Categories
New Books

New Books for the First Tuesday of February!

Happy Tuesday, friends! I am writing this to you from my secret lair in Maine, where we got a foot and a half of snow this weekend. It’s wild, and we didn’t even get as much as most places! This is to say that I am wicked tired of shoveling snow, and I am glad it’s behind us for now. Because Mother Nature is cutting in on my reading time!

Now, for today: I have a first Tuesday megalist for you. I do these because the first Tuesday of each month has so many new releases, it’s fun to round some of them up. Below, you’ll find titles (loosely) broken up into several categories, to make it easier for your browsing convenience. I hope you have fun with it! And as with each first Tuesday newsletter, I am putting a ❤️ next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Danika and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as The Violin Conspiracy, Crema, The Employees, and more.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

Biography and Memoir

cover of The Woman Beyond the Attic: The V.C. Andrews Story by Andrew Neiderman; b&w photo of Andrews with red and green roses and thorns

Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm by Dan Charnas

The Woman Beyond the Attic: The V.C. Andrews Story by Andrew Neiderman ❤️

In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Memoir of Courage by Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

Fiction

Don’t Cry for Me by Daniel Black

Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor ❤️

cover of The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang

The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang ❤️

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century by Kim Fu ❤️

Free Love by Tessa Hadley

Mercy Street by Jennifer Haigh

The Pages by Hugo Hamilton 

Getting Clean With Stevie Green by Swan Huntley

Thank You, Mr. Nixon: Stories by Gish Jen 

Vladimir by Julia May Jonas

Anonymous Sex by Hillary Jordan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Stories of a Life by Nataliya Meshchaninova, Fiona Bell (translator)

cover of Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson; white font over multi-colored paint swishes that create the face of a Black woman in the center

The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (translator)

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson ❤️

Middle Grade

Just Harriet by Elana K. Arnold

The Counterclockwise Heart by Brian Farrey

Wishing Upon the Same Stars by Jacquetta Nammar Feldman

When the World Turned Upside Down by K. Ibura

Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs by Pam Muñoz Ryan ❤️

Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed 

Mystery and Thriller

cover of Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano; illustration of white woman with brown hair in a bun and rose-tinted glasses peeking over a wall

Catch Her When She Falls by Allison Buccola

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano 

Base Notes by Lara Elena Donnelly 

Other People’s Clothes by Calla Henkel

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb ❤️

Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose by T.A. Willberg ❤️

Nonfiction

Impact: How Rocks from Space Led to Life, Culture, and Donkey Kong by Greg Brennecka

When a Killer Calls: A Haunting Story of Murder, Criminal Profiling, and Justice in a Small Town by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker 

Otherlands: A Journey Through Earth’s Extinct Worlds by Thomas Halliday 

cover of The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel H. Pink; teal cover with crumbled white piece of paper towards the bottom

The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward by Daniel H. Pink

Catch the Sparrow: A Search for a Sister and the Truth of her Murder by Rachel Rear ❤️

Treasured: How Tutankhamun Shaped a Century by Christina Riggs ❤️

Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey by Florence Williams ❤️

Poetry

Respect the Mic: Celebrating 20 Years of Poetry from a Chicagoland High School by Peter Kahn, Hanif Abdurraqib , et al.

Then the War: and Selected Poems, 2007-2020 by Carl Phillips

Romance

Ramón and Julieta (Love & Tacos) by Alana Quintana Albertson

Lease on Love by Falon Ballard 

Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur 

cover of Crema by Johnnie Christmas and Dante Luiz; illustration of a white woman and a Black woman close to kissing, surrounded by flowery foliage

Crema by Johnnie Christmas and Dante Luiz

Black Love Matters: Real Talk on Romance, Being Seen, and Happily Ever Afters by Jessica P. Pryde ❤️

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson

A Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox 

Hunt the Stars (Starlight’s Shadow ) by Jessie Mihalik 

The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century by Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (translator) ❤️

cover of The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century Olga Ravn, black with glimpses of an old marble statue visible through what appear to be cells of the body

Ramses the Damned: The Reign of Osiris by Anne Rice and Christopher Rice 

Young Adult

In the Serpent’s Wake by Rachel Hartman 

Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen R. Lee

This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi

And We Rise by Erica Martin

Once More with Chutzpah by Haley Neil

cover of Kemosha of the Caribbean by Alex Wheatle; a young Black woman on a boat dressed in pirate attire

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys 

The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor

These Deadly Games by Diana Urban 

Kemosha of the Caribbean by Alex Wheatle

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


orange cat sitting on bookcase in front of wall covered in stickers

This week: I’m currently reading A Tiny Upward Shove by Melissa Chadburn and More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez. Outside of books, I’ve started watching Search Party. (I’m a big fan of waiting until a season or even a whole series is finished before I watch it.) And the song stuck in my head is El Musgo by Gabriel Bruce. And here’s Farrokh, trying to blend in with the busyness of my office.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, star bits! It’s time for another fabulous week of new releases. There are sooooo many books I want this week, but the top of my list to buy are Hot and Sour Suspects: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien and Mestiza Blood by V Castro. In other book talk, I read Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh this weekend and I LOVED it. Another 2021 title I read and loved recently is Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie. It was so fantastic! (And speaking of 2021 books, did I ever share my list of favorites with you?)

For today’s newsletter, I have a thriller, a YA historical mystery, and an exciting sequel, as well as a bananapants upcoming mystery. And speaking of great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed Goliath, Notes on an Execution, Already Enough, and more.

