Fantasy Bingo 2020-21 is here! | First Row Picks

Copy of Book Tag(1)

Happy April 1st! Today is the day that the 2020-21 fantasy bingo card was released!

For those unfamiliar, the r/Fantasy subreddit hosts a bingo challenge every year, from April 1st-March 31st. If you find it later in the year you can retroactively add books you’ve read since April 1st to fulfill the prompts. At the end, you report your findings on the subreddit and for each bingo you get, you’re entered to win prizes! So a full card will get you twelve entries – five horizontal, five vertical, and two diagonal.

I’ve participated every year since 2017 but have yet to fully complete a card. But I’ve always ended up winning an ebook or two regardless!

If you’re interested in participating and want to know the full details, here is the 2020 announcement thread about it. And here is the list of recommendations, crowd sourced by all the participants!

And here is this year’s card!

Like every year I’ve posted about this challenge, I’m going to go through each square and give some potential books I might read for it. I try to pick these from books I already own, as my goal is to cut down my TBR not add to it. 😛

First row potential picks:

Novel translated from its original language. Hard Mode: written by a woman

  • Anything fantasy-esque by Haruki Murakami. These are originally in Japanese, so perfect. Physically I have 1Q84. Not hard mode but it’d fill the square.
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. This was originally in German I believe, and it would count for hard mode. It would also count as my one allotted reread, as I read it back when I was 12 or so. I never did read the third one, Inkdeath, though, so a reread might actually be in store as it is.

Setting featuring snow, ice, or cold. Hard Mode: The entire book takes place is this setting

  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin – would count for hard mode!
  • The Terror by Dan Simmons – this one is intimidating. The copy I have is a mass market paperback and honestly it’s about as thick as it is tall. I believe this would also count for hard mode. I think.

Optimistic SFF. Hard Mode: Not Becky Chambers

  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – obviously wouldn’t count for hard mode
  • A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – I’m reading this for the OWLs Magical Readathon as is, so this’ll most likely end up here. Hard mode!
  • Theft of Swords by Michael J Sullivan – This is a chunker and it’s intimidating but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna really like it. Hard mode!

Novel featuring necromancy. Hard Mode: Necromancer is the protagonist

  • The only book I have right now that I think would count would be The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden, but honestly I’m not sure and I don’t wanna check because spoilers. So this square will be a challenge, and honestly it makes me all the more set on my Nano 2020 novel, which contains a necromancer. Does it count if I read my own book?

Ace/Aro spec fic. Hard mode: Ace/Aro protagonist

  • Right now, I don’t own anything that fits this prompt! I need to find something for this. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

And that’s it! My second and third row picks will be up sometimes next week, and the fourth and fifth row picks the week after that. If you decide to participate in this challenge, lemme know! Happy reading!

Anticipated 2020 Releases! | #1

Anticipated Releases

Happy day! This is the last day of my blogmas, which I’ve been doing since November. It’s been a long (yet fast) month and a half. I’m rather pumped about it.

Today I wanna talk about 2020 releases that I’m pumped for that are coming out between January and June.  Releases for the second half of the year will be… posted towards the second half of the year.

I’ve got ten titles to talk about! All release dates are tentative. As usual, because I haven’t read these and all I can say about them is ‘I’m pumped’, this will be release date, cover if available, and summary.


The Seep by Chana Porter

The Seep

Release date: Jan 21st

Goodreads synopsis: Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.

Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.

Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Highfire

Release date: Jan 28th

Goodreads synopsis: In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs—now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie—now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they?

A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett “Squib” Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. He’s finally decided to work for a shady smuggler—but on his first night, he witnesses his boss murdered by a crooked constable.

Regence Hooke is not just a dirty cop, he’s a despicable human being—who happens to want Squib’s momma in the worst way. When Hooke goes after his hidden witness with a grenade launcher, Squib finds himself airlifted from certain death by…a dragon?

The swamp can make strange bedfellows, and rather than be fried alive so the dragon can keep his secret, Squib strikes a deal with the scaly apex predator. He can act as his go-between (aka familiar)—fetch his vodka, keep him company, etc.—in exchange for protection from Hooke. Soon the three of them are careening headlong toward a combustible confrontation. There’s about to be a fiery reckoning, in which either dragons finally go extinct—or Vern’s glory days are back.

