New Releases Week of September 2nd

No one knows why Tuesday is new release day, but are we really going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Every week I’ll post books that I’m excited for.

To be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Becky freaking Chambers. If you know me, you’ll know how much I adored The Wayfarers series. Chambers is a damn gift that keeps giving. I was thrilled to see her win for best series at the Dublin Hugos this year. She deserves it. This novella will have to keep us sated until she releases the next big thing whatever it is.

 

 

 

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Speaking of loved trilogies. Oh man. Do I love Mia, the cat who is not a cat and her whole band of assassins. This cover is bad ass. I hope everyone will dig it as much as I did. Did I order a signed first edition to match the ones for Nevernight and Godsgrave? You bet your ass I did.

 

 

 

 

The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire

The 13th installment of McGuire’s Toby Daye series is here and she is not here to play around. The Luidaeg is calling in her marker on a bargain she made with the Selkies and brings Toby along to pay her own debts. As usual nothing goes entirely to plan and shenanigans arise because of course they do, what else did you expect? No fan of the series is going to leave disappointed…except that again this is going to be in hardcover and is going to look weird with your paperbacks.

 

Whose Story is This? Old Conflicts, New Chapters by Rebecca Solnit

It can’t be all Science Fiction and Fantasy all the time. Where SFF takes us on journeys across space and time, Solnit reminds us we have a lot to fix in our own little world. I have yet to find an essay collection by her that I didn’t like, even if I found the subject matter difficult to read. This is no different.

 

 

 

 

Acquired ARCs Week of August 26th

This week’s Acquired ARCs only came from Edelweiss. Let’s see what they are.

 

A Pale Light in the Dark by K.B. Wagers

I liked Wager’s Indranan War series (even though I haven’t finished it, I really plan to) so I definitely wanted to see what this new series was all about. Consider me interested. It seems to have found family vibes, which I’m always here for. Bad ass leading lady also check. Possibly a big competition? That’s another one in its favor.

Pub date: March 3, 2020

 

 

Grown Up Pose by Sonya Lalli

I have mixed feeling’s about Lalli’s previous book The Matchmaker’s List, but I’m willing to give her another shot here. I don’t really have a lot to say here to be honest. It’s a story about a woman starting over after separating from her husband who she married at a young age, and her community’s impact on her life so there’s a lot Lalli can explore here. I hope the execution is as good as the premise.

Pub date: March 24, 2020

 

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss

I had a great time with the first in this series and am working on the second now (it’s a chunkster). The idea that daughters of literature’s mad scientists would band together and have adventures? Oh man. I was there day one. I especially love that it’s told with each girl breaking into the narrative to give her side of the story or impart a snarky retort.

Pub date: October 19, 2019

 

The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes

Ever since I read An Unkindness of Ghosts, I’ve been aching for another story from Rivers. When I found out they had a novella inspired by The Deep by Clipping, well, let’s just say, it couldn’t get into my hands fast enough. I read this too fast and will probably read it again soon. There are so many details that you don’t expect to find in such a short story. Haunting, mesmerizing, and impactful are all words I would use to describe this story. It is nothing short of a work of art.

 Pub date: November 5, 2019

The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

Don’t lie. You squeed when you saw this. If you’re like me, you watched Shrill (hopefully you read the book as well) and were in love. Lindy’s take on feminism, pop culture, and body image is nothing short of masterful. I have been awaiting this essay collection with bated breath and am trying to hurry to write this post so I can sit in my comfy chair with a bottle of Magic Hat #9 and just devour every word of this collection.

Pub date: November 5, 2019

 

Will you pick up any of these? Did you acquire any books this week? Tell me in the comments.

 

 

Acquired ARCs Week of August 19th

While I was a bookseller I became a front list addict. Rereading? Only for my truest love The Night Circus. If it wasn’t brand new, I didn’t read it. To be honest, if it was already out, I probably skipped it. I lived on Edelweiss and in the book buyer’s office, scoping all the Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs). A bit has changed now that I’m on hiatus. I’ve done a few romance series rereads like Julia Quinn’s The Bridgerton series to prep for the show and as I’ve mentioned lately I’ve been going through some of those ARCs I never got to through the Bout of Books readathon. But honestly, I’m still front list at heart and luckily the blog gives me a reason to read ahead as it were. Let’s see a few titles I picked up this week.

