Today is the start of SciFiMonth, a month full of everyhting science fiction organzied by Imyril from One More and Lisa from Dear Geek Place. Just like last year there’s a list of prompts and a give-away. My TBR-list isn’t a long one this year. I hope to read these two books:
Everfair by Nisi Shawl: This is a steampunk alternative history of Congo. It’s on my TBR-list for a while, because it will be a great read for my SFF Countries Project. I recently bought a second-hand edition of the book, so I can finally read it.
Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta: This story is set in a post-climate change world where only tea masters know the location of hidden water sources. It sounds fascinating!
In May I will again participate in Wyrd & Wonder! A yearly celebration of all things fantasy. This year it’s the fifth anniversary of Wyrd & Wonder. Forest fantasy will be the theme of this special edition. Wyrd & Wonder is hosted by a team of five bloggers: Imryl from One More, Lisa of Dear Geek Place, Jorie from Jorie Loves A Story, Ariana at The Book Nook and Annemieke of A Dance With Books. Read here about everything that is planned during the month.
On my blog you are going to find fantasy-themed posts next month. I also hope to read at least three fantasy books. I’m going to participate in the read-along hosted by Lisa of Dear Geek Place. And there is a great duology I want to read. This is my TBR-list:
The Killing Moon (Dreamblood #1) & The Shadowed Sun (Dreamblood #2) by N.K. Jemisin I’m looking forward to finally reading something from N.K. Jemisin! I decided to start with this duology, because it sounds amazing. The first thing I like is that the world in the books is based on Ancient Egypt. It’s also interesting that dreams play a big role. The main character is a priest of the dream-goddess. It’s his duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal. However, someone uses this magic to kill people…
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black This book is chosen by Lisa for the read-along. Following the theme, it’s a forest fantasy. The story sounds like a dark fairy tale. It’s about Hazel and her brother Ben who live in a town where humans and fae live side by side. There’s also a glass coffin in the woods with a sleeping boy in it. I’ve never read anything else by Holly Black. So I’m curious what I will think of this book.
Today is Earth Day! It’s an international yearly event to make people aware of ecological problems. The goal is to make people come in action. Read more about Earth Day on this website.
I post about Earth Day every year. Here you can find all my posts. I already wrote several times about books in which nature or the environment plays a role. But all those books were fiction. This time I decided to make a small list with non-fiction books about the climate I want to read. All of them are written by people that inspire me. On my TBR-list are:
No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg It’s amazing what Greta does! I admire her courage to stand up for the climate. At her age I certainly didn’t have the determination and the guts to go on strike or talk to world leaders. This book is a collection of Greta’s climate action speeches. I hope it will inspire me.
All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson I first heard about Ayana Elizabeth Jonhson in the podcast Ologies. In the episode Oceanology she tells about the beauty of the ocean and talks about how the ocean’s health is getting worse. It made me again realize how important it is that we have to do something about climate change. Later I found out that Ayana Elizabeth Jonhson edited a book with poems and essays about the climate crisis. This book with a diversity of contributors seems a great read!
The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times by Jane Goodall & Douglas Carlton Abrams Jane Goodall is an anthropologist famous for the research she did on chimpanzees. She is an outspoken advocate for animal rights and the environment. Jane Goodall is an inspiring woman, and I really want to read one of her books. The Book of Hope sounds like something we all need. It’s about how we can stay hopeful when everything seems hopeless.
Have you read any of these books? Share your thoughts in the comments. I also love getting book recommendations!
Time for a new Top Ten Tuesday, the weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is ‘Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To.’ There are a couple of writers that are often recommended. One or even multiple of their books are on my To Be Read-list, but I still haven’t read them.
N.K. Jemisin N.K. Jemisin is an American black writer most well-known for The Broken Earth trilogy. These post-apocalyptic books mixed with fantasy sound intriguing and original. But I am even more eager to read the Dreamblood duology, epic fantasy books based on Ancient Egypt. So I recently bought The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun. I want to read them during Wyrd & Wonder in May.
Ursula K. LeGuin Ursula K. LeGuin is famous for writing the fantasy classic A Wizard of Earthsea. She also has written ground-breaking science fiction. At a time when most speculative fiction was written by men, Ursula K. LeGuin was quite unique. She paved the way for many other female speculative fiction writers. I also loved the fact that both of her parents were anthropologists, because I studied cultural anthropology. So I really want to read one or more of her books myself. I only have to decide with which book I’m going to start. The podcast episode “Do not take me for granite” – with Amal El-Mohtar at Breaking the Glass Slipper inspired me to maybe pick up Worlds of Exile and Illusion.
