New Releases for the week of October 7th

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 about.

Horror Stories by Liz Phair

I have to admit on this one, I have only one Liz Phair album that I’ve listened to (I’m actually really bad at music in general), but it holds a lot of memories for me and also I do dig musician memoirs so I definitely can’t wait to jump into this one. I’m participating in Nonfiction November (basically just read a bunch of nonfic) and this is totally in the stack to enjoy.

The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman

I am pretty sure I’ve mentioned I don’t do horror, but recently I talked to Nicole from Quirk Books and she was totally raving about this one so I’m going to give it a shot. Seems like a good month to scare the crap out of myself. Here’s the thing…all I have is a digital ARC so I can’t hide it in the freezer when I’m terrified. Send me suggestions!

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I love Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom so much (remember magic heists are my jam), so I knew Bardugo had it in her to write a book for adults. I didn’t get my hands on an ARC this time around, but have already preordered my copy. I can hardly wait. There’s a lot of good buzz going around so I doubt we’re going to be disappointed. (Speaking of 6ofC did you all see this?

That’s it for me. Let me know what you’re planning on picking up this week.

New Releases for the week of September 30th Part 2

I knew my list was too short yesterday! I had been using the wrong filter on my book document. Here are the rest of this week’s new releases that I am excited for you to pick up!

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

This is actually the first of Guillory’s books that I haven’t read before the pub date and I’m sorry for it. Her books are a bit more on the tamer side so if you’re looking for steam, this isn’t your book (but I may have something later on for you), but they are fun books and if you want to save this one for the holidays, who’s gonna stop you?

Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik

This is the spicy I promised. Not burn your mouth hot, but enough to make it interesting. I really am digging this sci-fi romance series, and it is most definitely a romance which is so much fun. Adventure, kissing, a princess who is not here to play? What’s more do you need? Maybe a dude who gets in her way at every turn? Mihalik’s got you covered. Strap into your bunk for this good time.

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

A debut novel about witches who help make wine? Um, yes please? I didn’t get an ARC of this one in time so I’m just as much in the dark if the premise is executed well, but wow, the concept it ringing all my bells. It may not be a spooky book (and tbh, I’m not here for the bumps in the night), but this feels like the perfect book for the season. I also am really digging that cover. So pretty.

The Library of the Unwritten by A.J. Hackwith

I’m in the middle of reading this one now (along with at least 4 other books) and it was one I started before the move, but man what a premise. A library in Hell? Muses? Demons? Books that gain sentience? Damn you move for making me put this one aside. Another great cover. I’ll let you all know when I’ve finished if it is a keeper, but from what I’ve read, I’m definitely into it.

Again, Sorry about the missed books, but really it gave your credit card a bit of a break, right? Let me know in the comments which ones you have picked up or are planning on reading!

New Releases for the week of September 30th

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 about.

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss

I picked the third book of the Athena series up in August and haven’t quite gotten to it yet, but what I’ve read of the first two books I have thoroughly enjoyed. Maybe October is just going to be me finishing all the books I have s started and forgot to go back to.

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

Queer SFF YA for the win. This debut novel promises to be something we can curl up with and lose ourselves in. From the reviews I’ve read it’s got lots of positive queer and lady rep which gives me all the hope. I have my ARC somewhere…moving is the worst, y’all. As soon as I find my copy, I’ll report back if it was everything we hoped for.

Looks like the first week of October is a light one for me. Next week has a few more. In the next month or so we’ll start seeing our Fall releases so don’t lose hope!

Acquired ARCs for the week of September 23rd

Every week I share which ARCs I’ve picked up from Edelweiss or Netgalley.

Edelweiss

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

I have a soft spot for historical fiction featuring witchy women: women with healing talents, midwifery, or just straight up magical powers. I’m really interested because this is a story that looks into the history of the mysticism of the people of the Caribbean and frankly we need these stories to remind us, there’s a wide world out there with stories to share.

Pub date: March 17, 2020

The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard

Howard is a new-to-me author and this is the start of a brand new series so it seemed like a good time to try her out. We have a marriage of convenience trope which as you know is my fave. I’m curious to see how she’s going to handle the obvious Beauty and the Beast retelling. It takes a clever hand to make it something new.

Pub date: November 26, 2019

The Worst Best Man By Mia Sosa

Mia Sosa has been writing for Avon’s Impulse line which is ebook only and now they’re bringing her over for their main line. I’m thrilled because that means not only do we get another AoC getting the recognition she deserves, but we get more awesome stories. I see another of the illustrated covers which makes me sigh, but the enemies to lovers trope is a fun one to explore.

