Top 10 Tuesday: Recent Middle Grade Fantasy/ Speculative Fiction TBRs

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Middle grade fantasy is supposedly one of my favourite genres, yet it’s one I don’t seem to get around to reading very often! That genre’s the theme of this list, though I’ve decided to add the term ‘speculative fiction’ here so I include a few books that aren’t quite traditional fantasy. (Last summer I wrote a blog on my understanding of the term spec fic.) Links to GoodReads, followed by a brief note on what about the book appeals to me.

Bone Jack A Single Stone The Painting Prisoner of ice and Snow In Darkling Wood

  1. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste – Caribbean folklore
  2. The Whipser in the Stone by Kamilla Benko – unicorns
  3. In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll – a wood with secrets
  4. Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren – “fantasy that’s equal parts Prison Break and Frozen” (via GoodReads)
  5. The Painting by Charis Cotter – ghosts and friendship
  6. A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay – mountain mines with a sinister backstory
  7. Bone Jack by Sara Crowe – dark Celtic myths (via Charlotte’s Library)
  8. The Doll’s Eye by Marina Cohen – creepy house and spooky dolls
  9. The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente – Valente wrote it
  10. The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis – dragon loves chocolate

The Whisper in the Stone The Jumbies The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart The doll's Eye The Glass Town Game

From which genre have you added the most books to your TBR lately? Are any of these books on your list?

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TBR – On the Side Table

I have a little table in my reading nook where I pile up my high priority TBRs. This pile is usually two or three books high. Mostly it consists of new releases I’m excited about or library books due back soon. Lately, the pile has grown faster than I can keep up with it so I thought I’d do a run down of what’s waiting for me. The stack in the photo below is sorted by source: borrowed (from a friend), borrowed (from the library), and owned.

April on the side table

  • When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (friend) – I’ve been interested in this book since it was released. I think it will add another unique perspective to the books I’ve read on mortality and death.
  • Birdie by Tracey Lindberg (friend) – Added to be my TBR because it’s Indigenous Canadian literature and was a choice for 2016 Canada Reads.
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (library) – A book I really need to get around to reading.
  • The Midnight Sun by Cecilia Ekbäck
    (library) – New release from the author of Wolf Winter! My library has labelled this Canadian…not sure how accurate that is? I know the author lives in Alberta now.
  • The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwaller (library) – This has been on my TBR for awhile because I heard it has a similar atmosphere to Burial Rites. Recently I’ve been in the mood for a story like that.
  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (own) – One of two books I bought the day my sister had 40% off at work. An own voices narrative about a transgender teenager.
  • A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (own) – The final book in the Shades of Magic trilogy. I received this for my birthday at the end of February ^^; My bff has finished it and wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it, so I’m not feeling very motivated…
  • When the Moon Was Ours by Anne-Marie Mclemore (own) – This book received a lot of praise in the book blogging community and I am excited to check it out (magical realism + Pakistani trans MC + gorgeous purple cover). I won a copy from Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf.
  • Drift & Dagger by Kendall Kulper (own) – Companion novel to Salt & StormI won an annotated copy from Kendall back in October. Then Cybils happened and I kept having other reading priorities these past few months. I think I can promise to finish before the end of June….
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan Mcguire (own) – The other book I purchased on my sister’s discount. Another book I’m excited to read because of blogger buzz, a gorgeous cover and an ace MC.

Which books would you prioritize out of this list? How are you managing your physical TBR at the moment?

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Two More Reading Challenges

I have found two more reading challenges to sign up for this year. Both compliment my 2017 reading goals.

2017 Diverse Reads Book Challenge

2017 Diverse Reads bannerHosted by Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales and Shelly @ Read, Sleep, Repeat, the purpose of this challenge is to “encourage the reading and support of diverse books and marginalized voices, and therefore this challenge hopes to help you read more diversely in 2017!” I remember seeing this challenge back in December, but I totally forgot about it when I wrote my looking forward post. Thankfully January hasn’t ended and there’s still time for me to complete this month’s mini-challenge. The monthly challenges are one of the reasons why I like this challenge in particular. I plan on reading a book for this challenge and reviewing it for Naz’s Read Diverse challenge. Here’s my reading list (subject to my reading mood whims. Throughout the year, I hope to find more new releases/lesser known books to read):

