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

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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?

DmwuZCmUcAA_n36

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

 

Readathon/Bingo · TBR

Sequel September TBR

Not Your Villain (Sidekick Squad, #2)Here’s a thing about me: I very rarely commit to series. I generally prefer reading standalone books, but I very often read a first book in a series and then just… never follow up on the sequels. There are some notable exceptions where I was willing to read 5+ books in a series (looking at you, Rick Riordan) but they’re not common. But I love the challenges by Kathy @ Books and Munches (Sci-fi July was awesome), and September is apparently Sequel September… so I was motivated to look at my TBR and see if I have any sequels.

Some of these are on my August TBR as well, so I still have a few days left to get to them this month, but if I don’t, well, then I can read them in September I guess? There are also some sequels I own even though I haven’t even read the first book, which is probably a dangerous amount of trust to have in an author, but hey. It happens.

There are also a few anomalies, e.g. I haven’t read the first book in the Bride Quartet either, but I think they can be read standalone, so I put Bed of Roses in that category.

Sequels on my August TBR

  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)
  • The Navigator’s Touch (The Seafarer’s Kiss #2)
  • A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2)
  • A birodalom visszavág / A Jedi visszatér (Star Wars in Hungarian)

Sequels I own and want to read

  • Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag
  • Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet #2)
  • Ardulum: Second Don

Haven’t read the first book yet

  • City of Betrayal (City of Spires #2)
  • Flames (The Guild of the Cowry Catchers #2)
  • The entire Discworld series

Akata Warrior (Akata Witch, #2)Sequels I want to get my hands on immediately

  • Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)
  • Searching for Dragons (The Echanted Forest Chronicles #2)
  • A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals #3)
  • The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings #2)
  • Akata Warrior (Akata Witch #2)
  • Daughter of the Sun (Tales of Inthya #2)
  • Not Your Backup (Sidekick Squad #3)
  • Ruse (Want #2)
  • Lions Can Always Learn To Roar (Until Lambs Become Lions #2)

… See? I told you I’m horrible at this. Pretty much everything on my owned TBR is standalones or first books in a series. So I guess this is more of a “sequels I’m looking forward to that mostly aren’t published yet” post.

Do you often read series? Are you participating in Sequel September?

~ Alexa

Readathon/Bingo · TBR

Summer TBR Wipeout Introduction + Graphic Novel Readathon

Another thing I’m participating in this summer is the Summer TBR Wipeout – this can be easily combined with other challenges because really, the only thing that matters is that you read as much as you can.

I already talked about my TBR for July in my Ambitious July Plans post (includes my TBR  for my OWLs!) as well as my Sci-fi July post, and I also hinted that in August, I’d be doing my NEWTs (after hopefully finishing my OWLs in July).

Since the NEWTs are so challenging, they will likely make up most of my August TBR by themselves because I don’t think I’ll have time to read anything more. It’s so far away that my TBR will likely change, but here’s a sneak peek anyway!

newts.png

I mentioned I’d be participating in Books & Tea Book Club’s graphic novel readathon in July, but I didn’t actually post a TBR for it, so let me use this opportunity to talk about just a few graphic novels I’m hoping to get to.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 2:  Friendship to the Max

  • 1. Lumberjanes

This is one graphic novel series that literally everyone recommends if you ask for queer comic recs. I have read the first Volume already, and frankly, I didn’t like it that much, but I hear that it improves later. I have the next three volumes, as well as a bunch of specials/bonus stories, so I hope to read the entire series this summer. It also takes place in a camp, so it’s a perfect summer read.

  • 2. Giant Days

Giant Days, Vol. 1 (Giant Days, #1)I barely know anything about this other than the fact that it’s about young women in college, the first volume has a beautiful yellow cover, and I think one of the mains is sapphic? I have the first three volumes of this, so I’ll be reading those.

