Tag: TBR

ShelfLove May Update

Posted May 1, 2016 by Nicky in General / 12 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

It’s May already?! Like last month, I’m going to consolidate my TBR list with my ShelfLove update, since they go together well and it is in fact the first of the month today.

And this month I also bring more stats, plus colour coding. The goals where I’m ahead are in blue; bang on are in green; behind by up to five books are in orange; anything else is in red. I now have a running total to show where I should be for the month (so for example, in books read overall, I should’ve read 121 by now, and I’m on 109).

  • Targets: 
    • 250 or less books bought;
    • 366 books read overall;
    • 200 books read which I owned prior to 2016;
    • no more than 10% of income on books per month.
  • Books bought this year so far: 69/80.
  • March books bought: 8/20.
  • March budget: £38/£50.
  • Owned books read this month: 17/16.
  • Books read this month: 33/30.
  • Owned books read overall: 54/67 (13 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 109/121 (12 books behind).

As you can see, I’ve not doing too badly in the past month, and I’m beginning to catch up with the deficit from previous months. And I’ve been very good about sticking to my budget, too!

Still, time for a TBR for May. I’ll undoubtedly read more than this — hopefully a lot more — but these are ones I need to get to for reviews, buddy reads, or just because they’ve been languishing that long.

  • The Last Argument of Kings, Joe Abercrombie. Darn it, Nikki, you’re halfway through it. Pick it back up.
  • Passenger, Alexandra Bracken. Started this last month, but got distracted.
  • Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore. Uh, ditto from The Last Argument of Kings. Except more so, because at least the former is a reread. This isn’t and I really should finish it and find out the ending.
  • Knight’s Shadow, Sebastien de Castell. I have read the first couple of pages and now I muuuust get round to it.
  • Tam Lin, Pamela Dean. Before people explode or something.
  • The Door into Shadow, Diane Duane. I’ve had these books kicking around since 2011, and I just reread the first one, so it’s time. I’ll probably try to read the third one too.
  • The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney. Received to review and I think the review is about due. Oh dear, too much of that rhymed.
  • False Hearts, Laura Lam. Due out in June, I think, so it’s about time to get to it.
  • A Court of Thorns & Roses, Sarah J. Maas. I don’t remember the book well enough to read the sequel right away. That’s a good excuse, right?
  • A Court of Mist & Fury, Sarah J. Maas. Zomg!
  • Rosemary & Rue, Seanan McGuire. Reading Every Heart A Doorway convinced me I really need to get on and read this one.
  • Hero, Perry Moore. What better way to celebrate Captain America: Civil War’s release than with cute gay superheroes?
  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North. Just received this to review, and North’s books are always solidly entertaining, so let’s go!
  • Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer. Had it to review, should have already done it. Whoops.
  • House of Suns, Alastair Reynolds. Or my sister will kick me. If she could be bothered to come to Belgium to do so, anyway.

And I’ll stop there, lest I end up sulking about having to stick too rigidly to a list (yes, despite my evident and oft-indulged love of making lists).

And now for the Shelf Love challenge’s prompt for the month: summer’s coming, so we’re all planning literary trips. It requires some serious thought, because the areas of fiction and history that fascinate me to read about wouldn’t necessary be fun to visit. I could take a leaf out of my mother’s book and follow in Lord Peter Wimsey’s footsteps through Scotland on the trail of Five Red Herrings. Or perhaps, since I don’t live in Wales anymore, I’d be better served by visiting Cader Idris in Wales, the site of Susan Cooper’s The Grey King and Silver on the Tree. Or a trip round Britain to the various sites of Arthurian legend — but not while the battles are going on, please. Hey, if I could pinpoint a site for Camelot…

But really, I’m a homebody, so my favourite literary trips are best taken from an armchair.

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ShelfLove April Update

Posted April 1, 2016 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

ShelfLove Challenge 2016

ShelfLove Update!

Welcome to April! This month I’m going to consolidate my April TBR list with my ShelfLove update, since they go together well

  • Books bought this year so far: 59 (out of 250 max).
  • March budget: £53/£60.
  • Owned books read: 37/200 (13 books behind).
  • Books read overall: 73/366 (18 books behind).

Uhoh. Clearly I need to get reading. That might be a little difficult this month, since I’m meant to be moving and running a bunch of experiments for my course. But you never know when I’m going to suddenly read everything in sight, so all’s not lost. Here’s the books I definitely must read this month, including the one from last month’s list I didn’t get round to.

  • Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore. Owned for far too long, and in fact I was halfway through it at one point. Oops?
  • Century Rain, Alastair Reynolds. I need to catch up to my sister in our Reynolds Reread.
  • A Civil Contract, Georgette Heyer. A book I’ve had for quite a while, and apparently one of Heyer’s less conventional romances. Sounds good!
  • Demon Road, Derek Landy. Received to review, along with the second book, so it’s high time I got to this one.
  • Knight’s Shadow, Sebastien de Castell. I need to get to this finally, because I have the third book ready to read too.
  • Passenger, Alexandra Bracken. Another I received to review, and about which I have seen intriguingly mixed reviews.
  • Red Moon, Benjamin Percy. Random selection from the library pile which looks quite interesting.
  • Tam Lin, Pamela Dean. Was on last month’s must read pile.
  • Too Like The Lightning, Ada Palmer. Love her work as a singer, and this is due out in May, so it seems an ideal choice for the month’s must reads.
  • Wolfsbane Winter, Jane Fletcher. Due back at the library, so it’s time I tackled this one.
  • Wolves, Simon Ings. I’ve had this library book for, uh, months. Definitely oops.

Obviously, I hope to read more than these ten (plus the one from last month) books this month, but these are the ones I’m committing to. Wish me luck?

And now for the discussion theme for April via the ShelfLove challenge. Apparently, the second week of April is library week, which I think means I timed both my post deploring library closures and my library ban badly, but ah well. Right now I actually have three “local” library systems, and I’m a member of all three, of course. Between the three of them, that means a great selection, and a lot of books I can borrow at once. Up until I started trying to reduce the number of books I had out, I constantly had all three cards “maxed out”! The library staff have always been helpful and friendly, especially when it comes to renewing my books when circumstances mean I can’t make it to the actual library.

But the local library I really miss, which I only just left behind, is Caerphilly Library. They have a great selection, both upstairs in the main area and downstairs in the quick picks area, which includes all sorts of genres and suits all sorts of tastes. And bless every single librarian who let me take out more than the maximum allowance of books (12) pretty much every time, with nary a blink. I miss you guys!

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March TBR

Posted March 3, 2016 by Nicky in General / 10 Comments

I don’t seem to have been doing very well at keeping up with my TBR lists. On the one hand, I like having a fair number of books on them, because I need to be reading at least a book a day to meet my reading goals. On the other hand, it more or less guarantees that as soon as I get distracted by other shiny books, I end up neglecting the list — especially when I go down the rabbit hole of a series or a particular theme.

Sooo, here’s a compromise: here’s ten books I really must read this month. And to make sure I stick to it, I’ve actually set it up with Beeminder, so that money comes directly out of my book budget if I don’t read these books (which are mostly ARCs and library books). You can follow my goal here… and here’s my ten:

  • The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home, by Catherynne Valente. Just out, and I’ve been so impatient about this, I have to read it this month or look silly.
  • The Winner’s Crime, by Marie Rutkoski. I need to read my ARC of the third and final book by the release date this month…
  • The Winner’s Kiss, by Marie Rutkoski. I have until the 23rd. Ish.
  • The Paper Menagerie & Other Stories, by Ken Liu. Out on the 8th, so I need to read it noooow.
  • Different Class, by Joanne Harris. Due out in April, and I’ve had it, uh… a while now.
  • Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean. Because it’s high time I got round to it.
  • Solstice Wood, by Patricia McKillip. Which also entails reading Winter Rose too, probably, but the main thing is reading this, from my backlog.
  • Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell. I bought it on release day and still haven’t read it. I definitely look silly.
  • The Wicked Day, by Mary Stewart. It’s been on the backlog ages and it’s part of a series I’m already reading. Awesome.
  • A Stranger in Olondria, by Sofia Samatar. A random choice from the backlog!

(And now excuse me as I go down a rabbit hole of setting up Beeminder for my Fitbit goals and backlog tackling, too.)

