I don’t really remember adding a lot of books to my TBR this month, but somehow I ended up with another 72 books added in August! Most of them were thrillers that I found just through my Goodreads news feed, but I also added quite a few YA fantasy books too. Actually, I’d say that the vast majority of the books I added this month were because I recognized the author’s name and wanted to keep track of their next release, even though some aren’t coming for several months! At some point, I should probably go back and total up how many books I added all year. That might be something fun to include in my December Stacking the Shelves this year, if I remember to do it. Aside from bulking up my Goodreads TBR, I’ve had a lot of fun adding books onto my Amazon and Indigo wishlists, especially since my birthday is coming up next month. One of the side effects of the pandemic was losing library access for the past year and a half, so I’ve been buying a ton of books, and need to keep restocking my wishlist with new titles that are coming out! I’ve already started looking ahead to 2022 releases that I might want to preorder, even though it’s much too early for that now. It also helps that we’re getting closer to the time were new reading challenges for next year will come out, and I know I’ll be looking for books to fit specific prompts too. I’m hoping to be able to use the library again next year, but given the way COVID numbers are currently going in my area, it seems unlikely that I’ll have it for a while. In the meantime, at least I’ve added a ton more books to my Goodreads TBR so I can remember to eventually pick them up!
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week. It is hosted by TyngaReviewsand ReadingReality.
1) The Good Lie by A.R. Torre
If I remember correctly, I added this book because it came up as a Goodreads Giveaway and it just looked intriguing! It is about a psychiatrist named Dr. Gwen Moore who has spent a decade treating notorious predators, much like the serial killer whose latest victim escaped and identified their captor as the local high school teacher, Randall Thompson. Defense attorney Robert Kavin, who is himself the father of one of this killer’s victims, is convinced that Thompson is innocent, and steps in to represent him. Robert recruits Gwen to interview the suspect and create a profile of the killer and his victims to help clear his client’s name, but as she dives deeper into the case, she starts to suspect that Robert might be the one hiding something. I’ve always found criminal psychology fascinating, although I’m way too much of a coward to work in that field myself. I’m a little confused about how Robert is able to take on the case since his own son was a victim since that seems like a conflict of interest, but I’m very interested to see how this one plays out. I love thrillers that focus on psychology and this one sounds right up my alley. I didn’t think I’d heard of this author before, but I saw The Girl in 6E on her page on Goodreads. I haven’t read that one either, but I remember strongly considering adding it to my TBR a few years ago and I’m not entirely sure why I never did.
2) Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins
There seems to be a bit of a trend in the past few years toward thrillers involving nannies, although this one seems to have put a different spin on it. This book is about a woman named Sue who is feeling lost after her father suddenly dies, leaving her orphaned in her mid-twenties. When Sue runs into Annie, the woman who used to be her live-in nanny, she is eager to welcome Annie back into her life and they soon become inseparable again. Soon, Sue begins to discover the truth about Annie’s time at her house and especially her departure, and begins to grow increasingly more worried for the safety of the children who are currently in Annie’s care. This book is not due out until the end of November, but the early reviews have been quite strong so far aside from a few complaints that the book is a bit slow-paced. I’m definitely interested in giving this one a try to see for myself, since it sounds like such a great premise! I’ve read a few books in the past couple of years that focus on creepy nannies or characters who themselves are nannies in homes that seem a bit suspicious. I’m not sure why this has become such a trend, but so far I’ve really enjoyed all of the books I’ve read that fit into it, so I’m hoping to like this one too.
3) The Silent Speak by Val Collins
This is another book that must have come up just on my Goodreads feed, and the cover caught my attention. It is about a journalist named Aoife (which I’ve just learned is pronounced Ee-fa), who is settling into a new relationship with Detective Conor Moloney and trying to win the trust of his teenage son. When the horrific news comes in that an entire family has been killed in their own home, Aoife is shocked to discover that two of the victims were members of her on-and-off book club, and police believe it was a murder-suicide. When the suspect’s sister Lisa reaches out to Aoife and offers her access to the victims’ extended family for an exclusive news story in exchange for help finding the real killer, Aoife is quick to accept. As she digs further into the secrets of the other members of her book club, she discovers potential suspects everywhere and begins to wonder if the killer is really dead as everyone suspects, or if they might still be somewhere out there. To be honest, I don’t think I looked at the synopsis much at all when I first added this one because I didn’t remember anything about it, but it sounds so good! I love the idea of the main character digging into her own book club to find out if anyone could have been involved. This book has been out since February, so I’m a little surprised I hadn’t heard of it until now. Upon checking what else this author has written, I see two other books that feature Aoife, although they are not marked as a series so I’m not entirely sure if they need to be read in order.
