You find Castor sitting by the Pond, plotting some stars with some night-blue chalk. You ask him how he is and what he’s doing; a deep frown is creased on his face, like he’s trying hard to think of something.
“Hello friend,” he says, his words measured and slow. “Why, I am thinking about the stars I’d like to look out for while I am here.”
He notices the furled star map that you have in your hand, and his eyes light up with a big smile. “Friend, I’m so happy that you are going to be helping out! Would you like to see the stars I’m going to try and look for? Maybe we can share our star maps and see if any of the stars may be the same?”
That sounds like a great idea! You settle yourself next to Castor, unfurl your own star map, and show him the stars you will be trying to look for.
What is #StartOnYourShelfathon?
#StartOnYourShelfathon is a 2020 star-themed readathon hosted and run by me, CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of #StartOnYourShelfathon is to read as many unread books on your bookshelf as you can between December 13th 2019 and December 31st 2020.
#StartOnYourShelfathon isn’t an ordinary readathon too! The mascot of #StartOnYourShelfathon is Castor the Star Collector, a sloth friend of The Quiet Pond who has lost all the stars he has collected over the years. And he needs your help to find them again!
For every book that you read as part of #StartOnYourShelfathon, you collect a star that you can add the star to your ‘star map’. Read books, collect stars, give yourself an amateur star-collector name, and create constellations! You can read Castor’s story and find information about and resources for the readathon here.
Information about Joining #StartOnYourShelfathon
- Join the StartOnYourShelfathon anytime between Dec 13th 2019 to Dec 31st 2020!
- To join #StartOnYourShelfathon, create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with ‘#StartOnYourShelfathon’ in the title or your tweet.
- In your post/video/thread, announce that you will be participating in the readathon. List your readathon goals and the books you plan to read! (Post templates and readathon banners can be found in the readathon resources below!)
- Link back to this post so that others can find this readathon and join in.
Share your updates on your blog/bookstagram/booktube and social media. You are more than welcome to tag @thequietpond on Twitter in all your updates! We would love to see your progress and your star maps – in-progress and completed!
My #StartOnYourShelfathon Goals
When I conceptualised #StartOnYourShelfathon, I had every intention of reading every single book on my bookshelf – and that I wouldn’t be allowed to buy a new book or borrow a book from the library until I had read them all.
And then I realised, well, that’s not quite fair! I still want to do my best to support new releases in 2020 (there are so many exciting ones!), so I have changed my own goals a little bit.
So, here are my goals for #StartOnYourShelfathon 2020:
- I will read every single book that I have not read yet that is currently on my bookshelf before December 31st 2020.
- If I buy a new book, I will add it to my #StartOnYourShelfathon TBR and must read it before the end of December 31st 2020.
- I will limit myself to borrowing only one book per month from the library.
- If I DNF the book, I will give the book away/donate it to an organisation that will benefit from the book.
My #StartOnYourShelfathon TBR
I’m genuinely excited, friends. Reading every single book that I possess has been a very “Big Reader Dream” of mine, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of… actually achieving that? I’m determined! But I know I also have some tough reads ahead of me. (Watch me unhaul them in the end because I cannot bring myself to read it.)
Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe
To start: the book I am most excited to read! I received this copy from Julie herself, and – friends, I am so so excited to read this! And I’ve already decided: I’m saving this book for my birthday, which will be on the 27th of December – I’m going to a park and I’m going to finish this in one sitting.
Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Girl is a middle-grade fantasy that follows Eva who has ‘only a pinch of magic’ who must sets herself on becoming a fully-fledged witch so she won’t lose her magic forever.
My feelings about this book: This book is giving me such strong Kiki’s Delivery Service and Little Witch Academia vibes, and I’m loving it! I can’t wait to read this!
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I’m a terrible friend, once again, because Daisy bought this for me for Christmas years ago, and I never got around to reading it! Uprooted is a book I genuinely do want to read, and I’m excited that this readathon is finally giving me the opportunity to read it!
Uprooted follows Agnieszka, a girl who lives in a quiet village that borders on a malevolent Wood and is protected by the Dragon, who demands that a woman serve him for ten years.
My feelings about this book: To be honest? Genuinely excited! I know a lot of people love this book and I’m excited to see why.
A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I bought this book years ago because it was only $9.00NZD on Book Depository and that so many people that I know have read and loved this book.
A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet follows a crew aboard the Wayfarer, a spaceship that explores the far reaches of the galaxy that are offered a dangerous but lucrative job. This is a character-driven story that has found family and readers have said that it inspires hope.
My feelings about this book: A part of me is really excited to read and discover this book, but another part of me is wary because of the harmful disability narrative in this book. So I’m a little torn. I think, because I have the book, I will give this book a go and see what happens.
