May 2019 TBR

(#partner #freebooks: All books noted by asterisks (**) indicate I received the book for free from the publisher, the author, or another promotional company to review. All opinions are my own.)

May 2019 TBR

These monthly TBR posts are almost comical because I rarely stick to them. I’m such a mood reader, so while I list them here with the best of intentions, not all of them have made the cut by month’s end. 🤷🏼‍♀️

** The Farm by: Joanne Ramos (Random House) – On Shelves: May 7, 2019

  • I’m all about books that push the boundaries of our thinking and this one promises to mess with your mind. Hosts live on the grounds of a retreat, all their needs (money, food, etc) met while they are pregnant. Once they give birth, the baby is given to a wealthy client. With themes of motherhood and privileged lifestyles vs those who have less, I hope this one delivers. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews and DNFs but I’m hopeful I’ll enjoy it!

Beyond the Point by: Claire Gibson (William Morrow) – Pub Date: April 2, 2019

  • I have yet to see a negative review for this one. I’m so glad I added it to my Book of the Month box last month!

Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by: Jacob Tobia (Putnam) – Pub Date: March 5, 2019

  • I still can’t believe I haven’t made the time for this one yet because it’s probably the one I want to read the most! 

The Affairs of the Falcóns by: Melissa Rivero (ECCO) – Pub Date: April 2, 2019

  • I started this one on audio and the writing was just too beautiful to miss so I ordered the book. It’s here now and I can’t wait to read it. I’ve only seen great reviews!

** Waisted by: Randy Susan Meyers (Atria) – On Shelves: May 21, 2019

** What Matters Most: The Get Your Shit Together Guide to Wills, Money, Insurance, and Life’s “What Ifs” by: Chanel Reynolds (Harper Wave) – Pub Date: March 19, 2019

  • Who doesn’t need help when it comes to wills and money? My husband and I are in a place where we’re wanting to review our options and I’m looking forward to the advice in this one!

** Necessary People by: Anna Pitoniak (Little, Brown and Company) – On Shelves: May 21, 2019

  • Toxic female friendship? I’m intrigued. This is also a Book of the Month selection this month so I think it’s going to be showing up quite a bit soon!

The Mother-in-Law by: Sally Hepworth (St. Martin’s) – Pub Date: April 23, 2019

  • This is another book I’ve seen mostly good reviews on. I’m not sure it’s much of a thriller; as I understand it, it’s more of a deep character study? I’m not sure, but I’m excited to get to it!

** The Flatshare by: Beth O’Leary (Flatiron) – Pub Date: April 18, 2019

  • I think this one is going to be a great “brain candy” read, as my friend Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves) likes to call them. I usually refer to them as “palate cleansers” – just something light and easy and enjoyable, particularly after a dark and/or heavy read! Also, this is what summer/beach reading is all about!

** Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by: Anna Quindlen (Random House) – Pub Date: April 23, 2019

  • Like everyone else, I’m going to try to read this one quickly before Mother’s Day so I can pass it along to a grandma in my life! 

 

My Week in Books

(#partner #freebooks. Thank you, Scribner; Skyhorse Publishing; William Morrow; and TLC Book Tours, for the free books to review. All opinions are my own.)

Last Week’s Reads:

  • Social Creature by: Tara Isabella Burton (William Morrow)
    • This one creeped me out! This quick and easy read was the perfect palate cleanser for me after reading The Huntress. 
  • The Huntress by: Kate Quinn (William Morrow)
    • I loved learning about the Soviet Union’s all-female night bombers and I loved following along as the characters tracked down The Huntress, but overall, this book didn’t hold up as well as The Alice Network (my full review here) for me. For my full thoughts, read my full review here.