Netgalley

This Earl of Mine by Kate Bateman 

This is the first in a new series by Bateman. I haven’t read her before so I’m excited. Folks, this is a second chance romance with a marriage of convenience which is catnip for me. Heiress marries a condemned prisoner to save her fortune from a villainous cousin only to find out…hubby was actually working undercover. Now what? I don’t know, but I’m super excited to find out

Pub date: October 29, 2019

 

 

Lady Hotspur by Tessa Gratton

I really liked The Queens of Innis Lear which was a spin on Shakespeare’s King Lear so I’ve been waiting for something new from Gratton. Lady Hotspur is a retelling of The Bard’s Henry IV and takes place in the same world as her first book which fascinates me. We get to follow a fallen queen, a knight turned heir to the throne, and a weapon of warfare who is caught between them both. There seems to be a queer subplot which I am super down for.

Pub date: January 7, 2020 

 

The Throne of the Five Winds by S.C. Emmett

I didn’t know this when I requested it, but S.C. Emmett is a pseudonym for Lilith Saintcrow. I’ve read a few of her urban fantasy series back in the day, but it was so long ago, I couldn’t’ tell you why I stopped. Goodreads tells me this is an East Asia inspired epic fantasy following two queens, two concubines, and six princes. I like a good court intrigue so I’m…interested.  This is the first installment of a trilogy according to the Orbit announcement.

Pub date: October 15, 2019

 

Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner

This debut novel was blurbed by one of my favorite authors, Kat Howard and also can we talk about how gorgeous this cover is? The main characters are a would-be mage and a troll who are investigating troll murders. This is not something I’ve seen before and I really can’t wait to jump in and see where Waggoner takes us.

Pub date: November 5, 2019

 

 

Edelweiss 

Engaged to the Earl by Lisa Berne

Engaged to the Earl is the fourth in the Penhallow Dynasty series which I have been reading and enjoying. Not sure what our trope is in this one yet from the description. Whatever the official one is for dude leaves to find adventure, comes back to find dreamy girl has grown the fuck up and looking gorgeous. Also she’s engaged so she’s gonna have to pick between the guy everyone likes and the guy no one’s heard from in years. What’s a girl to do?

Pub date: February 25, 2019

 

 

Something That May Shock and Discredit You by Daniel Mallory Ortberg

I read Ortberg when he ran The Toast and his book Texts From Jane Eyre but was too scared to read The Merry Spinster although one of my horror loving friends adored it. I’m a sucker for a good essay collection and this one sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Pop culture is where Ortberg excels and I expect this to be a good time.

Pub date: January 28, 2019

 

What new books did you pick up this week? Is there anything you’re looking forward to reading this fall?

#24in48 Recommendations

Originally, I was going to do a post about what I’m reading for #24in48 which is happening this weekend (click the link for the deets), however, it turns out…the spawn are finally joining us in Pittsburgh that weekend so we will be running around showing them their new city. So I thought maybe I would help with some recommendations. I’m a bookseller on hiatus, it’s the least I can do. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t generally do a lot of my heavy reading for readathons, otherwise it’ll feel like I’m not making any progress so I’ll be keeping it nice and light (in page length anyway). I’m also going to keep it to more recent books since I haven’t really talked about anything newish in the last two years on here. And away we go!

Fiction

The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics (Feminine Pursuits, #1)The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Wait

F/F Regency romance is sparse on the ground when it comes to the Big 5 publishers so when I heard about this story about an astronomer who falls for an explorer’s widow? I was basically the human realization of that Fry gif. This hit all the spots. Fiber art! Science! Sexy times! All the exclamation points.

 

 

 

 

Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer, #1)Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

While we are on the topic of romance, let’s talk about this romance/fantasy. To be honest, I still can’t figure out if it’s Romance with a fantasy theme or Fantasy with a romance subplot. That’s not a knock. I really liked that way Martineau blended it. As a bookseller, I just didn’t know where to shelve it. Ha! Anyway, it is a fun start to a series that I’m seriously interested in seeing where it goes.

 

 

 

An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1)An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass

Also the first in a new series, I had a good time with this fantasy novel about a royal courtesan who is exiled when her brother steals from the wrong person and now has to keep an eye on him. It’s not flashy magic, and there’s a found family aspect which I am a huge fan of.

