*The First Quarterly TBR Of 2020 [January - March]

1/05/2020


I was playing with the idea of doing monthly TBR posts in 2020 but it just didn't seem plausible as I tend to change my mind a lot. However, quarterly TBR's seem more flexible and gives me ample time to read my picks. Here's my first one of the year.


Forever, Interrupted 
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Elsie and Ben are a whirlwind romance. Within months of meeting they're married and settling down to a full life together, but fate doesn't follow along with their plan. Ben is hit and killed in a tragic accident leaving behind Elsie who has to not only come to terms with the loss of her newly wedded husband, but deal with the mother-in-law she had never met.

Told semi in reverse, we follow two story arcs, one about Elsie's life after losing Ben, and the other of Elsie and Ben's love story. Taylor Jenkins Reid is my favourite author of all time, so I have no doubt that this book will absolutely shatter my heart into a billion little pieces. How else does one start the New Year?


*Beyond The Moon
by Catherine Taylor
Two people, two battles: one against the invading Germans on the battlefields of 1916 France, the other against a substandard, uncaring mental health facility in modern-day England. Two journeys begun a century apart, but somehow destined to coincide - and become one desperate struggle to be together.

I kindly got sent this for review, but I would've been interested if I stumbled upon it in a bookstore. I'm a big fan of historical fiction, especially when it's split between two time periods (think The Alice Network, The Girl You Left Behind, and The Last Letter To Your Lover) and this offers me just that. Expect a full review soon after I've finished it.


Americanah
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

I've only seen glowing reviews for this book, and that is purely why it's on my list. I've seen many people call it a modern classic, which is probably one of the biggest compliments you can give. Late last year I listened to the authors most known work 'We Should All Be Feminists' and found her words powerful, so I'm excited to try out her fictional work.


Becoming
by Michelle Obama
Described by the author as a deeply personal experience, this memoir by the former US first lady talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother.

This was meant to be read by me in 2019 but I only just managed to get the audiobook through my library. As a girl born and bred in the UK I don't know a whole lot about this beloved woman so I'm quite enthusiastic to delve into her life. She's so inspiring and I just know I'm going to finish this book feeling empowered.


The Fifth Season
by N. K. Jemisin
This is the way the world ends...for the last time. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

This is the first book in The Broken Earth trilogy, and though I'm not entirely sure what it's about, I'm excited to pick it up. I have previously read N. K. Jemisin's book 'A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms' and though I didn't love it, I was able to appreciate her flawless way of building fantasy worlds and the diverse characters entwined into those worlds, so I'm excited to try out this much loved series.


Heidi 
by Johanna Spyri
Little orphan Heidi goes to live high in the Alps with her gruff grandfather and brings happiness to all who know her on the mountain.

When I was a child my mum would sit me down at night and tell me her own versions of classic children's literature. The Secret Garden, Anne Of Green Gables, and Heidi would all have witches, vampires, and something supernatural involved. I was at an embarrassing age by the time I realised that there were no souls being sucked in The Secret Garden, and Heidi wasn't in fact a witch. (mind blowing) So I'm slowly making my way through the classic versions and am always disappointed by how.. plain they are. Heidi is up this month. Here's hoping for at least some potions! At least Wind In The Willows is still about shapeshifters.. right?


Tin Man
by Sarah Winman
Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of an overbearing father. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more. But then we fast forward a decade or so, to find that Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is nowhere in sight. Which leads to the question, what happened in the years between? This is almost a love story. But it's not as simple as that.

This was purely a cover buy, but since picking it up I've seen it recommend on Booktube as a great portrait of bisexuality, which makes me want to pick it up sooner rather than later. Plus it's under 250 pages, which is always great for a TBR pile.


And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer 
by Fredrik Backman
This is an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man's struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family's efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

Fredrik Backman is an instant buy author for me. I love his writing, the simplicity of his stories, and I have yet to finish one of his books without crying at least once. This is a short novella at only 96 pages, but there isn't a doubt in my mind that it's size won't lessen to punch to my heart.


The Underground Railroad
by Colson Whitehead
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape.

This historical fiction novel has been on my TBR shelf for at least a year now but I keep making excuses to not pick it up as there's just something about it that I find daunting. So I now pledge to read it within the next 12 weeks. This has nothing but positive reviews so I'm almost positive I will not regret it.


Red At The Bone
by Jacqueline Woodson
This novel centres around two black families who come together when a girl and a boy in high school, Iris and Aubrey, become pregnant. Iris is from a life and family in which, “even as a child, she'd never doubted that she'd one day go to college”: Having a baby at 16 was never part of the plan.

I randomly picked this up from my library not having heard much about it, the premise merely intrigued me. Since then I have seen it everywhere (isn't that just the way it is?) and people seem to appreciate it as a great work of fiction. It was also shortlisted in the Goodreads Choice Awards, so that's cool.


The House On Mango Street 
by Sandra Cisneros
Presented in a series of vignettes, this 110 page book tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, a 12-year-old Chicana girl growing up in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago.

A personal goal of mine this year is to read at least one non-fiction and one classic novel a month. Though Heidi could probably fill the latter category quite well, I'm instead going to use The House On Mango Street as it's been gathering dust on my TBR for much longer, that and the fact my husband read it last year and said I would enjoy it. It seems like a quite beloved read, so what's the harm in adding one more book?


I will undoubtedly pick up a few other books to go alongside this list throughout the next 3 months, but as I'm a huge mood reader I'm leaving those up to future me. This is just my definite TBR pile. 

What book are you hoping to pick up this year?




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