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Magical Readathon/OWLS Readathon 2020

I’m not going to go into what the OWLS Readathon is, because if you don’t know what it is, you can go read all about it! The gist of it is basically: pick a wizarding career to pursue, earn the OWLS (and later, NEWTS) for it via fulfilling certain reading prompts. Here are some helpful links to learn more:

I’ve never participated in this readathon before, mostly because I never bothered to find out what it actually entailed, but this year I’ve actually had the time and energy to do so and I’m intrigued! And it’s a good excuse to form a TBR.

Continue reading “Magical Readathon/OWLS Readathon 2020”

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Black History Month TBR

Just like last year, I hadn’t planned on doing a themed TBR for the month, which is why I’m still working to finish three whole other books, but seeing everyone else talk about their themed TBRs has made me kind of want to jump in! A lot of the books people are reading and talking about are books that have been on my TBR for a while, so I may as well read them in February! Continue reading “Black History Month TBR”

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15 Literary Fiction Books to Read in 2020

Y’all know I struggle with literary fiction, but one of my goals for 2020 is to read some more ~literary~ books. What do I mean by literary? I think the connotations of “literary” usually indicate well-written or experimental prose and a somewhat serious narrative dealing with serious, realistic topics. Or something to that effect. Not all the books on this list are hardcore literary; many, in fact, fall into that nebulous category of “upmarket” fiction – which is, as I understand it, literary fiction with a more commercial appeal. I think it’s a good mix! Continue reading “15 Literary Fiction Books to Read in 2020”

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Nonfiction November 2019 Recommendations & TBR

I used to be a much more avid reader of nonfiction, but for some reason this year and last have not been particularly fruitful in that category. I couldn’t even tell you why, exactly, because I loooooove nonfiction. I think there’s just so many fiction books out there that get so much more hype that it’s easier to gravitate towards them. Nonfiction November is meant to get you thinking more about reading nonfiction, even if you just read a single nonfiction book, and even though I already have a pile of fiction books I want to read in November, I’d like to incorporate some nonfiction into my diet too!

Rachel has just put up a fabulous post for Nonfiction November where she discusses nonfiction books she would recommend alongside nonfiction books on her TBR, all to the tune of the challenge prompts set out by booktube’s abookolive, who hosts the challenge every year. Olive has designated four challenge words meant to be interpreted in whatever way you like: design, sport, true, and voice. I really love the way Rachel laid out the post, so I will be doing the same thing; that is, for each category, I will lay out a nonfiction book I am recommending alongside a nonfiction book I hope to read. Continue reading “Nonfiction November 2019 Recommendations & TBR”

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Black History Month TBR

I hadn’t planned on doing a themed TBR, so as of now I’m still reading what I carried over from January. That is, I’m finishing up Katherine Arden’s Winternight trilogy and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy. I’m reading the finales of both right now! However, I really, really hope to get some major reading done this weekend and at least finish The Winter of the Witch, so I can get started on my themed TBR.

But without further ado, let’s get to the books I want to read for Black History Month!divider

Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America 
Kali Nicole Gross

hannah mary tabbs

Shortly after a dismembered torso was discovered by a pond outside Philadelphia in 1887, investigators homed in on two suspects: Hannah Mary Tabbs, a married, working class, black woman, and George Wilson, a former neighbor that Tabbs implicated after her arrest. As details surrounding the shocking case emerged, both the crime and ensuing trial — which spanned several months — were featured in the national press. The trial brought otherwise taboo subjects such as illicit sex, adultery, and domestic violence in the black community to public attention. At the same time, the mixed race of the victim and one of his assailants exacerbated anxieties over the purity of whiteness in the post-Reconstruction era.

I’m not sure how I stumbled across this odd little book, but it will be my first foray into true crime. The lurid nature of this case – mixing sex and murder and race – is fascinating to me, but the time period makes it doubly so; the 19th-century is my favorite time period, so I’m very excited to read about this weird little pocket of history.


So You Want to Talk About Race
Ijeoma Oluo

so you want to talk about race

Editor at Large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

I’ve admired this author’s work on The Establishment for years and years, and then this book came out! I’m not really sure why it’s taken me so long to read it, but I’m glad to finally be getting around to it!


White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Robin DiAngelo

white fragility

Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what can be done to engage more constructively.

At ALA Midwinter 2019, this past month, Robin DiAngelo was the keynote speaker. It was a fraught conference overall, with many incidents of harassment targeted at black women and people walking out of DiAngelo’s talk. This is such an important topic and it is so timely; I can’t wait to read it.


Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Reni Eddo-Lodge

why i'm no longer talking to white people about race

Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.

So here’s something: I know literally nothing about black history in Britain. But I certainly want to. I’ve heard great things about this book from British book bloggers, so I’m looking forward to picking this up!


How Long ’til Black Future Month?
N.K. Jemisin

how long til black future month

In these stories, Jemisin sharply examines modern society, infusing magic into the mundane, and drawing deft parallels in the fantasy realms of her imagination. Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow south must figure out how to save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.

And finally, the only fiction book on this list, and written by my favorite author at that! I adore N.K. Jemisin’s writing, long and short form, and I had already planned on reading at least one short story collection this month, so this is very fitting!

