Stories From My Shelf: Intro + Round 1 (Black Spines)

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The photo above may be familiar, since I first posted it on my Instagram back in May. I had no intentions of writing this post at the time, I just wanted to document what I had on my shelves and see if anyone had feelings toward any of the displayed spines.

After watching Marines from mynameismarines (on YouTube) do a "bookshelf tour" series by sharing her thoughts and some sort of backstory on each acquired book in her library, I really wanted to do the same! Similarly, I wanted to implement her project here to also re-evaluate whether or not I want to keep these titles in my collection. For the past two years, my spending has gone down exponentially—mostly because I am much more picky with what I read now. So, a lot of the books I will be talking about are older titles. It'll be interesting because I've changed my mind about a lot of things! Also, you'll notice that most of the titles are written by white authors and about white characters. What I own really does not represent what I read, as you'll quickly notice, and I mean that in an assortment of ways. (I'll share more about this in a reflection post at the end, but I touch on this throughout the whole series too.)

My thoughts about keeping a library has changed a lot. I used to want a huge wall full of books. Now, it's not so much about filling up a space as much as it is about making sure it's well-stocked. I don't mind if I have a ton of books I haven't read, as long as I'm still interested in reading them and have intentions to pick them up someday. As a mood reader, it's nice to have the option to reach for a variety of different stories whenever I want. The goal is to have a good mix of books I 1) have read, loved, and want to re-read; and 2) am excited to read. That's it! We don't have room here for books I feel indifferent about ☕

Alright, here is the bookshelf tour: round one!

✅ = keep
πŸ’­ = unsure; thinking about it ...
✖️ = donate

(Note: I added each book's average rating on Goodreads next to its title because that is information I like to know. I thought it might interest you too.)

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson • 3.96 rating
Every time I come across this cover, I really question who designed it. Why isn't "Lily" capitalized?! (Note: This book got a cover change last year and it is much more enticing now!) I've owned Tiger Lily for five years now, and I'm pretty sure I bought it because Margot talked so much about it. If I remember correctly, I bought this in New York City at Barnes & Noble while I was there for my internship to supplement my Peter Pan retellings blog post that never saw the light of day πŸ˜‚ I still want to read it though, so it's staying on my shelf.

Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman • 4.51 rating
The third and last book in the Illuminae Files. I re-read the first book, Illuminae, at the beginning of 2019 in hopes to continue on with the series and ... I still haven't picked up Gemina 🀑 As you will be able to tell soon enough, I am terrible at completing book series. Still, I have high hopes for this one! Illuminae is one of my favorite books.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman • 4.02 rating
Ah yes. I bought this when I truly believed I loved historical fiction. Then I proceeded to read approximately zero books in that genre. I'm really still interested in reading this book, but it's unfortunately not something that comes to mind when I'm thinking of what I should read next ...

πŸ’­ The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith • 3.87 rating
I bought this because I wanted to see what else J.K. Rowling could write, but ... to be honest, I don't know if I care anymore. Very mixed feelings about this one ...

πŸ’­ Truthwitch by Susan Dennard • 3.85 average rating
I should probably mention that I own a lot of YA fantasy books. And you may respond with, "But Amaris, you don't read much fantasy? ..." And you would be right about that. When I first entered the online book community (and it's true now too I think), fantasy was probably the most talked about genre. At least among the people I follow. And so, because everyone was talking about all the fantasy books they love and read, I, too, wanted to join the conversation. I can't even tell you what Truthwitch is about, aside from maybe friends who are connected to each other in some way ... ? I don't know! 😬 But I can tell you that a good number of people love this series. And maybe one day I'll give it a go. I read the first book in Susan Dennard's Something Strange and Deadly series and had a pretty good time, so maybe this will be entertaining as well?

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough • 3.76 rating
This was quite the mystery/thriller read, one that interested me all the way through but left me feeling BAMBOOZLED. It was written VERY well—there were clues sprinkled throughout the whole novel, but for the life of me I couldn't put it together. And when everything hit, it was truly a "WTF" moment. My two emotions for Behind Her Eyes = "I am never reading this again ... WHAT WAS THAT ENDING" and "That was ... a good book." I want to keep it solely for lending to friends so they can experience this brand of torture hahaha.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern • 4.03 rating
According to my Currently Reading post from 2017, I made it 24% of the way through before putting it down. I remember LOVING it, but ... I'm just a bad combination of slow and moody. And I can't sit still for a long time. This is definitely high up on my WANT TO READ list! I bought this hardcover second-hand at, I believe, Half Price Books. Definitely one of my favorite finds.

Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo • 4.43/4.58 rating
One book stands in the way of me starting this duology—Ruin and Rising, the last book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy—but I really am eager to continue with it!!! At my pace of one Leigh Bardugo book every four years, I'll be starting Six of Crows in 2027 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


I really enjoyed doing this, and I think typing out my reasonings for these will help with being intentional about what I should keep or give away. Are any of these books on your "favorites" list? Or, if any of these are on your TO READ list, let's buddy read!


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