September 2021 TBR

September 2021 TBR

I have a lot of hope for my September TBR! Not only have I painstakingly put in the time to pick these books, I made sure to follow my own advice and give myself space to breathe. I’m also organizing my reads and trying some new methods to maximize my reading time everyday. It’s a big experiment with lots of hope and I can’t wait to share it all with you throughout the month.

This month, I’m finally getting into The Wheel of Time ahead of the TV series premiering in November, I’m reading some very new releases, some excited sequels, a little bit of romance, and even a middle grade book! I can’t wait to dive into all of these. Here’s what I’ll be reading.

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

This is the second book in the Wheel of Time series and I’m so excited to finally read it. I’ve actually carved out a good chunk of this month dedicating it to this story because I just want to get lost in a good fantasy story.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

For centuries, gleemen have told the tales of The Great Hunt of the Horn. So many tales about each of th Hunters, and so many Hunters to tell of…Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages. And it is stolen.


Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in this defiantly joyful adventure set in California’s San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.

When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate.

But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.

As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.


The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Cordova

This is the first adult fantasy novel from Zoraida Cordova. I loved her Incendiary series and her Brooklyn Brujas, so I know I’ll enjoy this immensely.

The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.

Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly’s daughter, Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, the four descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back.


Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M Lee

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Lori M. Lee’s middle grade debut about a lonely Hmong girl who discovers she’s a powerful shaman warrior in this fantasy inspired by Southeast Asian mythology.

“I love the adventures Pahua has in this book. I also love the sense of humor, the clever plotting, and the fantastic cast of characters. But most of all I love Pahua: her courage, her kindness, and her love for family.”–NYT best-selling author Rick Riordan

Pahua Moua has a bit of a reputation for being a weirdo. A lonely eleven-year-old Hmong girl with the unique ability to see spirits, she spends her summer days babysitting her little brother and playing with her best friend, a cat spirit no one else can see.

One day Pahua accidentally untethers an angry spirit from the haunted bridge in her neighborhood–whoops. When her brother suddenly falls sick and can’t be awoken, Pahua fears that the bridge spirit has stolen his soul. She returns to the scene of the crime with her aunt’s old shaman tools, hoping to confront the spirit and demand her brother’s return. Instead, she summons a demon.

Thankfully, a warrior shaman with a bit of an attitude problem shows up at the last minute and saves her butt. With the help of this guide, Pahua will have to find her way through the spirit worlds and rescue her brother’s soul before it’s too late. Little does she know she’ll have her own discoveries to make along the way. . . .

With its unforgettable characters, unique nature-based magic system, breathtaking twists and reveals, and climactic boss battle, this story based on Hmong oral tradition offers everything a fantasy lover could want.


Jade War by Fonda Lee

In Jade War, the sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Jade City, the Kaul siblings battle rival clans for honor and control over an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.

On the island of Kekon, the Kaul family is locked in a violent feud for control of the capital city and the supply of magical jade that endows trained Green Bone warriors with supernatural powers they alone have possessed for hundreds of years.

Beyond Kekon’s borders, war is brewing. Powerful foreign governments and mercenary criminal kingpins alike turn their eyes on the island nation. Jade, Kekon’s most prized resource, could make them rich – or give them the edge they’d need to topple their rivals.

Faced with threats on all sides, the Kaul family is forced to form new and dangerous alliances, confront enemies in the darkest streets and the tallest office towers, and put honor aside in order to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival – and that of all the Green Bones of Kekon.

Jade War is the second book of the Green Bone Saga, an epic trilogy about family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of blood and jade.


The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.

Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.

As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.

In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedy—reminiscent of Red, White & Royal Blue and One to Watch—an awkward tech wunderkind on a reality dating show goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer.


Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.


Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler

Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world, in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy

Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

My August 2021 TBR

My August 2021 TBR

This post contains books gifted by Tor Teen, Orbit Books, Get Underlined, and Read Forever.

A couple of days late, but it’s finally here and ready for your perusal. I used to do TBR posts more frequently, but then I dropped off because I’m very lazy. But recently, I’ve been thinking about accountability, especially when it comes to the books I read and share. To give you some context, I can read about eight books a month. More books if the month is really good, but mostly I read less because doing this and working full time is a pretty big list of things to do. But I love to read, of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.