Currently Reading/Listening:

  • The Island of Sea Girls by: Lisa See (Scribner) – Pub Date: March 5, 2019
    • So far, this one is interesting and I’m intrigued by the premise. However, the pace is slow and I’m concerned I may end up losing interest. I’m gonna push through a little more, but it may end up being a DNF. Stay tuned!
  • The Wrong End of the Table: A Mostly Comic Memoir of a Muslim Arab Woman Just Trying to Fit In by: Ayser Salman (Skyhorse Publishing) – Pub Date: March 5, 2019
    • “Forty-something years is a long time for someone to feel like an outsider in a nation made up of immigrants.” This quote is from the first few pages, and if it’s any indication for what’s to come…I’m here for it!
  • Dying: A Memoir by: Cory Taylor (Text Publishing)
    • I began this one and really enjoyed it, but I have more pressing books I need to get to before I feel like I can fully engage in this one. It’s a library book so I’ll hold onto it until its due date, but it may just not be the time for me. At only 140 pages, I’m really hoping to just devote and afternoon to it and finish it. 
  • 🎧Audio: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by: Cheryl Strayd (Random House Audio)
    • Let’s be honest for a second: I haven’t listed to this for a couple of weeks now. But I LOVE it and it’s one of those kinds of books that are totally fine to dip in and out of. So for the sake of repetition, this is probably the last week this one will be on the list – until I actually get it finished!

Likely to Read Next:

  • Daisy Jones and The Six: by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Random House) – Pub Date: March 5, 2019
    • I mean, duh! Who isn’t planning on reading this ASAP?! I’ve only heard one mediocre review so this may just be my most highly anticipated books!

Tell me, friends, what’s been your favorite reads lately?

Upcoming March Releases I’m Excited About!

March 5:

March1

  • Gingerbread by: Helen Oyeyemi (Riverhead)
    • I’m not usually a fan of fantasy/fairy tale retellings; however, I continue to see rave reviews about this one! I’m curious to check it out!
  • A Woman is No Man by: Etaf Rum (Harper)
    • Kourtney (one of my #bookstagram friends who also co-hosts the page, Salt Water Reads) suggested this one and she has yet to steer me wrong. (She also highly suggested The Kiss Quotient – one of my favorite books from last year.) It’s also received glowing reviews from a few other trusted people I follow.
  • The Island of Sea Women by: Lisa See (Scribner)
    • So many people loved See’s previous book, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird LaneUnfortunately, that one never made it onto my #tbr, so I’m going to give this one a try. Many love her writing style and I’m excited to see for myself!

 

March2

  • When All is Said by: Anne Griffin (Thomas Dunne Books)
    • I’m always intrigued by the concept of who forms us, who influences us, and who has the biggest impact on our lives. This book is about a man who toasts the five most influential people in his life: his older brother, his troubled sister-in-law, his daughter, his son, and his wife.
  • Before She Knew Him by: Peter Swanson (William Morrow)
    • After enjoying The Silent Patient (my review here) from last month, I’m willing to give another psychological thriller a try. I generally shied away from thrillers, but I think the added psychological component works for me.

March 19:

March3

  • Queenie by: Candice Carty-Williams (Orion Publishing)
    • You’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard about this one! It’s everywhere! While I have yet to read Americanah, it has been compared to it. And everybody I know loves Americanah…so it sounds like I need to get on the bandwagon for both of these!
  • A People’s History of Heaven by: Mathangi Subramanian (Algonquin)
    • This one sounds so beautiful. Described as having themes of love and friendship, community, strong female characters, and fighting for your people and your home against outside forces that threaten to destroy them…it sounds like a wonderful book!
  • If, Then by: Kate Hope Day (Random House)
    • Four neighbors begin to see themselves in parallel realties…and I’m intrigued!
  • The Things We Cannot Say by: Kelly Rimmer (Graydon House)
    • We all know I love good WWII historical fiction and this one sounds so good! From the Goodreads synopsis: “Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative that weaves together two women’s stories into a tapestry of perseverance, loyalty, love and honor. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced…and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.”

Phew! That was a lot, but those are my most anticipated March releases!

