Miscellaneous

Book Tag | Halloween Creatures 2.0

I saw this tag over on Avery’s blog, and hey, it’s October, so why not? Like Avery, I don’t really read horror (or scary books in general) either, so I feel like I can’t really participate in most spooky October activities. This book tag seemed like a good compromise, because I love supernatural characters.

RULES:

  • Answer all prompts.
  • Answer honestly.
  • Tag 1-13 people.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)
  • Have fun!

WITCH — a magical character or book:

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)

Akata Witch is one of the best fantasy worlds I’ve read, and I can’t wait to wait the sequel, which is already on the way here I hope.

WEREWOLF — the perfect book to read at night:

I always have trouble with “the perfect book to read when X” questions, because I just… read whatever I want regardless of time or season? I’m not sure what other people base their picks on.

Always Be You

I’m going to pick Always Be You, because even though it’s a short story, it’s incredibly cozy and must be great to read while curled up in bed.

FRANKENSTEIN — a book that truly shocked you:

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist

Hm… I made the mistake of forgetting the original ending of The Little Mermaid before I went into this retelling, and let me tell you, it was darker than I expected. But damn, The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist is amazing (and queer!).

THE DEVIL — a dark, evil character:

The Lifeline Signal (Chameleon Moon, #2)

I don’t think most stories I read have truly evil characters… But Major Turret would definitely count. As would Sharpe.

GRIM REAPER — a character that never should have died:

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

This is difficult… I know that the character death in this book was necessary for the plot, but I still think those characters deserved better.

Two characters die in the entire Chameleon Moon universe ever, and I’m still not over them.

Shout out to Raphael Santiago, because I’m down with that fandom and that universe but he is still special to me – although he is fading in my heart.

Also, there’s a character death in Exit Strategy that broke me as well.

ZOMBIE — a book that made you “hungry” for more:

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

Any book in the Murderbot Diaries series. Please just give me the full-length novel right now.

GARGOYLE — a character that you would protect at all cost:

I’d protect Murderbot, but I doubt they need me – more like, I’d let them protect me. I’d also protect any character in Every Heart a Doorway, but they definitely don’t need it either, especially Jack, who is my favourite. This is difficult!

The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)

Can I just, protect Nico from anything that makes him sad? Thanks. Including that awful outing scene.

VAMPIRE — a book that sucked the life out of you:

Orlando

I’m sorry, but Virginia Woolf’s writing and I just really aren’t getting along. I’m having trouble with A Room of One’s Own as well.

GHOST — a book that still haunts you:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Let’s just not.

DEMON — a book that really scared you:

The Better to Kiss You With

I don’t really read scary books, but I suppose The Better to Kiss You With had a part towards the end that scared me?

SKELETON — a character you have a bone to pick with:

If I Loved You Less

I have so many bones to pick with Theo. But also, other people in the book pick bones with her too, and I actually love how they call her out and make it clear that they do it out of love because they know she could be better? This book was an ugly look in a mirror in a way.

MUMMY — a book you would preserve throughout time:

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1)

I didn’t expect to like this book so much, but damn, the hype was right.

CREEPY DOLL — a cover too scary to look at:

6...5...4 (Rémálom könyvek, #2)

I never undertood what they were thinking with these covers for a YA book.

~

So… while none of these are really horror (maybe except the last one), I think I managed to get some darker reads in. Have you read any of these?

~ Alexa

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Reviews

If I Loved You Less: Queer Island Shenanigans

If I Loved You LessTitle: If I Loved You Less
Author(s): Tamsen Parker
Series: Classics Queered
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Retelling
Published: September 20th 2018
LGBTQAI+: queer wlw MC, unspecified wlw love interest, other wlw side characters
I received an ARC from the author through The Lesbrary in exchange for an honest review.

This review originally appeared on The Lesbrary on October 14th, 2018.

Matchmaking? Check. Surfing? Check. Falling in love? As if. 

