#LGBTQIAread Read-A-Thon TBR

Hello!

This year I promised myself that I would get involved in a lot more LGBT+ literature. I have read very little so far, and I feel like, even though it has taken 27 years, I finally want to fully embrace this community that I am a part of but have never really been in any capacity active in. As the Pride festivities roll out across the globe, I wanted to join in this read-a-thon in order to feel more connected, to educate myself, and to just, in general, read some incredible books.

The books I have chosen are all LGBT+ themed in some way (obviously), and have been ones I have had on my general life to-be-read pile for forever.

So here are the books I have chosen to embark upon this lovely queer journey with me:

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A Place Called Winter – Patrick Gale

This selection is very much a cheat, as I’m already half way through this book. I started it last year, put it down, and for some reason never returned. That was ridiculous of me because I was loving the story and the characters. As I’m literally half way through the book I will more than likely just carry on from where I left off rather than starting the whole book again from scratch. This is the story of a man who discovers himself in very much a complicated way, and embarks on a journey away from the life he has built for himself. I am very much looking forward to getting back into this novel, and the writing is beautiful, and the story is truly compelling.

 

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Days Without End – Sebastian Barry

This novel has been winning everything ever since its release, but that being said, I have heard very little about this at all. What drew me to the fact that this book had anything to do with being gay at all was a video by Eric from Lonesome Reader (which you can watch here), in which he expresses his frustration about the way in which the promotion of this book was handled, in that it very much played down the gay aspect of the story. Having read the first few chapters of the book, I can honestly say that this is probably going to end up being one of my favorite books of the year already. Barry’s writing, and the way in which he writes his narrative, are stunningly captivating and I cannot wait to see where the story goes.

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Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson

I have heard a lot of people discussing and raving about the writing of Jeanette Winterson, and this book seems to be the one I hear about the most. I need to confess that this is another cheat choice, as I was already half way through it before I decided to do this read-a-thon but I’ll be finishing it within the week so I’m going to let it count anyway. This book is an autobiographical account of Jeanette’s growing up in the town next door to my own (which is fascinating and really makes me connect with the story on a level I never have with a book before) in the north of England, as a working class girl adopted into a deeply religious family. Her experiences with growing up and discovering herself and her sexuality, and the way that conflicts with all has known, really comes together in this wonderful story. I can’t wait to finish this and move on to even more of Winterson’s work.

 

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The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

I am a lover of delving into books without knowing very much at all about what they’re about, and this is no exception. All I know is – Gay love story + Ancient History. Those two aspects are enough to sell me on anything. I’m really excited for this one as I haven’t read anything sent in Ancient Greece since school. One that I have heard very good things about and I am hoping to love.

 

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Boy Meets Boy – David Levithan

This is probably the first book about anything to do with being gay that I ever heard of. A friend of mine told me about it many years ago, and I have had it on my mind to pick up for literally a decade. David Levithan, from what I understand, is one of the masters of LGBT+ YA, and I feel like its only right that I made the effort to read this now. Its been a very long time coming and I hope its worth the wait (which I’m sure it will be).

 

You can see my TBR video ‘Queer Lit Read-A-Thon TBR | #LGBTQIAread‘ in which I also mention a classic but as I write this I’ve already missed the first day of the read-a-thon because I was far too hungover from a friend’s wedding on the Saturday so I’ll omit that from this list and blame the festive cheer.

Please please please, if you have any queer book recommendations do let me know via the comments or on twitter or anywhere at all, just throw them at me! I’m really looking forward to delving into these worlds and I can’t wait to see how much I can get through in the coming days.

Please do check out the wonderful organisers of this read-a-thon –

George

Faye 

Happy reading guys, and I hope you all have a wonderful Pride.

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Short Story Collections TBR

I have recently been LOVING short story collections. I have university to thank for this, for making me read Dubliners by James Joyce last month which I enjoyed, and since then I have wanted to read nothing but short stories! Since then I’ve read a collection of Neil Gaiman’s short stories and I’m halfway through Carys Bray’s ‘Sweet Home’ at the moment and I’m really enjoying it, so I thought it would be fun to make a small list of the short story collections I am interested in reading in the near future!

