June Book Haul! | 2020

At this point, I don’t think we should honestly be too surprised by the number of books I’m hauling for June. *shrug* I just love me some books and I find the way and means to collect them all. We can just slide by the fact that I hauled an enormous number of books for my birthday in May and really shouldn’t have got any in June. IT’S FINE.

But I have a good reason! With the BLM movement taking off in June big time, there were so many diverse reads (with a heavy focus on black authors/characters) that were brought to my attention. And so of course I’ve gone and got a solid handful of them (ten to be exact, but not all have arrived yet)! If anything I’m just annoyed I hadn’t heard of all of these before now and that just goes to show.

Buying these books is a great way to support these authors so I’d definitely encourage you to think about making intentional choices when looking for new books to diversify your reading. I’ve found myself really reflecting on the books that are on my shelves and where I get my recommendations from – it’s been great to hold myself accountable for ensuring I have life experiences reflected other than my own in the books I’m reading to better understand the world.

So that’s why there are so many books for June! With the exception of a couple of others because look, I’m not perfect, I couldn’t actually go a month without buying anything!


BOUGHT

Mirage
by Somaiya Daud

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In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

~ ~ ~

Mirage sounds amazing and I’m so excited to read it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this over on Instagram and I’ve really got quite high expectations. I really like the construct of someone being another’s doppelganger so I’m anticipating lots of adventure will come from that.

Daughters of Nri
by Reni K. Amayo

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A gruesome war results in the old gods’ departure from earth. The only remnants of their existence lie in two girls. Twins, separated at birth. Goddesses who grow up believing that they are human. Daughters Of Nri explores their epic journey of self-discovery as they embark on a path back to one another.

Strong-willed Naala grows up seeking adventure in her quiet and small village. While the more reserved Sinai resides in the cold and political palace of Nri. Though miles apart, both girls share an indestructible bond: they share the same blood, the same face, and possess the same unspoken magic, thought to have vanished with the lost gods.

The twin girls were separated at birth, a price paid to ensure their survival from Eze Ochichiri, the man who rules the Kingdom of Nri. Both girls are tested in ways that awaken a mystical, formidable power deep within themselves. Eventually, their paths both lead back to the mighty Eze.

But can they defeat the man who brought the gods themselves to their knees?

~ ~ ~

This sounds amazing!! I love the concept of the sisters actually being goddesses but not knowing it, that sounds like a lot of fun. I am also completely in love with the cover for this one. It’s a nice hefty book (even though Goodreads says it’s a 300-pager, it’s chunky) and I cannot wait to get into the story!

Reignited
by Colleen Houck

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A sibling rivalry.
A forbidden romance.
A spell that changes everything.

In Heliopolis secrets abound and passions ignite as chaos rises.

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Tiger’s Curse series and Reawakened comes a novella full of celestial marvel, passion, betrayal, and evil that will grow to reign over humanity forever.

Before Lily and Amon met, before the cosmos was in chaos and needed three brave brothers to fight off evil, there were four siblings who helped rule the earth.

Each sibling had a special gift. Osiris, the god of agriculture, helped mortals to grow and thrive in their natural environment. Isis, the goddess of creation, fostered health and wellness. Nephthys, the seer, was able to keep the balance between all living beings and the universe. But Seth, the youngest sibling, was left without any special powers. The Waters of Chaos, which granted each god’s talent, were running dry, and Seth was paying the price.

As time passed, however, Seth’s determination and willfulness resulted in a very special gift, one that should have granted him the ability to enact wondrous change. But Seth’s competitive childhood gave him a heart so cold and vacant that instead, his gift brought about great evil.

Seth was now the god of unmaking, the creator of disorder and destruction. And he was ready to seek his revenge, dominating all who got in his way.

~ ~ ~

I had this on my eReader for the longest of times but I never picked it up. Then I bought a kindle and didn’t have access to it anymore. So I decided enough was enough because I really want to read this novella! And voila, I finally have a cute little physical copy of it!

A River of Royal Blood
by Amanda Joy

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Seventeen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of blood and bone–a dark and terrible magic that hasn’t been seen in so long, the knowledge on how to wield its power has been lost to history. She wants nothing to do with the magick or with the Ivory Throne and heavy responsibility of leading her fractured country. But she has little choice. If she can’t learn to harness the magick inside her by her nameday, she’ll die at the hands of the Rival Heir.

