Another month, another reading challenge! For those who are curious as to what happened with my #24in48 challenge, I managed to finish 7 out of the 10 books on my TBR for the challenge, which is probably the most success I’ve had with a reading challenge in a while since I started working full-time. Despite burning through 7 ARCs for #24in48, I still have a million and one ARCs to get through, which is why I’m signing up for #ARCAugust. Here’s my rough TBR in no particular order (minus the split between YA and Adult)!
As a way to force myself away from social media for a while and knock out a chunk of my TBR, I decided to join the #24in48 readathon. What is it? From #24in48:
If you’re new to 24in48, this is the basic gist: beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, participants read for 24 hours out of that 48-hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, four hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six four-hour sessions with four hour breaks in between, whatever you’d like.
Based on my average reading speed and the average page count per book, I’m setting my goal at 10 books. Picking which books to read out of my TBR actually wasn’t hard because I am due to send out the last batch of my BEA ARC acquisitions soon, so this is my last ditch effort to read the ones that I reeeally wanted to read before I sent them out to the marginalized bloggers I promised them to. Here are the books in no particular order!
You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins (September 12th) – YA, Historical Fiction, #ownvoices Indian/Bengali American MCs
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (October 31st) – YA, #ownvoices Nigerian-inspired Fantasy, Black MC
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (February 20th,, 2018) – YA, Fantasy, #ownvoices Black MC
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (October 17th) – YA, Contemporary, #ownvoices Black MC
27 Hours by Tristina Wright (October 3rd) – YA, Science Fiction/Fantasy, various QPOC characters (#ownvoices bi rep)
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (September 5th) – YA, Speculative Fiction (idk what do classify this as lol), #ownvoices queer Latinx MC, M/M romance
Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (September 26th) – YA, Magical Realism, #ownvoices queer Latina MC
The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore (September 19th) – MG/YA, Contemporary, #ownvoices Black MC
Water in May by Ismee Amiel Williams (September 12th) – YA, Contemporary, Dominican MC (author is Cuban)
Calling My Name by Liara Tamani (October 24th) – YA, Contemporary, #ownvoices Black+Christian MC
You are permitted to cry in the comments about how utterly amazing this lineup is, I am crying as well. ;~;
I announced the launch of Asian Lit Bingo yesterday, and since then, I’ve been busy putting together my own tentative TBR for the challenge. It’s a good opportunity to read a lot of the books I’ve had sitting on my shelves but haven’t gotten around to because of reasons. So without further ado, here is my super ambitious TBR!
East Asian MC – The Emperor’s Riddle by Kat Zhang – #ownvoices, MG, Contemporary, Adventure, Chinese American MC
Asian Refugee MC – The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen – #ownvoices, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Vietnamese MCs
Asian Immigrant MC – Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Undocumented Filipina American MC
Asian MC with a Disability – Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Asian American MC w/ OCD/anxiety
Multiracial/Multiethnic Asian MC – Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Biracial white/Korean American MC
LGBTQIAP+ Asian MC – Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee – #ownvoices, YA, Fantasy, M/M Romance, Bisexual Vietnamese American MC
West Asian MC – Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah – YA, Contemporary, Lebanese-Australian MC
Asian Muslim AC – That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Pakistani American MC
Religious Asian MC – A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki – #ownvoices, iterary Fiction, Magical Realism, Zen Buddhist Japanese American MC
Poor or Working Class Asian MC – One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi – #ownvoices, MG, Contemporary, Afghan MC
SFF with Asian MC – The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana – #ownvoices, YA, Fantasy, Indian MC
Historical Fiction with Asian MC – It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas – #ownvoices, MG, Iranian American MC in the 70s
Free Space – The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard – #ownvoices, Fantasy, French Vietnamese MC
Retelling with Asian MC – The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – #ownvoices, Fantasy, Retelling of the Mahabharata, Indian MC
Contemporary with Asian MC – She’s So Money by Cherry Cheva – #ownvoices, YA, Thai American MC
Graphic Novel with Asian MC – Monstress Vol. 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Queer Romance with Asian MC – Flowers of Luna by Jennifer Linsky – #ownvoices, Science Fiction, F/F Romance, Biracial Japanese MC
Romance w/ POC/Indigenous Love Interest – It’s Not LIke It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, F/F Romance, Japanese American MC, Latina LI
Central Asian MC – Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov – #ownvoices, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Kyrgyz MC
Translated Work by an Asian Author – Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara – #ownvoices, YA, Fantasy, Japanese MC
Southeast Asian MC – Roots and Wings by Many Ly – #ownvoices, YA, Contemporary, Cambodian American MC
Asian Superhero MC – The Shadow Hero by Gene Yang and Sonny Liew – #ownvoices, Chinese American MC
Asian Transracial Adoptee MC – The Leavers by Lisa Ko – #ownvoices, Literary Fiction, Chinese American MC
Non-Fiction by an Asian Author – The Making of Asian America by Erika Lee
South Asian MC – Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai – #ownvoices, YA, Historical Fiction, M/M Romance, Sri Lankan MC
So Aimal over at Bookshelves & Paperbacks is hosting a readathon during the month of April dedicated to burning through those ARCs that have piled up over time because you went overboard and requested too many at once. I have a whopping 13 ARCs, so I decided to join in. I probably won’t get through all of them in 27 days I have, but I’ll try. Here are the ARCs I need to read:
Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden
The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi – I actually have the finished copy of this one now, oops.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Dreadnought by April Daniels
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera – Also have the finished copy already lmao.
Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie – I reviewed the first book, The Abyss Surrounds Us, earlier this year.
Welcome Home: An Anthology on Love and Adoption edited by Eric Smith
The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories featuring the following authors:
Neil Gaiman, Amal El-Mohtar, Catherine King, Claire North, E. J. Swift, Hermes, Jamal Majoub, James Smythe, J. Y. Yang, Kamila Shamsie, Kirsty Logan, K.J. Parker, Kuzhali Manickavel, Maria Dahvana Headley, Monica Byrne, Nnedi Okorafor, Saad Hossein, Sami Shah, Sophia Al-Maria, Usman Malik
I decided a while back to do some mini themed reading challenges in 2017 that I create for myself in order to make it easier to pick what to read next out of a few hundred titles on my TBR. These challenges follow various history, heritage, and awareness months in the U.S. Though this decision predates and wasn’t inspired by #ReadYourResistance, it ties in neatly with that hashtag, which symbolizes a commitment to reading books by marginalized voices to challenge the dominant narratives that dehumanize them and to fight the increase in persecution of marginalized people under Trump’s regime.
February is Black History Month, so most of my TBR will be books by Black authors. Aside from the books I want to read for the month of February, I’m also listing January and February releases by Black authors, some already released books by Black authors on my 2017 TBR that I won’t get to in February, and books featuring Black characters (mostly #ownvoices) that are coming out later this year. And lastly, I’ll list a few February releases by non-black authors that I’m looking forward to.
(Note: Release dates are U.S. release dates.)
Books by Black Authors I Plan to Read in February
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
This book is a sort-of Snow White retelling that tackles the complex issue of mixed race identity and “passing” for white, with critical attention to racialized beauty standards. I’d already seen it here and there, and when Barnes & Noble was selling a copy at a reduced price a few months ago, I snatched it up. I’ve heard that there is some problematic content, so I’ll be on the lookout for that so I can discuss it in my review.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
I was first introduced to her through two different TED talks, one on feminism, the other on the “danger of a single story” and stereotyping. I read We Should All Be Feminists about a year or two ago and have been meaning to read the rest of her work. Americanah shall be that first step toward that goal. It’s a story of race, romance, and immigration that spans three continents, Africa (Lagos, Nigeria), North America, and Europe (London, England).
All of Nnedi Okorafor’s books, aside from Akata Witch, which I read in December last year.
She writes both YA and adult SFF and has won multiple awards (the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Awards, among others) for her books. She’s Nigerian (Igbo) American and draws on her Nigerian heritage and West African cultures for her work.
Zahrah the Windseeker – YA, fantasy, in the kingdom of Ooni, those born with the dadalocks are feared for their powers. Zahrah is one such person, and when her friend Dari is endangered, she is forced to confront the things that make her different
The Shadow Speaker – YA, science fiction, in 2070 Niger, a young woman seeks revenge for her father’s murder and finds herself on a trans-Saharan quest to save her people from a force that threatens to annihilate them all
Binti – Science fiction, when Binti becomes the first of her people to be accepted at the prestigious Oomza, the best university in the galaxy, she must leave her family and travel among people who neither understand nor respect her culture
Binti: Home (Sequel to Binti)
Kabu-Kabu – Anthology, SFF, a collection of short stories that take you to far-flung places of magic, adventure, and danger
Who Fears Death – Science fiction, as a biracial child of rape, Onyesonwu (“Who Fears Death?”) faces prejudice wherever she goes. However, she has great powers and an even greater destiny
The Book of Phoenix (Who Fears Death #2)
Lagoon – Science fiction – after a large object crashes into the sea on the coast of Lagos, Nigeria, three people from different walks of life must work together to save the country they love
All of N.K. Jemisin’s books.
Also a multi-award-winning author (the Hugo and the Locus). She has three different adult SFF series so far.
The Inheritance Trilogy:
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – Yeine Darr hails from the north, and when her mother dies, she is summoned to the city of Sky, ruled by the Arameri family and named an heir to the king. However, her ascendance isn’t a given, and she must compete for the throne with many cousins.
The Broken Kingdoms
The Kingdom of Gods
The Dreamblood Duology:
The Killing Moon – In the city of Gujaareh, the Gatherers maintain order by harnessing the power of sleeping minds to heal and kill those deemed corrupt. Peace reigns until Ehiru, the most famous of these Gatherers, realizes that someone is killing innocents in the name of the Goddess.
The Shadowed Sun
The Broken Earth Trilogy:
The Fifth Season – Chaos has struck in just one day. An empire falls, a continent rends in two, spewing ash to blacken the sky, and in a small town, a woman named Essun loses her son to murder and her daughter to kidnapping at the hands of her own husband. Resources are scarce, everyone is fighting for their survival, and Essun will do anything to save her daughter, even if it means breaking the world itself.
The Obelisk Gate
Book 3 is not out yet, but it’s called The Stone Sky and is releasing later this year on August 17th!
Two books by Octavia Butler.
Octavia Butler is one of the most well-known Black women in science fiction. Her books are considered classics by some and overlooked by many because of racism/misogynoir, of course. Here are my two picks:
Kindred – Described as a “combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction,” this book is about an African American woman who travels backward in time in order to save her own ancestor.
Parable of the Sower –Given the current state of affairs in U.S. politics, it feels appropriate for me to read a dystopian novel by a Black woman.
Parable of the Sower is the #DSFFBookClub (Diverse Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club, hosted by Naz at Read Diverse Books) pick for February, so if you want to read and participate in a discussion at the end of the month, definitely join us. 😀
January Releases and February Releases by Black Authors
Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson – MG, historical fiction, a fictionalized account of the Emmett Till case through the perspective of a young black girl in Jim Crow era Mississippi
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – YA, contemporary, tackles systemic racism in the American justice system through the story of a Black teen girl in the foster care system who allegedly murdered a baby (note: I’ve seen reviews/comments from diverse book bloggers about problematic content re: homophobia, rape apologism, anti-Indian racism, etc., so be careful if you are planning to read this)
The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley – MG, contemporary, three kids, Elvin, Jin, and Alex, work together to solve the mystery of what happened to Elvin’s grandfather, only to stumble on priceless artworks that might just save their neighborhood from gentrification by a wealthy politician
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (out Feb. 14th) – YA, contemporary, addresses the intersections of racism, classism, sexism, sizeism/fatphobia and more through the story of a Black girl who attends an elite, mostly white school
American Street by Ibi Zoboi (out Feb. 14th) – YA, contemporary, focuses on a Haitian American immigrant girl trying to fit in and her mother’s undocumented immigration experience
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (out Feb. 28th) – YA, contemporary, a novel inspired by Black Lives Matter that addresses police brutality and systemic antiblack racism through the story of a girl who witnesses an unarmed friend’s fatal shooting at the hands of police
Later 2017 Releases by Black Authors
One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson (out June 6th; Black author) – MG, magical realism, the story of a Senegalese boy dealing with the difficulty of keeping his family together and honoring a promise to his deceased father after he and his sisters are orphaned
Solo by Kwame Alexander (out July 25th; Black Author) – YA, contemporary, a novel-in-verse about a Black teen whose father is a famous musician with an addiction problem as he explores family secrets and forbidden love
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (out Aug. 8th; Black author) – YA, contemporary, a Black Jewish girl moves back home to L.A., helps her brother with his bipolar disorder, and falls in love with the same girl he loves
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (out Sep. 26th; Nigerian American author) – YA, fantasy, a debut novel featuring a talented young sin-eater who is called upon to eat the sin-beast of a royal, only to find himself caught in a web of political intrigue that puts the life of the princess he loves at stake
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (out Oct. 17th; Black author) – YA, contemporary, a incisive story about police brutality from the perspective of a Black teen whose status at the top of his elite prep school doesn’t prevent him from being racially profiled
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi (release date TBA; Haitian American author) – MG, historical fiction, a young Black scifi geek girl tries to find a place to belong in the 80s hip-hop explosion in Harlem
Akata Warrior (Sequel to Akata Witch) by Nnedi Okorafor (release date TBA; Nigerian American author) – MG/YA, fantasy, no blurb yet, but I’m sure Sunny and her friends return for another juju-filled adventure
Already Released Books by Black Authors I’d Like to Read in 2017
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson – MG, memoir, novel-in-verse, tells the story of the author’s experience growing up as a Black girl in the Civil Rights era of the 60s and 70s and the joy she found in words and writing
Pointe by Brandy Colbert – YA, contemporary, a story of a Black ballerina that addresses heavy topics like eating disorders and child sexual abuse
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds – YA, contemporary, a young Black teen deals with the loss of his mother and his absent father’s alcoholism while working at a funeral home and meets a girl who gives him hope
This Side of Home by Renée Watson – YA, contemporary, identical twins Nikki and Maya start to diverge when they go off to attend college at a historically black college and develop different opinions on the importance of home and their ethnicity and culture
Endangered by Lamar Giles – YA, contemporary, a Black teen runs an anonymous blog on her high school’s scandals and ends up drawn into a deadly game by someone who threatens to expose her identity
Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin – YA, contemporary, a Haitian American girl struggles to live a normal life and change her situation for the better after her abusive father is taken away
All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds – YA, contemporary, a Black teen, Rashad, is beaten by the police for supposedly stealing when he didn’t, a white teen, Quinn, witnesses it, and when the incident becomes national news and the center of a debate on police brutality and systemic racism, all of a sudden Quinn’s silence is no longer just a personal choice
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander – MG, contemporary, this novel-in-verse tells the tale of twins Josh and Jordan as they play basketball and learn lessons about life both on and off the court
Perfect Liars by Kimberly Reid – YA, contemporary, interracial romance (Black girl, Korean boy), when Drea’s parents disappear, her perfect girl facade as junior class valedictorian begins to crumble and she finds herself in the company of delinquents from her school who share more in common with her than one might expect
Nonfiction Books About Black Women
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More – in this memoir, Janet Mock, a Black trans woman activist, talks about her transition and the struggles to live her life as her authentic self
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland – in her memoir, ballet prodigy Misty Copeland recounts her path from living in a motel room to becoming a successful professional dancer and the first Black principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – in this historical biography, Margot Lee Shetterly tells the stories of four extraordinary Black women (Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden), who worked at NASA during the height of the Space Race and an era of segregation and Jim Crow laws and made monumental contributions to their field
Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance by Simone Biles – Gymnastics champion and Olympian Simone Biles shares the story of her journey to becoming a gymnast with the help of faith and family
Black Girl Dangerous on Race, Queerness, Class and Gender by Mia Mckenzie – in this honest, humorous, and accessible essay anthology, popular blogger and activist Mia McKenzie shares stories about intersectionality, identity, activism, and allyship from the perspective of a queer Black woman
So even as fast as I read, there are books that I haven’t gotten around to even though I’ve had them on my TBR list and/or on my actual bookshelf for a while (like, over a year in some cases).
The top of the list would be various POC who write adult SFF. I’m mostly a YA person, I guess because adult lit bores me a lot of the time (though I may just be biased because we spent so much of secondary school reading adult lit “classics,” i.e. books by long-dead, cishet white dudes). Maybe I just like escapism but speculative fiction, particularly fantasy, is my favorite genre. I don’t have anything against contemporary/realistic fiction, and I read a decent amount of it (for the POC representation! Also school life romcoms are fun), but SFF is what I live and breathe.
These are the adult SFF authors I need to read:
Nnedi Okorafor – She writes both YA and adult SFF, and I’m about to read Akata Witch very soon for #DiversityDecBingo, but I need to get into her other books too. I own most of them already.
N.K. Jemisin – I own all of her books except The Obelisk Gate and I need to read them. The covers are gorgeous.
Ken Liu – I read his short story, Paper Menagerie, a while ago and I was like ;__; and then when I found out that the Grace of Kings+sequels are a wuxia-style series I was like “sign me up yesterday,” but also it’s really hella long so I put it off. One of my friends said his writing is kinda dry, but we’ll see how I feel once I get to reading it.
Yoon Ha Lee – I found out about his existence through a short story anthology that he was included in that I bought, and I was like “whoa Asian writing adult SFF, cool!” But I haven’t read said short story yet. Conservation of Shadows and Ninefox Gambit are sitting on my wishlist.
Daniel Jose Older – I LOVED Shadowshaper, his YA debut, and can’t wait for the sequel. I have the first two books of the Bone Street Rumba series (adult urban fantasy) on my shelf. The covers feature kickass POC. Just need to read them.
Kate Elliott – I have the ebooks of the Jaran Series and physical copies of the Crown of Stars series, The Spiritwalker Trilogy, and The Crossroads Trilogy. Haven’t read them. Also have Court of Fives, her YA novel, so I’m starting with that one because YA.
For YA, here are a few I’ve put off for Reasons:
Adaptation and Inheritance by Malinda Lo – I loved Ash and Huntress, so I put these two on my TBR once I knew they existed. And then left them there…possibly because they’re scifi, which I don’t like as much as fantasy, and also because the main character is white (I just outed myself as a reverse racist, didn’t I? Just kidding). But she’s bisexual and one of the love interests is an Asian American dude so I should really, actually, read this series. Especially while waiting on Malinda Lo’s upcoming A Line in the Dark, which is a YA thriller with an Asian American protagonist.
Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – I’m about to read Six of Crows for #DiversityDecBingo, actually, but despite knowing about its existence I put it off. The author is white, and I felt kind of meh about The Grisha Trilogy. But then I found out that the new series features a diverse cast of characters, so I was like “I’ll give this one a shot.” If I don’t like it then it’ll be a waste because I paid full price for the books and got them signed and personalized at the Texas Teen Book Festival a few months ago.
Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite by Lori M. Lee – I have no excuse for this considering it’s fantasy by an Asian American author. Shame on me.
The Penryn and the End of Days Trilogy by Susan Ee – I knew the author is Korean, but I didn’t realize that Penryn was Asian until I read a description of her on Wikia or something. Bumping it up for #ownvoices.