July TBR: Ignoring my Existing TBR and Buying a Bunch of New Books

I have a list of purchased books sitting on my bedside table to help me keep track of them all and ensure I don’t let “the stack” get out of control. So, the logical thing to do in order to keep this list manageable would be to pick a TBR for July from these books. Right? Right?

Yeah, that would be a noooooo.

Instead, I went to the bookstore and bought a bunch of new books to read. Because clearly I want both myself and my credit card to suffer. Feel the joy. Here are the books I’ll attempt to tackle in July (50% of which I have a high chance of disliking. Woo?):

The Secret History – Donna Tartt

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There seems to be two kinds of responses to this book. 1) This is fantastic and 2) What is this pretentious load of boring bullshit? As I’m sure you can guess, I hope I fall into camp one. TSH is about a group of New England University Classics students who take part in a Bacchian rite and end up killing one of their classmates. It’s dense, slow, and supposedly full of terrible people. What a page turner, am I right? Yet, somehow it’s also a lot of people’s favourite book and apparently addictive. TSH has been around for a while now (28 years in fact) but if you haven’t heard of it, you’re probably familiar with Tartt’s more recent hit, The Goldfinch.


Conversations with Friends – Sally Rooney

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I have no idea why I have the sudden urge to read this book, but the sudden urge I do have. I was kind of lukewarm towards Rooney’s Normal People and didn’t really see myself reading anything else from her, but then I watched the TV adaptation, loved it, and now here we are with a copy of Conversations with Friends. It’s about a college student named Francis and her ex-girlfriend Bobby who end up drawn into the world of a journalist named Melissa and her husband, Nick. Francis soon begins an affair with Nick which changes her outlook on life and herself. I’m probably flirting with disappointment on this one but I live in hope.


The Little Drummer Girl – John Le Carré 

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Yes, we’re trying some espionage. I know, not my usual wheelhouse at all. I’ve probably read one book in this genre period. Temporary insanity, maybe? This is another one of those cases where I saw the adaptation, liked it (probably because I adore Florence Pugh) and decided I’d read the book. It’s also a book I’m very nervous about not enjoying because COMPLICATED. But hey, you never know unless you give things a try. The Little Drummer Girl is about an actress named Charlie being used by Israeli intelligence to infiltrate a Palestinian Terrorist cell and capture their leader. I don’t anticipate this being an easy novel to read but sometimes it’s good to challenge yourself. At the very least I’ll be able to say I’ve tried le Carré , right?


Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid

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My only not brand new purchase this month, I picked up Such a Fun Age on audible a few months ago. However, until this month, I just haven’t been in the mood to listen to it. Well, its time has come! I’ve heard some good things about the story, ideas and light, easy writing style so I’m looking forward to it. Such a Fun Age tells the story of an African-American woman named Emira who babysits for a wealthy, white family. After taking two year old Briar to a supermarket, Emira is accosted by security and accused of kidnapping her. Things kind of go pear shaped when Briar’s mother, Alix, tries to get justice for Emira. The book looks at race, privilege, white saviors, cultural awareness and more. I’ve heard the ending is a bit disappointing but I’m expecting an enjoyable story for the most part.


If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane

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While romance is usually associated with summer, I’m feeling like bucking the seasonal trend. Plus, I definitely need something light to break up the rest of this month’s selections. I shamelessly love a good fake dating trope so this is pretty much gold for me as far as the blurb goes. The story revolves around Laurie who sets up a fauxmance with the office playboy, Jamie, after her partner of 10 years leaves her and shortly after shows up with a pregnant girlfriend. Meanwhile Jamie is in need of a respectable girlfriend if he wants to impress the higher ups. I’m looking for some fun banter, cuteness, laughs and a teensy bit of steam.


Five books for July. I have absolutely no clue if I’ll manage to read them all or just get stuck on one for over two weeks (pray for me – I started The Little Drummer Girl first). Guess we’ll have to see. I’m keen to try a few things which are very different from my usual reading choices but at the same time, this could also be a recipe for disaster.

What’s the number one book on your TBR for this month?

