Saturday, February 3, 2024

Five on my TBR - Speculative Fiction

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. Learn more about it here

Speculative Fiction

I love any opportunity to feature more books and found this meme an interesting way to take a look at my TBR. I hope to also get some feedback from you. Should I keep these books on my TBR? Should I push them up the list? I am not known for reading a whole lot of books outside the contemporary realm, but there are a few SFF books floating around on my TBR. Without further ado, below are five books that speculative fiction. 

How to Be Remembered
 by Michael Thompson
On an ordinary night in an ordinary year, Tommy Llewellyn's doting parents wake in a home without toys and diapers, without photos of their baby scattered about, and without any idea that the small child asleep in his cot is theirs.

That's because Tommy is a boy destined to never be remembered.

On the same day every year, everyone around him forgets he exists, and he grows up enduring his own universal Reset. That is until something extraordinary happens: Tommy Llewellyn falls in love.

Determined to finally carve out a life for himself and land the girl of his dreams, Tommy sets out on a mission to trick the Reset and be remembered. But legacies aren't so easily won, and Tommy must figure out what's more important - the things we leave behind or the people we bring along with us.

The Day Tripper
 by James Goodhand
The right guy, the right place, the wrong time.

It’s 1995, and Alex Dean has it a spot at Cambridge University next year, the love of an amazing woman named Holly and all the time in the world ahead of him. That is until a brutal encounter with a ghost from his past sees him beaten, battered and almost drowning in the Thames.

He wakes the next day to find he’s in a messy, derelict room he’s never seen before, in grimy clothes he doesn’t recognize, with no idea of how he got there. A glimpse in the mirror tells him he’s older—much older—and has been living a hard life, his features ravaged by time and poor decisions. He snatches a newspaper and finds it’s 2010—fifteen years since the fight.

After finally drifting off to sleep, Alex wakes the following morning to find it’s now 2019, another nine years later. But the next day, it’s 1999. Never knowing which day is coming, he begins to piece together what happens in his life after that fateful night by the river.

But what exactly is going on? Why does his life look nothing like he thought it would? What about Cambridge, and Holly? In this page-turning adventure, Alex must navigate his way through the years to learn that small actions have untold impact. And that might be all he needs to save the people he loves and, equally importantly, himself.

The Ministry of Time
 by Kaliane Bradley
A time travel romance, a speculative spy thriller, a workplace comedy, and an ingeniously constructed exploration of the nature of truth and power and the potential for love to change it Welcome to The Ministry of Time, the exhilarating debut novel by Kaliane Bradley.

In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.

She is tasked with working as a “bridge”: living with, assisting, and monitoring the expat known as “1847” or Commander Graham Gore. As far as history is concerned, Commander Gore died on Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition to the Arctic, so he’s a little disoriented to be living with an unmarried woman who regularly shows her calves, surrounded by outlandish concepts such as “washing machine,” “Spotify,” and “the collapse of the British Empire.” But he adjusts quickly; he is, after all, an explorer by trade. Soon, what the bridge initially thought would be, at best, a seriously uncomfortable housemate dynamic, evolves into something much more. Over the course of an unprecedented year, Gore and the bridge fall haphazardly, fervently in love, with consequences they never could have imagined.

Supported by a chaotic and charming cast of characters—including a 17th-century cinephile who can’t get enough of Tinder, a painfully shy World War I captain, and a former spy with an ever-changing series of cosmetic surgery alterations and a belligerent attitude to HR—the bridge will be forced to confront the past that shaped her choices, and the choices that will shape the future.

An exquisitely original and feverishly fun fusion of genres and ideas, The Ministry of Time asks the universal What happens if you put a disaffected millennial and a Victorian polar explorer in a house together?

The Undermining of Twyla and Frank
by Megan Bannen
From the author of The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy comes a heartwarming fantasy with a best friends-to-lovers rom com twist--When Harry Met Sally, but with dragons!—set in the delightful demigod and donut-filled world of Tanria.

