Can’t Wait Wednesday | July 6th

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a book blogging meme hosted over at Wishful Endings. It’s to discuss and spotlight books that you’re excited about but that you haven’t read yet, to get you more excited about your TBR pile! It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, which is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I first heard about this meme from Kappa at Kappa Reads!

Thank You For Listening by Julia Whelan
publishes August 2nd, 2022

From the author of My Oxford Year, Julia Whelan’s uplifting novel tells the story of a former actress turned successful audiobook narrator—who has lost sight of her dreams after a tragic accident—and her journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance when she agrees to narrate one last romance novel.

For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger. 

On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her. 

As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more.
If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.

Bookshop link here.

Can’t Wait Wednesday | June 1st

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a book blogging meme hosted over at Wishful Endings. It’s to discuss and spotlight books that you’re excited about but that you haven’t read yet, to get you more excited about your TBR pile! It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, which is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I first heard about this meme from Kappa at Kappa Reads!

Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane
464 pages
publishes June 7th, 2022

Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman’s story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane’s Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles’ vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles and the Inheritance trilogy.

The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.

Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite. When Odysseus comes to recruit the “prince” Achilles for a war against the Hittites, she prepares to die rather than fight as a man. However, her divine mother, Athena, intervenes, transforming her body into the woman’s body she always longed for, and promises her everything: glory, power, fame, victory in war, and, most importantly, a child born of her own body. Reunited with her beloved cousin, Patroklos, and his brilliant wife, the sorceress Meryapi, Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance. 

But the gods—a dysfunctional family of abusive immortals that have glutted on human sacrifices for centuries—have woven ancient schemes more blood-soaked and nightmarish than Achilles can imagine. At the center of it all is the cruel, immortal Helen, who sees Achilles as a worthy enemy after millennia of ennui and emptiness. In love with her newfound nemesis, Helen sets out to destroy everything and everyone Achilles cherishes, seeking a battle to the death. 

An innovative spin on a familiar tale, this is the Trojan War unlike anything ever told, and an Achilles whose vulnerability is revealed by the people she chooses to fight…and chooses to trust.

Booksweet link here.

Rainbow Rainbow book review

Rainbow Rainbow by Lydia Conklin
256 pages
publishes May 31st, 2022

A fearless collection of stories that celebrate the humor, darkness, and depth of emotion of the queer and trans experience that’s not typically represented: liminal or uncertain identities, queer conception, and queer joy.

In this exuberant, prize-winning collection, queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming characters seek love and connection in hilarious and heartrending stories that reflect the complexity of our current moment.

A nonbinary writer on the eve of top surgery enters into a risky affair during the height of COVID. A lesbian couple enlists a close friend as a sperm donor, plying him with a potent rainbow-colored cocktail. A lonely office worker struggling with their gender identity chaperones their nephew to a trans YouTube convention. And in the depths of a Midwestern winter, a sex-addicted librarian relies on her pet ferrets to help resist a relapse at a wild college fair.

Capturing both the dark and lovable sides of the human experience, Rainbow Rainbow establishes debut author Lydia Conklin as a fearless new voice for their generation.

This is a book of queer short stories; some of them I really enjoyed, some of them I felt kind of weird about. Conklin uses proses like a knife, but the sharpness of the knife depends on the short story. These aren’t like a lot of the queer lit on the marketplace now (which is a good thing!), and some of them are uncomfortable to read. I recommend them, and also I am giving this book 3.25 stars, possibly to be revisited later.

Can’t Wait Wednesday | May 25th

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a book blogging meme hosted over at Wishful Endings. It’s to discuss and spotlight books that you’re excited about but that you haven’t read yet, to get you more excited about your TBR pile! It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, which is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I first heard about this meme from Kappa at Kappa Reads!

Boys Come First by Aaron Foley
386 pages
publishes May 31st, 2022

This hilarious, touching debut novel by Aaron Foley, author of How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass, follows three Black gay millennial men looking for love, friendship, and professional success in the Motor City.

Suddenly jobless and single after a devastating layoff and a breakup with his cheating ex, advertising copywriter Dominick Gibson flees his life in Hell’s Kitchen to try and get back on track in his hometown of Detroit. He’s got one objective — exit the shallow dating pool ASAP and get married by thirty-five — and the deadline’s approaching fast.

Meanwhile, Dom’s best friend, Troy Clements, an idealistic teacher who never left Michigan, finds himself at odds with all the men in his life: a troubled boyfriend he’s desperate to hold onto, a perpetually dissatisfied father, and his other friend, Remy Patton. Remy, a rags-to-riches real estate agent known as “Mr. Detroit,” has his own problems — namely choosing between making it work with a long-distance lover or settling for a local Mr. Right Now who’s not quite Mr. Right. And when a high-stakes real estate deal threatens to blow up his friendship with Troy, the three men have to figure out how to navigate the pitfalls of friendship and a city that seems to be changing overnight.

