Top Ten Tuesday — Bookish Goals for 2023

Top Ten Tuesday moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

https://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

Topic for January 17: Bookish Goals for 2023

I am not very goal oriented in my private life. Work is about goals. Private life is for doing what I want, when I want. Or not. Anyway, I do have some ideas about this year‘s reading.

  1. Read fewer buddy reads in 2023 — odd, I know. But I committed to so many buddy reads last year that I did not have any room for mood reads. I ticked off my list, following a schedule. It started to feel like work.
  2. Read fewer books than last year — the next odd one. I did set my usual 100-book-challenge on Goodreads and The StoryGraph, but I am considering to lower it or maybe completely delete it. I don‘t need it for tracking purposes and I am trying to de-stress my reading life.
  3. Reduce my Netgalley pile — I have 20 unread Netgalleys and some of them are really ancient. It would be sweet to finally get caught up. And then I would only request more with the expectation to actually read and review them close to their publishing date, as it was intended.
  4. Don‘t commit to reading challenges — again, it’s about de-stressing my reading life. Regardless, I have actually picked two challenges. One is the 2023 bingo challenge of my favourite Goodreads group. It‘s about reading previous, missed buddy reads. I don‘t expect to get a bingo, it‘s more of a tracker for books I own from those old buddy reading lists. And i picked an Alphabet challenge on Storygraph. I will only use it to help me pick books from my owned bookshelves.
  5. Reduce my TBR pile of owned books and buy fewer new books — I failed at this last year. I finally want to make a dent in my physical bookshelf. Buying no new books is an illusion. I don‘t want to set any rules either, aka only buy a new book after reading 3 old ones. That would just stress me out, plus I would need to track it. More tracking = less reading.
  6. Finally continue with the Dragonriders of Pern — a few years ago I decided to re-read the series plus to read all the new ones that I never picked up. I was off to a good start and had fun, but last year I was so overbooked that I didn‘t read a single one of them.
  7. Mix it up — I have been reading a lot of SF and Fantasy in the last few years. I want to mix it up a little more. There is enough choice on my owned bookshelves…
  8. Don‘t overthink it, more mood reading!

That‘s it for now. How about you? Do you have any new goals, besides the usual „read x books this year“, „read more classics“, „read more non-fiction“, etc.?

Top Ten Tuesday — most anticipated books releasing in 2023

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week‘s topic: top ten most anticipated books releasing in the first half of 2023

Another meme that I haven‘t done in a really long time. And I doubt that I will get together ten books. I don‘t check and plan ahead a lot for my reading. It‘s more of an accidental affair. So, anyway, let‘s see what I have planned already in terms of new books for this year…

I do not actually have anything newly published on my list until late April. So the title of this Top Ten Tuesday is right out of the window. Anyway, April!

In the Lives of Puppets
by T.J. Klune

This one is a maybe, I have plenty of other books on my T.J. Klune backlog.

In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots–fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe. 

Inspired by Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, and like Swiss Family Robinson meets Wall-EIn the Lives of Puppets is a masterful stand-alone fantasy adventure from the beloved author who brought you The House in the Cerulean Sea and Under the Whispering Door.

Next one. I am not even sure this here will be published in May, as I can‘t find any dates about it anywhere besides its Goodreads bookpage:

Moon of the Turning Leaves (Moon of the … #2)
by Waubgeshig Rice

Twelve years have passed since a widespread blackout triggered the rapid collapse of society, when the constants of the old world—cell service, landlines, satellite and internet—disappeared. Twelve long years since the steady supply of food and fuel from the south became a thing of the past.

