FIRST LINES FRIDAY: This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

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! This week’s feature is Amal El-Mohtar’s and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose the Time War published by Saga Press in 2019.

When Red wins, she stands alone.

Blood slicks her hair. She breathes out steam in the last night of this dying world.

That was fun, she thinks, but the thought sours in the framing. It was clean, at least. Climb up time’s threads into the past and make sure no one survives this battle to muddle the futures her Agency’s arranged — the futures in which her Agency rules, in which Red herself is possible. She’s come to knot this strand of history and sear it until it melts.

She holds a corpse that was once a man, her hands gloved in its guts, her fingers clutching its alloy spine. She lets go, and the exoskeleton clatters against rock. Crude technology. Ancient. Bronze to depleted uranium. He never had a chance. That is the point of Red.

I love time travel and I always have, and I’m really excited to see how this novella unfolds. I’ve heard such great things about it!

MONTHLY REWIND: October & November 2019

Even though it’s not quite the end of November yet, I’m doing a wrap-up/check-in post because I feel like I’ve failed at everything in November due to some sort of good life things. I’ve also realized that I am not good at monthly challenges while on a ridiculous work schedule, so my fifth attempt at Nanowrimo will probably be my last. Until I get into better habits, I can’t sustain magically and seemingly overnight writing outputs of 1,700 words a day. I did finally get a job, and I’m back working at a bookstore, which is good for me because I feel useful but also a little bad because I have no control sometimes when it comes to buying new books. I also have access to physical arcs again, and I grabbed a few off the shelf that I’m excited to read! I also got some kind of illness last weekend that threw off all of my plans to read a lot and start updating my instagram more, but it’s life and sometimes I need to focus my energy elsewhere. I also purchased Pokemon Sword and Shield, and I’m excited to play through them both!

Here’s what I’m currently reading as of this posting:

  • The Priory of the Orange Tree, by Samantha Shannon
  • The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Writings, by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Waiting for Tom Hanks, by Kerry Winfrey
  • This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (I have a First Lines Friday post for this book this week!)

In October, I read ten books, but so far in November, I’ve only finished three.

October’s reads:

  • The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe, by D.G. Compton
  • Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir
  • The Ascent to Godhood, by JY Yang
  • The New Voices of Science Fiction, edited by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, by Christopher de Hamel
  • The Duchess Deal, by Tessa Dare
  • The English Wife, by Lauren Willig
  • Something Strange and Deadly, by Susan Dennard
  • Recursion, by Blake Crouch
  • A Darkness Strange and Lovely, by Susan Dennard

November’s reads:

  • Strange and Ever After, by Susan Dennard
  • The Guinevere Deception, by Kiersten White
  • The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman

Now, onto books received, grabbed, and purchased! All arcs are courtesy of the publishers, including the ones sent to my store, and I’ve received no compensation for reading them or for their future reviews/features. I’ve been visiting Goodwill lately when I drop off things to donate, and I picked up some books there as revisits and research for pacing for writing geared for younger readers.

ARCS (release date)

  • Vagabonds, by Hao Jingfang (April 14, 2020)
  • Fate of the Fallen, by Kel Kade (November 2019)
  • The Secrets We Kept, by Lara Prescott (September 2019)
  • A Queen in Hiding, by Sarah Kozloff (January 2020)
  • The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, by Ken Liu (February 25, 2020)
  • Things in Jars, by Jess Kidd (February 2, 2020)

Purchases, new

  • Do You Dream of Terra-Two?, by Temi Oh
  • Velocity Weapon, by Megan E. O’Keefe
  • Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • The Cloud Roads, by Martha Wells
  • The Merciful Crow, by Margaret Owen
  • Fortuna, by Kristyn Merbeth
  • The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo

Purchases, used

  • The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo
  • Redwall, by Brian Jacques
  • The Babysitter’s Club #1: Kristy’s Great Idea, by Ann M. Martin
  • The Babysitter’s Club #2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, by Ann M. Martin

It’s a LOT. I also accidentally forgot to update my address on my Bardugo preorder so it’s at my old place and I just need to contact my former roommates and see if they can mail out anything else that’s been sent to the house, because I think some other books have been sent there even though I’ve updated my address everywhere I can think of!

What are you reading currently? Have you started planning out 2020’s reading goals? I’m working on figuring out new images for the blog for the new year/decade, and hopefully getting back on track with my reading and online life.