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of the accomplice by lisa lutz, image of bare red trees as seen from the ground looking up to the sky

The Accomplice by Lisa Lutz

Give yourself a thrill this week with this fun novel by veteran mystery author Lisa Lutz! (I can’t believe it has been 15 years since The Spellman Files came out.) This standalone stars BFFs Owen and Luna. For years, people have wondered if they were really just friends, even after Owen gets married. But there are secrets keeping them together. An unexplained death during college, and now the murder of Owen’s wife. Did one of them kill her? And who is going to spill their long-buried secrets first? (CW for violence and murder.)

Backlist bump: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

cover image of The Red Palace by June Hur, illustration in red and place of a young Asian woman's face

The Red Palace by June Hur

And if you have heard us raving about June Hur here at Book Riot and still haven’t picked up one of her books, now is the time to fix that! She writes wildly compelling YA historical mysteries! This one is set in Joseon, Korea, in 1758. Eighteen-year-old Hyeon is a palace nurse working to make a name for herself to win her father’s approval. But when someone murders four women on palace grounds, and Hyeon’s mentor is suspected, she must work with a young police inspector to uncover the truth. (CW for sexism, violence, and murder.)

Backlist bump: Silence of Bones by June Hur

cover of The Broken Tower by Kelly Braffet, a crumbling black archway against an orange sky

The Broken Tower by Kelly Braffet 

Who likes high fantasy??? *raises hands and feet* *falls down* Then you definitely need to add Braffet’s Barrier Lands series to your TBR! This is the sequel, so I won’t give anything away, but I will tell you that the first one is about an orphaned girl who discovers she has a hidden power. These have magic, they have danger, they have royalty! And if that doesn’t do it for you, I’ll tell you that it was Erin Morgenstern’s favorite book of 2020! Braffet’s novels before this are excellent, and I could not have been more excited when she turned her attention to fantasy.

Backlist bump: The Unwilling by Kelly Braffet

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

cover of daisy darker by alice feeney, illustration of a house on jagged cliffs of an island

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney (Flatiron Books, August 30)

From the author of Rock, Paper, Scissors comes this wild homage to And Then There Were None! Daisy and her family have reunited for Nana’s 80th birthday party. It’s held at Nan’s secluded island estate, where the high tide cuts them off from the mainland for eight hours a day. Which is bad, because there’s also a murderer at the party…

Daisy and her family have not always gotten along, but they have put their differences aside for Nana. But unfortunately, Nana is found dead at the stroke of midnight. An hour later, another family member dies. And another, and another… Who is behind the killings and who will be left when the causeway is clear in the morning?

That’s all I can tell you about this book, because the less you know, the better. But I will just say “HOLY CATS, THIS WAS BANANAPANTS.” It’s super creepy and really fun, and also unpredictable, which is always something I appreciate in a thriller. So many of them are so easy to figure out. Pick Daisy Darker up in August and let the games begin! (CW for violence and murder.)

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

an orange cat sitting in a green cat bed with its paws crossed

This week: I’m currently reading Uzumaki by Junji Ito and The Measure by Nikki Erlick. Outside of books, I’m finishing up rewatching A.P. Bio, and I started watching Good Girls. (Spoiler: They are very bad at crime.) Moving on to music: the song stuck in my head is Run from Me by Timber Timbre. And as promised, here is a cat picture: Zevon is sitting like a perfect angel. (He’s not an angel, but he plays one on Instagram.)


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
Read Harder 2022

Read Harder Task #14: Read a Book Whose Movie or TV Adaptation You’ve Seen (But Haven’t Read the Book)

Welcome, friends, to another fun Read Harder task. Honestly, I think I got the easiest one of the bunch: Read a book whose movie or TV adaptation you’ve seen (but haven’t read the book). Of course, the recommendations I’m giving you today are subjective, because they’re based on my movie/book experiences, and not everyone has read/seen the same things. But I hope you’ll find something fun you’ve seen and been meaning to read, or perhaps you feel inspired to pick up one of these books again.

Personally, 9 times out of 10, I wait to watch the adaptation until I’ve read the book, because I love being able to compare them as I watch. But sometimes it gets away from me. Maybe you’re the same. We all have gaps in our reading! You might find that there are movies you’ve seen that you didn’t realize were books (Die Hard!) or classics that you just never got around to reading (Emma!) or newer adaptations you’ve been meaning to pick up (The Underground Railroad!).

Sometimes (well, rarely), a movie or television show turns out to be better than the book. One of my favorite movies, Jaws, is based on a terrible book—but I’m glad it was adapted! It’s fun to know Spielberg decided that Chief Brody’s wife would be faithful to him and that Richard Dreyfus survives the trip to sea. This is why it’s fun to compare the book to the film! (Oh yeah, spoilers, sorry.)

So think about your favorite movies and shows, and maybe you’ll unearth a book, too. (Scratch a movie, find a book? I think that’s the expression.) And most of all, have fun!

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

movie poster of the 1995 adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, featuring images of Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

While I’ve only ever read Emma by Jane Austen, I’ve seen this adaptation with the all-star cast, including Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman. I imagine this version is very close to the book. Although, who knows! Maybe I’ll read it and discover everyone is eaten by giant pandas at the end. (Awww, so cute.) That’s one of the fun things about adaptations—they’re not always faithful and sometimes the changes are for the better!

movie poster for the remains of the day featuring emma thompson and anthony hopkins

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

This is about head butler Stevens, who works in a stately manor in house post-World War II England. UGH. I still feel sad thinking about the unspoken love between butler Anthony Hopkins and housekeeper Emma Thompson. (Although nothing made me sadder than when his dad fell down.) Do they get a happy ending in the book? WAIT. Don’t tell me, I want to be surprised.

movie adaptation cover of hidden figures, featuring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