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February TBR

Posted February 3, 2016 by Nicky in General / 8 Comments

I don’t know why anyone believes the TBR stacks I make, since I so often randomly deviate and wander off. Nonetheless, I’m behind on my reading goal already and need, to catch up, to read 37 books in February. Eek. So here’s a somewhat random selection, for inspiration if I’m wondering what to read…

Already reading:

  • The Tiger and the Wolf, Adrian Tchiakovsky. Also a review copy and due out in a few days, so yeah, hurry up, self.
  • Song for the Basilisk, Patricia McKillip. I’m quite a way through this, so it should be easy to finish!
  • Georgette Heyer: Biography of a Bestseller, Jennifer Kloester. Partway through this, and I believe the library wants it back. So hurry up, self!
  • Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater. This is a really fast read for me and I’m not sure why I haven’t finished it already. Got distracted, I guess…
  • The Genome, Sergei Lukyanenko. I was pretty captivated by this a few weeks ago, so hopefully I can get back into it and eat it up.
  • Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey. Though the library hasn’t called to ask when the hell I’m going to return this, they’d have a perfect right…

ARCs/new releases:

  • Dreams of Distant Shores, Patricia McKillip. Even my review isn’t due until May 10th, but shush. I want to get to this one.
  • Different Class, Joanne Harris. Got this for review, and I typically eat up Harris’ prose, so…
  • City of Blades, Robert Jackson Bennett. have to read this, omg.
  • Lois Lane: Fallout, Gwenda Bond. Slightly demanding email saying my deadline is 15th February for a book I won, but okay.
  • Rebel of the Sands, Alwyn Hamilton. Found in a Belgian bookshop in advance of the release date, so it’s fate, right?

Argh, read some books you already own:

  • Saints Astray, Jacqueline Carey. Should be a fast read, judging from how fast my sister tore through it, and it’s why I reread Santa Olivia…
  • Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs. Finishes up the trilogy!
  • Death by Water, Kerry Greenwood. It’s inevitable I’m going to read at least one Phryne book, let’s be honest.
  • The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, Catherynne M. Valente. I’ve been craving this for a while, it’s about time.
  • Dreamer’s Pool, Juliet Marillier. Before the people waiting for me to read it eat me or something.
  • The Wrath & the Dawn, Renee Ahdieh. People have ARCs of the next book. Clearly it is time to get off my butt.
  • Carry On, Rainbow Rowell. I need to stop just admiring the cover and peeking at the end.
  • A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Becky Chambers. I am so sold on this book, you don’t need to say a word more. I’m convinced I’ll like it.
  • Companion to Wolves, Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear. I love both authors (or at least, Monette’s work as Katherine Addison). It’s time!
  • Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo. Everybody seems to love this even more than the Grisha books. So okay, it’s time!

Obviously, I’m hoping to read a lot more than this. But if I manage to read this bunch, I’ll be happy!

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January TBR

Posted January 3, 2016 by Nicky in General / 4 Comments

Wait, it’s already the 3rd? Okay, clearly I need to do my January TBR post already! My 2016 goal is actually to read a book a day, on average, but I’m not going to pick too many books I have to read — I’m just going to pick out library books, challenge books and ARCs that I definitely need to get on with.

So, the list?

  • This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab. ARC! Not releasing until May, I think? So I do have time, but I might as well try and keep ahead of the game!
  • The Frog Princess, E.D. Baker. This is for the Ultimate Reading Challenge on Habitica, a book recommended by my sister. A nice easy one to polish off.
  • Silver on the Tree, Susan Cooper. Last one for the TDIR readathon!
  • Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey. Needs to go back to the library. Plus, one of the main supporting characters is ace!
  • The Furthest Shore, Ursula Le Guin. Should’ve finished this by the beginning of January. Oops.
  • Tehanu, Ursula Le Guin. Likewise.
  • Tales from Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin. Aaaand ditto.
  • The Other Wind, Ursula Le Guin. Yep.
  • Last Argument of Kings, Joe Abercrombie. Last in the trilogy, and due back at the library.
  • Unnatural Creatures, ed. Neil Gaiman. It looks like an interesting, diverse, and very readable collection. And it needs to go back to the library.

I have a bunch of other books which I’ll probably get round to, especially since I’m taking a limited number of print books with me to Belgium to visit my partner. That includes Jacqueline Carey’s Santa Olivia and Saints AstraySignal to Noise by Silvia Moreno Garcia, City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett… But I’m only going to push myself about the ten above. Anything else is a bonus!

Crossing things out as I get to them!

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December TBR

Posted December 2, 2015 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

To reach my ARC-reading goal, I need to read and review nine ARCs before December 31st is over. So this month’s reading list is mostly focused on that! I’ve made it ten, since nine as a number is just annoying to me.