  • 3. The Backstagers

Not only does he gain great, lifetime friends, Jory is also introduced to an entire magical world that lives beyond the curtain. I only have the first volume of this, but it has queer boys, theatre kids, and fantasy-magic elements, so honestly that’s enough for me.

  • 4. Joyride Vol. 1

Earth sucks. The stars have been blocked out for so long that people have forgotten there was anything else besides the World Government Alliance watching over them. When Uma Akkolyte jacks an alien spaceship and punches through the stratosphere she sets forth on an adventure with an unlikely crew who are totally not ready for all the good, bad, and weird the universe will throw at them. Sci-fi with an unlikely crew and apparently a queer main? Give it to me!

  • 5. Paper Girls Vol. 1

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 (Paper Girls, #1)In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood. It’s a little weird that this is about 12-year-olds because the girls on the cover look older to me (especially with the cigarette??), but I’m excited to read this nonetheless.

+ Hopefully many others! Seriously, I bought two separate comic bundles on Humble Bundle in the last few months, so I have SO MANY graphic novels in my library that I want to get to. Next month is the perfect time to do this, although my OWLs will come first.

What are some of your favourite graphic novels or comics? Also, is there a difference?! I have no idea.

~ Alexa

Readathon/Bingo

Marvel-A-Thon TBR

I’m not sure whether it’s obvious or not, but I actually love doing readathons and challenges. I’m involved in two year-long challenges: Around the Year in 52 books, as well as the Lesbian Book Bingo. I’ve looked into some other year-long challenges as well, but I found that there were many repetitions or just topics I’m simply not interested in.

That doesn’t mean I can’t do month-long challenges, though. In March, I participated in IndieAthon, and the need to fill my entire bingo square motivated me so much that it was my most popular reading month so far this year. So of course, I can’t pass up the chance to participate in a month-long reading challenge that is centered around Marvel movies.

Marvel-A-Thon is being organised by Jamieson over at Jamieshelves, and it has categories based on Marvel movies, divided into the three Phases. You’re supposed to complete one Phase before moving on to the next, although you are allowed two skips per Phase. The goal is, of course, to complete as many challenges as you can and proceed to the last Phase.

marvelathon3

Since I have plenty of ARCs that I’m behind on, as well as books I’ve been waiting to read for months, I tried to fit those into the categories instead of picking up new books. Let’s see how well I succeeded. Of course, these are just plans, so I might end up reading completely different books for a given challenge.

PHASE ONE

🌟 Iron Man: First book in a series

  • I’ve had more trouble with this than expected, because apparently I read more standalones lately. Eden Wakes by C. S. Harte fits the bill, and I have an ARC of it.

🌟 Hulk: Book with a green cover

  • This could be either Into the Mystic Volume 3, or The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan.

🌟 Iron Man 2: Unpopular book

  • I chose to interpret “unpopular” as having few ratings on Goodreads, and not necessarily bad ratings. Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth has 22 ratings, so it works.

🌟 Thor: Book involving mythology

  • I really should catch up on both Magnus’s and Apollo’s adventures, so this will be either The Ship of the Dead or The Dark Prophecy. It could also be Outrun the Wind, but that one is only published in November so it’s a little early for it.

🌟 Captain America: Book set in World War II

  • This is going to be a cliché answer, but I still haven’t read The Book Thief and I’ve been planning it for a while. Alternatively, All The Light We Cannot See could work too.

🌟 The Avengers: A book with multiple perspectives

  • I think The Art of Escaping has this? Honestly, I can’t think of any books off the top of my head that have multiple perspectives, because that’s something you can’t really know unless somebody tells you, or you pick up the book. So, if I read something with multiple perspectives, I’ll put it here.

PHASE TWO

🌟 Iron Man 3: A book that will challenge you

  • Around the Year in 52 books has a similar prompt (a book that intimidates you), and the ones I planned to read for it are either Lisey’s Story by Stephen King, or Watership Down. Reading either of those would be two birds with one stone.