I wanted to share this with you so that you know what I’m reading and what you can expect throughout the month. Reviews will be up a few days after I finish reading each book and unless I DNF or swap out books from the list, I’m pretty beholden to what is here. I hope that gives you some context into what I do every month and give you some ideas on what you should read next!

Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I feel like every summer, I take on one big science fiction tome. I might have doubled up last summer, but this summer I wanted to read a space opera. When I heard about Adrian Tchaikovsky and his body of work, I decided why not. It sounds like a cool book and I do love a team of aliens coming together to fight for the greater good.

The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared—and Idris and his kind became obsolete.

Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects—but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

You had me at dark academia. I’ve always been such a fan of this sub-genre and when I heard about this book and how it’s set in some secluded mountains with the girls living in a boarding school and practicing witchcraft, well, it definitely got my attention. It also sounds like there will be intrigue and a bit of a mystery as two young students discover hidden beneath the dark halls.

Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.

Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.

Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.

It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.

And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.

The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon

I’m a huge fan of Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project books. Of course, there’s only one out so far, but this is the second and said to be a super fun one as well because it’s got fake dating! I always know fake dating is such a bad idea, but it’s one of my favorite tropes if you do it right. It also features football, which is randomly one of my favorite sports to watch.

When a personal trainer agrees to fake date her client, all rules are out the window in this delightful romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Boyfriend Project!

When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle.

And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There’s just one catch — no one can know what they’re doing. But when they’re accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor’s game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win . . . or is he playing for keeps?

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

One of the first picks from my “Suggest My Reads” question I asked back in July. Last month, I opened up a suggestion box for people who follow me to recommend me a read. I chose two books from that list and credited those people for helping pick out a book for me to read. This is the first one and it’s kind of serendipitous that she picked it because the second book in this series comes out this month. Is it divine intervention? I’ve already heard so many good things about this book and been putting off reading it for a while. No time like the present especially for a book with young people choosing the path that’s right for themselves and defying the wishes of people above them.

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

Mask of Mirrors by MA Carrick

A little while back, a friend of mine suggested this book to me. She mentioned that not a lot of people gave this book enough love, but also that it was so good that it deserved to be read and reviewed and adored. I love stories about con artists and magical balls. I think I will definitely love this one.

Fortune favors the bold. Magic favors the liars.

Ren is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadežra with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house, securing her fortune and her sister’s future.

But as she’s drawn into the elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the City of Dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled…with Ren at their heart.

The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a dazzling and darkly magical fantasy adventure by Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, writing together as M. A. Carrick

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

This was the second book I picked from my “Recommend a Read” survey. I think I actually like that name and maybe I’ll keep it for every month. I’ve already read a few books from the Wayward Children series, but I never read the first book. Funny enough, I liked the books I read from the series but I wasn’t completely enamored by it. Then I heard that the books I should be reading are the first few of them, and I suddenly realized the mistake that I had made. I cannot wait to dive into this novella and find out the secrets behind this magical door.

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

A Blade So Black by LL McKinney

The Fantasy Book Club pick of August! I’m so excited to read this one, especially when I read that it’s supposed to be an Alice in Wonderland retelling. I love Alice in Wonderland in all its whimsy and madness, so I can only imagine this one being just the same. Perhaps with a more likeable protagonist and it doesn’t hurt that the premise also sounds like she’s already been to Wonderland and now journeying through the world to find a cure for her mentor.

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

Forestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker

This book, well. I don’t have a reason for reading it. It sounded beautiful with magic and mystical woods. I love a YA fantasy like this, so I added it to my list in hopes of reading it before the end of the month.

TO BE BORN OF THE FOREST IS A GIFT AND A CURSE.

Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness–and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble.

When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, has caught it, too. His only hope is stardust, the rarest of magical elements, found deep in the wilderness where Rora grew up–and to which she swore never to return.

But for her only friend, Rora will face her past and brave the dark, magical wood, journeying with her brother and the obstinate, older prince who insists on coming. Together, they must survive sentient forests and creatures unknown, battling an ever-changing landscape while escaping human pursuers who want them dead. With illness gripping the kingdom and war on the horizon, Finley’s is not the only life that hangs in the balance.


What are you reading this month?

April 2021 TBR

April 2021 TBR

April is always that month that makes me excited for spring. Of course, it’s the rainy month before the real spring begins, but I love the rain. It’s also my anniversary month, so I’m in a little bit of a lovey dovey mood.