The sudden end of the world as everybody knew it, and the horrors of that first winter since everything became dark, only steeled the resolve of Evan Whitesky and the other members of the Anishinaabe community to survive on their own terms. Because the world wasn’t ending, as the community elders reminded them. It had already ended with the original displacement of their people to the far north by colonial authorities. They have seen this “apocalypse” before. They’ve seen it—lived it—over and over. But they had always survived. And they will survive this too.

http://www.bukowskiagency.com/Rice/Moon-of-the-Turning-Leaves.htm

The book was supposed to come out last year. Maybe Corona threw a wrench into the works? On Rice‘s Twitter he posts about a Fall 2022 draft, so work is still going on, fingers crossed. Sequel to MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW. My review of that book wasn‘t too favourable, when I read it in 2019. But the story has lingered, so it can‘t have been that average.

And another one for May:

Lords of Uncreation (The Final Architecture, #3)
by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author of Children of Time brings us the third and final novel in an extraordinary space opera trilogy about humanity on the brink of extinction, and how one man’s discovery will save or destroy us all.

Loved the first one, struggled with the second one, have to read the third one to get closure.

The final book to come out in May, not sure yet if I will get it. Barring another Murderbot, I can settle:

Witch King
by Martha Wells

“I didn’t know you were a… demon.”
“You idiot. I’m the demon.”
Kai’s having a long day in Martha Wells’ WITCH KING….

After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.

Doesn‘t sounds all that different to dear old Murderbot, right?

And we finally move into June. ANOTHER IMPERIAL RADCH!!! Boy, did I wait long for this one! I got so fed up with waiting, I re-read the first Imperial Radch trilogy in 2021. Tea did not help with the waiting, dear!

Translation State (Imperial Radch)
by Ann Leckie

The mystery of a missing translator sets three lives on a collision course that will have a ripple effect across the stars in this powerful new novel by award-winning author Ann Leckie. 

Qven was created to be a Presger translator. The pride of their Clade, they always had a clear path before them: learn human ways, and eventually, make a match and serve as an intermediary between the dangerous alien Presger and the human worlds. The realization that they might want something else isn’t “optimal behavior”. It‘s the type of behavior that results in elimination. 

Squeee! Presger translator! So looking forward to this one!

At some point in 2023 there should be Mercy Thompson #14 by Patricia Briggs. That‘s all I know. No title or cover art yet. But I will definitely read it, when it comes out.

That was only six books, sorry! We‘ll see what other books will sneak up on me in the next few months! And then back to my owned pile of TBRs….

Six Degrees of Separation, the romance edition

Welcome to #6degrees. I haven’t done one of these memes in a year!. On the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book. I mostly use this meme to work on my backlog, aka reviews that I haven‘t yet posted to my blog here. Or to give myself a reminder of the books on my TBR pile or want-to-read-shelf.

So, as usual, this month starts the chain link with a book I haven‘t read or ever heard about.

Beach Read
by Emily Henry

They’re both broke.
They’ve got crippling writer’s block.
They need to write bestsellers before the end of the summer.

The result? A bet to see who can get their book published first.
The catch? They have to swap genres.
The risk? In telling each other’s stories, their worlds might be changed entirely…

From the book blurb

It sounds mildly interesting. When I pick romcoms, which I very occasionally do, it usually involves marriage-of-convenience or some other fake-relationship thing. Or sourdough or… It‘s a mood thing. For example something like this:

Link #1 — The Love Hypothesis
by Ali Hazelwood

So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. 

From the book blurb

I haven‘t actually read this one, but it sounds like the kind of romance I enjoy. Fake boyfriend takes me to a book that I definitely want to read at some point. Some of my reading buddies liked it:

Link #2 — Boyfriend Material (London Calling, #1)
by Alexis Hall

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

From the book blurb

Right down my alley! Links # 3, 4 and 5 are three other LGBTQ+ romcoms that I did actually read:

Conventionally Yours (True Colors, #1)
by Annabeth Albert

When two “big name fans” go head-to-head at a convention, love isn’t the only thing at stake.

I read this in November 2020. It was a Netgalley. I gave this New Adult enemies-to-lovers M/M romance the benefit of the doubt, rounding it up to three stars. It was ok. Full review is here.

