Jayeless.net

To Read

Like many readers, I seem to have the problem of a “to read” list that grows much faster than I can actually strike books off it. As such, here you’ll find an extremely long list! As a disclaimer, while everything on this list is something I’d like to one day read (or have read), there’s no guarantee I’ll ever actually get to any specific item. The order in which entries appear is also very approximate, and may not be adhered to.

I’ve broken up my list a little bit as follows. First there are the next few books, that I’m just about to get onto. Then I have a list of “general fiction”, by which I just mean the books I intend to read quickly for the sheer enjoyment of them. This is further subdivided by genre. Then we have “classic fiction”, by which I mean the older kinds of classic works that I would like to have read, but anticipate being a bit slower and more challenging to get through. Then I also have a list of Spanish-language books, and finally a list of non-fiction I’d like to read.

My next few books

  1. Fledgling – Octavia E. Butler
    Butler’s spin on a vampire story.
  2. American Spy – Lauren Wilkinson
    About an FBI operative who starts to have qualms about all the US’s coup-mongering.
  3. Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers #3) – Becky Chambers
    Third part of an optimistic space opera series. I loved the first two.

General fiction

Literary and historical fiction

  • Hades, Argentina – Daniel Loedel
    I read an article in The Atlantic about Loedel's real-life sister Isabel; this is the novel he wrote as a way through sifting through his feelings about that sister.
  • Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
    A family saga starting in the early 20th century, following a Korean family which moves to Japan.
  • Homecoming – Yaa Gyasi
    A multigenerational family saga set across Ghana and the US.
  • The Hungry Tide – Amitav Ghosh
    A highly-regarded literary work set in the mangroves around the Bay of Bengal.
  • Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
    About Indian independence and partition.
  • The President and the Frog – Carolina de Robertis
    Upcoming book by an author whose work I have largely adored. Somewhat fantastical tale focusing on the leader of an unnamed Latin American country that lowkey is Uruguay.
  • The Old Drift – Namwali Serpell
    Literary epic and family saga in 20th century Zambia, with family and science fiction elements as well.
  • City of Thieves – David Benioff
    Something of a historical romp set amidst the deprivation of WW2 Leningrad.

Science fiction

  • Octavia E. Butler
    The last couple of books of hers that I haven’t read already (excluding Survivor, which she renounced).
    • Parable of the Sower (Earthseed #1)
      Follows a hyperempathetic 15-year-old girl as the world around her is ridden with danger and crisis.
    • Parable of the Talents (Earthseed #2)
      The follow-up to Parable of the Sower.
  • Wayfarers – Becky Chambers
    An optimistic, lighthearted space opera with a lot of thoughtful contemplation of society. Loved the first book!
    • Record of a Spaceborn Few (#3)
    • The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (#4)
  • The Murderbot Diaries – Martha Wells
    I’ve read the first one. Murderbot is a fantastic character, wry and cynical. Really looking forward to reading more of this series.
    • Rogue Protocol (#3)
    • Exit Strategy (#4)
    • Network Effect (#5)
    • Future Telemetry (#6)
  • Ursula K. LeGuin – The Hainish Cycle
    From what I’ve read of this collection so far, it is brilliantly insightful and deeply political.
    • The City of Illusions (#3)
      Involves an amnesiac taken in by another people and an epic journey, I think.
    • The Word for World is Forest (#5)
      A book with strong environmentalist themes, critical of imperialism.
    • The Dispossessed (#6)
      This will be a reread. I remember it being a thoughtful warning of the problems that could still occur, even in a “perfect” classless, democratic society.
  • Winter’s Orbit – Everina Maxwell
    Read a good Goodreads review of it; political science fiction, suspense and a good romance all in one? Yes please.
  • Bone Shaker (The Clockwork Century #1) – Cherie Priest
    Goodreads’ algorithms have been pushing this book onto me for years. To be fair, it could be fun; it’s a steampunk alt-history with zombies.
  • A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers #1) – Alex White
    I believe I came across this author on Twitter and they made their book sound quite interesting. Science-fantasy novel revolving around motor racing I think (?)
  • Ancillary Justice (The Imperial Radch #1) – Ann Leckie
    Highly-regarded, socially-aware science fiction. Algorithms started pushing this on me because I loved the first Teixcalaan book.
  • Ancestral Night (White Space #1) – Elizabeth Bear
    Another socially-aware science fiction series. This one starts with scavengers stumbling across ancient, all-powerful technology I believe.
  • Dreamsnake – Vonda N. McIntyre
    An older (1970s) darkly post-apocalyptic book that has reportedly aged pretty well.
  • Seven Devils (#1) – Elizabeth May and Laura Lam
    Zippy feminist space opera. A princess flees her old life and joins the resistance to overthrow her brother.
  • Six Wakes – Mur Lafferty
    A spacefaring science fiction thriller involving a serial killer and clones.
  • Zero Echo Shadow Prime – Peter Samet
    Self-published. SF thriller revolving around a young woman who makes a deal with a shady company to be cured of a nasty cancer, only they clone her.
  • A Spark of White Fire (Celestial Trilogy #1) – Sangu Mandanna
    A YA science-fantasy retelling of the Mahabharata.
  • The Three-Body Problem (#1) – Liu Cixin
    Goes without explaining, really; probably the most famous (in the Anglosphere) work of Chinese science fiction.
  • The Test – Sylvain Neuvel
    A dystopian novella set in Britain.
  • Luna: New Moon (Luna #1) – Ian McDonald
    To do with space coloisation. Recommended by LibraryThing’s algorithms on the basis that I like other SF books.
  • Ten Sigma – A.W. Wang
    Self-published; a cyberpunk turned military science fiction.
  • Children of Ruin – Adrian Tchaikovsky
    A follow up to Children of Time, and apparently pretty similar, but with octopi.

