, here’s what I’m looking to read during April:

 

Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)

Jackaby by William Ritter – I already started listening to this audiobook, and it’s totally working for me. Supernatural Sherlock Homes in late 1800’s New England, with a female protagonist I really like in the Watsonish role.

Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4)Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4)Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4)

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop – this is on a 7-day library loan, so I actually need to read it really quickly. It’s not that I can’t read a book in a week, but this series is a slower type of read that I prefer to take my time with, so this might be tricky.

NimonaNimonaNimona

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – I’ve been hearing from so many bloggers and reviewers that this is a must-read, and I’m excited to check it out.

The Yellow WallpaperThe Yellow WallpaperThe Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – technically a short story I have on e-book. So far I have read exactly zero classics in 2016, so I should get on this.

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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami – This book sounds absolutely amazing. I definitely will be starting it this month, but it is very, very long, so I doubt I’ll be able to finish it this month as well.

Through the WoodsThrough the WoodsThrough the Woods

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll – another graphic novel, this one is supposed to be quite spooky. I read a really positive review on Goodreads from Patrick Rothfuss that made me check this out from the library.

Every Heart a DoorwayEvery Heart a DoorwayEvery Heart a Doorway

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – I just requested this short novel from the library. It’s a new release about children who return to the real world after getting lost in fantasy stories. It may be a good option for Dewey’s since it’s fairly short and has been getting amazing reviews on Goodreads.

Appetites: Why Women WantAppetites: Why Women WantAppetites: Why Women Want

Appetites by Caroline Knapp – This book has been sitting on my TBR pile mocking me since college.

Mr. SplitfootMr. SplitfootMr. Splitfoot

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt – I do really, really want to read this, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fit it in this month. Never say never!

 

I’d love to hear what everyone is planning on reading this month! What’s on your TBR lists? Anyone else participating in the Readathon?

 

March Book Haul!!!

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This month, I did not go a little crazy with book buying. I went a lot crazy.

But! I am so ridiculously excited about all of the books I found this month, so it works out 🙂

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – I fell in love with the BBC miniseries version of this novel (I’ve seen it 3 or 4 times) and really wanted to be able to read the original novel. This will also help me with my goal to read more classics this year.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami – After reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle last year, I’ve been anxious to start another Murakami book, and the concept of this one has fascinated me for years.

Embassytown by China Mieville – I’ve read two previous books by this author (Perdido Street Station and The City and the City), and both were wonderfully weird. This one is supposedly focused on language and the interactions between humans and an alien race.

And Again by Jessica Chiarella – I won this awesome and unique-sounding book in a giveaway from Tor.com! It’s a debut novel about disabled people given a second chance at life in perfect new versions of their bodies.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I loved this book so much that I wasn’t content just to check it out from the library and read it once–I had to buy a copy so that I could repetitively re-read it.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski – I’m so fascinated by this complex and notoriously difficult to read horror novel.

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead by J. Gordon Melton – because of course I need a reference text for my love of vampires.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html).

This is my first Top Ten Tuesday post! After reading so many of these fun prompts on other blogs, I’m finally diving in myself. My spring TBR list is ambitious and, frankly, far too long (like all of my TBR lists) but I’m going to try and make this top ten list realistic. So here are the top ten books I actually think I will read this spring, regardless of my TBR decision-making issues and tendency to deviate from all lists I make.

I think that I will be continuing the spirit of the #Weirdathon beyond March, as well–while still mixing it up with other genres, I’d like to continue to focus on my love of reading weirdly.

New releases:

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4)Roses and Rot

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – more Rhysand, please! I’d be good with more Lucien, as well. Tamlin I can take or leave. I’m hoping that this sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses is more fast-paced than its predecessor and explores the Persephone/Hades dynamic that was hinted at with Feyre’s bargain with the Night Court.
  2. Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop – Meg is a cassandra sangue (blood prophet) who can see snippets of the future when her skin is cut. She escaped enslavement and a sheltered life into the world of the Others–vampires, shapeshifters, and godlike beings who control territory and natural resources in this alternate version of Earth. I have some issues with this series (mainly with the treatment of its female characters) but I still really enjoy these books. They’re slower-paced and very comforting to read, although the series has been a bit uneven.
  3. Roses and Rot by Kat Howard – I was on board when I saw the blurb from Neil Gaiman. Everything I hear about this book seems to stress that it dissects the darker aspects of fairy tales, which is something I can never resist.