One Last Stop
by Casey McQuiston

All hard edges with a soft smile and swoopy hair and saving August’s day when she needed it most. The person August looks forward to seeing on the train every day. The one who makes her forget about the cities she lived in that never seemed to fit, and her fear of what happens when she finally graduates, and even her cold-case obsessed mother who won’t quite let her go. And when August realizes her subway crush is impossible in more ways than one—namely, displaced in time from the 1970s—she thinks maybe it’s time to start believing.

This one I read in the summer of 2021. Or rather, I attempted to read… The blurb reminded me of Kate & Leopold, the movie that put Hugh Jackman on my radar as an actor. After reading the first three chapters, I put the book away. Not bad, but I couldn‘t work up much interest. August (Kate) mets Jane (Leopold) in the subway and eventually realizes that something fishy is going on, namely that Jane is from the 1970s. Nice idea, I just wasn’t feeling it. DNF at 19% and 70-odd pages. It was probably me.

Red, White & Royal Blue
by Casey McQuiston

Same author, read in January 2020 (my review) and much better. I really liked this one. It was a lot of fun.

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. 

From the book blurb

That leaves me with Link #6… four of the above book have been with LGBTQIA couples. So I can‘t possibly leave out this big hit from last year — printed as well as the Netflix adaptation for the little screen. I have neither read or watched it yet though, so no idea if it is as good as everybody says. Too YA for my taste.

Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper, #1)
by Alice Oseman

Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…

This is a comic, btw… maybe I will pick it up at my local bookshop after all one of these days…

Spell the month in books — August

I came across this meme last month and thought why not use it to look at some of my owned, unread books as a reminder that I still have them?

Reviews From the Stacks

The goal is to spell the current month with the first letter of book titles, excluding articles such as ‘the’ and ‘a’ as needed. That’s all there is to it! Some months there are theme challenges, such as “books with an orange cover” or books of a particular genre, but for the most part, any book you want to use is fair game!

Long month! No theme though, phew. So…


AAfter the Cure (After the Cure, #1) by Deirdre Gould

„Eight years ago the December Plague swept through the human population of earth. The Infected were driven mad by the disease, becoming violent and cannibalistic, killing even those closest to them without hesitation. Six years ago, the tiny surviving community of Immune humans found a cure, and the Infected began to wake up and realize what they’d done. And what had been done to them. Over time, society began to rebuild itself. Now it is ready to judge those responsible for the Plague.“

I don‘t recall why or how I got a copy of this book. It‘s been on my shelf for a while. It sounds familiar as well, as if there maybe was a movie along those lines? The blurb sounds a bit like a courtroom thriller, which is not really my cup of tea. Not sure I still want to read this.

UAn Unnatural Life by Erin K. Wagner

„The cybernetic organism known as 812-3 is in prison, convicted of murdering a human worker but he claims that he did not do it. With the evidence stacked against him, his lawyer, Aiya Ritsehrer, must determine grounds for an appeal and uncover the true facts of the case. But with artificial life-forms having only recently been awarded legal rights on Earth, the military complex on Europa is resistant to the implementation of these same rights on the Jovian moon.“

This is a fairly recent addition to me shelves. It‘s a novella, if I remember correctly. And I obviously didn‘t listen to myself about not liking courtroom thrillers. I do like to read about AIs though.

GThe Ghost Fleet: The Whole Goddamned Thing
by Donny CatesDaniel Warren Johnson (Illustrator), Lauren Affe (Illustrator), John Hill (Illustrator)

„For the world’s most valuable, dangerous, or secretive cargo, you don’t call just any trucking service…you call THE GHOST FLEET. When one of the world’s most elite combat-trained truckers takes a forbidden peek at his payload, he uncovers a conspiracy that will change his life, and the world, forever!“

This is a comic. I think it was in a Humble bundle of various things. Doesn‘t sound bad actually, maybe I should have a look when I finished my current TWD volume.