Fantasy

  • Uprooted – Naomi Novik
    I think it was LibraryThing’s algorithms that recommended this one; a high fantasy novel inspired by Polish mythology.
  • Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch
    The first one was a very funny mash-up of a police procedural and an urban fantasy. Thinking this series will be good when I want a break from gloomier or more depressing reads!
    • Moon Over Soho (#2)
    • Whispers Under Ground (#3)
    • Broken Homes (#4)
    • Foxglove Summer (#5)
    • The Hanging Tree (#6)
    • Lies Sleeping (#7)
    • False Value (#8)
  • Graceling (#1) – Kristin Cashore
    A YA fantasy series from a few years ago that I’ve seen recommended as better than most YA fantasy series.
  • Queen of the Conquered (#1) – Kacen Callender
    A dark fantasy set in the Caribbean with strong anti-colonial themes.
  • The Bird King – G. Willow Wilson
    A fantasy novel set in Moorish Spain.
  • Zoo City – Lauren Beukes
    An urban fantasy/mystery novel set in Johannesburg.
  • The Golem and the Djinni – Helene Wecker
    A historical fantasy drawing on Jewish mythology.
  • Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) – Rebecca Roanhorse
    Beginning of a fantasy trilogy with a Native American protagonist and setting, with climate change as a relevant factor.
  • Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha #1) – Tasha Suri
    Every algorithm pushes this on me because I loved S.A. Chakraborty's Daevabad trilogy. This one is inspired by Indian mythology.
  • Woven in Moonlight (#1) – Isabel Ibáñez
    Beginning of a YA fantasy series inspired by Bolivian culture and history.
  • The Midnight Lie (#1) – Marie Rutkowski
    Beginning of a YA fantasy series; well-reviewed by people I follow on Goodreads (sapphic romance with plenty of banter).
  • The Invisible Library (#1) – Genevieve Cogman
    A lighthearted fantasy adventure series.
  • City of Lies (Poison War #1) by Sam Hawke
    A high fantasy series that S.A. Chakraborty recommended to readers of her own trilogy.
  • The Night Raven (Crow Investigations #1) – Sarah Painter
    A light-hearted urban fantasy/mystery series.
  • Alif the Unseen – G. Willow Wilson
    Science-fantasy set in an Arab city-state.
  • The Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) – Fonda Lee
    Urban fantasy about organised crime in basically fictionalised Hong Kong.
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn – Melissa Bashardoust
    YA fantasy drawing on Persian mythology about a girl who’s poisonous to the touch. Also there’s sapphic representation.
  • Witchmark (#1) by C.L. Polk
    LibraryThing’s algorithm recommended this to me as similar to the Amberlough trilogy. I believe it has a gay main character in an alt-history Edwardian England.
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune – Nghi Vo
    Reputedly a feminist tale and an indictment of empire, with an Asian setting. Well-reviewed by people I follow on Goodreads.
  • Beyond the Ruby Veil (#1) – Mara Fitzgerald
    YA fantasy; I’ve followed this author on Twitter for ages (since one of the times I did NaNoWriMo myself) and her book looks fun.
  • A Turn of the Wheel – Catherine Labadie
    A high fantasy novel by an author whose more urban fantasy duology I loved; self-published.
  • The Bone Shard Daughter (#1) – Andrea Stewart
    A LibraryThings rec. Bone magic sounds very cool to me.
  • The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) – Katherine Arden
    A high fantasy trilogy set in Russia, I believe.
  • The Bone Maker – Sarah Beth Durst
    I love the idea of a fantasy novel set years after the “epic quest” is over. Also features bone magic and is reportedly zippy, compulsive reading.
  • Maresi (The Red Abbey Chronicles #1) – Maria Turtschaninoff
    I read a positive review on Goodreads for the last (?) book in the trilogy, so if I’m gonna get there, I need to start at book 1. A feminist series centred on a female-only abbey.
  • Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) – Zoraida Córdova
    Second in the series, but reportedly better than the first and can be read standalone.
  • Descendant of the Crane – Joan He
    YA fantasy with a Chinese-inspired setting. A princess is suddenly thrust into power after her father’s death, and turns to long-outlawed magic to try to get justice for him.
  • Rod Duncan
    Someone told me that The Outlaw and the Upstart King (#2 in his Map of Unknown Things trilogy) is really good. But it is the second one. Then I found out there’s a first trilogy before that trilogy. So uh yeah. Start somewhere!
  • The Gilded Wolves (#1) – Roshani Chokshi
    Found through LibraryThing recommendations.
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree – Samantha Shannon
    A high fantasy epic.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
    I did not love the last Gaiman I read (American Gods, ages ago) but I’m prepared to give him another try.
  • Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
    See above.
  • Bloodlines – Peter Hartog
    Self-published; a fantasy/detective novel.