Full of unforgettable characters, Boys Come First is about the trials and tribulations of real friendship, but also about the highlights and hiccups –late nights at the wine bar, awkward Grindr hookups, workplace microaggressions, situationships, frenemies, family drama, and of course, the group chat — that define Black, gay, millennial life in today’s Detroit.

Bookshop link here.

 

Can’t Wait Wednesday | May 18th

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a book blogging meme hosted over at Wishful Endings. It’s to discuss and spotlight books that you’re excited about but that you haven’t read yet, to get you more excited about your TBR pile! It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, which is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I first heard about this meme from Kappa at Kappa Reads!

Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid
320 pages
publishes June 21st, 2022

From highly acclaimed, bestselling author Ava Reid comes a gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree, set in another time and place within the world of The Wolf and the Woodsman, where a young witch seeks to discover her identity and escape the domination of her abusive wizard father, perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson and Catherynne M. Valente.

A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites.

Marlinchen and her two sisters live with their wizard father in a city shifting from magic to industry. As Oblya’s last true witches, she and her sisters are little more than a tourist trap as they treat their clients with archaic remedies and beguile them with nostalgic charm. Marlinchen spends her days divining secrets in exchange for rubles and trying to placate her tyrannical, xenophobic father, who keeps his daughters sequestered from the outside world. But at night, Marlinchen and her sisters sneak out to enjoy the city’s amenities and revel in its thrills, particularly the recently established ballet theater, where Marlinchen meets a dancer who quickly captures her heart.

As Marlinchen’s late-night trysts grow more fervent and frequent, so does the threat of her father’s rage and magic. And while Oblya flourishes with culture and bustles with enterprise, a monster lurks in its midst, borne of intolerance and resentment and suffused with old-world power. Caught between history and progress and blood and desire, Marlinchen must draw upon her own magic to keep her city safe and find her place within it.

Bookshop link here.

Can’t Wait Wednesday | May 11th

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a book blogging meme hosted over at Wishful Endings. It’s to discuss and spotlight books that you’re excited about but that you haven’t read yet, to get you more excited about your TBR pile! It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, which is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I first heard about this meme from Kappa at Kappa Reads!

Brace for Impact by Gabe Montesanti
416 pages
releases May 24th, 2022

A powerful and redemptive story of how the dazzling world of roller derby helped one young woman transform her fear and self-doubt into gutsy, big-hearted, adventurous living 

“A universal story of healing and triumph, made all the more beautiful, wild, and free by Gabe’s fierce love for roller derby and her team, who become her family.”—ABBY WAMBACH, Olympian, activist, and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wolfpack

Growing up queer in a conservative Midwestern town, Gabe Montesanti never felt comfortable in her own skin. A competitive swimmer, she turned to perfectionism and self-control to create a sense of safety, only to develop an eating disorder and constantly second-guess her instincts. When she enters graduate school in St. Louis, she is determined to put the baggage of her childhood behind her. With no prior experience, she joins Arch Rival, one of the top-ranked roller derby leagues in the world. Gabe instantly falls in love with the sport’s roughness, intensity, and open embrace of people who are literally and figuratively scarred. She soon finds community and a sense of belonging, reveling in the tattoos, glitter, and campiness. 

But when Gabe suffers a catastrophic injury, she can no longer ignore the parallels between the physicality of roller derby and the unresolved trauma of her upbringing. Rendered inactive, forced to be still, Gabe realizes she needs to heal her emotional wounds as much as her physical ones; she must confront her fear and self-diminishment in order to feel truly alive.

Told with unflinching honesty and a giant dose of wonder, Brace for Impact is a tender, inspiring memoir about the everyday heroism of pursuing a life less ordinary, and the deeply human need to be at peace with who you are.

Booksweet link here.

Can’t Wait Wednesday | April 27th

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a book blogging meme hosted over at Wishful Endings. It’s to discuss and spotlight books that you’re excited about but that you haven’t read yet, to get you more excited about your TBR pile! It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, which is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. I first heard about this meme from Kappa at Kappa Reads!

Cordelia Hatmaker has saved England from war. She stopped Lord Whitloof’s sinister plans, rescued the King and Princess, and restored the Makers Guild. But she still hasn’t found her missing father. Ever since Cordelia discovered the hidden map in her father’s telescope, she’s been searching the streets of London by starlight, trying to uncover its secrets.