 

 

 

 

MiddlegameMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire

What, you haven’t heard me screaming about this book already? I’ve been reading Seanan McGuire forever and she STILL BLOWS ME AWAY with this standalone about two people, Roger and Dodger who are unexplainably linked. The technical writing alone is fantabulous. Also do yourself a favor and listen to it on audio because Amber Benson narrates and she is amazeballs. It is on the longer side that I generally don’t recommend, but  the plot’s roller coaster will keep you going.

 

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill SistersThe Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal

If you loved Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, you need Jaswal’s recent gift to the literary world (and if you haven’t read it, go do that one too). Three sisters are sent on a pilgrimage to India after their mother’s death. The catch? They don’t really see eye to eye. Themes of immigration, sisterhood, familial obligation, and culture are weaved together so beautifully here. It was one of the first books I read in 2019 and I’m still thinking about it.

 

Nonfiction

Southern Lady CodeSouthern Lady Code by Helen Ellis

Ellis’s short story collection American Housewife is my favorite recommendation for people who don’t like short stories. It’s amazing. And everything I love about it, Ellis puts in this essay collection (also great rec for people who don’t like essays. See what I did there?). This is the book to read for quick bites of wit and charm in equal measures.

 

 

Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays)Call Them by Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit

Another great essay collection, but this time, less funny. Solnit is spot on with most of her observations and with the state of our nation at the moment (let’s be real, forever) this hits in the spot that tells you this is all fucked up and these are the reasons why that maybe you couldn’t name.

 

 

 

We're Going to Need More WineWe Are Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

I’m just going to say what I put down for IndieNext. Writing this off as another celebrity memoir is the worst mistake you can make in your reading life. Union has put together a collection of essays covering topics of race, feminism, beauty standards, and fame that truly touch the soul. I would recommend for fans of Roxane Gay and Phoebe Robinson, for her blunt truthfulness and heart. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every essay and would read anything she writes in the future. (TW: rape)

 

Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz ChickensBelieve Me: A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard

I am a huge fan of Eddie Izzard’s and have been since high school when I discovered Dress to Kill. I highly recommend the audio of this because of course I do. It’s Eddie. He talks about coming to terms with being transgender, a word he never applied to himself, his comedy career, his family, and everything in between. Then go watch all of his standup…after the readathon, of course.

 

 

Priestdaddy: A Memoir

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Ending it with one more audiobook recommendation because Lockwood herself reads it and while a lot of authors can’t pull it off, Lockwood nails it. She does fantastic impressions of her family which is worth the price of the audiobook. She recounts the years where after her husband has some health problems they move in with her conservative parents. And oh boy, it’s a doozy. You need to read it to believe this kind of wild. You’ll laugh out loud on your commute and scare the crap out of that baby sleeping in their stroller. I’m sorry. But not really.

 

So that’s it, I mean, it’s not really it because if you know me, I have more recommendations where that came from, but these are a good start. If you want more, you know where to find me.

What are some books you are recommending for people’s #24in48 needs?

Upcoming August Books

Every month I try to make a list of all the books coming out that I’m excited to read. Let me know in the comments about any you’re excited about. Here’s what’s coming up in August.

Betrayals (Cainsville, #4) by Kelley Armstrong (Aug 9). I have been a fan of Kelley Armstrong forever and though many were disappointed by this series, I was not one of them. I think a lot were expecting a Women of the Otherworld part 2, but Armstrong is not a one trick pony. Where she was a master of urban fantasy, she’s even better at blending genres like she’s done with this series. It doesn’t fit in one and I love it. It’s mystery, fantasy, a bit of romance all in one. I’m hooked.


Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (Aug 9). I am newly into reading Jacqueline Woodson’s poetry with Brown Girl Dreaming and fell in love. Another Brooklyn is Woodson’s newest work and i’m looking forward to seeing her in novel form.


The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2) by N.K. Jemisin (Aug 16). Can I tell you how excited I am for this? I’m a huge fan of Jemisin’s work. I’ve devoured everything so far and the world building in The Broken Earth series has been amazing. Give it to me now!!! My speculative fiction book club ate The Fifth Season up!


A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2) by Sabaa Tahir (Aug 30). I have become a fan of YA fantasy and this series is probably what got me on that path. An Ember in the Ashes was probably one of my favorite books of last year. 


A Scot in the Dark (Scandal and Scoundrel, #2) by Sarah Maclean (Aug 30). Just go buy this. Sarah Maclean will never steer you wrong and neither will I. Remember, consent is sexy and so are punny titles so Sarah is your girl. Do it now!


