my summer to-read list (why do I even try?)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re talking about our summer (or winter, depending on your location) TBR. Now, I don’t even know why I try with these to-read lists. I always pick books I’m dying to read, and when the season is over I’ve barely read 2 of them. However, I’m not willing to give up. So what am I going to read this summer?

Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 edition volume 3 by Hiromu Arakawa
This contains volumes 7, 8, and 9 of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. I recently ordered 4 of the omnibuses because I want to start collecting those instead of the used single volumes I have now. I’ve already read volume 7, and can’t wait to read 8 and 9 as well.

Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya
This edition contains the first two volumes of Fruits Basket. Once again, I’ve read the first volume already and can’t wait to continue. It was so cute!

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
I requested this from the library, have had it for 2 months, and still haven’t read it. I really want to change that this summer. I’m feeling like reading epic fantasy at the moment. What’s better than fantasy with dragons and a sapphic relationship? NOTHING. Nothing is better than that.

Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers #3) by Becky Chambers
I finally bought a copy of this book in June, after wanting it ever since its release last year. It was always so expensive though, and I couldn’t bring myself to actually buy it. When I was in London, I spotted a copy with blue sprayed edges at Waterstones and knew it was time to get it.

Shortcake Cake Vol. 1 by Suu Morishita
I have no idea what this manga is about. I saw one of the YouTubers I’m subscribed to mention it as a series they’re currently reading and loving, so I had to buy it. The first two volumes are on their way to me, and I can’t wait.

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman
A hyped book I’ve been putting off for ages. Like I mentioned before, I’m in the mood to read SFF, which makes it a perfect time to give Scythe a try. If you’re unaware, this is about a society in which people don’t die unless their lives are ended by a scythe.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
In case my mood does a complete 180, I have some contemporary romances on this list as well. Love & Gelato is set in Florence, and follows a girl trying to learn more about her parents.

Our Dreams at Dusk Vol. 1 by Yhuki Kamatani
An LGBT+ coming-of-age manga! The description says, “In this realistic, heartfelt depiction of LGBT+ characters from different backgrounds finding their place in the world, a search for inner peace proves to be the most universal experience of all.”

Mango Summer by Agay Llanera
An adult contemporary this time around… This is set in San Antonio on a mango farm, where all the fruit goes sour for the first time in a century. According to a family legend, the only way to keep the mangoes sweet is for the women who run the farm to be married and bear children. If I’m not mistaken, it’s a romance between the 34-year-old owner of the farm, Fiona, and her best friend’s younger brother, who is 28.

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) by N.K. Jemisin
I really want to continue this series. I read, and loved, the first book last year and don’t want to wait another 3 years to continue the trilogy. I’m not sure how to explain the storyline, or whether I should even try. It’s adult SFF, and everyone should read it. That’s all you really need to know.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading this summer?

June reading prompts | monthly random TBR

If you’ve been following my blog for a few months, you’re probably familiar with these posts already. If you’re not, no worries! Here’s what the monthly prompts entail. Every month, I choose 3 or 4 prompts from the Popsugar 2019 reading challenge with a random number generator. This guides my to-read list for the month somewhat, but doesn’t set anything in stone. As a mood reader, this is the perfect way of creating a TBR.

I started off really well with this challenge. The first few months, I always completed my prompts. April was a bit more challenging with the O.W.Ls readathon happening, so I cut myself some slack there. Then came May… I didn’t read all that much in May, and only managed to tick off 1 prompt. I’m not punishing myself for this, however, since there are quite a lot of months left.

Let’s see what June has in store for me!

a book you think should be turned into a movie

Isn’t this quite hard to pick if I haven’t read the book yet? I guess I’ll have to go with first impressions of the cover and synopsis here.

