Mabuhay, friends!

I am loving the prompts for this month’s Top Five Tuesday! For the prompt of books with creatures on the cover, I had to go through my “want to read” list on Goodreads which not only reminded me of my ever growing TBR list but also, re-introduced me to books that had gotten lost in the TBR pile. So, you can see why I’m not very good sticking to just five books.

To check out the July to September topics post, please click here. Top Five Tuesday was created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

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

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war.

Look, I can’t stop talking about This Is How You Lose the Time War. If longing was a book, it would be this! A lyrical and beautifully written book that if I had my own copy, it would already be quite worn out. This little novella ticked every thing I love about a book from the angst to the dystopic world.

Add This is How You Lose the Time War on Goodreads

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

Natsuki isn’t like the other girls. She has a wand and a transformation mirror. She might be a witch, or an alien from another planet. Together with her cousin Yuu, Natsuki spends her summers in the wild mountains of Nagano, dreaming of other worlds. When a terrible sequence of events threatens to part the two children forever, they make a promise: survive, no matter what.

Now Natsuki is grown. She lives a quiet life with her asexual husband, surviving as best she can by pretending to be normal. But the demands of Natsuki’s family are increasing, her friends wonder why she’s still not pregnant, and dark shadows from Natsuki’s childhood are pursuing her. Fleeing the suburbs for the mountains of her childhood, Natsuki prepares herself with a reunion with Yuu. Will he still remember their promise? And will he help her keep it?

A wand and a transformation mirror reminds me of Sailor Moon. But that’s not the entire reason for why I want to read this book. From the many reviews I’ve read on this book, a lot of people have pretty much described it as a dark unpredictable contemporary read.

Add Earthlings on Goodreads

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

Our story begins in 1902, at The Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it The Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, The Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.

Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer, Merritt Emmons, publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded-Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, opposite B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern heroines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins.

A story within a story within a story and featuring black-and-white period illustrations.

Plain Bad Heroines is such a good title! The book seems to be a mix of mystery with a touch of horror. Also, we have queer characters! Colour me intrigued. It also sounds like just the right book to read on a rainy day.

Add Plain Bad Heroines on Goodreads

If Cats Disappeared From The World by Genki Kawamura

Our narrator’s days are numbered. Estranged from his family, living alone with only his cat Cabbage for company, he was unprepared for the doctor’s diagnosis that he has only months to live. But before he can set about tackling his bucket list, the Devil appears with a special offer: in exchange for making one thing in the world disappear, he can have one extra day of life. And so begins a very bizarre week . . .

Because how do you decide what makes life worth living? How do you separate out what you can do without from what you hold dear? In dealing with the Devil our narrator will take himself – and his beloved cat – to the brink. Genki Kawamura’s If Cats Disappeared from the World is a story of loss and reconciliation, of one man’s journey to discover what really matters in modern life.

That title makes me so sad. But I am interested because this book seems to delve a lot into humanity’s connection with the world and what it might even mean to live life as fully as we can.

Add If Cats Disappeared from the World on Goodreads

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

The creeping horror of Paul Tremblay meets Tommy Orange’s There There in a dark novel of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

Horror books. I want to read more horror books especially if that book is a social commentary from the perspective of a BIPOC author. This book is also comped to Jordan Peele whose works I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

Add The Only Good Indians on Goodreads

Contagion by Erin Bowman

It got in us.

After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

Most are dead.

But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

Don’t set foot here again.

As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

This book counts, right? I’m pretty sure those tentacles are part of some of kind of space creature. I discovered sci-fi horror much later in my bookworm journey which is really sad, because I haven’t even watched Alien or Frankenstein. I recently watched Annihilation and thought it was so good!

Add Contagion on Goodreads





🌸 What’s your favourite book featuring a creature on the cover or with an animal companion?

🌸 Have you read any of the books on this list?

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  1. Sara K. says:

    🌸 What’s your favourite book featuring a creature on the cover or with an animal companion?

    That’s easy, Shén​diāo​ Xiá​lǚ by Jin Yong. The protagonist has a giant eagle as a companion, and some of the book covers show the eagle (including the cover featured on Wikipedia:

    🌸 Have you read any of the books on this list?

    I tried to read This Is How You Lose the Time War and couldn’t get into it. DNF.

    If Cats Disappeared from the World was already on my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susy's Cozy World says:

    If Cats disappear From The Earth has the cutest cover ever!! 😍 And I have tried Earthlings but it was simply too much for me. Also, the cover is really misleading! But if it is your cup of tea, or if you are “stronger” than me, then it could be a pretty solid read!


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