June 2020 TBR

Title in white on navy starry skies

I thought I’d set myself a TBR this month, as setting a readathon TBR the last two months was very helpful at guiding my reading. I’m not doing a readathon this month, as I want to prioritise getting my shelves clear. I’ve got a few re-reads in the mix too.

It’s another big list this month, but I’m hoping (with exams behind me) that I’ll have more time this month. The books are in alphabetical order by surname, but don’t include any eARCs. I’m planning those as I feel like it, but with hopes that I might be able to read at least four.

Also, apologies in advance for the formatting; this is the first post I have written on the new wordpress editor, and I’m not entirely sure how it works. I’m particularly sad about the lack of justifying text, as I find the uneven ends of lines ugly, but I’ll work it out!

1. EVERYDAY SEXISM, by Laura Bates

Book cover for EVERYDAY SEXISM: title in bold colours on white

This collection of essays has been on my shelf at least a year now (I unearth a picture of them on a TBR about this time last year). It’s been a while since I read any essays, but I’m interested to see what she has to say – she was a speaker at my school many years ago, and I remember her being a very engaging speaker. I hope that comes across in this!

I suspect I will have to take this one essay at a time, because that tends to be the way with non-narrative non-fiction for me. With any luck, it will ease me into a frame to mind to start reading non-fiction again, as I’m accruing a pile of research books for my next writing project!

2. THE OBSIDIAN TOWER, by Melissa Caruso

THE OBSIDIAN TOWER is the first in a new trilogy from the author of THE TETHERED MAGE. Set in the same world, but 150 years later and from the perspective of a Vaskandaran heroine this time – the enemy society to the heroine of THE TETHERED MAGE. It’ll be such a different lens on the world, as magic and power are treated so differently in Vaskandar to Raverra. I don’t think it’s going to be as intrigue heavy, but I don’t care either way! More Melissa Caruso books!

I can’t wait to dig into this book, and see what new delight Melissa Caruso comes up with! It’s also adult fantasy, so hopefully it will be a book to help me get back into that genre!

3. THE EMPIRE OF GOLD, by S. A. Chakraborty

the empire of gold

The final book in the Daevabad trilogy is published early this month (in the UK), so I’m hoping my copy arrives this month. It’s one of my most anticipated books of the year, and it is going to be a chunky read! I can’t wait to return to this rich world and see how it all ends…

I will, of course, be re-reading the first two books in the trilogy (THE CITY OF BRASS and THE KINGDOM OF COPPER) in preparation for this finale, which is sure to be devastating. I’m also hoping that this trilogy will get me back into reading adult fantasy, as I’ve read three times more middle grade than adult fantasy this year.


the fandom rising

Another book that’s been on my shelves about a year, THE FANDOM RISING is the sequel to THE FANDOM, which was all about a book’s fans accidentally falling into the world of their favourite story – only to find that the reality was much grimmer than they’d expected. Yup, makes me think I probably don’t want to visit my favourite book worlds either!

This sequel is long overdue a read. The length of time that it’s been languishing is even more of a shock once you realise it’s little more than 270 pages long, so it’s not like it’s going to be a particularly hard book to finish.

5. WE HUNT THE FLAME, by Hafsah Faizal


I read this book last summer and thought it was OK but wasn’t living up to the immense hype around it. However, I was in a massive reading slump at the time, so I don’t think I gave WE HUNT THE FLAME enough of a chance. Therefore I’m going to try again, and I really want to utterly fall in love with this book. It’s just so pretty and the cover for the next one is even more eye-catching.

As I’ve already read it and the sequel isn’t going to be out until winter (I think), this is a book I’m happy to leave until next month if I’m running out of time to fit everything in this month!

6. ALL THE STARS AND TEETH, by Adalyn Grace

UK cover for ALL THE STARS AND TEETH: title in gold in front of a paper cut sea with glimpses of sea monsters

This is actually one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 (hasn’t been on a list yet as it’s UK release date is in August, and I’m posting my anticipated books for the latter 2020 books in July). I was going to wait until then to read it, but I got very impatient and love the US cover (I also love the UK cover), so got a US edition to buddy read with a friend.

This is probably going to be the first book I read this month and I have really high hopes for it . It sounds like something I should absolutely love. It’s a pirate-y book, and I’m completely in the mood for those at the moment.

7. TIDELANDS, by Phillipa Gregory

Book cover for TIDELANDS: vector images of flowers border an image of a woman with her back turned

I don’t know much about the plot for this one. It was cheap at Tescos, so I picked it up as I loved her cousins’ war books (something I might re-read next month?). I think it’s set during the (English) Civil War?

I have a friend who particularly loved this book, and I also want to try and push out of the fantasy genre a little more this year. Part of this is because, as a writer, I know there’s lot to be learnt from other genres. The other part is I always want to push myself, and no doubt there are wonderful books in other genres I’m missing. As such, starting somewhere pretty familiar is the best way to start, I think.

8. FLY BY NIGHT and TWILIGHT ROBBERY, by Frances Hardinge

Book cover for FLY BY NIGHT; a goose flies above the title, with feathers drifting around

Another couple of books from Frances Hardinge, FLY BY NIGHT and TWILIGHT ROBBERY are a rare pair that make up a series (as far as I can tell). It will be nice to stay in the same world, with the same characters, for a bit!

As with the other books of hers that I’ve read, I have no idea what these ones are about (I got a cheap box set with quite a few in, after friends had been recommending her for a while). Judging by the other books I’ve read, these should be more unsettling but gorgeous reads, full of magic both human and otherworldly.

