I first heard tell of the Sirens Conference in Book Riot’s post about 20 Reading Challenges for 2017. *click click* Women in fantasy literature conference, you say? *click click* Sounds exactly like me. *click click* IT’S WITHIN REASONABLE TRAVELING DISTANCE?!?! And while I haven’t taken any irrevocable steps toward attending, I’ve crossed a certain mental threshold barring any major scheduling conflicts and have possibly investigated airfare. Possibly. Anyway, they have an accompanying reading challenge that incorporates not only the three Guest of Honor authors who will be in attendance (Zoraida Córdova, N. K. Jemisin and Victoria Schwab), but 22 other titles that go with this year’s theme of “women who work magic.” Sounds divine, right?

Below is the breakdown of the 25, with 10 required books and three sections to pick five each from. For the picks, they recommend trying authors new to you unless you’re such a reading wunderkind that you can’t fulfill the necessary quantity without using a familiar author. I’ve bolded what I plan to read, with a few extra in each category depending on what I end up liking and/or am able to get my grabby little fingers on. You’ll notice a good chunk of these titles are actually already in my possession, part of the regrettably low ratio of what I own compared to what I’ve read. Titles I’ve already completed for the challenge are bold italicized. Please do not tell my former graphic design professors I’m using bold italics. They might revoke my degree.

Guests of Honor: Required

  • Zoraida Córdova  |  Labyrinth Lost (You can get a free iTunes code for this if you sign up for the Sourebooks FIREreads newsletter! This isn’t sponsored content, I just like free books as much as the next person.)
  • N. K. Jemisin  |  The Fifth Season
  • Victoria Schwab  |  A Darker Shade of Magic

Required Theme Books

  • Charlie Jane Anders  |  All the Birds in the Sky
  • Franny Billingsley  |  Chime
  • Zen Cho  |  Sorcerer to the Crown
  • Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni  |  The Mistress of Spices
  • Marika McCoola & Emily Carroll  |  Baba Yaga’s Assistant
  • Anna-Marie McLemore  |  When the Moon Was Ours
  • Jewell Parker Rhodes  |  Bayou Magic

Additional Theme Books: Select Five

  • Leigh Bardugo  |  Shadow and Bone
  • Emily Croy Barker  |  The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic
  • Kelly Barnhill  |  The Girl Who Drank the Moon (ARC at home!)
  • Erin Bow  |  Sorrow’s Knot
  • Jessica Cluess  |  A Shadow Bright and Burning
  • Susan Dennard  |  Truthwitch (hardcover at home!)
  • Laure Eve  |  The Graces (ARC at home!)
  • Emily Foster  |  The Drowning Eyes
  • Laura Anne Gilman  |  Silver on the Road
  • Andrea Hairston  |  Redwood and Wildfire
  • Alice Hoffman  |  Practical Magic
  • Emma Jane Holloway  |  A Study in Silks
  • Nalo Hopkinson  |  Sister Mine
  • Jessica Khoury  |  The Forbidden Wish
  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia  |  This Strange Way of Dying
  • Erin Morgenstern  |  The Night Circus (currently audiobooking!)
  • Nnedi Okorafor  |  Akata Witch
  • Evelyn Skye  |  The Crown’s Game
  • Caroline Stevermer & Patricia Wrede  |  Sorcery and Cecelia
  • Tiphanie Yanique  |  Land of Love and Drowning

Middle Grade/Young Adult: Select Five

  • Kathi Appelt & Alison McGhee  |  Maybe a Fox
  • Kendare Blake  |  Three Dark Crowns
  • Leah Bobet  |  An Inheritance of Ashes
  • Traci Chee  |  The Reader
  • Cinda Williams Chima  |  Flamecaster
  • Julia Ember  |  Unicorn Tracks
  • Frances Hardinge  |  The Lie Tree
  • E. K. Johnston  |  The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim
  • C. B. Lee  |  Not Your Sidekick
  • Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda  |  Monstress Vol. 1
  • Samantha Mabry  |  A Fierce and Subtle Poison
  • Tahereh Mafi  |  Furthermore
  • Juliet Marillier  |  Wildwood Dancing
  • Sarah McCarry  |  All Our Pretty Songs
  • Sarah Porter  |  Vassa in the Night
  • Sabaa Tahir  |  An Ember in the Ashes
  • Nahoko Uehashi  |  Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
  • Leslye Walton  |  The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
  • Kiersten White  |  And I Darken (hardcover at home!)
  • Fiona Wood  |  Cloudwish

Adult: Select Five

  • Mishell Baker  |  Borderline
  • Lila Bowen  |  Wake of Vultures
  • Lisa M. Bradley  |  The Haunted Girl
  • Jordanna Max Brodsky  |  The Immortals
  • Jayde Brooks  |  Daughter of Gods and Shadows
  • Ana Castillo  |  So Far From God
  • Marilyn Chin  |  Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen
  • Genevieve Cogman  |  The Invisible Library
  • Kelly DeConnick & Emma Ríos  |  Pretty Deadly Vol. 1 (currently on my Hoopla!)
  • Sarah Beth Durst  |  The Queen of Blood (ARC at home!)
  • Kat Howard  |  Roses and Rot
  • Keri Hulme  |  The Bone People
  • Kij Johnson  |  At the Mouth of the River of Bees
  • Larissa Lai  |  When Fox Is a Thousand
  • Catherine Lundoff  |  A Day at the Inn, a Night at the Palace and Other Stories
  • Cherie Priest  |  Maplecroft
  • Kazuki Sakuraba  |  Red Girls: The Legend of the Akakuchibas
  • Nisi Shawl  |  Everfair
  • Karina Sumner-Smith  |  Radiant
  • Jen Williams  |  The Copper Promise

Hot doggies, that’s a lot of books. I’ve got five fully finished, and am strategically (re: lazily) selecting what graphic novels are included for a major decrease in the amount of time I’ll need to invest. Honestly, they all look pretty swag fantastic, so even if you don’t feel like joining in the challenge this is a great list of books to explode your TBR. But I’m not gonna put all the Goodreads links in there, because that really is too much work.

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