🌟 Thor: Dark World: A book with siblings

  • I’m accepting recommendations for this one, because I suddenly have no idea. The MC of Baker Thief definitely has a twin, but I’m not sure how important the sibling relationship is.

🌟 Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Main character is a villain or anti-hero

  • Reading Not Your Villain for this would be an interesting subversion of the prompt, so I might just do that. Ignite the Stars has a criminal MC, so that could also work.

🌟 Guardians of the Galaxy: Set, written in or involving the 80s

  • So what I did is that I went on my Goodreads TBR, set it to sort books based on publishing date, and scrolled to the 80s. I’ve been really curious about Octavia E. Butler’s work, so Wild Seed could be a good pick. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson is another one I’ve been planning to read — and Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, a book I picked up solely because it was so cheap, was apparently also written in the 80s?

🌟 Age of Ultron: A book involving AI

  • I’m pretty sure the Murderbot Diaries have AIs somewhere, so if I was accepted for Rogue Protocol on NetGalley, that would be great. Mass Effect: Nexus Uprising is a companion book to Mass Effect: Andromeda where the SAM AIs are quite important, but I don’t think they’re involved in the book itself… The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet apparently has AIs, maybe? And Boots for the Gentleman and The Cyberiad are also on a Goodreads list featuring AIs.

🌟 Ant Man: A book involving a heist or thieves

  • Six of Crows would be an obvious for this one, but The Palace Job is another one I’ve been dying to read. Baker Thief is also an obvious choice, although then I’m not sure what I’d put in the sibling category.

PHASE THREE

🌟 Civil War: A book about rivalry or enemies

  • I’m drawing a blank on this one. A lot of books have some kind of enemies, but I can’t think of one where there’s a significant central rivalry. I don’t know much about City of Strife and City of Betrayal, but from the titles, maybe they would fit?

🌟 Doctor Strange: A book that involves medicine

  • The Origins of Heartbreak by Cara Malone is a medical f/f romance that I’ve been meaning to read for the Lesbian Book Bingo.

🌟 GOTG: Vol 2: A book set in space

  • The Humans Wanted anthology is something I’ve been meaning to read.

🌟 Spider-Man: YA book involving secrets

  • I’m pretty sure The Nowhere Girls involves secrets in some way.

🌟 Thor: Ragnarok: A popular book

  • When Dimple Met Rishi or American Panda are both popular.

🌟 Infinity War: A book that fulfills multiple challenges

  • Anything I mentioned twice could work, so I’ll see which book I listed but didn’t read for the other categories. This is in Phase three, so it will take a while to get here anyway.

🌟 Black Panther: #ownvoices book with a black main character

  • The obvious choice is Let’s Talk About Love or maybe Akata Witch, but I’m sure I have more if I look around.

🌟 Captain Marvel: A book with a female MC

  • Most books I read have female MCs, so this could be almost anything, including a lot of the titles I already listed above. Basically a freebie. But maybe Sadie or Not Her Daughter?

🌟 Avengers 4: A book you don’t know anything about

  • The Benefits of Being an Octopus is certainly a book I know nothing about, but with that title, how could I not pick it up?

Are you planning to participate in this Readathon? Or maybe not this one, but do you like Readathons in general? Feel free to recommend me some, especially month-long ones.

~ Alexa

Readathon/Bingo · TBR

#IndieAthon TBR

I first read about #IndieAthon in Lia’s announcement post, and it sounds like a fantastic idea – a reading challenge/readathon specifically focusing on indie and self-published books!

IndieAthon (9)

Honestly, I rarely look at the publishers of the books I read so it’s difficult to tell how many books I read by indie authors, but… I think it’s a relatively high number? Still, there are so many great indie and self-published books that I bought/downloaded forever ago and I never got around to reading them, so this will be a good chance.