  1. JanuaryWhen the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin (based on/inspired by diverse folktales/culture/mythology)
  2. FebruaryShadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older (POC/biracial/multiracial MC – Latinx)
  3. MarchHandbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell (disability – club foot)
  4. April More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (mental health – depression)
  5. MayAmina’s Voice by Hena Khan (religious diversity – Muslim)
  6. June and JulyWhen the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemoreIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, Nevada by Imogen Binnie (sexuality and gender identity – trans)
  7. AugustOne Half From the East by Nadia Hashimi (non-Western setting – Afghanistan)
  8. SeptemberSanaaq: An Inuit Novel by Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk (Own voices – Inuit)
  9. OctoberA Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Ma-Nee Chacaby (Intersectionality – LGBT+ and Indigenous)
  10. NovemberThe Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember (Diverse retelling – lesbian Little Mermaid)
  11. December -TBD (2017 release)

Newbery Reading Challenge

Newbury Reading ChallengeI stumbled upon this challenge via Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf. Hosted by Julie @ Smiling Shelves, this is a points-based challenge, where points are awarded for each Newbery medal winner (3 pts), Newbery honour book (2 pts), and Caldecott book you read (1 pts). I’m aiming for the first level – L’Engle (15-29 points). I’m undertaking this challenge because I think it will help me with my goal of reading more classic children’s literature.

Between these two and Read Diverse, Canada 150, and Diversity Bingo, I think I’m all set for challenges! I suppose it’s about time I update my 2017 Challenges page… What reading challenges are you undertaking this year?
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Top 10 Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Didn’t Get To

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I have historically been slow to read ‘new’ releases. I find there can anywhere from one to three years between me adding a yet-to-be-published book to my TBR, and actually getting around to reading it. One of my general priorities this year is to read more front list titles. 2016 gave us a lot of great releases that I have heard so much about, but still haven’t read. Here are 10 2016 releases I want to catch up on this year (links to Goodreads).

If I Was Your GirlEvery Heart a DoorwayThe Charmed Children of Rookskill CastleThe Girl From Everywhere

  1. The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert (5 Jan)
  2. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (16 Feb)
  3. The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox (15 Mar)
  4. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan Mcguire (5 Apr)
  5. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (3 May)
  6. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (31 May) – currently borrowing from the library
  7. The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville (9 Aug)
  8. The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman (13 Sept) – currently borrowing from the library
  9. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (4 Oct) – won a copy from Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf
  10. When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin (4 Oct) – currently borrowing from the library

When the Sea Turned to SilverWhen the Moon Was OursThe Evil Wizard Smallbonethe last days of new parisBefore the Fall

Have you read any of these books? What books from 2016 do you still want to read?

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7 Books to Look Forward To in 2017

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The prompt for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is “books I’m looking forward to in the first half of 2017.” I don’t go searching for books that haven’t yet been released. My TBR is long enough as it! A book usually makes it onto my list if it’s received positive buzz from a blogger whose tastes match mine, or if it’s an upcoming release from a favourite author. Turns out I have seven books from 2017 on my TBR. Coincidentally, they’ll all be released in the first half of the year. 🙂

Top 10 Tesday 2017 releases - cover images

  1. Minds of Winter by Ed O’Loughlin (Feb. 4) – Historical fiction surrounding the emergence today of artifacts from Sir John Franklin’s 1845 voyage (the one where everyone died and the ship was lost until a couple years ago).
  2. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (Feb. 21) – Conclusion to the Shades of Magic trilogy. I can’t believe we’re already at the end!! Feels just like yesterday that I was enchanted by A Darker Shade of Magic.
  3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Feb. 28) – If you read about books online, you’ve probably heard of this one. YA own voices novel inspired by Black Lives Matter.
  4. Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (Mar 14) – Middle grade own voices novel about a Pakistani-American Muslim.
  5. Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (Mar. 28) – Picture book by one of my favourite author/illustrator teams.
  6. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (May 2) – Scifi. Sounds like an excellent follow up to the Southern Reach trilogy.
  7. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee  (Jun. 20) – I love these kind of covers… Best to just copy the description for this one: “An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.” I’m not really a romance person but this sounds like fun.

Are any of these books on your TBR? What 2017 releases are you looking forward to?
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