Top Ten Tuesday | My 2018 book shame


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week’s theme is ‘Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To’, which is essentially the story of my life.


I’m wary of hype – why do you think it took me until last year to read Six of Crows? – and there are always so many books I want to read, new releases and from the backlist, that there simply isn’t enough time to read them all when I also have to be a functioning adult.

How rude is that? I don’t remember signing up for adulthood and I’d like to cancel my contract please.

Something I have noticed about myself that I’d like to change in 2019, though, is that I have a tendency to ‘save’ books I think I’m going to love. What the hell am I saving them for? If I think I’m going to love them then I should be reading them now.

So below are ten fifteen 2018 releases I meant to get to and didn’t quite manage it…


The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: In my defence (get ready, I’ll be saying this a lot) I initially had no intention of reading this because I’ve tried Holly Black before. I wasn’t a fan of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown at all and, even though I loved her idea, I couldn’t get on with her short story in My True Love Gave to Me either. I wrote her off as an author like V. E. Schwab – someone who just isn’t for me. Then I kept seeing review after review, including from people whose tastes are fairly similar to mine, and knew I had to give it a try. At least when I finally read The Cruel Prince I can jump straight into The Wicked King afterwards if I enjoy it.

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta: I love Italy and I love LGBT+ fantasy, so an LGBT+ Italian-inspired fantasy sounded right up my street. Unfortunately I just couldn’t afford this one – even the Kindle edition was quite pricey for an ebook – but thankfully my lovely parents bought me a copy for Christmas. As it’s LGBT+ History Month in the UK next month, I think I’m going to devote my reading to LGBT+ books!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi: This ended up being one of my most anticipated books last year because I’ve been desperate to read some African-inspired fantasy, but this book was so hyped I just couldn’t pick it up. Hopefully I can cross it off my TBR really soon!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan: I will attempt to defend myself by saying I don’t think I knew enough about this book when it was released. Admittedly part of that is on me – I should have looked it up considering I want to read some Asian-inspired fantasy – but the publicity for this book did a rubbish job of shouting from the rooftops that the romance at the centre of it is f/f. Do you know how desperate I am for f/f SFF? I would have read it months ago. Thankfully I received a copy in a Fairyloot box and, like The Brilliant Death, I’m planning to read this one next month.

Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist: This was another case of the ebook being a little too pricey! I recently caved and bought a copy after enjoying Dread Nation, as this is another zombie novel which I believe also takes place around the American Civil War, and I’m looking forward to getting to it.


The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton: I love the sound of this book, which is a fantasy retelling of King Lear, but somehow I never quite gravitated towards it last year. With any luck I’ll get to it soon.

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang: I received an eARC of this from NetGalley so I should have read it by now! I have no excuse, and if I can I’d like to read it this month.

Circe by Madeline Miller: I know, I know. I hang my head in shame. I finally read The Song of Achilles in 2017 and it immediately became one of my favourite books of all time, and considering Miller’s second novel is all about one of fiction’s first witches – hello, myself? We love witches, what are you doing?! – I should have devoured this. Then my copy arrived and I’ve been terrified to open it ever since for fear of being let down by my own expectations. I need to read this one soon!

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik: You’re all probably sick of me saying by now that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Uprooted and I had no intention of reading another of Novik’s retellings until I discovered it was a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, which just so happens to be my favourite fairy tale. Natalie @ A Sea Change and I are planning to buddy read this very soon!

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft ed. by Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe: An entire anthology of short stories about witches and I didn’t read it. I know. I’m ashamed, I promise. I just wasn’t in the mood for short stories in 2018 so hopefully that’ll change this year!


All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages ed. by Saundra Mitchell: Again I wasn’t in the mood for short stories last year, but this is another one I’m planning to read for LGBT+ History Month.

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal: 2018 also wasn’t the year for sci-fi for me either. I rediscovered my love for fantasy so sci-fi had to take a backseat, not that I was ever a huge sci-fi reader in the first place. I do want to get to this, though!