 

What books are you looking forward to in June?

*edited to fix a pub date 

WWW Wednesdays 6/29

WWW Wednesday is a book meme run by Taking on a World of Words.

Every week I’m going to jump on here and talk about the week’s books. So let’s get to it shall we?

What are you currently reading? I’m one of the people who received a settlement in the Apple/Amazon lawsuit and…I might have gone a little crazy. I’m going to be out of town this coming weekend so I’m probably going to be sticking pretty closely to my digital bookshelf this week. I’ll be reading The Bourbon Thief by  Tiffany Reisz. I adored her Original Sinners series and even though this won’t be erotica, I know her writing to be amazing so I’m looking forward to starting this tomorrow. I’m actually going to be visiting Emily Foster’s How Not to Fall for my erotica. Emily Foster is the pseudonym of Emily Nagoski who wrote Come As You Are (go get it, now!!).

What did you recently finish reading? The Geek Feminist Revolution  by Kameron Hurley was so great! It was slow starting for me, but pretty quickly I was reminded of Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay which I am a big fan of. I also finished The Fifth Avenue Artists Society by Joy Calloway which was pretty interesting. I also finished The City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong. I’ve been a fan of Armstrong since her Women of the Otherworld series and she doesn’t disappoint here.

What do you think you’ll read next? Our book club meeting is being rescheduled and I still need to start Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston for my book club pick. After that I’m not 100% where I’m going.

What does your book life look like this week?

Upcoming June Books

Every month I try to make a list of all the books coming out that I’m excited to read. Let me know in the comments about any you’re excited about. Here’s what’s coming up in June.

The Gilded Years: A Novel by Karin Tanabe (Jun 7). Based on the true story of Anita Hemmings, the first black student to attend Vassar, who successfully passes for white- until she let herself grow too attached to wrong person. This sounds really interesting. It’s set in the Gilded Era which is also a selling point.


Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach (Jun 7). I love me some Mary Roach. So far, I’ve read or listened to everything except Spook. I’m especially interested in her latest as that was our life for ten years when my husband was in the military.


Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay (Jun 14). Remember how I said I love Mary Roach? Roxane Gay is also on my author goddess list. I have Bad Feminist on my list of Essential Nonfiction Reads that Shaped me as a Person and An Untamed State still makes me feel breathless when I think about it.


Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford (Jun 14). Another historical fiction, this one revolves around the upstart British Broadcasting Company and an American raised secretary who uncovers a conspiracy in the organization. I’m into it.


Curse of the Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10) by Darynda Jones. (Jun 28). The adventures of Charley the Grim Reaper continues. I wasn’t thrilled with the amnesia plot in the last book, so hopefully things will be more of the Charley we all know and love.


Chasing Lady Amelia (Cavendish, #2) by Maya Rodale. (Jun 28). I adore Maya Rodale. I just read Lady Bridget’s Diary and I’m thrilled I don’t have to wait any longer to read the next one. Those Cavendish’s are my newest favorite historical fiction families.

What books are you looking forward to in June?

Upcoming May Books

Every month I try to make a list of all the books coming out that I’m excited to read. Let me know in the comments about any you’re excited about. Here’s what’s coming up in May.

 

In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero (May 3). I love celebrity biographies, yet this one is especially important as Guerrero (you’ll recognize her from Orange is the New Black) recounts her family’s experiences in being undocumented workers in the United States.

 

 


We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement by Andi Heisler (May 3). I have this one preordered since someone declared May to be feminist manifesto release day and I’m here for it. I like Bitch Media and feel like there’s going to be a lot to say in this one.


Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen (Six Tudor Queens, #1) by Alison Weir (May 5). I have to confess something. I have an addiction. I am addicted to books about the Tudor reign in England. Doesn’t matter how many books have been published about the fickle king and his doomed wives and daughters, I’m there for it (Henry the VII is a little less on my radar atm). Alison Weir is a great source  for this era so this is sure to be a great read.


The Inquisition (Summoner, #2) by Taran Matharu. (May 10).  I really liked Matharu’s first book The Novice (which comes out in paperback this month as well if you missed it) so I’ve been waiting patiently for the sequel. If fantasy is your genre of choice, I suggest picking this series up.

 


The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game #1) by Evelyn Skye (May 17). I may be a bit biased about this one since Evelyn is a friend of a friend and a local Bay Area author, but I hope that doesn’t stop you from picking her debut YA novel up. Taking place in Russia, there is magic and intrigue afoot along with a bad ass lady main character.