Sunny, striking, and satisfied with her life in paradise, Theodosia Sullivan sees no need for marriage. She does, however, relish serving as matchmaker for everyone who crosses her path. As the manager of her family’s surf shop in Hanalei Bay, that includes locals and tourists alike.

One person she won’t be playing Cupid for is the equally happy bachelorette down the street. Baker Kini ʻŌpūnui has been the owner of Queen’s Sweet Shop since her parents passed away and her younger brother married Theo’s older sister and moved to Oahu. Kini’s ready smile, haupia shortbread, and lilikoi malasadas are staples of Hanalei’s main street.

However, Theo’s matchmaking machinations and social scheming soon become less charming—even hazardous—to everyone involved. And when she fails to heed Kini’s warnings about her meddling, she may be more successful than she ever intended. Theo has to face the prospect of Kini ending up with someone else, just as she realizes she’s loved Kini all along.

A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma.

Rating: 4 stars (3.5 stars)

Theo Sullivan lives on an island like paradise with her slightly overprotective father, content with how things are. The community in Hanalei is tight-knit: everyone knows everyone, outsiders rarely stay for long, and nothing can really remain a secret. Personally, the island setting and its descriptions were my favourite part of the novel, as well as the descriptions of food and sweets. I could really feel the freedom and the sense of paradise, the lazy, slow way of life, that might seem boring to some, but it’s perfectly enough for Theo. And yet, this book really wasn’t what I expected based on the blurb.

First, let me talk about our protagonist, Theo. I loved that she defined herself as queer because her identity is complicated – she mostly likes women, but she’s not against maybe being with men, and she keeps a metaphorical little gate open for one man in particular, which is eventually explored in the book.

Despite this, I found Theo an incredibly unlikeable character at first. Her personality seemed to consist of butting into everyone else’s business, and trying to influence their lives in a very invasive way. Now, an unlikeable protagonist in itself is not a problem, but in a romance, it makes it pretty difficult to root for her. Since the blurb mentioned that Theo’s meddling will eventually get her in trouble, I was waiting for the inevitable character development. I also liked that her behaviour was continously called out, mostly by Kini but also sometimes by other characters. Although after a certain event Theo realises she messed up and genuinely tries to make up for it, I still caught her saying or doing things that made me cringe even towards the end. There was definitely some character development, but sometimes it felt like as soon as she took a step forward, she took at least a half back.

Still, what really surprised and even frustrated me wasn’t Theo’s character. It’s the fact that the whole “Theo realises she’s in love with someone just as that someone is about to get together with someone else” only happens towards the very end of the book, and it felt like it was solved really quickly. More than that, the last section of the book feels like a series of plot twists and revelations thrown together without time to really resolve any of them. When I finished the book, there were several plots with side characters that either came out of nowhere, or weren’t resolved properly, and just left me with many questions.

In the end, I enjoyed this book (or at least most of it, before the rushed ending) but not for the reasons I expected. I loved the interactions between the side characters, Theo’s friendships, her character development even if I felt it was lacking, the plot twists that surprised me (the one that made sense, at least), and the island scenery. But this wasn’t the book I expected based on the blurb, and what I expected to be the central conflict was pretty much one confession resolved in one chapter, so I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated.

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous · TBR

TBR Lows and Highs #1

You might remember my Down the TBR Hole posts that I stopped doing a while ago because I ran out of books to delete from my TBR (among other reasons). I’ve been eyeing TBR Lows and Highs by Howling Libraries for a while, because it has the removing things from your TBR aspect, but also a chance to show off new additions. I’m not sure how regular this feature will be, but I’m giving it a go.

