I know what you’re thinking. Only ten?? But hear me out for a second. My TBR these days is mostly digital – I simply can’t justify buying all the books I want to read, in terms of money and in terms of shelf space. So my TBR currently contains 66 books. I use Goodreads to keep track, so you can view the whole list here. I also shelve for diversity to make myself more aware of what exactly it is I’m reading, and have an especial fondness for my asexuality and faith shelves – I’ve read precious little that could fit into either of these categories, and I want to have a whole period of just reading books that include characters who identify as I do with these terms.
So, for Top Ten Tuesday, I’ve decided to highlight the ten books from this list I’m most excited to read. Hopefully writing this list will commit me to reading them!
The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz
Clara Gutierrez is a highly-skilled technician specializing in the popular ‘Raise’ AI companions. Her childhood in a migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering in any one place, so she sticks around just long enough to replenish her funds before she moves on, her only constant companion Joanie, a fierce, energetic Raise hummingbird.
Sal is a fully autonomous robot, the creation of which was declared illegal ages earlier due to ethical concerns. She is older than the law, however, at best out of place in society and at worst hated. Her old master is long dead, but she continues to run the tea shop her master had owned, lost in memories of the past, slowly breaking down, and aiming to fulfill her master’s dream for the shop.
When Clara stops by Sal’s shop for lunch, she doesn’t expect to find a real robot there, let alone one who might need her help. But as they begin to spend time together and learn more about each other, they both start to wrestle with the concept of moving on…
Robots, an ace lady, f/f romance, and tea! What more could you want? This is rather short at 65 pages, so perfect for reading on the commute – which gives me no excuse for not having read it yet! This was also one of the first recs I got from Twitter (thanks, Shira Glassman!) after I set up my blog and, in my semi-anonymous blogging persona, was able to be more open about my sexuality, so I have high expectations!
Unburied Fables (an anthology)
This collection enlisted talent around the world. From students to seasoned professionals, these writers came together to raise awareness and reinvent classic stories. While they showcase a wide variety of origins, styles, and endings, all the tales in this anthology have one classic element in common: a happily ever after.
Fifty percent of this collection’s proceeds will be donated to the Trevor Project, a non-profit focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and other queer youth.
This is such an incredible collection and I really hope you can find space for it in your heart – and your wallet! My main interest in this is several promised ace MC, but this collection promises inclusion for so many people in a narrative which has thus far tried to exclude them. It stands as a commitment by authors and the publisher to improve representation, and acts as a prompt to the wider industry that these stories need to be told. I can’t wait to read it!
Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones
Margerit Sovitre did not expect to inherit the Baron Saveze’s fortunes—and even less his bodyguard. The formidable Barbara, of unknown parentage and tied to the barony for secretive reasons, is a feared duelist, capable of defending her charges with efficient, deadly force.
Equally perplexing is that while she is now a highly eligible heiress, Margerit did not also inherit the Saveze title, and the new baron eyes the fortunes he lost with open envy. Barbara, bitter that her servitude is to continue, may be the only force that stands between Margerit and the new Baron’s greed—and the ever deeper layers of intrigue that surround the ill-health of Alpennia’s prince and the divine power from rituals known only as The Mysteries of the Saints.
At first Margerit protests the need for Barbara’s services, but soon she cannot imagine sending Barbara away—for reasons of state and reasons of the heart.
Heather Rose Jone debuts with a sweeping story rich in intrigue and the clash of loyalties and love.
I have been promised f/f historical with some fantasy and faith, which is pretty much everything I want from my reading right now.
Far From Home by Loralie Brown
My name is Rachel. I’m straight . . . I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn’t serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I’d marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt.
My off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible. We get along as friends. She’s really romantically cautious, which I find heartbreaking. She deserves someone to laugh with. She’s kind. And calm. And gorgeous. A couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good. If some of Pari’s kindness and calmness rubs off on me, that’d be a bonus, because I’m a mess — anorexia is not a pretty word — and my little ways of keeping control of myself, of the world, aren’t working anymore.
And, if I slip up, Pari will see my cracks. Then I’ll crack. Which means I gotta get out, quick, before I fall in love with my wife.
Her name is Rachel, and as far as I can tell, she doesn’t die! (This is less random than you might think.) Also, fake!married trope forever.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
I know, I know! I can’t believe I haven’t got to this yet! It is honestly something I might skip over if I just picked it up in the bookshop, but I’ve heard such good things I’m going to have to give it a read!
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
I’m sorry! This definitely sounds like my kind of thing, and now that the second one is out (Crooked Kingdom), I can burn through them both in a weekend! Now I just need a free weekend…
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.
But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
I love the magical realism in this description, and I think this will be a really good read.
The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales (an anthology)
An all-new anthology of cross-genre fairy tale retellings, featuring an all-star lineup of award-winning and critically acclaimed writers.
Once upon a time. It’s how so many of our most beloved stories start. Fairy tales have dominated our cultural imagination for centuries. From the Brothers Grimm to the Countess d’Aulnoy, from Charles Perrault to Hans Christian Anderson, storytellers have crafted all sorts of tales that have always found a place in our hearts.
Now a new generation of storytellers have taken up the mantle that the masters created and shaped their stories into something startling and electrifying. Packed with award-winning authors, this anthology explores an array of fairy tales in startling and innovative ways, in genres and settings both traditional and unusual, including science fiction, western, and post-apocalyptic as well as traditional fantasy and contemporary horror.
From the woods to the stars, The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales takes readers on a journey at once unexpected and familiar, as a diverse group of writers explore some of our most beloved tales in new ways across genres and styles.
I am clearly a sucker for fairy tale anthologies. But this one looks so gorgeous!
Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder.
Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.
Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.
But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right… or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.
I mean. What about this does not sound amazing?!
As Autumn Leaves by Kate Sands
Sixteen-year-old Kayla Caruso, once a well-liked cheerleader, knows that something sets her apart from her classmates. Her reluctance to have sex with a boy she was seeing earned her both the title of “Ice Queen” and the disdain of the other students. Bullied and alone, Kayla finds solace in one of her dwindling group of friends. Althea Ritter is a volleyball star and rumored to be a lesbian. As Kayla’s interest in Althea grows, so does her confusion. Is she attracted to men or women? Both? Neither? Why does sex even have to matter? Kayla explores her muddled feelings, trying to discover where she fits in, and soon realizes her identity might not be as simple as gay or straight.
And to finish, another ace novella – this time, teens at high school. I really love the sound of this – it could be one of those that I push at everyone I know if it all goes well!
And that’s everything! Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Are they on your TBR? And do you have any recs to expand my groaning TBR? I keep it on goodreads, so it can’t actually crush me, no matter how big it gets! *awkward laughter*