Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

It’s Tuesday again, and I am so happy to be here again with all my bookish friends! How are you all doing today? It’s another great day in new book release paradise. Feral Creatures, the sequel to Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton is out today, and my new favorite Instagram comic has its first collection out: Dinosaur Therapy by James Stewart and K Roméy. Plus there’s new books from Louise Penny and Sarah MacLean. And I want to get my hand on the children’s book about Guillermo del Toro: Kid del Toro (Lil’ Libros) by Chogrin Muñoz and Pakoto Martinez. (Have you ever seen The Devil’s Backbone? SO SCARY.)

And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Feral Creatures, Bad Witch Burning, Seeing Ghosts: A Memoir, and more.

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

cover of erin's diary: an official derry girl's book. cover is red with an image  of the cast of Derry Girls in the middle, with bubbly font and hearts and rainbows drawn around it

Erin’s Diary: An Official Derry Girls Book by Lisa McGee  

It’s finally available on this side of the pond. If you love Derry Girls, the show about five Catholic high school students and their families set amid the political conflict of Northern Ireland in the 1990s, then you will definitely love this book! It is jammed packed with images of the show, with hilarious diary entires from Erin, written by the show’s creator, plus Erin’s doodles and poetry and illustrations. It will help get you through the long wait for season 3 of Derry Girls, which isn’t expected until at least 2022. Another way to occupy the time is to look up the actual ages of the actors playing teenagers (WOW), watch Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton, and check out Siobhan McSweeney on the most recent season of The Great Pottery Throw Down.

Backlist bump: The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley

cover of The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers; cover is orange with an illustration of a yellow tree and a yellow sun above it, and the outline of eyes, nose, and mouth shaped like grey clouds behind it

The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

This is an amazing, sprawling epic, following generations of a Black family from the early 1700s to present day. It is a strong novel about the women of this family and the trauma and hardships they endure. The main focus of the book is Ailey Garfield, a young Black woman who grows up in the northern part of the country with her parents and two sisters. This novel is a powerful look at racism, slavery, trauma, family, friendship, and more. The book is so big, I feel it difficult to write more about the plot succinctly, but please don’t let my failings—or the book’s 800 pages!—dissuade you from picking it up. It’s full of history and mentions of important works, and is sure to be on a lot of 2021’s best books of the year lists!

(CW for racism and racialized violence, sexism, violence, sexual violence, death, and more.)

Backlist bump: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

cover of Bombshell: A Hell's Belles Novel by Sarah MacLean , featuring a white woman with dark brown hair and a red dress standing at the bottom of a staircase

Bombshell: A Hell’s Belles Novel by Sarah MacLean 

And perennial Book Riot favorite Sarah MacLean is back with the first in a fabulous, feminist series of romance and intrigue. I can’t say too much about it without spoiling it, so you’re going to have to trust me. I can tell you it’s about a young woman named Lady Sesily Talbot, who uses her scandalous reputation to her advantage to do…not what you would expect. And there’s Caleb Calhoun, a young man who has tried to resist his attraction for her, but is failing. It’s saucy and super smart, with hot sexy times on the page! You can always count on MacLean for a great read. Bring on the next book, please!

Backlist bump: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean.

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

cover of Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor, featuring a b&w image of a woman dressed in 1920s garb, with long evening gloves and a bob surrounded by a gold art deco border

Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor (Harper Perennial, January 4, 2022)

Okay, I am going to start out this recommendation by saying something that always surprises people, but it is what it is: I don’t find The Great Gatsby interesting. And that’s okay! Not every book is for every person. I do, however, like Jillian Cantor, so I went ahead and read this novel anyway…and I think it’s excellent! She has taken the women of The Great Gatsby, maybe changed the end of Fitzgerald’s classic, and made an excellent historical mystery!

First you need to remember spoilers for a century-old classic: At the end of The Great Gatsby, George Wilson kills Jay Gatsby and then himself. But in Beautiful Little Fools, a detective finds a diamond pin in the bushes by the pool, and has a strong suspicion that the shootings didn’t go down the way they first appear to have happened. His suspects: Daisy Buchanan, known love of Jay Gatsby; her best friend, the golf pro Jordan Baker; and Catherine McCoy, suffragette and sister-in-law of the deceased Tom Wilson.

