Do you ever look at your unread books and get this eerie feeling that someone somewhere above is tutting at you for ignoring them?
Because I do.
Every time I buy more books, I get this negative energy from my unread ones, making me feel guilty for not picking them up before turning to new and shiny reads again.
This is what I call the wrath of the TBR gods. It’s a real thing. I wouldn’t try to Google it, though, if I were you.
Every month I pick up my little bullet journal of which I’ve completed exactly five pages since the start of the year, and I give myself about three books to read for the following month.
Long, pre-planned TBRs don’t really work for me, as I am this cool and spontaneous (I’m really not) reader who always picks up books on instinct. I have book cravings. And I can never anticipate them when I try to plan my to-read list a whole month in advance.
I’ve gotten into a pleasant reading rhythm where I finish around five or six books every month, so I decided, in order to stop the chaos that is my reading life, to plan just half of those titles in advance and see what happens.
This method has, for the most part, been a fail, if I’m honest with you. So far, I managed to tick, at best, exactly one of the three titles I promise myself to read every month.
So for the month of May, I’ve decided to share my little TBR list to have some form of accountability and hopefully escape the rage of the TBR gods.
‘Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda’, by Becky Albertalli
Genre: LGBTQIA+ young adult
Length: 303 pages
Format: Physical book
I’ve been really into YA books for the past couple of years, probably because I feel like I need to make up for my teenage years when I completely missed all the good YA books. But also because this genre is sweet, meaningful and a great way to escape reading slumps.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda has been on my radar for ages so when I finally found a copy in my local charity shop a few weeks ago, I knew it was time.
Straight people should have to come out too. And the more awkward it is, the better.
Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is — and what he’s looking for.
But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated.
Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal …
It’s a holy freaking huge awesome deal. — From the publisher, via bookshop.org
I love the tagline of this summary and I’m curious how the notion of coming out no matter your sexuality will be addressed in this little book. As a bisexual person, I feel like I don’t owe it to anyone to come out or make some big announcement every time someone brings up sexuality.
But we have these expectations from the LGBT community, yet no one asks for any explanation from straight people. This is a topic close to my heart and I’m curious about seeing it tackled in a young adult novel.
‘Beautiful World, Where Are You?’, by Sally Rooney
Genre: Adult contemporary
Length: 10 hours
You either love Sally Rooney’s writing or you really really don’t like it. This seems to be the consensus in the reading community surrounding the popular Irish writer’s books.
But finally, this May, I plan to make a decision on Sally Rooney’s writing and I’m hoping Beautiful World, Where Are You? will help tip the balance one way or another. I’ve heard great things about it from people whose opinions I trust completely, like Violet Daniels, whose overview of Sally Rooney’s books and why they’re worth reading, is what placed BWWAY on my TBR list, to begin with, so I’m finally ready to give it a chance.
‘Little Fires Everywhere’, by Celeste Ng
Length: 388 pages
Format: Physical book
Another title that’s been on my to-read list for years at this point is this widely acclaimed family drama I can’t wait to dive into. I read Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You in 2019 and absolutely loved it, so I’m almost certain Little Fires Everywhere will not disappoint.
Family dramas are a shockingly underrated type of story, particularly given how difficult it is to write one. Contemporary fiction is my favourite genre because I love when stories explore the subtilities of daily life and tense family dynamics are definitely a grim but widespread reality.
If Everything I Never Told You is a good indication of Ng’s writing and the way she builds characters, I’m sure Little Fires Everywhere will become one of my favourite books of the year. Despite the dark topic, I’m fascinated and curious to dive into the character study which Celeste Ng is known for.
Have you read any of these books and can you relate to my complete inability to pre-plan all of my reads one month in advance? What’s on your TBR list for May?
Eliza Lita is a freelance writer based in the UK. She covers books and reading, fitness, lifestyle, and personal development. Please consider signing up for a Medium membership through her referral link for more of her stories.