January 2021 TBR

January 2021 TBR

My main reading goal this year is to continue to tackle the copious reads that collect dust on my TBR shelves. To help me, I’ve selected 10 books I want to read most (article to come) and will be participating in two reading challenges: the PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge and the Buzzwordathon Reading Challenge created by Kayla from @booksandlala. Both of these challenges have given me fun prompts to hunt down titles off my shelves and I really encourage you to give one a try if you find yourself overwhelmed by your reads and don’t necessarily know which ones to tackle first … like me!

So here are my goals for January:

The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles book coverWritten by Madeline Miller

Published by HarperCollins

There are a few authors whose opinion mean a great deal to me and if they have buzzed or raved about a book, I will likely instantly buy it – namely Erin Morgenstern, Diane Setterfield, and Madeline Miller. After loving Circe I, surprisingly, still haven’t read her debut novel. I love historical fiction, especially stories with mythology, so I have high hopes going into this read. Here’s a synopsis from Goodreads: Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Dreamers

The Dreamers book coverWritten by Karen Thompson Walker

Published by Bond Street Books

This is my pick for the January Buzzwordathon prompt – “Dream” in the title. This was a Book of the Month pick back in 2019 and I’ve had it on my radar for awhile. A peek at the Goodreads reviews reveals it to be a love it or hate it book … so I’m intrigued. Basically a dreaming pandemic has befallen a small college town in Southern California and people are falling into an un-wakeable sleep. Quarantines are implemented and life descends into chaos. Those who succumb to this “sleep pandemic” have elevated brainwave activity – so what are they dreaming about?

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Lost Apothecary

The Lost Apothecary book coverWritten by Sarah Penner

Published by Park Row Books

This is first title that I’ve requested as an ARC and was so lucky to be approved for a physical copy. I mean, the cover alone is stunning – so a huge thanks to Park Row Books! I was drawn to this particular book because: 1) historical fiction 2) has the word “apothecary” in the title (immediately piques my interest) and 3) a female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to women to liberate them from the men who’ve wronged them. This historical fiction/mystery/thriller sounds deliciously evil and I can’t wait to read it!

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Among the Beasts & Briars

Among the Beasts & Briars book coverWritten by Ashley Poston

Published by Balzer + Bray

This November OwlCrate book pick has been calling my name since I got it last month, but I really lagged in my December reading and didn’t get to it. What is mainly drawing my interest is the fact that there is an evil, enchanted forest (a major intriguing plot point for me since reading Uprooted) and there are talking animal companions. I found Ashely Poston’s writing in Heart of Iron to be compulsively readable and fast paced, so I’m really hoping this is an equally exciting, fast read. Here’s a brief synopsis: Cerys, the daughter of a humble gardener, is safe within the borders of the kingdom of Aloriya because the first king made a bargain with the Lady who ruled the forest that borders the kingdom. But the forest has grown dark and evil, and Cerys, who barely survived an attack of the woods as a child, is about to be on the run again when a new Queen is crowned. Armed only with her odd companions – a fox and a bear – and her own secret magic, Cerys will venture to find The Lady of the Wilds to save her home.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Silvered Serpents

The Silvered Serpents book coverWritten by Roshani Chokshi

Published by Wednesday Books

I wasn’t entirely blown away by The Gilded Wolves when I read it two years ago (I oftentimes was so completely lost & confused) … BUT, it is a story that still rattles around in this old brain of mine! I was hoping to listen to it as an audiobook this fall (Don’t! The audio narrator is horrid. Just. No.) – so I’ll be going into the sequel somewhat blind. This just feels like the perfect, wintry read set in icy Russia. I have great respect for Roshani Chokshi and her sarcastic humour and sharp wit absolutely slay me in her Aru Shah series. (Since this is a sequel I won’t give a synopsis in case of spoilers).

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Bone Shard Daughter

Written by Andrea Stewart

Published by Orbit Books

Oh gosh, this book has carried along on my TBR pile month after month since I picked it up in October and it is one book that I was super sure I’d read right away. My Fall reading just hit a wall and I found large, fantasy books intimidating with my limited attention span. But this sounds like an excellent adult fantasy and I hear amazing reviews coming from it. Here’s a synopsis: An Asian-inspired setting that follows several characters: a daughter trying to reclaim her rightful place as heir, a smuggler who professes not to care but can’t seem to stop doing good things, two women in an established relationship struggling with the class differences between them, and a stranger on a remote island trying to unravel the mystery of why she’s there.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Mercies

Written by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Published by Little, Brown and Company

In addition to sounding like a very wintery read perfect for January, The Mercies fulfills many PopSugar reading challenges for me! Win-win. This historical fiction is actually inspired by the real world events of the Vardo storm in 1620 and the witch trials that followed soon afterwards. Here’s a synopsis: Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Bergensdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Northern town of Vardø must fend for themselves. Three years later Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God and flooded with a mighty evil. As Maren and Ursa are pushed together and are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them with Absalom’s iron rule threatening Vardø’s very existence.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

A Rogue of One’s Own

A Rogue of One's Own book coverWritten by Evie Dunmore

Published by Berkley Publishing

I need a light read in and amongst these heavy fantasy and literary fiction stories – I have a strong feeling The Mercies is going to be a bit of a gut punch. So I’ve had this fun, contemporary historical fiction romance on my shelves waiting for such an occasion. This is the second instalment in Dunmore’s League of Extraordinary Women series that centres around independent, fiery women in a Regency London setting as they fight for their right to vote in the suffragist movement. Following a new set of characters – Lady Lucie and Lord Ballentine – this promises to be as cheeky and steamy as its predecessor.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

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