This is the only nonfiction pick on my list today, but it’s a good one, because it highlights the criminally overlooked contributions to the race to space by four Black women mathematicians. Our place among the stars would not have been possible without their three decades of dedicated hard work while traversing a sexist, racist work space. The film is excellent, with a stellar cast, and I know I’ll be picturing the actors in my head as I read the book.

movie poster for the 2000 adaptation of the house of mirth with gillian anderson, eric stoltz, dan ackroyd, and laura linney

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Like Wharton’s Age of Innocence, this is a story of societal niceties, class, and scandal, where people can’t do things or be together because of appearances. I would watch Gillian Anderson in anything, which is how I ended up watching this film. Dan Ackroyd is the cartoonish villain and is not nice to poor Gillian, who must *shudder* get a job to work off a debt.

cover of oil by upton sinclair featuring image of daniel day lewis from there will be blood

There Will Be Blood by Upton Sinclair

There Will Be Blood is my second-favorite movie of all time. (Yes, I keep a list, and the first is The Lives of Others, which is not based on a book but OMG watch it now.) Despite not having read it, I have heard that the film version is verrrrrrrry loosely based on the book. Seeing as it is one of my favorites, I’m not sure why I waited so long to read the book. Perhaps because I know it will not be as fun as watching Daniel Day Lewis chew up every scene and spit it out.

movie poster for crazy rich asians, featuring Constance Wu and Henry Golding

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

And somehow I missed reading this wildly popular story of a woman who discovers her boyfriend is a member of Singapore’s wealthiest family. I’ve heard the book is quite funny, and a funny novel is a hard thing to find, so I should should definitely pick it up soon. (And why is funny so much harder to pull off than sad?)

poster for to all the boys I've loved before featuring Lana Condor

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This is the story of how younger siblings ruin your life. Well, sort of. Laura Jean is in over her head when her younger sister mails the letters she wrote (and never planned to send) to the boys she loved. I haven’t seen the follow-ups to this first film, but I did think this one was extremely charming. (And the soundtrack is fantastic!) And since I own a copy of the book—story of my life tbh—I have no excuse not to read it. Maybe I’ll watch the other movies first, lol.

movie poster for Breakfast at Tiffany's, featuring audrey hepburn

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

And finally, this classic! This uber-famous film, about a young woman from a small town trying to live a glamorous life in NYC, is based on a novella. I hear that the book is quite a bit darker than the legendary adaptation. So, Holly Go-not-so-lightly? (Sorry, not sorry.) Related: I am firm in my opinion that the film contains one of the best cats in cinema, whose inspired real name was—wait for it—Orangey.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Those are my top picks to help me fulfill this task! I look forward to hearing about yours. 😊 – Liberty

Click here for the full Read Harder 2022 task list, and for previous recommendations, click here.

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Welcome to another fabulous book-filled Tuesday, friends! I hope your 2022 has delivered wonderful books to you so far. I have spent a lot of time inside reading because it is stupid cold here in Maine lately, and I have been lucky enough to love so many of the things I have read! So WATCH THIS SPACE. Today brings us more wonderful things to read. At the top of my list to buy is You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays by Zora Neale Hurston, edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. (And have you seen Amistad’s new Zora Neale Hurston boxed set containing new editions of her novels? W-O-W.)

For today’s newsletter, I have a highly anticipated new novel and two exciting sequels for you. I haven’t read the sequels yet but I am a huge fan of the first books, so they were worth mentioning! And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?, Coming Back, How High We Go in the Dark, and more.

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang; cover is yellow with blue font and a red upside-down A in the word 'okay'

Joan Is Okay by Weike Wang

This is slice-of-life story about Joan, an Asian American doctor who thinks she has her life under control. She fulfilled her Chinese immigrant parents’ wishes and became a doctor, and she’s very successful. But when her father dies and her mother returns home, it unleashes feelings she’s been keeping inside about her family, her profession, and her place in the world. And then she must deal with the emergence of COVID-19 at the hospital. Joan is Okay is a funny, heartfelt novel about identity, work, and family. I am a big fan of Wang’s writing, it feels very personal, but also quite clinical. I mean that in a good way! It’s very sharp and precise and cold, like it cuts you and you don’t even know it until later. (CW for illness, death of a family member, sexism, and racism.)

Backlist bump: Chemistry by Weike Wang

cover of Seven Mercies by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May, featuring illustrations of seven faces of different races in broken pieces of glass

Seven Mercies by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May 

This is the second book in the Seven Devils duology! I loved the first one. It’s about Eris, the heir to an empire, who fakes her death to escape her family’s legacy. But then she’s recruited to an organization opposed to the empire, the Novantaen Resistance. Her first assignment? Infiltrate a spaceship full of dangerous cargo and report back. But Eris is met with resistance from her own team, as well as faces danger around every corner. Can she manage to complete her mission and deliver the important information before the new heir to the empire destroys the existing one? Secret royalty + badass rebels + space = F-U-N.

Backlist bump: Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May

cover of Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor, an illustration of a young Black woman with albinism

Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor

And this is the final book in Okorafor’s highly acclaimed Nsibidi Scripts YA trilogy. The first book Akata Witch introduces us to Sunny. Sunny is a 12-year-old American girl living in Nigeria. She never feels like she fits in, because she is not from Nigeria and because she has to stay out of the sun, because she has albinism. But things change when Sunny discovers she has magical powers. Suddenly, people are very interested in her. But can she help the other magical students in her area capture the magical criminal plaguing their town? This is an inventive, fun series, which continues with Akata Warrior, which I also loved. I hope to read this last one very soon!

Backlist bump: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

cover of the cartographers by peng shepherd, illustration of several shelves of books, all with blue spines

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd (William Morrow, March 15)

Nell Young is a cartographer (someone who makes maps) just like her father. They used to work together at a museum until they had a falling out over a map Nell discovered in her father’s office. She thought it was a rare map of great significance, her father said it was nothing. When she continued to pursue her interest in the map, they had a huge fight and she got fired. So Nell has been estranged for years from her father, who raised her after her mother died when she was a baby.