UThe Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

„She will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice. On the day of her foretold death, however, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Csorwe leaves her home, her destiny, and her god to become the wizard’s loyal sword-hand — stealing, spying, and killing to help him reclaim his seat of power in the homeland from which he was exiled.“

Epic fantasy, a genre I have been delving into again more this year. I usually pick the sword fighters when I play RPGs, so I should like Csorwe.

SSomething to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

„Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time – threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.“

Now this sounds like a fun romance romp. How could I have forgotten that I own this? If I wasn‘t reading three other books already, I would have started this already…

TTails of the Apocalypse by Chris Pourteau (Editor)

„The Doomsday siren calls on civilization’s last day. Natural disaster. Nuclear war. Pandemics. These are the ways the world ends. The Walking Dead meets The Incredible Journey in 14 incredible tales of nobility, self-sacrifice, and unconditional love as told by today’s most talented independent authors. Humans will learn an old lesson anew—that animals, the heroes in these tales, might just make the difference in their quest to survive one more day.“

Another short story collection. I do like reading about the apocalypse. So many books, so little time.

Spell The Month in Books — July

I came across this meme this morning and thought why not use it to look at some of my owned, unread books as a reminder that I still have them?

The goal is to spell the current month with the first letter of book titles, excluding articles such as ‘the’ and ‘a’ as needed. That’s all there is to it! Some months there are theme challenges, such as “books with an orange cover” or books of a particular genre, but for the most part, any book you want to use is fair game!

There is a “Summer Adventures“ theme to July, which I will simply ignore (sorry!), as I don‘t do seasonal reading or challenges anyway. Ok, mostly, I confess to some Halloween themed reading… Anyway, here we go.

Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1)
by Fonda Lee

In this epic saga of magic and kungfu, four siblings battle rival clans for honor and power in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.

Oh yes, this has been on my shelf since 2020 and I wanted to read it last year for that BIPOC challenge I had signed up for. And here we are, still…

Unshapely Things (Connor Grey, #1)
by Mark Del Franco 

In the alleys of the decrepit Boston neighborhood known as the Weird, fairy prostitutes are turning up dead. The crime scenes show signs of residual magic, but the Guild, which polices the fey, has more “important” crimes to investigate and dumps the case on human law enforcement. 

Oh boy, this has been on my shelf since 2015. Which was probably around the time when my obsession with UF started to fizzle out. Well, my recent revisiting of that genre was pretty entertaining, so who knows… perhaps my StoryGraph Reading Randomizer will pick it for me…

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion (Danielle Cain, #1)
by Margaret Killjoy

Danielle Cain is a queer punk rock traveller, jaded from a decade on the road. Searching for clues about her best friend’s mysterious and sudden suicide, she ventures to the squatter, utopian town of Freedom, Iowa. All is not well in Freedom, however: things went awry after the town’s residents summoned a protector spirit to serve as their judge and executioner.

No idea why I have this one. Maybe a freebie from Tor? Trans author, the blurb sounds vaguely interesting. Books on my kindle tend to vanish from view, so this is a useful reminder.

Y: The Last Man, Book One
by Brian K. VaughanPia Guerra (Illustrator), José Marzán Jr. (Illustrator)

No unread books starting with Y on my shelves, so let‘s have a look at the past. I read this in 2018 and ended up giving it only 3 stars. I‘ve been thinking about giving it another chance, to see if I changed my mind about it. Here is my review from 2018.

Top Ten Tuesday — Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

This week‘s topic / April 19: Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own

I am not into bookish merchandize at all. Bah humbug! There was a time when I owned a ton of bookmarks, but I gave most of them away, as I largely read ebooks these days. I have all the coffee mugs I need and plenty of socks and cosy blankets for my comfy sofa. So, what could make my reading experience better?

Quick brainstorm… a nicer bookshelf, a lazy chair, a better reading light for that chair, more comfortable in-ear headphones, a new living room carpet in bright colours, a watertight kindle could come in handy… and, yes, ok, that bookmark with the rubberband I used to have was really useful.

