writing
1 May 2020

May TBR – To Be Read 2020

By Hannah

This month, I have a lot on my plate as far as reading goes. There are 16 books on my TBR this month. I have no intention of getting through everything on this list, but I would like to make a significant dent. I am participating in 2 readathons this month. One will take place during the entire month and the other is just a couple weeks.

Fantasy JourneyAThon TBR

The first readathon that I will be taking part in is the Fantasy JourneyAThon. This month long readathon takes you on a journey through a fantasy world. This round, the map is inspired by the Medoran Chronicles, by Lynette Noni. There are various paths that you could take to get from the starting point of Haroyell to the end point in Nialas. Each town in-between has a different reading prompt that must be completed before moving forward.

I love readathons like this that are based off of a map, but they are also the most challenging for me. You have to complete the challenges in order as you reach different locations, so there is no choice in when you will read a specific book. As a mood reader, this can be challenging for me. However, we are going to give it a go.

Tome Topple TBR

The second readathon goes from May 9 through May 22 in your time zone. and is called Tome Topple. The goal of this readathon is to read tomes, books with 500 pages or more. There are 9 prompts this round. However, a book can be used to fulfill 2 prompts. This will help a lot but I am still not sure I will be able to read the 3186 required to fulfill all of the Tome Topple prompts.

The Required TBR

Since my reads have to be in a specific order this month due to JourneyAThon, here they are, in order.

1. Trail of Lightning – Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

This book follows Maggie Hoski, a Dinetah native (formerly known as Navajo), through a post-apocalyptic world where the oceans have risen and drowned a lot of the world. She must work with Kai, a medicine man to find the monster and put an end to the killings. This book has witchcraft and mystery and I can’t wait to start this book.

  • Another aspect of JourneyAThon is that you can choose from a list of fantastical races that are present in the books. Each race has a different skill that gives you an advantage for the readathon. I chose the human race which game me the advantage of using 1 book to cover 2 prompts in a row. So, this book covers both the first book in a series and a book that takes place in the desert.

2. My Choice

Since my reading is already so structured this month, I am not deciding on what I will read next. The next challenge I have to complete for JourneyAThon also completes a Tome Topple Prompt. So, until the 9th, my reading is mine to decide. While I don’t know exactly what I am going to read or in what order, I am almost certain it will come from my list of other books I want to get to this month.

3. House of Earth and Blood – Sarah J Maas

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas

This is the start of the Crescent City Adult Fantasy Series. I have read some of Sarah J Maas’s other works and have loved them. I received an arc copy before the release but ended up getting sick and having to move and so wasn’t able to get very far into it before it’s release. It follows a post-apocalyptic Earth as well where many species live together. There are humans, fee, angels, shifter such as werewolves, and many more. From what I know, the entire plot is a mix of revenge and trying to bring a terrorist to justice.

  • This book will complete the JourneyAThon prompt to read a book from my favorite genre.
  • While I have started this behemoth of a book, I still have over 500 pages left. So, I don’t feel it is cheating for Tome Topple. For Tome Topple, Crescent City will complete the ‘tome on my TBR with the most pages’ prompt.

4. Mistborn – Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson has been on my TBR for as long as I can remember, but I have been too intimidated to actually start. His books are chunky adult fantasies that take place in the same universe, known as the Cosmere (with a few exceptions). There are a few places that he personally recommends that you could start, but I want to start at the beginning, with Mistborn. There are multiple series that all overlap and connect with the latest series anticipated to be 12 books long. And that’s just one of the series!

In this world, the magic system is based off of allomancy, the ingestion (known as burins) of metals. I have done a lot of research and know a lot about the series but have yet to pick it up. So, this will be the month. If you are at all interested I suggest you start by checking out Brandon Sanderson’s website. He blogs regularly, posting updates and behind the scenes. He even posts bonus chapters and novels, some for free. There is always one of his full-length Cosmere novels available for free on his site. In addition to this, he also regularly updates his progress on upcoming works and lets you know exactly where it is in the writing process.

  • I am using Mistborn for the ‘blue spine’ prompt during JourneyAThon. I am fudging this prompt slightly as the spine is more green than blue but it does have blue lettering and accents so I am counting it.
  • This will meet the Tome Topple prompt of the tome that’s been on my TBR the longest.

