I did this last time about a year ago, but I do aquire more books that find themselves on the “maybe” shelf I’ve created on goodreads. So let’s clean it out again? There’s currently twenty books to decide on, so I’ll pick out some of the more interesting ones.
The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes
we’re starting off with one of last year’s contenders …
Positives: Main character is a young autistic boy. And trees?
Negatives: Very confusing synopsis.
This year I’m in the mood to read about trees. Keep!
Stiletto (The Chequy Files #2) by Daniel O’Malley
Positives: First book was a 4/5 stars. Secret organization with supernatural abilities.
Negatives: Last book was a bit predictable and stereotypical bad guy organization, curious about which way it will evolve.
I think keep? I’ve heard little about this series, but as I liked the first one, I will give it a try.
Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women by Leila J. Rupp
Positives: historical lesbians, but with major caveats (!!!)
Negatives: Goodreads reviews strikes again! I thought the rating were below average bc of homophobia, but turns out it’s the author who might’ve written it transphobic. And bad sources. Several reviews explain the problematic aspects, but I quite liked this one from a goodreads user called Juan.
Never read. You don’t write queer gender study books and not know what you’re doing if focusing so much on genitalia so define categories.
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
Positives: About Ancient Egypt & Nefertiti, of course
Negatives: It seems most of the criticism is that it’s not detailed enough and very much a beach-read. So even if it had good ratings, when I dive into ancient egypt again I want to truly get as much out of reading as possible. Or the story better be told in a damn brilliant way.
I won’t read it, unless someone wholeheartedly supports it. I’ll look for another more detailed book on Nefertiti, I think.
Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne
Positives: YA fantasy book where the protagonist is a healer who can’t heal herself, which might be interesting
Negatives: The number of YA fantasy on my bookshelves is alarming considering I’ve dramatically stepped away from reading heaps of it. And I haven’t heard anything special about this book, from 2017, which always makes it a coin toss of good/bad quality writing.
I’ll give it a try, under doubt. Just because I want to read more books about magical healers, for some writing-of-my-own reasons.
No More Heroes by Michelle Kan
Positives: It’s only got 55 ratings on goodreads?? Ohhh, that’s interesting. Something feels promising still as it’s about vigilantes and moral questions is brought in. Debut novel. Also queer with genderfluid and aromantic-asexual character (ownvoices).
Negatives: Debut novel might be one? The synopsis is pretty generic fantasy and nothing memorable.
I’ll give it a try!
Snow by Orhan Pamuk
Positives: Set in remote Turkish town, translated from Turkish. Winner of 2006 Nobel prize. Has a lot of elements like journalism, political violence, protests, questions of what is true. Highlights the challenges towards democracy.
Negatives: I thought it seemed a bit boring before I started reading up on it.
I will definitely be reading this sometime. I think I need to go into it ready for politics and existential societal questions, and with the american election around the corner – it’s going to be a while.
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Positives: Seems good enough.
Negatives: I don’t know how this sneaked its way into this list, in no way am I really a person excited for contemporary YA romances, with very few exceptions.
It’s just not for me.
Deep in the Count by Madison Parker
Positives: M/M college sports (baseball) romance. This has the stereotypical sports guy vs data (cryptology) geek romance. Short; only 65 pages.
Negatives: Again, romances isn’t my things; but I do make more often exceptions for good queer ones. Stereotypical doesn’t necessarily mean bad, but it might.
More than anything else, the cryptology detail is most interesting to me. But I take that as a sign that I’m not reallt interested and realistically won’t read it anytime soon.
Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
Positives: Truly cool cover! Promises of moral grayness – which I’m very much looking for recently. Debut novel.
Negatives: A 500 pages YA fantasy and beginning of trilogy better be good, because that’s a lot of time investment. Debut novel. Goodreads friends has disliked it – oh shit, looking further into it there’s a lot written about a controversy pre-publishing where “some readers argued that Zhao’s depiction of slavery was racially insensitive”. Here’s my problem; cancel culture is turning into a truly bad thing, but that’s separate from a piece of work actually having problematic/racist elements. And she hasn’t changed anything, just halted publishing a couple months.
Still a maybe, but with a leaning towards no unless I come across some truly good arguments/explanation otherwise.
Ruined by Amy Tintera
Positives: A protagonist on a mission to save her kidnapped sister, and out for revenge in an enemy kingdom. Infiltration of the royal family. Possibility for enemies-to-lovers prince & princess romance.
Negatives: More YA fantasy with an unoriginal synopsis and heavy on the romance.
Interested enough that I’ll keep it as a cozy, light read.
Six book kept on my TBR. Five books removed. A good enough percentage, I think.