I’m back from my holidays, which were lovely and warm (I’m so sad I’m back in the cold), I read some great books but today I’m going to talk about a bunch of my favourite books that are criminally underrated.
Top Ten Tuesdays is a book meme currently hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. It has a new topic every week which you can find here. This weeks topic is Books I LOVED with fewer than 2000 ratings on goodreads.
Fair warning some of these I did originally get for free in exchange for an honest review (I’ve marked them as arcs) but they’ve remained on my favourites because they were awesome.
I mentioned in my last post about crochet that I’d started another blanket from the yarn I received from Christmas but not everything went as smoothly as planned.
First off I’m doing a crochet entrelac blanket vaguely using this pattern off ravelry. I chained a different number of stitches, am doing a different number of stitches per square and using dk yarn instead of Aran but the general idea is the same.
Where I slipped up is the colours. It’s so very difficult to colour match yarn online. I bought two purples that I hoped would work together but after stitching my first lot of colours I decided I didn’t like it.
Here it is with the old purple
So I went online and
bought a new second darker purple and hoped, again, that it would work. The
good news is that it’s closer in tone and matches better than the last one.
It’s still not perfect but there’s only so many times I can buy new yarn hoping
it’ll match and I think it’s good enough to continue!
So here it is with the new second purple and then also carrying on back to the black for the colour repeats.
The yarn, scheepjes dk colour crafter, is so soft and warm. And I love the fact that I don’t have to join any squares together! I’ll still have to weave the ends of each row in which will be enough for me!
In other news, I’m currently on holiday. Lying down somewhere in the sun (hopefully) but I’ll get to any comments when I return!
I’ve had an excellent start to my reading year this month. I finished a whole 6 books and that’s only because I made myself stop reading towards the end of the month so I wouldn’t have too many reviews to write! Four of them were five star reads although towards the end of the month things went down hill a little with a DNF.
Away from reading, I’ve been taking the month off from writing and by that I mean I draft zero’d a 10k short story, started writing myself an edit letter for #ExcitingSpaceWIP and did more planning and plot hole hunting for my next wip…..whoops. (i’m officially naming the new one #ChronicallyWitchyWIP). Anyway, it actually was a lot of time off even if it doesn’t sound like it hence all the reading.
Our house is also
officially on the market, so we’ve had lots of people coming and going for
viewings. All the waiting is very nerve-racking.
But back to books. I think one of the reasons I had such a good reading month is that I read whatever I felt like at that moment which meant I bought quite a few books but I did read most of them as soon as I bought them which meant I kept my owned books under 50 which is my aim.
This post is exactly what the title suggests. There are SO MANY amazing books coming out this year (my goodreads shelf has 82 books that sound amazing) but I managed to narrow it down to a top 37. Yes, okay, that might not sound much like narrowing it down but it was super hard. Hopefully there is something for everyone here but a few quick facts:
This list has a mix of YA & Adult books (with one MG squeezed in)
The majority (2/3) are queer
There’s a mix of fantasy, scifi, contemporary and historical (quite a few fit more than one) in lots of sub genres which is why…
I’m ordering this post by release date (according to goodreads) rather than deciding which book goes in which genre
I’m also sticking to standalone or series starters rather than sequels
All links go to goodreads and I’ve tried to include what rep I know about but have undoubtedly missed lots.
I’d love to know what your most anticipated releases are. Are they on this list or have I missed something?
YA // Historical Fantasy POC (Black, Indian) // Biracial (Algerian/French, Filipino/Spanish) // LGBTQ (Bi) // Autism // Jewish rep
Set in a darkly glamorous Paris, it follows a charismatic but cursed heir of a massive fortune as he plots to steal one of three ancient and powerful artifacts of fate. He and his crew will navigate the elite gatherings of secret occult societies, traveling through Paris’s catacombs where they must confront their worst secrets as well as a destiny they never imagined.
Bookbinders remove unwanted memories and trap them safely in writing where they can be kept from escaping. When Emmett is apprenticed to a binder, he starts to suspect his own recollections may have been tampered with.