I’ve had a copy of There’s Someone Inside Your House on my shelf for about 2 years now, so it’s high time for me to read it. In my opinion, it fits for this prompt because it’s marketed as similar to Scream Queens, which is already a TV show. I could also pick up Blood for Blood for this challenge, because it’s about a motorcycle race in a world in which the Axis powers won WWII. Perfect movie material! Speaking of WWII, another option I have is The Girl With the Red Balloon. While this is not set during WWII, it does take place in East Berlin in 1988. It’s about a girl who is on a school trip to Berlin, sees a red balloon, takes it, and is transported to East Berlin during the Cold War. I can already envision this scene in a movie.

a book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature

This is such a fun prompt!

I still have a copy of The Priory of the Orange Tree from the library, which I’d like to read soon. It’s an epic fantasy standalone with dragons, so perfect for this challenge. However, I have a lot to read in June already, and Priory is a huge book. I might go for Jurassic Park instead, which I still have never read or watched. A third possibility is Throne of Jade, the second book in the Temeraire series. I started this series a little while ago, and then found the sequel in a used bookshop. It’s a historical fiction series with dragons!

a book with an item of clothing or an accessory on the cover

Honestly, there are so many options on my shelf for this prompt. Having people on the cover is still a very popular thing in cover design, and (luckily) these people happen to be dressed in clothes. Here are just a few options already. I could pick up The School for Good and Evil, which is a middle grade fantasy. Longbourn is also an option. It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of a servant. A manga possibility is We Were There, a contemporary romance. Lastly, I could also go for Changeling, a historical fiction with fantasy elements.

I’ve only picked 3 for June since I managed to complete so little last month, and don’t want to put extra pressure on myself. I’m really happy with the challenges the random number generator picked. They seem like so much fun, and I hope I’ll be able to finish a book for each of them.

Have you read any of these? Which ones should I pick up first? 

my sims-a-thon TBR (I really need to stop with all the readathons)

I’ve been participating in so many readathons lately, it’s kind of ridiculous. However, I might actually need the push in June. I didn’t read that much in May, and fell into a mini reading slump. I need to nip that slump in the butt, because there’s just too much I want to read this year. I stumbled upon the sims-a-thon through Aprilius Maximus’ YouTube channel, when she posted her TBR for the readathon last week, and thought it looked fun. I don’t even play The Sims, yet I want to take part in this readathon so badly!

Here’s the basic information. The readathon takes place throughout the entire month of June, and is based on The Sims. You can find all the information in this video, and this Google Drive folder. There are the basic challenges to build your sim/household, there are live mode challenges, and career challenges. I don’t exactly know which of the latter two I’ll be doing because there are so many options and I’m a mood reader, but here are some of the challenges I might try to tackle!



Choose a household
> Read a late book in a series
> Fullmetal Alchemist volume 4 by Hiromu Arakawa
> I’m going easy on myself by picking some manga for this readathon already. They’re pretty quick reads, and tend to break me out of a reading slump immediately. I’ve been loving the FMA manga, so I’m excited to continue!

Build a house
> Read something set in another world
> The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
The Goblin Emperor has been on my shelves for quite a while now, and it’s time for me to pick it up. I’ve read so many positive reviews on it

Interior design
> Read a book with a pretty cover
> The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman
> I absolutely love the cover of this book! I recently requested this Israeli fantasy novel from Netgalley, and got approved – which hasn’t happened in a long time. I can’t wait to get to this novel. It’s got sorcerers, empaths, killers, religious extremists, and love. Sounds epic to me!

> Book featuring nature in cover/title/theme
> Walk on Earth a Stranger (Goldseer #1) by Rae Carson
> Earth is in the title, and that counts, right? Once again, this book has been on my shelf for absolute years. I loved the author’s Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, and wanted to read everything else she has written. Now, it’s been years and I still haven’t picked up another book by Rae Carson.


(I will talk about the “get a job” live mode challenge later, when I talk about the chosen career.)


Get a promotion
> Read a 5-star prediction
> Age of Myth (Legend of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan
> I’m sure you’re all sick and tired of seeing this book on my to-read lists. I’m sorry! I know I should have picked this up ages ago, but I didn’t. I really need to change that soon, especially since this is one of my 5-star predictions.

