TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books on My Summer 2020 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly discussion hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl (and formerly hosted by The Broke and the Bookish), and this week’s topic is “Books on My Summer 2020 TBR.” I have an endless unread shelf because I work in a bookstore, have a decent discount, and am buying things that catch my interest, but this summer, aside from my yearly challenges, I want to read the following books.

  • Witchmark – C.L. Polk – How many times have I added this to a TBR and never read it? Enough. After I finish one of my current reads, this is getting read. The final installment of the trilogy was just announced, so it’s time to actually buckle up and read this. I also have a problem with finishing series, especially not finishing series until the final book is out.
  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruin – Roseanne A. Brown – This has been on my radar since I saw the announcement for it a long time ago, and I’m finally glad to have the book in my hands! I’ve heard so many good things about it so far, and a stabby, deathy YA fantasy is something I need to read right now.
  • Beach Read – Emily Henry – This one I bought partially because of Instagram’s influence, but also because once I started reading people’s reviews, it appears to be much more than your typical summer beach read romance. I love the idea of writers switching from their usual genres, so I’m looking forward to this one!
  • Binti: The Complete Trilogy – Nnedi Okorafor – I have read the first of this trilogy, but when these new covers and this omnibus came out, I needed it, mostly because this omnibus also has some short stories that interconnect the novellas.
  • Crave – Tracy Wolff – This one is so out of my usual genre (I have never read Twilight!), but one of my friends read it and loved it because she said it’s just so out there that I have to read it so that we can talk about it.
  • Rosewater – Tade Thompson – I’ve had this book on my shelf forEVER, and again with the series thing, but I want to read this and the other two in the series ASAP.
  • Something to Talk About – Meryl Wilsner – I am a sucker for Hollywood stories? I don’t know why? I’ve had this on my radar since it was announced, it’s a f/f romance, and just looks like a fun escape.
  • The City We Became – N.K. Jemisin – I haven’t finished The Broken Earth Trilogy yet (also to be read/reread soon), but this one is an urban fantasy about New York City that looks so good. Everything I’ve read by Jemisin has been a masterpiece, so I fully expect to enjoy this one.
  • When We Were Magic – Sarah Gailey – Gailey is one of my favorite authors, and their work is everything I want and more, so to have a book like this about queer teen witches and a murder, I need it. I NEED IT.
  • The Shining – Stephen King – Full confession, the only thing I’ve read by King is On Writing and I don’t think that counts, so I’m starting here and seeing how I fare. I’m not one for horror, generally speaking, but it’s on my shelf, I bought it because I wanted to give it a go, and summer feels like a good time to read it.

Have you read any of these? What’s on your Summer 2020 TBR?

 

FIRST LINES FRIDAY: Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell

Hello, Friday! First Lines Friday is a feature on my blog in which I post the first lines from a book I am interested in reading, either a new release or a backlist title! For the next several Fridays, I will be featuring titles I am going to hopefully read as part of my 12 Decades/12 Months/12 Books challenge (#12decades12books). I still have never read anything of Elizabeth Gaskell’s work, and sometimes I question myself about it as she’s a contemporary of Charlotte Bronte. However, I am working on expanding my horizons during this quarantine time, and I placed an order for Wives and Daughters for my #12decades12books challenge.

To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood. In a country there was a shire, and in that shire there was a town, and in that town there was a house, and in that house there was a room, and in that room there was a bed, and in that bed there lay a little girl; wide awake and longing to get up, but not daring to do so for fear of the unseen power in the next room; a certain Betty, whose slumbers must not be disturbed until six o’clock struck, when she wakened of herself ‘as sure as clockwork,’ and left the household very little peace afterwards. It was a June morning, and early as it was, the room was full of sunny warmth and light.

On the drawers opposite to the little white dimity bed in which Molly Gibson lay, was a primitive kind of bonnet-stand on which was hung a bonnet, carefully covered over from any chance of dust with a large cotton handkerchief; of so heavy and serviceable a texture that if the thing underneath it had been a flimsy fabric of gauze and lace and flowers, it would have been altogether ‘scomfished.’

This is the last of her novels, published serially before she died and completely posthumously, and this was the title of hers (aside from North & South) that spoke to me.

FIRST LINES FRIDAY: Notre-Dame de Paris, by Victor Hugo

Hello, Friday! First Lines Friday is a feature on my blog in which I post the first lines from a book I am interested in reading, either a new release or a backlist title! For the next several Fridays, I will be featuring titles I am going to hopefully read as part of my 12 Decades/12 Months/12 Books challenge (#12decades12books). I bought, like a lot of people I think, Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris last April when the Notre-Dame Cathedral caught fire, but like a lot of my purchases, I didn’t read this right away, even though I kept looking at it. I have started reading it now and am looking forward to taking my time with it, especially because I have a lot of time to fill! This is from the John Sturrock translation (ISBN: 978-0-140-44353-0).

Three hundred and forty-eight years, six months and nineteen days ago today, the people of Paris awoke to hear all the church-bells in the triple enclosure of the City, the University and the Town in full voice.