Full disclosure: I got most of these books/ideas from the Kraken Collective website.

card

My plan actually managed to cover almost all of the squares and got me several bingos – but of course, how many books I’ll actually manage to read in March is another question, especially given how behind I am with my ARCs… In any case, below is my current plan for the Indieathon:

1st in a series: City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault. I’ve been meaning to read this book for an embarrassingly long time and yet I just never got around to it.
Recommended to you: Caroline’s Heart by Austin Chant. I don’t even remember who recommended this, but several people, definitely.
<100 adds on Goodreads: Damsel to the Rescue by Kaia Sønderby
Person on cover: Warrior: A Collection of Short Stories edited by Antonica Jones
POC MC: Daybreak Rising by Kiran Oliver
1-word title: salt. by Nayyirah Waheed (the Goodreads page says CreateSpace so I’m pretty sure this is self-published despite the tons of ratings)
Mental health: Stake Sauce, Arc 1 by RoAnna Sylver
Cover love: Cheerleaders from Planet X by Lyssa Chiavari
New release: Flotsam by R.J. Theodore
Free space: No More Heroes by Michelle Kan
LGBT+ rep: Sere from the Green by Lauren Jankowski
Never heard of: The Right Thing to Do at the Time by Dov Zeller (I found this randomly on NetGalley)
Backlist: The Traitor’s Tunnel by C.M. Spivey
Retelling: Ripped Pages by M. Hollis
Red cover: Angel Radio by A.M. Blaushield (Shh it has some red on the cover! Right?)
Magical: Major Arcana (Death Masquerade #1) by RoAnna Sylver
<200 pages: The White Renegade by Claudie Arseneault
500+ pages: City of Betrayal by Claudie Arseneault
Free: Plastic Wings by C.T. Callahan (I received this book for free from a friend)
Reread: Heaven or This by Topaz Winters (This is such a lovely poetry collection, I’d love to re-read it.)
Ownvoices: Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby (autistic rep by autistic author!)
Poetry: Semicolon; by McKayla Debonis

Unfortunately, there were some squares I couldn’t really find anything for (so far):

Genre you don’t read often (this could be nonfiction maybe? or even non-fantasy, non-YA romance would count)
Your initials (?? I have no idea! my initials are S.A. but I don’t think I know any authors with that combination)
5+ years old (most books I found were from 2016-2018)

So, that is my (very ambitious) plan for this readathon! What’s yours? (Because you absolutely should be participating 😉

~ Alexa

TBR

January TBR – book clubs, challenges

I have already read a few books in January, but between my approved titles on NetGalley, my book clubs/reading challenges and my miscellaneous plans, my TBR doesn’t seem to get any smaller. Here are just a few of those groups I am part of.

First, I am a member of the Sapphic Book Club on Discord hosted by sapphicliterature, which you should absolutely join if you’re interested in reading books with women who like women! Lara (who runs the sapphicliterature Tumblr blog) goes to great lengths to get free copies for the members every month. January’s read is Meet Me at 10 by Vicky Jones, “a bittersweet story about love crossing boundaries”. You can find more info on the club and our schedule on the Tumblr page or on Twitter.

Other than this, I am also part of the Around the Year in 52 Books group on Goodreads, where you get 52 prompts, one for each week of the year, and you are supposed to find at least one book to fit each prompt. I will more or less try to read in order, but I will also try to fit the other books I read (e.g. for the above book club) into this challenge.

According to my reading plan (look how fancy it is! it took forever to put together but it was worth it), my next books to read should be either Good Omens or Everything Leads to You for the second week, The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase) for the third week, and something related to earth (most likely The Traitor’s Tunnel by C.M. Spivey) for the fourth week. Good Omens is actually the first book I added to my Goodreads TBR back in 2013 (!) so I REALLY should check that one off the list this time.

Finally, there is a year-long Lesbian Book Bingo hosted by Jae here, where you can read lesbian books and even win ebooks by participating. I will try my best to fill as many squares on the bingo as I can – one book I will surely be reading is Ardulum: First Don for the science fiction square.

~ Alexa 🦆