A TBR is not to be completed. All over the bookish community, I see readers rushing to finish their to-be-reads, stressing over what they haven’t read, haven’t accomplished. But a TBR is not something to accomplish. It is not a road marker of achievement or failure. A TBR is a list of dreams of faraway places and wishes of new lives, hopes for the future, and a willingness to try.
That was a bit more poetic than I had originally intended, but you get the idea. I don’t want to think of my TBRs as a future of failure, cause I know I will never complete it, either because it is too long or my reading tastes change. A TBR should be something to look forward to, to think about, and I love thinking about it, even if I never read all (or any) of the books on the list. So, without further ado, I will talk about a few of the books on my TBR this Fall, why they are on my TBR, and whether I think I will actually get to read them.
The first book is What Moves The Dead by T. Kingfisher. I’ve actually already started the audiobook on Scribd, and I am enjoying it so far. I picked this book because not only did it sound super spooky and gothic – which is right up my alley – but it is a retelling of The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe, one of my favorite Poe short stories.
I started reading it today, actually, to kick off September and the coming cozy month with a spooky read (not that I will ever stop reading spooky books at any given time). And what hopes do I have for this book? Well, I am starting to write my own spooky short fiction, and I am getting inspiration for style and topics. I have a lot of ideas brewing in my head, and reading more spooks only helps to solidify these ideas.
Next are the books in the witches series from the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. These books include Equal Rites (which I’ve already read), Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies, Maskerade, and Carpe Jugulum. All of these books feature Nanny Weatherwax as a main character, and I will tell you all that I want to be like her as I grow older: no-nonsense, knows how to navigate life and the toughest people, again doesn’t take shit, and is a witch!
I don’t know if I’ll get to all the books in this series in the Fall, or ever, but I know they are there for when I want to dream of being a witch again. I will say, Equal Rites is a good book to read if you like Studio Ghibli, especially Kiki’s Delivery Service or Howl’s Moving Castle. I think at some point we all want to be in a Ghibli Setting, and the Discworld witch series definitely makes you feel like you’re in one.
Coming out in October is The Vanishing of Avenline Jones by Phil Hickes. Readers of my reviews, you will know that I have loved the first two books in the Aveline Jones series, and I cannot wait until the third one this Fall! These books are fantastically spooky, but, personally, they make me think of my childhood and how much I loved ghosts and still do. I poured over every piece of material I could find about ghosts on the internet starting at age 11. I think the only difference between Aveline and 11-year-old me was that she encountered dangerous ghosts, whereas mine were far more subtle or simply not there. Didn’t stop me from looking though, just like Aveline. I want to read more of her story for the nostalgia of my childhood, and the possibility of ghosts that still remains in my sense of wonder. This book I will definitely read. It’s pretty easy to get through with Hickes’ amazing writing style and atmospheres.
And there you have it: these are the books I know are absolutely on my TBR so far. There are others on my radar, but I am not sure I will read them yet. These books promise whimsy and wonder – two things I think everyone needs in life – the imaginings I have of being a witch or a whisperer of ghosts; and something wonderful to look forward to in the coming months. These are not books that I am going to push myself to finish. They are books I think I will love and that I want to enjoy and savor while I read them. And if I don’t like them or feel I can’t finish them, that’s okay. It’s not a failure or a broken dream. It’s just a change, and that’s okay.
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