Horror

  • Pine – Francine Toon
    A gothic novel set in Scotland; I heard about it through someone on Micro.blog who read it and enjoyed it.
  • My Soul to Keep (#1) – Tananarive Due
    Goodreads used to recommend this one to me all the damn time! I believe it’s a vampire novel/series and focuses on one family.

Contemporary, mystery, thrillers

  • My Dark Vanessa – Kate Elizabeth Russell
    Reputedly haunting story about a woman who, as a teen, was groomed and seduced by her high school teacher, and the effect that that abuse (which she is in denial that it was abuse) has on her later life.
  • Abduction – Anouar Benmalek
    An Algerian thriller, delving into the legacy of colonialism.
  • Well-Behaved Indian Women – Saumya Dave
    I read an extract of this ages ago and it reminded me so much of my in-laws that I have to read it hahaha
  • Megan Abbott
    I’ve read a number of her books (generally enjoying the noirs more than the contemporary ones); these are the ones I know of that I haven’t yet got to.
    • Die a Little (noir)
    • The Song is You (noir)
    • The Fever (contemporary)
    • Give Me Your Hand (contemporary)
  • Involuntary Turnover (Kat Voyzey Mysteries #1) – Cheri Baker
    Mystery novel by another member of the Micro.blog community.

Classics

  • Gothic fiction
    I enjoyed Mexican Gothic so much that I figured this is a genre I should read more of. As such, here are a number of “classic” gothic works.
    • Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
    • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
    • Dracula – Bram Stoker
    • Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
    • Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    I enjoyed this when I was 14, but I don’t remember it that well. I watched the TV adaption a year or two ago, and it made me want to reread the book.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
    I also last read this when I was a teenager, and at that time, it was one of my favourite books ever. I think it’s about time I reread it.
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkien
    I’ve read a lot of fantasy, but never this. As a foundational work of the modern genre I feel like I should at least be familiar with it.
  • A Dry White Season – André Brink
    A South African novel important in its day as a stinging rebuke to the apartheid system by an Afrikaner author.
  • Suite française – Irène Némirovsky
    The first two parts of an unfinished work by an author who was deported to and killed in Auschwitz. Set in WW2-era France.

Books in Spanish

  • La sombra del viento – Carlos Ruiz Zafón
    Everyone I know or have heard of who’s read this book has loved it.
  • Como agua para chocolate – Laura Esquivel
    A very well-known book, and it’s short and I already have it.
  • Lo que el tiempo olvidó – Lorena Franco
    ~Mysterious~ fantasy novel with time travel.
  • De amor y de sombra – Isabel Allende
    This will be a reread. I’ve read it once and really enjoyed it, even though my Spanish was much weaker then, but I don’t remember much and want to read it again.

Non-fiction

  • A People’s History of the World – Chris Harman
    Apparently I started this once, but have no recollection of it at all. I’d still like to read it!
  • Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space – Amanda Leduc
    About the way disability is depicted in fairy tales (hint: always a tell of bad character), and how to move away from that.
  • Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone – Sarah Jaffe
    About how the ideology of “work ethic” and the fantasy of the “dream job” keeps us downtrodden.
  • Bullshit Jobs – David Graeber
    Automation has not relieved us of the burden of long work weeks; instead, pointless jobs have arisen en masse to waste our time.
  • Anatomy of a Moment – Javier Cercas
    I’ve been meaning to read this since my honours year (2014). About the attempted coup in Spain in 1981.