Eat a cookie
> Read a book under 200 pages
> Blue Exorcist volume 1 by Kazue Kato
> I picked up the first two volumes of Blue Exorcist in a secondhand book haul a little while ago. The first volume is 200 pages long according to Goodreads, which still counts for this challenge in my opinion. Do I have any idea what this manga is about? No, absolutely not. What else is new.

Pay bills
Read your most recent purchase
> Black Butler volume 3 by Yana Toboso
> I bought a whole lot of manga in one haul, so I could pick quite a few for this topic. I will probably go with Black Butler though, since I recently read the previous volume.

Burn down the kitchen
> Book with flames on the cover

> Changeling (Order of Darkness #1) by Philippa Gregory
> I’ve had this book on my shelf for ages, but haven’t picked it up because I haven’t really heard the most positive things about the novel. It’s really short, though, so I can’t unhaul it without giving it a try.


Gain a fishing skill
> Randomize your TBR

> Longbourn by Jo Baker
> I was actually supposed to read this in May. Oops. This is a Pride and Prejudice retelling told from the perspective of the Bennet’s servant!

Take a bubble bath
> Read a book over 400 pages

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1) by Soman Chainani
> While this novel is more than 400 pages long, it is middle grade. Usually, MG books are pretty quick and captivating reads, which is perfect for a readathon.

Become a ghost
> Read a spooky book

> There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
> I’ve had an ARC copy of this book since 2017 and still haven’t read it…

Fall in love
> Read a book with a romance element

> We Were There volume 1 by Yuki Obata
> Another manga I picked up in a used book haul! I’ve never really heard anyone talk about We Were There, but the synopsis caught my attention. It’s about first love, grief, and is set in high school. Since the entire manga is about a girl falling for a guy whose girlfriend passed away the year before, I’d say this fits for reading a book with a romance element.


Have your birthday
> Read an adult book

> The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
> I received an e-ARC for The Bride Test (release date in June – UK), and I can’t wait to read it! I absolutely adored The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang’s previous book, and have high hopes for this one as well.

Get a job > business
> Read a book with a number in the title

> Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, Empress of a Thousand Skies, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Thousand Names
> Thousand seems to be a really popular number, doesn’t it? I have all of these on my shelves at home, unread, but don’t know which one I’ll feel like reading in June. Let me know if you have read one of these!

Obviously, I won’t get to all of these but I’ll pick and choose during the month of June. I’m a mood reader, so I need options! Have you read any of these books? Are you participating in the sims-a-thon?

May prompts | monthly TBR challenges

I’ve been doing these monthly prompts since January, and I really like it. April wasn’t as successful as the previous months because I participated in a month-long readathon as well, and there’s only so much I can read. This will probably be the case for May as well, but I think it’ll be easier to combine this month’s prompts with the Asian readathon.

If you haven’t read one of these posts before, I use a random number generator to pick 4 prompts from the Popsugar 2019 reading challenge to guide my reading every month. It gives me some direction and push, but doesn’t give me a set TBR (which never really works well for me).

Let’s take a look at the challenges for May!

a book published in 2019

holy sister

Finally an easy challenge! Last month, I received my pre-order of Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence, the third book in the Book of the Ancestor series, and I still haven’t read it. Since the previous two books were on my favorite books of last year list, I can’t wait to read the conclusion to the trilogy. MY FAVORITES BETTER BE OKAY, MARK.

a book written by a musician

every heart a doorway

I had to do some digging for this prompt, not going to lie. I didn’t really feel like reading a biography (although that might change during the month of May) so I felt a bit discouraged here. Then I discovered that Seanan McGuire is a musician, thanks to the lovely Goodreads group dedicated to completing the Popsugar challenge. Every Heart a Doorway has been on my to-read list for a while and it’s quite short so I should be able to read this in May.