For Nari, aka Narioka Diane, aka hacker digital alter ego “d0l0s,” it’s college and then a career at “one of the big ones,” like Google or Apple. Keagan, her sweet, sensitive boyfriend, is happy to follow her wherever she may lead. Reese is an ace/aro visual artist with plans to travel the world. Santiago is off to Stanford on a diving scholarship, with very real Olympic hopes. And Bellamy? Physics genius Bellamy is admitted to MIT—but the student loan she’d been counting on is denied when it turns out her estranged father—one Robert Foster—is loaded. Nari isn’t about to let her friend’s dreams be squashed by a deadbeat billionaire, so she hatches a plan to steal just enough from Foster to allow Bellamy to achieve her goals.
Ead, undercover as a lady-in-waiting, must protect the queen from lurking assassins; the queen, Sabran IX, theoretically belongs to a magical bloodline whose existence binds the huge and abominable dragon, the Nameless One, at the bottom of the ocean. Half a world away, young Tané, the rider and companion of a more benevolent sort of dragon, breaks her country’s strict ban on allowing seafarers through its borders. This sets in motion a chain of events that reveals that Sabran’s ancestry may not be the true source of the Nameless One’s bindings, and that tests all three women profoundly in their attempts to keep humankind safe from the beast.
Britain, the not-too-distant future. Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test. He wants his family to belong. Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress. When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death. How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?
In an alternate Cairo where humans live and work alongside otherworldly beings; the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities handles the issues that can arise between the magical and the mundane. Senior Agent Hamed al-Nasr shows his new partner Agent Onsi the ropes of investigation when they are called to subdue a dangerous, possessed tram car. What starts off as a simple matter of exorcism, however, becomes more complicated as the origins of the demon inside are revealed.
Damian Nettoyer is the Empire’s go-to gun. He kills whoever they want him to kill. In exchange, he and his rag-tag gang of crooks get to live, and Damian’s psychokinetic partner and lover, Aris, isn’t issued a one-way ticket to an Empire-sanctioned lobotomy. Then Damian’s latest mark, a suave revolutionary named Raeyn, kicks his ass and demands his help. The first item on the new agenda: take out Damian’s old boss—or Raeyn will take out Damian’s crew.
Mae and her brother Rossa get sent to live with their Aunt and her teenage ward, Bevan, for the summer. There’s a dark power lurking in the walls that calls itself Sweet James and Bevan wants to magic it’s offering. Mae and Rossa are the only two people who know what happened after the house burns down. Told as a twisting fairytale with multiple timelines woven in.
In a galaxy where corporation is king, an illegal immigrant crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls Excalibur, sealing her fate as the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, and awakening Merlin, who has aged backwards into a teenager; together they spark galactic revolution
As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, Amastan’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs. Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed. Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.
Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.
Fergus Ferguson has been called a lot of names: thief, con artist, repo man. He prefers the term finder. His latest job should be simple. Find the spacecraft Venetia’s Sword and steal it back from Arum Gilger, ex-nobleman turned power-hungry trade boss. But the planet he finds it on launches into civil war and his routine job evolves into negotiating a power struggle between factions. It doesn’t help that a dangerous alien species thought mythical prove unsettlingly real, and their ominous triangle ships keep following Fergus around
Biz, who is floating through life after her father’s death, still sees her dad everywhere: he tells her about the little kid she was, and how much he loves her. But Biz doesn’t tell anyone about her dad. She doesn’t tell them about her dark, runaway thoughts, either, or about kissing Grace and noticing Jasper, the new boy. Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface. But after something happens on the beach, Biz comes undones Her dad disappears, and with him, all her comfort.
An unexpected October snowstorm separates Ash and Vale from the rest of their class on a camping trip. By the time the teens realize they’ve missed the trail, they have wandered deep into the Canadian Rockies. Lost in the wilderness and hunted by deadly predators, their only hope is to work together. But with Vale’s limited supplies and Ash’s inexperience, can the best friends stay alive long enough to find their way back to civilization?
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. 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.
Nova, an autistic, nonverbal, space-obsessed 12-year-old who is awaiting the Challenger shuttle launch and the return of her big sister, Bridget, as she struggles to be understood, and ultimately, shines in her new foster family.
