Thursday, 20 August 2015

My August TBR Shelf

Holidays are finally here! Well, kind of. Final exams are just around the corner, but I’ve deduced that studying and completing projects must be interspersed with loads of reading if I’m to keep a tight, albeit clammy and desperate, grip on my sanity until the end of the year.

Also, school has deprived me of the chance to read as much as I would have liked this year, so I’m having severe withdrawal symptoms.

My steadily-growing To Be Read shelf is a constant source of anxiety and anticipation for me – I love compiling it, but I struggle to stick to it. I’m constantly buying books and leaving them in piles around my bedroom in the hopes that tripping over them will inspire me to read what I already have instead of running off to the library. Then there’s my Goodreads TBR shelf, with about 50 books (after I cut it down from 278) of which I own none… yet. It gets worse. I’ve started taking pictures of books I plan on buying when I’m no longer broke from buying other books, which sit in a pile on my bedroom floor. Do you see the vicious cycle here?

Yes, I plan on reading them all. Before you lecture me on unrealistic expectations, I will remind you of the power of sheer determination that triggered my 25 books in 25 days challenge at the end of last year to meet my reading goal. Which was extremely successful, even if I did almost die from forgetting to tend to secondary needs, like food and sleep.

But I’ve limited my August TBR list to nine books, seeing as we're already halfway through the month and anything more might drive me crazy. Hopefully by posting it here I might have the slightest incentive to stick to it this time.

#1: The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas

Magicians, illusions, art, adventures and a headstrong female protagonist? Sign me up. 

I may or may not have bought this book solely because I read the sentence, "But for a beautiful young woman of limited means, Eliza's choices appear to lie between the stifling domesticity of marriage or a downwards spiral to the streets - no matter how determined she is to forge her own path," and was immediately hopeful that Thomas might explore gender roles in the late 1800s just a little bit. I can't wait to see how Eliza's story unfolds.

#2: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas

I banned myself from reading the rest of the Throne of Glass series during the term because I know I simply do not have the willpower to do homework when there's a Sarah J. Maas book sitting on my Kindle. But now it's time. *Cackles*

If you haven't read Throne of Glass, do it now. It will ruin your life, but it's totally worth it.

#3: The Dust That Falls From Dreams by Louis de Bernieres

Louis de Bernieres is possibly one of my favourite authors of all time. He's just one of those phenomenal, witty, downright odd but strangely endearing writers that you'll stumble upon totally by accident, and immediately fall in love with. Although experience has told me to expect equal parts beauty, laughter and tears, I'm a little worried - World War One love story doesn't exactly promise happy endings. I'd better stock up on tissues.

#4: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

I can only assume that this is a YA novel from the reviews I've read on Goodreads, but apart from that all I know is that it looks wonderfully weird. Like the book love child of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Plus, fairies. (AND there's a DRAGON on the cover?? Yes, please.)

To put it mildly, I have high expectations.

#5: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This novel has so many awards it's a little intimidating, so naturally I'm itching to see what all the fuss is about. But then again, I'm a little weary of books that seem heartbreaking from the very outset (even the title is melancholy). I'm an emotional wreck as it is - I don't need to be crying over even more fictional characters.

I keep trying to make up excuses, but I'm actually desperate to read All The Light We Cannot See.

#6: The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1) by Marie Rutkoski

"The gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart." Intriguing... 

Also, do I detect feminist undertones in the stereotypical YA role reversal with the woman in a more powerful position than her male counterpart? (Please say yes. You know I love it when you undermine traditional gender roles and power play.)

#7: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I have only heard good things about this book. If it's as dark, enticing and infuriating as it seems, I might need a therapist after reading it. 

#8: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

"Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist." Every time I read the blurb of this novel, I want to jump up and down and squeal because it makes me so excited. And the cover is so beautiful (as shallow as that sounds, it'll look so good on my bookshelf once I'm finished reading it, provided I can get my hands on a physical copy before I cave in to the anticipation and buy it on Kindle).

#9: The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson

"The Secret of Magic brilliantly explores the power of stories and those who tell them." This novel looks absolutely phenomenal, and its setting (Mississippi right at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement) is already sending shivers down my spine. I've had the book for a while now, and every time I glance at it on my nightstand it seems to taunt me, so hopefully it's as well-written as some Goodreads reviews promise.

Okay. I should probably actually go read now. Here's to hoping I'm still vaguely sane and emotionally stable by the time I've worked my way through this list. 


  1. Nice post and love your new look blog.

  2. 9 books in a month is too many for me! I used to read more than that, though, but since I just rose out from my reading slump, I am taking it slow. I haven't read anything from your list, though. I hope you get to read everything!

    Dre @ Sporadic Reads

    1. Thanks, I hope so too! I don't usually read this much at all, but I figured that since I have the time I should challenge myself. Reading slumps suck, and I know the feeling all too well. Taking it slow is the only way to go, but I hope you recover quickly!
      - Amy x