a retelling of a classic

I have two options for this prompt! Longbourn is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice told through the eyes of a servant of the Bennet family. I’ve had a copy ever since I read P&P in late 2016, and still haven’t picked it up. This is the perfect time to change that! I might end up listening to The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein instead though, which is available on Scribd. I’m intrigued by this retelling of Frankenstein, but I haven’t heard the best things about the book in reviews…

zodiac sign or astrology term in the title

Another novel that has been sitting on my bookshelf, still unread, for ages is A Thousand Splendid Suns. I’m so intimidated by Khaled Hosseini’s works, and I have no idea why. I need to get over this ridiculous fear I won’t like it, and just pick it up. If I somehow still don’t get to that one, I can pick up Starfish on Scribd instead. I honestly have no idea what this is about, all I remember is that the main character is half-Japanese and has social anxiety.

There you have it, my monthly prompts for May! I think achieving these should be doable, right? I can even read the books for the last prompt for the Asian readathon as well, which is perfect. I’m all for combining challenges. Have you read any of these books? Which ones should I get to first? I’d love to hear your opinion!

my to-read list for the #Asianreadathon in May

Cindy has quickly become one of my favorite BookTubers, so it’s really no surprise I immediately jumped on the readathon she’s hosting during the month of May. I know I have been participating in so many readathons these past few months, but I’m having lots of fun with them! As a bonus, I do think they help me read more than I would otherwise.

You can find all the information on the #asianreadathon here, such as the hosts, challenges, and tons of recommendations. There are a few challenges, and then there’s an additional twist to the challenge. You can use a book for multiple challenges, but as an additional twist, every book you read for the readathon should feature a character or author of different Asian ethnicity.

I probably won’t do the fifth challenge because that is to read the group book, which I don’t own.

read any book by an Asian author

There are so many possibilities here! They’re endless. Here are some books I either have a physical or digital copy of, I can borrow from the library, or are available on Scribd. I only added books in this category that I didn’t mention for the other challenges. 

Here’s a list of possible reads for this prompt!

Sorcerer to the Crown A Thousand Splendid Suns | The Poppy War | Severance | Forest of a Thousand Lanterns | The Gilded Wolves | On Such a Full Sea | Emergency Contact | All You Can Ever Know | Sea of Strangers | AI Superpowers | Ninefox Gambit |From Twinkle, With Love | If the Dress Fits | Descendant of the Crane | Empress of a Thousand Skies | Shadow of the Fox | Markswoman

read a graphic novel/manga with Asian characters/written and/or drawn by an Asian author

I might read Fullmetal Alchemist volume 3 as I’ve been really loving that series, or pick up Black Butler volume 3 or Death Note (Black Edition) volume 2 instead. All three are written/illustrated by Japanese manga artists. I could also go for We Were There volume 1, which I bought second hand on a whim last year. I could instead go for American Born Chinese as well, if I want to read a graphic novel written by a Chinese author.

read a book featuring an intersectional Asian character or written by an intersectional Asian identity

I recently spotted Not Your Sidekick on Scribd, which seems like a fun story about superheroes and villains, and an LGBT+ main character. The author, if I’m not mistaken, is Chinese-Vietnamese-American, bisexual, and open about her struggles with mental illness. Starfish is another book I spotted on Scribd, and could fit for this challenge. The main character is half-Japanese and struggles with social anxiety. There’s a huge chance I’ll go with The Black Tides of Heaven though because it sounds amazing and has been on my TBR for a while. J.Y. Yang is an author from Singapore, and identifies as queer and non-binary. There’s apparently a lot of discussion on sexuality and gender in their book, which I can’t wait to read. Lastly, I could listen to the audiobook of Darius the Great Is Not Okay for this challenge, which is the story of a biracial Iranian-American boy who goes to Iran for the first time. There’s also (according to reviews I’ve read) great depression representation.

read a book by an Asian author that was originally written in their native language

I could combine this challenge with any of the manga I’ve planned for the second challenge, as those have all been translated, but here are some other options too.

