Currently Reading: My 2019 TBR Finale

December has arrived and with it the time where crazy book people like me get super stressed out about all the books we still want to read before the year is over. As ridiculous as this self-imposed “deadline” is, I can’t deny that I feel the urge to finish all my current reads and start the new year with a clean slate. So here are the books I’m currently reading and the ones I still want to cram into December somehow. It’s not going to be easy with the holidays, family visits, buying presents, and probably also spending a lot of time at work. But holidays and travel also means more reading time, and I look forward to cozying up with a blanket, a cup of tea, some cookies, and of course excellent books.

Current reads

I absolutely have to finish these books because all of them count toward the 2019 Retellings Challenge. I started out with the humble goal of reading 6-10 books for that challenge but now my bingo card is almost full. And I can’t very well leave it this way, right? Ambition holds me firmly in its grasp and I am determined to finish that challenge!

Joan D. Vinge – The Snow Queen
This was a book pick for the Sword & Laser podcast. It’s a Snow Queen retelling set in space and while I enjoy the book as long as I read it, whenever I put it down, I don’t feel a particular need to pick it back up again. So it’s not bad but I just need to give myself a little push to pick it up again and finally finish it. Status: 43% read

Marion Zimmer Bradley – The Mists of Avalon
This was a recommendation here in the comments (thanks again!) and I have been reading this book for a while. Again, I enjoy it, but at almost 1000 pages, it’s quite chunky. It tells the story of King Arthur from the women’s point of view and I love how women are definitely the protagonists in this story, but they’re not all equally likeable. I’ve also been told that the last part has more action and even a plot twist, so I’m confident I’ll finish this beast before the year is over. Status: 76% read

Lisa Mantchev – Eyes Like Stars
I picked this up on the one hand because it fits into the “Shakespeare retelling” slot of my challenge, and on the other hand because this book (and the entire trilogy) were nominated for a Mythopoeic Award. I’m not sure whether I like it yet but it is a quick read that I’m sure I’ll finish within the next few days. Status: 68% read


Still to read

There are a many books I’d still love to read this year, but because some of them are quite big, I tried to keep my TBR realistic.

Esther Dalseno – Drown
A Little Mermaid retelling by an indie author for – you guessed it – my Retellings Challenge. I’ve actually had my eye on that book before I knew about the challenge so I’m excited to read it. It sounds dark and twisty.

Julia Ember – The Seafarer’s Kiss
I need to read a retelling with a weapon on the cover and this book has been on my radar for a long time. I may change the book because I have two Little Mermaid retellings lined up and I’m not sure I’m up for that, even though this one is a lesbian retelling. But unless I find something that I’m more excited about, this is the book I’m going for.


I’m pretty sure I can manage to read those books and still have time to start another. Whether that will be the rather big but hopefully fantastic Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James or the horror novel The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher, I don’t know yet. Of course, there’s also Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater and The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders calling my name. Not to mention Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. You see why reading can be stressful sometimes, but I think whichever book I’ll pick as my very last read of 2019, I’ll take it easy. No worrying about challenges, no stressing about deadlines, no pressure whatsoever.

2019 has been a fantastic reading year for me. I’ll post my favorite books of 2019, my challenge wrap-ups, and my most anticipated releases of 2020 in the next few weeks. If you have recommendations or think I should prioritize one of the books mentioned above, let me know in the comments!

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