Aside from Easter and our anniversary, this month will be another one of sitting at home and reading books. Here’s a few of my plans:

  • Now that more donation-based store are allowing for people to bring in their donations, I can finally get rid of mine. You may know this infamous wall of books I have in my reading nook. Well, that’s actually all the books I’m trying to get rid of. Yep, those are the books I don’t want in my collection. I’ve just been keeping them in that space and using them as a prop for photos, but I’ll be getting rid of them soon. I’m going to a few neighborhood Little Free Libraries and stocking those up. The rest will be donated to the Goodwill and to the local used bookstores. It’s finally time to liberate those books.
  • Since it’s also my anniversary month and more fruits come into season, I’ll probably doing some baking. It’s crumble time! I love making crisps and crumbles from the fresh berries and fruit at the local supermarket. I love making these because they’re easy, my husband loves them, and you can make them with pretty much any fruit you can find. Oh, I absolutely love some delicious fruit pies.
  • I also have a variety of book promotions, launches, and Indie Bookstore Day at the end of April. It’ll be a great month of books and I’m excited to start a new month with a fresh perspective.

Here’s what I plan to read:

I also have a bunch of books I’m calling my “second string” for when I finish this first group of books. I’ll share more once I’m ready to share those. Hope to have a great spring! I’ll chat with you more soon.

My October 2020 Hopefuls

My October 2020 Hopefuls

October arrives with a lot going on. And I mean A LOT! I wanted to hold off a bit on sharing my TBR for the month because I had so many other announcements and content to share! But now that the dust has settled, let’s get into the books I’ll be reading all through October.

There’s a few different things I kept in mind while putting together my TBR this month. I think the first and foremost is that it’s October which means Halloween is at the end of the month. I’m not a huge celebrator of the holiday, but I do like to do a few things here and there just to set myself in the mood for the season.

Next, I also wanted to read some books by Latinx authors for Latinx Heritage Month. There were a couple of sci-fi and fantasy books that I recently picked up that I thought would be a great way to celebrate some great books and add more of my favorite genres to the mix.

I also launched my book club via Patreon! We’ve already picked our first book and I’ll need to read that one for the discussion at the end of the month. If you want to check out the book club, you can check them out here.

Finally, my #FallForFantasy challenge. I’m reading five of the books from my 15-book list this month, so there’s also making room for that in here. As I mentioned before, most of these are backlist titles that I’ve been wanting to read for years. It’s finally time to de-stash my unread books and get up to speed with what other folks really loved.

Ok, before I share my hopefuls, I need to emphasize that this is a mega list. There’s probably more books than I can manage in a month and this doesn’t include the audiobooks I borrowed from the library and I’m patiently waiting for. However, audiobooks have really been helping me with my reading life lately, so I added a bunch of audiobooks. I also tend to read more on an audiobook. It’s not necessarily faster, but being able to keep the book going while I do stuff around the house or knit has really changed my reading life.

Here’s What I’ll Be Reading

The 15 Fantasy Books I’ll Read This Fall

The 15 Fantasy Books I’ll Read This Fall

While I was putting this list together, I was thinking about the books I’ve been wanting to read but never made time for them. Don’t you just hate having books you said you’ll read and then they languish on the shelf for years? Well, this #FallForFantasy I plan on busting my fantasy TBR with some backlisted fantasy and some new fantasy reads as well.

But I didn’t want to get caught with cramming my entire month with fantasy books. I love fantasy and I do dedicate a lot of time to reading fantasy books, but I need some other genres in my monthly TBRs just to keep things interesting. So instead of a formal TBR for October, November, and December, I decided to pick the top 15 fantasy books I want to read these upcoming months.

I thought a lot about this because not only did I want to read these fantasy books, but I also wanted to keep in the spirit of everything else going on around us. So I have some spooky fantasy reads, some Latinx authors for Latinx Heritage Month (it ends October 15th, so you still have time).

I’ll also be exploring Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun as well as catching up on Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I also wanted to finally read the first book in the Wheel of Time series as well as Robin Hobb’s famous Assassins series.

I also want to mention that these won’t be the only books I’ll read the next three months. I’ll be reading more, but dedicating five books from this list per month to give fantasy books the upper hand on my very delicate and balanced TBR. You’ve probably read some of these. You’ve probably been putting them off for years just like me! But if you take anything away from this blog post, it’s this: if you make the time to read the books, then you’ll read them.

