Tag Archives: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s been forever since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my fall TBR, so this came at the perfect time. There are a lot of books that just give off a fall vibe that I’d like to read this season, and of course there are also my anticipated reads for the R.i.P XII readathon, so my fall TBR is sort of a balance between those two categories and new releases that I just absolutely have to pick up ASAP.

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)ThreatsHaemansBelzhar

These four books are probably at the top of my TBR for the R.i.P XII readathon. I’ve been meaning to read Deathless (and basically all of Catherynne M. Valente’s adult books) for years now, and I’ve decided that this fall is finally the time that I’m going to go for it.

I also have really high expectations for Threats by Amelia Gray; I read her collection of short stories, Gutshot, last year and went to a reading she did in my city. Threats sounds a bit more conventionally structured than Gutshot (pretty much anything is conventional compared to Gutshot) but still with a healthy dose of weirdness.

And then there’s Haemans by Nicoline Evans, which is a book that I bought at the author’s booth BookCon. It sounds dark and vampire-ish and also involves Russian royalty.

For a YA Octoberish read, I also have Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer. I actually don’t know a ton about this one, but it’s very short so I don’t want to know a whole lot. It has mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I tend to have unpopular opinions a lot of the time, so that doesn’t bother me.

SourdoughWhat HappenedOnly Ever YoursThe Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)

I think ideally I’d like to also get to my most recent Book of the Month Club pick, Sourdough by Robin Sloan, this fall; it’s about bread-baking and foodies and it sounds sort of cozy and fall-ish.

Hillary Clinton is coming to my city for a signing of her new book What Happened, and unfortunately I have to work that day but my friend is going and is hopefully going to get a copy signed for me as well. I’m definitely planning on reading this one as soon as I get the chance, and I’m probably going to cry multiple times while reading it.

For a YA dystopian read, I have Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill, which has been called the YA version of The Handmaid’s Tale and is a possible read for me for Dewey’s 24-hour readathon in October.

Another new release I’d like to get to this fall is The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin. This is the final book in my favorite current fantasy series, so I’m almost hesitant to pick it up because then it will be over 😦

Gather the DaughtersThe Female of the Species

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed is a book that just sounds like it’s right up my alley. I’ve heard amazing things so far, and all I know is that it’s about young women in a misogynistic cult who attempt to go against its teachings and escape.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis is a YA book that has been on my radar for awhile; I don’t read a ton of contemporary YA, but this is supposed to be very feminist and well-done, so I’m intrigued.

 

What’s on your fall TBR? Feel free to link me to your Top Ten Tuesday post if you’ve done one!

Top 10 Favorite Books I Read in 2016

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Here they are, after much debating and an awesome year of reading…the ten best books I read in 2016! To be clear, these weren’t all published in 2016, although a few of them were, and they aren’t necessarily ranked in order of how much I loved them. My favorites of 2016 include an essay collection, two short story collections, a historical fiction novel, a retelling of a classic novel, the next book in one of my favorite fantasy series, a beautiful science fiction novel, the first book in a sensational quartet, a genre-bending story with dual narratives, and a collection of poetry. I read a LOT of books this year, and it was hard to choose just ten to represent all of 2016, but these books all touched me in some way, and I’d highly recommend them to everyone.

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)Bad FeministThe Girl Wakes: StoriesThe Passion

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (5 stars) – this is one of the rare cases where the second book in a series is just as amazing and mind-blowing as the first. N.K. Jemisin always impresses me, but the world she’s created in the Broken Earth trilogy is so fully realized and its characters so engaging that this has become my favorite fantasy series of all time, and it’s not even over yet.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (5 stars) – this essay collection was so good that I had to buy my own copy, since my first reading was from a library book. Roxane Gay discusses feminism, racism, pop culture, and her life in a way that’s complex yet very accessible. It’s a book that I can’t wait to start lending out and will need to re-read myself at some point in the near future. I’m anxiously awaiting her memoir about her relationship with food, Hunger, which comes out in 2017.

