Hey friends, I’m back!
The end of April to the beginning of this month has meant slow progress for reading. It’s a busy time in year, so no shame in that, but my TBR has relentlessly piled up in the meantime. Between some really amazing Book Outlet deals (the entire Shades of Magic trilogy for $15!), a couple gifted copies, and a splurge at my local indie bookstores to celebrate a promotion at work I’ll be busy for months. On top of all of that, a slew of highly anticipated winter 2020 releases dropped on Edelweiss and I got approved for nearly a dozen books that I requested months ago, so my kindle has been inundated as well. As far as reads in this past month, there isn’t a whole lot to rave about except Birthday (review on 5/21) but I’ve finally picked up Red, White, and Royal Blue (I know, I’m late to the party, but it’s fiiine) and so far it’s quite good. So without further ado, here’s a look at what I’m currently reading, what I’ve added to my TBR in the past month, and a book I can’t wait to read. Pro tip: if you’re just here to skim, check out the titles in blue.
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
“A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends.
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.”
- Things They Buried by Amanda K. King and Michael R. Swanson – Sylandair and Aliara must confront the shared horrors of their past as they seek out their abuser that might not be as dead as they once thought.
- Why I Like This Story – This book contains essays from 48 American writers discussing their favorite short stories and why they like them.
- Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey – When a faculty member at a private academy for magically gifted students is brutally murdered, Tabitha calls in her estranged sister, Ivy Gamble, private investigator.
- Conclusion by Peter Robertson – Colin Tugdale knows his expiration date. In his final year he meets a woman that should be dead, forcing him to question the truth of his fate in a race against the clock.
- The Body in Question by Jill Ciment – Two members of a jury strike up an affair as they remain sequestered throughout the proceedings of a high-profile murder case. Warning: do not read the current blurb on Goodreads as it contains major spoilers.
- The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz – You know, from all the descriptions I’ve read I’m not even sure exactly what this book about. But hey, it’s be a fun space opera that’s already received praise from Seanan McGuire so I’m here for it.
- Inland by Téa Obreht- This historical fiction novel follows the live of Nora and Lurie across the barren landscape of the Arizona Territory in the late 1800s.
- The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg – This book could be easily classified as “true crime” but it is something more. After years of re-investigation, Eisenberg presents the Rainbow Murders and how after nearly four decades, their memory still looms over the small Appalachian community.
- The Book of Science and Antiquities by Thoman Keneally – The parallel stories of two men living in Australia, separated by 42,000 years.
- We Wish You Luck by Caroline Zancan – Three brilliant graduate students take their revenge on a young professor who has destroyed one of their own. I’m getting some Mean Girls vibes from this.
- First Cosmic Velocity by Zach Powers – The year is 1964, and the Soviet space program is in deep trouble. For years they have fooled the world, launching men into space and presenting a twin as the returned astronaut, but now they’ve run out of twins.
- Long Bright River by Liz Moore – After the disappearance of her estranged sister coinciding with a string of murders in her district, a Philidelphia police officer is plunged into an obsessive search for the culprit.
- War and Money by Sofia Diana Gabel – Dax, taken from her family recruited to war with aliens trapped on Earth’s moon, begins to suspect there is more to this fight than keeping aliens at bay.
- The View from Somewhere by Lewis Raven Wallace – Wallace, a transgender journalist and activist, challenges the notion of objectivity in journalism as he explores how journalistic neutrality has silenced marginalized voices as far back as lynching in the American south to present day controversies.
- Maiden, Mother, Crone – A “fantastical short fiction by trans women and trans feminine writers curated by celebrated poet and author Gwen Benaway.” I’ve read a a little bit of this and it’s so gorgeous.
- The Seep by Chana Porter – This book doesn’t come out until 2020 and a full review won’t be published until then but you can take a peek at my thoughts on Goodreads. I highly recommend this for any other Vandermeer fans.
- Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry – “In her debut novel, award–winning poet Brynne Rebele-Henry re-imagines the epic of Orpheus as a love story between two teen girls in rural Texas.” I am so ready for this book to break my heart.
- My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – I guess I’m in the midst of a mystery and thriller bender so this late approval for an ARC was nice to see.
- Lost and Found by Orson Scott Card – Why yes, the Orson Scott Card is back with a new novel this fall about a boy who has the uncanny ability to find things that have been lost.
- Walking on the Ceiling by Ayşegül Savaş – “A mesmerizing novel set in Paris and a changing Istanbul, about a young Turkish woman grappling with her past – her country’s and her own – and her complicated relationship with the famous British writer who longs for her memories.”
- Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee – “…a collection of stories set in the world of the best-selling Ninefox Gambit. Showcasing Lee’s extraordinary imagination, this collection takes you to the very beginnings of the hexarchate’s history and reveals new never-before-seen stories.”
- A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvarsson – A Scandanavian thriller about a Swedish family that is pitched into chaos as their eighteen-year-old daughter is accused of murdering a man over ten years her senior.
- Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey- After months of this book seeming absolutely unattainable I got approved for an eARC and a physical copy on the same day.
- Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia – The gorgeously illustrated first installment of DC’s new Teen Titans series.
- The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling – If you’re feeling a little deja vu, it’s because this was definitely an eARC I hauled last month that I went out and purchased since because I love Starling’s writing that much.
- The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – An intricately plotted story where Groundhog Day meets murder mystery.
- Vicious by V.E. Schwab – First in the Villains series that follows the rivalry of two college friends turned mad scientists.
- Vengeful by V.E. Schwab – Villains series #2.
- A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – As if this series or author needs any introduction. First in the Shades of Magic trilogy that follows Kell, a magician with the rare ability to travel between parallel Londons.
- A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab – Shades of Magic series #2.
- A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – Shades of Magic series #3.
- Miracle Creek by Angie Kim – “A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son.”
- The Binding by Bridget Collins – Emmett is a bookbinder in a world where those leather-bound volumes can capture and erase memories. Just as he begins to settle after the transition from farm boy to apprentice, he discovers a book of memories with his name on it.
- Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes – An rogue mage caught between two warring empires, betrayed by those she trusted most, has one last story to tell before her execution.
- Exhalation by Ted Chiang – One of my most anticipated reads of 2019, Chiang (author of Stories of Your Life and Others, the collection that inspired the film Arrival) is back with his second collection of short stories and I’m in no way prepared.
- Things They Buried by Amanda K. King and Michael R. Swanson – I highly recommend following the authors on social media, a couple weeks ago they had a flash giveaway of the kindle version of this book and I was lucky enough to snag an e-copy for reading on the go.
Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
Alright, any fellow murderinos in the crowd? I’m not a long-time fan of My Favorite Murder, but I’ve been an avid listener for the past year. Karen and Georgia’s podcast has been the accompaniment to virtually every car trip and train ride since I discovered it so, needless to say, I cannot wait for their upcoming memoir.
“Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.
In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.” Pub Date: May 28, 2019.