Finna by Nino Cipri

Finna

Release date: Feb 25th

Goodreads synopsis: When an elderly customer at a big box furniture store slips through a portal to another dimension, it’s up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company’s bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but our two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago.

Can friendship blossom from the ashes of a relationship? In infinite dimensions, all things are possible.

Docile by K. M. Szparza

Docile

Release date: March 3rd

Goodreads Synopsis: To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.

Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.

Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson

The Empire of Dreams (Fire and Thorns, #4)

Release date: April 7th

Note: This is the start of a sequel series to The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, which I read years ago and really liked. Also, the name ‘Red Sparkle Stone’ is cracking me up.

Goodreads synopsis: Even though Red Sparkle Stone is a foundling orphan with an odd name and a veiled past, she’s about to be adopted into the royal family—by Empress Elisa herself. Sixteen-year-old Red can hardly believe her luck. Then, in a stunning political masterstroke, the empress’s greatest rival blocks the adoption, and Red is left with no family and no future.

Grieving and lost, but determined to find her place, Red hatches a daring plan: she will prove herself as a recruit for the world’s most elite fighting force, the legendary Royal Guard—something no woman has done before. But it’s no coincidence that someone wanted her to fail as a princess, someone whose shadowy agenda puts everything she loves at risk. As danger closes in, it will be up to Red and her new friends—and maybe some new enemies—to save the empire. If they can survive recruitment year.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

Release date: May 19th

Note: This is a preqel to the Hunger games, which I read years ago and thought was pretty decent.

Goodreads synopsis: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

 

Malorie by Josh Malerman

Malorie (Bird Box, #2)

Release date: May 19th

I’m not listing the goodread synopsis for this one, because all it says is ‘hey this is the sequel to Bird Box! It was on Netflix! Netflix Netflix! You get the idea.

Stormblood by Jeremy Szal

Stormblood (The Common, #1)

Release date: June 4th

Goodreads synopsis: Vakov Fukasawa used to be a Reaper, a biosoldier fighting for the intergalactic governing body of Harmony against a brutal invading empire. Now, he fights against the stormtech: the DNA of an extinct alien race Harmony injected into him, altering his body chemistry and making him permanently addicted to adrenaline and aggression. It made him the perfect soldier, but it also opened a new drug market that has millions hopelessly addicted to their own body chemistry.

But when Harmony tells him that his former ally Reapers are being murdered, Vakov is appalled to discover his estranged brother is likely involved in the killings. They haven’t spoken in years, but Vakov can’t let his brother down, and investigates. But the deeper he goes, the more addicted to stormtech he becomes, and Vakov discovers that the war might not be over after all. It’ll take everything he has to unearth this terrible secret, although doing so might mean betraying his brother. If his own body doesn’t betray him first.

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #3)

Release date: June 9th

This is the one I’m most excited for!

Goodreads synopsis (spoilers for books 1 and 2): The hunt is over. After fifteen years of lies and sacrifice, Baru Cormorant has the power to destroy the Imperial Republic of Falcrest that she pretends to serve. The secret society called the Cancrioth is real, and Baru is among them.

But the Cancrioth’s weapon cannot distinguish the guilty from the innocent. If it escapes quarantine, the ancient hemorrhagic plague called the Kettling will kill hundreds of millions…not just in Falcrest, but all across the world. History will end in a black bloodstain.

Is that justice? Is this really what Tain Hu hoped for when she sacrificed herself?

Baru’s enemies close in from all sides. Baru’s own mind teeters on the edge of madness or shattering revelation. Now she must choose between genocidal revenge and a far more difficult path — a conspiracy of judges, kings, spies and immortals, puppeteering the world’s riches and two great wars in a gambit for the ultimate prize.

If Baru had absolute power over the Imperial Republic, she could force Falcrest to abandon its colonies and make right its crimes.

The Angel of Crows by Katherine Addison

No cover available as of today!

Release date: June 23rd

Goodreads synopsis: In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings under a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent.

Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.


And that’s it! There are a lot of book I’m looking forward to in the first half of the year alone. We’ll see how many I actually read.

Happy reading!

Space Opera September TBR!

readathons

Hello!

Happy almost-September. Today I want to talk about all the books I’m going to read for Space Opera September, a readathon hosted by Thomas at SFF180.