4) The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
I could have sworn I found this one via someone’s Youtube channel, but I can’t figure out whose it was! I thought it was BooksAndLala but I don’t seem to see any indication on the Goodreads page that she’s even marked this one as TBR. This book is about a woman named Frida who is struggling with a cheating husband as well as a career that does not seem to live up to all the sacrifices her immigrant parents made for her. Frida lives in a state where mothers can be sent to a government reform program to win back custody of their child if they are reported for any kind of bad parenting. On a particularly rough day, Frida makes the mistake of leaving her toddler alone for a couple of hours, and is reported by her neighbours, causing her to be sent to the reform school to prove that she can learn to be a good mother and get her daughter back. This sounds like one of the most unique premises for a dystopian book that I’ve seen in a long time, and seems especially creepy since as far as I can tell, the world that Frida lives in is otherwise not too different from our own. I really wish I remembered where I first found this one, but at least I added it to my list right away. This book won’t be out until January 2022, and I’m very interested to see what others think of it as more reviews come in.
5) Overturned by Lamar Giles
I added this one to my TBR because I was in the middle of reading Not So Pure and Simple by this author, and decided to see what else he had written. For some reason, I had assumed that Not So Pure and Simple was his debut, which is especially strange since I remembered seeing this book on Goodreads a few years ago. I guess I never knew the author’s name, and hadn’t even added it to my TBR at the time. This book is about a girl named Nikki whose father is on death row for killing his best friend during a gambling dispute, although he has spent the past five years insisting that he is innocent. Nikki wants no part of the case and has instead been working on playing illegal card games to save up money so she can leave once she graduates. When new evidence comes up that gets her father released from prison, her life becomes a mess since her father is obsessed with finding out who framed him and Nikki soon gets drawn into his hunt for the truth. I’m pretty sure the main reason I didn’t add this book originally is because I saw gambling in the synopsis and that immediately put me off. That’s really something that I’m not interested in reading about, but now that I’ve read and loved another book by this author, I’m a little more willing to give this one a chance.
6) Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
I’d been seeing this book around quite a bit without really bothering to look into what it was about, until I saw it mentioned by Heather on the Youtube channel Bookables! As soon as I listened to her describe it, I knew it was something that I wanted to try. This book is about a woman named Finlay who is a struggling novelist going through a particularly rough time. When she is overheard discussing the plot of her suspense book with her agent over lunch, someone mistakes her for a contract killer and Finlay inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of their husband for them. Interested in what would make this woman want to kill her husband, and also intrigued by the prospect of getting so much money, Finlay begins to investigate the man she’s been hired to kill and soon learns that real crimes are much more complicated than writing them in fiction. This book just sounds like so much fun and I’m glad I finally looked a little deeper into what it was about. I was actually a little surprised to see that there is already a sequel due out in February which also sounds very interesting. I may have to add these two into my challenge plans for next year!
7) These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall
I added three books by this author to my TBR this month and even bought two of them from Book Outlet, but of the three, this is the one that interests me the most! This book is about a woman named Mickie who creates “digital scrapbooks” for clients to ensure that their souvenirs are not lost or forgotten. When her most recent client, Nadia, dies in an apparent suicide, Mickie decides to honour her last wish and curate her set of 12 items that she collected from flea markets across the country. However, it soon seems that these items mean a lot to someone else too, when Mickie starts to receive threatening messages telling her to leave Nadia’s past alone, and discovering the truth might lead her to cross paths with a killer. I was a little upset to find that the average Goodreads rating for one of the books that I already bought by this author was extremely low (2.9 stars!) immediately after I bought it, but I’m still very intrigued to try out her books. This one in particular just came out in September and although it’s the one that interests me most, I’m a little hesitant to buy it until I’ve at least read one more by this author to make sure that I like her first. I’m hoping I’ll enjoy her writing as much as I expect, and I’d especially love to give this book a try next year!
8) A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
This one caught my attention because there was a lot of buzz about it on Twitter due to a controversy with its release and early reviews. From what I was able to gather, it seemed that Amazon was not allowing reviewers to post any reviews for this book. I’m not entirely sure what happened or why, since I now can’t seem to find any details about this, but there was a lot of attention to it on Twitter because it was viewed as an attempt to squash hype around a book by a trans author and featuring sapphic characters. If someone knows more about what happened, please let me know! I’m especially confused because I was under the impression that reviews couldn’t’ be posted until a book was already out, so I must have missed something. Victoria Lee posted on Twitter about the issue and the impact a lack of early reviews could potentially have on sales, although luckily, it seems that her sales have still been strong since it is currently listed on a few of the Best Sellers list for Teen & Young Adult books. Either way, this book sounds very interesting. It is about a girl named Felicity who has returned to Dalloway School to finish her senior year after taking some time off after the death of someone close to her, and finds herself living back in the dorm rumoured to be haunted by the spirits of five students that were accused of witchcraft. While at the school, Felicity meets Ellis, a young writing prodigy who asks for her help researching the Dalloway Five for her next book, and quickly agrees to help her only to find history repeating itself. I absolutely love dark academia and books about witchcraft, so this one seems right up my alley!
