(Graphic shows a sloth with a hat & a backpack with stars on it using a telescope on a black background with multi-colored stars. Text says “#StartOnYourShelfaThon, Read Your Unread Books & Collect Stars!”; banner credit: The Quiet Pond)
I own a LOT of unread books, friends. A lot more than I probably think I do, if we’re being honest. That doesn’t stop me from buying them….but I really would like to read a lot of the books I own! I am an avid library user, which is awesome, but it leads me to neglect my own books in favor of new, shiny library books. Therefore, I will be joining The Quiet Pond’s #StartonYourShelfathon from Dec. 18 of this year to December 31 of 2019!!!
All the information can be found on the above link, but basically you can set your own goals to read your unread books during the length of the ‘thon. There’s a really cute story to go along with it, and you can put a star on a constellation of your own design each time you finish a book and/or one of your goals to help out Castor the Sloth! It’s just so cute that I couldn’t stop myself from joining yet another challenge!
Anywho…here are my goals:
- If I own a book that fits a challenge prompt, I MUST use that book for the challenge (and not get a library book or buy another book instead).
- I am only allowed to use Hoopla for library books until I’ve met my monthly quota of reading my OWN books. (This will limit my library checkouts without tempting me to break my own rules when at the library in person!)
- I will read at least 60 of my own Kindle or physical books throughout the year–5 books a month is my short term objective (which is about half of what I read in a month).
- I am NOT allowed to purchase a new book or books the next month if I haven’t met my monthly quota.
I have no idea what my TBR for this will end up looking like…I have a TON of unread books, both physical and Kindle books. Holding myself accountable is going to be really tricky, but I’m excited to see where this journey takes me!
Thus, instead of offering up a firm TBR…let me at least offer up the top several books on my shelves I am MOST excited to read (and thus will probably get to fastest):
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo is one of my most anticipated 2019 releases. I love Bardugo’s YA novels. Her adult debut is supposed to be incredibly dark and twisty, but I am here for it. If you’re interested, just know there are some CW for rape of a child, sexual assault under influence of a magical drug, drowning, heavy violence, gore, drug addiction, overdosing, death, suicide, blackmail, self-harm, and forced consumption of human waste. It is dark, so just be prepared.
I picked Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger up at my local independent bookstore, mainly because of the beautiful cover, but the synopsis also appealed. It follows 4 characters in an Asian-inspired fantasy world that is also supposed to have influences from Pokemon and anime. I’m eager to get to it!
Leigh Bardugo’s second appearance on my list is due to the first book in her duology about my favorite Grishaverse character. I have no idea why I haven’t consumed this book yet, but I’m so excited to finally get to it. King of Scars follows King Nikolai as an old darkness (I’m assuming from the original trilogy) returns to endanger Ravka. It also features appearances from characters in both the original trilogy and the Six of Crows duology.
Victoria Schwab is my favorite author. I want to read everything she’s ever written and I’ve been holding on this duology for a long time. This Savage Song is the first book, but I also have Our Dark Duet on my TBR for this year. So excited!
When I was reading for the Hugos this summer, I really enjoyed reading Alix E. Harrow’s short story A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies. It combined libraries and magic in the most wonderful way, so when I found out she had a full length novel coming out, I was very excited. Also, can we just appreciate the beauty of this cover??
This book had been on my radar, so when it was available as an add-on for my Book of the Month box, I was excited to acquire a copy. Wicked Fox is a YA fantasy about a teenage girl who is a gumiho, a fox-spirit, living in Seoul. She has to devour the energy of men in order to survive, but rescues a teenaged boy from a goblin one night and loses her gumiho soul in the process. They become friends, and then danger ensues. There’s also a new companion novel coming in 2020, so I hope to get to this one before then.
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey has been on my radar since it was released in 2018, but I never got around to it. I just happened to pick it up at my local indie bookstore one day when I was in the mood to buy books (the bookstore is a dangerous place for me). I don’t read a ton of mysteries, but this is a historical mystery set in Bombay and features a female lawyer. It’s just so unique. I am anticipating enjoying it.