  1. St Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves – Karen Russell

2. By Light We Knew Our Names – Anne Valente

3. Don’t Try This At Home – Angela Readman

4. How To Breathe Under Water – Julie Orringer

5. Sum: Forty Tales From The Afterlives – David Eagleman

6. Treats – Lara Willams

7. I’m With The Bears: Short Stories From A Damaged Planet – Collaboration

8. Stone Mattress – Margaret Atwood

9. Smoke And Mirrors – Neil Gaiman

10. Best British Short Stories 2015 – Salt Publishing

January TBR

Happy New Year and welcome to my first TBR of 2016. I will endeavor to post a To Be Read list at the beginning of each month followed by a monthly wrap up at the end. So here is the list of books I am hoping to get through in the month on January. I’m going to go lightly on myself as, although I want to read a lot more books this year that in 2015, this month there is a lot of reading to do for my university degree so obviously that will be taking up quite a substantial amount of my free time.

  1. The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

I cannot tell you how many good things I have heard about this book. It gained a lot of attention last year and quickly become one of many peoples favorite books of 2015. Saying that, I have managed to leave myself relatively in the dark about that the story is actually about. All I know is that this is the first book in series about Kvothe, a mysterious sounding gent who recounts his fascinating life, I’m pretty sure this first book is told from his childhood up until his time in university. I have just started this book, I’m about 60 pages in, and it has already fully peaked my interest. I can’t wait to see what kind of world building and magic systems crop up later in the book, very much excited for this one.

 

2. The Tell-Tale Heart – Edgar Allen Poe

This will be my classic for the month, as I mentioned in my bookish resolutions post, one of my reading aims this year is to read at least one classic a month. I’m starting myself off small with this one then hopefully as uni work lessens I can delve into some of the more meaty novels. I have never read anything by Edgar Allen Poe so I’m really excited to see if I enjoy his work or not.

 

3. The Humans – Matt Haig

I’ve been really interested in reading some Matt Haig for quite a while, and my boyfriend got me this for my birthday in November so now seems like the perfect time to get to it. As always, I’ve tried to keep myself pretty much in the dark as far as plot is concerned, but what I do know is that The Humans is told from he perspective of an alien who inhabits the body of a human, and that aliens thoughts and concerns about the human race. I’m really looking forward to this one as reading about our race from an outside characters point of view offers up so many fascinating possibilities.

 

4. A Clash Of Kings – George R.R. Martin

And of course, I still haven’t returned to this monster. I started The Song of Ice and Fire series earlier last year and put this one down about a quarter of the way through and never picked it back up again, partly because of its sheer size and partly because I thought I was missing out on reading so many other things. My aim after the other books in my TBR are finished, is to then read as much of this as I can before the end of the month. Hopefully I will have enough time to finish it, as The Name of the Wind is quite a chunky ol’ book as well, but we will see what happens. All I know is that I NEED to finish this series before the newest installment is published!

 

So there we have it folks, those are the books I intend to read in January 2016. I am going to get back into review writing this year also so I’m hoping to write full reviews for all of the books listed here, if not then I will definitely be doing a January wrap up post at the end of the month which will give a small review of each book, we will see how it goes, although points for having the best intentions yeah?

Let me know what books you’re reading this month in the comments below or your thoughts on any of the books I’ll be reading throughout January. Happy reading!

TBR Book Tag

Hi guys! I recently saw this tag on TheMysteryReader and thought it looked quite fun so I’m just going to answer a few questions all TBR related (because that pile is never ever ending!!).

 

1)How do you keep track of your TBR pile? 

I don’t have a designated shelf on my bookshelf for my TBR books but I can pretty much keep track of the ones I haven’t read on there. A good tool to use though is my GoodReads ‘to read’ list which is literally huge and I don’t own all the books on it but that helps me to see which books I want to read and what I can choose to read next.