Told in alternating chapters between the three women and the investigating detective, this is a Jazz Age mystery of romance and betrayal that looks at Jay and Daisy’s early romance, Jordan’s time on the golf circuit, and Catherine’s fights for women’s freedom and independence. And it teases the question: what really happened at Gatsby’s pool? I really dug it. I thought Cantor did an excellent job staying true to these characters while giving the story an updated feel, and I found the story compelling and believable.

(CW for mentions of sexism, homophobia, chemical use and abuse, abuse by a partner, war, sexual assault, car accident violence, and murder.)

an orange cat sitting on a speaker in front of a large decal of a bull shark

This week: I’m currently reading Memphis by Tara Stringfellow, and I still have to finish Night Shift in my Stephen King reread. (While fun, this reread is not a top priority.) Outside of books, I just watched all of the episodes of Housebroken that are available, which I found okay but think it has more potential, and the song stuck in my head is Drive by R.E.M. And as promised, here is a cat picture! “It’s right behind me, isn’t it?” —Farrokh


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, book lovers, and a big welcome to all the people joining me from Book Radar for the first time! To celebrate this new change in my work schedule, I have added a couple new bits to the bottom of the newsletter. You’ll now find the “On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!” section, where I’ll included an upcoming book each week that I have read and loved. (You know how I can never talk enough about books!) You’ll also find a cat picture, and some other miscellany. I’m also thinking of overhauling the monthly megalist, so WATCH THIS SPACE.

Moving on to today’s books: I am excited to get my hands on several new releases. At the top of my to-buy list are Cazadora (Wolves of No World) by Romina Garber and Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins. And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Velvet is the Night, Never Say You Can’t Survive, Chasing the Boogeyman, and more.

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

cover of All In: An Autobiography by Billie Jean King, featuring a black and white photo of the author mid-tennis match

All In: An Autobiography by Billie Jean King

I was really interested to read this memoir, mostly because I really knew nothing about Billie Jean King (probably because when I was little, the Billie Jean I was into was the 1985 Legend of Billie Jean movie). This is King’s story of her life as a groundbreaking, world class athlete, and champion not only of tennis but many important causes, such as civil rights, feminism, and LGBTQ rights. She discusses her many public moments, such as her “Battle of the Sexes” match with Bobby Riggs, her eating disorder, the nonstop sexism on the circuit, and coming out at age fifty-one. It’s a fascinating look into the life of a legend.

Backlist bump: Seeing Serena by Gerald Marzorati

cover of Redemptor (Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko, featuring a head and shoulders illustration of a young Black woman wearing a spiky silver crown

Redemptor (Raybearer Book 2) by Jordan Ifueko

Yes, this is a sequel, but the first book, Raybearer, is so freaking good that I had to draw your attention to it again. I mean, this one is also fantastic, but let me tell you about Raybearer, in case you haven’t read it yet. Tarisai was raised in isolation from a young age, kept away from other people and her town, and looked after by servants. She occasionally sees her mother, a distant and cold woman called The Lady, who is waiting for Tarisari to be old enough so she can send her to be one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. Once this happens, The Lady can start dismantling their rule from the inside, or so she thinks. She wants Tarisari to kill the Crown Prince. But when the time comes to move to the kingdom and put her mother’s plan in motion, Tarisari discovers she likes her time at the palace, and the people around her. Will she follow her mother’s orders, or learn to stand on her own?

Backlist bump: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

cover of The Smashed Man of Dread End by J.W. Ocker, featuring an illustarton of several children looking down the open bulkhead doors into a dark basement

The Smashed Man of Dread End by J.W. Ocker

And last, but not least, here is a delightful—and scary!—book about a young girl whose family moves to a new home, and she discovers there is something terrible in the basement. Noe isn’t thrilled about having to change homes or schools, but it might help her to put a terrible slumber party incident behind her. On her first day at her new home, the neighborhood children warn her not to go in the basement, but Noe is a sleepwalker, and awakens mid-stroll to find herself down there anyway. And what she sees is the stuff of nightmares! (I don’t want to tell you what it is because I thought the monster was SO creepy and effective!) It’s up to Noe and the other neighborhood kids to figure out a way to rid their cul-de-sac of evil once and for all. But can they do it? This is a fun Stranger Things-esque scary middle grade story. I am not usually a fan of parents not believing children when they tell them something is wrong, but the point of this monster is that only children can see it, so it adds an extra scary layer to the story!