Then she gets the call that her father has died. Shocked, she visits his office and discovers he still has that map hanging around, Without her father around to stop her, Nell digs deeper into the map. What she finds changes everything she knows about her father, and herself. The map leads her to a group of cartographers from decades ago, and a dangerous villain who has been hunting down every copy of the strange map and destroying them—even if it means leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Determined to discover the map’s origin and find out just where it leads, Nell sets out on an adventure that just might be her last!

I loved this delightful speculative mystery! I think it’s a good comp for people who love the mystery of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. The Cartographers has murder and violence, sure, but it somehow still gives off this wholesome vibe. I was left feeling that the book was really nice, and I was utterly charmed. And the reveals are so fun! (I also recommend reading The Book of M by Peng Shepherd while you wait for this one.) (CW for infidelity, violence, murder, and death of a loved one.)

orange cat sitting on a couch like a human, with one leg straight up against the back of the couch

This week: I’m currently reading Under Lock & Skeleton Key: A Secret Staircase Mystery by Gigi Pandian and Wahala by Nikki May. Outside of books, I’ve been rewatching A.P. Bio, even though I just watched it a couple weeks ago. I seem to be the only person who loves this show? Which might explain why it was cancelled. Ah well, no matter what you think of the show, the soundtrack is astounding. OOOO and speaking of shows, I am excited that season 2 of Resident Alien starts next week! Moving on to music: the song stuck in my head is Waking Up the Giants by Grizfolk. And as promised, here is a cat picture: Zevon learned to sit in a chair by watching Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Yes, my references are old. I’m old.😂)


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, star bits—it’s time for new books! I hope you’ve had a good start to your week and found something amazing to read. This Tuesday’s awesome new releases include To Paradise, the long-awaited new novel from Hanya Yanagihara! And I am looking forward to picking up several of today’s new releases, including High-Risk Homosexual: A Memoir by Edgar Gomez, Three Wise Women by Gina Sorell, and Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed Daughter of the Moon Goddess, Wahala, Small World, and more.

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of This Boy We Made: A Memoir of Motherhood, Genetics, and Facing the Unknown by Taylor Harris, blue and purple stripes behind outline of small child composed of the night sky

This Boy We Made: A Memoir of Motherhood, Genetics, and Facing the Unknown by Taylor Harris

Get your tissues ready: This is a gorgeous, heart-squeezing story of motherhood, family, and faith, When Harris’s son Tophs starts exhibiting symptoms that alarm her, she takes him to the doctor. This begins a long, anxious journey of tests, and waiting, and more questions than answers. Harris describes what it’s like to be a Black woman trying to get help from the medical field, which is historically more difficult for marginalized communities, as well as her strong faith that helped her as she worried through the unknown. It’s a beautiful story of a mother’s love for her son, and how the ordeal changed her. (CW for child illness and peril, and racism.)

Backlist bump: All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung

cover of Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories by Gwen E. Kirby, bright blue with wild red cartoon eyes and mouth with flames coming off them

Shit Cassandra Saw: Stories by Gwen E. Kirby

Okay, all my little story fans, get excited! Because these are fun, feminist stories of women who have had it. From Cassandra and the Trojans to present day, these brilliant and acerbic tales will have you pumping your first in the air. Kirby has created a blazingly original collection that you will be thinking about long after you turned the final page. It’s wacky and wonderful. (CW for mentions of sexism, violence, and assault.)

Backlist bump: Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado

cover of Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker by Maggy Krell, photo of author under photo of abandoned motel sign

Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker by Maggy Krell

Obviously, you can already tell from the title that this is a very difficult subject to read about. But it’s also an amazing Erin Brockovich-ish story about criminals of means, the world’s largest sex traffickers, who avoided getting caught for years, and how one prosecutor worked tirelessly with a team to finally bring them to justice. Krell does a great job presenting the facts, the setbacks, and the small victories that led to the final triumphs. It’s a fascinating glimpse into people fighting the good fight. If you like reading about real cases involving lawyers and courtrooms, or like hearing about good defeating evil, this is an engrossing read. (CW for sexual assault and exploitation of children and adults.)

Backlist bump: Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

cover of Mickey7 by Edward Ashton, image of astronaut floating in space next to a giant number 7

Mickey7 by Edward Ashton

And I predict this novel is going to be one of the big sci-fi books of 2022. It’s perfect for fans of The Martian. It’s set in the future and is the story of Mickey, an “expendable”. So here’s the set up: The Earth is coming apart, and now that space travel is possible, humans are seeking new planets to inhabit. But there are always a variety of unknown dangers, so expendables are used as test subjects to make sure the water is drinkable, the air is breathable, etc. And because scientists have figured out a way to duplicate human consciousness, when an expendable dies, a new version of their body is printed and their consciousness is uploaded to the new version.

So Mickey is aboard a space craft that has reached a new planet far in the galaxy. He volunteered to be an expendable to get off Earth for…reasons. When the book opens, he’s the seventh version of himself, and he’s just had a terrible accident away from base. Assumed dead, his coworkers create a new version when they return from their mission. But Mickey7 isn’t dead, and when he gets back to his room, he discovers Mickey8. Ruh roh.

The immediate problem is that the base is run by a man who thinks the expendables go against nature, so they can’t let him know two exist at once, because he’s looking for any reason to cancel the expendable program. If he finds out about them, he’ll destroy them both and delete Mickey’s consciousness for good. But with only 200 people around, as the Mickeys are existing on half rations and trying to hide, plus a potential new threat creeping up on the base, how long can the two Mickeys keep their existence a secret?