Her older sister Isadore, whose magick of light and persuasion is more glamorous but no less dangerous than Eva’s, holds the hearts and alliances of the Court, and is widely favored to win the crown. Because in the Queendom of Myre, only the strongest, most ruthless rulers can ascend to the throne, and princesses kill for the right to do so. When an assassin attacks Eva weeks before the competition is set to begin, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead.

Although humans have ruled Myre since the Great War, with fey holding only the illusion of power, bloodkin banned from noble society, and the despised khimaer forced to live in the Enclosures, unrest is growing, and someone is using the naming of the True Heir as a smokescreen for political gain. As tensions escalate, alliances are tested and family secrets are revealed, and Eva turns to the help of an instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious khimaer prince to grow her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister and the childhood memories they share, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death, or her own; her freedom, or the Queendom.

~ ~ ~

This has been getting a LOT of hype over on Instagram (I think it was one of Fairy Loot’s book pick for one of their latest boxes) and people just haven’t stopped talking about it. A sister rivalry is always sure to be fun and the battle for the throne sounds so epic.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
by Roseanne A. Brown

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The first in a fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore in which a grieving crown princess and a desperate refugee find themselves on a collision course to murder each other despite their growing attraction.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

~ ~ ~

This is THE book everyone is talking about right now, right?! There’s so much hype around this and I’d say for good reason. I really love the sound of the blurb and I’m so excited for all the deceit and trickery that’s bound to be within its pages.

The Loop
by Ben Oliver

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Luka Kane will die in the Loop, a prison under the control of artificial intelligence.

Delays to his execution are granted if Luka submits to medical experiments. Escape is made impossible by a detonator sewn into his heart.

But on Luka’s seventeenth birthday, life in the Loop is altered: the government-issued rain stops falling and rumours of unrest start to spread. Breaking out might be his only chance to survive… and to stop a catastrophe from deleting humankind.

~ ~ ~

I’m so excited for this because of the whole delaying execution by submitting yourself to medical experiments. I think there are going to be so many great dystopian elements layered through this story and I’m really hoping that it lives up to expectations.

The City We Became
by N. K. Jemisin

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Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

~ ~ ~

I’m so hoping that I love this. I’m really excited to pick it up because I’ve heard a number of amazing things about it but I have read a book by Jemisin before and didn’t quite get along with her writing style. But I have high hopes for this one!

The Good Luck Girls
by Charlotte Nicole Davis

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Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst

THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

~ ~ ~

Doesn’t this just sound amazing? I’m completely hooked by the tagline of Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale especially as those are two of my favourite TV shows at the moment. I’m expecting brilliant things from this story!


AUDIOBOOKS

More Fool Me
by Stephen Fry

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By his early thirties, Stephen Fry—writer, comedian, star of stage and screen—had, as they say, “made it.” Much loved on British television, author of a critically acclaimed and bestselling first novel, with a glamorous and glittering cast of friends, he had more work than was perhaps good for him.

As the ’80s drew to a close, he began to burn the candle at both ends. Writing and recording by day, and haunting a neverending series of celebrity parties, drinking dens, and poker games by night, he was a high functioning addict. He was so busy, so distracted by the high life, that he could hardly see the inevitable, headlong tumble that must surely follow . . .

Filled with raw, electric extracts from his diaries of the time, More Fool Me is a brilliant, eloquent account by a man driven to create and to entertain—revealing a side to him he has long kept hidden.

~ ~ ~

It’s no secret that I love Stephen Fry. I fell in love with his narration after listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks and then I started reading his memoirs. So now I’m finally up to the last of his three memoirs and I can’t wait to tuck in. Fry’s life is immensely interesting and I can’t get enough.

Born a Crime
by Trevor Noah

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The memoir of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

~ ~ ~

I’ve actually already read this and it was incredible. It was really eye-opening and honestly was such a big OH moment for me understanding how different some people’s childhood’s were to mine. Which sounds like a crazily small-minded thing to say, but it’s one thing to know about it, and a whole other thing to read such a personal account.


That’s a wrap!

Have you read any of these? What did you think!


Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~

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