Rules:

  • Link back to the original post at Howling Libraries
  • Sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, ascending
  • Find 5-10 (or more, if you feel ambitious!) titles to purge from your TBR (the “lows”)
    • ALTERNATIVE OPTION: Find 5+ titles that are at the BOTTOM of your TBR—books you want to read someday, just not right now!
  • Post those 5 books in the list, with a brief explanation
  • Next, sort your Goodreads TBR shelf by date added, descending
  • List the last 5 (or more!) books you added to your TBR, with a synopsis or your brief summary of why you added it (the “highs”)

The MartianTHE LOWS – books on the bottom of my TBR

I saw many quotes from this book on Tumblr and I bought it because it sounded funny, but I still haven’t picked it up since then. I guess “funny stuff with a white guy” just isn’t appealing enough? I’ll definitely read it… eventually.

So, I actually own both this book and one of its sequels, in Hungarian. I think I got them in a triple deal where I got both books + Daughter of Smoke and Bone… and yet I haven’t picked up any of those three yet. It’s been years. Please help. I think it’s kinda like Every Heart a Doorway, only nothing could live up to Every Heart a Doorway?

Got this as a gift forever ago (hey, I could actually use it for the Hades prompt in next month’s challenge?) and… I thought it was sci-fi at first, but I think it’s more fantasy? Or maybe a mix? Nevertheless, I just couldn’t make myself pick it up.

Okay, so this is… this is actually one of the first books I ever bought in English. Back when I just went into a Hungarian bookstore, browsed the English section, and picked up anything that sounded vaguely good. That should tell you how long I’ve had it.

I downloaded this for free from Amazon and I kind of want to read it because it sounds like it might be useful for dealing with anxiety. But also, naaah.

THE HIGHS – books I recently added that I’m excited about

Wait, wait… an entire anthology about LGBTQAI+ superheroes?! How was this not already on my TBR? Also, the cover is awesome.

No, I’ve never read the original Frankenstein, or anything by Kiersten White… but I’m still intrigued by this retelling with a female main character.

A young adult thriller with a gay protagonist, an autistic younger brother, and the ghost of a young girl. I’m definitely intrigued.

I love superhero stories, especially ones with queer characters, and especially ones where the relationship between the hero and the villain is… complicated, to say the least. This book seems to have everything I want. Also, robots.

This is a nonfiction book on polyamory with a great cover, and I really want to read more on the topic, especially about real people and not just in fiction.

Have you read any of these? Which book on the bottom of my TBR should I try to read soon-ish?

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

Top Ten Tuesday – The Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly book tag that was run by The Broke and the Bookish but has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provides a different bookish theme those deep-seated desires to list! Anyone is welcome to join in on their blog, in the comments or any other way. 

I think this is actually my first time doing TTT – either the topics were too difficult, or I just completely forgot Tuesday is coming up. But I really like this topic, so let’s have a go at it! Nowadays it’s difficult to pick up a book if it’s longer than 500 pages, but clearly that doesn’t always stop me… so what are the longest “read” books I have added on Goodreads?

From the posts I’ve seen already up, many people can relate to this, but half my list would be Harry Potter if I gave you the actual top 10 books – so I will only count the longest from the series and mention the others as a sidenote.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)1) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Number of pages: 870

(Deathly Hallows: 759
Goblet of Fire: 734
Half-Blood Prince: 652)

2) The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Number of pages: 656

3) The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Number of pages: 586

(The House of Hades: 584
The Lost Hero: 577
The Son of Neptune: 521
The Blood of Olympus: 514)

Sárkánykönny4) Sárkánykönny [“Dragon Tear”] by Vavyan Fable

Number of pages: 576

I completely forgot about this book and also barely remember what it’s about? A woman who is being stalked by a guy I think. I might re-read it one day…

5) Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Number of pages: 567

6) The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Number of pages: 544

7) City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Number of pages: 541

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1)8) The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Number of pages: 528

9) The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Number of pages: 516

10) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Number of pages: 513

I wasn’t sure whether to count all the CC and RR books together or not, but in the end I counted different series separately. But just for fun: if I look at the next 6 books after Gentleman’s Guide, two are by Cassandra Clare, one by Rick Riordan, and two by Vavyan Fable (a Hungarian author I don’t read anymore, but I used to devour her books).

