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

Categories
New Books

Hooray, It’s Time for New Books!

Hello, book friends! It’s a little rainy and cool here in Maine as I write this, which is a nice break from the blazing heatwave we’ve had. My cats are no longer puddles of fur on the floor. We are now halfway through an amazing month of new releases. As much as I read, I still wish I could get more reading done (said every book lover ever.) There’s still so many titles that have come out the last few weeks that I haven’t wrapped my brain around yet. One slightly older book I am reading right now, because so many people said I absolutely must, is Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller. I had never heard of David Starr Jordan, but let me tell you, this story is BANANAPANTS.

Moving on to today’s books: I’m looking forward to a lot of today’s new releases, such as The Hellion’s Waltz by Olivia Waite, Nonbinary: A Memoir by Genesis P-Orridge, and The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. 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 Bath Haus, Blood Like Magic, The Tangleroot Palace, and more.

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

cover of the great mistake by jonathan lee

The Great Mistake by Jonathan Lee

Jonathan Lee’s last novel was a look at the true story of a bombing at a hotel in 1984, and now he has once again written a fantastic novel based on true events. This is an account of the life and death of Andrew Haswell Green. Green was a New York City lawyer and civic planner, who is considered to have been integral to the founding of Central Park, the New York Public Library, the Bronx Zoo, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Lee has artfully written a compelling story of the man’s life in two parts: the story of a poor, quiet young man who grows into a quiet, esteemed gentleman; and the story of a man whose death made him more famous in his time than any of his works while he was alive, and the case to solve his murder.

Backlist bump: High Dive by Jonathan Lee

cover image of Cultish by Amanda Montell

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell 

Books that take a deep dive into words and language are always such an epic nerdpurr and this one is no exception! Montell is a writer and host of The Dirty Word, a web series about language, gender, and pop culture. Cultish is her examination of language used by and about cultish organizations, and how that language commands power. Montell researched such notorious cults and cult leaders as Heaven’s Gate and Jonestown, and also investigated how the words and language often used by cults, what people sometimes think is “brainwashing”, is also used in organizations such as tech start-ups and SoulCycle. Why do these words make people more susceptible to outside influence? Who is more susceptible to cultish language? Get ready to stay up all night reading because this book is FASCINATING.

Backlist bump: Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language by Amanda Montell

cover of sisters of the snake

Sisters of the Snake by Sarena and Sasha Nanua

And last, but not least, a fun debut YA fantasy in with a sort of magical Prince and the Pauper storyline about twin sisters—written by twin sisters! Princess Rani wants nothing more than to get away from her life at the palace. Ria is a street urchin who must break the law just to stay alive. When the two meet by chance, they immediately recognize that they are identical, and decide to swap places. But each sister’s dwelling comes with dangers, and as they both realize what it is they want for their futures, they will have to battle for their lives to achieve it. This is the first in a trilogy, and I can’t wait for the second one!

Backlist bump: Hunted by the Sky (The Wrath of Ambar) by Tanaz Bhathena

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 lovers! It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and the air is crackling with the excitement of new books. We are blessed with five Tuesdays this month, which means an extra new release day in June! Is that the best news or what?!? I mean, sure, I have a lot of books at my house I still haven’t read, but half the fun is in acquiring books! *dives into TBR pile and swims around like Scrooge McDuck* *gets 8 million paper cuts*

Moving on to today’s books: I’m looking forward to a lot of today’s new releases, such as Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir by Akwaeke Emezi, The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian, and The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid by Lawrence Wright. And let’s not forget that the sequel to The Golem and the Jinni, The Hidden Palace, is finally out today! 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 Ten Low, The Marvelous, The Ugly Cry, and more.

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

¡Hola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer

John Paul “JP” Brammer is a popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer, called the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation. This is his hilarious, heartfelt essay collection about his experiences growing up a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland. He began writing about his experiences with love and sex after spending time on the hookup app Grindr, after he realized he had a lot to say about how he was raised, who he was, and who he wanted to be. It’s not only a wonderful memoir, it’s an advice book told through Brammer’s own life lessons, such as hooking up with your grade school bully now that he’s out of the closet. It’s a great book for everyone.