She never expects to stumble upon a secret society of Mapmakers–or to learn that magic isn’t limited to the few Maker families, but instead is all around, if you know where to look. But danger is lurking around every corner, and Cordelia must convince the rival Maker families to work together for once–not only to bring her father home, but to save the very essence of magic itself. . . .

With exceptional and inventive storytelling and a lionhearted heroine, Tamzin Merchant once again draws readers into her captivating London and takes them on a breathless new adventure full of wildness, wit, warmth–and magic.

Bookshop link.

Can’t Wait Wednesday | March 30th

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a book blogging meme hosted over at Wishful Endings. It’s to discuss and spotlight books that you’re excited about but that you haven’t read yet, to get you more excited about your TBR pile! It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, which is hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Rabbit Chase by Elizabeth LaPensee and KC Oster
Publishes April 5th, 2022

Anishinaabe culture and storytelling meet Alice in Wonderland in this coming-of-age graphic novel that explores Indigenous and gender issues through a fresh yet familiar looking glass.

Aimée, a non-binary Anishinaabe middle-schooler, is on a class trip to offer gifts to Paayehnsag, the water spirits known to protect the land. While stories are told about the water spirits and the threat of the land being taken over for development, Aimée zones out, distracting themselves from the bullying and isolation they’ve experienced since expressing their non-binary identity. When Aimée accidentally wanders off, they are transported to an alternate dimension populated by traditional Anishinaabe figures in a story inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

To gain the way back home, Aimée is called on to help Trickster by hunting down dark water spirits with guidance from Paayehnsag. On their journey, Aimée faces off with the land-grabbing Queen and her robotic guards and fights the dark water spirits against increasingly stacked odds. Illustrated by KC Oster with a modern take on their own Ojibwe style and cultural representation, Rabbit Chase is a story of self-discovery, community, and finding one’s place in the world.

Check it out on Storygraph here, or preorder it from Bookshop here.

TBR Bookish Meme

I was tagged in this meme by Kappa Reads! I’d like to tag Sage’s Shelves, Karis at Living Life the Write Way, and Danielle at Danielle Brown Writes!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Technically I have a Storygraph list but I mostly ignore it. I keep track of stuff I really want to read by foolishly requesting it on NetGalley, disregarding how busy I am that month with other things. (Please help me.) I also have a Notion database about it!

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Oh, it’s whatever I can get my hands on.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Vibes, or whatever’s due next on NetGalley.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest

The book that’s been on my TBR the longest is Finnikin of the Rock, Lumatere Chronicles. I put this on my TBR on May 13, 2013, so…. Almost ten years. Also I feel like I’ve never heard of this book before and have no recollection of my desire to read it. Look at its Storygraph page here – it came out in 2008 apparently??

Finnikin of the Rock, Melina Marchetta

A book that you recently added to your TBR

I just added Last Chance Books by Amanda Select to my TBR! This was a romance book published in 2020, and it looks like an Emma type of retelling (where one girl is always giving advice but can’t seem to find love herself), and that is one of my favorite types of stories. I think I actually bought this book over the summer and never got around to it…. Here’s its Storygraph page!

Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover

Oh, this is a great question. It’s definitely This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke, which I picked up exclusively for the cover. It’s historical fiction, which I simply do not read, but I did not realize that before I put it on the list. Check it out on Storygraph here.

This Rebel Heart by Katherine Locke
I mean… just LOOK at it!

A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading

All the litfic that I downloaded in a big ebook bundle in 2012. Also, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Fuck that guy. Check out this video by intersex activist and ball of sentient cotton candy, Hans Lindahl, to understand why this book is so garbage.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for

Oh, obviously The Ones We Burn by Rebecca Mix! For something a little more in the near future, Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White. You can pre-order The Ones We Burn here, from my local bookstore — save your preorder receipt for a bonus! Here is Hell Followed With Us’ Storygraph link, also.

The Ones We Burn by Rebecca Mix
Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you

Oh, another great question. Probably Crier’s War? I was super excited about this book three years ago and pre-ordered it and I uhhhhh. Have never read it. Check it out on Storygraph here.

Crier’s War by Nina Varela

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you

Several people have recommended me Baby and Solo by Lisabeth Posthuma! She’s a Michigan author, so that makes a lot of sense. I did check it out of the library but only got about an hour into it before I had to return it. Check it out on Storygraph here!

Baby & Solo by Lisabeth Posthuma

A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read

Iron Widow!!! I want to get to this like, this weekend, or the next time I have like, six straight hours free. My friends have all said to make sure that I am in a comfortable place while I am reading it because I won’t be able to stop. Check it out on Storygraph here!

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf

2,184 ……. Yeah. Let’s not talk about that. END OF POST BYE