Backlist bump: Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

On your mark…get set…add to your TBR!

cover of Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, featuring illustration of a Black woman, with four more Black women standing far back behind her profile

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn (Pamela Dorman Books (January 18, 2022)

If you want something funny, smart, and wonderful to read, then January can’t come soon enough for you! This is a delightful Bridget Jones-ish story about Yinka, an Oxford-educated British Nigerian woman who believes in true love, even if it means waiting a long time to find it. Unfortunately, her meddling mother and aunties don’t think it’s happening fast enough. Yinka’s sister is having a baby and her cousin just got engaged, and it has really turned the heat up on Yinka, whose family literally prays that she finds a husband. Her family makes Yinka feel bad about herself, and it frustrates her.

Yinka is happy to have her career and her freedom, but does think that finding someone to love would be nice. She recently got out of a relationship, and her heart is still bruised. She’s not thrilled with her family trying to set her up with strangers, but she’d really like a date to her cousin’s upcoming wedding—especially since she found out her ex is going to be there. So she decides she’s going to go about finding a boyfriend the smart way: with a spreadsheet. But life has a way of surprising you, even when you think you have it all planned out.

This is an utterly charming novel full of heart. I loved the witty banter, especially with her would-be suitors, and I loved Yinka’s best friend Nana. The book is peppered with text messages and actual spreadsheets. And like Bridget Jones, there are a lot of funny, awkward mishaps, but there’s also an important message about societal and cultural pressures and independence. Hooray for Yinka!

(CW for mentions of infidelity, racism, death of a family member, body shaming, and disordered eating.)

an orange cat sitting in a large silver mixing bowl and leaning heavily to out one side

This week: I’m currently reading Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose by T.A. Willberg and I’ve made it to Night Shift in my Stephen King reread. Outside of books, I’m rewatching Veep, I’ve gotten back into cryptograms, and the song stuck in my head is Ring the Bells by James. And as promised, here is a cat picture! Just when you think Zevin sitting in a bowl can’t get any sillier, he leans out the side.

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, book friends! Who is excited about books today? *raises hands* *raises feet* *falls over* I had a delightful week off, which I spent reading new books and watching old television. And also reading old books—I am a few more books into my Stephen King reread. (Not as many as I’d like, but The Stand was one of his first books and it’s over 1300 pages, lol.) In all, I’d give my vacation 10/10, would do again. But I am also happy to be back here with you, talking about books. 😊

Moving on to books: I am excited to get my hands on a lot of today’s releases. At the top of my to-buy list are Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP by Mirin Fader and Dark Waters by Katherine Arden. And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Spirits Abroad, The Manningtree Witches, Gone for Good, and more.

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

cover of Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage by Eleanor Henderson

Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage by Eleanor Henderson

I am a big fan of Henderson’s novels, so I was excited to read this memoir. It’s about her marriage and her husband’s chronic illness. It’s a beautiful, heart-rending story of young love, a long marriage, and the usual bumps in the road in any relationship. But Henderson’s husband got sick, alarmingly ill, and for years it baffled doctors and sent him into a dark place. Henderson writes eloquently and honestly about how hard love can be at times, how hardship takes its toll on a relationship, and what is worth fighting for.

Backlist bump: Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson

cover of Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko

Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko

I don’t know what has shifted, but I am super into ghosts lately. Not like real ghosts, please don’t send any to my house, but ghost stories. This is a great middle grade debut about a young girl named Zee Puckett (what a name!) who becomes the object of ridicule and nicknamed ‘Ghost Girl’ after she tells her classmates she thinks she saw a ghost after a storm strikes their town. Her classmates can mock her all they want, the truth is that strange things are happening, people are missing, and Zee and her friends Elijah and Nellie are going to get to the bottom of it, with or without any help.

Backlist bump: Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

cover of Radiant Fugitives: A Novel by Nawaaz Ahmed

Radiant Fugitives by Nawaaz Ahmed 

And this one came out last week, but I thought it was worth mentioning! It’s a fabulous debut novel about three generations of a Muslim Indian family. Seema was exiled from her family by her father after telling them she was a lesbian. She has been living a mostly successful life in California without them, but when she finds herself nine months pregnant and alone, she reaches out to the people she loves: her mother and sister. The women travel to be with her, but family is complicated, and the weeks leading up to the baby’s birth will be filled with secrets, misunderstandings, and heartbreak. It’s a powerful story about love and forgiveness, told from the point of view of Seema’s baby.

Backlist bump: Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu

Say it with me now: YAY BOOKS. 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. – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

First Tuesday of August Megalist!