This is a fun and funny story about friendship, human existence, and consciousness. Mickey is very snarky and quite clever, and it was a lot of fun to read this Multiplicity-like adventure story in space.

(CW for violence, prolonged death, suicide)

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

photoshopped image of two orange cats wearing gangster suits; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century by Kim Fu and Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra. Outside of books, I’ve been clinging to the rollercoaster that the Celtics have been driving, and I just plowed through the first season of How To Get Away with Murder. (It’s so ridiculous and yet I cannot look away!) And the song stuck in my head is The Same Mistakes by The Echo-Friendly. And as promised, here is a cat picture: Look at my little Peaky Blinders! This was the best Christmas present. I am still laughing.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

First New Books Megalist of 2022!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am so excited to tell you that the books coming this year are AMAZING. You are going to be so happy! I can’t believe that’s already time to start talking about them. Do you have reading goals for 2022? I want to read more nonfiction (my perennial goal lol) and more books by small presses.

Now, for today: I’ve cooked you up one of my famous megalists for our first visit of the new year. Below, you’ll find titles (loosely) broken up into several categories, to make it easier for your browsing convenience. I hope you have fun with it! And as with each first Tuesday newsletter, I am putting a ❤️ next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Danika and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Olga Dies Dreaming, One True Loves, The School for Good Mothers, and more.

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

Biography and Memoir

cover of 41-love by scarlett thomas, green with a tennis racket and yellow tennis ball

Shackleton by Ranulph Fiennes

George V: Never a Dull Moment by Jane Ridley

41-Love: A Memoir by Scarlett Thomas

Fiction

Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades

Bibliolepsy by Gina Apostol ❤️

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan ❤️

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xóchitl González  ❤️

cover of Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

All of You Every Single One by Beatrice Hitchman

Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho ❤️

Seasonal Work: Stories by Laura Lippman

The Sisters Mao by Gavin McCrea 

30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani

No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib ❤️

Middle Grade

Code Name: Serendipity by Amber Smith 

The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown

The Unforgettable Logan Foster by Shawn Peters

Mystery and Thriller

cover of A Killer Sundae by Abby Collette, illustration of a white cat and a Black person's hand with pink nails stabbing a fork into a cherry on top of a sundae

A Killer Sundae (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Book 3) by Abby Collette ❤️

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins 

The Maid by Nita Prose

When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

Nonfiction

River Kings: A New History of the Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads by Cat Jarman

Emotional: How Feelings Shape Our Thinking by Leonard Mlodinow

Overground Railroad (The Young Adult Adaptation): The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy Taylor

Move: How the New Science of Body Movement Can Set Your Mind Free by Caroline Williams 

Poetry

White Bull (Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry) by Elizabeth Hughey 

Romance

cover of One True Loves by Elise Bryant, purple with illustration of a young Black woman sitting atop a suitcase covered in stickers

One True Loves by Elise Bryant 

When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

The High House by Jessie Greengrass 

Anthem by Noah Hawley 

Where the Drowned Girls Go (Wayward Children Book 7) by Seanan McGuire ❤️

The Starless Crown (Moon Fall 1) by James Rollins 

Lord Quillifer by Walter Jon Williams

Young Adult

cover of Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker, a white hand holding a bloody rose up in front of a painted sky

Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker

The Chosen One: A First-Generation Ivy League Odyssey by Echo Brown

The Kindred by Alechia Dow

When the Night Comes by Marieke Nijkamp 

The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes 

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


gray calico cat sitting on a white radiator in front of a wall covered in stickers; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall and Oh Honey by Emily R. Austin. Outside of books, I’ve been watching all the Celtics games, making collages, and playing a lot of World of Warcraft. And the song stuck in my head is Beautiful Girl by INXS. And speaking of beautiful girls, here’s a picture of my lovely little lady, Millay. ❤️


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Here we are, kittens—the last New Books newsletter of 2021. It’s been another tough year, and I hope that you’re all still doing okay. I am so thankful for all of you out there that I share my bookish excitement with, because it keeps my brain from exploding. There were so many great books again this year, and I can’t wait for you to read many of next year’s titles. Today’s newsletter features several books coming next year that I have read and loved. You are going to love them, too!

And speaking of great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed Crying in H Mart, The Natural Mother of the Child, Empire of Pain, and more nonfiction that we loved in 2021.

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of the cartographers by peng shepherd, illustration of several shelves of books, all with blue spines

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd 

When cartographer Nell Young’s father is murdered, she discovers that an old map he said was worthless, and was the source of their estrangement, is actually something of great importance. Her investigation into the map’s origins leads her on a wild, dangerous adventure. This is perfect for fans of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore!

Unlikely Animals by Annie Harnett

Natural-born healer Emma Starling returns to her small New Hampshire hometown when her father becomes sick with a mystery illness. There she contends with a missing childhood friend, her brother’s recovery from substance addiction, her parents’ fractured marriage, her father’s ghosts, and so much more. Yes, I know, I talk about this book a lot, but it’s because it’s SO GOOD. This is the new John Irving novel you’ve been waiting for.

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

Do you like stunning dystopian novels with lots of secrets, continuation of family legacies, science, Arctic settings, plagues, spaceships, love and loss, and talking pigs? Then look no further, because this gorgeous gut-punch of a book will floor you. Seriously, I may never get over reading this book.

cover of Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield, a peach background with a dark ocean floor at the bottom

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

And this is one of the most perfect, gorgeous novels I’ve ever read. Leah is on a routine submarine expedition, but when her sub doesn’t resurface, her wife Miri is adrift. But then Leah’s sub finally returns many weeks later without explanation, and the two will never be the same.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

And this is for fans of fantastic fantasy! (Say that three times fast.) Inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess, a young girl who grows up on the moon goes on a quest to save her mother from the ruthless Celestial Emperor.