Average of pages (with the top 10 used here): 589 pages

Average of pages (also counting the other books in the series listed in brackets): 602 pages

~ Alexa

Readathon/Bingo · TBR

#MythoThon | November TBR

But Alexa, you could say. You just posted your October TBR! And you’d be right. But then I realised that in November, Foxes and Fairytales is doing a Greek mythology-themed monthly readathon. Now, I’m obsessed with Greek mythology and I love monthly readathons, so in November I’ll put aside my structured TBR for a month and try to get a bingo on this challenge instead.

mythothonheader.png

Now, the books you read don’t actually have to be mythology-related as long as they fit the prompts, but there is one Greek mythology ARC that I’ve been putting off for months (despite being super excited for it). It comes out in November, so this will be the perfect time to finally read it.

Outrun the Wind

Outrun the Wind is the one book that I definitely want to read in November, and I’ll consider the month a fail if I don’t. Seriously. It could fit several squares, so I’ll see where it can help me most to get a bingo.

Otherwise, my tentative goal for this challenge is to get at least one bingo, but I already have trouble juggling school, work and activism/social life (yes… those things are basically the same for me and it’s probably not ideal), so it will be a miracle if I manage to do that.

Which doesn’t stop me for picking a book for every category. And wow, there are a lot of categories.

(Note: some of these books are on my October TBR as well. If I actually manage to read them in October, then I’ll pick something else for the bingo.)

ComboBoard

Zeus. King of the Gods. God of the Sky. Read a book at least 400 pages long.

Lisey's StoryThis could be Crooked Kingdom (536 pages), but also Lisey’s Story (667 pages), my Hungarian copy of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (560 pages), The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (512 pages), The Tenderness of Wolves (532 pages) or Jane Eyre (507)… but also The Amulet of Samarkand (476),  Watership Down (474), Uprooted (465), We Are The Ants (455)… and a bunch of others. Damn, I have way too many long books on my TBR.

Hera. Queen of the Gods. Goddess of Marriage, Mothers and Families. Read a book about royalty.

Does nobility count? Probably not. This could technically be the re-read of my the Star Wars trilogy (New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi), as well as Moving Target, because Leia. Also, King Arthur and Her Knights: Enthroned | Enchanted | Embittered, which would even be mythology-related, kind of. And a female King Arthur? Sign me up! Also, Of Fire and Stars, which I was really excited about when I bought it and still haven’t read.

Hebe. Goddess of Eternal Youth. Read a Middle Grade or Young Adult book.

I don’t own most of the middle grade books on my TBR, and I can’t afford new books really, so this will have to be YA. Again, The Lady’s Guide would work, as would my Hungarian re-read of Every Heart a Doorway, Mask of Shadows, Daughter of the Buring City, and many more. Although I also have an ARC of Dear Earthling!

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl From Everywhere, #1)Poseidon. God of the Sea. Read a book which features the sea – mermaids, pirates, surfers etc.

Sea Foam and Silence by Lynn E. O’Connacht would work for this. As would Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag which I’ve been meaning to re-read. Given to the Sea is another one, and The Girl from Everywhere.

Hermes. God of Travellers and Thieves. Read a book set in a country not your own.

Pretty much nothing on my TBR is set in Hungary, so this is basically a free choice.

Aphrodite. Goddess of Love and Beauty. Read a book with a beautiful cover.

Again, many options, but maybe Pink Slip, An Enchantment of Ravens, Everything Leads to You, Keeping Long Island… And Outrun the Wind, of course.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)The Hydra. Multiheaded Serpent. Read a book with more than one POV.

Hm. Crooked Kingdom is the only one I can think of, but it’s pretty long… I’ll need to see if I can find something else for this one, but it’s difficult to tell from looking if something has multiple POV. I wonder if an anthology would count for this? In that case, I could read Humans Wanted or How to Live on Other Planets.