  • Armada, Ernest Cline.
  • The Masked City, Genevieve Cogman.
  • The Cutting Room, ed. Ellen Datlow.
  • Shadow Memories, Nicholas Erik.
  • A Legend of the Future, Agustin de Rojas.
  • Wolfhound Century, Peter Higgins.
  • Gabriel’s City, Laylah Hunter.
  • The Genome, Sergei Lukyanenko.
  • Unborn, Amber Lynn Natusch.
  • The Palace Job, Patrick Weekes.


  • Over Sea, Under Stone, Susan Cooper.
  • The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper.
  • Greenwitch, Susan Cooper.
  • The Grey King, Susan Cooper.
  • Silver on the Tree, Susan Cooper.
  • The Furthest Shore, Ursula Le Guin.
  • Tehanu, Ursula Le Guin.
  • Tales from Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin.
  • The Other Wind, Ursula Le Guin.
  • Feed, Mira Grant.


  • The Blade Itself, Joe Abercrombie.
  • Before They Are Hanged, Joe Abercrombie.
  • Last Argument of Kings, Joe Abercrombie.
  • Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo.
  • Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo.
  • Dragon Coast, Greg van Eekhout.
  • Deadline, Mira Grant.
  • Blackout, Mira Grant.
  • The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, Catherynne M. Valente.
  • The Dark Arts of Blood, Freda Warrington.

Well, the three Abercrombie books are rereads too, but shush. Symmetry and stuff.

What’s anyone else planning to read this December? And trust me, I know I won’t make it to the end of this lot without a miracle.

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November TBR

Posted November 5, 2015 by Nicky in General / 2 Comments

What do you mean it’s already November? Gaaah!

So I’m not going to be too proscriptive about what I read in November, because it’s still a pretty high stress time for me. So here’s a bunch of books I want to get read, in moderately disorganised categories!


  • Of Sorrow and Such, Angela Slatter.
  • Armada, Ernest Cline.
  • The Palace Job, Patrick Weekes.
  • The Seventh Bride, T. Kingfisher.
  • Of Bone and Thunder, Chris Evans.

Phryne Fisher

  • Blood and Circuses, Kerry Greenwood.
  • Ruddy Gore, Kerry Greenwood.
  • Urn Burial, Kerry Greenwood.
  • Raisins and Almonds, Kerry Greenwood.
  • Death Before Wicket, Kerry Greenwood.
  • Away With the Fairies, Kerry Greenwood.

Other in-progress series

  • Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo.
  • Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo.
  • Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie.
  • The Dark Arts of Blood, Freda Warrington.
  • The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, Catherynne M. Valente.
  • Dragon Coast, Greg van Eekhout.


  • A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin.
  • The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula Le Guin.
  • The Furthest Shore, Ursula Le Guin.
  • Tehanu, Ursula Le Guin.
  • The Other Wind, Ursula Le Guin.
  • Tales from Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin.


  • The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker.
  • Newt’s Emerald, Garth Nix.
  • London Falling, Paul Cornell.
  • Badgerlands, Patrick Barkham.
  • Catastrophes and Lesser Calamities, Tony Hallam.
  • The Mirror World of Melody Black, Gavin Extence.
  • At the Edge of Uncertainty, Michael Brooks.
  • The Accident Season, Moira Fowley-Doyle.

There may well be other stuff, which I will probably add under ‘random’ once I’ve consumed it!


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October TBR

Posted October 1, 2015 by Nicky in General / 2 Comments

I’ve been excited to get started on this — I think I’ve got a great line-up for this month. I’m enjoying switching the categories up a bit, and will probably do that every month, even if ‘ARCs’ and ‘library’ are probably gonna be a constant.


  1. Made to Kill, Adam Christopher.
  2. The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu.
  3. Tower of Thorns, Juliet Marillier.
  4. The Palace Job, Patrick Weekes.
  5. Armada, Ernest Clines.


  1. Ghost Hawk, Susan Cooper.
  2. Badgerland, Patrick Barkham.
  3. Ask a Policeman, The Detection Club.
  4. The Great Zoo of China, Matthew Riley.
  5. Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen.


  1. The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, Catherynne M. Valente.
  2. Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie.
  3. Dreamer’s Pool, Juliet Marillier.
  4. Dragon Coast, Greg van Eekhout.
  5. The Dark Blood of Poppies, Freda Warrington.

Tor.com novellas

  1. The Witches of Lychford, Paul Cornell.
  2. Binti, Nnedi Okorafor.
  3. The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Kai Ashante Wilson.
  4. Sunset Mantle, Alter S. Reiss.
  5. The Last Witness, K.J. Parker.


