Or the one in which Liz from Travel in Retrospect called me out by tagging me. The tag was originally created by Booksnest. And I have way too many books I should have read by now so feel like maybe they made it with me in mind!
Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
Answer the questions below
Tag 10 others to take part
ENJOY THE TAG!
book that a certain friend is always telling you to read
I really don’t read much that people tell me to read and I also don’t get people telling me to read much which may be related? Who knows! (People should definitely give me suggestions so I can ignore them more!) But a family member has suggested History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. Which does sound good.
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?
2018 is over which means I can finally get to my year in books. I didn’t want to share stats or best of lists until I knew they wouldn’t change. So here we are. 2018 was my most successful reading year yet in terms of books read. I set my annual goal at 52 books again, knowing I could meet it but I did even better than my personal best of 63 from 2017 by reading 68 books!
It is swayed by the fact I did read a handful of novellas (and one short story) as well as a few writing craft books which are both shorter and quicker to read. My pages read is actually lower than 2017 but only because for some reason The Queen of Air and Darkness is showing up as 350 pages instead of its 950 pages reality which would easily bring my to the top. It also means that the second longest book I read is showing as the longest.
But onto the most interesting stat, at least I think so. My average rating for 2018 was 4.1 stars. Which is much higher than it use to and i think this is for two reasons, 1) I’m getting much better at judging which books I will like and am more fussy about my picks, and 2) I’m getting less fussy about my 5 stars, I used to feel like only the best books ever should be rated 5 stars but have realised books can be brilliant 5 star reads without being my all time favourite.
My rating chart is also skewed because if I do end up reading something that I think will be 1 or 2 stars I DNF it (life is too short and there are too many books to read!) and I don’t rate DNF’s.
So 68 books read. An average rating of 4.1 stars, 23 of which were 5 star reads. All this means that my Best Books of the Year list was even harder to narrow down than usual but I did it. Here are my favourites of the year….
Ardor is a cocky con artist asked by a priest to steal the kings crown to save the world. Science-y Magic system but more chemistry than physics based which is something I’ve never seen before (except maybe in Mistborn). Its basically different types of powdered dragon poop that explodes. It’s so much more awesome than that sounds I promise. The book is very long but there’s no boring info dumping or world building and Ardor’s & Raek’s friendship is Goals (brotp). Recommend it for fans of Locke Lamora or ADSoM or Mistborn.
It’s Witchy & atmospheric & queer. The MC is trans male and it has a M/M friends to lovers romance. The second novella switches POV to the boyfriend. Theres going to be a whole series of novellas each with a different MC. And I can’t wait. The writing is gorgeous, the characters are real and amazing and the covers for the whole series so far are my favourite covers of the year. A queerer and more adult Raven Boys.
Map makers & explorers & sailors & all things wanderlust. It has 19 yo MCs (yay for older YA) with only a very minor romance subplot (nothing explicit) which is a plus from me. A cartographer goes on an adventure to solve a riddle about 2 missing princes. The friendship between Elias (mapmaker) & Ulises (the king) is everything. One of my favourite friendships ever not just in 2018 and the setting and wanderlust are palpable.
About a fat bigender Baker by day/ thief by night & the cop who wants to catch her as they both investigate magic users going missing. It has a cool mix of science based magic, based in a French-Canadian inspired setting. Really great aromantic & demisexual rep but also lots of other queer & disabled rep in the supporting cast. There’s also lots of baking that WILL make you hungry. And cats….
This is my favourite sci fi series ever. All of the books are amazing (the first was originally written as four novellas and it’s all self pubbed). The MC is in his 20’s but this reads more like a YA adventure than a heavy space opera. I’d describe it as the navy fleet of star trek mixed with a YA harry Potter all overseen by space royalty (and space pirates) and there’s little to no romance plot through out the series. I can’t wait to read the next books.
The library of Alexandria never burned down so it now, obviously, rules the world. There are huge automaton statues that protect books & chase/kill people. Jess is a thief who loves books. Do you see the problem? Anyway, it has a diverse cast of amazing characters, non-stop action and amazing settings (Alexandria, Rome, London…)
Futuristic fully queer Peter pan retelling where Peter is trans and in an M/Enby relationship at the start.(And Tink is a gay AI whose computer code extracts reminded me of illuminae). But when Peter’s partner enlists in military service that will kill them just to be able to fly Peter creates neverland for them. The writing is gorgeous and there are so many little nods to the original story, including Peter having the same ambiguous childish morals but with a different twist….
About a socially anxious security droid that has to save other humans on a strange new planet with things that want them dead. MC is so relatable it’s hilarious. It is short but felt the perfect length for the story with no unnecessarily long description of backstory to slow things down and it’s the first in a series.
Adorable and fluffy read and I loved the email extracts between Simon and Blue. In fact all of the relationships in this are so good. It’s a coming out story where both families are accepting and loving and it has zero secondhand embarrassment which normally scares me off YA contemp.
Favourite Character: Either Jess Brightwell (The Great Library) or Damien Montgomery (Starship’s Mage)
Favourite Friendships: Ardor & Raek (The Thousand Lives of Ardor Benn) and Elias & Ulises (Isle of Blood & Stone)
Favourite World/setting: The Great Library or Isle of Blood & Stone
Favourite Magic System: Dragon Poop from The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn
Most Heartbreaking Book: I didn’t read any absolute heartbreakers in 2018 but there were plenty that had moments like The Poppy War or The City of Brass or The State of Grace
Happiest Book: Simon vs The Homesapiens Agenda
It was a good year in books. I’m looking forward to more amazing books in 2019 which brings me to…
goals for 2019
My annual Read 52 books challenge which you can keep track of on my goodreads if you so want. (I will because goodreads is the only way I have any clue what I’ve read!)