Iris. Goddess of the Rainbow. Read a book with your favourite colour on the cover or in the title.

That would be either gold/yellow, or purple. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves was entirely a cover-buy for me, like, last year, so this might be a good excuse to read it finally.

Ancient Greece. Read a book set in the past.

I really, really should read Leányrablás Budapesten already. It’s historical fiction mystery set in Hungary and I just haven’t really been feeling it. (Also, Outrun the Wind could work for this category.)

Hestia. Goddess of the Hearth. Read the first book in a series.

This could be The Amulet of SamarkandScythe, City of Strife, or Rosemary and Rue. As well as a bunch of others. Maybe First Flight, since it’s pretty short?

Dear Earthling: Cosmic CorrespondentDionysus. God of Wine. Celebrate this year by reading a 2018 release.

I’m running out of 2018 ARCs, but I still have The Trans Generation, Dear Earthling, and Hazards of Time Travel left. As well as Life Within Parole Volume 2, but I want to get to that one in October.

Achilles and Patroclus. Read a book with an LGBT+ protagonist.

Another easy one with many opportunities! Maybe Mask of Shadows, Pink Slip, Keeping Long Island, or something similar.

Homer. Read a retelling (of a myth, fairy tale, classic novel etc.)

Sea Foam and Silence is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, and King Arthur and Her Knights is also a retelling of the Arthur myths. Plus, I recently downloaded a free copy of Bellamy and the Brute from Amazon, so there’s that.

Hephaestus. God of Fire and Smiths. Read a book with a disabled character.

I’ve been meaning to read Run by Kodi Keplinger.

Ares. God of War. Read a book with a compelling antagonist or a written from the villain’s POV.

Uprooted sounds like it has a compelling antagonist, although it’s difficult to tell from blurb only. Or is the Dragon not the antagonist at all? I could also read Friend Request by Laura Marshall… I’ll return to this category later.

Zombies Vs. UnicornsEchidna. Mother of Monsters. Read a book about monsters – dragons, zombies, serial killers etc.

I have several dragon books, for example First Flight. I’m pretty sure A Daughter of Smoke and Bone has demons somewhere? I also have Zombies vs Unicorns by Holly Black and I have no idea what it’s about.

Herakles. Read a popular book (define ‘popular’ as you wish).

Good Omens is a book a lot of people recommend to me, and I still haven’t read it. Oops? The Nowhere Girls was also pretty popular when it came out.

Gaia. Primordial Earth Goddess. Read a book which was published at least 5 years ago.

This could be Pride and Prejudice, Death on the Nile, Equal Rites, or The Nemesis Cell.

Watership DownArtemis. Goddess of the Moon and the Hunt. Read a book with an animal on the cover or in the title.

I really should get around to reading Watership Down

Athena. Goddess of Wisdom, Strategy and Crafts. Read a book that’s not the first in the series.

Hopefully my copy of Akata Warrior will arrive before November.

Persephone. Goddess of the Underworld and Springtime. Read a book which is less than 200 pages.

My Writing Professor, Drive by J.L. Gaynor and Deadline by Stephanie Ann are all under 200 pages.

Humans WantedApollo. God of Prophesy, Plague and Poetry. Read a collection of poetry or short stories.

I few short story anthologies I have are Zombies vs Unicorns, Humans Wanted, or How To Live On Other Planets.

Hades. God of the Underworld and Riches. Read a book which you got for free (library, from a friend, ARC, Kindle offer etc.)

I might borrow something from the library for this prompt, but I also have tons of books I got for free on Kindle deals. Summer Swim by Mia Archer, for example. But Keeping Long Island as well.

Demeter. Goddess of Agriculture. Read a book with a nature word in the title – e.g. leaf, wind, flower etc.

The Violet Hill Series is 3 novellas that are about 200 pages together, so they might be a good pick.

Okay, that was pretty long. Are you participating? How many squares do you think I’ll complete, honestly?