Mickey7 by Edward Ashton

This is a great read for fans of Andy Weir. It’s a darkly humorous story about Mickey, an expendable aboard a spaceship. As an expendable, when there’s a dangerous task to be done, he has to do it. And he dies. A lot. And then a new version of Mickey is created. Unfortunately, due to an error, there are now two of him at once, and it might cost him everything, for good, forever.

cover of Lessons in Chemistry by bonnie garmus, peach with outline of woman's blonde hair, black glasses and red lips

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

It’s about Elizabeth Zott, a young woman working to become a scientist in the sexist world of academia in 1960s California. Eventually, she finds herself a reluctant television star, where she tries to teach other women to become self-reliant and stick it to the patriarchy. (I really loved this book, but I have to admit that I disagree with the light tone of the publisher description. It is dazzling, and funny in places, but there is a lot of trauma in this one.)

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel 

And as much as I have enjoyed the novels of Emily St. John Mandel, I think this one might be my favorite! It takes place one hundred years in the past to three hundred years in the future. There’s a young man in the Canadian wilderness, an author on a book tour at the end of the world, a moon colony, and more. It’s so, so amazing. (Heads up that there are minor spoilery characters from The Glass Hotel, but you don’t have to have read it to enjoy this one.)

Catch the Sparrow: A Search for a Sister and the Truth of her Murder by Rachel Rear

And true crime fans, mark this one down now! When Rachel Rear was young, her mother remarried. Her stepfather had had a daughter who had gone missing and was presumed dead before he met Rear’s mother, so she only knew her stepsister Stephanie through stories. This is a heart-punching investigation by Rear years later into the mystery of the sister she never knew, and a decades-long unsolved crime.

cover of The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century Olga Ravn, black with glimpses of an old marble statue visible through what appear to be cells of the body

The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century by Olga Ravn, Martin Aitken (translator)

Do you like beautifully-written novels where you can’t quite figure out what is happening but you are happy to have read them? Then look no further! This is about the interviews with the crew aboard the Six-Thousand Ship. They take on a shipment of unusual cargo and document their feelings about it. I didn’t really understand this book, but by gum, I freaking loved it!

The Verifiers by Jane Pek

If you knew that detectives would verify what you write in your online dating profile, would it change your mind about what you wrote? Would you be less likely to use the service? That’s a question I pondered as I enjoyed this excellent novel. Claudia Lin is an amateur sleuth for an online dating agency. When one of her clients goes missing, she disobeys protocol to investigate on her own. But what she discovers is a lot more sinister than she expected.

orange cat sitting in a silver bowl with one arm stretched out; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I am reading Night of the Living Rez: Stories by Morgan Talty and Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner. Outside of books, I’m finishing up my Psych rewatch, which is good, because I need to make more reading time for 2022 titles! The song stuck in my head is Comes and Goes (In Waves) by Greg Laswell. And as promised, here is a cat picture! Farrokh and the long arm of the claw.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. Be safe, star bits. I’ll see you again in 2022. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, book lovers! I am delighted to be here for another week of book talk! Today I am going to tell you about more books I loved this year that I think need more attention. But new release business first! It’s another small new release day because of the holidays, but be sure to pick up The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed and The Love Con by Seressia Glass. And at the top of my list to get for myself are You Never Get It Back by Cara Blue Adams and Spidertouch by Alex Thomson. Also of note: Khaleesi herself, Emilia Clarke, wrote a comic and it’s out today. It’s called M.O.M.: Mother of Madness.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed The Rib King, Dial A for Aunties, Build Your House Around My Body, and more novels that we loved in 2021.

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

cover of the last cuentista by donna barba higuera, painting of a sleeping face in blue and peach with vies and flowers growing on it

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

An incredibly moving dystopian middle grade novel about a future where a select group of humans are sent into space to start over. A young girl whose family is aboard the ship is the only one who remembers the past, and must fight a sinister faction who hijacks the ship with their own plans.

When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen

This is a complex, fantastic story about historic injustices, racism, the horrors of slavery, and accountability. A young Black woman travels home to the South to attend the wedding of her former best friend. But the event is held on a renovated plantation, and the horrors of its past come back to get justice.

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan

And if you want to read what was probably the most messed up, yet compelling, book I read this year—this is it! A family moves into a seemingly perfect neighborhood on a cul-de-sac, but small misunderstandings, societal assumptions, and past wrongs will expose the rot of the neighborhood, until incidents lead to a violent conclusion.

cover of impostor syndrome by kathy wang, illustration of the head and shoulders of a white women with brown hair, glasses, and a black turtleneck

Impostor Syndrome by Kathy Yang

If you like spy stories and well-written characters, then pick this one up! It’s about a hesitant Russian operative who has become a leader of a Google-like company in Silicon Valley, and an IT worker who stumbles upon her secret and grapples with using the information for her own agenda.

We Are Satellites by Sarah Pinsker

And this is an excellent (and probably not too unrealistic) story of wearable technology. In the near future, a device called a Pilot is implanted in people’s heads to help them multitask. People who get the tech gain status and have advantages, but not everyone can get it, and the controversial device divides the family at the center of the novel.

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin

This is a wildly fun speculative historical novel. It’s a Western, with a bit of magic, about a Chinese American who is conscripted into service for the Central Pacific Railroad after his wife is kidnapped. He travels across the country, meeting an unusual troupe of circus folks along the way, as he blazes a trail of vengeance and bloodshed in his quest to get her back.

cover of who is maud dixon by alexandra andrews, blue with large white font

Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews

In this Highsmith-like mystery, a young woman who works in publishing gets the opportunity to be the assistant to famous author with a secret identity. (Think Elena Ferrante.) When Florence takes the job with the real “Maud Dixon”, their travels lead to disaster and unearthed secrets, giving Florence the chance to become someone else.