Happy Tuesday, readers! If all has gone according to plan, I am presently relaxing on my reading vacation as you read this. It’s like a regular vacation except I don’t go anywhere, I just stay home and read as much as I can. I gathered up a HUGE pile of books in preparation, and I hope when I return next week that I will have a ton of great books to tell you about in the weeks to come. I hope you’re reading something wonderful right now too!

Now, for today’s bonanza of books: I loved several of today’s books, but there are still soooo many more on this list that I can’t wait to check out, like The Night Singer by Johanna Mo, The President and the Frog by Carolina De Robertis, Savage Tongues by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi. And as with each first Tuesday megalist, I am putting a ❤️ next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved. You can also hear about several new releases on this week’s episode of the All the Books! Danika and I discussed When the Reckoning Comes, The Dead and the Dark, Damnation Spring, and more. Okay, get ready to click your little hearts out, because here come the books! – XO, Liberty

cover of damnation spring by ash davidson

Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson ❤️

Blind Man’s Bluff: A Memoir by James Tate Hill

Her Heart for a Compass by Sarah Ferguson 

The Husbands by Chandler Baker

Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Paper Concert: A Conversation in the Round by Amy Wright

All’s Well by Mona Awad ❤️

Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara

Palm Beach by Mary Adkins

The Dating Dare by Jayci Lee

The Mismatch by Sara Jafari

cover of When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen

When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen ❤️

Warmth: Coming of Age at the End of Our World by Daniel Sherrell

The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert 

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz ❤️

The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad 

The Turnout by Megan Abbott ❤️

So We Meet Again by Suzanne Park 

Songs for the Flames: Stories by Juan Gabriel Vasquez ❤️

Did I Say You Could Go by Melanie Gideon

Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

cover of Dangerous Play by Emma Kress

Dangerous Play by Emma Kress

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould ❤️

Sisters in Arms: A Novel of the Daring Black Women Who Served During World War II by Kaia Alderson

The Night Singer by Johanna Mo

The Last Nomad: Coming of Age in the Somali Desert by Shugri Said Salh

The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence by Stephen Kurczy

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

Losing Eden: Our Fundamental Need for the Natural World and Its Ability to Heal Body and Soul by Lucy Jones

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

Sugar Town Queens by Malla Nunn

cover of Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton ❤️

The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

Billy Summers by Stephen King

Paris Is a Party, Paris Is a Ghost by David Hoon Kim

Radiant Fugitives by Nawaaz Ahmed ❤️

The Godstone by Violette Malan  

Tin Camp Road by Ellen Airgood

The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell by Brian Evenson ❤️

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead

Afterparties: Stories by Anthony Veasna So ❤️

I Kissed a Girl by Jennet Alexander

cover of The President and the Frog by Carolina De Robertis

The President and the Frog by Carolina De Robertis

We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation by Eric Garcia

Immediate Family by Ashley Nelson Levy

Savage Tongues by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi 

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange

Something New Under the Sun by Alexandra Kleeman ❤️

Pilgrim Bell: Poems by Kaveh Akbar

Horse Girls: Recovering, Aspiring, and Devoted Riders Redefine the Iconic Bond by Halimah Marcus

Bullet Train by Kotaro Isaka

cover of Agatha of Little Neon: A Novel by Claire Luchette

Agatha of Little Neon by Claire Luchette ❤️

Mercury Boys by Chandra Prasad

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee 

Meant to Be: If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Waiting for the Waters to Rise by Maryse Condé and Richard Philcox

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. – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

It’s Tuesday! (Tues-yay?) How was your weekend? Did you read anything good? Is anyone out there watching the Olympics? I dragged my old bones out of bed at the very early hour of 8am (lol) on Sunday to watch the USA play France in basketball. I honestly think it was the first time I’ve watched a summer Olympic event since Flo-Jo was competing. (She was so awesome.💔)

Moving on to books: I am excited to get my hands on a lot of today’s releases. At the top of my to-buy list are How to Find Your Way in the Dark by Derek B. Miller, The Minister Primarily by John Oliver Killens, and Summer Fun by Jeanne Thornton. And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Not a Happy Family, I Am Not Starfire, A Song Everlasting, and more.