~ Alexa

TBR

Structured TBR | October

In September, I made my first attempt at a structured TBR, where I pick some books based on several categories. I did this to diversify my reading and maybe get in some books that I’ve been meaning to read but putting off.

Did it work?

Wellll…

Overall, I’d rate this first attempt a 3 on a 1-5 scale. I didn’t have much time to read in general, but most of the books I did read were from the structured TBR… that I changed a few times after posting. Oops? So yeah, I can definitely do better on it, but I wouldn’t say it was a fail.

And it was really fun to do a collage and check things off on it, so let’s do it again! (Some of these books may be familiar from last month’s post…)

structuredoctober

Left From Last Month

  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  • No Man of Woman Born by Ana Mardoll

ARCs

  • Life Within Parole: Volume 2 by RoAnna Sylver
  • The Sicilian Woman’s Daughter by Linda Lo Scuro
  • How to Live on Other Planets edited by Joanne Merriam

Sapphic Books

  • Skin | Deep by Michelle Hanson
  • If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker
  • Sunshine Girl by Marissa Dahlson
  • Summer Swim by Mia Archer
  • My Writing Professor by Nicolette Dane
  • Ardulum: Second Don by J.S. Fields

Around the Year in 52 Books

  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  • Leányrablás Budapesten by Gyula Böszörményi
  • Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Classics

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

Nonfiction / For Uni

  • The Trans Generation by Ann Travers
  • Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Random Owned / Library

  • Lesbian Studies: Setting an Agenda by Tamsin Wilton
  • The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (bonus: re-read The Gentleman’s Guide in Hungarian first!)

I especially want to complete the second row with all the sapphic books, but we’ll see how much I manage to get done.

What are you reading in October? Have you read any of these?

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

COVER REVEAL !! Life Within Parole Volume 2

Chameleon Moon is one of my favourite series/worlds, and you will literally always find me screaming about all the characters. So far, there are two full-length books out (Chameleon Moon and The Lifeline Signal), as well as many short stories, and soon TWO short story anthologies! All of the stories have an all-queer cast, including transgender women, transgender men, nonbinary people, several ace-spec people, a polyamorous F/F/F family, and many more!

Today I’m super excited to be helping reveal the cover for LIFE WITHIN PAROLE: VOLUME 2, the second collection of CHAMELEON MOON short stories by RoAnna Sylver!

LIFE WITHIN PAROLE: VOLUME 2 contains ten new CHAMELEON MOON short stories, and while many stand alone, they’re best enjoyed between Books 1 and 2. It comes out October 11th, and you can pre-order it now from Amazon and a bunch of other places, for the special early price of $2.99 before the price goes up!

Parole is full of danger – and secrets.

The deepest of them make up intricately interconnected stories. Damaged survivors finding each other, stitching their lives together in the harshest of places, forging precious bonds amidst the flames. Gradually growing trust, love, and understanding between found families. But there’s no escaping this place, its deadly realities, or its predators. A brutal capture. A hellish withdrawal and fragile recovery. A harrowing escape. A breakneck sprint across a haunted, poisoned wasteland.

Life and death, trust and betrayal, choking smoke and breaths of fresh air—all of these are just part of life within Parole.

LWP Ebook Cover.jpg

Isn’t that just the most badass cover you’ve ever seen?! I’m actually a Patreon backer, so I got this artwork early and had it as my phone background for weeks because it’s beautiful.PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE FROM:

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41140981-life-within-parole-chameleon-moon-short-stories
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HLWD98R
Gumroad (high-res cover art also available!) – https://gumroad.com/l/xQfHQ
Books2Read Universal Link (Kobo, B&N, etc) – https://www.books2read.com/u/3yD5qB

Wrap-up

September Wrap-Up + State of the ARC

Look at me! I actually survived my first month of my Masters at university! (Note: this post is queued, so I might not, in fact, still be alive by the time it appears on the blog.)

