On Friday, I talked about a few of the books I have recently removed from my TBR, so it seemed only fitting that I now shared a few of the books that I have recently added to it. I do not think I will ever get my “Want to Read” shelf down to a reasonable size!
Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander
Welcome to Torte-a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the treats are so good that, sometimes, it’s criminal…
After graduating from culinary school, Juliet Capshaw returns to her quaint hometown of Ashland, Oregon, to heal a broken heart and help her mom at the family bakery. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is bringing in lots of tourists looking for some crumpets to go with their heroic couplets. But when one of Torte’s customers turns up dead, there’s much ado about murder…
The victim is Nancy Hudson, the festival’s newest board member. A modern-day Lady Macbeth, Nancy has given more than a few actors and artists enough reasons to kill her…but still. The silver lining? Jules’s high school sweetheart, Thomas, is the investigator on the case. His flirtations are as delicious as ever, and Jules can’t help but want to have her cake and eat it too. But will she have her just desserts? Murder might be bad for business, but love is the sweetest treat of all…
Cozy mysteries have been very popular this year, and I totally understand why! Many of us are turning to comforting reads in 2020, myself included. I have added quite a few similar cozy mysteries to my list, and maybe I will talk about them more in the near future, but Meet Your Baker is the one I am most excited for. Not only is the title perfectly punny, but my friend Rachel (happygolovelysleeves on Instagram) said that it was perfect for fans of Gilmore Girls, and that is so me!
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA edited by Emily X.R Pan and Nova Ren Suma
Created by New York Times bestselling authors Emily X. R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, Foreshadow is so much more than a short story collection. A trove of unforgettable fiction makes up the beating heart of this book, and the accompanying essays offer an ode to young adult literature, as well as practical advice to writers.
Featured in print for the first time, the thirteen stories anthologized here were originally released via the buzzed-about online platform Foreshadow. Ranging from contemporary romance to mind-bending fantasy, the Foreshadow stories showcase underrepresented voices and highlight the beauty and power of YA fiction. Each piece is selected and introduced by a YA luminary, among them Gayle Forman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jason Reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir.
What makes these memorable stories tick? What sparked them? How do authors build a world or refine a voice or weave in that deliciously creepy atmosphere to bring their writing to the next level? Addressing these questions and many more are essays and discussions on craft and process by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan.
This unique compilation reveals and celebrates the magic of reading and writing for young adults.
Foreshadow is a short story collection that has been receiving a lot of buzz lately. So many incredible YA authors have contributed to this collection, including two of my favourites- Jason Reynolds and Jandy Nelson. I am intrigued by the fact that the editors have taken the time to include an analysis of each of the short stories. I think readers will gain a lot of insight into the process of writing YA. I am so looking forward to this one!
Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon
When Sunny Dae—self-proclaimed total nerd—meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brother Gray’s bedroom—with its electric guitars and rock posters—for Sunny’s own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he’s the front man of a rock band.
Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray’s rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he’s cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp.
Now there’s only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.
Sunny goes all in on the lie, and pretty soon, the strangest things start happening. People are noticing him in the hallways, and he’s going to football games and parties for the first time. He’s feeling more confident in every aspect of his life, and especially with Cirrus, who’s started to become not just his dream girl but also the real deal. Sunny is falling in love. He’s having fun. He’s even becoming a rocker, for real.
But it’s only a matter of time before Sunny’s house of cards starts tumbling down. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it—and if it’s possible to ever truly change.
I read David Yoon’s debut novel, Frankly in Love, earlier this year and was surprised by just how much I enjoyed. I somehow missed that he had a new book coming out in November, but I am now very excited for it! Also, isn’t this an amazing cover!?
We Ride Upon Stick by Quan Barry
In this tour de female force, the 1989 Danvers Falcons are on an unaccountable winning streak. In chapters dense with ’80s iconography–from Heathers to Big Hair–Quan Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective journeys of this enchanted team as they storm their way to the state championship. Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza, whose bleached blond “Claw” sees and knows all, the DHS Falcons prove to be as wily and original as their North of Boston ancestors, flaunting society’s stale notions of femininity in order to find their glorious true selves through the crucible of team sport.
Kayla from Books and Lala recently read We Ride Upon Stick in a vlog, and her love for it made me want to read it. Kayla and I’s reading tastes do not often align, but I have a good feeling about this one. It sounds like the kind of weird novel that I tend to gravitate towards. Plus, lately I have really been into anything set in the 80s.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
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.
This book gives me major Circe vibes! I have also heard amazing things about Susanna Clarkes writing, and her debut novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, has been on my TBR for years. However, that book is over 1000 pages, and Piranesi is 250, so I think it will be a better and more practical way to get a sense of her writing style.
Bestiary by K-Ming Chang
Three generations of Taiwanese American women are haunted by the myths of their homeland in this spellbinding, visceral debut about one family’s queer desires, violent impulses, and buried secrets.
One evening, Mother tells Daughter a story about a tiger spirit who lived in a woman’s body. She was called Hu Gu Po, and she hungered to eat children, especially their toes. Soon afterwards, Daughter awakes with a tiger tail. And more mysterious events follow: Holes in the backyard spit up letters penned by her grandmother; a visiting aunt arrives with snakes in her belly; a brother tests the possibility of flight. All the while, Daughter is falling for Ben, a neighborhood girl with strange powers of her own. As the two young lovers translate the grandmother’s letters, Daughter begins to understand that each woman in her family embodies a myth–and that she will have to bring her family’s secrets to light in order to change their destiny.
With a poetic voice of crackling electricity, K-Ming Chang is an explosive young writer who combines the wit and fabulism of Helen Oyeyemi with the subversive storytelling of Maxine Hong Kingston. Tracing one family’s history from Taiwan to America, from Arkansas to California, Bestiary is a novel of migration, queer lineages, and girlhood.
Penguin Canada kindly sent me a copy of Bestiary, and that is what put it on my radar. This book sounds absolutely incredible, and if that cover doesn’t intrigue you I don’t know what will! I love multi-generational stories and magical realism, so I have high hopes for this one. I plan to read it once I am done my current read, Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell.
If you have any recommendations or thoughts on any of these books, please share them in the comments.