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
An ARC of Iron Gold was given to me by the publisher when I ‘quit’ (hah!) book blogging back in 2017 – and I never got around to reading it. I loved the Red Rising trilogy – it was brutal and bloody and fantastically violent and discursive.
Iron Gold takes place a decade after the events of the Red Rising trilogy. I believe it still follows Darrow and explores the implications of the world after the Rising – a concept I’m interested to see unfold, given how much I enjoyed the universe of Red Rising years ago!
My feelings about this book: A little torn. Yes, I loved Red Rising, but I felt like it ended well at Morning Star. I’m worried to dive back into the world and will come away feeling like the glow of the universe is dimmer. It’s also a chunky book, and I am terrible at big books. We’ll see what happens.
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvera Moreno-Garcia
Ah yes! A book I am so so so excited to read! I won Gods of Jade and Shadow through a giveaway hosted by Moon at Moon Dreams, and I’ve been saving this for when I’m in a fantasy mood.
Gods of Jade and Shadow takes place in 1920’s Mexico, and follows a Mexican girl who accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests that she help him recover his throne from his brother.
My feelings about this book: Ahhh, doesn’t the premise of Gods of Jade and Shadow sound amazing? I’m so excited to read this, and I think it’ll be my most anticipated read in this readathon!
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
I received an ARC of this from my dear and wonderful friend, Melanie from Mel to the Any, who was so kind to send me a copy to me!
After reading Girls of Paper and Fire earlier this year, I’m definitely looking forward to reading the sequel! I’m interested to see where Natasha will take Lei’s story, and what dangers and challenges await them in this book.
I won’t share the premise of Girls of Storm and Shadow since it will spoil what happens in Girls of Paper and Fire – but for anyone curious, here is my book review/analysis of Girls of Paper and Fire!
My feelings about this book: Somewhat excited! As with most sequels, I am slightly worried that it won’t be as good as the first book, but I’m going to try and set my expectations aside and enjoy the sequel for what it is.
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
After reading The Fifth Season last year – and absolutely loving everything about it – I knew I had to read The Obelisk Gate. Because this is a sequel, I won’t share what the premise is (and, to be honest, I don’t know what the premise is — I usually don’t read up premises of sequels that I want to read).
My only problem? I love Jemisin’s work but it is so heavy. I have to emotionally prepare myself before reading the series.
My feelings about this book: Looking forward to reading this, but also conscious that I’ll need to be in the right mood to read this. But when that mood comes, I’m going to be thrilled.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor
Years ago when my partner went overseas and had access to really cheap books, this was a series that I asked him to buy for me – and I still haven’t read it! And I have the whole trilogy!
I actually don’t really know what this book is about – but I’ve heard that it’s an intense urban fantasy set in the Czech Republic that is filled with angst and star-crossed lovers? I might actually read this book without reading up what it’s about – that sounds like a fun idea?
My feelings about this book: I don’t know what this book is about but I’m ready to be taken for a ride and seeing where this story takes me.
Meet Me at the Intersection edited Rebecca Lim and Ambelin Kwaymullina
I bought this book because my darling friend Wendy is an contributing author in this anthology! Though I have read her story (which I adored), I haven’t read the others – so I’m pretty interested to read the other stories in this anthology.
I won’t try and rehash this already perfect premise of the anthology, so straight from the blurb: “Meet Me at the Intersection is an anthology of short fiction, memoir and poetry by authors who are First Nations, People of Colour, LGBTIQA+ or living with disability. The focus of the anthology is on Australian life as seen through each author’s unique, and seldom heard, perspective.”
My feelings about this book: To be honest? I bought this just to support Wendy, but after reading Underdog, a #LoveOzYA anthology, I’m willing to give this a go!
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Though I have little interest to read this (I’ve watched the movie, which I loved), this book has a lot of sentimental value to me: my mum bought this book for me when she and I went on a trip to Adelaide to see a concert. We were browsing Borders (back when Borders was around!) and she just bought this book for me!
The Godfather is a story about an Italian-American crime boss and his family, and “their powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor”. This is a story about greed, power, and allegiances to family.
My feelings about this book: Out of sentimentality, I think I’ll give this book a go. I’m not sure whether it will be my thing, but I want to give it an earnest chance.
Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosoda
This is a book that I’ve been wanting to read for a long, long time. My partner gave this manga to me for my birthday a few years ago because he and I love Wolf Children the movie. (It tears my heart out any time I think about it.)
The story is about a human girl, Hana, who falls in love with a werewolf during college, and she gives birth to a girl and a boy. When tragedy strikes, Hana whisks her children away from the big city to a remote village, learning lessons about motherhood, being a mother to two wolf children, and the pains and joys of growing up.
My feelings about this book: Excited to have my heart torn out. ARGH. I’m tearing up just thinking about this. I can’t wait to cry my eyes out again! Love that for me!