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

cover of Godspeed by Nickolas Butler

Godspeed by Nickolas Butler

I’m a big fan of Butler’s work, and this one continued to hold my admiration. I love his gritty midwest storylines. This one is about three down-on-their-luck carpenters who are offered a ridiculous amount of money to finish building a house in the mountains outside of Jackson, Wyoming. The catch? The project must be finished in an almost impossible amount of time. Despite their reservations—Why wasn’t the house completed by the original builders? Who is the mysterious owner?—the men decide to take on the project, but bad luck and tragic consequences follow. It’s a frantic, dark tale of friendship and greed. It’s perfect for fans of Daniel Woodrell, Michael Farris Smith, and David Joy.

Backlist bump: The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler

Breathing Fire cover

Breathing Fire: Female Inmate Firefighters on the Front Line of California’s Wildfires by Jaime Lowe

And for you fans of nonfiction that cover an aspect of the world you’ve never considered before, this is a fascinating, devastating book. The size of California’s wildfires and the number of days they burn grows each year. Roughly 30 percent of the on-the-ground crews fighting the fires in the state now are inmates. Lowe spent years interviewing dozens of women who risked their lives for the state, as well as captains, family and friends, correctional officers, and camp commanders. She discusses the dangers of the work, for which the inmates earn a dollar a day, and the politics involved in such a program.

Backlist bump: Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors

cover of the man ban by nicola marsh

The Man Ban by Nicola Marsh

And here is an easy, breezy romance novel for those of you looking for a lighter pick today. After a terrible breakup, Harper Ryland decides to swear off dating and focus on her career. So of course, that’s when a handsome doctor appears in her life. At first, everything about Manny Gomes rubs her the wrong way, but when he appears while she’s working out of the country and she gets to know him better, Harper decides her ban doesn’t apply to international travel. But can they make things work when she returns home? (Admittedly, Harper’s ‘man ban’ doesn’t last very long, so the title is kinda silly, but the book will take your mind off the outside world for a while.)

Backlist bump: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Say it with me now: YAY BOOKS. 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. – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Happy Tuesday, book dragons! I hope you are all reading something good these days. I certainly have some great suggestions for you below. Every week is a plethora of excellent new releases! This week, I have an exciting post-apocalyptic novel, a queer tale of the Ming Dynasty, and a story about motherhood that will have you wagging your tail.

I am—as always—excited to get my hands on a lot of today’s releases. At the top of my to-buy list are What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad, Virtue by Hermione Hoby, and The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente. And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Tirzah and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as For Your Own Good, Intimacies, In the Same Boat, and more.

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

cover of notes from the burning age by claire north

Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North

If you’ve been reading this newsletter or listening to All the Books! for any amount of time, you know how I love a post-apocalyptic story or a great SFF novel involving religious orders. (Most recently Star Eater and We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep.) So of course I was delighted to get my hands on this novel! It’s about a former holy man named Ven who worked with religious texts from the Burning Age, the apocalyptic climate disaster years of the planet that are kept a secret now to avoid a repeat of the events. Ven guards over this information, but when he is approached by a new order that wants him to interpret new texts that change the way he understands the world, his life is thrown into chaos. It’s the story of a man who must face the unknown and disregard his beliefs—and maybe give up his life—for the sake of the world.

Backlist bump: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Cover of She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan 

This is a freaking amazing queer reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty. In 1345, China, the poor peasants of the Central Plains suffer under Mongol rule. Two children, a brother and a sister, are told their fortunes. For him, greatness. For her, nothingness. But when the family is attacked, the son dies, and his sister assumes his name—Zhu Chongba—and with it, his fortune. Zhu uses her brother’s identity to join a monastery as a young male novice, where she learns the skills to survive and pushes herself to live up to her brother’s foretold greatness. As Zhu grows stronger, she will fight battles, find love, and continue to strive for power and esteem. This book is so fun and action-packed! It’s definitely one of the best fantasy novels of 2021.

Backlist bump: The Black Tides of Heaven (The Tensorate Series) by Neon Yang

cover of nightbitch by rachel yoder

Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

I will admit that as a vegan, I was not super-excited about the cover, lol. But luckily I spent 99.9% of the time with the inside of the book! This is a wild tale about a woman who thinks she is turning into a dog. The narrator gives up her career to stay at home when she has a baby, but it’s not the fulfilling experience she expected it to be. After two years, she has a husband who is largely absent for work, a toddler to chase around the house, and a large patch of hair growing on her neck. Wait—what? Alarmed, she starts to look for answers to her new features and senses, which grow to include sharp teeth and the start of a tail. As Nightbitch (as she refers to herself) tries to hide the fact that she’s turning into a dog from those around her, she struggles to decide which role is her preferred one—woman or canine. This is a weird, biting (ha) take on motherhood and the expectations placed on new moms.