Kate Quinn Kate Quinn is an American writer of historical fiction. Her most popular books are about the Second World War. Yet she also wrote a series set in first-century Rome. I first encountered Kate Quinn when The Rose Code appeared on multiple Best of the Year-lists at a couple of blogs I followed. Recently Jo from the Book Lovers Blog recommended her newest book to me: The Diamond Eye. It’s about “a quiet bookworm who becomes history’s deadliest female sniper.” That sounds amazing, and I think The Diamond Eye will be the first book I’m going to read by Kate Quinn.
In December 2020 Annemieke @ A Dance With Books started The SFF Countries Project. She wanted to make a list with a fantasy or science-fiction book for every country in the world. I love seeing the world through my books. So I joined her and made my own list, which you can find here. I added all the books I ever read that meet the requirements. I regularly add new books. Here are the ones I read last year for The SFF Countries Project:
Malaysia: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo I already wrote quite a lot about this book on my blog. It was one of my favourite reads of 2021 and I used the book in some tags. It’s an amazing historical fantasy set during the 19th century. The story has a lot of Chinese folklore and details about life in Malaysia at that time. Want to know more? Read my mini-review for The Ghost Bride here.
Australia: Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks This is an easy to read book about a girl with a steam-powered heart. It’s a fun story, but also deals with some serious themes. I loved that the story is partly based on colonial Australian history. Read all my thoughts about Heart of Brass here.
New Zealand: The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry A character from this book has an ability I can only dream of! Charley is able to bring a character from a book into our world. According to his brother Rob, it causes mostly problems. Rob reluctantly helps his little brother to keep the ability secret and to put some unwilling characters back in their book. However, real trouble starts when book characters appear in Wellington that were not summoned by Charley… Read my mini-review about The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep here.
India: The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana This story actually is set in Shalingar, an imaginary kingdom inspired by Indian mythology. So it may be disputable if this book counts for the SFF Countries Project. But the magical world in the story is well-written and intrigued me. Since it’s hard enough to find books for some countries, I decided to keep it on the list. Read all my thoughts about The Library of Fates here.
It has been too long since I participated in Top Ten Tuesday, the weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s prompt is 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To. Here is my top four:
Black Water Sister by Zen Choo I got this book for Christmas. It’s a Malaysian urban fantasy about a girl who is haunted by her dead grandmohter. I didn’t manage to read it in December, but it was the first book I read this year. It was so good! You can read all my thoughts about in the wrap-up at the end of the month.
The Last Graduate (The Scholomance #2) by Naomi Novik Last year I read A Deadly Education, the first part of the Scholomance trilogy. I really enjoyed reading this book and especially liked the unique setting. Scholomance isn’t what you expect of a magical school: it’s a dark place full of monsters without any teachers. I want to continue this story, but I’m going to wait till I can borrow the book from my library. That won’t take too long, because I saw that they already have ordered The Last Graduate!
The Swimmers by Marian Womack This is an eco-dystopia set in 2033. After the global warming, this is now a place of deep jungles, strange animals, and new taxonomies. It sounds so interesting! I also like that this book is set in Andalusia (in Spain). Most dystopian books I read are set in some version of the United States.
Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez This is a companion novel to Woven in Moonlight, which was an amazing book inspired by Bolivian history. Written in Starlight follows Catalina, a side character from the first book. I’d love to read more about her. The book is also described as “an adventurous South American Tomb Raider!”
This year I didn’t read a lot of science fiction. I mostly read fantasy and historical fiction. That means the number of sci-fi books on my To Be Read-list isn’t getting any lower. It even keeps growing! So I took a look at my list to see which books I still want to read. For every book I decided if I want to read it or delete it. Then I am going to explain this in one sentence. Here are all of them:
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler Want To Read It / Delete It This is said to be the first science fiction book written by a black woman.
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow Want To Read It / Delete It The premise still sounds amazing: can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?
Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta Want To Read It / Delete It I am going to read this book set in a post-climate change world for my SFF Countries project, because it’s written by a Finnish author.
Unearthed (Unearthed, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagon Spooner Want To Read It / Delete It Amie Kaufman is one of my favourite writers and the book was pitched somewhere as “Indiana Jones in space.”
The Falconer (The Falconer, #1) by Elizabeth May Want To Read It / Delete It The plot doesn’t seem very original and I’m just not really looking forward to reading this book.
The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Want To Read It / Delete It This appears to be quite a controversial book and I’m afraid I am not going to like it.
The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson Want To Read It / Delete It I read somewhere that this book “mainly takes place on a creepy Lost-esque island.”
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson Want To Read It / Delete It Although I am not entirely sure if I’m ready to start a new series, this seems a really good book.