Never Have I Ever: Stories by Isabel Yap

And this is a fantastic story collection, full of eerie and riveting supernatural stories about fairy tales, urban legends, and scary happenings. If you like Carmen Maria Machado, this should be at the top of your TBR!

What Could Be Saved by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

A powerful, heart-squeezing story of family and loss, told in two parts: a family’s time in Thailand, where the son goes missing; and four decades later, when a man claiming to be the missing son reaches out to the family.

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

A fantastic fantasy novel in which a young girl steals her brother’s prophecy for herself after he dies, and becomes a powerful warrior and leader. This is epic fun!

cover of everyone in this room will someday be dead by emily austin, cream colored with pink, blue, red, and yellow rabbits all over it

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin

This was one of the funniest books I read this year and also one of the most heartbreaking. It’s about a young queer woman trying to find her way in life, who lies her way into a job as a receptionist at a Catholic church.

We Have Always Been Here by Lena Nguyen

A psychiatrist aboard a space vessel has trouble connecting with the crew, preferring the company of the ship’s AI. But a storm traps the vessel and soon they will all have to confront their problems and something sinister aboard the ship.

Ten Low by Stark Holborn

And this is like Firefly meets Mad Max! A reclusive veteran from the losing side of an intergalactic battle agrees to help an insolent teenager, who is also a trained weapon, reach her destination when her ship crashes in the desert.

Forging a Nightmare by Patricia Jackson

And this is the story of a detective searching for a serial killer who murders fallen angels. I still don’t think I can do any better than my original take, so here it is again: If you ever wondered what it would be like if Good Omens was mashed up with The Black Stallion, with a dash of Loki, then this is the book for you!

cover of The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec, illustration of a woman with her hair made out of gold Celtic designs

The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

And speaking of Loki: Fans of Circe—and everyone else—will enjoy this retelling of Angrboda of Norse mythology, the powerful witch, mother of monsters, and lover of Loki. Why isn’t this book on every end of the year list? Everyone I know who has read it has loved it!

The Low Desert by Tod Goldberg

This is another of my favorite short story collections of the year. These are gritty gut punches about criminal elements, with sharp humor throughout, set in the West. I love books that feel like they’re ruining my life when I read them, and this is one I find myself thinking about again and again.

The Midnight Brigade by Adam Borba

And last, but not least, this fun, heartwarming story about a young boy who is worried about his family’s future when his father’s dreams of owning a successful food truck fail. When he and his friends make a remarkable discovery under the bridges of Pittsburgh, it just might change his luck.

an orange cat on its back with its arms stretched over its head; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I am currently reading Here Goes Nothing by Steve Toltz and Nuclear Family by Joseph Han. Outside of books, I’m still rewatching Psych (Jimmi Simpson doesn’t get enough credit for his comedic acting) and the song stuck in my head is You Just May Be the One by The Monkees. (RIP, Michael Nesmith 💔) And as promised, here is a cat picture! This is Zevon in what I call the “Steve Holt!” position.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

New Books Megalist for December!

Welcome to December, friends, and happy Tuesday! I hope you’ve been well. I don’t know about you, but around this time of year, I start getting really antsy to start a new yearly reading spreadsheet, even though there are still days left in this year. But I do hope to fit in a lot more books before we close the books (ha) on 2021. Because there are a notoriously small number of new books released in December compared to the rest of the year, I’ve done a round-up of some highlights for the whole month. And I’ll think of something fun for the newsletters for the rest of the year. More round-ups, for sure! You know how I love to tell you about as many books as I can. 🥰

Below, you’ll find titles (loosely) broken up into several categories, to make it easier for your browsing convenience. I hope you have fun with it! And as with each first Tuesday newsletter, I am putting a ❤️ next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Danika and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as The Fortune Men, The Love Con, They Can’t Take Your Name, and more.

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

Biography and Memoir

cover of Apparently There Were Complaints: A Memoir by Sharon Gless, featuring photo of author

Apparently There Were Complaints: A Memoir by Sharon Gless 

Garbo: Her Life, Her Films by Robert Gottlieb

Sea State: A Memoir by Tabitha Lasley 

Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny by Ann Marks ❤️

The Death of My Father the Pope: A Memoir by Obed Silva

Fiction

cover of Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim, featuring old illustration of a tiger

The Women of Pearl Island by Polly Crosby

Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding

Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim ❤️

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa 

Tell Me How to Be by Neel Patel ❤️

Where You Come From by Saša Stanišić, Damion Searls (translator)

You Never Get It Back (Iowa Short Fiction Award) by Cara Blue Adams ❤️

The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed ❤️

Middle Grade

Girl Giant and the Jade War by Van Hoang

Mystery and Thriller

cover of A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw, inkblot with shadows of a forest inside

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Observations by Gaslight: Stories from the World of Sherlock Holmes by Lyndsay Faye

They Can’t Take Your Name by Robert Justice ❤️

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox

One Night, New York by Lara Thompson 

Silent Parade (Detective Galileo Series) by Keigo Higashino 

My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle

The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan

The Replacement Wife by Darby Kane

Nonfiction

cover of The Impossible Art: Adventures in Opera by Matthew Aucoin, image of opera set on stage

The Impossible Art: Adventures in Opera by Matthew Aucoin

Mothers, Fathers, and Others: Essays by Siri Hustvedt 

Silence and Silences by Wallis Wilde-Menozzi 

Agent Sniper: The Cold War Superagent and the Ruthless Head of the CIA by Tim Tate

