May was an interesting month – I picked up a lot of books just for the pleasure of reading, without worrying about reviewing them or posting about them and it’s made my reading a lot more enjoyable. I have been reading a lot of books I’ve owned for a long time, and some were unexpectedly amazing reads (The Metamorphosis!) and some were big fails (The Narrow Road to the Deep North… sigh), but now I have a lot more space on my TBR shelf, which is perfect timing because I plan to get new books in June!
I wrote in the beginning of the year a list of 2021 Releases I’m Anticipating, but since I write this in December/January, I always miss on a lot of books released later in the year. So today I wanted to list a bunch of books I am really anticipating for the second half of 2021! I buy books every few months, so this is a handy guide for future me to check what books I’d like to get. I’ve narrowed my list down to 12 for practical reasons – I don’t want to write this post for HOURS, there are so many great books coming out in the next months!).
Without further ado: the books I am most excited for released on the second semester of 2021!
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston Expected publication: June 1st 2021
I am not a big romance reader, but I am highly anticipating this one because… well, it’s Casey McQuiston.
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid Expected publication: June 1st 2021
I loved all Taylor Jenkins Reid books and I love reading family drama mysteries, especially when I’m on vacation! I think this was supposed to release in May, but seems to have been pushed a few days.
Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.
The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.
Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.
And Kit has a couple secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.
By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.
Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris Expected publication: June 1st 2021
I already read this horror book and REALLY enjoyed it so much, I’m really excited for it to be released!
Get Out meets The Stepford Wives in this electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.
Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.
It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.
A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.
I still gravitated towards fantasy this week but I did branch out a little bit and picked up the first nonfic after a while. I have been more interested in non-fiction lately, which is not good news for my TBR, but coincidentally (or not) I’ve also been less interested in other genres I used to read more of, so maybe that balances it out. My TBR has finally gone below 140 books, which I feel very proud of. I still have 38 books to go (plus however many I decide to add in the meantime) before I hit my goal, but I’m starting to feel that it is a feasible goal, if a bit challenging.
I saw on Sarah’s and Ally’s blogs this really cool post comparing reading tastes and I thought it looked fun to write! I listed only the people I tend to do buddy-reads with because if I listed all the people I am friends with and have a Goodreads account, this post would never end! So if you’re not in this list it’s just because we don’t do buddy reads a whole lot.
The idea is to use the “compare books” function on Goodreads to see how similarly we read and what books we agree/disagree on. This is of course just a superficial comparison, because for example one person and I read only 71 books in common with, whereas another and I read 325. So technically this second person and I have more similar tastes than it looks because we are interested in more books in common than Goodreads takes into account when coming up with the percentage.
Last week I didn’t work on Thursday and Friday, giving me plenty of extra time to finish a few books I’d been reading and start some new stuff! I ended up DNF-ing one book this week, which is not bad at all considering I picked up 7 books in total. It’s unsurprising to me that I still gravitated towards fantasy this week (it is my favorite genre after all), but hopefully I will branch out a bit in the next weeks.
I guess this is my accountability post – as most book bloggers, I get a bit too excited requesting ARCs and now I am behind. So I thought it would be a fun idea to list all the ARCs I have still to read, and try to prioritize reading them. I ended up counting 12 titles, which is a lot less than I thought I had, but also will take me a LONG time to read all of these, especially as they’re all digital copies and I’ve been on the mood for paperbacks lately (no idea why). I’ve finally picked up one ARC this month (Lonely Castle in the Mirror by by Mizuki Tsujimura), but have generally been pretty bad at reading and reviewing them.
Have you read any of these? I’d love suggestions of which book I should pick up first!
A while ago I wrote about light-hearted reads, books I read that made me feel happy and warm during anxious times (I guess we all have a need for cute reads during these past year), and today I wanted to write something similar but not exactly the same – books that I read during these past year and made me remember why I loved reading so much while also putting a smile on my face. I tend to read a lot of bleak fiction, dark fantasies and such, but I do enjoy reading happy stuff once in a while, and I have been gravitating towards these kind of books this past year, and they helped me re-discover my love for a genre I had been a bit disenchanted by lately (fantasy!) and I think it might make other readers also remember why they loved reading in the first place. Books have made a huge difference in my mental health for years now and have been my constant companions in so many different times in my life, so I am always happy to recommend books to other people in hopes that they’ll fall in love, too!