Here’s What I’m Reading for #FallForFantasy

My September 2020 Hopefuls

My September 2020 Hopefuls

Happy September! First, let’s get it out of the way: I can’t believe it’s already September. I feel like we all went into quarantine a month ago and not six months ago. I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect my mental health or my reading life. Each month has been different with its very own ups and downs. Last month, it definitely affected me. This month, I’ve decided to change the way I put these TBRs together.

While I can only read eight books a month, I continue to challenge my reading habits and try and read more. August was tough especially with my mental health waxing and waning with the moon. But a new month is a new opportunity for me to do better, so September, I wanted to continue having some big TBRs.

So this month, I’m going a little bit more aggressive with my TBR including two 800+ page novels. However, I want to change the name from TBR to “Hopefuls.” Because let’s be honest, all my books are to be read. I feel like I read eight books a month only to receive 20 more books next month. Maybe if I give up sleep then I’ll be able to read them all.

Usually I’m scrambling a day or two before the beginning of the new month to figure out what I want to read. I haven’t figured out the process yet, but I feel like I’m getting it down. Maybe I’ll share those insights and share them with you all.

For September, my main focus is to read what I have on Netgalley. I’m quite behind on my reviews (I mean, who isn’t), but there’s going to be concerted effort to really get these books read and reviewed. I also want to read some new books I’ve received as well as start some books that have been out forever and have sequels coming up in the next few months.

My July 2020 TBR

My July 2020 TBR

TBRs and me have a troubled past. Sometimes, it’s a blessing. Most times, it’s a curse. But I’m a reader and a blogger and when it comes to accountability and ensuring that the books I present are read, I need it. I’ve been dictated by my mood way too often and whenever I do, my reading always suffers. And someone with way too many unread books filling her shelves than ones I’ve actually read, I need to do something about it.

This month, I’m committing to reading 17 books. I feel like this is a very high goal for me especially since I read so many big books and I read slowly, but I’m also committing to spending less time on my phone and more time in my books. Like I mentioned in my wrap up, I spent on average 7 hours a day looking at my phone. That’s outrageous! So I’ll be trading my time spent on my phone to read. Let’s get into what I’ll be reading. This list won’t include my current buddy read of Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X Kendi being held on Instagram. Here’s a compiled list of all the books I want to read in July:

If you’re interested in reading more about why I picked these books, I’ve organized these reads by category. Please enjoy this exhaustive explanation I put together for every book I chose to read this month. I put a lot of work into curating my TBR so that it’s inclusive, it checks off my unread shelf, and they’re enjoyable!

Books I’ll Be Promoting

I wanted there to be some more transparency about 1) how I get my books 2) why I receive certain books over others. For the most part, I don’t really request books from the publisher. I get a lot of books for promotion that I concentrate my time on what I’ll be promoting than what I want to read for review. I’m making it an effort to read the books I’ll be promoting so that my voice feels genuine on Instagram and on the blog. For July, I signed up for three book tours and a promotional reread of another. These books are:

  • Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Courting Darkness by Robin LaFever
  • Hawk by James Patterson

Cinderella is Dead, Courting Darkness, and Hawk will be read for promotional book tours I’ve signed up for on Instagram. I’m very excited to read these books (and Cinderella is Dead will be my first read of the month), but these might be the last tours I sign up for. While I love promoting new books for people to check out and possibly purchase, I also want there to be some more authenticity in my reading on my Instagram page. It’s just a personal choice I’m making so that I don’t feel like just a salesperson.

An Ember in the Ashes will be a fun readalong happening throughout the month of July. I’ll be sharing thoughts and photos every weekend in hopes to pump everyone up for Sabaa Tahir’s fourth book in the series. This will actually be my first time reading this series, so I can’t wait to get started!