I have three more novels by Japanese authors for this challenge. Last year, I bought a copy of Train Man used, which seems like a funny, contemporary novel. I could also go for The Travelling Cat ChroniclesI bought it on a Kindle sale, as I heard nothing but great things about it. I’m pretty sure someone said it would make me cry. Lastly, I could go for the audiobook of Norwegian WoodI’ve never read any Murakami, which I think is a crime in some places.

Obviously, I won’t read all of these in May. That would be insane! However, I do think I have a decent amount of books I could choose from, no? Have you read any of these books? Which ones should I pick up first? Let me know if you’re participating in the readathon as well!

my #avengersreadathon19 to-read list

I’ve been participating in so many readathons lately, and here I am adding another one to that list. I saw some TBRs on the Avengers Readathon earlier today, and knew I wanted to participate as well. The readathon was created by The Perks of Being Noura and takes place from April 14 (today!) until May 14. I’m combining the majority of the prompts with reads for the O.W.L.s readathon in April, and probably the Asian Readathon in May because I want to participate in those as well.

For this readathon, there are 18 different S.H.I.E.L.D. assignments, designed after an Avengers character. You can choose up to two of them, and have to fulfill the challenges per assignment. So, who did I choose?


I chose Iron Man, who has always been one of my favorites. Let’s take a look at the assignments I’ll have to fulfill for Iron Man.

Tony’s suit > red on the cover

For the prompt of Tony’s suit, we have to read a book with red on the cover. I have quite a lot of options for this one, but I might go with…

Either Fullmetal Alchemist volume 2 by Hiromu Arakawa or The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke. I recently bought the former because I fell in love with the first volume a while ago. I can’t wait to continue the series. However, I might go for the latter instead, as I recently picked it up from the library and would like to read it before having to return the novel.

Stark industries > science fiction book

I have quite a lot of science fiction books on my to-read list, so this prompt is definitely not set in stone yet. Here are some of my options.

I requested Skyward by Brandon Sanderson from the library, and would like to read it before bringing it back soon. I’ve also had Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey on my shelf for a few months, and would like to read it before watching the TV show adaptation. Another book I picked up recently is Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. I bought this when it was on sale in one of my favorite bookstores, but have since read quite a lot of negative reviews on it and am now scared to pick it up. Lastly, I have never read (or watched) Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, which I need to rectify this year.

the famous tony stark > award-winning book

This prompt falls perfectly in line with one of my picks for the O.W.L.s readathon, as the title of the series starts with an ‘r’. It won the Hugo Award in 2015 for best novel! Any guesses as to what it is?

the three-body problem

That’s right! I’m finally reading The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liutranslated by Ken Liu. I have no idea what this is about, to be honest. I know that it’s a science fiction novel by a famous Chinese author, and that everyone seems to love it.

iron man 3 > mental health

This is the prompt I’m definitely taking recommendations for!

It isn’t specifically stated in the synopsis of Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson, but I assume the main character of this book is dealing with trauma and PTSD after an attack. I might also listen to the audiobook of Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram because I’ve wanted to read that for ages and have only heard fantastic things about it.

war machine > book with robots or AI


A few hours before becoming aware of this readathon, I had started listening to the audiobook of Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, the final book in the Illuminae Files. Coincidentally, it is the first day of the #avengersreadathon19 and I started a book without even knowing it would fit this prompt. Obviously, AIDAN is in here.

captain marvel > read a new release

holy sister

You know that I had to pick Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence for this prompt. I pre-ordered it, have had it for about 10 days now and can’t wait to see how Nona’s story wraps up.

T’Challa > book by a black/African author

Last year, I bought a copy of The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin, the sequel to The Fifth Season. I loved the first book, and would like to continue the series before I completely forget what happened before. I also might listen to the audiobook of On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. I have such high expectations of Angie Thomas’ new book!

Nine Realms > translated book

I recently read the first black edition of Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, and am dying to continue the series. It fits pretty well for this topic! I also might read Train Man by Hitori Nakano. It seems like a pretty funny read, which I might need between the heavier science fiction books.

