It’s finally February! I really thought January was never going to end, but here we are. In January I threw myself into reading, experimenting with just how much I could read and how much my mood affects my reading before really sinking my teeth into my two 2020 resolutions; first, to be on top of anticipated 2020 releases and second, to read far more diversely. Luckily, February has turned into the perfect opportunity to make a good start on both of those resolutions. Continue reading to see my Blackathon 2020 TBR, listed at the top, followed by 2020 releases and finally the other books I’m planning to get to.
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Blackathon 2020 TBR
Blackathon 2020 is an Afrocentric readathon created by Jesse at Bowties & Books spanning February which marks Black History Month in the United States and Canada. This readathon was initially created last February and hosted by Jesse, Lauren from The Novel Lush and Francina from Francina Simone. This year Jesse and Lauren are hosting the readathon across Twitter, Instagram and BookTube and the details can all be found in Jesse’s video above. There are reading challenges, divided between team contemporary and team science fiction/fantasy. However, I have four books, all released in either 2017 or 2019, on my general TBR shelf which have formed the perfect collection for this readathon as they all feature female protagonists of colour written by women of colour. I’ve seen them all become cornerstones of Book Twitter and BookTube and I can’t wait to read them all. Please be aware that Black History Month is also observed in October in Britain, so I’m saving some fantasy, science fiction and generally magical books from authors of colour for October to coincide with all things spooky and magical.
I’m also hoping to eventually have reviews for all of these once they’ve been written, however, for those books I’m reading as part of Blackathon 2020 I will also include video reviews by black BookTubers who can better speak to the representation present in each book.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Could I really start this TBR with any other book? I saw Thomas’ debut novel truly burst onto the scene through BookTube as everyone I followed was reading and loving it and its commercial success, popularity, and significance genuinely do continue to this day. Originally written as a short story, The Hate U Give depicts the division present in Starr Carter’s life as she was born and raised in a poor neighbourhood but attends a posh high school in the suburbs. However, Starr’s life is turned upside down when she is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer.
Published by Walker Books.
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
This book is absolutely beautiful. Just look at it. Luckily from the reviews, I’ve heard it is also just as gorgeous and heart-warming on the inside. This is another one which became very popular across BookTube, and I was drawn in by Emoni as a character who knows what she wants, has a passion she wants to turn into a career and doing it all while parenting a two-year-old at the age of seventeen. I’m also looking forward to reading about food! Emoni wants to be a chef more than anything, and her food is adored by everyone from her grandmother to her best friend. She knows there are rules to play by, but they all melt away once she gets cooking, and she trusts her passion for food will nourish her dreams. Also, my partner is a huge foodie and loves cooking so I think this will be a book swap with him after I’ve read it.
Published by Hot Key Books.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
I must admit that this is the one I’ve been waiting to get my hands on as I just hear rave reviews everywhere since its release. Queenie is a journalist, catastrophist, she’s expressive, aggressive, loved and lonely. Queenie promises a darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on life, love, race and family. I don’t know more about the plot than the short synopsis, however, as it seems to provide a slice of life narrative, I just want to experience the perspective.
Published by Trapeze.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
It wouldn’t be a TBR of mine if I didn’t include a mystery/thriller. This does sound more like a thriller than a mystery as it follows sisters Korede and Ayoola and their shared romantic interest in a doctor from Korede’s workplace. Korede has long been in love with him, but Ayoola has just started dating him. This would be slightly awkward in any family dynamic, but it is complicated further by Korede’s unique role as Ayoola’s personal clean-up crew. Ayoola has dispatched three boyfriends in self-defence before dating the doctor, and each time Korede has received a distress call and fetched the bleach and rubber gloves. She isn’t prepared to see the man she’s in love with end up with a knife in his back: but family comes first and to save one would mean sacrificing the other.
Published by Atlantic Books.
Pine by Francine Toon
I’m not going to go into too much detail here on Pine simply because I’m going to finish it today. As I’m writing this, I only have 100 pages left, and the narrative has really picked up, and the mystery element has come to the forefront. I’ll be uploading my review of this in the coming week so for now here is a sneak peek of the photos I’ve taken. I’ll be adding the review here once it’s uploaded as I’ll include a non-spoiler plot summary there.
Published by Doubleday.
The 24-Hour Café by Libby Page
I promise this book is still very highly anticipated I just realised that some of the discussions in here match up to things I’m experiencing in my personal life and, at times, it is a little close for comfort reading. I simply need to be aware of my mentality at the time before diving in. Regardless of my own complexities, the format of this book taking place over twenty-four hours really intrigues me. The titular 24-hour cafe is Stella’s Cafe and Libby Page invites the reader to spend twenty-four hours with waitresses Hannah and Mona who must decide if it is time to step outside and make their own ways.
Published by Orion Books.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
I cannot wait for this release. I would say this is undoubtedly up there as my most anticipated release. Unfortunately, I do have to wait until the very last few days of the month but as this is a mystery/thriller and I devoured The Hunting Party, Foley’s previous book, I’m sure that I’ll be able to complete this book before the end of the month.
The Guest List focuses on a group of old friends with past grudges, happy families and hidden jealousies attending “the wedding of the year” between Jules Keegan and Will Slater. Thirteen guests. One body. In a classic closed circle, thanks to a storm unleashing its fury on the island, everyone is trapped with a secret and a motive for the murder.
Published by HarperCollins.
The Binding by Bridget Collins
Okay, I’m going to embarrass myself in this article in the hope that it will make me get my act together and finish this book. It has taken me literal months to read 127 pages of this book. I keep putting it down, and my mood has taken me to other books. This book is pitched as a slowly unravelling mystery, but friends have assured me that the middle section is the highlight and I’ve dropped it off at a transition point which promises a pick-up in the narrative. Honestly, I’m not sure what is going on with me and this book, but I’m determined that I will finish it in February.
A Bookbinder’s trade is like no other. Emmett Farmer, a farm labourer, received a cryptic summons pressing him into service as an apprentice to a Bookbinder. This one letter irrevocably alters his life as he is both drawn to the profession and desperate to run from it. Each exquisitely beautiful volume is unique as they hold a person’s most unconscionable memories. To Emmett, they whisper in the darkness. The one day he discovers a book with his name on it and is forced to choose between forgetting and the dreadful, tantalising promise of remembrance.
Published by Borough Press.
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
This is the definition of a mood-induced read. It seems to be a theme across the BookTubers I follow that 2020 will be the year to either start reading or read more Robin Hobb. I was watching just a couple of videos, and I had a sudden overwhelming urge to read a medieval court fantasy, and the plot piqued my interest even more.
The crown prince of the kingdom of the Six Duchies is shamed into abdication as news breaks that he has fathered a bastard son. Fitz is despised, and the kingdom is on the brink of civil war. To be useful to the crown, Fitz is trained as an assassin; and to use the traditional magic of the Farseer family. But his tutor, allied to another political faction, is determined to discredit, even kill him. Fitz must survive for he may be destined to save the kingdom.
Published by Harper Voyager.
So there we have all of the books I’m planning to read in February! I’m hoping I may be able to squeeze in a few others but as it is the shortest month I’ll be very happy if I manage to read all of the above. I’ll be keeping you all updated on my progress via Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads so if you’re interested in that please check out the links below. Have you read any of these books? Are you participating in Blackathon 2020? Let me know what is on your TBR below!
Goodreads: Vicky Lord
No links in this blog are affiliate links or sponsored and I bought all books myself from personal interest.