If you’d like to check out my posts about light, fun books:
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune is a popular fantasy that has become everyone’s favorite heartwarming reads for a reason! It takes place in an orphanage for magical children, where Linus Baker is sent to inspect and write a report on the safety and health of the children and supervise the mysterious master of the orphanage, Mr. Parnassus. This is a whimsical, adorable story that made me laugh out loud! If you love found family tropes and enjoy middle grade books, I am so sure you will love this! This book makes you instantly happy.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers is a well-known cozy science fiction book of the Wayfarer series. This is another found family trope that I adored and I’m so glad there are three more books to the series (as of now, at least). It tells the story of a crew of misfits and their adventures in space!
Illusion by Paula Volsky is a seriously underhyped book! This charming story follows a young woman who is sent to the court to serve as maid of honor and witnesses first-hand as revolution sweeps over the country and changes the lives of everyone she knows. This is one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read and has hilarious, witty banter PLUS it’s loosely based on the French revolution. Seriously a great read.
May has been a challenging month at work so far, as I expected, and so I have been mostly drawn to cozy mysteries, thrillers and cozy SFF books – easy reads with nice, clear endings and no bleak literary fiction (which I will probably crave very soon, after so much warmth and positivity).
I haven’t been on the mood lately to post reviews and I feel a bit guilty about that – especially for books that I love, I do want to write glowing reviews and shout about these books, but also I have been enjoying so much just… reading for fun. And with no reviewing in mind, at all. This month, as said, I’m being very picky and just reading books that I think I will LOVE and it’s going really well so far.
I just realized it’s been 4 years today since I started this blog! Yay me! Queen of commitment, consistency and quality content (please stop laughing). I love blogging. I love reading. I really hope I will keep book blogging for a long time, and right now I have found a good system that works for me and I find joy in the way I blog. So I thought I’d share my terrible system with all of you!
There are THOUSANDS of book blogs, and each of us have such distinct personalities and ways to stay organized. I love seeing people talk about how they do their scheduling, how often they post, how much time they spend blogging etc, so I thought it would be a cool idea to write this post as a mix of discussion and tips. I don’t expect my tips will work for everyone, I think I’m actually a bit of an exception when it comes to the way I do blogging – I am more of a “write all my posts for the week in a day” kind of blogger, I love starting and not finishing posts right away and tend to not do much editing work. It just works for me – I like doing all the work in one go for hours than a little bit every day during the week; this stimulates my writing and creativity brain cells and I tend to write more creatively like this. On the other hand, this means I often spend half my Sunday blogging instead of, I don’t know, getting a life or something.
1. I write down my main impressions about a book on my phone or journal
Because I tend to do all my blogging on Saturdays or Sundays, this means I end up writing reviews for books days (sometimes weeks) after I’ve read them. I don’t review every single book I read, but still it’s hard to keep up. The details of what I read and my impressions start to fade pretty quickly. For this reason, I do two things to make sure my thoughts are fresh when I am ready to review:
I use either my journal or my phone’s notes app to jot down my main thoughts while I read the book, OR:
I sometimes will also sneak in other books in my reading week so that I finish the book I want to review closer to the reviewing day. I know, basically cheating.
2. I like to have dozens of drafted posts in different stages of readiness
To me, this has several advantages:
it helps me quickly write down some ideas for a post before I forget;
it gives me time mature my thoughts with no pressure to finish or polish my writing (I speak ESL, so I’m quite paranoid about sounding silly in English);
it takes off the pressure of coming up with new posts every week, because if I have no books to review or no time/energy/creativity to come up with a new post, I can just post a draft that is basically ready;
it helps me stay motivated to keep blogging, because I have something to look forward to posting.
Synopsis: Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.
There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.