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Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

This week’s pick is a mystery read that is perfect if you’re a fan of classic mystery novels and the work of Agatha Christie, plus it gets a bit meta at times! Content warning for murder death, violence, torture, allusions to sexual assault, fire.

The Eighth Detective cover

The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi

Julia is an editor who works for a small mystery and crime publisher. Her boss wants to reissue an edition of The White Murders by Grant McAllister, a mathematician turned mystery writer who only ever published the one book. It’s a curious collection of seven short mystery stories accompanied by an academic paper that uses the principles of math to map out all possible mystery plots. But Grant has become famously reclusive since its publication, so Julia tracks him down on a distant island and spends a few days working with him to revisit the original text. As they work their way through each story, she begins to suspect that this book is hiding a larger, real-life mystery. What is Grant hiding?

I have to admit this book surprised me—I think I expected something a bit more contemporary thanks to the cover (which looks like something you’d see on a Blake Crouch book!) but this is a historical mystery within mysteries, set roughly in the 1960’s. Grant wrote his academic paper and the mystery short stories roughly twenty years earlier, near the end of the Golden Age of mystery writing, and each one feels like it could fit right in with the work of Christie or Sayers. The novel alternates back and forth between Grant’s stories and his conversations with Julia about each work, and along the way readers are treated to an analysis of the mystery genre that is always entertaining and never dull, while also receiving tiny hints and clues about Grant’s life and the mystery he must be concealing. Each of the stories are intriguing and vary in not only plot but also characters and motivation, and Julia’s dissection of them is equally fascinating. As a reader, you know a reveal is coming once the characters have finished Grant’s seven stories, but even I was surprised by some of the twists that Pavesi threw at readers. If you’re a big fan of classic murder mysteries and a nerd of the genre, this is a must-read book!

Happy reading!
Tirzah

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


Find me on Book Riot, Hey YA, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

Categories
Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

This week’s pick is a backlist favorite from one of my auto-buy authors, Kate Quinn! She had a brand-new book hit shelves this week (The Diamond Eye!) that I just picked up and I can’t wait to read, but I’ve enjoyed her past three novels and they’re all worth checking out!

Content warning: War violence, racism, attempted murder and murder, threats of assault.

The Huntress

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

This hefty novel unfolds in three points of view, in three timelines. Nina Markov is a young woman growing up in the Soviet Union who dreams of flight. Although war brings terror and uncertainty, for Nina it’s a chance to join the Night Witches, an all-female force that wreaks havoc on the Nazis…until she’s stranded behind enemy lines. Ian Graham is a former war correspondent who is plagued by nightmares of the horrors he witnessed, and now that the war is over and the Nuremberg Trials have concluded, he decides to devote his life to tracking down Nazi war criminals who’ve escaped in the chaos at the end of the war. But one in particular eludes him. And finally, Jordan is just a teenager living in Boston in the early 50’s, and she’s shocked when her widower father remarries a quiet, reserved German war widow with a young daughter. She wants her father to be happy, but there’s something not quite right about her new stepmother and her reticent new stepsister.

All three of these timelines and characters converge in a really breathtaking way, and tell a comprehensive and epic story that you’ll race through. I get a bit weary of all the sanitized World War II fiction, but what sets Quinn’s writing apart for me is that she doesn’t just linger in the war, and isn’t afraid to show the fallout afterwards. Only Nina’s perspective actually takes place during the war, and the other point of views are all about how people had to remake themselves and their lives afterwards, and how hard that it when you’re plagued by PTSD and horrific memories. Quinn also doesn’t shy away from the fact that just because the war ended, justice was served—in fact, it’s usually quite the opposite.

Another thing I like about Quinn’s work is that her novels usually contain some diversity. In this novel, Nina is (presumed) bisexual and the great love of her life is a woman. Her other work also includes characters of color and queer characters, and I appreciate the inclusion of multiple perspectives, especially since WWII books tend to be pretty white and straight.

Definitely pick up this book if you want a sweeping historical that reads like a thriller, but has some gorgeous writing and wonderful character building! And if you like this one, I recommend checking out The Rose Code and The Alice Network next!

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

Happy reading!
Tirzah


Find me on Book Riot, Hey YA, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

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What's Up in YA

Check Out the ALONG FOR THE RIDE Trailer!

Hey YA readers!

Kelly is out this week, so I’m hopping in to cover your YA news and new releases for the week! There’s some fun stuff this week, so let’s dig in!

YA News

The Along for the Ride trailer is here! This Netflix film is an adaptation of Sarah Dessen’s beloved novel and it’ll be available to stream on April 22.

Speaking of summer book to movie adaptations, Jenny Han shared a first peek at the TV adaptation of her debut YA novel, The Summer I Turned Pretty! The show will be hitting Amazon Prime sometime this summer, with a new edition of the book releasing May 3!

