Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by That Arty Reader Girl. Each week, we are given a bookish topic to discuss. This week’s theme is Books on My Fall 2023 To-Read List. I always love creating various TBRs and it helps me get through my admittedly large but steadily shrinking TBR. A lot of the books here are newer releases and I am excited to read this during the fall.
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Books on My Fall 2023 To-Read List
This short novel set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Green Rider series tells the backstory of fan-favorite character Laren Mapstone
Perfect for longtime Green Rider fans eager for more of the world or new readers discovering the realm of Sacoridia for the first time, this action-packed, feminist fantasy is a must-read for lovers of the genre.
After years of leading the battle against the vicious Darrow Raiders, Lieutenant-Rider Laren Mapstone has built a fortress around herself to conceal her emotions and the deep scars she carries. When she is made mentor to Tavin Bankside, a Green Rider trainee on his first message errand, her cold and brooding exterior quickly earns her the moniker the “Ice Lady.”
Only after Laren is severely wounded in an attack on the North Road by a gang of bandits—including some former Darrow Raiders with vengeance on their minds—do the fortress walls fall. Even as they seek refuge from danger in a Rider waystation, Tavin’s natural empathic gift leaves him vulnerable to the assault of the lieutenant’s emotions. Tavin must save Lieutenant Mapstone’s life and master his empathic gift before it destroys them both.
However, an ancient power lurks deep within the Green Cloak, and its aid or hindrance could mean survival for the Riders or the downfall of Sacoridia and all the free lands.
Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori’s tale of life on the nineteenth century Silk Road continues. Facing the threat of a Russian invasion, the nomadic clans of the steppe and the people living in town are forced to set aside their differences to protect their lands. When an agreement is struck, the clans decide the best way to solidify the alliance is to bind them together by blood through marriage. But the women of the steppe will not accept just any union, invasion or no. The men must prove themselves in a high-speed horse race across the plain-against their prospective brides! Crafted in painstaking detail, Ms. Mori’s pen breathes life into the scenery and architecture of the period in this heart-warming, slice-of-life tale that is at once wholly exotic, yet familiar and accessible through the everyday lives of the characters she has created.
Tyen is teaching mechanical magic at a school respected throughout the worlds. News arrives that the formidable ruler of all worlds, long believed to be dead, is back and enforcing his old laws — including the one forbidding schools of magic. As teachers and students flee, Tyen is left with no home and no purpose. . .except the promise he made to Vella, the sorcerer imprisoned in a book. Tyen must decide what he is willing to do to free her.
After five years among the tapestry weavers of Schpeta, Rielle’s peaceful new life has been shattered by a local war. As defeat looms, the powerful Angel of Storms appears and invites Rielle to join the artisans of his celestial realm. But what will he require in return for this extraordinary offer?
Tales From Watership Down returns to the unforgettable characters of Fiver, Hazel, Bigwig, Dandelion, and the legendary hero El-ahrairah, and also presents new heroes as they struggle to survive the cruelties of nature and the shortsighted selfishness of humankind, embark on new adventures, and recount traditional stories of rabbit mythology, charming us once again with imagination, heart, and wonder. A spellbinding book of courage and survival, these tales are an exciting invitation to come home to a beloved world.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
“There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones.”
In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant–and that her lover is married–she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.
Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee’s complex and passionate characters–strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis–survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.
Twenty-five-year-old Takako has enjoyed a relatively easy existence—until the day her boyfriend Hideaki, the man she expected to wed, casually announces he’s been cheating on her and is marrying the other woman. Suddenly, Takako’s life is in freefall. She loses her job, her friends, and her acquaintances, and spirals into a deep depression. In the depths of her despair, she receives a call from her distant uncle Satoru.
An unusual man who has always pursued something of an unconventional life, especially after his wife Momoko left him out of the blue five years earlier, Satoru runs a second-hand bookshop in Jimbocho, Tokyo’s famous book district. Takako once looked down upon Satoru’s life. Now, she reluctantly accepts his offer of the tiny room above the bookshop rent-free in exchange for helping out at the store. The move is temporary, until she can get back on her feet. But in the months that follow, Takako surprises herself when she develops a passion for Japanese literature, becomes a regular at a local coffee shop where she makes new friends, and eventually meets a young editor from a nearby publishing house who’s going through his own messy breakup.
