Books to Read (TBR list) – January 2021

Hello All,

I am not normally in the habit of planning ahead with the books I read. I tend to read purely based on my mood and of course based on Blog Tour deadlines (if I have signed up or committed to an author).

However, this year, I decided to make some changes to the way I read, review and blog! Having signed up for so many different kinds of reading challenges, I am trying to be better organized (if I can manage it :P).

In this post, I have made a tentative list of books that I plan to read in January.

Here goes…. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts, feedback or recommendations!

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  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

 

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Having heard and read so much about this book, I bought it and downloaded it on my kindle in the hopes of joining everyone on this journey!

I am happy to say that it has finally been pulled out of the back of my long list of books on my kindle reader and is in progress! I hope to finish it soon!

 

 

  • Bricktown Boys by Pete Fanning

Bricktown Boys

 

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Release date: 12th Jan 2021

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was intrigued by the concept and also enjoy reading MGLit!

 

 

  • The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veeragatha #2) by Shatrujeet Nath

The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha, #2)

 

Genre: Mythology, Fiction

This is the second book in the series and the plot is starting to thicken! I am looking forward to reading the book!

 

 

 

  • Meet me in Bombay by Jenny Ashcroft

 

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: 19th Jan 2021

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and am planning to read it before it’s release date this month!

The book sounded quite interesting and with references to Bombay, the story intrigued me more. I am from India and I would love to see how the author has portrayed the place in her story.

 

  • The Newlyweds by Arianne Richmonde

 

Genre: Mystery and Thriller

Release date: 19th Jan 2021

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and am planning to read it before it’s release date this month!

Having read so many fantasy fiction and historical fiction novels recently, I felt it was time to go back to some good old fashioned mysteries! Et voila, this book was available and it is on the verge of release! There is no better time to read it!

 

  • The Wraith’s Memory by Whitney R. Rines

The Wraith's Memory (Between Gods and Mortals Book II)

 

Genre: Fantasy fiction

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

  • The Sigil by Shakail Kanish

The Sigil: A Novel - Part I

 

Genre: LGBTQ+ Dark Urban Fantasy

Release date: 4th March 2021

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I was intrigued by the concept of the book and am looking forward to reading it!

 

 

  • Pawns Gambit by Rob J. Hayes

Pawn's Gambit (A Mortal Techniques novel)

 

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Release date: 26th Jan 2021

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

New Year 2021: Reading Goals and Challenges

Hello All,

First off I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!

With the start of a new year, I wanted to take a moment to try to define some simple reading goals for myself in addition to the Reading Challenges that I have signed-up for.

I have had the pleasure of interacting with so many wonderful bloggers, authors and publishers that I am further inspired to take both my reading journey and blog a step further. I look forward to further collaborations and book talks with everyone!

So without further ado, here are the proposed Reading Goals and Challenges:

Goodreads Reading Challenge – 100 Books

This is a challenge that I have been doing since 2016 and I hope to continue it. The challenge helps to keep track of the books I read in addition to providing a promotion in itself for the authors when the books are shelved and reviews are written.

What’s in a Name? Challenge 2021 – 6 categories

2021 Reading Challenge: Netgalley and Edelweiss – 25 Books

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2021 -10 Books

Mount TBR Challenge 2021 – 12 Books

Note: The number of books chosen for the challenges will also be included towards the Goodreads Reading challenge.

Don’t hesitate to comment and share your thoughts, goals and book recommendations on the post!

Top 5 – 2021 Releases I’m Excited to Read!

This is a weekly meme hosted by Devouring Books that I came across recently!

The theme for this week is 2021 Releases.

Here is a list of books to be released in 2021 that I am excited about. A lot of them are ARCs and a few are upcoming that I am waiting to buy.

The below list doesn’t completely reflect my top 5, but the ones I am super excited about right now! I have tried to pick books from different genres and share them.

The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Vow So Bold and Deadly (The Cursebreaker Series)

Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Seven Perfect Things

The Watchmaker of Dachau by Carly Schabowski

The Watchmaker of Dachau

His Hidden Wife by Wendy Clarke

His Hidden Wife

 

Feel free to share your thoughts and recommendations! If interested please do participate!

Introducing Author Roy Huff on the blog!

I am delighted to host Author Roy Huff on the blog. Roy has also contributed a guest post on Time Travel!

Read on to know more about the author: his thoughts, his books and the genre of SF/Fantasy!

Author Bio:
Roy Huff is a Hawaii-based best-selling author, peer-reviewed research scientist, and teacher. After overcoming significant childhood adversity, he moved to the islands and hasn’t looked back. He’s since earned five degrees, trained on geostationary satellites for NASA’s GOES-R Proving Ground, and written numerous bestsellers. He stumbled into writing, but what he didn’t stumble into is his love for all things science fiction and fantasy. Later, he contributed a series of fiction and non-fiction books as well as widely shared posts on how to design life on your terms. Despite early challenges, he embraces optimism, science, and creativity. He makes Hawaii his home, where he creates new worlds with the stroke of a pen and hopes you’ll come along for the amazing ride. You can download Roy Huff’s free sci-fi short at https://www.royhuff.net/salvationship or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram @realroyhuff
Follow Links:
Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook @realroyhuff
In conversation with Roy Huff:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in the South very poor. My family suffered through many challenges, and I lost my father when I was 21 to HIV/AIDS. Mental illness inflicted and continues to inflict pain on many immediate family members, but I’ve personally been fortunate. I moved to Hawaii to go to college, and after a delay and initial financial hardships, I was able to complete five degrees. I’ve had the privilege to work on some amazing projects including a grant for NASA/NOAA related to geostationary satellites (GOES-R). I’ve since begun writing and teaching.

