Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Oh 2020. You’ve been such a great (not) year.
But let’s focus on happier things, and not pandemics or murder locusts (but do focus on systemic racism—we must defeat it: see the various ways here).
I feel myself sliding into a slump, and to stave it off, I’m so happy for this prompt, which will hopefully help me focus on the positives of my TBR and not that it just tipped over 600 again, which, coupled with stress from my job and life and lack of writing and everything else, is juuuuust the little oyster fork that’s going to doom me to darkness for the next couple weeks.
These are the top 10 books to read on my Summer TBR. Of course, as a mood reader, I uphold my creed to read whatever the fuck I want, when I want (or when they come in from the library or before their publication date if they are ARCs).
Like my brain, this list is all over the damn place and not at all organized. Enjoy.
(mild spoiler: here be long-term TBR lurkers)
My ~Summer TBR~
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
How many times has this been on one of my monthly TBRs? Yes, I have an ARC and no it’s not released yet, but as one of my top 2020 releases, I should have read this already. But I’m scared. Gideon ripped me apart and didn’t put me back together, and I don’t know if I can do it again.
A Song Below Water by Bethany C Morrow
Moment of truth, folks: YA mermaid books make me wary. Just like all things YA pirate, I have been tempted and burned before. So I saw this one a while back and was like, um, yeah nope, not for me. No mermaids, no way. Then I learned it was set in Portland, Mother-fucking Oregon, and welp, added to TBR. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. What can I say, I’m a sucker for books set in my home state, even if it’s in fucking Portland.
Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me by Anna Mehler Papery
2020 has been the year I’ve started read self-helpy memoirs and memoirs about mental illness. I wasn’t planning on reading this one either, and then the blurb about being outwardly successful but being trapped by feelings of hopelessness and despair and I was like, oh damn that’s my twenties and thirties right there. Will this be the book that actually gets me to therapy? We’ll see. We shall fucking see.
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
As someone raised by a white (pretty TERFy, come to think of it) feminist in an outwardly liberal but pervasively racist society (*cough cough* Eugene *cough*), I’ve been wrapped up in systemic racism pretty much since birth. I need to do better, and I will do better. Intersectional feminism takes work. Plus, this book just looks fabulous. It’s time to get uncomfortable.
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso
I have heard nothing but rave reviews about this Filipino-inspired fantasy, and it’s criminal that I haven’t actually read it by now, particularly since I own the book *stares into endlessly reflecting mirror.* This is the summer (year) I read it, particularly since the sequel is coming out very, very soon. Bring the blood, bring the pain, bring the politics, bring the…spiders? Oh shit.
Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston
The Princess and the Fangirl was easily in the top 5 favorite contemporary YAs I read last year (yes, I really do get that nit-picky with my top-book categories—I have a lot of favorites), and while I’m excited for this one, I’m also a little ehhhhh. I think it’s because Vance is not my favorite side character, and Beauty and the Beast has been done to death. But this should be a quick read, and I’m excited to see where this takes my favorite fictional fandom. And I hope we get a novelization of Starfield at some point because I need this. I have an ARC of this one, too.
Shielded by KayLynn Flanders
With that cover and those comps (Sorcery of Thorns and I think Tamora Pierce?) I’m hoping that this is the book that delays my prolonged breakup with YA fantasy. I think I’m putting too much on its debut’s fragile shoulders, but I have seen hardly anyone talking about it or buzz. Here’s hoping this is the one. Or a one. I’ve had my eye on it ever since I downloaded it from NetGalley back in January, and I um, just need to actually read it before the pub date. I can do this.
I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
I’ve been following this book’s progress ever since it was tentatively titled Korean Dumplin, and I just have so many high hopes. I don’t like K-pop, but the bi energy of that cover gives me liiiiiiife. Plus, Lyla Lee is the most precious person on the planet, and everyone should follow her on Twitter. I’ll make it easy for you: her handle is @literallylyla.
Velocity Weapon by Megan E O’Keefe
Yes, yes, yes, this too has been on my TBR for a long time. I know. And I’m feeling pretty good that despite the bunches of ARCs that I need to get through, that I can get to this one. The premise is fantastic, that cover is everything I ask for in a spacey sci-fi book, and I’ve only heard good things (and I have a friend who has asked me why I haven’t read this quite a few times).
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Another book about Portland, Oregon! And one that takes a long, hard, loooooong, hard look at the intersection of Oregon, hippy culture, queerness and racism (from what I’ve heard). All things I’m very interested in, and that cover is just beautiful. I have an ARC that I acquired from my library (being a librarian has its perks), which I have been sitting on for quite some time because…I don’t even know. But it’s PRIDE MONTH and I’m homesick (not for Portland).
The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
Let’s be real: this has been on my TBR for quite some time. I finished The Drums of Autumn in 2017 (three years ago?? HOW????) and haven’t picked this up yet. The Outlander series really feels like winter reading moods for me, but let’s be super optimistic: let’s pretend I’m going to read this almost exactly three years after I finished Drums. Let’s pretend. Because denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.
What books are you excited to read this summer?