During the readathon, I’ll be reading books to unlock ranks and ships along a set track. My goal is to become a space pirate!

The readathon lasts the entire month of September.

For the specifics – rules, prompts, tracks, rankings, prizes, etc etc, check out the announcement video:

If you decide to join, check out the Goodreads group here! (And add me on Goodreads if you haven’t already – shameless plug, shhh)


For the rank that I want to achieve – Space Pirate – I have to read four books and  complete the following prompts:

1 – Read a space opera novella

Binti (Binti, #1)

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – I’m very late to this train. I’ve heard this series is good and it seems like something I’d gravitate towards, so I’m hoping I like it. My buddypal Katy @BookbinderWay will be lending this to me (thanks friend!)

2b – Read a space opera by a diverse author featuring a diverse protagonist and/or major characters

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – Really, this readathon should be named, ‘Emily reads all the backlist books that she should have read years ago’. Again, hopping on this train. I believe this book has lgbt+ rep, but correct me if I’m wrong so I can swap it out.

3 – Read a space opera published before you were born

The Faded Sun Trilogy (The Faded Sun #1-3)

Kesrith by C. J. Cherryh – I was born in 1990, and this book was first published in 1978, so perfecto. I have the bind up edition of all three novels in the trilogy, which is what’s shown above, but for this I’m only planning on reading the first one (unless of course I finish all the other books for this readathon and have some time leftover, then I’ll read the whole bind up).

4 – Read a space opera 500 pages or longer

Caliban's War (The Expanse, #2)

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey – This is by far the easiest prompt for me to fill. I’ve been holding off on watching season 3 of The Expanse purely so I can read this first, so I should really get on with it. My edition has 595 pages, so good to go.


And that’s it! With these four books, I also fulfill the 2a prompt of ‘Read two books by women’, but since that’s not the track I’m focusing on, I didn’t really highlight it.

If you’re participating in the readathon, lemme know! Happy reading!

June Book Haul! |#29

Book Haul Base Banner

Hello, and happy book buying season! If you haven’t been following my last few posts, I completed my book buying ban! From April 1st – June 15th, I bought zero books! Since then, I’ve acquired three: I allow myself five books per month (not including manga if I read it the day of purchase) so this month I cut that number in half (ish) because otherwise what was the point of banning myself half a month?

Anyways, the books!

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I’m very excited for all three of these, but one of them might take me a while to get to. That’s ok though – whenever the apocalypse happens, I’ll have plenty to read to pass the time.

Fall, or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson – This is the one that might take me a bit. It follows characters that star in another Stephenson book, Reamde, and I haven’t read that one yet (I don’t even own it yet). I got this book (it’s signed!) at a Neal Stephenson even that I attended earlier last week! If you’d like to see the details of that, check out the post I wrote about it.

Recursion by Blake Crouch – This is Crouch’s newest release and it’s been on my radar since I finished Dark Matter, also by him. I ended up really enjoying Dark Matter and wrote a mini blabber on it. I’ve heard this one get really good reviews, so I’m pretty pumped for it!

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – This baby I’ve wanted since it came out, but just never got around to picking it up. But when I saw it in paperback the day my ban was over, it was like a sign from God, telling me ‘get it get it get it get it read it read it’. How could I say no?


And that’s it! I didn’t get any manga this month (though I looked) and next month I kiiinda expect to go over my five book limit. In theory, the Half Price Books clearance sale is happening and if I’m around for it, I’m going to go to it. We’ll see. 😛 Happy reading!

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch | Mini-blabber

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch
Science Fiction
342 pages
Released July 26, 2016
Read April 1-11th, 2019
Spoiler-free mini-blabber

What if your life was different?

Dark Matter follows a man named Jason, who is married to his wife Daniella and has a son. He works as a professor at the local college and is pretty satisfied with his life, but can’t help wondering, what if. What if he’d made different choices, what if he hadn’t quit his research to pursuit raising a family. Everyone has these kinds of thoughts now and again.

How do your choices lead you to where you are?

Then one day, Jason, when walking home at night, is attacked and the last thing he hears before he loses consciousness is ‘Are you happy with your life?‘. When he wakes up, he goes home to find his wife isn’t his wife, his house isn’t how he left it, and his son was never born.