🏳️‍🌈 = book has a LGBTQAI+ main character [3]
🦄 = ARC or review copy [6]
📚 = books that qualify for the backlist challenge we’re doing with Avery [1 – which means I failed badly]
🌍 = Around the World in 52 Books on Goodreads [0]
🌷 = Lesbian Book Bingo by Jae [1]
🍬 = Candybook Land by Elaine Howlin [1]
📙 = Sequel September by Books and Munches [1]

As always, I’m linking up with Avalinah’s State of the ARC meme:

State of the ARC is a monthly meme at Avalinah’s Books meant to motivate you to finish up all your long overdue ARCs (Advanced or Early Reader Copies).

State of the ARC has a Goodreads groups ARCs Anonymous. Join it here.

arcs

I mostly read ARCs this month (6 of them, specifically), and I didn’t request any new ones. I also managed to finish the bingo, so I can just sit back until December! Or maybe try to double them? Although I’m not sure I’d have a second book for some of these, like the new to you genre.

arcsseptember

I only have 7 NetGalley ARCs left, but half of those aren’t due until November or later. And only 1 author ARC that I’ve been sitting on for four months because I’m horrible.

The truth is that I also currently have 9 books saved to my computer that I received for review through the Lesbrary, but I don’t really count those here because they are sent to every reviewer and I don’t feel the pressure to personally review them. It’s just nice to have a list and pick something out of it sometimes. (Soft on Soft and Spark & Change were both received through the Lesbrary.)

Here’s all the books I read this month:

  • 🏳️‍🌈🦄  Soft on Soft by Em Ali: 142 pages. 5🌟
  • 📚🍬 A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole: 384 pages. 4🌟
  • 🦄 Ghost Boy by Betty Stafford: 152 pages. 2🌟
  • 🦄 Drinking From The Trough by Mary Carlson: 288 pages. 3🌟
  • 🏳️‍🌈🦄🌷📙  The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember: 256 pages. 5🌟
  • 🦄 I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns: 320 pages. 4🌟
  • 🏳️‍🌈🦄  Spark & Change by Kellum Jeffries: ~40 pages. 4🌟

Favourite books this month:

  • Soft on Soft
  • A Princess in Theory
  • The Navigator’s Touch

Reviews on the blog this month:

Book tags:

Challenges:

Miscellaneous:

Structured TBR scores:

structuredseptember

Out of the 24 books on this list, I have read 6, abandoned 2, and still currently reading 3. I’d say that’s pretty good for my first month with a structured TBR.

How did your September go reading-wise?

Miscellaneous · TBR

TBR Book Tag

Nearly every book blogger I know struggles with their TBR. The acronym literally stands for “to be read”, and it can mean either the books you already own and haven’t read, or all the books you want to read whether you own them or not.

I saw this tag on betwinedreads. If you know the original creator, please tell me!

HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TBR LIST?

I have three different shelves on Goodreads to keep track of my TBR.

  • My “want to read” shelf has everything I’m interested in buying/reading, and I don’t really hold back with that one. I use it to show interest, and also to support authors because I know it’s good if more people add their books.
  • My “owned and unread” shelf has every book that I already own, but still haven’t read.
  • And my “immediate TBR” has books that I already own and want to read soon, either for my yearly challenges, or because I’m really interested in them.

IS YOUR TBR MOSTLY PRINT OR E-BOOK?

My “owned and unread” shelf is full of e-books, mostly because I downloaded MANY free books from newsletters, or Amazon’s free section. I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to reading all of these.

My immediate TBR is more mixed, but still has many ebooks. They are just cheaper and easier to carry around.

HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHICH BOOK FROM YOUR TBR TO READ NEXT?

I participate in a lot of reading challenges, where the prompts help narrow down what I’m going to read next. Starting with September, I also started experimenting with a structured TBR where I pick books in advance based on specific categories.