The Girl Wakes by Carmen Lau (5 stars) – I loved every page of this book. It’s a very short collection of microfiction focused on dark fairytale retellings with feminist themes, and it’s amazing. I found it at a small press book fair last spring, and I hate the fact that if I hadn’t noticed its enticing cover on a table, I might never have found it. Reading this book really highlighted the importance of reading small press and lesser-known books, because there are incredible things to be found. The story that lingers the most in my mind is about a girl in a relationship with a vampire, but it’s not a romantic, Twilight-esque story; the vampire barely has the strength to stand, and the girl continuously murders people in order to bring him food. The shocking things that she does and the way her life descends into darkness mirrors the trajectory of an abusive relationship, and it’s shocking, heartbreaking, and extremely memorable, despite lasting only a few pages.

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson (5 stars) – this was one of the first books I read in 2016, but it’s endured as one of the very best. This was also my introduction to Jeanette Winterson’s writing and made me want to read everything she’s ever written. It’s beautifully crafted historical fiction that follows a young man who joins Napoleon’s army and a bisexual Venetian woman, both becoming entrenched in different types of passion that may or may not consume their lives. It’s about the nature of love and obsession, and it’s heartbreaking yet beautiful. And the prose is just gorgeous.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels #1)Wide Sargasso SeaMr. Splitfoot

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (5 stars) – this book hits almost every note that I look for in science fiction: the writing is wonderful, the focus is on character-building and the interactions between different types of beings in a complex universe, Chambers hits upon universal themes yet approaches them in a unique way, and the world-building is detailed and well-thought-out. I’ve found a new favorite author in Becky Chambers, and I’m currently reading the companion novel to this one, A Closed and Common Orbit, which is also wonderful.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (5 stars) – I was so skeptical about Ferrante’s work, but I understood the hype almost immediately after I picked this up. The storytelling is beautiful and artful, and the focus in on two fully realized characters and their fraught, complicated relationship. It’s not at all my typical type of book, but it didn’t matter, because this book was so completely absorbing and addicting.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (5 stars) – this retelling of Jane Eyre from the perspective of Mr. Rochester’s wife made me completely rethink the entire story and its narrative. The prose is dense and lush and you feel like you’re falling into a trance every time you pick up the book. It’s bold and profoundly disturbing, intensely feminist, and it completely blew me away. Read it. Just read it.

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt (4.5 stars) – this 2016 new release is about cults and ghosts and family and love, and it’s told in this wonderful dual narrative that builds more and more tension throughout the book, ultimately culminating in a can’t-put-it-down finale.

Gutshotmilk and honey

Gutshot by Amelia Gray (4.5 stars) – This short story collection was completely, perfectly weird. A lot of the stories are microfiction, which I am a huge fan of because it depends on the author being able to cram a ton of meaning and emotion into only a few pages. I was not expecting to be so impressed with this collection when I picked it up, and now I’m planning on reading much more from Amelia Gray in the future (I’ve already picked up a copy of her novel Threats). The most striking stories in this collection included one about a giant snake that appears and physically divides a town in two, which highlights its already-present divides, and one about a woman trapped inside a house’s ventilation system.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (4.5 stars) – This is my preferred style of poetry to read – short poems in free verse with huge emotional impact. The middle two sections of this book absolutely blew me away. I read each poem at least 2-3 times because it’s impossible not to savor her words. This is the type of book I’d absolutely re-read, and you can’t help but feel deeply when you read Kaur’s words.

 

So, there they are! I’d love to hear about your favorite books of 2016–let me know in the comments what yours were and if any of them overlap with mine!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Buy if I Was Given a Loaded Gift Card

11a7d-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (http://www.brokeandbookish.com/)

If I was given a gift card good for any ten books, I’d head straight to the bookstore and probably spend hours agonizing about what books to buy. I tend to really limit my buying of new books to highly anticipated new releases, or only buy new/full-price books if I have a gift card; most of my bookish purchases are from library used book sales (although lately I’ve been binging on BookOutlet since the prices are so great). So my list has a lot of pricey and/or new hardcovers on it, because it would be such an indulgence to hit the bookstore and pick up a bunch of new releases all at once!

The Age of InnocenceArcadiaBats of the Republic: An Illuminated NovelIn the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales, #1)

I’d love to get a really nice edition of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence; from what I’ve heard about this book I think it will be a classic that I’ll end up loving.

I’ve heard that Iain Pears’s Arcadia is a creative book about traveling between worlds, and that there are multiple ways to read it; it’s definitely one I have my eye on but probably won’t get around to buying unless it pops up on BookOutlet.

