Reading is a purely solitary activity and I find that it’s quite easy to stick to a comfortable, predictable pattern. I personally read a lot of fantasy and very rarely do I reach for other genres because I know my reading tastes well. However, I feel like there are so many other amazing books waiting to sneak into my “Favourites” shelf who don’t belong to the genre I read the most. 2019 is the year I’ve decided to take the plunge and challenge myself to read out of my comfort zone. In order to accomplish that, I did a bit of digging around on the Internet and settled on five wonderful reading challenges that I want to attempt. Every month from now I will be giving recommendations for each of the challenges I mention in this post. I hope my list inspires you to push beyond your limits as a reader too!
Author: R. F. Kuang
Age Range: 18+
Published: By Gollancz on November 8th, 2018
Content Warning: Check out this comprehensive list by the author
Format I Read: E-book
When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.
For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.
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. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for January 15th, 2019 is: New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018.
I’ve broken down the list into two sections – established authors I discovered in 2018 and debut authors who took the literary world by storm with their new books. I’ve included as many authors of colour as possible in this all-female line-up! Sounds good? Let’s get cracking!
2018 had been a good blogging year for me but I decided to take my content up a notch in 2019, which meant doing things that scared me. One of those was to write to authors I adore with all my heart to see if they’d be interested to do a Q&A on my blog. Roshani Chokshi, one of my favourite authors of all time, has a book coming out on January 15th for which I’m very excited, so I decided to send out an email and see what transpires. To my absolute delight, I heard back soon and she was sweet enough to take time off from touring, writing, wedding planning and celebrating the holidays with her family to answer a few questions. If you’ve read my December wrap-up post, you’ll know that The Gilded Wolves is on the list of my most anticipated January releases. I haven’t stopped shouting about my love for the Aru Shah series, which made it to my best of 2018 and yearly wrap-up post! I also raved about A Crown of Wishes, the companion to The Star-Touched Queen on my blog back when it had a much smaller audience. My point is that it’s no secret that I love Roshani’s writing with all my heart, so I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to chat with her! With that gushy introduction aside, let’s dive in to the Q&A part!
Author: Tasha Suri
Age Range: 18+
Published: By Orbit on November 13th, 2018
Content Warning: Death, genocide and abuse
Format I Read: Kindle e-book
Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review
The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda. Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…
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. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for January 8th, 2019 is: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019
Even though the new year has already rolled around, I can’t quite accept 2019 as “this year”. The week has been a normal enough one, only much colder in the mornings, and I have largely been failing at all my new year goals. Hopefully, some serious time to myself over the weekend should get me back to shape! The first step in looking ahead is to learn from the past, so here I am to talk about all things 2018. My blogger friends Sahitya @ My World of Books and Simant @ Flipping Through the Pages brought my attention to this end-of-year survey that is hosted annually by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. This is a long and comprehensive one, but I promise there is light at the end of the tunnel! Let me get straight to the questions now.