Elveszett próféciákA BOOK THAT HAS BEEN ON YOUR TBR THE LONGEST

Hah… This is still Good Omens, which has been on my TBR since 2013. If I didn’t already own it, I might actually delete it at this point, but this way I still want to read it.

A BOOK THAT YOU RECENTLY ADDED TO YOUR TBR

The last book I added to my TBR is Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley. I’m not sure about it, because it’s over 600 pages and nonfiction, but I’m really interested in the lives of these two women. I already read many small anecdotes about Mary Shelley that make me curious.

The Surface BreaksA BOOK ON YOUR TBR LIST STRICTLY BECAUSE OF ITS BEAUTIFUL COVER

I keep removing and re-adding The Surface Breaks because I just can’t decide. Pros: Beautiful cover, Little Mermaid retelling. Cons: Sounds kind of cliché and I just really can’t tell from the blurb how it’s different from the original.

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT YOU NEVER PLAN ON ACTUALLY READING

I mean… if I didn’t even plan on reading it, it wouldn’t be on my TBR. But there are definitely books I got for free (legally, mind you) that I’m not sure I actually want to read. Still, I want to give each of them at least one chance before I delete them. Like… Jack The Ripper: The Truth about the Whitechapel Murders. Seriously, what was I thinking?

AN UNPUBLISHED BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT YOU’RE EXCITED FOR

The Murderbot novel Martha Wells is planning, definitely. But it doesn’t even have a title or a cover yet! 😦 I’m also excited about Outrun the Wind. I have an ARC of it, but I haven’t had time to read it yet.

There are many books I added to my TBR because they sounded interesting, but the publication day is so far that I really don’t know much about them yet.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT BASICALLY EVERYONE HAS READ BUT YOU

I actually caught up on two very popular books recently, Six of Crow and The Gentleman’s Guide. I still haven’t read Crooked Kingdom though, so maybe that?

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR EVERYONE RECOMMENDS YOU

I still don’t know what to think of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – the blurb doesn’t really sound appealing, but everyone I know who has read it absolutely loved it, even those who said that it wasn’t their usual genre? What is it about this book?!

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR YOU’RE VERY EXCITED TO READ

I’m really interested in Humans Wanted, because 1) it’s an anthology, 2) it’s sci-fi, 3) I love the Tumblr post it’s based on. But books based on Tumblr posts…? To be honest, I’m a little skeptical. Still super excited, though.

THE NUMBER OF BOOKS ON YOUR GOODREADS TBR SHELF

As of 09.23, there’s 902 books on my Want to Read shelf, 61 books on my immediate TBR, and 366 books on my owned and unread shelf.

How many books are on your TBR? Are you really planning to read all of them?

~ Alexa

Readathon/Bingo · TBR

TBR | Prideathon

I was a little surprised when I saw a TBR for Prideathon on Eri’s Book Wonderland in September, but hey, I can’t pass up at least posting a TBR – even if I’ve barely had time to read this month and I dislike week-long challenges, I’ll try to get at least a few books in. And who knows, if I combine the challenges cleverly, I might complete most of them with only 2-3 books.

Obviously, I’m going to be using books that are already on my structured TBR (+ the ones I borrowed from the library), but thankfully a lot of these are LGBT.

Prideathon has a group book, The Navigator’s Touch, which I actually read earlier this month and already posted a review for.

Unfortunately, the only one of the host picks I own is one I’ve already read, but… I just recently bought a Hungarian copy, so I suppose I could try to read that if I have the time?

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a book with a protagonist that is not human (1) + a book that is less than 300 pages (4) + a book published in 2018 (6)

Spark & Change

Spark & Change by Kellum Jeffries

a book published in or before 2016 (2)

Orlando

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

a book recommended by the hosts (3)

Minden szív kaput nyit

Minden szív kaput nyit [Every Heart a Doorway] by Seanan McGuire

a book that’s more than 400 pages (5)

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

How many of these books will I actually read next week? No idea. Hopefully at least a few!

~ Alexa