Pub date: February 4, 2020

The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

I will take all the queer fantasy writers. Add in an Orc MC and I’m *chin hands*. Why am I not surprised it’s a Tor title? This year we had necromancer nuns, next year? Orc priestesses. The acquiring agent Lindsey Hall is a freaking genius who also was the one to acquire Kings of the Wyld which is also a fave of mine.

Pub date: Feb 11, 2020

Acquired ARCs for the Week of September 8th

…I’d love to tell you that I’ve read nine million books this week so I’ve acquired ten million, but that’s not the case. I got caught up in this Sims 4 decades legacy challenge which is a blog post in itself (but maybe not this blog) so reading has gone slowly. Let’s see what’s been picked up, however.

Netgalley

The Seduction of of Lady Phoebe by Ella Quinn

I’m reading this right now. I’m a fan of Quinn’s Worthington series (not to be confused with Celeste Bradley’s Wicked Worthington series, which I do all the time) and this looks to be a reissue. I haven’t read it though so fun times. This seems to be one of those rarities where the male MC is in love with the heroine right from the start, except…he makes a cake of himself and has to fix his approach…eight years later.

Pub date: October 29, 2019

The Highlander’s Christmas Bride by Vanessa Kell

I…usually am not a fan of seasonal tales (although where are my Halloween ones??? I want autumn walks through the leaves), but Vanessa Kelly is one of those authors I’ll make exceptions for. Here we have a failed nun (probably a chapter title in my memoir, to be honest) and the Highlander sent to escort her home. This is bound to go well.

Pub date: October 29. 2019

Edelweiss

The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer

Tor. Do you have spies in my house? I’m guessing yes. Consistently they put out books that speak to my soul (Hi Gideon the Ninth). Also let’s talk about that cover. There’s so much too unpack: skull, swan, eyes…Our story takes place in Gilded Age New York and wow, this looks amazing. I think I’m gonna have to switch up my TBR a bit and move this one up the list. I have high hopes for it.

Pub date: April 7, 2020

The Cerulean Queen by Sarah Kozloff

…Tor. This is the conclusion to A Queen in Hiding which is strange because the books between the first and the last aren’t available as ARCs yet. However,  I’m absolutely intrigued by the concept Kozloff and Tor are about. Each book in the series is being published one month after another, which is unheard of. It’s kind of a Netflix binge. I enjoyed the first in the series and I’m definitely interested to see where we go. *

Pub date: April 21, 2020

Forever and a Duke by Olivia Drake

Did I pick this up because the dude MC has my maiden name? No. Was I pretty thrilled that an author I enjoy used my maiden name? Yes. Here we have a duke who needs a bride and an American who does not, under any circumstance, need a duke. This lady has shit to do, and he ain’t one of them. I’m always here for when the menfolk have to win over the ladies and aren’t all “love is for losers.”

Pub date: December 21, 2019

Docile by K.M Szpara

Tor. We get it. You’re the cool kid at the table. Fine. I’ll sit with you. Stop begging. I’ve heard sooo many things about this book. All of them good. As soon as I saw it was up for download, I jumped on it with the quickness. See that Charlie Jane blurb? Also Sarah Gailey is into it. The premise sounds terrifying. Having to sell yourself to pay off parental debt? I’m gonna need a lot of fun, squishy books after this. I can feel it.

Pub date: March 3, 2020

That’s it for me this week. Did any of these make your TBR? Have your own acquired ARCs you want to share with the class? Let me know in the comments.

*Updated to correct series order error.

Acquired ARCs for the Week of September 2nd

I’ve been battling a cold, but luckily that gives me even more time to read and pick up ARCs. In this week’s news Kensington must have just gotten tired of pushing that approval button on Netgalley so much because they granted me the coveted “Auto approval” which means any books they have up on the site, I just get to download it without asking permission. Very exciting. Speaking of Netgalley, we’ll start with them.

Netgalley

The Merry Viscount by Sally MacKenzie

Last year I got a good chunk of my non romance reading bookseller coworkers to read What Ales the Earl by MacKenzie and it was a hit so when I saw the next in the series was available…the clicking was so fast. I read it in one sitting, it’s on the shorter side, but wow. So spicy. It’s a little of an insta-love trope, but it works. I had a good time.

 

Pub date: September 24, 2019

 

Blitzed by Alexa Martin

This is the third in Martin’s Playbook series. While I generally don’t read any sports romances, this series has charmed the hell out of me. Brynn, our main character, has been in the last two books as a side character and I’m really glad to see more of her in this one. Martin writes from a bit of experience in the field (hahahaha. nope I’m not sorry) as she is the wife of a former NFL player. This one is bound to be a good time.