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10 Series I Want to Finish in 2019

I have a short attention span, so it’s often difficult for me to finish series, or to read them in order. Unfortunately, I also have a really terrible memory, which means that if I don’t read it in order, I’ll forget about the first book and have to re-read it if I want to finish the series, which makes me even more reluctant to finish the series. It’s a vicious cycle.

I want things to be different in 2019! One of my resolutions is to read series in order if I’m going to read them at all. This means I will only read completed series. I also plan to return to several completed series that I started in the past years in an attempt to finish them, even if it means re-reading the first book in the series.

Before I get started, shout out to Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series and Libba Bray’s Diviners series, which were both initially going to be on this list because I thought they were trilogies, but it turns out they’re longer. Dennard’s series is going to be FIVE books with two still unannounced and the Diviners still has one book left in it, also unannounced. Guess I’m waiting a few more years before jumping back into these two.

Below are all the series I intend to finish up in 2019!

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The Queens of Renthia Trilogy

This is a series that flies completely under the radar for some strange reason. Maybe it’s the generic titles or the generic covers, but this series is far from generic. The Queen of Blood was one of my favorite books of 2017. It’s set in a world where everything in nature has a spirit, and these spirits are vicious and want to murder humans. Sadly I’ve forgotten all the major details so I would need to re-read the first book in order to continue (this will be a running theme), but I definitely want to keep going, as I’ve heard great things about the next two books.


The Queen of the Tearling Trilogy

This is a throwback. I don’t even remember when I read The Queen of the Tearling; it must have been whenever it was first published. I remember very little except for the overarching plot, which is about a young girl becoming queen after the death of her mother and figuring out how to shed her mother’s frivolous reputation and also how to deal with the warmongering neighboring kingdom. I’d really like to finish this series up, especially since it has one heck of a controversial ending! I’d like to see what all the fuss is about. Of course, I would have to re-read the first book.


The Winternight Trilogy

The Bear and the Nightingale was one of my favorite books of 2017. Thankfully I’m pretty certain I don’t have to re-read it to continue the series, but I think it would be helpful for me to skim the last few chapters. The third book is set to be published next month, so I’ll wait in order to read the last two books so that I can read them one right after the other.


The Elemental Blessings Quartet

Oh, these covers. I read Troubled Waters way, way back, but even now I still think it was a very original fantasy. Its worldbuilding is fabulous. The series is a bit heavy on the romance, but I recall that I enjoyed the first book very, very much. Again, I would have to re-read it because I remember very little, so I’m hoping that my tastes haven’t changed and I still enjoy it!


The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy

This is yet another series I started ages ago and completely forgot about! I recently read Laini Taylor’s newer series and adored it, so I think it’s high-time I go back and finish up her original series. I really liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone when I read it, so I don’t think re-reading should be an issue. And I hear the series gets better as it goes on, so I’m excited!


The Winner’s Curse Trilogy

Okay. Let me just say that I absolutely hate these covers. When these books were published, white girls in ballgowns were a trend for some weird reason. But anyway, covers aside, I keep hearing fantastic things about this series. Originally, I had set it aside as a popular series I would never read because it just didn’t sound that interesting to me, but I’ve heard some things that have changed my mind. I want to at least try it out; if I don’t like the first book, I don’t have to continue. But I want to give it a chance!


The Divine Cities Trilogy

So, there’s a very specific reason I stopped reading this series, even though I loved City of Stairs. The next two books feature different protagonists, and I was reluctant to part with the heroine of the first book, because I adored her. But I’ve heard the last two books are just as good, and I’d really like to round up this trilogy, because I enjoy the author’s worldbuilding. I would definitely have to re-read the first book.


The Raven Cycle

I just read The Raven Boys a few months ago; it was fine, it did not impress me. But I hear that the series gets better and better as it goes on, with books two and three being standouts. Regardless, this is such a popular series in the bookish world that I hate not having read it when it’s talked about all the time. I want to be in the know! I want to have an opinion on the controversial final book!


The Malazan Book of the Fallen Series

Oh boy. Honestly, this is just…wishful thinking, but I’ve been wanting to try out this series for years. I’m just intimidated because it consists of TEN books. Yes. TEN. On the bright side, they’re all published, so if I enjoy the books, that’s great, but it’s still super intimidating. They’re also not easy books to get into, from what I hear; they’re dense and full of hundreds of characters. I feel like I need to set aside a few months just for this series, if I intend to read it in its entirety. But perhaps I’ll give it a go?


The Farseer Trilogy

I will hopefully be buddy reading the first book in this series soon! I’m not sure when this book showed up on my radar, but recently it seems that everyone has been talking about it. I’ve been hearing the author’s name everywhere. This is such a classic fantasy series that genre fans all seem to have read, so I’d really like to see what all the fuss is about.


The Remnant Chronicles

This is another series that I see talked about all the time! The first book has an intriguing hook: the protagonist is running away from an arranged marriage and is being chased by her fiance and…an assassin, I think, but the reader doesn’t know who is who until the very end. I’m not sure how that’s going to work, but I’m definitely curious. People seem to really enjoy this series, so we’ll see!

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That’s it! Which of these series have you read? Which do you think I ought to start first? Let me know in the comments!