5. The Poppy War – R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

I don’t remember a whole lot about this book. I purchased it when it came out, over a year ago and haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet. It was getting a lot of hype, however, it quickly faded and I kind of have forgotten about it.

From what I remember, it follows a girl who gets into a magical military school. It is based off of Asian (I believe specifically Chinese) mythology, folklore, and culture.

  • For JourneyAThon, this completes the prompt to read an Asian inspired book.
  • Not only am I fulfilling my readathon challenges with this book, but it also fits another month long readathon going on this month called Asian Readathon, where the goal is to read books by Asian authors.
  • For Tome Topple, Poppy War has a ‘black & white cover.’

6. Holy Hannah – Will Dinski

Holy Hannah by Will Dinski

I saw this graphic novel at Barnes and Noble one day and couldn’t leave it. It fit me so well that I had to get it and read it. It follows Hannah who is a tech entrepreneur. I am also a web developer and thought the concept of the book sounded great. Hannah decided to drop out of the corporate world and create a social media app that she invites a religious community to use. This leads to a cult and shows how people’s lives can get intertwined.

I am really excited about this book but also slightly apprehensive. When I pulled this book up on Goodreads earlier I discovered that information is significantly off. My cover (the one pictured) is completely different than the one on Goodreads. Normally, you can choose a different addition and find the one that matches yours. However, there was only one addition of this book. That edition, with a completely different cover, also said it was a paperback. Mine is hardcover. I checked the ISBN and they were identical. After doing some research, I found that this book is published through a small publisher and art company which kind of explains some of this. I have no clue how this book make it to Barnes and Noble with these ISBN issues. Putting all this aside, I am still hoping for the best.

  • This book completes the graphic novel prompt for JourneyAThon.
  • For Tome Topple, this will complete the ‘standalone’ prompt.

7. Thunderhead – Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

I am beyond ecstatic to start this book! It is the second installment of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. It takes place in a futuristic world where death no longer exists. Medical advances have been made to a point where it is almost impossible to die of injury or illness. This created a new problem, the need for population control. So, the honorable position of a scythe was created. They are tasked with the job of “gleaming” people to keep the population under control. There are a whole ton of rules and procedures that the must follow. Throughout the first book, we follow two characters on their journey to become scythes.

I read the first book in this trilogy before YALLfest last year and have been waiting to start the next.

  • As you can imagine, this book will be perfect to fulfill the ‘book featuring death’ prompt for JourneyAThon.
  • Assuming I have managed to read all of the previous books on this list and still be in Tome Topple, this book will fulfill the last prompt, to read a tome that is part of a series.

8. A 5 Star Prediction

If Tome Topple is by some chance still happening, I will pick up another book on my list of other books I want to get to this month that fits the prompts. However, I am not expecting this to be the case.

So instead, I will complete my last JourneyAThon prompt, to read a 5 start prediction. This is any book that I think I will rate 5 out of 5 stars. I am not making up my mind on this book yet. Since I am such a mood reader, I am going to wait and see what I am in the mood for and what I will love most at this point.

Other Books On My May TBR

If I have time left, these three books will also cover the remaining Tome Topple prompts. Even if I don’t have time during Tome Topple, I would still really like to get to these books this month.

I read (or re-read) the first book in both of these series in April and would really like to continue both in May. But, as this list grows longer, that becomes less and less likely.

More Must Reads

Since creating my TBR and filling all of my prompts, I have been approved for an advanced copy of an independently published book that I am really excited about. I have to have it read before release on June 1st. So, here is another book to add to my already crazy month. However, this book is the fourth in a series that I haven’t yet read. This means that I am also trying to fit in an additional 3 books, so that I can read the series in order.

The Driver Series by Ian Lewis sounds fantastic to me. It mixes a whole lot of things that I love and I can’t wait to start.

Reviews

Writing more reviews is one of my goals this year. So far I have made no progress with this. However, in May, I am planning on reading two independently published authors. I would really love to be able to write great reviews for both of them to help more readers discover them. So, I will be writing a minimum of 3 reviews this month. If I successfully complete the driver series, I am also planning on completing a blog post that discusses the entire series.

Well, that’s all I have for today, guys. I better go and get started on this massive May TBR. What are you planning on reading this month? Is there anything on this list that you want me to read most so we can discuss? Let me know!

-Hannah