  1. Bitch Planet, vol 1, Kelly Sue DeConnick.
  2. Saga vol 3, Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples.
  3. Hawkeye: Rio Bravo, Matt Fraction.
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy: Angela, Brian Michael Bendis.
  5. Batgirl: Wanted, Gail Simone.


  1. Hard to Be A God, Boris & Arkady Strugatsky.
  2. Burning Water, Mercedes Lackey.
  3. The Colour Purple, Alice Walker.
  4. The Enchantment Emporium, Tanya Huff.
  5. Rosemary & Rue, Seanan Mcguire.


  1. The Fox’s Tower & Other Stories, Yoon Ha Lee.
  2. Thornyhold, Mary Stewart.
  3. Timeless, Gail Carriger.
  4. Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo.
  5. ?

It shouldn’t be too busy this month, so I’m hoping to really chew through the list. I think I’m gonna end up with a couple books left over from September, but I’ll stick them in wildcards if I get round to them.

ETA: I’ve gone wildly off-script because it’s a difficult month. Still hoping to finish a few more of these, though!

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September TBR

Posted September 1, 2015 by Nicky in General / 8 Comments

Here goes — another attempt at having a TBR! Of course, I can already think of books I want to read outside of the ones listed here. Guess I’ll just have to start reading faster… I can have another five random slots once fifteen of the ones listed here are read!


  1. Of Bone and Thunder, Chris Evans.
  2. Pacific Fire, Greg van Eekhout.
  3. The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Seth Dickinson.
  4. The Salt Roads, Nalo Hopkinson.
  5. Seven Forges, James A. Moore.


  1. The Darkest Part of the Forest, Holly Black.
  2. The Dark Blood of Poppies, Freda Warrington.
  3. Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson.
  4. Deadly Curiosities, Gail Z. Martin.
  5. Landline, Rainbow Rowell.


  1. Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore.
  2. Blood Bound, Patricia Briggs.
  3. Magic Bleeds, Ilona Andrews.
  4. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, Catherynne M. Valente.
  5. Timeless, Gail Carriger.


  1. The Martian, Andy Weir.
  2. California Bones, Greg van Eekhout.
  3. Permanent Present Tense, Suzanne Corkin.
  4. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe.
  5. Clariel, Garth Nix.


  1. The Wicked + The Divine: Fandemonium, Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie.
  2. Rat Queens: The Far-Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth, Kurtis J. Wiebe.
  3. Captain Marvel: Alis Volat Propriis, Kelly Sue DeConnick.
  4. Hawkeye: LA Woman, Matt Fraction.
  5. Thor: Who Holds the Hammer?, Jason Aaron.


  1. Overture to Death, Ngaio Marsh.
  2. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield.
  3. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks.
  4. Hawkeye: Little Hits, Matt Fraction.
  5. Wildfire at Midnight, Mary Stewart.
  6. ?
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?

I have an exam this month, and a conference/workshop thing in London, plus a load of travelling. So I’m not sure how well this is going to go. I guess we’ll have to see! Anything you think I should get onto right now?

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August TBR

Posted August 1, 2015 by Nicky in General / 6 Comments

I mentioned the first month I made a TBR list that I like making lists, but I have trouble sticking to them. I’ve been through half a dozen iterations of this list, and each one I’ve sulked about more than the last, so I’m going to go with a free for all month. Instead of telling you what I’m planning to read, I’m gonna tell you what I’m packing for my holiday at my parents’ — which might come to the same thing.

  • Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer.
  • Elizabeth Bear, One-Eyed Jack.
  • Holly Black, The Darkest Part of the Forest.
  • Susan Cooper, Ghost Hawk.
  • Chris Evans, Of Bone and Thunder.
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant.
  • Emily Lloyd Jones, Illusive.
  • Sarah J. Maas, Assassin’s Blade.
  • Sarah J. Maas, Heir of Fire.
  • Gail Z. Martin, Deadly Curiosities.
  • Maureen F. McHugh, Mission Child.
  • Rainbow Rowell, Landline.
  • Freda Warrington, The Dark Blood of Poppies.
  • Freda Warrington, The Dark Arts of Blood.
  • G. Willow Wilson, Alif the Unseen.

Naturally, I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised if I take my bat home and refuse to read a single one of these during August, but, well, I tried.