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
One of my favourite human beings that I’ve met through the book community, Shenwei, sent me some Asian books last year – and me, being absolutely awful at reading physical books, never read it. BUT, that changes with this readathon!
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a middle-grade book by Grace Lin about a young girl who must find the Old Man of the Moon and how she can change her family’s fortune. This is a book filled with magic and Asian folklore and culture, and I am so excited to finally read this!
My feelings about this book: Grace Lin has never let me down and I know I will adore this. I’m not bouncing off the walls to read it, but I am looking forward to meeting the characters and discovering the little details in this story.
Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
Starry River of the Sky is another Grace Lin middle-grade gem! I’ll be reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon first, and, because I have already read the second book, When the Sea Turned Silver, I’ll read Starry River of the Sky last!
Starry River of the Sky follows a boy who runs away and works for a village inn – and notices that the moon is missing. This is another story about the power of stories and is rich with Chinese folklore and mythology. I’m looking forward to reading this one!
My feelings about this book: Same as Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. I know I’ll love it, but I’ll need to be in the mood for a slower middle-grade. We’ll see!
No More Heroes by Michelle Kan
If there is any book that has made me feel like an awful person for not reading it, it’s this one! I’ve picked this up a few times, and have had to put it aside because of other obligations. But! This time, I am determined to read this; I enjoyed it so much while I was reading it, and I love Michelle’s writing so much, especially Come Drink With Me, which is an aromantic Chinese fairytale between a phoenix and a dragon who live on Earth.
No More Heroes is an urban fantasy that takes place in a city where Vigilantes with powers protect the city. But when Vigilantes begin to die under mysterious circumstances, a group of three Vigilantes and friends must get to the bottom of the mystery. The cast in No More Heroes is diverse, featuring queer characters of colour! I’m looking forward to finally reading and finishing this book!
My feelings about this book: Excited to dive back in!
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
I don’t think a lot of you know this, but before I became a book blogger and loved diverse books, I loved Haruki Murakami. His works, especially Norwegian Wood and Hard-Boilded Wonderland and the End of the World, were utterly fantastic and, me being me, I bought a lot of his books – most of which I have read, but I’ve yet to finish three of them.
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is one of his books that I still have to read. A collection of short stories, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman explores the human experience in a variety of ways. I love Murakami’s more surreal and meditative works, so I’m actually looking forward to reading this – even though it’s been over four years since I last read his books!
My feelings about this book: I’m glad this is a short story collection, which means I can read one story a day. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel about Murakami’s works after such a long break from them.
Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Murakami
Another one of Murakami’s books that I’ve yet to finish. I actually began reading this a long time ago, but picked up another book because this book, though interesting, wasn’t quite what I needed at the time.
Underground is a non-fiction work where Murakami interviews the people who lived through the gas attacks in Tokyo in 1995. I remember being really engaged by the stories and I loved how Murakami brought out the psyche of the survivors, and how this was indicative of a wider psyche across Japan in 1995.
My feelings about this book: Looking forward to it! It was a pretty easy read when I was reading it, so I think I’ll give this another shot.
After Dark by Haruki Murakami
My third Murakami book that I still have to read! To be honest, I bought this book because I was on a Murakami book collecting phase – I bought it years ago, not because the story was interesting to me, but because I just wanted to have a Murakami collection.
This story takes place within the span of 7 hours, and follows two sisters, as well as people whose stories come alive in the dark, and their secrets and stories.
I’m not sure if I will read this yet, or if I will donate this book. It’s 171 pages long though, so maybe it won’t take me long to finish it. Not sure yet! I’ll read the first chapter and then see how I go.
My feelings about this book: To be honest? Not terribly excited.
KL NOIR: RED by Amir Muhammad
I bought KL Noir: Red years ago when I visited Malaysia. It was during a time when I was starting to read diverse books, and I noticed a distinct lack of Malaysian literature in mainstream media – so I decided to rectify that by buying an anthology by Malaysian writers.
KL Noir: Red is an anthology, with all its stories taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This anthology seeks to delve into the ‘darker’ side of Kuala Lumpur – a concept that I am indeed interesting in, but will definitely have to save for when I am in the mood for something darker.
My feelings about this book: I feel a little hesitant to pick this up, but I want to give writers, especially ‘smaller’ writers and their work the benefit of the doubt.
KL NOIR: WHITE by Amir Hafizi
KL Noir: White is the second book in the KL Noir series, an anthology that explores the seedy and sinister in Kuala Lumpur. Reading the summary for this book:
“You will find murder, drugs, corruption, time travel, superheroes, politics and genitalia mixed together with taxis, dolls and children. Light and shadows mix, and we explore the gray lines of a city’s silhouette.”
My interest is piqued, though I generally don’t like books that are edgy for the sake of being edgy. However, because the stories are written by Malaysian writers, I feel a little less hesitant – so I may give this a chance. We’ll see how it goes.