What prompted you to start writing?

I’ve always been an academic, so nonfiction and academic writing was something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. That accelerated in college. In my early 30’s, I began writing fiction, in part inspired by a professor Jayson Chun and UH West Oahu.

How did the series ‘Everville’ happen?

I was working concurrently on my fourth and fifth degrees, writing a creative paper titled Everville for an English class. We had to share the paper with other students in the class, and one student commented she wanted to read an entire book on Everville. The rest is history.

What inspired you to write SF/Fantasy?

I’ve always loved science, so there is a natural love for imagining how technology will evolve from science in the future. In both science fiction and fantasy, I find an element of both escapism and wonder. They offer an avenue to plan new ideas and revisit societal constructs that aren’t always possible in the present environment. Speculative fiction can also be therapeutic, a place to go to recharge one’s mind and separate oneself from anxiety, abuse, or the realities of a harsh life. Of course, you have to come back to reality at some point, but fiction can provide an outlet in an often unforgiving world.

How much research went into the writing of this series?

The amount of research just depends on the topic. I have some level of background knowledge, but there are always times when I have to sketch an idea or thought and jump onto a search engine to find what I need. It’s usually not an awful lot, but research is still necessary from time to time.

How easy/difficult was it to write this series and create the characters for it?

Super easy, but the real challenge is making those characters compelling and the story engaging. Doing that requires asking the right questions and adding interesting flaws and motivations. How long that takes depends on a host of factors that can span hours or months.

How much does your day to day life inspire your characters?

All of it.

What do you do when you aren’t writing?

I love traveling, hiking, movies, and fiction on both the screen and in books and audio. I enjoy walks, spending time with family, learning, and good conversation with interesting and kind people.

How much time do you spend on your writing on average per day?

It varies widely. I’ve tended recently to write between 30-90 minutes daily if possible, or about 2-10 pages. But I used to be more of a marathon writer with 8-12 days of up to 45 pages a day. I wrote book three in the Everville series in six days. Recently, I feel more comfortable with 3-4 weeks for a rough draft if that’s my sole focus. But I’ve tended to stretch that out over months to gather a more sustainable routine within life’s other constraints. I’ve always done more traveling recently (the current pandemic excluded) which aligns to a more moderate but consistent pace.

What do you like best about writing a story?

There is no one thing. But, I like leaving a legacy behind. I enjoy creating new worlds and exploring ideas that haven’t been fleshed out by other works of fiction.

What kind of impact do your stories have on you?

Writing encourages me to grow, pay attention, and listen. It forces me to consider reasons and motivation but also to question the effectiveness and validity of societal expectations and rules. I usually write more optimistic fiction, so my own stories can give me reasons to hope and make me feel like I’m leaving something constructive behind to positively impact other people.

How much inspiration do you draw on from real life experiences, with respect to plot, characters etc?

All of it. Every thought, experience, feeling, or emotion provides subconscious or explicit inspiration for every part of the story.

Finally, what message do you want to share with us readers?

I wish to inspire my readers and give them a glimmer of hope for a brighter future. It may not seem like it, especially in trying times, but the arc of humanity has moved towards greater tolerance, reduced poverty, less violence, and longer life spans. Expect this trend to continue. I’ve woven that belief in my writing.

Additionally, I’m launching Seven Rules of Time Travel mid-July. You can find it on Goodreads here https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54130441-seven-rules-of-time-travel

I’m also giving away a free space opera short at https://www.royhuff.net/salvationship

Guest Post by Author Roy Huff

So why write about time travel? Fiction is a great way to explore what could be and what might have been. Time travel in particular allows the writer to fix mistakes as an individual and as a society. Who hasn’t thought about changing something in the past? Why not take advantage of that?

And what about the future? Why not imagine seeing the future and steering it in a direction that benefits you? In essence, it’s the most direct way to blend the benefits of fiction with real human desires and emotions. It’s escapism combined with the ultimate reality check. It forces you to confront your demons and develop a solution to vanquish them.

Time travel takes on many flavors. Writers can use the paradox trope as a literary tool to show character growth, forcing them to face reality instead of fantasy. I generally don’t like the paradox because it takes some of the fun out of the genre, and there are other more intriguing options to show growth that is unique to time travel.

Lifting time travel constraints allows the writer to explore those human conditions that usually don’t get explored. It forces the writer to find compelling motivations and character growth to engage readers.

Depending on the mechanism of time travel, one unexplored prospect is immortality. Humans, and all creatures, are limited by a finite lifespan which provides a sense of urgency. What happens when that urgency is removed.

And what about power? They don’t call Doctor Who a Time Lord for nothing. If you were immortal and could manipulate time, what would you do? What would your story look like? This is mine.