I know what bookshelf I want. Or rather the maker—it‘s an Austrian company called Team 7. They custom make sustainable, natural wood furniture. Very pretty, very expensive.

If I wasn‘t so lazy, I would be visiting furniture stores and search for more affordable alternatives. Something upmarket in solid wood though.

Ok, so, reading chair… I was toying with the idea of an electrical lazy chair, but I don‘t want any cables lying around. So that idea is shelved for now. My doc recommended an old-fashioned, straight backed grandfather armchair—better for my back and that slipped disc. With a footstool? This is definitely something that requires a lot of test sitting. I was at IKEA with a friend recently and let me tell you, those chairs are not necessarily as comfy as they look.

How about a colourful option?

Yes, yes, I need to get off my lazy butt and start visiting furniture stores…. All right, now about that reading lamp. I have quite a nice one in a retro look, but I don‘t think it would fit that armchair. I think I am ready for something new. Maybe something more utilitarian? The first one is what I currently have:


Carpet… well, will have to wait until I have decided on the chair. I was aiming for something very colourful, which I would need to rethink, if I go for an armchair with a flower print! What is the connection between reading and a carpet, you ask? Nice atmosphere!

My current in-ear headphones still do their job, but the sound could be better. I am contemplating those thingies from Bose…. and, yes, the new kindle…

And last, but not least…

Top Ten Tuesday — Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To…

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

Last week‘s topic / April 12: Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To (Submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)

Well, let‘s have a look at the more recent additions to my want-to-read pile and books lingering on my TBR pile of owned books….

(covers are linked to the books in Goodreads)

Seanan McGuire is definitely high on my list of authors I want to read. I have the first five books of Wayward Children lined up and ready to go, I just need to find the opportunity to squeeze them in somewhere…

Another one is Elizabeth Bear. I keep thinking that I have read something by her, alas I can‘t pinpoint what it might have been. I have Ancestral Night on my TBR pile…

A space salvager and her partner make the discovery of a lifetime that just might change the universe in this wild, big-ideas space opera from multi award-winning author Elizabeth Bear.

I own two anthologies where she has contributed as well. And Tor offers some glimpses at her work.

T. Kingfisher has been on my reading pile for a while now as well, mainly because of A Wizard‘s Guide to Defensive Baking. My reading buddies all really liked this book.

Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can’t control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt’s bakery making gingerbread men dance.

What‘s not to like about that?

That‘s it for today, back to enjoying the sunshine and reading my vampire book….

Top Ten Tuesday — Adjective In the Title

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

This week‘s topic / March 22: Books With an Adjective In the Title

Tricky topic. Lets see what I can did up on my shelf. For variety‘s sake I‘ll start with the books I added to my shelves last and work backwards…

Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings — my latest NetGalley addition: Two Ships. One Chance To Save The Future. Fleeing the final days of the generations-long war with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter the Jonah breaks down in a strange rift in deep space

The Art of Cursive Penmanship: A Personal Handwriting Program for Adults by Michael R. Sull — A practice guide to improve one‘s handwriting. We start with a discourse on the history and technicalities of handwriting. There is instructions on the correct sitting posture, how to place the paper, how to use your writing implement, on fountain pens and so on. Chapter 5 is the beginning of the practical part. That‘s roughly where I am right now. Haven‘t started with the exercises yet…

Ancestral Night (White Space, #1) by Elizabeth Bear — not quite sure why I added this one to my stack: A space salvager and her partner make the discovery of a lifetime that just might change the universe in this wild, big-ideas space opera from multi award-winning author Elizabeth Bear.

Dying Earths: Sixteen Stories from the Ends of Times by Sue Burke and others — sounds depressing, but I want to read Sue Burke‘s story: The writers and contributors to the little corner of the web called SFFWorld.com have brought together a collection of stories about a dying Earth. 

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes — this was a buddy read that I skipped. Everybody really liked it, so I got it after all: Titanic meets The Shining in S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, a SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn’t yet ended.