My feelings about this book: Same as KL Noir: Red. Hesitant, but will give it a genuine shot.
HEAT: A Southeast Asian Urban Anthology by Khairani Barokka
This is another anthology that I bought in my last trip to Malaysia, in an attempt to read more Malaysian/South-East Asian works. I’m definitely interested to read more South-East Asian works, and because I love anthologies that have diverse themes, HEAT sounds like something I might like.
Unfortunately the synopsis doesn’t really give me an idea of what I can expect from this anthology, so I think I might give the stories a chance and read it!
My feelings about this book: Not really knowing what this anthology is about makes me less excited, but, again! I’ll give it a chance.
TRASH: A Southeast Asian Urban Anthology by Dean Francis Alfar
TRASH comes from the same anthology series as HEAT. Reading the few book reviews that exist for this, it sounds like this anthology explores ‘trash’ in a variety of ways.
Again, the synopsis doesn’t really give much away of what the anthology is about or its overarching themes, but I really do want to give this anthology by Southeast Asian writers a earnest go.
My feelings about this book: Same as HEAT.
Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho
I bought this book years ago after reading Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho – a book that, years ago, I absolutely adored and loved. Though my love for Sorcerer to the Crown has waned, I also do love Cho’s short story, The Terracotta Bride.
Spirits Abroad is a short story collection by Zen Cho that explore the magical and mundane in 10 fantasy and science-fiction stories that are inherently Malaysian. As a Malaysian, I’m interested to read this and am excited to return to Cho’s wonderful writing.
My feelings about this book: Decently excited and intrigued. I am craving more Asian SFF, and the fact that it’s Malaysian? Bonus points for me.
HUNGRY IN IPOH by Hadi M. Nor
Another Malaysian anthology! Hungry in Ipoh is set entirely in Ipoh, and is an anthology that explores the diversity of the city and the connections that exist there. I haven’t been to Ipoh myself – a fact that I hope to change the next time I visit! – but I’ve heard that it’s beautiful there, and the food even more so.
My feelings about this book: I think it’ll be an interesting experience to read this and then visit the city later. Regardless, I’m genuinely excited to read this.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I bought this book for several reasons: (1) this book was on special on Book Depository, and (2) Jenna from Reading With Jenna absolutely adored this book and persuaded me that I needed this book in my life.
And uh, I don’t actually know what this book is about, aside from the fact that it is lauded as amazing and unforgettable. But from what I can glean, this is a story about a blind French girl and a German boy in occupied France during World War II.
My feelings about this book: I’m a little intimidated by the book’s length (531 pages is a lot for me, okay?), but I’m getting the feeling that this is the story of book that I should read and that I may love.
A Little Life by Hana Yanahigira
To be honest, I bought A Little Life years ago because a lot of bloggers that I looked up loved this, but – I’m not sure if I will love this. I do not doubt the book’s ability to marvel and its value as literature, but I’m just… not a reader who reads wholly-sad books anymore.
The story follows four college friends and their lives as they grow older. This is a character-driven story of ambition, friendship, relationships that take a darker turn, and the complexity of human experience and life.
Ah, I mean… first, I find it really difficult to read long books. Very seldom have I read a long book, no matter how fantastic it is, that engaged me from start to finish. I just enjoy shorter books and lack the patience for longer reads!
My feelings about this book: I don’t know if I will read this. I might give the first few chapters a go, but if it’s not engaging me, I might donate this – I think there are readers out there who will love this more than me.
Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology edited by Danielle Binks
This book was a gift to me from Aentee from Read at Midnight when we first met two years ago! The edition that she bought for me has a beautiful foil detailing, and I adored it. I never got around to reading it, but I do love anthologies, so I’d love to give this a go.
This anthology is by Australian writers, about Australian teens. The contributing authors are all award-winning and superstar Australian authors, thus this anthology is an exemplary and shining light in Australian YA literature.
My feelings about this book: Curious! I’m especially excited to read Alice Pung’s story – she wrote one of my favourite books ever, Laurinda, and I’d absolutely read this anthology just to read her story.
Phew! That was quite the TBR. (This post is about 4500 words long – aaaah!) I think I’ve dug myself a hole organising this readathon but – hah! you have been bamboozled! this is my ultimate scheme to get you all to join me in my suffering!
But seriously friends, I really do hope you can join in on this readathon! I know a lot of you have unfathomably massive piles of unread books on your shelf, but even if you read 1 or 10 or 100, you’re a star! And Castor will love you and appreciate your help!
If you want to join #StartOnYourShelfathon, you can read more information in the readathon information post at The Quiet Pond.
- Are you participating in #StartOnYourShelfathon? How are you feeling about participating?
- What book are you most excited to read?
- Posting your own TBR post? Be sure to link to this post so I can check it out!