Bats of the Republic by Zachary Thomas Dodson is an illuminated novel that contains illustrations and different documents; it sounds like such a cool reading experience but it’s definitely a bit pricey.

Yes, I have 2 unread books by Catherynne M. Valente on my physical TBR shelf already, but In the Night Garden just sounds so good, and I haven’t seen a copy of it anywhere.

The Last OneSleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)The Regional Office Is Under Attack!All the Birds, Singing

Three new releases I’m really interested in are The Last One by Alexandra Oliva, Sleeping Giants by Silvain Neuvel, and The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales; I also think All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld sounds amazing, but I haven’t seen it around at many bookstores.

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And I know this is cheating, but I love these colorful editions of the Harry Potter books; my hardcovers are completely falling apart! I’d love to pick these up someday. I counted these as my last 2 books even though it’s really 7 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books Set Outside the U.S.

IMG_1574Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (http://www.brokeandbookish.com/).

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This time it’s books set outside the U.S. I tried to do this theme justice, but it also highlighted a lot of books I need to get to on my TBR.

This week’s theme is difficult–are we talking real countries only or do made-up worlds count? I’m going to take this at face value and not include books set in outer space/fantasy realms/post-apocalyptic reorganized societies. I’m not going to discount SFF entirely for the list, but I’m making a rule for myself that the books need to be set in countries that actually exist. (Wow. I just made this way more difficult for myself.) I also did not count books that are set partially in the U.S. and partially in other countries (like Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu, both of which I really enjoyed.) Now that I’ve made the challenge more challenging, here are some books set outside the U.S. that I highly recommend you add to your TBRs!

My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (Italy) – fascinating in-depth portrait of female friendship and also of tumultuous 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s Naples.

The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (India) – I read this so long ago, but it was absolutely amazingly written.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (England) – of course.

Euphoria

Euphoria by Lily King (New Guinea) – this is the story of three anthropologists in a love triangle, loosely based on a true story.

The Passion

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson (France/Russia/Italy) – gorgeous short novel about love and obsession.

Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Jamaica) – feminist reinterpretation of Jane Eyre‘s memorable “madwoman in the attic.”

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (Japan) – surrealist, fantastic story about a man searching for his missing wife.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia) – epic family saga featuring magical realism that spans generations

The Girl in the Road

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne (Indonesia/Ethiopia/Indian Ocean) – creative story of two women on separate but interconnected journeys in a near-future setting.

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (Iran) – gorgeously written memoir framed by books.

And, since I’m thinking about it, here are 10 (OK, 12) books set outside the U.S. that are high on my TBR list:

Midnight's ChildrenThree SoulsAnna KareninaLagoonA Tale for the Time BeingDeathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)1Q84Half of a Yellow SunA Brief History of Seven KillingsThe Palace of IllusionsThe VegetarianThe Lake

Have you guys read any of these? Feel free to link me to your TTT below!

BTW, I’m sooooo excited for #24in48 this weekend. TBR post to come (as soon as my latest BookOutlet.com purchase gets here).

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books (with less than 2000 ratings on Goodreads)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (http://www.brokeandbookish.com/).

I LOVE the theme of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday: underrated books, particularly those with less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads. I’ve been thinking a lot about lesser-known and independently published books lately, especially since I’ve been reading more of those recently. I really want to start posting more book reviews on here, focusing on books I haven’t seen reviewed a lot around the bookternet.

To start, though, here are 10 books I’ve read with less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads that I highly recommend you all pick up:

 

The Girl Wakes: Stories

The Girl Wakes by Carmen Lau (17 ratings) – highly recommended dark fairy tale retellings with a feminist slant. A lot of these are microfiction, which I love, and all are creepy and extremely well-written.

All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost: A Novel

All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang (711 ratings) – this is a very short and gorgeously written book about writing and love.

Cuckold

Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar (725 ratings) – An intricate historical epic that I really enjoyed. From the Goodreads description: “The time is early 16th century. The Rajput kingdom of Mewar is at the height of its power. It is locked in war with the Sultanates of Delhi, Gujarat and Malwa. But there is another deadly battle being waged within Mewar itself. who will inherit the throne after the death of the Maharana? The course of history, not just of Mewar but of the whole of India, is about to be changed forever. At the centre of Cuckold is the narrator, heir apparent of Mewar, who questions the codes, conventions and underlying assumptions of the feudal world of which he is a part, a world in which political and personal conduct are dictated by values of courage, valour and courtesy; and death is preferable to dishonour. A quintessentially Indian story, Cuckold has an immediacy and appeal that are truly universal.”