An Easy Job by Carrie Vaughn — short story, read it already… Carrie Vaughn is worth mentioning again.

The Black Coast (The God-King Chronicles, #1) by Mike Brooks — another buddy read that I skipped and my reading buddies all loved it: When the citizens of Black Keep see ships on the horizon, terror takes them because they know who is coming: for generations, the keep has been raided by the fearsome clanspeople of Tjakorsha. Saddling their war dragons, Black Keep’s warriors rush to defend their home only to discover that the clanspeople have not come to pillage at all. Driven from their own land by a daemonic despot who prophesises the end of the world, the raiders come in search of a new home . . .

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim — I like the original fairytale and the cover is pretty, so I couldn‘t resist: Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control.

Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days by Alastair Reynolds — two novelettes set in Revelation Space. And the blurb of one of them is something aquatic. I had to get it: In the seas of Turquoise live the Pattern Jugglers, the amorphous, aquatic organisms capable of preserving the memories of any human swimmer who joins their collective consciousness. Naqi Okpik devoted her life to studying these creatures—and paid a high price for swimming among them. 

Digital Divide (Rachel Peng, #1) by K.B. Spangler — not quite sure why I picked this one. Genre bender with cyborgs: Rachel Peng misses the Army. Her old life in Criminal Investigation Command hadn’t been easy, but she had enjoyed it. Now, as the first cyborg liaison to the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police, Rachel is usually either bored senseless or is fighting off harassment from her coworkers.

Yes, not 100% certain that those are all adjectives… *shrugs*

What interesting reads have you added to your shelves recently?

Six Degrees of Separation — Talking, Shouting, Whispering…

Welcome to #6degrees. I haven’t done one of these in a while. On the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book. I mostly use this meme to work on my backlog, aka reviews that I haven‘t yet posted to my blog here. Or to give myself a reminder of the books on my TBR pile or want-to-read-shelf.

So, as usual, this month starts the chain link with a book I haven‘t read or ever heard about.

No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

„As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. […] Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: “Something has gone wrong,” and “How soon can you get here?” […] Fragmentary and omniscient, incisive and sincere, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature.“ (from the book blurb)

Really not my kind of thing. I read the blurb three times and nothing came to mind. However, as we are on the subject of talking…

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

„A show runner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumour.“

Sounds like an entertaining romance. Just the kind of light escapism I enjoy at the moment. Just moved it to from my want-to-read to my TBR pile. So much for me not wanting to add to that pile. What can I say, could be fun and came relatively cheap.

And talking takes me to shouting…

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí ClarkChannie Waites (Narrator)

“Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns with Ring Shout, a dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror.“

I really like his Djinn stories and this keeps popping up on a lot of my kind of lists. On my want-to-read. I am leaning towards the audio, the narrator sounds good.

Not everybody who shouts can also whisper….

Under the Whispering Door by  T.J. Klune

“When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.“

Yes, alright, it is STILL on my want-to-read. I will read it at some point, I promise!

People that whisper often don‘t speak at all…

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

„What if you knew how and when you will die? Csorwe does. She will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice. On the day of her foretold death, however, a powerful mage offers her a new fate.“

On my TBR pile. Not sure why this landed there. Traditional fantasy with a queer touch. Another one I will get to eventually.

Continuing with silence…

Circles Of Silence by Preeti Singh

Rating: 3 out of 5.

“A birth mark on the right shoulder! And one as big and as dark as that! Arre baap re! This is of some terrible significance…’ Despite his grandmother’s gloomy prophecy, Rattan grows up leading a charmed life – first in Delhi, then at Boston University. When he returns to Delhi, and the family business, Rattan is happy to fall in with his parents’ plans for an arranged marriage.“

I read this in 2007. It did not sweep me off my feet, but the characters were likeable. The story was sweet and interesting enough, although there were no great surprises.

And when you are done with silence, how about some wailing to break the tension?