Pub date: December 3, 2019

 

A Jewel Bright Sea by Claire O’Dell

I’ve been reading O’Dell’s Janet Watson series which is a twist on the Holmes canon by making both Sherlock and Watson black queer women and have really enjoyed it so seeing that she had something new on the horizon sparked my interest. This seems to be a heist fantasy which is definitely in my Venn diagram of read it now.  Good news, it’s already out so you can pick it up as well!

Pub date: September 3, 2019

 

Edelweiss

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

Right after I finished last week’s post, this beauty came up on my Edelweiss. It’s the second book in the Gilded Wolves series which is a YA heist fantasy (remember what I said about heist fantasies) and the first was one of my favorite books of last year. I’m excited to see what the gang is up to. This read very crossover to me, great for YA readers and great for adult SFF readers who have read everything.

Pub date: February 4, 2020

 

The Prince of Broadway by Joanna Shupe

This is the second in Shupe’s Uptown Girls series and it takes place in Gilded Age NYC. I usually stay on the other side of the pond in this era, but I’ve read Shupe and a couple others and I must say, I might have been missing out. Also he’s the owner of a casino which in Regency would be a hell and hello, I’m listening. Bad boy meets rich girl trope has become a weakness as well, I firmly blame Sarah MacLean. She’s probably cackling right now

Pub date: December 30, 2019

 

That’s it for this week. What did you pick up this week? Share your literary loot 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?

July Book Club Favorites

This month the Ladies Reading Speculative Fiction book club read Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston. We haven’t picked our August book yet so stay tuned!

Here’s what some of us enjoyed this month outside of our book club read.

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard. This hit all the right buttons for me: an artists’ colony on the edge of Faerie? Where do I sign up? Although, like any “true” tale of the Fae, that attractive idea is more of a snare than a treat. The voice of the novel manages to feel real and contemporary while weaving in all the peril and beauty of fairy tales. Excerpts of the main character’s own writing project insightfully explore the themes of those evergreen stories. Echoes of Tam Lin foreshadow the climactic struggle of artists from all disciplines competing to be good enough for the Fae. Anyone who has asked themselves why they work so hard to “make it” in the arts will understand the stakes. Add to the mix a “stage mom” worse than any stepmother, and a sister-love better than Anna and Elsa – Roses and Rot kept me enthralled. One of my top reads this year. –Juniper


Watership Down by Richard Adams. There’s a Seanan McGuire quote about Watership Down, which is roughly that it takes an extraordinary book and an extraordinary writer for a book about rabbits to be more reflective of the human condition than most books about humanity, and it’s completely spot-on. I’ve read this book so many times that I can’t even begin to count them all, and each time has been equally precious and important to me. There’s a tendency for people to look at Watership Down and think, “ah, a kids’ book about rabbits, this won’t be that rewarding,” and that tendency is incredibly unfortunate. Watership is one of the most rewarding books I’ve ever read, which is why I  keep coming back to it. It’s about rabbits, yes, and you can absolutely read it to your children. However, its success lies in things that appeal to ten-year-olds and fifty-year-olds alike: This is a story about danger, war, camaraderie, loyalty, death, and need. It’s about refugees setting up in new territory, being welcomed and rejected in turn, and figuring out how it is that they must live their lives in their new home. It leans heavily on the loyalty and love between those who leave home together and fight together to find a new place in the world, and it always returns to hope, joy in the smallest things in life, and the bonds between us. -Anie

As for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It was a heartbreaking story told in 300 years of one family from Ghana. I loved the changing POVs as it moved from one generation to the next. You get a sense of how each character saw themselves and how then they were perceived by their descendants as well as how their choices (and in some cases their lack of freedom to make choices) affect the next generation.

What were your favorite books of the month?

WWW Wednesdays 6/22

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 just started The Geek Feminist Revolution  by Kameron Hurley which so far is pretty interesting. Remember, I love books about the arts so it should be no surprise I’m also into The Fifth Avenue Artists Society by Joy Calloway.

What did you recently finish reading? Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger was great. I have been a fan of urban fantasy for years and this was a great new addition to the genre. I had a lot of fun reading it and can’t wait to see where the series goes. I also finished We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrl to Covergirl, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement by  Andi Heisler, which was enlightening. I think it is a must read for any feminist. Roses and Rot by Kat Howard rounds out my reads for this week. I haven’t been so pleased by a book in a long time. Howard’s prose was lovely and the story was engaging. It’s been a long time since I’ve read so many great books in a row. Hopefully it continues.

What do you think you’ll read next? I’m looking forward to reading Sweet bitter  by Stephanie Danler. I really love books about cooking and restaurants. I also need to start Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston for my book club pick.

What does your book life look like this week?