I spent most of the month feeling like I hadn’t add too much to my list, but in the past week alone, I ended up adding a whole slew of thrillers! In total, I’ve added 90 books to my TBR in November which was definitely a lot more than I expected. Several of them were because I’d been looking ahead a lists of upcoming or anticipated books that are due out next year, but a lot of them are just books that I happened to notice while browsing Goodreads. That’s certainly the case for the many thrillers that I added — I clicked on one that came up in my feed, and decided to look at what else that author had written. That quickly led me down a rabbit hole of other thrillers that I noticed in the sidebar where it mentions other books that readers have also enjoyed. I don’t really take these recommendations very seriously since they often seem completely unrelated to the book itself, but many covers and titles caught my attention and I literally added around 30 books before I finally decided to stop! My TBR currently sits at 4415 books so it’s not the most realistic, but at least it gives me tons of options when it comes to planning for my next reading challenges.
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) Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy
I don’t actually remember adding this one to my list, but I’m pretty sure I found it on a list of upcoming romance releases for next year since this one is due out in March. It is a debut rom-com about a plus-size woman named Savvy, who decides that it’s finally time to tackle all of the crumbling pieces of her life. She soon finds out that the contractor she’s hired to help fix the kitchen she’s inherited from her grandmother is the same man who she’s unintentionally offended, and she also can’t seem to go anywhere without seeing her ex and his new girlfriend. Savvy soon starts to realize that she may be better off starting to change her life by focusing on how she sees herself first, before she can tackle anything else. I’ve really started to get into these kinds of romances in the past year or two and they can be a lot of fun to read! This one sounds like something I’d probably like, and I’m interested in giving it a try.
2) Dear Sister by Ruth Harrow
This was one of several books by this author that I added to my TBR after noticing one on my feed. This one is about a teacher named Rachel who would do whatever it takes to protect her sister, Laura. When their estranged father suddenly shows up and makes an accusation against Laura’s husband, Rachel discovers that everything she thought she knew was wrong. With their father trying to work his way back into their lives, Rachel finds her own world falling apart and she questions whether to trust her father or her sister since it’s clear that one of them must be lying. I added this author’s books to my list because I saw that she had been compared to Lisa Jewell, who has quickly become one of my favourite thriller authors. I’m a little surprised I haven’t heard of her before since she already has three other books out, although I’m noticing now that she’s from the UK so that might account for it. I’m in Canada, so I often find that books by British authors are harder to find.
3) The Family Tree by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry
This book caught my attention because of the relatively unique premise. It is about a woman named Liz who is shocked when an ancestry kit reveals that she was adopted and her connection to the family that she never knew lands her right in the middle of an FBI investigation into a notorious serial killer. This person, known as the Tri-State Killer, had been abducting pairs of women for 40 years, leaving no clues behind. Liz is left to figure out who the killer might be in her new family, and save the next victims before it is too late. Part of what attracted me about this book is that I saw it compared to My Lovely Wife, which was a thriller that I finally read this year and I loved it! I read quite a few thrillers each year, and I like that this one has a bit of a different spin on the typical serial killer plot. I also tend to love books that focus on family members realizing that someone close to them may be a monster, since those tend to be so fascinating. This book has apparently been out since June, but I hadn’t heard of it until recently and I’m really looking forward to trying it.
4) A Novel Obsession by Caitlin Barasch
I’m pretty sure I found this book in a BooksAndLala video about exciting new releases, but I don’t see her name on the Goodreads page so I’m not 100% sure. This one is about a New Yorker named Naomi who is struggling to find the right story to tell for the novel she’s been desparate to write. When she meets a man named Caleb, she starts to think she’s finally found a subject for her book, but soon discovers that his ex-girlfriend Rosemary is not actually overseas like she had assumed. Instead, Rosemary lives in New York too and she also works in the literary world, causing Naomi to feel threatened. However, she also thinks they likely have something in common since they both fell for the same man, and unexpectedly forms a genuine friendship with Rosemary, albeit under false pretenses. The longer their friendship lasts, the more Naomi’s lies begin to spiral out of control in her pursuit of writing the perfect book, forcing her to decide what she’s willing to sacrifice in order to get there. To be honest, something about the cover really bothers me and I can’t figure out why, and that almost put me off even looking into what this book was about. I’m glad I gave it a fair chance though, since it seems like something I’d really enjoy!
5) For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
I’ve actually been debating adding this one to my TBR for quite a while, and what finally prompted me to do it was the fact that I also wanted to add the second book to my list! This book is about a girl named Red, whose sole purpose is to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood with the hope that he will return the world’s gods. Red is relieved to go to the Wolf since she has been plagued by a dangerous power and wants to avoid hurting the people she loves, but she soon discovers that the legends are not quite what she expected. The Wolf is actually a man, not a monster, and her magic is something that she must learn to use in order to prevent the gods from swallowing the world whole. The premise of this one reminds me quite a bit of Uprooted, which was a book that I really loved! I generally enjoy books that are based on fairy tales or just generally have fairy tale vibes, so there’s a good chance I’ll like this one too.
6) The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda
I have yet to give any of Megan Miranda’s books 5 stars, but I’ve really enjoyed the ones that I’ve tried so far, and I keep hoping that the next one will be the one that I love. This book is about a woman named Abigail who loves her job managing the Passage Inn, an upscale resort near the mountain town of Cutter’s Pass, which is known for its outdoor attractions as well as its mysterious pass. A string of unexplained disappearances around this town is thrust back into the spotlight again when journalist Landon West, who was staying at the inn to investigate the cases, disappears too. When Landon’s brother Trey shows up looking for answers, Abigail can’t help feeling like the town is closing ranks and leaving her on the outside, but when she finds evidence that might bring the truth to light, she soon discovers how little she really knows about the others in her town. I stumbled upon this book completely by chance since I hadn’t realized that Megan Miranda had a new book coming out! I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise since she usually has one each year, but I was surprised to see all of the information about it available already given that it’s not coming until the end of July.