And that’s all I’m going to tell you of the synopsis. Anything more I think would take away from your enjoyment of the book.

This book was really addictive. The writing was compelling enough to keep the plot moving at a rather fast pace, and the plot progression itself was pretty neat. The main character Jason, I came to feel for, as he navigated through the events that unfolded. I also really liked Daniella, and how intuitive she was when it came to her husband.

The thing that kept the book from being five stars is that it was a bit predictable. Sure I didn’t predict the exact ending, but I kind of had an inkling that something like it might happen mid-way through the book, and that inkling only grew stronger as the book continued. Even with guessing it though, it was played out really well, and the ending, well… I feel like writing a book like this, having the events happen that happened, and following the laws you set up within the story itself, it’s hard to write a perfect ending. But Blake Crouch I think picked one that suited the story well. Was it perfect? No, but like I said, I don’t know how you could make it perfect, considering.

I’m finding it really hard to talk more in-depth about what I liked. I feel like anything more I say about the plot will be a spoiler, and it’s best to go into it with as little information as possible.

Just know that I did really enjoy this, and I feel like it would make an excellent movie. A movie, mind you. Usually when I read a book I’m more of an advocate for a miniseries or something, but I think the thrilling pace and plot of this one would definitely be more suited for a movie. Do you hear me Hollywood? Get on it. I’ll be the first in line to buy a ticket.

Very good book.

4/5 stars

 

March Book Haul #28 | Book Buying Ban

Book Haul Base Banner

Hello! I’m done buying books for a while! Every year, I go on a 2-4 month book buying ban. This will be the third year I’ve done it. The difference is, this time I’m doing it from now until June 15th when I usually do it in the fall – I’ve decided to switch it up. I’ve never failed it. Each year, I’ve succeeded in sticking to the ban for the allotted time, and I plan on doing the same thing this year.

So, from now until June 15th, I will not buy any books. Keep in mind, I can’t stop people from giving gifts. I don’t really expect to get any, as my birthday isn’t until August, but just so it’s clear. The ban is for me buying books.

That being said, on to the books that I bought before the ban went into effect. These are the books I purchased in March:

Emily, didn’t you say you were only allowed five books, not including manga and graphic novels? Yes, yes I did. I was bad. I got seven.

(and then like… 9 manga/graphic novels, hwe hwe hwe)

Starting with the manga, I got Goblin Slayer volume 1 by Kumo Kagyu and Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four Panel Comics by Hiromu Arakawa. I watched the Goblin Slayer anime a month or two ago and I adored it. It’s not for the faint of heart and definitely has some adult content, be warned, but I feel like it was a solidly good season, and I wanted to read the source material. Well.. kind of source material. The actual source is a light novel, and the manga is based off it… and the anime is based off the manga. Whatever. And for Fullmetal, I’ve already read and reviewed it, and gave it five stars. It’s exactly what it sounds like – all the end comics at the back of the manga and dvd packages. It was a joy to read. I’ve reviewed Goblin Slayer, too! I really liked it as well

I went to the bookstore last week, intent on buying and fifth and final book allotted for March. Well… I had two twenty percent off coupons that I couldn’t combine into one book and manga were on sale – buy 2, get 1. So obviously I bought two books and six manga. Welp. I got six volumes of My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi and really, if you haven’t started watching or reading this series, you should. It’s so great.

These two things I picked up at the same time – they were my first two purchases of the month! Hungry Ghosts by Anthony Bourdain was a graphic novel that I’d had my eye on for a few months, and when BN had their blowout sale, I picked it up, along with The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, which has been recommended to me over and over by Katy @BookbinderWay. I haven’t read the latter yet, but I did read and review Hungry Ghosts.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan was one of my ‘Emily is bad’ books. I picked it up after I had already gone over my limit for the month, making it my seventh book. Sometimes you’re in walmart and you just lose control, what can I say. I found The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers in Half Price books, and I about squeaked. My local BN hasn’t had a copy of it since I can remember, so when I actually saw one, I had to grab it.

I’ve been itching to get a copy of Semiosis by Sue Burke for ages, but it fell into that weird lull of nobody having it in stock, even online. So I waited until the paperback released this month, and I scooped up a copy before they could disappear again. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel is my other ‘Emily is bad’ book. It was the extra one I bought at the bookstore when I had those two coupons. C’est la vie.