Backlist bump: The Need by Helen Phillips

Say it with me now: YAY BOOKS. 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. – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Hello, fellow page turners! It’s Tuesday, which means it is time to hold still for a few minutes while I wave my arms at you about new releases like I’m Kermit the Frog with an ice cream headache. I just get so dang excited about books! I also like to watch things. I have been skipping sleep this week in favor of watching Leverage. I think part of the reason I enjoy watching older shows like Leverage is that I love character actors. It’s comforting to see the same faces in different roles, even when they’re villains. The last episode of Leverage I watched had Clancy Brown, who is one of my favorite actors. He was the evil guard in The Shawshank Redemption, and is the voice of Mr. Krabs on Spongebob Squarepants, which is another show I just started watching. (I am mad at everyone who didn’t tell me that Spongebob has a pet snail named Gary who meows.)

Moving on to today’s books: I am—as always—excited to get my hands on a lot of today’s releases. At the top of my to-buy list are Appleseed by Matt Bell, Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices by Swapna Krishna and Jenn Northington, M, King’s Bodyguard by Niall Leonard. And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Vanessa and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Seek You, The Taking of Jake Livingston, A Psalm for the Wild-Built, and more.

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

cover of Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge

Strange Beasts of China by Yan Ge, Jeremy Tiang (Translator)

Several months ago I watched one of my favorite authors, Kelly Link, interview another of my favorite authors, Kevin Brockmeier, and he mentioned that this was one of the best books he had read this year. So of course I had to read it! It’s an unusual novel about an unnamed narrator (you know how I love one of those!) in the the fictional city of Yong’an, who is interested in finding the aforementioned strange beasts she has heard about. And I’m not talking bears and squid. I mean like wild cryptid things! It’s almost more a series of interconnected short stories, and as the book goes on, it tells a larger picture about the world, and the narrator herself, a one-time zoologist turned romance writer. It’s a dreamy novel and also an allegory about humanity.

Backlist bump: Descent of Monsters (The Tensorate Series 3) by Neon Ynag

cover of a touch of jen by beth morgan

A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan 

One of my newish favorite storylines of the last decade are books that involve podcasts somehow. Another is books involving social media in some capacity. This darkly comedic and weird novel is one such book! Remy and Alicia are two people who don’t particularly like each other but they are both obsessed with Jen, Remy’s former coworker turned Instagram influencer. Jen seems to be living the perfect life of globetrotting and glamour, according to her Instagram account, and Remy and Alicia eat it up. So imagine their surprise when the run into Jen, and she invites them on a trip to the Hamptons. It’s one thing to watch behind the scenes, it’s another to try and hide who you are in front of someone you’re trying to impress. And weird things begin to happen, and the story and suspense escalates until it’s out of control. I can’t even tell you what happens, because you need to experience this for yourself. Just know that the book may have a sunny, bright cover, but the story definitely gets dark.

CW for mentions of extreme violence, terminal illness, death, and chemical use and dependency.

Backlist bump: Followers by Megan Angelo

cover of The Letters of Shirley Jackson by Shirley Jackson , Laurence Jackson Hyman

The Letters of Shirley Jackson by Shirley Jackson , Laurence Jackson Hyman

This last pick is not something I have read yet, but I am unbelievably thrilled to get my hands on it. I realize that it has been many years since I read a Shirley Jackson book. (Also, I realize I am at an age where several years can pass since I have done something lolsob.) I discovered her in eighth grade, when I spied a copy of We Have Always Lived in the Castle in my teacher’s bag. WHAT A PLACE TO START. I have since read all her books several times, including The Haunting of Hill House and The Lottery and Other Stories. She was such a fascinating person and a freaking amazing writer. There is not as much Jackson nonfiction out there as fiction, and I don’t usually read the letters of writers, but you bet sweet Christopher Meloni’s forehead scar that I am going to read these.

Backlist bump: Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings by Shirley Jackson

Say it with me now: YAY BOOKS. 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. – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

First Tuesday of July Megalist!