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is set in Jazz Age Mexico and follows a woman who gets entangled with helping the Mayan god of death. The cover is heartstoppingly gorgeous and in all my favorite colors. I also adore the setting and look forward to reading this one…and maybe it’ll also induce me to read her vampire novel that I have on my Kindle, Certain Dark Things.
I am eager to finally read some Sarah Gailey. They wrote a Hugo nominated short story that was interesting (and sad) and I’ve wanted to read their River of Teeth duology for years (I mean—wild hippos in the US? diverse characters? Sign me up!) but I’m also eager to get to this novel of a non-magical PI who has to investigate a murder at the private academy of her magical professor sister.
A few years ago, I saw Lisa Maxwell on a panel with VE Schwab at the Southern Festival of Books and consequently, I bought The Last Magician (and now also own its sequel). It goes from modern New York, where magic users the Mageus are forced to hide and get trapped in Manhattan by a magical barrier if they enter. The main character Esta is a magical thief who can time travel and focuses on stealing things from the villainous Order, who set up the magical barrier. This novel follows her to 1902 New York, where she is intent on stealing a book containing all of the Order’s secrets. I love a good fantasy heist!
I just finished my third re-read of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and it is so magical and wonderful and complex and I think it might be my favorite book. That being said, I’m incredibly eager to get to her next novel, The Starless Sea, which promises to be just as magical and enticing and easy to lose myself in.
Karen Thompson Walker’s debut The Age of Miracles was a surprise favorite when I read it a few years ago, so when I heard she had a new one coming out, I was pretty excited. The Dreamers looks to be another literary science fiction work about a sleeping sickness that mysteriously spreads through a small college town. I look forward to seeing how it compares to her first novel.
I really really loved S. A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass and it left off on a cliffhanger…not an awful cliffhanger…but a cliffhanger. I’ve been putting the sequel off because, quite honestly, I don’t recall a lot of the nuances of the first book. I’m hoping to find a decent recap, but barring that, I may just go ahead and reread that one so that I can get to The Kingdom of Copper.
As previously mentioned, V. E. Schwab is my favorite author, so I couldn’t resist purchasing this re-release of her debut novel. It’s so pretty!
Zen Cho’s Sorcerer to the Crown was a book I really loved in the end. This follow up has a very pretty cover and I am excited to read more in this world.
Jasper Fforde has been one of my favorite authors since I read The Eyre Affair in high school. I love the Thursday Next series, and I also really liked Shades of Grey (a dystopian series starter that, unfortunately, has yet to get a sequel). I got to see him at an author event earlier in the year, and got a signed copy of Early Riser, which is a standalone. He had one of the best author events I’ve ever been to and he is just delightful. I look forward to reading something new with his weird off-beat humor and creative ideas.
I have heard that An American Marriage is a tough read, and I think that’s a large part of why it’s taken me so long to get to it. However, I’ve heard it’s a great read and well written, so I’m making it a priority for this challenge.
The covers for the books in this series by Traci Chee are phenomenally pretty. I really loved The Reader and I have the last 2 books in the series to read in 2020: The Speaker and The Storyteller. Any story with magical books is like catnip to me, and this one has that, pirates, and beautiful writing. I can’t wait to finish it off!
The Bone Witch series by Rin Chupeco also has astoudingly beautiful covers. I originally read the first book as a galley and fell in love with the world building and the twist at the end. I waited for forever for the sequel and read it super fast…but somehow haven’t finished the series off yet. I amy do a full re-read…but at the very least I’ll be reading The Shadow Glass.
I also own many many many novels by Courtney Milan and have yet to read a one. In honor of her, I bought several more this evening because Romance Writers of America made some terrible decisions today and said it was unethical for Milan to CALL OUT RACISM because she offended some white women. Thus, I’ll be making it a point to acquire her entire catalog and finally get to the Brothers Sinister series & the Worth Saga.
There you have my goals to read my own books this year!! (and the really cute readathon I’m using to do it!) What are your big reading goals in 2020?? I have some more to come, so stay tuned!!