Finally, I purchased The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto. And both of these, I saw on the shelves a day before their official release dates. But I’m not gonna tell you where – I’m no narc. I’m very excited for both of these, man. So. Pumped.


And that’s it! I kinda went overboard this month. I think the knowledge that these are all the books I could get for two and a half months had me a little uh… loose with my wallet this month. Welp. At least now I’ll have plenty to read during the ban.

Have you read any of the above? What is your opinion on book buying bans? Lemme know!

2019 Anticipated Releases: January – June

Anticipated Releases

Hello! Welcome to another ‘anticipated releases’ post. I post two per year – January through June and July through December. Guess what month it is.

I’ve already posted some anticipated books in a top 5 wednesday post that spanned the whole year, so I’m not going to repeat any, but keep in mind I also wanna read those.

Since I haven’t actually read any of these yet, I’m just going to put the synopses and tentative release dates, because that’s really all I got for ya. Pbtbt.

Enjoy.


The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays

Release date: February 5th

Goodreads synopsis: An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)

Release date: January 29th

Goodreads synopsis: Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

The Women’s War by Jenna Glass

The Women's War (Women's War, #1)

Release date: March 5th

Goodreads synopsis: When a nobleman’s first duty is to produce a male heir, women are treated like possessions and bargaining chips. But as the aftereffects of a world-altering spell ripple out physically and culturally, women at last have a bargaining chip of their own. And two women in particular find themselves at the crossroads of change.

Alys is the widowed mother of two teenage children, and the disinherited daughter of a king. Her existence has been carefully proscribed, but now she discovers a fierce talent not only for politics but also for magic—once deemed solely the domain of men. Meanwhile, in a neighboring kingdom, young Ellin finds herself unexpectedly on the throne after the sudden death of her grandfather the king and everyone else who stood ahead of her in the line of succession. Conventional wisdom holds that she will marry quickly, then quietly surrender the throne to her new husband…. Only, Ellin has other ideas.

The tensions building in the two kingdoms grow abruptly worse when a caravan of exiled women and their escort of disgraced soldiers stumbles upon a new source of magic in what was once uninhabitable desert. This new and revolutionary magic—which only women can wield—threatens to tear down what is left of the patriarchy. And the men who currently hold power will do anything to fight back.

If, Then by Kate Hope Day

If, Then

Release date: March 12th

Goodreads synopsis: In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny’s own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

The Bird King

Release date: March 12th

Goodreads synopsis: Hassan has a secret–he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

Emily Eternal by M. G. Wheaton

Emily Eternal

Release date: April 9th

Goodreads synopsis: She’s an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions – college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it’s not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human.

Inspection by Josh Malerman

Inspection

Release date: April 23rd

Goodreads synopsis: J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.

J is one of only twenty-six students, all of whom think of the school’s enigmatic founder as their father. J’s peers are the only family he has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, and their life at the school is all they know—and all they are allowed to know.

But J suspects that there is something out there, beyond the pines, that the founder does not want him to see, and he’s beginning to ask questions. What is the real purpose of this place? Why can the students never leave? And what secrets is their father hiding from them?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, in a school very much like J’s, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As K and J work to investigate the secrets of their two strange schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.


And that’s it! There are others on my radar as well, but these are the topsies. Happy reading!

Bookshelf Tour 2018

10 in 2019

Hello! Today is an updated bookshelf tour! The last time I did one was at the end of 2017. Since then, I’ve added new ones, rearranged a bit, and purged some old ones.

I have quite a few off the shelves right now because they’re either lent out or lying around my place, so any I notice are missing will be noted. None of the books mentioned in the book haul that I posted yesterday are on the shelves yet, so none of them will be shown either. 😛

Also, I almost almost did a video. I shot the footage and everything, and Katy offered to edit it for me. But… I got camera shy at the last minute. I’m not even in it, just my voice. But still. Pictures, haha.