What’s on your “must read” list for March?

The Huntress

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(Thank you, William Morrow and TLC Book Tours, for the free book to review. All opinions are my own.)

As a huge fan of Kate Quinn’s last novel, The Alice Network (read my review here), I was beyond excited to dig into her latest novel. The Huntress follows three main characters and the story alternates between their perspectives.

Nina was a Night Witch during the war – an all-women night bomber regime from the Soviet Union. After being shot down behind enemy lines, she barely escapes a deadly encounter with The Huntress. Ian Graham is a Nazi hunter who wants to find The Huntress and bring her to justice. Ian and Nina team up to hunt her down, and their mission takes them over seas to post-war Boston. There they meet Jordan, a seventeen-year-old aspiring photographer. Jordan is suspicious of the woman her dad has recently married, and feels there is something odd about her story of her past. When all three of these characters’ (along with Tony) worlds collide, they realize they’re all hunting the same woman – The Huntress.

One thing that attracted me to this story was yet another perspective I hadn’t heard before – that of the Night Witches. This, along with the Nina’s character, were by far my favorite part of the book. I loved Nina’s independence, fearlessness, and feistiness. She evolved into a character I really came to like. I loved how her past totally influenced her present guardedness and I would have loved a novel solely focused on her.

I honestly lost interest in Jordan’s part of the story. I found it very predictable. While I loved her relationship with her father, it wasn’t enough for me to get truly invested in her story. Sadly, I think her sections detracted from the overall story and so I continued to hope to get to the point where I wanted to read the rest of the story so much I couldn’t put the book down, but it never came. There were times I felt like it was work to read…and that made me so sad.

This was a long book…one that was just okay for me. I wanted to love it as much as The Alice Network, but something was just missing throughout for me. However, learning about the Night Witches and what an awesome (never-before-heard-of) aspect of WWII was worth the read to me!

 

 

 

 

My Week in Books (2/11/19)

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(#partner #free books. Thank you, Random House and Farrar, Straus and Giroux via NetGalley , for free books to review. All opinions are my own.)

Last Week’s Reads:

“Throughout my life, the most consistent way I’ve revealed who I really am is through whom I’ve chose to love.”

As a Black woman working for the Feds in the 1980s, Marie Mitchell is sick of being passed over for high profile cases simply because she’s not a man. The United States is on the verge of the Cold War, but her big chance finally comes when she is given a mission by the CIA to go to West Africa to help infiltrate the President of a small country.

This is Wilkinson’s debut novel and she shows a lot of promise. Her writing is good and it’s well-researched. However, I found the storyline a little confusing. She switched from first- to third-person without any real transitions and I often found myself rereading passages because I was confused.

The storyline is intriguing, but I wanted to enjoy this story more than I did. I was invested enough to see it to the end and I definitely wanted to see how it all wrapped up, but even that left me underwhelmed.

Unfortunately, this book wasn’t a big hit with me.

It’s impressive how much Taylor Jenkins Reid packs into this teeny, tiny short story. The story is told solely through letters – a wife finds letters to her husband from his mistress, so she begins writing letters to the mistress’ husband, who then begins to write her back. If you feel like you’re in the middle of a love triangle (err, square), you are…and it’s a quick and wild ride! In the end, you’re left with feelings of hope, sadness, despair, and wonder. If you need something quick to occupy your mind, grab this one! At only about 100 pages, I was amazed, once again, at TJR’s ability to pull at my heartstrings…I love her writing!

Unfortunately, this is a DNF for me at about 40%. I gave it a valiant effort because I liked the premise – siblings must cross war-torn Syria to lay their father’s body to rest. The writing is slow and meditative – not always a problem for me – but in this instance, it just didn’t work. I slowly found myself not caring.

I loved this book and still can’t stop thinking about it – read my full review here.

Currently Reading/Listening:

Likely to Read Next:

 

Tell me, friends, what’s been your favorite reads lately?