TBR & Goals · Weekly

#5OnMyTBR — 5 Books Hyped in the Past

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook and you can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. It occurs every Monday when we post about 5 books on our TBR.

This week’s topic is Hype from the Past, so books on my TBR that aren’t new releases but are on my TBR.

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse


This is the first one that came to mind, because I’m currently challenging myself to read all of this year’s Hugo finalists, and this was one of last year’s – I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read it yet, when it’s been on my TBR since 2017.

I started it (and got around two chapters in) during that very unlucky week in November 2019, alongside with Gideon the Ninth, then took a very sudden, unplanned hiatus for more than a month and just forgot about it. But now that I finally picked up Gideon the Ninth back up for the Hugo finalist challenge, I should just remember to get to this as well.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson


A moment of honesty: if it weren’t for the fact that I bought it when I knew myself a lot less, this wouldn’t be on my TBR at all, because there are two categories of fantasy stories I firmly don’t get along with, “clearly based on a real tragedy” (think The Poppy War) or “the conflict is driven by homophobia”, which seems to fit this one perfectly.

Still, I have it! And many people like it! I’m torn between curiosity and knowing deep down that this will be a terrible idea, but after all, if I don’t like it I can just put it down like I would with literally any other book. Instead I’m just here acting like its very presence on my shelf will threaten me if only I acknowledge it too much, which is very reasonable of me.

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake


This was… pretty much half of my friends’ favorite book back in 2018? I still haven’t even tried a chapter of it, for no reason at all but the fact that seeing this book makes me think “oh I’ll get to it later”. It’s not even “I don’t want to get to it”, because I do. Later.

It probably has to do with the fact that at any point in the last two years, the last thing I’ve been wanting to read is “hard-hitting YA contemporary”, even if said book sounds and probably is amazing. I’m giving myself a deadline: if I haven’t read this by the end of the year, off my TBR it goes. No point in keeping it there when I’m clearly never going to read it (unlike Baru, I don’t own it). I hope to prove myself wrong.

Spinning by Tillie Walden


I’ve known about this for years, and Tillie Walden’s comics are hyped in general, but I wasn’t going to read this until I decided I absolutely had to buy all the queer graphic novels in my bookstore, and so I own it now. I’ve since discovered that I do like memoirs sometimes, so I’m hopeful this will work for me as well. (The only thing that worries me is how long it is, but a graphic novel should be easy to get through.)

The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams


This is significantly less hyped than any of the books on this list, because I don’t have that much backlist on my TBR (don’t get me wrong: I’m not good at getting to backlist. I’m just really good at removing things at the slightest hint of disinterest, as long as I haven’t already bought them). However, it is a really well-loved book for many of the people I follow! So, in my tiny bubble, it is something similar to hyped. Do I know what it’s about? No. Do I want to read it soon? Yes, because sometimes not knowing the details makes me more curious.

[It’s also longer than 500 pages, so “soon” might as well mean next year. Or maybe not, given how quickly I got through the 600 pages of The Kingdom of Copper. Not every book is a Jade War.]

Have you read any of these?

16 thoughts on “#5OnMyTBR — 5 Books Hyped in the Past

    1. Thank you!
      I’ve heard great things too – I think all of the people I follow for fantasy recommendations who have read Baru loved it, so I hope it will be the exception to the rule and I end up feeling the same way.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I *almost* bought Spinning for the same reason too but I’m kind of glad I didn’t? i liked but didn’t love On A Sunbeam and while a graphic memoir sounds nice in theory it just seems a little sad. But if you end up reading it i’ll look forward to your review!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. esatto ahahahhaah comunque fa sempre piacere supportare libri queer in italiano, spero almeno che ti piaccia quando lo leggi! non si sa mai che finisca per prenderlo anch’io quando si potrà tornare…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read Trail of Lightning and was underwhelmed but interested. The sequel is MUCH better (and better plotted). I’ve had Baru on my Goodreads and physical TBR for a while now too, and all those reasons that make you hesitant are giving me pause too.

    I enjoyed Girl Made of Stars, but wasn’t 100% bowled over by it (probably because of the hype, probably because my soul is a piece of charred charcoal). Same with Spinning, although my irritation with that one was more her general disconnect from everything, although I completely understood her falling out of love with a sport she had craved in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good to know about Trail of Lightning!
      And I worry that’s how I’m going to feel about Girl Made of Stars too – me and YA contemporary about heavy topics haven’t been getting along for the last two years.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read Baru way back in like…2015, I think? And it broke me (in a good way!); it was probably my favorite book of that year. However, that’s probably because for me, “clearly based on a real tragedy” and “the conflict is driven by homophobia” are actually two things that will get me to immediately jump on a book lmao.

    I read Trail of Lightening recently and didn’t love it, but I think that may just have to do with my own low tolerance for urban fantasy tropes.

    I’ve also had my eye on The Ninth Rain! Like you, I have no idea what it’s about, but I think Jen Williams is a decently well-known name in grimdark fantasy circles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m also not that into a lot of urban fantasy tropes, and I’ve since read yet another short story by Rebecca Roanhorse that I really didn’t like (in an anthology), so now I’m less interested than I was when I wrote this post, but I’m going to read it anyway.
      …as I hope I’ll do with Baru someday


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