Backlist bump: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays by Samantha Irby

The Jasmine Throne cover

The Jasmine Throne (The Burning Kingdoms Book 1) by Tasha Suri 

And this is a fabulous epic fantasy inspired by the history and stories of India. Malini is a princess held captive in a decaying temple by her dictator brother. Priya is a maidservant with a secret, who tries to keep a low profile while hiding her true nature. When Malani becomes privy to Priya’s true self, it sets them off on a journey to take down her brother and save the empire, while dealing with their feelings for each other along the way. Priya and Malani have an electric connection and it’s fun to watch them go after the patriarchy. This is a fantastic entry into a new trilogy and I can’t wait to read more!

Backlist bump: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

cover of rabbits by terry miles

Rabbits by Terry Miles

So, you know how sometimes I mention reading a book that didn’t quite make sense to me but loving it anyway? This is such a book. It might have to do with the fact that I haven’t listened to the podcast this is based on, but no matter, because I thought it was great fun.

It’s about a game called Rabbits. It was started in 1959 and has ten iterations with nine anonymous winners so far. K is a Rabbits obsessive, determined to be the tenth winner. And he thinks he has the tools to do it, now that a billionaire (and rumored sixth winner of the game) is backing him. But it’s hard to win a game that no one really understands, or can fully explain—and let’s not forget the people who have died trying to play it. Oh, and it also seems to be altering reality, so there’s that. Is K going to be able to win Rabbits, or will he be lost to the world? Whatever Rabbits may or may not be, I thoroughly enjoyed the book!

Backlist bump: The Vorrh by B. Catling (I don’t really understand this one either but I LOVED it.)


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 June Megalist!

Happy Tuesday, readers! There are so many great books out today, it’s almost embarrassing. June is showing off, that’s for sure. I’m so glad I started doing these megalists on the first Tuesday of each month, because it’s so hard for me to narrow down my choices. You know how I hate to make decisions! It’s an absolutely gorgeous morning in Maine as I sit here typing this. As soon as I am done, I am going to go outside and read a book. I’ve just started The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris and I’m looking forward to getting back to it. I hope you all have wonderful weather and wonderful reads where you are, 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 The Portrait of a Mirror by A. Natasha Joukovsky, Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon (always excited for a Magnetic Fields reference), and Rememberings: Scenes from My Complicated Life by Sinéad O’Connor. 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 One Last Stop, Somebody’s Daughter, Bewilderness, and more. Okay—everyone buckled in? Get ready to click your little hearts out, because here come the books! – XO, Liberty

cover of one last stop by casey mcquiston

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston ❤️

Hollow by B. Catling

Americanon: An Unexpected U.S. History in Thirteen Bestselling Books by Jess McHugh

A Lowcountry Bride by Preslaysa Williams 

A Study in Crimson: Sherlock Holmes 1942 by Robert J. Harris

We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman

Written in Bone: Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind by Sue Black

Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martínez

Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir by Ashley C. Ford ❤️

The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage by Sasha Issenberg 

cover of instructions for dancing by nicola yoon

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

Las Biuty Queens: Stories by Iván Monalisa Ojeda, Hannah Kauders (translator) ❤️

The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu

There Plant Eyes: A Personal and Cultural History of Blindness by M. Leona Godin

Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams ❤️

Black Snake: Standing Rock, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Environmental Justice by Katherine Wiltenburg Todrys

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid ❤️

House of Sticks: A Memoir by Ly Tran

Double Blind by Edward St Aubyn

Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park ❤️

cover of A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions by Sheena Boekweg

A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions by Sheena Boekweg 

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin ❤️

The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell

Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand 

A Chorus Rises (A Song Below Water) by Bethany C. Morrow ❤️

Pure Flame: A Legacy by Michelle Orange

The (Un)Popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin ❤️

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

cover of with teeth by kristen arnett

With Teeth: A Novel by Kristen Arnett ❤️

Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašic

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa ❤️

The Ship of Stolen Words by Fran Wilde

An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi 

The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease by Daisy Hernández ❤️

Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia L. Smith

Future Feeling by Joss Lake ❤️

Field Study by Chet’la Sebree

Girl One by Sara Flannery Murphy ❤️

cover of Walking on Cowrie Shells: Stories by Nana Nkweti

Walking on Cowrie Shells: Stories by Nana Nkweti

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag ❤️

Rememberings: Scenes from My Complicated Life by Sinéad O’Connor

Simone Breaks All the Rules by Debbie Rigaud 

The Ninth Metal (The Comet Cycle) by Benjamin Percy ❤️

How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith III

Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin ❤️

The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation by Zachary M. Schrag

