Reading Rush 2020 TBR

Friday 17 July 2020

My wife and I love readathons. We also like finding readathons that repeat each year and make them part of our yearly book rituals. The Reading Rush was a readathon we did before and enjoyed it so we figured, why not do it again? The only issue is that she's the reading equivalent of The Flash and I'm a normal human with a limp. The Reading Rush has seven prompts so the ideal goal is to read seven books, in one week. So in this TBR you'll find a lot of super short books and graphic novels but also some longer books that I'll read if I can. So here I am, back again, with my TBR.

Read a book with a cover that matches the color of your birth stone.

Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar

Want to know a terrible secret? I once was a huge comic nerd and am currently trying to get back into it. I love Superman. He's my favorite hero. I think Henry Cavill is the best thing to happen to Superman since the first film. But I still have never read Superman: Red Son. I know the story, the bare bones of it. But I've never actually read the whole thing. So since this cover is red, and my birth stone is the Ruby, I figured I'd read this for the readathon.

Superman: Red Son is a "what if" story asking the question "What would have happened if Superman's pod had landed in the USSR instead of Kansas. What if he was raised by communist Russia instead of the Kents? 

Read a book that starts with the word "The."

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

I've recently been trying to read more books by people of color and the LGBTQ community. I say that, but the first two books on my TBR for this readathon are by white men. In my defense, the reason is because the books I have on my main TBR by POCs and the LGBTQ community are longer than I think I can conquer in a week.

That being said, I'm picking up The Pearl by John Steinbeck because it's super short and also considered to be a classic. Also, despite the fact that some people dislike him, he was an early advocate for anti-racism. He wasn't perfect by today's woke standards but for his time he was pretty damn good, so why not?

This book is about a poor pearl fisherman and how one day he finds the biggest pearl he's ever seen and how the sudden windfall changes his life, but change isn't always for the better. It's a retelling a of classic Mexican fairy tale.

Read a book that inspired  a movie you've already seen.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

It was hard to find a short book that had a movie based on it and not visa versa. I have plenty of movie novelizations that I could read in a day, but not the other way around. So I was lucky to find this one. Also it'll be interesting to see how close the great Hayo Miyazaki got to the original source material. 

Sophie is an 18 year old woman and is the eldest of 3 sisters. She knows her future is set for her. She's going to take over the family hat shop, which she doesn't want to do. But one day she's cursed by an old crone to look like an old woman. She leaves her house and finds work as a housekeeper for a notorious wizard name Howl. It's there that she finds hope that she could return to normal, but to do so she has to get to know the wizard, help strike a bargain between him and a fire demon, and meet the witch that cursed her head on. Easy, right?

Read the first book you touch.

This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Here we go! A book co-written by a person of color. Amal El-Mohtar is a Lebanese-Canadian writer of poetry and speculative fiction. This book has also been on my TBR list since earlier this year when we found it at a library book sale. I'm really excited to read this and I'm pretty sure I'll give it five stars.

This book is about two agents involved in a war across time. These two agents, Red and Blue are on opposite sides of the battle but leave messages for each other and gradually fall in love. 

Read a book completely outside your house.

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

This book was put on my radar when I was looking for books to read for an LGBTQ readathon earlier in the year. Sarah Gailey is a non-binary author from San Francisco so that's a double whammy. I get to broaden my reading horizons AND I get to read a local(ish) author. 

River of Teeth is set in an alternate United States in Louisiana in the late 1800s. In 1850 President James Buchanan approved the import hippopotamus into the states for the purpose of a new meat source. Decades later, in a lawless Louisiana, the hippos have run wild and a man named Winslow Houndstooth has been hired to help clear them out. 

Read a book in a genre that you've always wanted to read more of.

Ariel by Sylvia Plath  or  The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Thanks to my wife for this picture. She took it for her own blog and Instagram.

Ariel is a book of poetry and I don't read much poetry so that should be self explanatory. The Poet X is a YA novel told in verse, which can be counted as poetry as well.

This one is up in the air and it all depends on how many of these books I can knock out in one day. Ariel is on this list just in case I'm falling behind. It's 105 pages of poetry so it'll be a super fast read. The copy I'm going to read isn't the copy feature in the picture above. Turns out, Plath's husband was a huge asshole and edited the book, taking out poems that made him look bad and rearranged them to give the book an overall happy feeling. The newer, non-edited version is on hold at the library and will be the edition I read. 

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a story told in verse about a young woman from Harlem named Xiomara and how she discovers slam poetry as an outlet for her feelings and as a way to understand her mom's religion. I really want to read this so if I can't get around to it for the readathon, I'll read it just for fun.

Read a book that takes place on a different continent than where you live.

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald.

If I only saved Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo I could have done two books by her for this readathon. Instead I decided on The Bookshop, a book that has been on my TBR since it was made into a movie in 2018. I've owned the book for a while too but never got around to it. So I figured why not?

The Bookshop follows Florence, a woman who moves to a small town in England and opens a bookshop. She finds that the small town isn't fully open to a book store and must deal with a group of locals who want nothing more than for her to fail, but she has an ally in the form of an old recluse.

So there we have it. That's my TBR for The Reading Rush. It's what I hope to read but I'm going to be honest with myself and say that what's on my TBR may not be what I actually end up reading. Maybe I blow through three books in one day and choose a different and longer book for a prompt. Maybe I'll hit a poorly timed reading slump and only do a few books but try my best to double count them. Or maybe, just maybe, I'll stick to my TBR exactly. Only time will tell.

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