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar: This is another one I got an eARC of and read a little of it, then I put it down and didn’t pick it back up. Bad me! Considering this was the most hyped historical fiction release of 2018, though, I need to read it soon, and from what I did read it was written beautifully.

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers: Like I said, I wasn’t in a sci-fi mood last year – I want to cross this off my TBR soon, though!

Macbeth by Jo Nesbø: I have no excuse for not reading this one other than that it’s a beast of a book. Macbeth is my favourite Shakespeare play so I love discovering new retellings – I have been a bit wary of the Hogarth Shakespeare books, though, as none of them have really satisfied me so far.

Which books made your list this week?

24 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | My 2018 book shame

  1. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight says:

    I also want to read just about all of these oh my goodness, how did we both fail so hard?! I did read Devils Unto Dust and really liked it! So at least there’s that? But yeah like literally 10 of the others are on my must-read list so… I feel you, basically! I hope you get to (and enjoy!) some of these soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CG @ Paper Fury says:

    Oh oh I am the same with Circe! And I haven’t even read Achilles yet so *crawls into the hole of shame* 😂And I’m reading The Brilliant Death right now and can confirm it’s sooo good. I had to wait for my library reserve for it though, because yeah, why is it so expensive?!? Odd. AND I LOVE GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE !! I hope you do too!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bluestockingbookworm says:

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT! Looking through your blog, I definitely think we have similar tastes in books (which is rad, because finding book friends is always a good time!)
    I have the first Becky Chambers book on my ereader, but as it wasn’t released in 2018, it wasn’t on my list.

    From your list, I read Children of Blood and Bone, Spinning Silver, and Toil & Trouble, and I really enjoyed all three of them! I liked (but didn’t love) Uprooted, and I really loved Spinning Silver.

    The funny thing I didn’t mention about Circe on my post is that I actually preordered it from Amazon when it was on a stupidly low price, and I STILL haven’t read it! Double shame to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Hurrah for new book friends – thanks so much for following!

      The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is amazing – especially if you love character-focused stories, and I’m glad to hear you enjoyed all those books! I’ve heard quite a few people who didn’t love Uprooted say they really enjoyed Spinning Silver and vice versa, so I’m hoping to love it when I get to it – which should hopefully be very soon. 😀


  4. Carrianne says:

    The Cruel Prince made it onto my list as well, and I’ve been super anxious to jump into it BUT now I”m hesitating again because it sounds like it’s not quite what I thought it’d be. The same thing goes with Children of Blood & Bone; I was all set to read it, but my friend told me she wasn’t the biggest fan. With my reading slump, I’m being selective about what I read. *sigh* You have so many books on here I haven’t heard of though, I love it. 🙂

    If you’re interested, here’s my list: TTT. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      It can be difficult to be excited for a book when people whose opinions you trust aren’t a fan! I’ve seen so many glowing reviews for Children of Blood and Bone and I think that’s what’s making me nervous – I quite like having mixed reviews to get a sense of what a book is going to be like. Ultimately, though, I’m not going to know if I like it or not unless I kick myself up the butt and read it! I hope you’re out of your reading slump soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. LiteraryCounsellor says:

    ‘Record of a Spaceborn Few’ is amazing! I love Becky Chambers, and I think it really rounded out the first 2 books for me. I ended up going back to reread the first two afterwards because it added so much to my understanding of the universe she created.

    And ‘Toil and Trouble’ and ‘All Out’ are now on my TBR list too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Louise says:

    I totally tend to do that thing of hoarding the ones I’m most looking forward to too. I’m trying not to this year, because I think it gives me unrealistic expectations.
    If it helps any, I wasn’t a fan of Uprooted or Holly Black’s previous books, but I really enjoyed both The Cruel Prince and Spinning Silver.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Glad to know I’m not the only one! Oh good – I have seen a few people say that if you weren’t a fan of Uprooted you’ll probably like Spinning Silver and vice versa, so I’m hoping I’ll really enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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