The entire town of Eternity was shocked when widowed, middle-aged Twyla Banneker partnered up with her neighbor and best friend, Frank Ellis, to join the Tanrian Marshals. Eight years later, Twyla and Frank are still patrolling the dangerous land of Tanria, the former prison of the Old Gods.

Twyla might look like a small town mom who brings cheesy potatoes to funerals and whips up a batch of cookies for the school bake sale, but her rewarding career in law enforcement has been a welcome change from the domestic grind of mom life, despite the misgivings of her grown children.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) a recent decrease in on-the-job peril has made Twyla and Frank's job a lot safer ... and a lot less exciting. So when they discover the body of one of their fellow marshals covered in liquid glitter--and Frank finds himself the inadvertent foster dad to a baby dragon--they are more than happy to be back on the beat.

Soon, the friends wind up ensnared in a nefarious plot that goes far deeper than any lucrative Tanrian mineshaft. But as the danger closes in and Twyla and Frank's investigation becomes more complicated, so does their easy friendship. And Twyla starts to realize that her true soul mate might just be the person who has lived next door all along...

A Witch's Guide to Magical Innkeeping
by Sangu Mandanna
An enchanting novel about a witch who has a second chance to get her magical powers—and her life—back on track, from the national bestselling author of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches .

Sera Swan was once one of the most powerful witches in Britain. Then she resurrected her great-aunt Jasmine from the (very recently) dead, lost most of her magic, befriended a semi-villainous talking fox, and was exiled from her magical Guild. Now she ( slightly reluctantly and a bit grumpily) helps Aunt Jasmine run an inn in Lancashire, where she deals with her quirky guest’s shenanigans, tries to keep the talking fox in check, and longs for the magical future she lost.

When she learns about an old spell book that could hold the secret to restoring her power, she finds herself turning to Luke Larsen, a gorgeous and icy historian who might be the only person who can help her unlock the book’s mysteries. The fact that he also happens to be her one-night stand from years ago is totally irrelevant.

Running an inn, reclaiming lost magic, and trying not to fall in love is a lot for anyone, but Sera is about to discover that she doesn’t have to do it alone...and that the weird, wonderful family she’s made might be the best magic of all.

What speculative fiction books
are on your TBR?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. Bannen & Mandanna's upcoming releases are on my must reads list for the year. Can't wait! I have an arc of The Ministry of Time, but I haven't decided if I'm going to pick it up.

    1. Ministry of Time calls to me. I don't read a lot of sci-fi, but it seems that when I do, it's time travel romance. I was really impressed by Bannen and Mandanna's previous releases and I cannot wait to return to those worlds.

  2. How to Be Remember sounds really interesting! I suppose Ministry of Time will end up being the one more up your alley (I saw it on NG and the title called to me, but then I realised it was more historical romance than anything LOL).

    1. I don't read much sci-fi, but when I do, it is usually time travel which is what that one promises.

  3. Replies
    1. I know. Right now I only have access to three of the books, but I hope to read them all

  4. The last two ar on my TBR as well and is it random that your first two choices have very similar covers?

    1. They are similar. Look at that! I am very excited to return to the world of Hart & Mercy and the Witches. I hope these are hits for us both

  5. I can't weigh in on these books since I've never read them. Interested in hearing your thoughts!

    1. Thanks! I have access to three of them, so hopefully I get around to reading them

  6. The Day Tripper sounds fascinating - I love a good time travel story, especially one that plays with time like that.

    1. Time travel is really as sci-fi as I get, and I love time travel romances.

  7. I'm excited for Mandanna's and Bannens books!

  8. The middle three are on my TBR! As in, I must read them. Two for review, and I'd sell my soul for Twylla and Frank, tbh. But now I am really curious about How to be Remembered! That sounds right up my alley, so thanks for putting it on my radar!

    1. I will be looking to you when you read them. I know I definitely want to read the Bannen. The other two are new to me, so I will depend on friends there.