YA // Contemporary Fantasy POC (Mexican) LGBTQ (F/F)
Sisters Marisol and Gabriella Morales make it across the Mexican border only to learn their request for asylum is being denied, unless Marisol participates in a human study for a cutting-edge PTSD treatment.
A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh, new debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before. For people who like survival stories, f/f, horror, boarding school, and thrillers.
For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob — a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world… and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else who shares his powers. It’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them, before these characters tear apart the fabric of reality.
Nigerian godpunk. Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Eko’s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance Godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his job’s bad luck. He’s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboos—feral godling-child hybrids—to seize Lagos for himself. To fix his mistake and keep Lagos standing, David teams up with his foster wizard, the high god’s twin sister and a speech-impaired Muslim teenage girl to defeat the wizard.
A comedic thriller about a gay teen who gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity and is forced to go on the run from murderous cyber-terrorists and government agents, not knowing who he can trust even if they’re disarmingly attractive
Set in St Louis circa 1973, the story follows a young man named Jonathan who spends his days hiding under his hoodie, imagining scifi scenarios to avoid all the awful things in the world. When he meets Web and the two boys fall in love, they struggle to maintain their identities in a world trying to tear then apart.
Gideon the ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton. The emperor needs necromancers. The ninth necromancer needs a swordsman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit. Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. A heart pounding epic science fantasy.
Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy agency that holds people hostage in cryostasis Eva struggles through one unpleasant, dangerous mission after another to pay the ransom debt. To make things worse, she’s stuck with a hold full of psychic cats, a fish-faced emperor wants her dead for rejecting him, and her engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings
A queer outlaw mechanic with a clockwork heart must team up with her worst enemy – the son of the man responsible for a sweeping epidemic of deadly heart disorders and the alluring spy posing as his betrothed – to save her village and the planet.
About a teen wrestling with OCD while working as a black market mirror dealer in a world where reflections spawn deadly cracks in the fabric of reality. Or, as the author puts it, “full of OCD rep and bromance and banter and creeptastic shadowy monsters that crawl out of mirrors”
Phew, lots of books. The ones towards the end of the year don’t have covers yet but they sound awesome enough without them. I’m so excited.
Let me know what you think and what I’ve missed in the comments below! What is your most anticipated book of the year?
I’m starting the year off with a finish and no, it’s neither of the blankets I was working on last time I shared my crochet projects. Whoops! Instead I started a new blanket from the yarn I received from Christmas because it was new and exciting.
My initial idea actually didn’t work as the yarn I bought has colour changes a lot shorter than I expected from the picture and ended up looking muddy and messy. So I frogged it all and had a think.
I decided to follow this pattern from raverly which is a corner to corner linen stitch. One of the projects actually used similar colours to what I had so I copied that and…..
The new idea used
two instead of the the three yarns I was originally planning to use so it’s
smaller. A good sized lap blanket.
I love the colours and the way it goes from rainbow to monochrome.
The pattern says it’s square /rectangle deepening on which you want but I’m not certain it truly is. It might be if I were to block it but currently it lies a little skewed. But then, it’ll be draped over someones lap when in use so it really doesn’t matter much!
Now that’s finished
I should get back to those two linen stitch square blankets I need to finish,
right? Well, ummm, I may have started a completely different blanket from more
of the yarn I got from Christmas! Double whoops!!!
Too early to share it yet but the yarn, scheepjes colour crofter, is SO SOFT it’s actually ridiculous. It’s DK and pretty cheap especially considering how gorgeous it feels!
It’s a new year, and
with finally finishing the stitching on my Christmas project (which no, I
haven’t finished up properly yet), it’s also time for a new project.
I’ve only just got
this started and is going to be a really simple design. A Latin quote, big
letters, nothing fancy except I’m stitching it on black fabric for the first
time (18 count aida, my go to).
The letters are
really big (like 3 inches high) and I might do a smaller version to use up some
of the left over fabric as the scraps are a bit too small to use for anything
I think the black would look amazing with bright colours like I’ve seen a few of the other stitchalongers do but I thought I’d keep it simple for my first time stitching on black but also because I haven’t had time to design anything else!
Here are the links to everyone else stitching something for the SAL: