The 2020 Book Tag

Well, 2020 is over (thank God), but on Tuesday I was tagged by Hundreds and Thousands of Books, and I feel like the year isn’t so far gone that I can’t still participate. It’s been ages since I’ve done a tag. πŸ™‚

Rules:

  • Link back to the original creator, Phoenix @Books With Wings
  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Answer all the questions 
  • Tag at least 4 people

Using only books read in 2020. Okay, GO!


Part 1: Beginning of the Year

A book you were really excited for
I had been waiting a year and a half for Hilary Mantel’s conclusion to her beloved Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. It’s one of the the only books I pre-ordered before June. Fortunately, it was *just* as amazing as I hoped it would be, and ended up being my favorite book of the year. I laughed, I cried, I was so absorbed.

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The Beatles Book Tag

My friend and very favorite blogger, The Orangutan Librarian, recently created The Beatles Book Tag. Little known fact, The Beatles are my all-time favorite band, and my favorite song in the whole world and all styles of music is a Beatles song. So I was so excited to get tagged and would have tagged myself if she didn’t. *smiles*

Rules:

  1. Tag back to the original creator Orang-utan Librarian (me)
  2. Thank whoever tagged you
  3. Tag people and keep it going!

Love Me Do

A book with a character you wish would love you

It’s pretty hard to go wrong with The Orangutan Librarian’s original answer, Mr. Knightly. I would also be okay if Faramir came knocking on my door.

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Review: Harrow the Ninth

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Series: The Locked Tomb
Genre: Fantasy
Maturity Level: 5
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

WARNING: Gideon the Ninth spoilers ahead!

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath β€” but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor’s Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?


This book is going to be very difficult to talk about this book without spoiling it, so forgive me if this review is short and vague.

My biggest concern about this book going in was that I was worried that without reading from Gideon’s point of view I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. I mean, Gideon’s amazing voice was 1,000% of why I enjoyed the first Locked Tomb novel so much. And I was right, I didn’t enjoy Harrow quite as much. But Muir somehow still managed to deliver the feel of a locked-door mystery, which was the other 25% of what I loved about Gideon.

And I ended up becoming rather fond of Harrow. It was nice to get to know her and understand what made her so … bitchy. While I can’t claim to understand any of the magic involved with Lyctorhood (and therefore this book), getting insights into her past was fascinating.

What really kept me reading was my desperation to figure out what was going on. Without giving anything away this is hard to explain, but Harrow is written in such a way that the reader is going to be VERY confused. While I kind of loved that about Gideon, especially since it was mostly because Gideon herself couldn’t be bothered to understand anything, in Harrow I found it aggravating.

Muir’s writing (and her world-building) is, in general, so odd that I’m never fully sure I understand what’s happening in her books, especially when the climax comes around. But I didn’t get the end of Harrow at all. If someone wants to explain it to me in the comments, much appreciated. This is definitely a book I’ll have to re-read before I’ll feel I understand it well.

In the end I went ahead and gave this book four stars because of course I am going to buy book 3. But it was really more of a 4- for me. Obviously recommended for fans of Gideon the Ninth, but for everyone else READ GIDEON FIRST!

2020 SF/F Books with Black Covers

Apparently 2020 is the year of black covers over here in Sci-Fi/Fantasy land. It wasn’t until after I was looking at my pre-order list that I realized just how many there are, but golly y’all, every book I’ve bought or pre-ordered this year except for one has had a black cover! I wonder if this is something that’s intentional marketing (maybe black books are selling better right now?) or whether it’s just a coincidence. It might say something about how darker books are more popular right now too.

Anyway, I’m not complaining because all of these book covers are just jaw-dropping. Some seriously awesome cover design.

These are in no particular order.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

In this case I think the black cover is definitely meant to reflect the content of the book. I think there’s dark magic involved, and the school involved seems like it’s probably a pretty dark place in every meaning of the word. Anyway, this cover is sooooo cool looking. I love its simplicity and the way the gold pops against the black. A Deadly Education comes out in September.

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2nd Half of 2020 Reading List

If you’ve gotten a comment from my on Instagram or the blogosphere in the last month and a half you’ve probably heard me say “I’ve had that book on my tbr FOREVER, and I just haven’t gotten to it yet!” (Is that the book blogger motto or what?) I’ve also got a quarter million new releases out or coming out in 2020 that I want to read.

The obvious problem here is that I have a hard time prioritizing certain books. As a very much mood reader I tend to skip on heavier or more serious books, even if I *really* want to read them. I DON’T WANT TO DO THAT!!!

So I hand-wrote a list of must-reads in 2020! (Any other type As out there??) Here they are!

Must-Read New Releases

The Year of the Witching
Have had this Salem-esque book on my TBR since January, and a fellow bookstagramer just gave me the green-light that it’s not too scary to read. Can’t wait!

The Angel of the Crows
First of all, Katherine Addison is my everything. Second of all, an alt-history London with monsters, Jack the Ripper, and a Sherlock vibe? Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!

Deacon King Kong
Heard a great interview with James McBride that made me decide to pick this book up. Excited for the slice-of-life storytelling, religious characters, and light satire.

I’ll Be the One
I’m in a fluffy mood lately, and this looks like the funnest book on my tbr. Plus East-Asian rep AND body-positive rep!

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