Nonfiction and Foreign Language

Missing: The Good Women of China

Manga and graphic novels

Missing: Mushishi vols 2-4, Fruits Basket vols 1-4, Wotakoi vol 3, Descender vol 2, Monstress vols 1-2, Chew vols 1-2, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

Fantasy and Science Fiction

Missing: His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Glass, Truthwitch, Assassin’s Apprentice, The Name of the Wind, The Knife of Never Letting Go

Horror, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Thrillers, Classics, Magical Realism, and Literary Fiction

Missing: House of Leaves, Water for Elephants, Isle of Blood


And that’s it! I think with the new books going on, I’m going to need another case. I have two small cases right now among the collection – I might see if I can replace one or both of them with a larger case.

According to Goodreads (which… I keep mostly up to date), not including the newest books from the haul because I haven’t added them in yet, I own 707 books, 270 of which are unread. I’ll go into more detail come January, but I hope to reduce that to 250 or so by the end of 2019. Wish me luck. Ideally I’ll have unread books until I die – it’s no fun otherwise.

Happy reading!

 

Top 5 ideal mashups

Copy of Top 5 Wednesday Banner

https://i.imgur.com/XS0XVS1.gif

Happy Hump Day!

Today’s rewind topic is top five ideal mashups, which was the prompt from April 18th of this year. (hush I was slumpy)

These are in no particular order

A Monster Calls meets Spirited Away

Can you imagine how whimsically dark this could get?! I’m getting shivers just thinking about it!

Fullmetal Alchemist meets Treasure Planet

Imagine the immense plot of FMA being set in a world similar to the steampunk of treasure planet. It’d be soooo great

Supernatural meets Mulan

I love Supernatural. I do. I just think it’d be cooler with a neato protagonist like Mulan.

The Liveship Traders meets Pirates of the Caribbean

I’d love to see Jack go up against Kennit, man.

Fringe meets Sherlock

These are two of my all-time favorite shows, each very strong in their own way. The only thing better would be to see them mixed. I’ve love to see how Walter Bishop and Sherlock worked together… or drove each other crazy. Because let’s face it sometimes they’re way too similar.


And that’s it for today! Happy reading!

Top 5 fantasy and sci-fi cover arts

Top 5 Wednesday

Image result for hump day wop wop

Hello it’s Wednesday Thursday!! And it’s the first Wednesday Thursday since January where I didn’t have the looming knowledge of YOU’RE BEHIND IN YOUR CODING PROJECT EMILY YOU SHOULDN’T BE WRITING A POST floating in the back of my mind. Guess who has two thumbs and has finished the project. ME. YEAH.

So back to books and my overly loud excitement about them.

This week’s topic is cover arts for science fiction and fantasy. Sounds lovely!! 😀 If you’d like to participate in T5W, here is the link to the group!


Okay so: I’ve come up with seven covers that are grabbing my attention. Instead of doing a tiered-top-five, I’m just going to list all seven in no particular order because all these covers are lovely. 😀

Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein

This book was a cover-buy for me. I had no idea what it was about, nor had I heard of it before I saw it sitting on the shelf. A purchase like this has happened exactly two times in my life, the other being listed below. I can’t get over how pretty this book is. I mean sure, the dust jacket is okay I guess, but the actual book underneath it? Gorgeous 😀

saturn run

Iron Angel and Sea of Ghosts by Alan Campbell

Campbell is one of this weird-steampunk-fantasy authors and I dig everything I’ve read by him. I totally recommend The Deepgate Codex, by the way, Iron Angel being the second book in that series.

Iron Angel (Deepgate Codex, #2)Sea of Ghosts (The Gravedigger Chronicles, #1)

The Fold by Peter Clines

This is that other cover-buy I mentioned. I feel like images of it online don’t do it justice. It’s just so PRETTY in real life. The cover is textured, it’s shiny, the fold going down the middle of the page pops out to the eye. It’s lovely! And the book itself is really good too :”D

The Fold

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

The art in this entire book is lovely. The cover just showcases it. :”D

A Monster Calls

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

I picked this one because if I mentioned recently in my blabber that this cover, while rather lovely, is super poignant. It describes the tone of the book so well that I had just to throw it in here. It’s super suave.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Rook by Sharon Cameron

When I read Rook last year or two ago, I gave it a three star rating. Every time I’ve mentioned it since, it always confuses me why I gave it a 3, not a 4. I’m thinking pacing? But at this point, all I remember is loving the setting and the characters, haha. This cover is rather lovely, I think. :”D

Rook


And that’s it for this week! Happy reading. :”D