Netgalley Books

I talk about this all the time, but my Netgalley score is 7%. It’s atrocious! But if I were to request any books for review, it would be through Netgalley. While I know I can email publishers and use the traditional method of requesting books, I prefer Netgalley. I think it’s because there’s more e-galleys publishers are able to give away and while the process is still elusive to me, I feel like it’s a little bit more fair? That’s just my opinion though. With the pandemic and many promotional books being sent via Netgalley, my score just kept getting worse and worse. So I’ll be focusing some of my monthly reads to lower this score. I want my reviews to be timely to when the book is about to publish or around its publishing date. The books I’ve chosen to read this month are:

  • The Damned by Renee Ahdieh
  • Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
  • Running by Natalia Sylvester
  • Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
  • Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh
  • Mexican Gothic by Syvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier

Mind you, I’m excited to read all of these books. I don’t want you to think that me reading Netgalley books is some chore I have to do. I want to read these books and it’ll be great to also raise my Netgalley score while I do it.

I’m extremely excited about Mexican Gothic, Pizza Girl, and Running. I’ve already seen so many positive reviews about Mexican Gothic and Pizza Girl. However, I’ve also read negative reviews for both and whenever that happens, I need to read the book and make up my own mind.

Sex and Vanity was also picked for Good Morning America’s book club. I’m so excited to be reading this and joining in on their discussions. I can’t wait to see what other people said about this book too because I remember reading reviews of Crazy Rich Asians and being super dissatisfied with the way people described this book.

Book Club Books

Not only do I read constantly, but I’m also in two different book clubs. One focuses reads written by women and the other focuses on romances. Both of the books chosen this month for those book clubs are big anticipated reads for me too. I can’t wait to see what these books are about and discuss them with my book club friends. They are:

  • A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon
  • Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

First off, I’ve never read a cowboy romance ever. I don’t know what to expect from it, but judging by the fact the dude on the cover has a 12-pack (which I didn’t even know was physically possible), I have a feeling this is going to be good.

Catherine House has been on my TBR since May. And yet, every month it gets put off because my mood changes and I don’t want to read a gothic story. Well, that’s about to change especially now that I HAVE to read as well as want to read it. I can’t wait.

The Rest

While I have a huge list of books to read, I always want to sneak in some books I want to read for myself. The rest of the books here are just that. These are the books that caught my eye recently and want to get into. I’m worried with all the other books that these books will be cast off, but if I go at the rate I’m going, I think I can squeeze these books in.

  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruins by Roseanne A Brown
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  • How to Save a Life by Lisa and Liz
  • The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

And that is my TBR. I know this blog post is a doozy, but if you made it this far, then yay! Thanks for coming to my TBR talk.

My May 2020 TBR

My May 2020 TBR

And it’s a doozy. To be honest, I’ve struggled a lot with TBRs throughout my entire reading career. Mood always trumps everything I want to read, but I’ve also come to appreciate the TBR for getting me through books I wouldn’t normally pick up.

I really love exploring new books and picking up things I wouldn’t necessarily pick up. I always find amazing reads this way and I love that there isn’t a lot of influence from the community to read popular books when I do read from a TBR. I mean, I’m influenced, but when sticking to the stack you’re not needlessly pushing stuff off. You can just read the popular book next month or after you finish your TBR.

But May is a pretty busy month with too many goals set for myself. I actually might have overdone it. Here’s what I’ll be reading:

Hugo Award Nominated Books

I wanted to challenge myself with the time I spend in quarantine, so I decided I would read some of the books nominated for a Hugo Award this year. I’ve already started this goal last month and I’m loving the books being offered up for the award. All of them are so intriguing and suspenseful with stories that are seriously complex and make you think.

I decided once I’m done reading from this list, I’ll host my own little award ceremony and choose my favorite from two different categories: novels and novellas. I would try and read everything nominated for a Hugo Award this year, but I have other books to read too. Here’s what I’ll be reading from the novel category:

  • The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (I’ll also be reading Harrow the Ninth right after, but that’s just for me)
  • The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
  • A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
  • Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
  • Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

For the novella category, I’ll be reading:

  • Exhalations by Ted Chiang (there’s one specific story from this book that’s being nominated, but I’ll read the whole thing)
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P Djeli Clark
  • This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar

Just to note, I’ve already read To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers and I will be skipping In An Absent Dream by Seanan Mcguire because it’s part of a series. I’d like to read that series entirely.