I’ve also made a “What to buy next” shelf which was me going through all backlist books (ie books that were released in 2018 or before) and picking the ones I most wanted to read. This ended up in a top 50 so this will be a rough 2019 TBR. I’ll hopefully be reading most of those books this year.
And finally but very importantly, I want to keep my owned books under 50 on my kindle.
Have you read any of my top books from last year and if so, what did you think? What was the best book you read last year? Hard question, I know, and it’s also unfair of me to ask because I really can’t pick one off my list. They were all so good! And what are your reading goals for the year?
Phew. It’s been such a busy month for me! And I cannot believe it’s almost Christmas already. I am not prepared. Somebody press pause, please!
Probably the biggest thing that happened this month is that I got diagnosed as autistic. I’ve discovered so much out about myself and I still am finding and figuring out things. So much of my life makes more sense now! This journey has been wild and I am so happy to have the certainty and confirmation of a diagnosis. The whole process was extremely nerve-racking but the actual appointment was very calm and it was actually really lovely to talk to someone who got it.
The timing of the appointment however wasn’t great. I had just one chapter left to write of #ExcitingSpaceWIP and two weeks later I still have one chapter left. Between recovering from the appointment and a load of forms that have suddenly landed on my lap, I just haven’t had the time to write the final chapter! But hopefully things will calm down soon and the plan is to get that chapter written by the end of the week. (Fingers crossed please!) Then I can give my autistic MC some closure too!
These things have meant that I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. This is just my third post this month compared to my normal 7 or 8. But more importantly I’ve been struggling to find time to read all your amazing posts. I have tried to make sure I’ve interacted and commented on posts of people who have interacted with me. But if I haven’t been around lately this is why
Reading wise I’ve had a bit of an average month to be honest. A couple of books I thought would be amazing were simply good (I’m hard to please I know, but last month had three 5* books so my expectations were high). Although a book I was expecting to only be average for me was amazing and my favourite book of the month. I did DNF one in there too.
But on to some stats on my ongoing book buying ban and attempt to get through my owned books.
Unread Owned Books at start: 59
Bought/Acquired: 0 / 2 earcs
Read: 5 (+1 DNF)
Unread Owned Books at end: 55
I couldn’t resist those two arcs, whoops. But I’m still doing really well…. Kind of. I mean that number is continually coming down so that’s a good thing. When I started this quest at the end of June I had about 75 books on my kindle. In four months that’s now down to 55 (damn those irresistible arcs!) and it looks like I’ll definitely be reaching my target of getting it below 50 before Christmas. (ready to buy more. Shhhhhh) No. But seriously I think my main goal next year will be to keep that number below 50. I’ll allow myself to buy some of the books I’m currently dreaming of but only so long as I don’t break that mark. And hopefully it will come down even more too. Continue reading →
I’ve been a terrible blogger so far this month. Posting AND reading wise. I’m sorry everyone. But I’m back with a link up to TTT.
Top ten Tuesdays is a book tag now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. You can find this weeks link up post here. This week’s prompt was Top Ten longest books I’ve ever read but I’m going to switch it up a little bit. I decided to split this into two sections rather than stick completely to the topic. The five longest books I’ve read and loved and then the five longest books on my tbr. And I would love for you all to tell me of you’ve read any and especially if you recommend the ones I haven’t read yet.
I’ve had another good reading month. 5 finished books, and the month started so well with three 5* books in a row although I did end up DNFing one at the end. Unfortunately I did get sucked into netgalley and requested a few more than I should have. After a couple of months of not really seeing anything I wanted to read there (the UK site, so there isn’t as many as the .com one) there seemed to be so many I wanted all at once. But I’ll mention that later.
In other non-reading news, I am passed the half way mark for writing #ExcitingSpaceWIP. I’ve made a few changes but I’m loving it and trying not to get carried away. So far I’ve stuck to only writing two chapters a week in an attempt not to get obsessed. (Although i did accidently write a 3.9k chapter in a day the other week and OUCH my hand hurt after that).
As far as my book buying ban is going…. Well, theoretically I did really well this month and haven’t bought any books. But seeing as the whole reason behind it was to get through books I already own then the fact I received 5 earcs/review copies means I didn’t actually do very well in bringing the number of books on my kindle down. But its still down by one so that’s progress, right?
To be fair it wasn’t fully my fault? One of the books I wanted to read was a sequel so I emailed the publisher to get the first book in the series too (Darkling and Undertow by Brooklyn Ray). One of the books was a Sci fi about thieves who steal things with magic. So I’m not responsible for requesting that (Stealing Life by Anthony Johnston). And then at the end of the month a request that I made months ago got approved and normally when they don’t get back to you for that long it’s a no (The bird king by G Willow Wilson). So really I can only be blamed for two…..
On to the numbers:
Unread Owned Books at Start of Month: 60
Books Bought: 0
Books Acquired: 5 (All arcs and review copies)
Books Read: 5 + 1 DNF
Unread Owned Books at End of Month: 59
It did go down by one, although if you look at my kindle shelf on goodreads it says I only have 58 books instead of 59 because one of the arcs isn’t on goodreads yet. In other number related things I’m pretty sure I’m going to beat my goodreads reading challenge by the end of next month. I set my target this year to read 52 books and I only have 3 books left to read to reach it (I don’t count DNFs towards that, just to be clear). So hopefully I’ll have that to celebrate for the next monthly wrap up. And hopefully i’ll make a bigger dent than 1 on my owned tbr!