January 2023 TBR

I feel like December and January tbrs and wrap-ups always get the short end of the stick.

In December, it’s looking back on the entire year. In January, it’s looking ahead to the year to come, and I can’t say that this post won’t do that, because I don’t want to have an entire post dedicated to 2023. Past me would have done it, this is 2023 me, and I am trying to return to blogging in a way that doesn’t promote burnout.

I started The Suspected Bibliophile in April 2019, and published 124 posts. 178 in 2020, 162 in 2021, and then I hit burnout last year. Even with several months of semi-posting before going on hiatus in October through the end of the year, I still churned out 55 posts.

So this year I’m going to do things differently, because I still want to post here, but my focus is changing. I’ll probably do fewer reviews of everything I read—keeping those in the monthly wrap-ups, and I’ll still do my tbrs and probably what new releases I’m excited for, but my focus this year is going to be a Tortall Series Re-Read.

Yes, the beloved series by Tamora Pierce. After the Vorkosigan series, it is my favorite series, but of course I have my favorites within the series (*ahem* Protector of the Small) and least favorites that I’ve only ever read once. I’m going to read them in book chronological order, and I plan on posting about them a lot. This re-read is literally what stoked my enthusiasm for blogging again (that and farting around with a new ~aesthetic~)

Although you won’t see the Becca Cooper trilogy listed on January’s tbr, because as excited as I am, I think I’m going to start reading in February. I have a buddy read lined up this month of Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson, and I want to focus on that (and my chat about that too).

Real quick (ha), goals for 2023:

  • 120 books (more diversity, more backlist titles)
  • Write Book 3 of the Satura Trilogy
  • Finish editing Dark Swan (current WIP)
  • Write 6 short stories, edit what I have

To the books of January!

The blurbs, as always, are from Goodreads.

The ARCs

The Scourge Between Stars by Ness Brown (April 4)

As acting captain of the starship Calypso, Jacklyn Albright is responsible for keeping the last of humanity alive as they limp back to Earth from their forebears’ failed colony on a distant planet.

Faced with constant threats of starvation and destruction in the treacherous minefield of interstellar space, Jacklyn’s crew has reached their breaking point. As unrest begins to spread throughout the ship’s Wards, a new threat emerges, picking off crew members in grim, bloody fashion.

The Twice-Drowned Saint by CSE Cooney (February 7)

Contained inside impassable walls of ice, the city of Gelethel endures under the rule of fourteen angels, who provide for all their subject’s needs and mete out grisly punishments for blasphemous infractions, with escape attempts one of the worst possible sins.

Near thirty years after turning down the angel Alizar’s offer to be his saint, Ish is desperate to get her sick parents out of the city, a near-impossible task given Gelethel is surrounded by an impenetrable blue serac. But Ish’s situation grows even more complicated when a new arrival to the city, a girl named Betony, appears as Alizar’s true saint.

Untethered Sky by Fonda Lee (April 11)

Ester’s family was torn apart when a manticore killed her mother and baby brother, leaving her with nothing but her father’s painful silence and a single, overwhelming need to kill the monsters that took her family.

Ester’s path leads her to the King’s Royal Mews, where the giant rocs of legend are flown to hunt manticores by their brave and dedicated ruhkers. Paired with a fledgling roc named Zahra, Ester finds purpose and acclaim by devoting herself to a calling that demands absolute sacrifice and a creature that will never return her love. The terrifying partnership between woman and roc leads Ester not only on the empire’s most dangerous manticore hunt, but on a journey of perseverance and acceptance. 

The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill by Rowenna Miller (March 28)

There is no magic on Prospect Hill—or anywhere else, for that matter. But just on the other side of the veil is the world of the Fae. Generations ago, the first farmers on Prospect Hill learned to bargain small trades to make their lives a little easier—a bit of glass to find something lost, a cup of milk for better layers in the chicken coop.

When Delphine confides her new husband is not the man she thought he was, Alaine will stop at nothing to help her sister escape him. Small bargains buy them time, but a major one is needed. Yet, the price for true freedom may be more than they’re willing to pay.

The Thick and the Lean by Chana Porter (April 18)

In the quaint religious town of Seagate, abstaining from food brings one closer to God. But Beatrice Bolano is hungry. She craves the forbidden: butter, flambé, marzipan. As Seagate takes increasingly extreme measures to regulate every calorie its citizens consume, Beatrice must make a choice: give up her secret passion for cooking or leave the only community she has known.

Elsewhere, Reiko Rimando has left her modest roots for a college tech scholarship in the big city. A flawless student, she is set up for success…until her school pulls her funding, leaving her to face either a mountain of debt or a humiliating return home. But Reiko is done being at the mercy of the system. She forges a third path—outside of the law.

Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling (April 4)

In the far north of Canada sits Camp Zero, an American building project hiding many secrets. Desperate to help her climate-displaced Korean immigrant mother, Rose agrees to travel to Camp Zero and spy on its architect in exchange for housing. She arrives at the same time as another newcomer, a college professor named Grant who is determined to flee his wealthy family’s dark legacy. Gradually, they realize that there is more to the architect than previously thought, and a disturbing mystery lurks beneath the surface of the camp. At the same time, rumors abound of an elite group of women soldiers living and working at a nearby Cold War-era climate research station. What are they doing there? And who is leading them?

Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh (April 11)

All her life Kyr has trained for the day she can avenge the murder of planet Earth. Raised in the bowels of Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, she readies herself to face the Wisdom, the all-powerful, reality-shaping weapon that gave the Majoda their victory over humanity.

They are what’s left. They are what must survive. Kyr is one of the best warriors of her generation, the sword of a dead planet. But when Command assigns her brother to certain death and relegates her to the nursery to bear sons until she dies trying, she knows she must take humanity’s revenge into her own hands.

Buddy Read

Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson

It’s Carnival time, and the Carribean-colonized planet of Toussaint is celebrating with music, dance and pageantry. Masked “Midnight Robbers” waylay revelers with brandished weapons and spellbinding words. But to young Tan-Tan, the Robber Queen is simply a favourite costume to wear at the festival–until her power-corrupted father commits an unforgivable crime.

Potential Audiobooks

No rhyme or reason, just a list of potential audiobooks because I have no shelf control!

  • The Secret History of Home Economics by Danielle Dreilinger
  • A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister
  • After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Cackle by Rachel Harrison
  • Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
  • Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
  • Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa

What do you want to read this month?

4 thoughts on “January 2023 TBR

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