The Girl in the Road

The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne (1969 ratings) – Since it’s almost there, let’s help this book hit 2,000 ratings! It’s a near-future science fiction story set in India, Ethiopia, and the newly constructed floating bridge between the two countries; it tells the intertwining stories of two women pulled into voyages for survival.

Mr. Splitfoot

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt (1690 ratings) – another book with dual narratives, although these are both set in upstate New York and deal with orphaned children talking to the dead, mysterious cults, and a woman who has lost the power of speech.

Death My Own Way

Death My Own Way by Michael Graziano (10 ratings) – short, powerful, philosophical novel set during a single night in Central Park and focused on a man with terminal cancer.

Roses and Rot

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard (418 ratings) – a story of two sisters at an isolated creative retreat that slowly becomes more and more fantastical.

Redemption in Indigo

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord (1295 ratings) – the Goodreads blurb does this book much more justice than I could: “A tale of adventure, magic, and the power of the human spirit. Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makendha—now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones—the djombi— who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world. Unfortunately, a wrathful djombi with indigo skin believes this power should be his and his alone. A contemporary fairy tale that is inspired in part by a Senegalese folk tale.” I also highly recommend Karen Lord’s better-known book The Best of All Possible Worlds.

A History of Glitter and Blood

A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz (656 ratings) – unconventional YA where bisexuality is the norm and a group of friends try to navigate a city torn apart by war and different kinds of discrimination. I keep meaning to post a longer review for this one, and I swear I’ll get to it.

God's Little Soldier

God’s Little Soldier by Kiran Nagarkar (149 ratings) – Again, the Goodreads blurb is much better than mine would be: “No matter what garb he dons, or the faith to which he subscribes, Zia believes that he is the chosen one, destined to save the world.
Gifted mathematician, stock market whiz-kid, master guerrilla strategist, Defender of the faith, Zia Khan is a man willing to die for his beliefs, and to destroy anyone who comes in his way. Zia Khan is a god’s little soldier: a terrorist.
Zia’s fate is linked with that of his brother, Amanat, who chooses the middle path. Their lives diverge and their beliefs clash, but both are confronted in their own ways with the dilemmas of faith and betrayal, god and morality.
Crafted with a deft, daring and certain hand, God’s Little Soldier is a masterpiece of storytelling. As a literary work, the novel effortlessly combines lyricism and learning, imagination and authenticity; as a modern-day allegory it highlights the dangers of religious extremism of all varieties, and is a profound and unflinching enquiry into the most pressing issues of our time.”

 

 

Looking forward to see what underrated books everyone recommends! Feel free to link to your posts in the comments 🙂

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite 2016 New Releases, So Far!

11a7d-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html).

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is favorite new releases of 2016 (so far). I only made a top 5 list; so far I’ve read 8 new releases in 2016, but only 5 of these felt worthy to go on any kind of favorites list. Also, this is possibly the shortest post I’ve ever done.

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  1. Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt (4.5 stars). I think this will end up on my overall top 10 books for the year; I highly, highly recommend this very weird book.

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2. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (4 stars) – perfect for fans of portal fantasy. I also liked that the main character was asexual, something that is rare for YA.

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3. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (4 stars) – it’s hard to blend science fiction and fantasy, but this book really made it work.

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4. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (4 stars) – wonderful romantic, escapist fantasy.

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5. Roses and Rot by Kat Howard (3.5 stars) – an absorbing fantasy perfect for creative types who like some creepiness with their fae stories.

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated New Book Releases

11a7d-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (http://www.brokeandbookish.com/).

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday in awhile, but as we approach the halfway point in 2016 I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to focus my reading for the second half of the year. (Upcoming post about this and the first half of 2016 in review will be up in the next few weeks.) This also got me thinking about what books I’m still waiting to be published this year and what I’ll be drawn to pick up and/or buy asap; there are a few of these that I’m absolutely going crazy with anticipation for. These are posted in order of release date, according to Goodreads, not according to how excited I am! I’m also really excited to check out everyone else’s posts and see what books I’m missing 🙂

So here are my top ten anticipated book releases for the second half of 2016:

 

Stiletto (The Checquy Files, #2)

The sequel to The Rook, a supernatural spy thriller with a lot of humor that I read earlier this year, is actually being released today! I have some skepticism about the fact that this sequel will be told in multiple perspectives instead of just the wonderful Myfanwy’s, but I’m definitely still going to pick it up.