2)Is your TBR pile mostly print or eBook? 

It’s pretty even to be honest. I have hundreds of books on my kindle, and quite a lot of print books. Usually if I enjoy an ebook I’ll buy the physical book after just because I love owning physical copies of books that I really enjoy, but obviously they’re no longer on my TBR by that point. I think it’s pretty much 50/50.

3)How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next? 

I have only for the month of December started to do monthly TBRs so up until then it is really just the case of staring blankly at my bookshelves until something exciting catches my attention. But after this month I’ll be doing monthly TBRs with the help of a TBR Jar and also including some books that have been on my shelf unread for far far too long.

4)The book that’s been on your TBR the longest? 

There are LOOOADS. Probably the one that I’ve been wanting to read for literally ever and have never gotten round to is Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Luckily my boyfriend bought me a stunning bind up of all the His Dark Materials books for my birthday earlier this month so I think that will be my first read in the new year!

5)A book you recently added to your TBR? 

A book I’ve recently added to my TBR is The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb. I love fantasy and I have never read a Robin Hobb book so I really want to try out some of her work soon!

6)A book on your TBR strictly because of the beautiful cover? 

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This collection of short stories by Angela Readman! That cover is beautiful.

7)A Book on your TBR that you never plan on reading? 

 

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Everyone has raved about Cinder and the Luna Chronicle series and I added it to my GoodReads TBR list ages ago but honestly I can’t ever see myself reading it, it doesn’t really interest me anymore.

8)An unpublished book on your TBR that your excited for?

A Gathering of Shadows  (A Darker Shade of Magic, #2)

I am so excited for the sequel to A Darker Shade Of Magic!!

9)A book on your TBR shelf that everyone has read but you? 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

I have read the first couple of pages of this book a million times but I’ve never actually sat down and tried to read it properly so this is definitely one to read soon because everyone seems to love it.

10)A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you? 

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EVERYONE recommends Aristotle and Dante and I’m so late to this party and the wonderfully floppy paperback has been sat on my shelf since June so I really need to get to this ASAP.

11) A book on your TBR that your dying to read? 

I’m dying to read EVERYTHING on my TRB, that’s why they’re on there in the first place!!

12) How many books are on your TBR shelf on GoodReads? 

My GoodReads TBR is currently at 185 and growing all the time. What can I say? I want to read ALL THE BOOKS!

TBR Jar

Hi guys.

So yesterday I decided that I really needed to get to grips with my reading. Recently I’ve been feeling quite conflicted about the amount of books I own and not being able to choose a particular one from my pile to read, so I end up just not reading one! Which just doesn’t work for me!

I saw on Youtube that some people use TBR Jars to help them decide. This is essentially a luck-of-the-draw jumble of all your books that are currently to be read, and you simply pick one out at random and which ever you have chosen is the book you will read next.

I have decided that I will use my TBR Jar to decide what my first book of each month will be, and then following that, hopefully I’ll be able to make my own decision for the rest of the books I read that particular month.

Now, most people just list their books on scraps of paper which is fine, but I thought I’d make mine a little more fun by using the tiny book covers instead! Here is the quick and simple way I created my TBR Jar…

1. Simply copy and paste images of the books you want to put into your jar onto a document (I used Word).

Note – I have three copies of my His Dark Materials book in there because it is a collection of all three books!!

2. Print out your tiny covers, you can either use colour and black and white ink, the choice is yours.

3. Carefully cut out the covers. You could even laminate them if you have the facilities to make your covers look shiny and cool!

4. Once you have your covers all cut out, simply place them into your jar. I used a simply glass jar with a lid but you can used anything, from a lunch box o an old biscuit tin!

Give your jar a shake and there you have it, your very own TBR Jar!

If you like this idea or have your own way of making a special, personal TBR Jar then please let me know, I would love to see your creations too!