9. CRIMSON BOUND, by Rosamund Hodge

Book cover for CRIMSON BOUND; a girl in a red cloak descends a white spiral staircase surrounded by trees

CRIMSON BOUND is a companion to CRUEL BEAUTY, which was one of my first reads this year. I am debating whether or not I need to re-read CRUEL BEAUTY in order to read this one. It will all depend on timing, I think (and how much I want THE BEHOLDER to be my first re-read of the year, pre-sequel. There is something very poetic, I feel, about the first book of the year being my first re-read).

It’s a very loose retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, with more forbidden romance between the lead and the “monster”. CRUEL BEAUTY was a very unusual retelling, and I’m hoping this is another similarly distinctive book.


Book cover for THE SILENCE OF THE BONES; title in white above a panting of a face all int blue/green

This is a YA historical mystery set in Korea in the early 1800s, which was more than enough for me to want to read this #ownvoices debut!

There’s a dead noblewoman, who’s probably been murdered for political reasons, but the deeper the protagonist Seol delves, the more secrets she unearths – and the inspector she becomes friends with may be the murderer!

From what I’ve heard about it, it’s a really lush, really tense, really emotionally driven story. It’s pretty high up the list of books I want to read this month, so it’ll probably be the second one I read.

11. THE KINGDOM OF BACK, by Marie Lu

Book cover for THE KINGDOM OF BACK; a draw tree with music and moons in the branches, as well as the title in glowing white. Dark blue coloured overall

Another historical fiction book (this month seems to be leaning that way more than usual!), but this time it’s a YA with some magical elements from an established and beloved author.

Honestly, I would read whatever Marie Lu writes, but the more I hear about this book’s journey, the more eager I am. It was actually the first book she ever tried to sell, I think – full of all her hopes and dreams of being a writer while not managing to make any sales. All of that got poured into the real-life figure of Nannerl, Wolfgang Motzart’s talented sister, who wasn’t allowed to compose and could only play until she married.


Book cover for TILLY AND THE BOOKWANDERERS: girl hold a book as pages and characters swirl around her on a red background

This vibrant looking book is one of my more recent purchases, a middle-grade about characters coming out of books and an adventure the main character Tilly goes on with them. I know friends who love this, so I have high hopes.

This will actually be the first book in this vein that I’ve read (I know there are others, but I never got into INKHEART as a child and I keep meaning to get around to picking up THE UNLIKELY ESCAPE OF URIAH HEAP but haven’t yet). I’m hoping for a bright, colourful adventure with this one full of bookish references too, though who knows how many I will pick up on!

13. A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE, by Arkady Martine

Book cover for A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE: title in golf below a throne shaped like a sunburst

I was complaining to friends that I was really struggling to read adult books this year, particularly adult fantasy – and so asked for recommendations with politics and intrigue and complex world. This was one of the first they recommended to me, and it sounds incredible – an new ambassador trying to work out what happened to the former, murdered ambassador.

I think it’s more sci-fi than fantasy, but I don’t care. I just want to read more adult speculative fiction, as I’m reading so much YA and a fair bit of MG. The little adult I’ve read this year has mostly been general fiction, and I’m hoping to change that up soon!

14. THE TESLA LEGACY, by K. K. Pérez

This is a YA Sci-Fi/Superhero story written by Kristina Pérez under a slightly different name and pitched as “what is Bruce Banner was a teenage girl?” Also the acknowledgements (yes, I tend to read them as soon as I get the book and before anything else) thank her husband and his PhD in Quantum Physics for help with the science and world – which always gives me hope for sci-fi, as someone who finds technobabble and nonsense “physics” irritating!

It’s a standalone, but I’m told I’ll want another book! I absolutely love her SWEET BLACK WAVES trilogy, so here’s hoping I’ll love this one too.

15. BONE CRIER’S MOON, by Kathryn Purdie

Book cover for BONE CRIER'S MOON; a boy and a girl stand back to back holding daggers surrounded by leaves

This is a YA Fantasy I saw a lot of friends reading the ARCs and giving rave reviews, so decided I might as well pick it up. I’m now quite excited for it (I seem to have cleared most of the “not sure books” in the last two months thanks to readathons, and am mostly left with things I’m dying to read)

I’d originally thought I wouldn’t read it, but between the reviews and the fact that I’ve loved other YA fantasy romances this year, I decided to give it a go. I have just accepted that I like far more romance in my YA than I previously though, as BONE CRIER’S MOON is all about about star crossed lovers. The girl has to kill the boy for her powers, and he hates her type of magic.

16. GARGANTIS, by Thomas Taylor

Book cover for GARGANTIS: two children run from a storm tossed sea along a pier in this purple cover

The sequel to MALAMANDER, GARGANTIS returns to the world of Eerie-on-Sea for another sea-monster adventure in the mist-filled town. Someone new has checked into the hotel, but something about the stranger is off and a mysterious artefact has washed up. I will, of course, be re-reading the first book in preparation for this sequel and I think I will start my month off by reading all the middle grade on this list!

This series is so atmospheric, and I love the fictional British seaside town that feels like its slipped through time into a world when sailors’ myths were real but has stuck in a quasi-Edwardian time.


Well, this is probably the most embarrassingly long-on-the-shelf book. Still only a year, but considering I bought it only a few chapters into NEVERMOOR; THE TRIALS OF MORRIGAN CROW, yeah… I should have read WUNDERSMITH; THE CALLING OF MORRIGAN CROW sooner.

NEVERMOOR was one of the first Middle Grade books I read last year, after not really reading it for years, and the wild imaginative abandon got me hooked on MG fantasy. I’m looking forwards to re-reading NEVERMOOR and then diving straight into this one afterwards.

What books are you hoping to read this month?

2 thoughts on “June 2020 TBR

    1. My month is certainly going to start with MG books – already read both of MALAMANDER and GARGANTIS and now on TILLY AND THE BOOKWANDERER (waiting for data to process means lots of reading time!)


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