But just as she begins to find joy again, Hideaki reappears, forcing Takako to rely once again on her uncle, whose own life has begun to unravel. Together, these seeming opposites work to understand each other and themselves as they continue to share the wisdom they’ve gained in the bookshop.
Obsidian: Awakening by Sienna Frost
To end a centuries-long war between a nomadic race and an empire, Fate asks a freed man to shackle himself to a woman he cannot have, a young girl to choose an arranged marriage over freedom, and an ambitious conqueror to give up his empire for the one wife who wants him dead. As she puts them to the test and demands unimaginable sacrifices, all must decide what they want to set on fire: the lives of innocents or what they hold dearest to their hearts.
A tale of humanity’s deadliest weapon that drives us all to do the unthinkable, written in the blood of its heroes, the scorching sands of the desert, and the fires of war that never leave anyone without scars.
An award winning epic fantasy inspired by the nomadic cultures of Mongolia and the Middle East, the rich traditions of Asia and Africa, strung together by intense Thai flavors that will stay with you for life.
When their father is murdered by imperial soldiers, two siblings set out on opposite paths–one will destroy the Empire forever and the other will save it–in this thrilling new epic fantasy.
Sonya is training to be a Ranger of Marzanna, an ancient sect of warriors who have protected the land for generations. But the old ways are dying, and the rangers have all been forced into hiding or killed off by the invading Empire.
When her father is murdered by imperial soldiers, she decides to finally take action. Using her skills as a ranger she will travel across the bitter cold tundra and gain the allegiance of the only other force strong enough to take down the invaders.
But nothing about her quest will be easy. Because not everyone is on her side. Her brother, Sebastian, is the most powerful sorcerer the world has ever seen. And he’s fighting for the empire.
Five years after The Final Day, the Republic of New America has all but collapsed into regional powers and the world at large is struggling to remain stable as regional conflicts ravage the post EMP landscape. After several years attempting to lead a quiet life, John Matherson receives the news that the President is dying from a possible assassination attempt, and is asked to step in to negotiate with what appears to be a new military power hidden in the wreckage of the world.
Pulled back into the fray, John struggles to hold the tottering Republic together. Facing threats on multiple fronts, he races against time to stop another EMP attack on the former United States and China, putting years of progress at risk. With so much of his work under threat, John must find the strength within to start over, so that he can save the country and the people that he holds dear from even greater calamity.
Better to die sharp in war than rust through a time of peace.
A mother struggling to repress her violent past, A son struggling to grasp his violent future, A father blind to the danger that threatens them all. When the winds of war reach their peninsula, will the Matsuda family have the strength to defend their empire? Or will they tear each other apart before the true enemies even reach their shores? High on a mountainside at the edge of the Kaigenese Empire live the most powerful warriors in the world, superhumans capable of raising the sea and wielding blades of ice.
For hundreds of years, the fighters of the Kusanagi Peninsula have held the Empire’s enemies at bay, earning their frozen spit of land the name ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’Born into Kusanagi’s legendary Matsuda family, fourteen-year-old Mamoru has always known his purpose: to master his family’s fighting techniques and defend his homeland. But when an outsider arrives and pulls back the curtain on Kaigen’s alleged age of peace, Mamoru realizes that he might not have much time to become the fighter he was bred to be. Worse, the empire he was bred to defend may stand on a foundation of lies.
Misaki told herself that she left the passions of her youth behind when she married into the Matsuda house. Determined to be a good housewife and mother, she hid away her sword, along with everything from her days as a fighter in a faraway country. But with her growing son asking questions about the outside world, the threat of an impending invasion looming across the sea, and her frigid husband grating on her nerves, Misaki finds the fighter in her clawing its way back to the surface.
I hope you enjoyed the Books on My Fall 2023 To-Read List. What are you planning to read this autumn?