White, red, and blue > one of these colors on the cover

I’ve put Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho on literally every TBR ever, and I still haven’t read it. Someone help me. I also have a copy of Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor from the library, which is entirely blue. Lastly, I might tackle The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha ShannonIt could fit for this topic because on my copy, the title and dragon are blue.

That’s my TBR for the #avengersreadathon19! Have you read any of these books? Are you participating? Which character are you aiming for?

April prompts | my monthly to-read list

In 2019, I’m using monthly prompts to set a to-read list for myself. If you haven’t read my previous to-read lists for January, February or March, all I do is use a random number generator to pick 3 or 4 prompts from the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge. I then try to match the chosen prompts of the month with books on my TBR (both physical and digital) or borrowed books. It works quite well, because it gives me something to focus on, but doesn’t tie me to a specific read.

April’s to-read list will be especially tentative, because I do want to participate in the O.W.Ls/the Magical Readathon which takes place this month. If you want to see what I plan on reading for that, you can do so here. Let’s take a look at the prompts the number generator picked for us this time!


The Blade Itself (First Law #1) by Joe Abercrombie
I picked up a beautiful copy of this novel at YALC in 2017, and still haven’t read it. From what I gathered from the synopsis, it follows a barbarian, a nobleman, an inquisitor, and a wizard. Sign me up, beccuase that’s everything I love about fantasy novels.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Another book I picked up at YALC, although this one I bought in 2018. It’s a YA contemporary novel about a girl who was raised in a cult, rebelled, and was punished by the removal of her hands.

a book with a plant in the title or on the cover

Age of Myth (Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan
Someone make me read this immediately. It’s been on my shelf for years, I’ve added it to countless to-read lists, and it was written by one of my favorite fantasy authors. I’m so disappointed in myself for not having read this yet.

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
This book has both trees on the cover and in the title! I mentioned it in last month’s to-read list as well, but didn’t manage to pick it up. Under the Udala Trees is set in Nigeria, and was inspired by its folktales and war.

Wintersong (Wintersong #1) by S. Jae-Jones
I’ve had this fantasy novel on my Kindle for a while, but keep putting it off. I was really excited about this book before it was released, but then started hearing not-so-great things from other reviewers. I do want to give it a try though, so I might as well do it in April.

a book featuring an amateur detective

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
Her Every Fear follows a woman called Kate, who switches houses with her cousin in Boston for a while to change her environment. She experiences anxiety and panic attacks regularly, after her ex-boyfriend abducted her and tried to kill her. She figures that changing her environment from London to Boston will do her some good. Shortly after she moves, she finds out that her new neighbor has been murdered and Kate becomes involved in the mystery. That counts as an amateur detective, right?

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
This dual timeline thriller plays out both in 1950 and 2014 at the Idlewild Hall for Unwanted Girls. In 1950, 4 roommates are trading secrets and whispers when one of them disappears. In 2014, journalist Fiona Sheridan discovers that a body has been found during the renovations of the school. She can’t forget that her sister went missing near the Hall 20 years earlier either, so Fiona decides to investigate.

a book revolving around a puzzle or game

The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1) by Cixin Liu
I recently made an acquisition request for this book at my local library, and was over the moon when the request was granted. Perfectly in time for this month’s prompt. Apparently, part of this book is about a VR game? I’m not entirely clear on the details of that one, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

The Eight (The Eight #1) by Katherine Neville
This book has been on my Kindle for ages. I bought it because I picked up the second book in this series in a secondhand bookstore by accident. Well, I didn’t buy it by accident, I just wasn’t aware it was part of a series. So I have to read this one first, before I can get to the sequel. I’m curious to see how this one goes, because the main character is a ‘computer expert’ and this novel was written in the 80s…

I’ve got my April to-read list sorted! Like I mentioned, this is a loose TBR especially because the magical readathon is taking place this month too. Have you read any of these books? Which ones should I read and review first?