Netgalley Reads

Another big goal for myself is to read my Netgalley books. I’ve been meaning to improve my Netgalley score for months and I decided in the month with the biggest challenge, I’m going to try and improve it. Many books I’m receiving from publishers right now are through Netgalley, so my score is only going to get worse. Here’s what I’m looking to read and review:

  • Given by Nandi Taylor
  • Things in Jars by Jess Kidd
  • Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake
  • The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer
  • Unnatural Magic by CM Waggoner
  • Havenfall by Sara Holland
  • Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
  • Running by Natalia Sylvester

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Reads

May is also Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Some of the authors above do fall into that category, but I think the main goal for me to read is The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. This will be an epic re-read for me because it’s been 20 years since I read it the first time.

I think if I add any more books to this list, I’m going to intimidate myself into reading nothing. LOL. What will you be reading this month?

 

May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Welcome to Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! OMG, this is the month where I celebrate my heritage with some amazing books written by Asian American and Pacific Islander authors.

This year, I wanted to do something a little different with my reading. I wanted to still read API authors, but I also didn’t want to buy any new books. So I decided to scour through my massive TBR and locate all the books I’ve collected written by Asian or Pacific Islander authors. The number came out to 14, which I think is good because I don’t think I’ll have enough time to read them all.

The list is formidable with tons of new releases across several genres and most of them are representative than another immigrant story. I’ve read a lot of immigrant stories over the past year, so I’m looking for the next level of diverse stories. I won’t be able to commit to reading them all, but I do want to share with you my list of books and highlight the ones I’m most excited to read. Here’s what’s on my list:

Like I mentioned, I won’t read everything on this list, but I will try. You can say this is my designated TBR for May (even though I’ve sworn those off). But I love my mix of genres here. There’s a little fantasy, a little romance, some horror, but a lot of literary fiction. I don’t mind though. I think the mix will help with keeping me interested in reading all of these books. It’s always good to have a mix.

What I’m most excited about reading are Miracle Creek, The Poppy War, and Wildcard. These are highly anticipated reads for me for a really long time and I’m finally making the time to read them.

I’m also super excited about my re-read of The Joy Luck Club. I read this book back when I was 16 and really struggling with who I was in this vast country. Being born here doesn’t stop you from feeling isolated or alone in the only country you know.

What will you be reading this month for Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage month?

Analyzing February 2018’s TBR

Analyzing February 2018’s TBR

I’m throwing a little #throwbackthursday post up here today. Recently, I saw someone comment on a February TBR post from 2018. I was surprised someone went back a year to see what I was reading and commented on the post. Wow! However, I also noticed something intriguing about the post; my TBR.

Looking back at older posts and seeing the goals you’ve set out for yourself is like a truth bomb splitting open in front of your eyes. I couldn’t step away from that post without analyzing the books I posted, if I’ve read them, and how I feel a year later.

So I decided (as content for this blog, why not) to analyze that TBR and see how a year can change your reading life. Let’s take a look at the books I had on my TBR last year:

Looking at this list, I can already tell you the books I’ve decided not to read. I can tell you the books I’ve finally read and the books that are still stuck on my TBR. It’s funny how a year can change you even when it comes to your reading life.

I think at some point in 2018 I decided I wanted to read Sylvia Plath again and I wanted to read poems. I added The Universe of Us because it seemed less daunting. Poetry is great and I love Sylvia Plath’s work, but if a year has gone by and I haven’t read either then there might be something here it’s telling me. For example, the fact that I don’t read poetry.

But I also see some nonfiction on here that I haven’t touched. I didn’t read Text Me When You Get Home or Theft by Finding. I know nonfiction was something I wanted to read more of, but perhaps it wasn’t an earnest try back in 2018. I’m definitely changing that this year and dedicating at least one book every month to a nonfiction novel.

Out of all these books, I’ve only read four of these books. Three out of the four I luckily finished before the end of 2018, but we all know I just read Dark Matter last month. However, there are a ton of books on here that I decided I wouldn’t read. My reading life has changed and with that, I wouldn’t be reading some of the literary fiction books I planned on reading.

The craziest part is that I’ve had House of the Spirits on my TBR for years and have been meaning to read anything by Isabel Allende for a while now. I just checked my Amazon account and I bought a copy back in January 2018. So adding it to my February 2018 TBR makes me think I wanted to read this right away. Funny how the world works. I’ve made it just one of my 2019 reading goals to read something by her. Perhaps it’s finally time to pick her up.

Eventually I’ll read The Cruel Prince especially since The Wicked King just released. Maybe it’ll be for March. Who knows at this point.

Have you ever looked at your TBR from years before? What did you make of those lists?