Already on my bookshelf:

The Yellow WallpaperMr. SplitfootThe Book of Lost Things

4. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – I’m embarrassed I haven’t yet read this creepy feminist classic.

5. Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt – a ghost story perfect for continuing the #Weirdathon.

6. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly – I’ve been meaning to get to this one for awhile and feel like everyone has read this except me.

KindredPossessionWide Sargasso SeaWhite Teeth

7. Kindred by Octavia Butler – I’ve previously mentioned my mission to read all of Butler’s works, and this one is up next. A time travel story about the horrors of slavery, I started this a few years ago and never finished. This is my chance to pick it back up again.

8. Possession by A.S. Byatt – I am completely intrigued by the sound of this book about two young students researching the lives of two Victorian poets. It sounds gorgeously romantic–perfect for spring!

9. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – this is an exploration of the backstory of the “madwoman in the attic” from Jane Eyre. Do I need to say anything else?

10. White Teeth by Zadie Smith – I keep saying that I’m about to read this book and then never actually read it. I’ve heard so much about the brilliance of Smith’s writing that I need to bite the bullet about reading realistic fiction and just dive in.

 

Any thoughts on my TBR picks? What are you excited to read this spring?

 

March #Weirdathon TBR

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Am I actually going to be able to finish all of these books in March? No. But I’m going to have a really good time trying…

 

 

I had a really hard time with my March TBR, because I’m trying to balance the #weirdathon with my vacation reading options (I’ll be at the beach for a week this month! Bringing back the “beaches” in Beaches and Books! With the winter the way it’s been I should have considered changing the name of this blog to Snow and Books…) and I’m way too excited about what to read for both. I love to read weirdly, and I realized that I have a ridiculous number of very weird books on my TBR shelves right now. Since there is no possible way I could read them all this month, I picked the ones I’m most anxious to get to. So here’s the breakdown:

 

Mr. SplitfootTrigger Warning: Short Fictions and DisturbancesThe End of Mr. YGrave Visions (Alex Craft, #4)Bad FeministThe Rook (The Checquy Files, #1)KindredThe Gone-Away World

 

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway – I just started this one and it is already SO WEIRD. It’s great. There was a mysterious war called the “Go-Away War,” and in order to keep out something scary (monsters? zombies? It’s not clear yet) a giant, seemingly indestructible structure called the Jorgmund Pipe was built. When the book starts, it’s inexplicably on fire and the fate of the world is now in question.

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley – I can’t wait to start this!!!

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt – I can’t wait to start this either!!!

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay – I wouldn’t call this one “weird,” but I like the irony of a feminist book being called Bad Feminist. And I feel like I’ll be in the mood for some engrossing nonfiction on the beach.

Grave Visions by Kalayna Price – necromancy, fae, grim reapers, and deadly magical hallucinogens? Perfect for my urban fantasy fix this month.

The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas – this is the book on my list I know the least about. Well, I know that, according to the blurb on Goodreads, it deals with “A cursed book. A missing professor. Some nefarious men in gray suits. And a dreamworld called the Troposphere?” Sounds just weird enough to work.

Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman – I love how Neil Gaiman blends fantasy, science fiction, and horror in his short story collections. I’m getting into a very short story-ish mood right now and this will work perfectly. I was debating reading Kelly Link’s new book this month…but I think I’ll save some weirdness for April 😉

Kindred by Octavia Butler – as I’ve mentioned before, one of my reading goals is to read every book by Octavia Butler. This book deals with time travel and slavery, and like all of her books I’m anticipating it to be a brilliant fusion of science fiction and social commentary.

Not pictured, possible alternate TBR titles depending on the library:

BossypantsThe Book of Lost ThingsMarked in Flesh (The Others, #4)

Bossypants by Tina Fey (this is not a #weirdathon read, it’s the audiobook I’m currently in the middle of and will probably finish this week)

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (I’m thinking of listening to this audiobook after I finish Bossypants)

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

 

What is everybody reading this month? If you want to read weirdly, here’s the link to the signup: http://outlandishlit.blogspot.com/2016/02/month-long-weirdathon-sign-up.html