7) A Year to the Day by Robin Benway
I read Emmy & Oliver by this author several years ago, and I really enjoyed it! I’ve also been meaning to read Far From The Tree for a long time and even bought a copy as an extra push to finally pick it up, although I still haven’t read it yet. This book is her upcoming release due out in June, which is about a girl named Leo whose sister Nina has been gone for one year. Leo has no memory of what happened that night, except that she got into the car with Nina and Nina’s boyfriend East. Although East had promised Nina that he would watch out for Leo, he refuses to tell her anything about the night of the accident. He remains the only constant in her life who might be able to help her bear the weight of her loss, but East might be carrying too much on his own already. It took me a couple of tries to really understand what this book was about, and now that I get it, I’m a little worried it will be on the predictable side. I already have a pretty good guess of what happened, and I’m hoping the author chooses a different route. I’m still interested in trying this one because Robin Benway is so good at writing interesting characters, and I’m hoping to love this one as much as I loved Emmy & Oliver.
8) The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz
I was so excited to pick up The Plot by this author when it came out earlier this year, and even though I bought a copy, I still haven’t gotten to it yet! As soon as I noticed this book on Goodreads, I recognized the author’s name and decided to save it to my list too. This book is about a the Oppenheimer triplets, who grew up wealthy and privileged, and always with the attention of at least one of their parents. With the three of them on the verge of leaving for college and finally being free of each other, they are surprised by an unexpected complication — a fourth sibling has just been born from a leftover embryo from their own in vitro origins. The triplets are shocked by their parents’ decision to bring this sibling into the world now and begin to wonder what impact it will have on their lives, especially if this new child means that they will have to come back home. To be fair, the plot of this one does not quite grab me as quickly as The Plot did, but it’s definitely a unique storyline that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, and I’m interested to see how it plays out.
9) The Collective by Alison Gaylin
I heard a lot about this book throughout the month since it was a Book of the Month pick, and probably the option I would have chosen if BOTM was available to me. This book is about a woman named Camille who is still grieving and angry about the deaths of her daughter five years ago, and she is still obsessed with the young man that she believes was responsible. When her actions attract the attention of a group of women known as the collective, Camille is soon drawn into a dark web of mothers sharing their stories of loss and desire for justice in a world where people’s privilege might let them off the hook without any consequences. This group decides to orchestrate their own kind of justice, with each individual member responsible for their specific part of the task. Camille is left to wonder whether this is just a way of venting or if the women are serious about their plans, and as she gets drawn further into the group, she starts to learn things about them and about herself that put her at risk. Again, this is a thriller that intrigues me because it seems like a relatively unique premise, and I’m hoping to be able to read it soon!
10) His Loving Wife by Miranda Smith
This book was one of the 30 or so thrillers that I added all on the same day, and it’s no surprise that it caught my attention since houses on the covers always seem to grab me for some reason. This book is about a woman named Kate whose whole life changed when someone broke into her house, threatening to harm the whole family and especially when Kate realizes who it was who was behind this incident. One year later, Kate’s husband books a surprise vacation in a beautiful cabin on the shore to give them all a chance to recover, but Kate finds herself unable to relax and constantly on the lookout for more danger, and the incident has driven a wedge between herself and her husband. I was intrigued by this one because I saw that it had been compared to The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors, and Gillian Flynn, and those were all thrillers that I really enjoyed. I’m not sure this book is the highest on my list, but I’d love to give it a chance at some point.
11) The Role Model by Daniel Hurst
This was one of several books by this author that I added to my list, and these were all among the 30 that I added at once. This one is about a single mother named Heather who has always done what’s best for her daughter Chloe, who is now 17. Chloe has never been in trouble until the night she calls her mother, telling her there’s been an accident and someone is dead. Heather decides to put her daughter’s safety first by hiding the body, saving Chloe from a police investigation and public attention, but as time goes on, the two of them struggle to keep this secret hidden and Heather begins to question whether she really made the right choice. I have read at least one other book with a similar premise, and it’s one that tends to be very interesting if the author handles it well. I’m a little worried about this one since it seems that synopsis shares everything, so I’d be curious to see what else the author adds to it. My other main hang-up about this author in general is that his books tend to be on the very short side (often under 300 pages), and I tend to find that this does not give enough room for the story to really develop. I’m still interested in giving this a try though, although it’s another one that’s not especially high on my list.
12) Mother Loves Me by Abby Davies
This is yet another of the 30 thrillers that I added all at once, and this one intrigued me specifically because of the title. This book is about a young girl name Mirabelle whose mother treats her like her “little doll,” but as Mirabelle gets older, Mother seems to be unhappy. On Mirabelle’s thirteenth birthday, Mother arrives home with a new little sister, a 5-year-old girl named Clarabelle whom she says she rescued from the outside world. Mirabelle soon realizes that mother only needs one “little doll” and also starts to understand that her life isn’t really what she thought it was. This is another thriller that seems to be a little on the shorter side, but it sounds like a very creepy one. It’s also another one that seems quite different from other books that I’ve read before, and I’m very interested in giving it a try. I hadn’t heard of it at all, but once again that seems like it might be because the author is from the UK. I really wish it was easier to find British thrillers over here!