Hocus Pocus 2 has cast three drag queens who will be impersonating the Sanderson sisters—although we don’t know much more than that! A few years go a YA sequel to Hocus Pocus was released that prominently featured a f/f romance. Do I think Disney will go there with their film sequel? No, but I am hopeful!

Over 100 queer YA books disappeared from Target.com, although most are now back on the shelves. But authors and readers want to know what happened.

YA author Ashley Poston is making her adult romance debut—check out a sneak peek.

Some of your favorite YA series are coming to an end in 2022—here are some of the authors on their bittersweet conclusions and what’s next.

New in Hardcover

A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin (plus it’s the new BN YA Book Club Pick!)

Cover of A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

Her Rebel Highness by Diana Ma

Always Jane by Jenn Bennett

Dig Two Graves by Gretchen McNeil

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica Olson

Live, Laugh, Kidnap by Gaby Noone

Message Not Found by Dante Medema

Murder Among Friends by Candace Fleming

Practical Demonology by Clare Rees

So This is Ever After by F.T. Lukens

The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin by Kip Wilson

This is Why They Hate Us by Aaron A. Aceves

Trigger by N. Griffin

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

New in Paperback

Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie

The Desolations of Devil’s Acres by Ransom Riggs

Gaslight by Rachael Rose

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

She’s Too Pretty To Burn by Wendy Heard

On Book Riot

Check out some essential YA novels on grief and loss.

Love second chance romance? Then you’ll love these YA books!

Sister, sister! YA novels on sister relationships that will make you want to text your sister.

Need a shot of joy? Read about trans teens in love!

That’s all for now! Happy reading!
Tirzah

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Today In Books

Idaho Librarians Under Attack: Today in Books

ALL THE OLD KNIVES Trailer Drops

All the Old Knives is a spy thriller by Olen Steinhauer, and now it’s set to be a movie starring Chris Pine and Thandie Newton. The trailer dropped this week, teasing a story of a terrorist hostage situation gone wrong, and two CIA agents and former lovers tasked with uncovering the truth about the horrible event five years after the fact, when new information comes to light, suggesting that there is a mole in the agency. The movie will be available to stream on Amazon Prime on April 8th.

Idaho Libraries Lost Millions In ARPA Funds. A Study On ‘Harmful’ Materials Is Next

Idaho House Republicans have established a committee to evaluate children’s access to harmful materials in public libraries in a last-minute resolution that was pushed through as library budgets were slashed. Some lawmakers say this is punishment for Idaho librarians who spoke out against another bill that was being debated, which would remove legal protections for librarians and leave them open to consequences for distributing “harmful” material to minors. That bill was passed in the House, but has not been heard in the Senate.

Proto-Feminist Classic ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ Getting a Horror Adaptation

There are some short stories you read in high school English class that just stick with you. Whether or not Charlotte Perkins Gilman intended her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” to be a horror story, that’s certainly how it’s been perceived in the 130 years since its first publication. Now, a movie adaptation that leans into the horror of the original tale is being released. You can watch the trailer now and stream it on Tuesday.

Categories
Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

This week’s pick is a delightful book that will feel very relatable if you’re anywhere near your thirties and/or feel like everyone around you is getting married and having kids while you’re like, pass. And even if that’s not you, I think this is an excellent novel about friendship and building a life you love.

Content warning: Domestic abuse

cover of Serena Singh Flips the Script

Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli

Serena Singh is smart, driven, and successful. But now that she’s in her thirties, everyone around her seems to be getting married and having babies. She’s lost so many friends to the trappings of conventional family life, but the last straw is when her little sister gets married and gets pregnant and Serena realizes she needs more friends, STAT. Thus begins her quest to find friendship with people who run at her speed, but it isn’t easy. And when an old boyfriend that Serena truly loved comes back into her life, she knows one thing: She’s not willing to compromise on what she wants out of life. But where does that leave her?

I adored this book so much, and I feel like I relate to it even more since experiencing moving to a new town and realizing that making friends as an adult when your life doesn’t look like everyone else’s is actually really, really hard. I laughed so much during Serena’s misadventures in book clubs, cooking classes, and inadvertently ending up at a sex club (whoops). I also sympathized with her feelings of betrayal by all couples and parent friends, and how she was slow to want to start a relationship with her ex, even as I recognized that her view was at times limiting.

But I think the best part of the book is the unexpected friendship she does find: Another woman at work who, much to her surprise, is married with a toddler. Their connection is wonderful and hilarious, and made me wish my friends lived close. Of course, this friendship also isn’t what Serena expects, so there are challenges that come with it. Lalli writes a story with all the same beats as a romance novel, only the relationship is platonic rather than romantic, and it’s refreshing and exciting.

