Reading List May 2020

05th May 2020

Fun fact: I haven’t posted a monthly TBR list since 2014. Why? Well, I never stick to them anyway. So why am I doing this now? I honestly don’t know, but I felt like doing it anyway. Maybe it will help to keep me on track this time around. Or not. But at least I’ll know what I meant to read that Corona-struck May in 2020 if I ever look back … and that sounds darker than I intended it to be.


SuBsalabim [SuB = the German equivalent for TBR pile & Simsalabim = German equivalent of abracadabra] is a TBR reduction challenge a couple of friends and I started a couple of years ago. Basically, every month we take turns choosing books for each other so everyone ends up with a TBR of three books. The goal is to read as many of these as possible during the month or the year to score points. The gist is to read books one might not choose oneself to read next. It’s fun. And we’re more or less competitive and constantly argue about maxing out the fairness of our scoring system. I’m usually the one losing.

Eva’s Pick: Ein Pony müßt’ man haben [To Have a Pony] by Inge von Groll-Dillenburger

On my TBR since: 2019
Background: An omnibus edition of three horse novels I bought in one of my second hand horse novel splurges last year. No idea what the three stories will be about since the blurb is not particularly forthcoming. Apparently it’s going to be funny, and exciting, and there will be trouble (which can be said of about two thirds of all horse novels, the other third just exchanges funny with sad)! Anyway, I’m actually planning on using this one for the Popsugar prompt A book published in the 20th century. I had so many options on that list and they are all at my parents’ place – oh, how I hate not having all of my books with me. So not one but three horse novels it is.

Steffi’s Pick: The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal

On my TBR since: 2019
Background: To be honest, I’ve totally forgotten what it is about. Crini said it’s good, so I bought it. (The amount of books I bought (but haven’t read) because of her … let’s just say she’s pretty good at selling me books). But sometimes it’s great going into a book completely blind (the best of things can come of it as proven by my experience with The Night Circus). Also, I plan on using this for the Popsugar prompt A book that won an award in 2019.

Isi’s Pick: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

On my TBR since: 2019
Background: Not going into it as blindly as the one above but I also remember the blurb only faintly. I had added this to my wishlist when I spotted one of my GR friends not liking and looking for a new home for it. Didn’t hesitate a second and got it for free, which was really nice! I just hope my experience will be more pleasant than hers. And if I remember correctly, I was planning to read this for the Popsugar prompt A book with an upside-down image on the cover.

Book Clubs

Well, well, well. One month ago, I would not have expected to suddenly find myself a member of not one but two book clubs! And the picks are pretty great – now I only need to find the time to read them!

The Happy Place Book Club pick: Killing Gravity (Voidwitch Saga, #1) by Corey J. White

The Happy Place is a Discord world of awesome that Crini started. It’s such a lovely and supporting bunch of people! Some I already knew, some are new acquaintances and it’s been a blast and really helps getting through this weirdest of times. And one chat led to another and suddenly we added a book club to the list of really awesome ideas we should pursue. Not that we weren’t talking books already, but now we really want to read them at the same time and talk about them via video chat! It actually turned out pretty easy to choose our first book from a list of books we all had easy access to. So excited!

The Hugo Award Readalong pick 1: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
The Hugo Award Readalong pick 2: The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

It’s not quite a book club but it also is one – just for a limited amount of time. Gagan is hosting a readalong of all the novels that are nominated for this year’s Hugo Awards. For more info, head over here. We’re starting with Middlegame – which I was supposed to read in January for the SuBsalabim challenge, which I totally failed to do. I already started it, really like the story in story aspect and the writing and now just hope I will make it till the 10th when we’ll be discussing it. I’m not sure I’ll be able to join the second one though. I own a copy, but unfortunately it’s also at my parents’ and since Corona hasn’t decided to turn into thin air yet, I don’t know when I’m able to go back there. If everything goes well, maybe when I’m off work mid-May, but it really depends on how things will develop. Fingers crossed!

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