Tag · TBR & Goals

TBR Lows and Highs #2

TBR Lows and Highs was created by Destiny @howlinglibriaries.

As I said in my first post in this series, I won’t be able to participate weekly – and that’s why I skipped last week – but whenever I have enough books to talk about, I will post one. Also, an alternative option was added to the rules!

The 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! (Thank you for this idea, Ari!)
  • 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 Lows

This week, the option to list “books that aren’t a priority” for your TBR lows instead of “books I removed” was added. I am going to do both, because I can.

The Lows I Removed

Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller – this isn’t going to happen. I liked Mask of Shadows, it was a fun read and I loved the diversity (it has one of the first aromantic characters I’ve found in YA, even if she’s only a side character) but I don’t think I liked it enough to buy and read the sequel. I might consider it again in the future, but it’s not likely, and I want to keep on my TBR only things I want to read at the moment.

Press Start to Play edited by Daniel H. Wilson – I have mixed feelings on anthologies. I love short fiction and short stories, but what I like the most about short fiction is that a) it’s usually free and that b) I get through it quickly. Both do not apply to anthologies. I also don’t care about gaming and the only reason I wanted to read this was the Yoon Ha Lee short story set in the Hexarchate, but it will probably be reprinted (…I hope?) in the Hexarchate Stories collection. If it turns out I’m wrong, I will consider it again, but for now it’s going.

Toil & Trouble edited by Tess Sharpe – witchy gay women is a theme that I find much more interesting than gaming, but I think I have lost all my interest in this anyway. After being disappointed by All Out this summer, I’m just not that interested in YA anthologies. I might reconsider this, again – removal doesn’t necessarily mean “forever removed” because I have a small, very dynamic TBR.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – m/f YA fantasy needs to really stand out to be interesting to me. While I liked the first chapter well enough, I don’t think I care that much and I don’t feel the need to pick it up. I have read enough white straight YA fantasy for one life.

These I didn’t remove, they’re just Low on my TBR

Should I add one of these to my priority TBR?  (If you haven’t read any of these, which one sounds more interesting?)

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard – I loved the only thing I’ve ever read by Kat Howard (a short story), I love this cover, I love the premise, and yet I always forget this exists. I don’t know exactly why – maybe the fact that it’s neither a new release nor an arc nor part of a series – but it’s not a priority, even if I want to read it.

Bright We Burn by Kiersten White – I’m not sure I want to read this at all. The first two books were both four stars for me, I liked them, but… they’re so slow. I have no time. I want to know how the story ends but I don’t know if I will ever get to it at all.

Unbroken by Marieke Nijkamp – As I said before, I don’t know how I feel about anthologies. This time, however, I find the theme really interesting – there aren’t enough stories about mental illness or disability in YA – so maybe I’m going to read this? I don’t know.

Authority by Jeff VanderMeer – I liked Annihilation, I own this, but I feel no need to pick it up soon, even if I know I may want to do it someday.

The Highs

Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee – I’m not sure this is the final cover because there hasn’t been an official cover reveal yet as far as I know, but I found it on goodreads and it looks like a final cover, so!! It’s here! This is already my most anticipated book for next year because I’m predictable. I love Yoon Ha Lee’s short fiction, I love everything set in the Hexarchate, and this is short fiction about the Hexarchate…

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean – (I got an ARC!) This is Japanese-inspired YA fantasy and I’ve heard mostly good things about it. I had never heard of this author before and this isn’t a debut, which could be interesting.

The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore – this is about f/f assassins. As the title says, this sounds like a perfect premise. This will be released in March, so I won’t read it soon, but I’m so glad I have an ARC of it.

Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone – striking cover, author I’ve heard mostly good things about, set in space. All of this already sounds great, but I’ll be honest and tell you that I added it just because I’ve heard it’s going to be gay.

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad – this is already one of the prettiest covers of 2019. Also, I’m always looking for non-western YA fantasy as much as I like pretty covers.

Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman & Caroline Tung Richmond – I’m talking about a lot of anthologies in this post. I just really like the idea of short stories that have to do with food and the ties between food, culture and society.

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan – this is, without a doubt, my most anticipated debut for 2019. I have been waiting for this for years. Please give me all the blood magic and monster boys.

Have you read/want to read any of these? Should I prioritize one of the books from the Lows I haven’t removed? What do you think of anthologies?

11 thoughts on “TBR Lows and Highs #2

  1. I’ve been meaning to read Annihilation for ages, since I watched the Netflix movie and liked how surreal it was, I expect the book to be even better. I have All Out, but I haven’t read it yet, I’ll go into it with lowered expectations now, knowing you didn’t like it much, but in a way I never have that high expectations when it comes to anthologies to begin with, so maybe I won’t be disappointed. I’m now interested in Empress of Forever, for basically the same reason as you haha. I haven’t heard anything about Wicked Saints yet, but I’ve been in a huge monster vibe, there really should be more books with monster characters, especially sympathetic ones, Shape of Water and Venom are trailblaizing the monster romance genre and I think it’s time mainstream fiction follows along haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t watched the Annihilation movie because the book was already creepy enough – a sad kind of creepy, and those always affect me even when they’re not objectively that scary. But I did love how weird and surreal that story was, too.
      I can’t wait for Wicked Saints – I’ve been following the author for years on social media and I loved all the excerpt she posted, so I have high hopes. Monster romance is the best kind of romance and the only thing I don’t like about it as a genre is that there aren’t nearly enough f/f ones (the only one I know is In the Vanishers’ Palace, which I loved, but it shouldn’t be this way).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m super excited to read the book now! I’d describe the movie as disturbingly beautiful, it’s creepy but I was really enchanted at the same time.
        And you’re too right, there’s not enough f/f monster romance, and worse I don’t think monster girls/women are ever allowed to be monstrous enough. On that note, I really liked Shefali’s transformation in the Tiger’s Daughter, when I realised she was turning into a monster my enjoyment of the book leapt up to 11 — the author didn’t try to prettify the process and she looks very non-human by the end of it, and I’m super glad she went for it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I loved that scene! I really need to read the sequel, but it’s been a year since I read The Tiger’s Daughter and I don’t remember as much as I would like to. (…also, they’re so long)
          I agree about the fact that women aren’t allowed to be monsters – and if they are, they’re almost always completely unsympathetic and you’re only meant to hate them. It’s very similar to the reasons we do not have many well-written female villains.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know how I feel about anthologies either. On one hand they’re a great way sample a lot of different authors work and maybe discover some new favorites. But on the other hand I just don’t enjoy reading them as much as novels. I’ve had Robots vs. Faeries on my currently reading shelf since March and not touched it since April… I still want to read Toil & Trouble tough, cause due…witches! I really enjoyed To Kill a Kingdom, it was a really fast and entertaining read. But I wouldn’t say it’s not overhyped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read a story from Toil & Trouble, the first one (Starsong by Tehlor Kay Mejia) and it was really good and a cute beginning of an f/f romance, but I know I will never get around to reading the whole book – I don’t think I care about it enough to buy it (the story I read was in the google play preview, so it was free).
      And I agree – anthologies can be a way to discover new authors, but I already know most of the authors in this one, and this kind of books always take me forever to read…
      I think I would enjoy To Kill a Kingdom, but right now I have very little time to read and I’m removing from my TBR the books that I know I probably won’t feel strongly about.


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