I’ve had a few months in a row now where I haven’t added too many books to my list, so I was surprised to see that this month I had added so many! I added a total of 76 more books to my Goodreads TBR this month, and about 10 of those were literally added around midnight last night, so they just barely made the cutoff. I suspect one of the reasons I added more to my list this month compared to the rest of the year so far is because I had more time at home in April. We had a COVID outbreak at work that required us to be home for a whole week, and then another week of half-days, so I definitely had a lot more time on my computer. I also found myself going through a few phases of jumping from one book to another based on the “Readers Also Enjoyed” section on Goodreads. This section is extremely hit or miss, since it’s often really hard to figure out what it is that links the books together, if that makes sense. However, in this case I often found books in that section that caught my attention, and many of those made it onto my list. I was definitely surprised to see how many I had added!
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) Gleanings: Stories from the Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I had no idea another book in this series was due out, so I was very surprised to see this one on Goodreads! I read the entire Arc of the Scythe series toward the end of 2020 and I really enjoyed it, especially because the world is so interesting! I’d actually love to read the entire series again because I felt like I rushed the last one a bit. I’ve definitely learned from experience that is is best not to leave longer series until close to the end of the year. This new book gives me the perfect excuse to pick up the series again at some point! As far as I can tell, this book is an anthology of stories set in the Scythe world, and includes more stories about the characters from the series, and potentially some new characters as well. I’m especially intrigued to see if we’ll get some more backstories about some of the Scythes’ origin stories, especially Scythe Faraday. I’m not always the biggest fan of anthologies, but there is so much to explore in this world that I think in this case it’s warranted!
2) Better Than Fiction by Alexa Martin
I think I vaguely recognized this author’s name when I added this book to my list, but more than anything, I added it because it is set in a bookstore. This book is a romance about a young woman named Drew who inherits her grandmother’s bookstore called The Book Nook, despite her hatred of reading. When she meets a bestselling author named Jasper at a signing event, he becomes determined to get her to love books too. Jasper decides to curate a “book bucket list” for her in exchange for her help exploring the local Denver scene for the book he is working on. Drew soon begins to connect with Jasper in ways she didn’t expect, which only gets further complicated when messy family ties jeopardize The Book Nook. To be honest, I haven’t read any of Alexa Martin’s Playbook series. I’m mildly interested in those, but also a bit on the fence because I’m not really interested in sports at all and that seems to be a running theme in that series. This one sounds a lot more up my alley, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in a bookstore where the main character is not a reader, so it sounds like an interesting twist!
3) Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow
Again, I may have vaguely recognized this author’s name, but I’m not entirely sure. She’s also written two YA contemporary books: This Is What It Feels Like, which I’d considered adding to my TBR in the past, and You Don’t Know Me but I Know You, which I’d never heard of before! This one seems a little different since it is a thriller, and it is about a girl named Luca who lives on a seemingly idyllic island that actually has a dark history of unsolved deaths of young women. Although many seem happy to ignore these cases, Luca can’t since her own best friend Polly was killed three years before, and she worries that she might be next. When Luca comes home to find police cars outside her house, she’s shocked to realize that the next victim is her sister, forcing Luca to take the investigation into her own hands. It’s only fairly recently that I’ve started getting into YA mystery/thrillers, and this one definitely sounds like something I might like.
4) Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou
I can’t remember where I first saw this one, but for some reason it caught my attention immediately. It is about a 29-year-old Taiwanese-American PhD student named Ingrid who is desperate to finish her dissertation and move on from her studies about the late poet Xiao-Wen Chou. After accidentally stumbling upon a strange note in Chou’s archives, Ingrid is convinced it is her way out, but her attempts to figure out this note’s message leads to a huge discover that upends her whole life. To be honest, I’m a little confused about what the actual plot of this one is, but from what I can tell, it’s meant to be an exploration of a number of different kinds of racism and injustices against Asian people, which is a topic that I have not seen addressed so often, especially not in books set in an academic setting. I think I was originally drawn to this one because of the focus on academia, but it sounds very interesting. This book was just released toward the end of March, so I’m interested in seeing more reviews as more people pick it up.
5) Have We Met? by Camille Baker
This was one of many adult contemporary romances that I added to my list this month, although I can’t remember where I first saw it. It is about a woman named Corinne who is surprised to discover a new dating app called Met on her phone, which offers her the opportunity to reconnect with four missed connections from her past, and one of them will be her soulmate. Corinne doesn’t believe that it’s possible, but when she quickly finds herself seeing people she hasn’t seen in a long time, she suspect the app might be right. At the same time, Corinne has also found a great new guy outside of the app, and as their feelings start to grow, she wonders if it’s worth pursuing this match when the app seems to suggest that her true love is someone else. I tend to love books that involve social media in general, and I think this one puts an interesting twist on the typical dating app. While I’m not sure this book is particularly high on my list, it sounds like something that may be fun to try at some point!
6) Jagged Little Pill by Eric Smith
I completely ignored everything about this at first because I just didn’t realize it was a new book! Any time I saw it mentioned, I assumed it was just about the musical and I guess I thought Eric Smith was somehow involved with that. This book actually is based on the musical, so I guess I wasn’t entirely wrong. It is about a group of five teenagers whose lives are changed after a sexual assault takes place at a party. I am assuming that is not a spoiler since it is mentioned right there in the Goodreads synopsis. I added this one to my TBR mostly because Eric Smith is one of my priority authors to try this year, although I didn’t know about this book at the time when I was making my challenge plans, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to fit it in. I also know nothing at all about the musical except that it’s based on Alanis Morissette’s music. Ironically enough, I like several of her songs but usually only cover versions since I’m not a huge fan of her voice. I’m not entirely sure how closely this book is meant to follow the musical, but it sounds like an interesting book anyway and I’m sure I’ll be trying it at some point.