New Additions to My Goodreads To-Read Shelf | 20.02.20

Like the typical bookworm that I am, I’m always stumbling across books which manage to catch my eye for some reason or another. Next thing you know, BAM..I’ve added them to the to-read shelf. Currently, my to-read shelf is at a much more manageable level than it has been in the past so I don’t feel so bad about throwing a few extra things on there now and again. After all, how else am I suppose to remember the massive amounts of books that I want to read?! Here are a couple of novels that have recently been added to the list.

Slay – Brittney Morris

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This book caught my eye while I was searching for something else at the book store a few weeks ago. The cover is really striking and once I saw the blurb, I knew I’d have to add it to the to-read list. As a gamer myself, there’s just something about video game stories. Slay is about 17-year-old Kiera who has developed a multiplayer online role playing card game called SLAY which is popular among Black gamers. None of the people in her life know this though. However, after a teen is murdered over an in-game dispute, SLAY is picked up by the mainstream media and labelled as racist and exclusionist. Kiera is left to deal with the consequences of this, including one particularly vicious troll, all whilst trying to keep her identity a secret.


The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden

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I remember being intrigued by TBATN a good while ago but for some reason never added it to my to-read shelf. I think I ended up falling on the side of: I don’t know if this will be my cup of tea. However, while writing my recent post showcasing YA books set in other countries, it came back onto my radar and I decided to give it a go. The book is based on Russian folklore and tells the story of Vasilisa, who lives with her family in a small village. Vasilisa is special in that she can see & speak to the creatures/spirits that live on the land. After her father re-marries and a new priest enters the community, attitudes towards these beings and Vasilisa’s abilities change, leaving her an outcast and previous superstitious practices abandoned. Soon things in the village begin to go wrong such as failing crops and sinister things emerging from the forest. Now Vasilisa must use her gifts to save her loved ones.


Foundryside – Robert Jackson Bennett

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Foundryside is another book that I took note of a while back but for some reason just didn’t end up adding to my shelf for future reference. Having recently gone back, read the blurb and some reviews, and stared at the gorgeous cover for a good few minutes, I’ve decided this will probably be something I’ll like. The book is about a thief named Sancia who is hired to steal a magical artifact with immense power and the potential to revolutionise a magical technology known as scriving. However, in stealing it, Sancia angers the powerful merchant houses that control the technology and now they want her dead. Her only way out is to gather allies and learn to use the power of the artifact for herself.


Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid

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Lately I’ve been adding more adult contemporary fiction to my TBR. Such a Fun Age has been popping up a lot over the last few weeks and I’ve heard some good things about it. It’s about two women – Alix & Emira. Emira is the 25-year-old, black babysitter to Alix’s daughter and currently juggling multiple jobs whilst trying to work out what to do with her life. Alix, on the other hand, is a wealthy, white, feminist blogger and influencer who has doubts of her own. After Emira is accused of kidnapping Alix’s daughter, Briar, whilst out at the supermarket one evening, the whole altercation is caught on camera. Emira wants to forget and move on but Alix is determined to get justice for her. So begins a story about race, friendship, white saviourism, privilege, and parenthood.


Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb 1#) – Tamsyn Muir

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This book could go very well or not so great at all based on what I’ve seen from reviews. Apparently there is a long period of not having a clue what’s going on. Yet, I can’t help but be super intrigued. It’s centred around a smart mouthed swordswoman named Gideon. Harrow, a necromancer, has been summoned by the emperor to compete in a set of mysterious trials to potentially ascend to something that will bring immortality. But, Harrow is unable to compete without a cavalier at her side. Enter Gideon. However, when the other necromancers and cavaliers start getting murdered, Gideon not only has to worry about assisting Harrow but keeping the both of them breathing and tracking down the culprit. It’s dark, queer, unique, and I’m super excited to read it.


There we have it, five additions to the list. Lord knows when I’ll actually get around to buying and reading any of them. Then again, I do have a habit of letting books skip the queue because I’m a serious mood reader. Guess, we’ll have to see.

Have you recently added anything exciting to your to-read shelf?