Not that 6 January 1482 is a day of which history has kept any record. There was nothing noteworthy about the event that had set the burgesses and bells of Paris in motion from early morning. It was not an assault by Picards or Burgundians, it was not a reliquary being carried in procession, it was not a student revolt in the vineyard of Laas, it was not an entry by ‘our most redoubtable Lord Monsieur the King’, it was not even a fine hanging of male and female thieves on the gallows of Paris. Nor was it the arrival, so frequent in the fifteenth century, of an embassy, in all its plumes and finery. It was barely two days since the last cavalcade of this kind, that of the Flemish ambassadors charged with concluding the marriage between the dauphin and Marguerite of Flanders, had made its entry into Paris, much to the annoyance of Monsieur the Cardinal of Bourbon, who, to please the king, had had to put on a smile for this uncouth mob of Flemish burgomasters, and entertain them, in his Hotel de Bourbon, with a ‘very fine morality, satire and farce’, as driving rain drenched the magnificent tapestries in his doorway.

So far, I’ve found this translation to be good and easy to read, and I can’t wait to spend more time with it!

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: January-March 2020 Review Copies On My Shelves

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine (though it seems as though it’s been a while since she updated that particular blog, so if you know of the current host, if there is one, please let me know) that highlights upcoming releases that we’re impatiently waiting for. This week I’m featuring January-March 2020 review copies that I have either in physical form or digital form that I can’t wait to dive into! And now that it’s the middle of December, I need to get started on some of those January ones! The release dates are listed but are always subject to change.

  • A Beginning at the End – Mike Chen :: The tagline for this is “How Do You Start Over After the End of the World?” and I’m all for something that supposedly calls back to Station Eleven with post-apocalyptic pandemics and how society picks up the pieces and returns to normalcy after a catastrophe. Releases January 14, 2020
  • Followers – Megan Angelo :: A book about social media and what happens when good intentions go horribly wrong?? YES. Releases January 14, 2020.
  • A Queen in Hiding – Sarah Kozloff :: This is the start of a four-book fantasy series and we don’t have to wait long for the sequels! Each of the sequels will be released in subsequent months (January, February, March, and April), so I’m excited for that first off because I always hate the wait for a series I really like. This is a coming of age story with a twist, and so far the early reviews have been looking great! Releases January 21, 2020.
  • Show Them a Good Time – Nicole Flattery :: A collection of stories by a debut writer that I heard some good buzz about on Twitter, and when I saw it was available for download on Netgalley, I snapped it up! Releases January 28, 2020.
  • Things in Jars – Jess Kidd :: Victorian London, female sleuths, anatomists, fairy tales? Give me all of those things, please. Releases February 4, 2020.
  • Daughter from the Dark – Marina & Sergey Dyachenko :: I downloaded Vita Nostra last month as a Kindle deal because I keep seeing it in various places, so when I saw this on the ARC shelf at work, I grabbed it because this is also a stand-alone and seems really interesting. It’s about music and companionship with a magical twist. Releases February 11, 2020.
  • Foul is Fair – Hannah Capin :: This is described as a Macbeth retelling with hints of Kill Bill and Heathers and all of those things are right up my alley?? This came in my inbox as a one-day download from Netgalley, and I’m so excited to see what this will bring. Releases February 18, 2020.
  • The Hidden Girl and Other Stories – Ken Liu :: Anything Ken Liu writes is a gift, and this latest collection is sure to be another favorite of mine. Releases Feburary 25, 2020.
  • The Girl in White Gloves – Kerri Maher :: This is historical fiction about Grace Kelly and her life behind the scenes, and I love Hollywood stories. The cover for this is also GORGEOUS. Releases February 25, 2020.
  • Beheld – TaraShea Nesbit :: This is about the first murder in Plymouth, Massachusetts not long after the Mayflower landed in the 1600s. Some of the reviews and buzz I’ve seen have said it evokes that period very well. I love a good historical mystery, and I don’t think I’ve seen many set in this era.

Are any of these on your to-read list? What one would you read first?

FIRST LINES FRIDAY: Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee

Hello, Friday! First Lines Friday is a feature on my blog in which I post the first lines from a book I am interested in reading, either a new release or a backlist title! For the next several Fridays, I will be featuring titles I’ve added to my TBR cart. I have the physical copy of Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee and then picked up all three on a really great Kindle deal a few months later… and that was over a year ago. I’m trying to make an effort to read (and finish!!) more series, especially ones that I’ve got all the titles for on hand.

At Kel Academy, an instructor had explained to Cheris’s class that the threshold winnower was a weapon of last resort, and not just for its notorious connotations. Said instructor had once witnessed a winnower in use. The detail that stuck in Cheris’s head wasn’t the part where every door in the besieged city exhaled radiation that baked the inhabitants dead. It wasn’t the weapon’s governing equations or even the instructor’s left eye, damaged during the attack, from which ghostlight glimmered.

What Cheris remembered most was the instructor’s aside: that returning to corpses that were only corpses, rather than radiation gates contorted against black-blasted walls and glassy rubble, eyes ruptured open, was one of the best moments of her life.

Five years, five months, and sixteen days later, surrounded by smashed tanks and smoking pits on the heretic Eels’ outpost world of Dredge, Captain Kel Cheris of Heron Company, 109-229th Battalion, had come to the conclusion that her instructor was full of shit. There was no comfort to be extracted from the dead, from flesh evaporated from bones. Nothing but numbers snipped short.

I really enjoyed Lee’s Dragon Pearl, a MG sci-fi novel put out by Rick Riordan’s imprint, so I’m looking forward to see what he did previously in his adult science fiction!