Happy Tuesday, readers! It is time for another enormous list of books, featuring many of the titles out this week. Is the weather hot where you are? Then good news, because reading is not an activity that will make you sweat even more! I hope you are able to get comfortable wherever you are, and that you have wonderful things to read, too. ❤️

Now, for today’s bonanza of books: I did get a chance to read several of them, but there are still soooo many more on this list that I can’t wait to check out, like Nobody, Somebody, Anybody by Kelly McClorey, Vessel: A Memoir by Chongda Cai, and Alone in Space: A Collection by Tillie Walden. Okay, okay, and the Richard Marx memoir. And as with each first Tuesday megalist, I am putting a ❤️ next to the books that I have had the chance to read and loved. You can also hear about several new releases on this week’s episode of the All the Books! Danika and I discussed Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead, Temple Alley Summer, Lights Out in Lincolnwood, and more. Okay—everyone buckled in? Get ready to click your little hearts out, because here come the books! – XO, Liberty

Vessel: A Memoir by Cai Chongda Cai

Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy

Lilla the Accidental Witch by Eleanor Crewes

All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton 

The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue

Big Dark Hole: and Other Stories by Jeffrey Ford ❤️

The Lords of Time by Eva García Sáenz

The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett ❤️

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim 

Tatterdemalion by Sylvia Linsteadt

What We Devour by Linsey Miller

The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine

Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith ❤️

Falling by T. J. Newman

We Have Always Been Here by Lena Nguyen ❤️

Variations on the Body by María Ospina, Heather Cleary (Translator)

This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan 

Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship by Catherine Raven

Brotherhood by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr and Alexia Trigo

cover of trejo by danny trejo

Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood by Danny Trejo and Donal Logue

Give My Love to the Savages: Stories by Chris Stuck

Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow Trilogy) by Rainbow Rowell 

The Tiger Mom’s Tale by Lyn Liao Butler 

Silver Tears by Camilla Läckberg 

The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

Wayward by Dana Spiotta ❤️

Phosphorescence: A Memoir of Finding Joy When Your World Goes Dark by Julia Baird 

People Like Them by Samira Sedira, Lara Vergnaud (translator)

The Man Who Hated Women: Sex, Censorship, and Civil Liberties in the Gilded Age by Amy Sohn

cover of everyone in this room will someday be dead by emily austin

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin ❤️

Nobody, Somebody, Anybody by Kelly McClorey 

Incense and Sensibility (The Rajes Series Book 3) by Sonali Dev 

We Are the Baby-Sitters Club: Essays and Artwork from Grown-Up Readers by Marisa Crawford and Megan Milks

Island Queen by Vanessa Riley ❤️

The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow by Emma Steinkellner

Tooth of the Covenant by Norman Lock

Dear Miss Metropolitan by Carolyn Ferrell

Couple Found Slain: After a Family Murder by Mikita Brottman ❤️

The Empire’s Ruin (Ashes of the Unhewn Throne) by Brian Staveley

cover of lights out in lincolnwood

Lights out in Lincolnwood by Geoffrey Rodkey ❤️

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Open Skies: My Life as Afghanistan’s First Female Pilot by Niloofar Rahmani with R.D. Sykes

The Deadline Effect: How to Work Like It’s the Last Minute―Before the Last Minute by Christopher Cox

The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans by Cynthia Barnett

The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic: Revised and Expanded Edition by Jessica Hopper

If You, Then Me by Yvonne Woon

Racing the Clock: A Running Life with Nature by Bernd Heinrich

cover of stories to tell by richard marx

Stories to Tell: A Memoir by Richard Marx

From the Streets of Shaolin: The Wu-Tang Saga by S. H. Fernando Jr.

Alone in Space: A Collection by Tillie Walden

Summer in the City of Roses by Michelle Ruiz Keil

The Stranger Behind You by Carol Goodman


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. – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

It’s new book day!!! It is a semi-rare fifth Tuesday in a month, which means we have more new releases to be excited about in June. The year is half over now—it went by so fast! It’s been such a great reading year, though. I can’t wait for the next six months. Being a reader is the BEST.

Moving on to today’s books: Today’s newsletter is a little different. I haven’t been able to get my hands on much out today, and what I have read, I didn’t love enough to share, so this is a newsletter of a few books out today that I haven’t read and why I am excited to read them—books that I hope will be as great as they sound! And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as This Poison Heart, The Personal Librarian, Eat Your Heart Out, and more.

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

cover of hell of a book by jason mott

Hell of a Book by Jason Mott

This novel examines racism and police violence through the story of a Black author out on a book tour, who may also have an imaginary traveling companion, and Soot, a young Black boy who lived in a rural Southern town in the past. I watched an interview with Jason Mott a few weeks ago, where he talked about this book, and I was transfixed! It sounds excellent. He got the idea during a not-very-pleasant book tour he went on for one of his earlier books. Book tours can be difficult! Getting moved to a new city day after day and missing your home and family is hard.