Dark Tourist by Hasanthika Sirisena ❤️

Awakening Artemis: Deepening Intimacy with the Living Earth and Reclaiming Our Wild Nature by Vanessa Chakour

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

Poetry

Call Us What We Carry: Poems by Amanda Gorman 

Jim Harrison: Complete Poems by Jim Harrison 

Romance

cover of the love con by seressia glass

Fools In Love: Fresh Twists on Romantic Tales edited by Ashley Herring Blake and Rebecca Podos 

The Love Con by Seressia Glass

Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror

Cyber Mage by Saad Z. Hossain ❤️

The Veiled Throne (The Dandelion Dynasty Book 3) by Ken Liu

The Last Wish: Illustrated Edition (The Witcher) by Andrzej Sapkowski

Spidertouch by Alex Thomson

Dark Hearts: The World’s Most Famous Horror Writers by Jim Gigliotti

Young Adult

The Righteous (The Beautiful Quartet) by Renée Ahdieh 

Heart of the Impaler by Alexander Delacroix

The Upper World by Femi Fadugba

cover of The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska, two young women in flowing robes standing against a dark sky under a sliver of a moon

If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich

The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling

Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes

Here’s to Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera 

The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska  ❤️


three cats sitting on and in front of a green chair—two orange tabbies and a faded calico; photo by Liberty Hardy

This week: I’m currently reading Tell Me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt and the Saga: Compendium One by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Outside of books, I’m still rewatching Psych (mostly because I want to find all the pineapples myself this time), and watching all the Celtics games, even the late West Coast ones. And the song stuck in my head is Take Ya Dancin’ by Say Hi. And as promised, here is a cat picture! Look, it’s a very rare picture of all three cats sitting peacefully together! This is obviously a sign of the apocalypse.


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, readers! Thank you for joining me for more book talk. It’s another small new release day because of the holidays, but there are still a few great books out. At the top of my list of books to pick up are Pilot Impostor by James Hannaham and Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti. I’m wildly curious about Sex Cult Nun by Faith Jones and for you Brené Brown fans, Atlas of the Heart is now available.

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed Goliath, Memphis, A House Between Earth and the Moon, and more books that we are excited about that are coming in 2022.

Today, in honor of my guest spot on Read or Dead, I am going to tell you about three of my favorite mysteries of the year. But before I talk about books: We’re hiring an Advertising Sales Manager! If you like books and comics, and enjoy helping advertisers reach an enthusiastic community of book and comics lovers, this might be the job for you. Apply by December 5, 2021!

And now, it’s time for everyone’s favorite gameshow: AHHHHHH MY TBR! Here are today’s contestants:

Book Cover for All her little secrets by wanda morris, red-tinted photo close up of a Black woman wearing sunglasses

All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris

First: an excellent debut! When most people find a dead body, they call the authorities—but not Ellice Littlejohn. She’s too worried about her secrets. Ellice is a Black woman at a mostly white law firm, she’s having a secret affair with her boss, and she has even more secrets from her past that she is hiding. So when she finds her boss dead, she backs out of the room and pretends she was never there. But soon she finds herself promoted to his position, and suddenly she’s wrapped up in what very well may be the case that got him killed. Can she unravel the mystery and keep her secrets before the murderer gets to her too? (CW for infidelity, racism, sexism, violence, murder.)

Backlist bump: Pleasantville by Attica Locke

cover image of the collective by alison gaylin, featuring silhouettes of several women against a red sky

The Collective by Alison Gaylin

What if you could get revenge on murderers and never get caught? It’s an offer Camille can’t refuse. Five years ago, her teenage daughter died, and the boy responsible for her death walked away free. After years of grief and rage, Camille is approached by an anonymous internet group that claims they can get her the revenge she seeks, in return for a few small favors. But when Camille realizes those favors lead to the deaths of other people, she wonders if she can extract herself from her deadly new friends—or is she too far gone to care? This one is unrelenting in the thrills! (CW for child murder, suicide, sexual assault, and bullying; loss of a child, car accident and death by car, murder, drowning, chemical use and abuse and overdose, medical negligence, grief, trauma, falling death.)

Backlist bump: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

cover image of the body scout by lincoln michel, featuring several body parts arranged like pieces of a model car to be assembled

The Body Scout by Lincoln Michel

And last, but not least, a futuristic tale about a former pro baseball player with outdated cybernetic parts named Kobo. He now works as a scout for the Big Pharma-owned teams and spends his free time dodging loan sharks. When his own brother, a baseball superstar, dies at the plate, Kobo goes on a quest for answers. But his search reveals more questions and a conspiracy that goes to the top. This one is like if Raymond Chandler wrote Blade Runner. I love a down-on-their-luck private investigator. (CW for violence, chemical use and abuse, murder.)

Backlist bump: Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

More great 2021 mysteries I loved: Dead Dead Girls by by Nekesa Afia, Girl, 11 by Amy Suiter Clarke, All These Bodies by Kendare Blake, and For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing.

an orange cat sitting in a silver bowl in the sin

This week: I am currently reading A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw and The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan. Outside of books, I’ve started rewatching Psych after checking out the new movie (which I thought was much better than the first two), and the song stuck in my head is Sour Times by Portishead. (Something about winter always makes me want to listen to Portishead. Or maybe it’s just my SAD.) And as promised, here is a cat picture! I spent my Thanksgiving filling up on books, while Zevon spent his Thanksgiving filling up on sunshine. ❤️


Thank you, as always, for joining me each week as I rave about books! I am wishing the best for all of you in whatever situation you find yourself in now. And yay, books! – XO, Liberty ❤️