Buy Me Love by Martha Cooley

cover of dead dead girls

Dead Dead Girls (A Harlem Renaissance Mystery) by Nekesa Afia ❤️

The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace Perry

Bewilderness by Karen Tucker ❤️

The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America by Carol Anderson

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo ❤️

Anne of Manhattan by Brina Starler

Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June ❤️

Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization by Edward Slingerland

Ace of Spades cover

Ace Of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé ❤️

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Shoko’s Smile: Stories by Choi Eunyoung, Sung Ryu (translator)

The Portrait of a Mirror: A Novel by A. Natasha Joukovsky

The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver


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, star bits! I had a satisfying weekend of reading and I hope that you did, too. I got a little of everything under my belt this weekend: a contemporary YA novel, a mystery, a fairy tale, a true crime book (which I could only read in the early parts of the day), an apocalyptic sci-fi novel, a thriller, and some experimental fiction from an indie press. Have I mentioned lately how much I love books?!? Let me just say it again now: YAY, BOOKS!

Moving on to today’s books: I’m looking forward to a lot of today’s new releases, such as How to Mars by David Ebenbach, Burn It All Down by Nicolas DiDomizio, A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia, and The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley. 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 Impostor Syndrome, Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating, Version Zero, and more.

And don’t miss it: we’ve got a giveaway for a chance to win an iPad Mini! Enter here.

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

cover of The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji

The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji, Hong-Li Wong (translator)

Originally released in 1987, The Decagon House Murders is a Japanese isolated mystery novel that takes its influence from And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. In this book, a college club of mystery lovers decide to spend their break in a ten-sided home on an isolated island that was the scene of a grisly quadruple homicide six months earlier. What they don’t know is someone has sent letters to members of the club who are not in attendance, claiming they murdered one of their members a year earlier. And the sender claims to be one of the island murder victims from six months before. While people on the mainland rush to solve the mystery of the letters, the seven people on the island cut off from civilization start dying one by one…

This is a quick, fun puzzle mystery, and I particularly enjoyed the many discussions the characters have that dissect different mystery tropes and plots, and how they put them to use once they find themselves in a real-life murder mystery.

(CW for mention of sexual assault, violence, bodily harm, and murder.)

Backlist bump: The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada, Ross Mackenzie

cover of No One Returns From the Enchanted Forest

No One Returns From the Enchanted Forest by Robin Robinson

And if you’re a fan of fun graphic novels with fantasy storylines about brave characters, this one will be right up your alley! Bix and Pella are goblin sisters who live in a village wracked by earthquakes. If someone doesn’t do something soon, their whole world will be destroyed. According to goblin legend, the person in charge of earthquakes is the Earth Queen, whose tower resides in the middle of the Enchanted Forest. So armed with her sister, Bix, who has had to look after Pella since their parents died, and a skein of yarn to find their way back home, the goblin sisters will venture where few have gone—and from where fewer have returned. This is a charming story about sisters and bravery and is perfect for readers of all ages!

Backlist bump: Beetle & the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne (Author, Illustrator), Kristen Acampora (Colorist), Natalie Riess (Colorist)

cover of The Apocalypse Seven by Gene Doucette

The Apocalypse Seven by Gene Doucette

And last, but not least: I was completely sucked into this novel about the seven supposedly last people on the planet who are trying to work out what happened to the rest of the world. When Touré goes to bed in Cambridge, it’s a regular night. But when he wakes up, the world seems to have ended overnight. But it can’t be possible—there’s no way the buildings could have crumbled and nature could have taken over all in one night. As he wanders around, perplexed, he encounters more people who are equally as confused. But it is what it is—they must now figure out how to survive the freakish weather patterns and the hungry predators who linger outside their shelter, and possibly go in search of other people. And no matter what the seven think has happened, it’s not going to be anything they—or the readers—will expect.

I will admit that I was a little like “okayyyyyyy” when the cause is revealed, but it was so fun that I was pulled right back in and went with it. It’s a very funny book full of heart.

(CW for ableism, mass death caused by the apocalypse, violence, and animal death (for food and protection reasons.))

Backlist bump: The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette


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