Time for another round up of books from my TBR to go through! Each week I’ll be going over a selection from my physical unread books and deciding what to keep and what to purge. There will be a third option–undecided–which I might ask for your input on why you think I should keep or purge that title from my list. You can also check out my full TBR pile here.
The Shape of the Atmosphere by Jessica Dainty
Gertie MacLarsen believes she was given ugliness at birth. Growing up in an estranged home, the only times she feels beautiful are the nights her father comes in to show her the stars. The day of her 16th birthday, the same day that Sputnik traverses the sky, Gertie’s life is irrevocably changed. After a family tragedy, her elusive and alcoholic mother sends her to Willow Estate, a private mental institution, where she is thrown into a world of harsh therapies, dangerous hospital politics, and, surprisingly, a sense of family.
Within the walls of Willow Estate Sanatorium, Gertie finds awfulness and grace, terror and family. From hydro and shock therapy, to first love, to rape and suicide, the only thing Gertie is sure of from day to day is that growing up is not a choice and that forgiveness and acceptance are perhaps the greatest gifts anyone can give. As Gertie learns her fellow patients’ stories, she realizes she is not the only one alone in this giant universe and that finding yourself sometimes means letting the past versions of yourself go and letting others help you define your own center of gravity.
This is one that I won online. I’ll admit that I only have a passing interest in it, despite how intriguing the premise is. I feel really bad because I wish that I felt more of an urge to dive into this one. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be getting to this one anytime soon. PURGE
An Agent of Utopia by Andy Duncan
In these tales you will meet a Utopian assassin, an aging UFO contactee, a haunted Mohawk steelworker, a time- traveling prizefighter, a yam- eating Zombie, and a child who loves a frizzled chicken―not to mention Harry Houdini, Zora Neale Hurston, Sir Thomas More, and all their fellow travelers riding the steamer- trunk imagination of a unique twenty-first- century fabulist.
This is a more recent purchase, picked this up about a year and a half ago at the WFC and I’m pretty sure I got it signed by the author as well. I have a hard time dedicating myself to story collections sometimes so that’s why this one is still in my pile, but I really love Duncan’s writing and am looking forward to this! KEEP
King’s Dragon by Kate Elliott
The Kingdom of Wendar is in turmoil. King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella, and there are many eager to flock to her banner. Internal conflict weakens Wendar’s defences, drawing raiders, human and inhuman, across its borders. Terrifying portents abound and dark spirits walk the land in broad daylight.
Suddenly two innocents are thrust into the midst of the conflict. Alain, a young man granted a vision by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman with the power to change the course of history. Both must discover the truth about themselves before they can accept their fates. For in a war where sorcery, not swords, may determine the final outcome, the price of failure may be more than their own lives.
So far I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Kate Elliott so I’m making it my mission to explore her back list as well. I’ve been collecting the volumes of this series as I come across them in the wild and now I have all seven books in my TBR. The only thing that keeps me from diving right in to this series is…well…all these books are definite chonkers. I need some time to dedicate to these and I always find myself wanting to just fly through a book and be on to the next nowdays. Nevertheless, these are staying in my pile with the hopes of getting to them eventually. KEEP
The Serpent by Jane Gaskell
In the lost world of prehistory, a girl is born. Is she a Goddess? Cija herself believes that she is. For 17 years her mother, the Dictatress, has kept her imprisoned in a tower. She releases her, with one object in view: to seduce Zerd, the snake-scaled “Dragon-General” of an occupying army, then stab him to death.
Thru the forests of the sling-using Fouls, among the reptile birds, in lands where half-human hybrids are kept as pets, Cija travels with the Northern Army. In the great vicious City of the South, Zerd makes plans with the Southerners to attack the fabulous Continent of Atlan, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Cija escapes & is pursued. She finds a lover; there is fighting between the Northern & Southern armies; she suffers rape at the hands of two very different men…
This fantastic story of love, jealousy & sudden death is unlike anything you have ever read. It grips the imagination from start to finish.
This was another recommendation from someone who frequents r/fantasy (oh, I’ve added so many books to my pile because of them I should probably stop looking at their book recs). I still really want to get to this and it’s not a huge book so I think I can make time for it at some point. I also have the two sequels for this series. KEEP
Paris Adrift by E.J. Swift
Determined to escape her old life, misfit and student geologist Hallie packs up her life in England and heads to Paris. She falls in with the eclectic expat community as a bartender at the notorious Millie’s, located next to the Moulin Rouge.
Here she meets Gabriela, a bartender who guides her through this strange nocturnal world, and begins to find a new family. But Millie’s is not all that it seems: a bird warns Hallie to get her feathers in order, a mysterious woman shows up claiming to be a chronometrist, and Gabriela is inexplicably unable to leave Paris.
Then Hallie discovers a time portal located in the keg room. Over the next nine months, irate customers will be the least of her concerns, as she navigates time-faring through the city’s turbulent past and future, falling in love, and coming to terms with her own precarious sense of self.
Oddly enough this seems to be getting republished? I saw it on netgalley recently….not sure what that means. Anywho, I’m definitely still interested in this one and it’s only been in my TBR for two years (hah, ‘only two years’) so chances are good I’ll get to it. KEEP
That’s all for this time around. This brings my total count to:
Once again my keep pile went up a lot! Welp. I’m not doing too good at this ‘purging’ thing. But at least I did add one more to that pile. Hopefully will keep adding to it as the weeks progress. What do you think of my choices here? Anything you’d do differently? Leave a note in the comments, I’d love to chat!