I think oftentimes we hear about millennial fiction and it gets pigeonholed as “books about aimless twenty-somethings” but I am here for the next evolution of millennial fiction: books about thirty-somethings creating lives they love and figuring out how to balance friendship, love, and family (found and blood) in new ways.

Bonus: I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Ulka Simone Mohanty and was fabulous!

Happy reading!
Tirzah

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


Find me on Book Riot, Hey YA, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

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Today In Books

Texas Librarian Fired for Refusing to Remove Books From Shelves: Today in Books

San Francisco Gets Its First Lesbian-Owned Comic Book Store In The Mission District

The new inclusive comic store Sour Cherry Comics has just opened its first brick and mortar location in San Francisco’s Mission District. They began as an online shop with the occasional pop-up location, and their aim is to provide an inclusive comic store experience, especially for members of the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to selling comics, books, and gifts, Sour Cherry also hopes to become a community space for meetings, clubs, and events.

Dr. Seuss Made More Money Than Ever Before After Pulling Racist Books. Here’s How CEO Susan Brandt Did It

When Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company that oversees the literary estate of the late Dr. Seuss, decided to pull six titles from Seuss’s backlist from publication due to harmful and racist imagery contained within, some readers called cancel culture. But in this interview with TIME, the CEO of the company talks about the consideration behind what she sees as making the right decision, and how some savvy business partnerships have made the company more successful than ever.

Texas Librarian Alleges She Was Fired For Not Removing Books

In Llano County, TX, Suzette Baker has claimed that she was fired as a result of refusing to remove books about race and racism, such as How to Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi, from shelves. In a letter obtained from the library’s director, the termination was a result of insubordination and allowing personal opinions to interfere with her job. Baker also claims that one of the reasons she was let go was because she attended and spoke out at public meetings the the staff had been told not to attend, despite the fact that they were discussing important library matters. Baker plans to seek legal representation and fight her termination.

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Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

This week’s pick is an older, award-winning title that is totally worth checking out if you somehow missed it when it first released! I read it back in 2015 when it was the Great Michigan Read, and again earlier this year. Fair warning, it’s a pandemic novel, which is part of the reason why it likely hit differently the second time around, but one that I think really holds up. Content warning for violence, murder, talk of assault (not on the page) and gaslighting, pandemic and sickness, and religious manipulation and extremism.

station eleven

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

In this dual timeline, multi-POV novel, Emily St. John Mandel tells the story of how life as we know it falls apart in the wake of a deadly pandemic that kills 90% of the population in mere weeks, and what life looks like twenty years after this collapse. At the center of the story is Kirsten, who was a young girl acting in a production of King Lear with the famed Arthur Leander on the night the virus broke out. Years later, she’s part of the Traveling Symphony, a ragtag group of actors and musicians who travel through what used to be Michigan, performing at every stop and reminding what remains of humanity that “survival is insufficient.” But when they return to a town they’ve visited before, they find it’s been changed by a self-proclaimed prophet who has a dark vision for the future, and the past and present collide.

I loved everything about this book, from its eerie premise to the gorgeous, lyrical writing, and I especially loved how everything and everyone is connected. The connections are sometimes expected, sometimes surprising, often fleeting, but always impactful. The author does a great job of exploring communities and how individuals can influence a community, exploring the symphony, the Prophet’s followers, and other groups that crop up in unlikely places: gas stations, airports, and on the road.

Being a Michigander, I particularly liked the exploration of the various settings and the descriptions of how settlements re-establish themselves across the landscape. Michigan is a unique setting in that it’s a peninsula surrounded by enormous lakes—in some ways it’s sheltered, in some ways it’s dangerous. The author created a convincing setting that was as unsettling as the premise.

Finally, without giving away too much, what really stuck with me, especially on my second read, was the questions about how a major collective trauma like this affects people. For some, the effect is very external, while for others it’s much more internal. Children who don’t remember much about the before times or never experienced them have a hard time bridging the gulf between adults who know what they’ve lost—not just people, but a way of life and a way of understanding their world, and together they must all create a new one. That was the most powerful part of the novel, and one that I didn’t likely fully appreciate on my first read in 2015, but certainly did when I re-read the book earlier this year.

Bonus: There’s a new miniseries adaptation on HBO Max. I had some quibbles with it, and they do change some things (some I liked, some I didn’t) but overall it was a moving adaptation!

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

Happy reading!
Tirzah


Find me on Book Riot, Hey YA, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

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Today In Books

Rainbow Rowell Announces New Book: Today in Books

Rainbow Rowell Announces New Book

Rainbow Rowell has announced her next book, a collection of short stories titled Scattered Showers. The collection of her complete stories (including ones never before released in print) is set to release on November 8, 2022 and it will contain nine stories, five of which are brand-new and never before published, and three of which are about some of her favorite characters from her previous works. The book will be a stunner, promising stained edges and a ribbon bookmark—and just take a look at that cover!

‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ Canceled By Netflix After 2 Seasons

Sad news for Baby-Sitters Club fans—the Netflix show has not been renewed for a third season. This is a huge bummer as the modern adaptation of the popular Baby-Sitters Club books was a fan favorite and beloved by critics as well—both seasons have received a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. However, despite its reception from fans and critics, Netflix cites the reason for cancellation is that it hasn’t found a wide enough audience for it to continue.

‘The Umbrella Academy’ Gets Season 3 Premiere Date On Netflix

The Umbrella Academy season 3 is coming to Netflix on June 22! The show, which is an adaptation of the The Umbrella Academy comics series by Gerard Way, is about a group of adopted superhero siblings solving the mystery of their father’s death. Season 3 sees the Umbrellas facing new threats after saving the world, and a new family of superheroes. The cast includes Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, Aidan Gallagher, Emmy Raver-Lampman, and Robert Sheehan.

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Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

I feel like I’m going to be throwing it back this week because today’s recommendation is a companion novel to the very first book I ever recommended on the very first send of this newsletter over two years agoPet by Akwaeke Emezi! But don’t worry if you’ve not read it, because today’s recommendation definitely stands on its own!

the cover of bitter by akwaeki emezi

Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi

Set in Lucille years before the events of Pet, this novel follows Bitter, Jam’s mother, as a teen. Bitter has had a rough upbringing, but she’s so grateful that she’s found herself at Eucalyptus, a school for teens gifted in the arts. Eucalyptus is a safe haven against the chaos of Lucille, with its constant protests and rampant corruption. And as Bitter’s time as a student comes to an end, she knows she’d rather stay within her safe walls as a teacher than venture out, even if her friends and classmates are tempted by Assata, the rebel group fighting against corruption. But when Bitter’s secret talent for bringing her paintings to life with a drop of her own blood releases strange creatures on her world, Bitter will have to face the conflict head-on.

First off, Emezi is an incredible writer. I was in awe of their turns of phrase, the beautiful way they built this fictional world in spare, striking language, and how they deftly created so many interesting and multi-dimensional characters. They write with a skill that looks easy, so you know it must be well-honed. I loved that we saw the dystopian side to the utopian Lucille that they presented in Pet, and they managed to maintain that allegorical feel of the story while also grounding it in very real details and moments. This is a book about the personal cost of fighting against injustice, and how scary and overwhelming and hopeless it can feel. But it’s also a book that reminds us of the responsibility we have to each other, tying back to their use of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem “Paul Robeson” in Pet, and that despite that hurt, fear, and shame, it’s important to build community and look out for one another.

This is yet another powerful novel brimming with diverse characters and you can really feel the acceptance and love in this story, despite the hate and fear the characters must face. It’s a reminder that love thrives, even in dark times, but you have to be brave enough to cultivate it.

Bonus: I read the audio version, which is narrated by the brilliant Bahni Turpin! Everything Bahni narrates is a joy to listen to, but especially this book.

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

Happy reading!
Tirzah


Find me on Book Riot, Hey YA, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

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Today In Books

The 2022 Audie Awards Have Been Announced: Today in Books

2022 Audie Award Winners Announced

The 2022 Audie Award winners were announced on Friday in a virtual gala that was live-streamed on Youtube. You can catch the replay on the Audie website, but some notable winners include Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir for Audiobook of the Year, Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford for Auotibiography/Memoir, and Lin Manuel Miranda won Best Male Narrator for his performance of Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sanez. See the full list of winners and finalists.

Amazon To Close All Bookstores

Amazon’s foray into brick and mortar bookstore’s has come to a close. Amazon opened its first bookstore in Seattle in 2015, and has since opened another twenty-four bookstores as well as forty+ pop-up shops around the country. Now they are all closing and employees are receiving severance packages or options to transfer to other Amazon store locations. When Amazon opened its first brick and mortar store, the bookstore industry quickly become concerned about competition and how this would impact independent stores. However, the Amazon stores largely looked the same and carried the same top-rated books from their online storefront, and their impact on local bookstore scenes wasn’t as profound as many feared.

Fantasy Author’s Surprise New Book Series Sets Kickstarter Record

Brandon Sanderson has set multiple records for his Kickstarter campaign, which launched March 1st. Initially asking for a million dollars to self-publish and distribute four books he wrote in secret during the pandemic, the Kickstarter campaign is now up to $20 million with more than three weeks left. These four books will be set in his Cosmere Universe and backers can receive the books in all formats, as well as swag boxes for what’s being dubbed as the “Year of Sanderson.” Sanderson is also the author of the Mistborn novels, and he finished the bestselling Wheel of Time series after author Robert Jordan’s death.