 


How May We Hate You: Notes from the Concierge Desk by Anna Drezen (May 17). As someone who travels at least a couple times a year, this title fascinated me. I have a love of behind the scenes sneak peeks, whether it be a documentary about backstage  at Disneyland, a tweet about Book Riot/Slack shenanigans, or a book about hotel hooliganism (whether it be from the staff or the guests).

 


Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2) by Lisa Kleypas (May 31). I have to say, you really can’t go wrong with a Kleypas romance and I have a feeling this is going to be no different. The hero is not a duke or an earl or even a viscount, but a self-made man which is a fun change from the aristocratic world we usually see. The heroine is a shy lady with a secret. I’m ready to see what these two will get up to.


The Geek Feminist Revolution: Essays by Kameron Hurley (May 31). Did you hear that? Those were all my bells ringing. I’ve been hearing good things. This one is already on preorder as well.

 

 

*edited to fix a publishing date error.

The Not so Long and Very Short of It

February. The month where I declared I would read a bunch of essay and short story collections. I did! I almost cleared my physical shelves. I never actually got to any on my Kindle. C’est la vie. How many did I actually get to, you’re probably asking. Seven. Four essay and three short story collections. And knowing me as you do, that six books is not all I accomplished, you’re now asking, what else did you read? Five nonfiction books…and a lot of romance novels. Also there were a couple lit fics in there as well and a graphic novel. I can’t help it. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I am giving up on short stories and essays as I enjoyed the ones I did read, but they definitely aren’t my one true love.

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. I love Lahiri. So much. This collection of short stories was no different. I actually forget how much I love her, then read something of hers and am blown away. My favorite were the three linked stories at the end. Heartbreaking, but poignant.

 


 

Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due. It’s been forever since I’ve been scared by a book. While not at the level of nightmare inducing, I was definitely creeped by Due’s stories. From ghosts to zombies, the stories were excellent. Ghost Summer, the title story, was one I’ll think about for awhile.

 


 

 

Naked by David Sedaris. My first Sedaris. I’ve been wanting to get started. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed, but maybe Sedaris isn’t for me. There were some funny things, but then some that missed entirely for me.

 

 


 

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris. Try, try again. This one felt a bit better, however none of the stories stood out for me.

 

 


When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. I decided to get them all done at once (I still have Me Talk Pretty One Day, but I’ll save it for now). Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls was better than this one. I found myself drifting off pretty easily.

 


 

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazoo Ishiguro. I have read a few Ishiguro. I’ve liked them. This is the first I’ve really loved. I loved the theme of music. Pardon the pun, but the writing was lyrical.

 


 

How to be a Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much: by Samantha Ellis. This was recommended to me from a bookseller. I wanted to love it. A lot of the fault is going to land on me here, since I haven’t read most of the classics she mentioned. I was hoping to get some extra insight so that maybe I would want to? This only happened in a couple situations. I’ll be honest, I skimmed the second to the last two essays, I just got kind of bored. However, she ended strong with the last one.

Did you read any essays or short stories?

TBR Shelf February: Shorts Stories and Essays

As you know, I’m really fond of theme reading. It clears my bookshelves and helps me get some genres read that I’ve been meaning to try. This month I thought I’d jump on my short story and essay collections. I have been accumulating them apparently. I’m going to try for the ones I own and if I get through those I’ll reach out to what I have on Scribd and get some recommendations from you guys (throw them in the comments, I’ll try to get to them). I read 34 books in January and I don’t think I have that many essay/short story collections on my shelf so it’s possible. I’m not only reading these, since The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee is coming out tomorrow! (Side note: This took all my willpower not to capitalize all of that and add all the exclamation points.)

Here’s my physical shelf.

  • Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie
  • Trigger Warning by Neil Gaimain
  • Nocturne by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
  • Naked by David Sedaris
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
  • How to be a Heroine: Or What I’ve Learned by Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis
  • Ghost Summer by TananariveDue (also my horror pick for my Read Harder Challenge)

On my digital shelf

  • Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions edited by Cami Ostman (my religion pick for #readharder)
  • Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker
  • A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
  • Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine edited by Lisa Jervis (possibly my #readharder feminist pick)
  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
  • Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale

Do you have any recommendations for me? Read any of these? Any I should read sooner than the others? Talk to me, people!