9) The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda
I’m pretty sure I saw this one on Goodreads a few months ago but decided not to add it because I’d assumed it was non-fiction. When it came up again on my feed a couple of weeks ago, I looked into it a bit more and it actually sounds so good! This book begins in the 1960s where 17 people die of cyanide poisoning at a party given by the owners of a prominent clinic. The only remaining links to the case are a cryptic verse thought to be left by the killer, and the physician’s daughter Hisako who is blind and who was the only person spared injury in the attack. When the prime suspect commits suicide a few months later, most assume it’s a sign of his guilt and that the case is over. However, police are convinced that Hisako played a role in the crime and many in the town seem to think the same, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders, who was a childhood friend of Hisako’s and also a witness to the discover of the murders. The truth behind the case is revealed through testimony of a variety of different people involved in the case. This book reminds me a bit of Confessions by Kanae Minato, mostly because of the Japanese setting as well as the structure of having different characters discussing the crime. That book was one of my favourites when I read it a few years back, and I’d love to read more thrillers like it. Given that this one has some similar elements, I suspect it’s something I might enjoy.
10) Book Lovers by Emily Henry
I was so surprised to see the next Emily Henry book had already been announced! I’ve loved her two adult contemporary romances so far, and I’m really looking forward to reading another one. This book is about a woman named Nora who is convinced that she needs to become more like the heroines in the books she reads. Nora agrees to go on a trip with her sister Libby, where she keeps running into Charlie Lastra, a brooding editor from the city whom she has met several times before, and it has always gone badly. As the two of them keep getting thrown together through a series of coincidences, they discover things that might unravel the stories they’ve crafted for their own lives. At first glance, this does seem quite similar to Beach Read but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, given how much I loved that book! I also tend to enjoy characters who are readers or work with books, and this one has both. So far, her previous two romances have both been favourite books of the year in 2020 and 2021, and I’m hoping that this one will end up becoming another favourite too. It is not due out until May, but it will be very high on my list to preorder a little closer to the release date.
11) The Island House by Amanda Brittany
This was one of several thrillers that I added to my list all at once because their covers caught my attention. I’m always so drawn to these covers with houses on them, and I still don’t know why. This book is about a woman named Alice whose father has died in a hit and run accident, and his death stirs up questions about her childhood. Alice especially wants to know who her mother was and why she can’t remember anything of her life before age seven. When she receives an anonymous letter containing a photo of a refurbished guesthouse surrounded by water with an invitation to stay there, old memories begin to resurface. Alice is convinced that she has been to this hotel before, and decides to go back only to find herself cut off when a huge storm comes in. When two other guests are found dead and the hotel owner is missing, Alice must hurry to uncover her past and get off of the island alive. I thought that I hadn’t heard of the author before, but I’ve just noticed another book by her as well as another author on my TBR that I just added in May (which, ironically enough, is another thriller involving a nanny). This book sounds like exactly the kind of thriller I tend to enjoy and although it may not be top priority on my list right now, I’m looking forward to eventually giving it a try.
12) Knot My Type by Evie Mitchell
To be honest, this book is a little outside of my comfort zone but I was intrigued because of the representation. This book is about a woman named Frankie uses a wheelchair, and she is also the host of the All Access Podcast which aims at breaking down barriers around sex for people with disabilities. When a listener asks for advice about accessible rope play, Frankie realizes she doesn’t know what to tell them and sets out to find a partner to try it with her. She soon meets Jay, a carpenter who is not interested in committing to just one person, but Frankie does not want to be anyone’s second choice. I love that this book involves a main character who has a disability, since that is a kind of representation that I very rarely see in these kinds of romance books. To be fair, I’m still very new to the genre so it’s possible that I just don’t know where to look. The plot of this one reminds me a little bit of The Kiss Quotient, which I really enjoyed. I’m also very intrigued to see how the topic of disability and sexuality is handled since it is something that still seems to be very stigmatized. I came across this book on Goodreads completely by chance, but it seems like a fun addition to my TBR.