7) Do You Take This Man? by Denise Williams
This is another book that I think I added because I loosely recognized the author’s name, since I already have two of her books on my TBR. This one is Denise Williams’ upcoming release due out this September, and it is about a divorce attorney named RJ whose life gets turned upside down after the video of her officiating an unplanned wedding in the park goes viral, and she becomes a much sought-after wedding officiant. She is surprised to find that she enjoys the work, except for dealing with Lear, the wedding planner who loves to be in control and has no trouble charming anyone he meets, except for RJ. Their attraction soon starts to pull them together, despite the fact that she does not want to be vulnerable to anyone, and he was recently dumped and not interested in finding love again. I may need to add this author to my priority list to try next year, because all of her books so far have sounded so cute!
8) Saving Noah by Lucinda Berry
This was one of a few books by this author that I added to my list last month. I also added When She Returned because the cover looked so much like Sarah Pinborough’s most recent book! Saving Noah is from all the way back in 2017, but it caught my attention because it has one of my favourite premises. it is about a boy named Noah is is sentenced to a juvenile rehabilitation center after confessing to molesting young girls during swim team practices. Noah’s mother Adrianne refuses to turn her back on him, but his father doesn’t want him back in the house, forcing Adrianne to make the difficult decision of how far she’s willing to go for her son. This book is along the same lines as Defending Jacob or We Need to Talk About Kevin, and it is a concept that I find so fascinating. This one is also a bit different since the crime involved is a sexual offence and not murder, which already sets it apart from other similar books that I’ve tried. This book is a little on the short side, at just over 250 pages, so I’m not sure it will quite have enough room to really develop the story, but I’m very interested in trying this one.
9) The Locked Door by Freida McFadden
This is one of about 5 books by this author that I added to my list this month alone, but I decided to mention this one specifically because it was the one I found first (aside from The Perfect Son, which I first added in 2020). I found most of this author’s books through the Readers Almost Enjoyed section, and they all easily caught my attention. This one specifically is her mid-2021 release, and it is about an 11-year-old girl named Nora who had no idea that her father was a serial killer until the police showed up at her door. Decades later, Nora has become a successful surgeon who has hidden her father’s secret, until she finds that one of her young female patients has been murdered in the same unique manner that her father used. With her father still in jail, Nora realizes that someone else must know who she is, and likely wants her to take the blame for this crime. I’m a little nervous to try this one because the reviews are extremely mixed, but it sounds like such an interesting premise that I think it will be worth a try anyway.
10) The Roommate by Kiersten Modglin
Similarly to Freida McFadden, this was another case where I kept seeing this author’s books on the Readers Also Enjoyed section, and I kept adding them to my list! I added a total of 6 that day, and I already have 3 other books on my list that I added in 2019 and 2020. I’m always a little on the fence about this author’s books because most of them are on the shorter side (under 300 pages), and I very often find that’s not enough. I could have picked any of the 6 that I added to mention here, but I chose this one because it seemed a bit more unique. I is about a man named Wesley who is in debt, struggling with his demanding job, and his wife has asked for some space. Wes soon runs into an old friend named Elias who happens to have an extra room available, and decides that renting from him would be much better than living with a stranger. Wes soon realizes that his move may have been a mistake, as Elias soon seems to be a nightmare roommate who may not intend to let him leave. This sounds so interesting and I’d love to pick it up at some point!
11) Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi
I read Little Girls by this author during my first reading challenge in 2015, and it was definitely one of the scariest books I’ve ever read! Since then, I’ve seen one or two more by this author that I’ve been interested in trying, but haven’t picked any more up yet. This book is the author’s upcoming release due out this July, and it has been compared to IT by Stephen King. It is about a man named Jamie who has been on the run from his traumatic childhood for the past two decades, and can’t escape the guilt of disappearing from the life of his brother, who has a disability. When a series of unusual events reunites Jamie with his brother and their childhood friends, they can no longer deny their memories of the summer where a terrible act took place that has followed them ever since. To be honest, I’m not really a fan of Stephen King and have absolutely no interest in reading IT, but this book sounds very interesting. I’m definitely nervous to pick it up because I’m very easily creeped out by scary books, but I loved Little Girls despite how creepy it was, and I’m hoping to enjoy more of this author’s books too.
12) All Good People Here by Ashley Flowers
This is a book that I added to my TBR literally at the last minute in April, after randomly seeing it come up on my Goodreads feed. It is about a woman named Margot Davies who was only 6 years old at the time that her next-door neighbour January was killed. In the 20 years since, Margot has moved away to become a journalist, but struggles with the fear that it could have been her who was killed instead, as well as the fact that the killer was never found. When Margot returns to her hometown to care for a sick uncle, she is surprised to find that not much has changed. Shortly after her return, news breaks hat a 5-year-old girl from the next town over has gone missing under very similar circumstances to January, causing Margot to take the investigation into her own hands to finally bring the killer to justice. She soon realizes that everyone in the town seems to be hiding something, and the deeper she digs into Natalie’s disappearance, the more resistance she encounters. Apparently the author of this book is a true crime podcaster, and although I’ve never heard of her, I think that kind of experience with storytelling could really help make this book very interesting.
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