The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss, #1) by London Shah Want To Read It / Delete It This book is set in London at the twenty-first century when our world is underwater.
Everfair by Nisi Shawl Want To Read It / Delete It I want to read this book for my SFF Countries Project, because it’s a steampunk alternative history of Congo.
Pacifica by Kristen Simmons Want To Read It / Delete It A dystopia about climate change and pirates.
Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie Want To Read It / Delete It Diverse fantasy with an enemies-to-best-friends female friendship.
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland Want To Read It / Delete It The premise still sounds really interesting: magic once existed, but stopped working due to the scientific revolution.
November is SciFiMonth on my blog, a month in which we celebrate everything that is science fiction. Just like the previous years, Imyril from One More and Lisa from Dear Geek Place will be hosting this event. I have already planned some posts you can read during the month. I used the prompts from the SciFiMonth Challenge as inspiration. Of course I will also read science fiction books! While making pictures of the books, one of my cats decided to join me. And that made the picture actually infinitively better!
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers #4) by Becky Chambers I adore the Wayfarers series! The books are well-written and always have great characters. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, the first part, is one of my all-time favourite books. So I am really looking forward to reading the last part of the series. I wanted to buy this book, but I found it by accident at my library.
Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks This is a steampunk book set in colonial Australia. I really want to read more steampunk and seems a good one. Steampunk is usually associated with England, so it will also be interesting to have a very different setting.
Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan While looking for science fiction books I want to read, this book caught my eye. I never heard of it before, but the premise sounds quite fascinating: Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left. It’s said to be an epic love story in space.
Today’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesday, the weekly meme managed by That Artsy Reader Girl, is ‘Books on My Fall 2021 To-read List.’ But before looking forward, I want to look back. What books on my summer TBR did I actually read?
So I read 5 out of the 6 books on my TBR. Not bad! I’m not sure if I still want to read The Silence of the Girls. It does sound like an interesting book, but I don’t feel very motivated to read it.
Let’s continue with my TBR list for the next months. Here are the books I want to read this autumn:
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He I wanted to read this Chinese inspired fantasy for the Magical Readathon. I requested the book at my library two months ago, but I still haven’t been able to read it. So I hope I don’t have to wait any longer.
The Book of Dreams by Nina George Last year I loved to read The Little Paris Bookshop by the same writer. I like to try her other book to see if they are just as good.
Black Water Sister by Zen Cho On her twitter the author describes the plot as ”A stressed zillennial lesbian fights gods, ghosts, gangsters & grandmas in 21st century Penang.” That sounds definitively promising! The book also has a Malaysian setting, just like The Ghost Bride, a book I loved to read earlier this year.
Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks This is an Australian steampunk novel. I bought the book a few months ago and want to read it in November for SciFiMonth. Steampunk is a fascinating subgenre that combines historical fiction and sci-fi. I’m looking forward to explore it further.
This Vicious Cure (This Mortal Coil, #3) by Emily Suvada A year ago this book was already high on my TBR-list. Sadly I am still not able to borrow the book at my library. But I’ll keep trying to get it and hope to read this book before the end of the year. I really want to know how the trilogy ends!
The Galaxy and the Ground Within (Wayfarers, #4) by Becky Chambers The first part of the Wayfarers series, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, is one of my favourite books of all time. All the books from the series have great characters and are really well-written. So I’m looking forward to read this last part of the series.
In September we have to prove ourselves on The Novice Path to reach the Orilium Academy. We need to complete two out of the seven prompts to succeed. The reading prompts are:
The Novice Path Entrance: read a book with a map
Ashtorn Tree: a book that keeps tempting you (or top of your TBR)
The Mist of Solitude: read a standalone
Ruin of the Skye: read a book featuring ghosts/haunted house, or other supernatural elements
Obsidian Falls: read a thriller or a mystery book
Tower of Rumination: read a five star prediction
Orilium Academy Arc: book with a school setting
I aim to complete at least three of these prompts in September. The books I want to read:
The Novice Path Entrance: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan I heard a lot of good things about this book. So when I was at my favourite book shop it caught my eye. I looked through the book and read the author’s note. That convinced me to buy it. I loved how Natasha Ngan sees books “as safe places to explore difficult topics”. She promises the story to be dark but with positive messages.
The Mist of Solitude: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He This is a Chinese-inspired fantasy. I love to read more fantasy books that are not set in or inspired by European countries. The story is about a young girl who suddenly has to be queen of an unstable kingdom after her father is murdered.
Tower of Rumination: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes Books about books are really my thing. So I think I’m going to love this story about the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky. It’s inspired by a real group of women who brought books to isolated part of the Appalachian Mountains between 1935 and 1943.