Backlist bump: The Returned by Jason Mott

cover of Leaving Breezy Street: A Memoir by Brenda Myers-Powell

Leaving Breezy Street: A Memoir by Brenda Myers-Powell

Several of my favorite books this year have been hard-hitting memoirs, and this one sounds like I’ll be adding it to the list. Powell recounts her young life, working as a sex worker at fifteen to support herself and her two babies, and the ensuing two decades she spent moving all over the country. This is her story of how she decided she wanted to change her life, and how she found self-love and acceptance. Powell now advocates for victims of sex trafficking, and is on the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking.

Add to your TBR: Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker by Maggy Krell

Survive the Night by Riley Sager 

And finally, I am always up for an over-the-top thriller, and Riley Sager certainly writes them! This one is about a college student whose best friend has been murdered by the Campus Killer. Looking for a break, she shares a ride with a stranger, Josh, to help with the long drive back home to Ohio. But the longer she spends time in the car, the more holes she finds in Josh’s stories and she begins to suspect she’s just hitched a ride with a killer. This is like an isolated mystery on wheels! It also reminds me a little of No Exit, my favorite thriller of the last several years, so fingers crossed!

Backlist bump: No Exit by Taylor Adams


Next week it will be time for another amazing megalist! YAY BOOKS. 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. – XO, Liberty

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Hello, book friends! It’s time to get excited about new books again! One new book that I am really excited about, even though it doesn’t come out for several more months, is Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. I have never read him before—can you believe it?!? Not even his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. I have always meant to read it, but somehow it escaped me. Anyway, I was watching a live discussion with him last week about his new book, Cloud Cuckoo Land, and his enthusiasm and positivity was infectious! He had such wonderful things to say about books and reading. I immediately bumped it to the top of my list, and plan to start it as soon as I finish writing this newsletter. YAY, BOOKS!

Moving on to today’s books: I’m looking forward to a lot of today’s new releases, such as Antiman: A Hybrid Memoir by Rajiv Mohabir, God Spare the Girls by Kelsey McKinney, and What a Happy Family by Saumya Dave. And speaking of today’s great books, for this week’s episode of All the Books! Patricia and I discussed some of the wonderful books that we’ve read, such as Filthy Animals, Yoke, Star Eater, and more.

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

cover of the witness for the dead by katherine addison

The Witness for the Dead (The Goblin Emperor) by Katherine Addison

Okay, I have to say that I have not read this one yet, but its release is such a huge deal, that I had to mention it. The Goblin Emperor came out seven years ago, and has such a loyal fanbase. To finally get a new book set in that world is big, like Winds of Winter big! From what I’ve read about this book, it’s a stand-alone that involves a minor character from The Goblin Emperor, and is a murder mystery. I’ve seen several reviews calling it a Sherlock Holmes-worthy mystery, which is very exciting. And supposedly you can read this one without having read the first book, but I highly recommend you check that one out, too! It’s about the half-goblin son of the emperor, who lives outside the palace walls. But then he must take over his father’s throne, after his father and half-brothers all die mysteriously.

Backlist bump: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

cover of the tragedy of dane riley

The Tragedy of Dane Riley by Kat Spears

This is an excellent YA novel dealing with grief and loss. Dane Riley is a teenager whose father has recently died from cancer. As if that isn’t bad enough, Dane is distraught when his mother soon begins dating his father’s best friend, whose son is a classmate as well as Dane’s biggest antagonist. Dane struggles with depression and grief, and his feelings of betrayal on his mother’s part, while also pining away for Ophelia, the girl next door. Why do people tell him he needs to move on, is it possible to get over such a loss, and can Dane come to terms with his grief and the changes in his life?

Backlist bump: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

cover of Geniuses at War: Bletchley Park, Colossus, and the Dawn of the Digital Age by David A. Price

Geniuses at War: Bletchley Park, Colossus, and the Dawn of the Digital Age by David A. Price 

History nerds, rejoice! This is a riveting look at codebreaking with Alan Turing and the other geniuses of Bletchley Park, and how the race to crack the most difficult code of World War II led to the invention of what would be the first digital electronic computer. Price tells the fascinating story behind Colossus, the aforementioned computer, using recently declassified information about the project.

Backlist bump: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua


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. – XO, Liberty