Saga, Volume 6

The sixth volume of this impressive graphic novel series about love and a family attempting to escape war will be out on July 5th. This series turned me from someone skeptical about graphic novels into someone who is really impressed by the gorgeous artwork and emotions evoked in the storytelling.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

It’s out on July 31st, but most of you probably already have that marked on your calendars :). I wish I could see the play in London, but I am really interested to read the script (and to knock out another one of the Book Riot Read Harder challenge tasks). I’m also planning on avoiding spoilers like the plague.

The Last Days of New Paris

I’ve read two previous books by China Mieville (Perdido Street Station and The City and the City) and I love the creative weirdness and intense worldbuilding he brings to his storytelling. This new book has a ridiculously intriguing premise; one of the summaries calls it an “intense and gripping tale set in an alternative universe: June 1940 following Paris’ fall to the Germans, the villa of Air-Bel in Marsailles, is filled with Trotskyists, anti-fascists, exiled artists, and surrealists. One Air-Bel dissident decides the best way to fight the Nazis is to construct a surrealist bomb. When the bomb is accidentally detonated, surrealist Cataclysm sweeps Paris and transforms it according to a violent, weaponized dream logic.” It’s out on August 9th.

The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)

I NEED THIS RIGHT NOW. But I have to wait until August 16th :(. The Fifth Season, the first book in N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth series, was one of my favorite books of 2016; the book starts with the end of the world and backtracks from there in three separate perspectives. I’ve ranted about it a lot on this blog and on Goodreads, but basically if you like creative fantasy with intricate worldbuilding and human stories,  you need to get into this series immediately. I have no doubt that the sequel will live up to the premise and am fascinated to see where Jemisin takes the story next.

Furthermore

This is a middle-grade release from Tahereh Mafi, the author of the Shatter Me series, which is one of my all-time favorite YA series (and has possibly my favorite YA love interest). I don’t read middle-grade at all, but I’m a huge fan of Mafi’s writing (and this will knock off another Read Harder challenge task for me). It’s about a young girl searching for her father in a magical and dangerous land, accompanied by a boy she can’t trust, and it’s out on August 30th. Also, how beautiful is that cover? Tahereh Mafi seriously gets the most amazing cover art for her books; I love the eye motif on the Shatter Me covers.

Once Broken Faith (October Daye, #10)

Out on Sept 6th, this is book 10 in Seanan McGuire’s UF series that follows Toby, a half-fae, half-human who solves mysteries and problems in the magical realms around San Francisco. The last book I read in this series I was pretty lukewarm about, but I do want to see this out to the end. (This is not the last book.) I like a lot of things about this series (especially the characters) but it’s not my favorite.

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)

I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK I’M ALMOST AFRAID TO READ IT. It’s the 9th book in the Kate Daniels series, which is an incredibly well-done UF series set in post-apocalyptic Atlanta, where the world vacillates between being controlled by magic and technology. The humor, action, and romance is this series are all fantastic, and this book is the penultimate in the series, which means things are going to get intense. The problem is that I’m so invested in these characters that I won’t be able to handle it if anybody dies. It’s out on Sept 20th.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Six of Crows was one of my favorite books of 2015, and I’m so anxious to see how things fall together in the sequel. Since this is only a duology, not a trilogy, there’s a lot that needs to happen in this book; I can’t wait to return to the amazing characters we met in book one. Especially Kaz. It’s out on Sept 27th.

Hag-Seed (Hogarth Shakespeare)

From Goodreads: “Hag-Seed is a re-visiting of Shakespeare’s play of magic and illusion, The Tempest, and will be the fourth novel in the Hogarth Shakespeare series.” Margaret Atwood is an auto-buy author for me, so I’ll definitely be checking this out when it’s released on Oct 11th.

And…there’s no release date  yet, but I’m really anxious to read Roxane Gay’s memoir as well, which is supposed to come out sometime this year.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

 

 

What books are you looking forward to? Let me know!