The Wailing Wind (Navajo Mysteries, #15) by Tony Hillerman

Rating: 2 out of 5.

“Tony Hillerman’s novels are like no others. His insightful portrayal of the vast Navajo Reservation, the spirit-haunted people who inhabit it and the clash between ancient traditions and modern civilization that has shaped its present and will determine its future has produced a body of work unique in mystery fiction.”

I read this in 2008. Fairly run-of-the-mill murder mystery with a slightly unusual setting. Pretty forgettable.

Top Ten Tuesday — Names In the Titles

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

This week‘s topic / February 1: Books with Names/Character Names In the Titles

So, let‘s have a look at that TBR pile of owned books and what I can dig up… All the descriptions are from the book blurbs.

Wolverine & The X-Men by Jason Aaron, Vol. 1 by Jason Aaron (Text),  Chris Bachalo (Illustrations),  Duncan Rouleau (Illustrations),  Nick Bradshaw (Illustrations)  — Spinning directly out of X-Men: Schism, the X-Men are split in two.
In the oversized debut issue of the new ongoing flagship X-series, Wolverine takes one half of the X-Men back to Westchester to start over again with a new school, a new student body and a lot of surprises up his sleeve.

The Complete Angel Catbird by Margaret Atwood,  Johnnie Christmas (Illustrator),  Tamra Bonvillain (Illustrator) — Internationally best-selling and respected novelist Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Johnnie Christmas collaborate for one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events!

Updating Pritkin (Cassandra Palmer, #5.3) by Karen Chance — was originally done as the conclusion to a contest on the author’s blog. Only 10 pages long.

The Chronicle of Heloise & Grimple by Sean Gibson — A bard walks in on a dark elf dealing cards to a beholder, a mind flayer, a demon, a grouchy-looking wizard, and what is either a vampire or a really pale guy with an unfortunate widow’s peak….

Cross of St. George (Richard Bolitho, #24) by Alexander Kent,  Douglas Reeman — February 1813: As American privateers pick off British and Canadian ships in the wake of the War of 1812, Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho returns to Halifax to defend Crown property. In the cold waters off Nova Scotia, he fights fruitless skirmishes with men of the frontier, all the while longing for peace.

Brunelleschi’s Dome: The Story of the Great Cathedral in Florence by Ross King — Even in an age of soaring skyscrapers and cavernous sports stadiums, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence still retains a rare power to astonish. Yet the elegance of the building belies the tremendous labour, technical ingenuity and bitter personal strife involved in its creation. 

Here’s Negan! by Robert Kirkman,  Charlie Adlard (Illustrator),  Cliff Rathburn (Illustrator),  Dave Stewart (Illustrator) — Who is Negan? Who was he before society broke down?

Yoko Tsuno: TWO-IN-ONE: Unterirdische Begegnung / Die Orgel des Teufels by Roger Leloup,  Harald Sachse (Translator) — French comic translated into German. Fantastic adventures in space and time! On her travels, the young Japanese Yoko Tsuno experiences numerous adventures with her friends. Using her cleverness — and if necessary also her martial arts — she solves very human mysteries, hunts down alien villains and sometimes averts galactic catastrophes.

Kill Shakespeare: Die komplette Serie by Conor McCreery,  Anthony Del Col — free audio from the German Audible. Shakespeare’s world-famous heroes and villains meet in the mystical realms of Illyria under completely new conditions – and so a very different story unfolds…

Umlac’s Legacy (Entangled Galaxy Book 2) by Jim Meeks-Johnson — When Lt. Jade Mahelona defeated the cyborg Umlac, she inherited his interstellar kingdom—and made herself a target. Her new subjects are two-ton blobs who know that if they hunt her down and kill her, they get to take her place. She takes refuge with the reclusive Elliquine who adopt her into their herd and use her as their liaison to other species.

Well, I have some very suspicious offerings on this list. Maybe I shouldn‘t be surprised that some of them have been stuck on my TBR pile of owned books for a long time.