book blog · Bookish News

July Bookish News | Booker Prize and Trailers

July 28th, 2022

Hi Readers!

Lots of exciting trailers were released this month for upcoming adaptations, and we got the Booker Prize longlist!

July Book Releases

Where The Crawdads Sing Theatre

Based on the novel by Delia Owens
Starring Daisy Edgar-Jones

Persuasion Netflix

Based (kind of) on the book by Jane Austen
Starring Dakota Johnson

I have not watched this and I am avoiding it like the plague, my dispair growing deeper at each line of dialogue I hear about. Some might like this different take on an Austen book, but there’s one I thing I can’t stand and that is modern language in period pieces…

Disney+ are working on adapting the Eragon books for TV.

We got a trailer for Sandman (Netflix)

We got a trailer for the new adaptation of Vampire Academy (which I did not know was a thing!)

We got the official trailer for the Lord Of The Rings tv show

A teaser trailer for season 5 of The Handmaids Tale

And we got a release date for the adaptation of Angie Thomas’s On The Come Up.

A couple of days ago the Booker Prize longlist was announced and I wasn’t surprised that I hadn’t heard of a lot of them, but I was surprised that none of the books from the Women’s prize were on it, especially The Island of Missing Trees. I might try and pick up a few of these though, especially the few that were already on my raider.

New Emily Henry book ‘Happy Place‘ has been announced and it’s all about a second chance romance. It will be released April 25th, 2023.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

July Book Releases 2022

June 27th, 2022

Hi Readers!

Here are some of the exciting releases coming in July.

Delphi by Clare Pollard
Releases: July 28th, Fig Tree / August 2nd, Simon Schuster

I am sick of the future. Up to here with the future. I don’t want anything to do with it; don’t want it near me’

It is 2020 and in a time more turbulent than any of us could have ever imagined, a woman is attempting to write a book about prophecy in the ancient world.

Navigating the tightening grip of lockdown, a marriage in crisis, and a ten-year-old son who seems increasingly unreachable, she becomes fixated on our many forms of divination and prediction: on oracles, tarot cards and tea leaves and the questions we have always asked as we scroll and click and rage against our fates. 

But in doing so she fails to notice the future creeping into the heart of her own home. For despite our best intentions – our sacrifices and our bargains with the gods – time, certainty and, sometimes, those we love, can still slip away …

Honey And Spice by Bolu Babalola
July 5th, William Morrow & Company

Kiki Banjo is an expert in relationship-evasion.

In fact, she has made it her mission to protect the women of Whitewell University from the dangers of players and heartbreak, supplying advice, tips and essentials to paying men no mind on her student radio show, Brown Sugar.

And then Kiki meets distressingly handsome newcomer Malakai Korede, who threatens to tear apart the community of women she’s fought so hard to protect.

Kiki publicly declares Malakai the ‘Wasteman of Whitewell’ on Brown Sugar and brings a stop to her girls chasing his attentions. But when she and Malakai suddenly find themselves shackled into a fake relationship to salvage their respective reputations and save their academic futures, she is in danger of falling for the very wasteman she warned her sisters about.

With her heart compromised and defences weakened, Kiki has to learn to open herself up to the perils of love… and face up to a past that forced her to close down in the first place.

Love Me, Love Me Not by Kirsty Capes
Releases: July 7th, Orion Fiction

Lucy Banbury is fine. Until she isn’t…

Lucy Banbury isn’t the sort of person that everyone gets along with – she’s prickly and secretive, and she likes things ordered ‘just so’. But things couldn’t be going better for her – she swims three times a week, she’s on the cusp of a huge promotion at work and she’s dating someone perfect on paper.

But when she discovers at a family wedding that she’s adopted, her whole world is shattered. Those cracks she’s taken years to plaster over are beginning to surface and she’s not sure how much longer she can keep all her secrets hidden, all whilst pretending to be someone she’s not…

Because how can you pretend to love your life, when nobody loves you?

Blue Hour by Sarah Schmidt
Releases: July 7th, Tinder Press

She thinks of blue mountain, her favourite place. ‘We’re going somewhere where we can be safe.We never have to come back here.’

As the rest of the world lies sleeping, Eleanor straps her infant daughter, Amy, into the back of her car. This is the moment she knew must come, when they will walk out on her husband Leon and a marriage in ruins since his return from Vietnam. Together, she and Amy will journey to blue mountain, a place of enchantment and refuge that lit up Eleanor’s childhood.

As the car eats up the miles, so Eleanor’s mind dives back into her fractured relationship with her mother, Kitty. Kitty who asked for so much from life, from love, from family. Kitty who had battled so hard to prise her husband George out of the grip of war. Kitty, whose disapproving voice rings so loud in Eleanor’s head.

Square One by Nell Frizzell
Releases: July 7th, Bantam Press

EVERYONE IS MOVING ON… AND THEN, THERE’S HANNA

BY THIRTY, HANNA EXPECTED TO HAVE IT ALL (OR AT LEAST SOME OF IT)

A fulfilling and successful career
A healthy, long-term relationship, maybe even an engagement ring
A house (or at least a flat) of her own

BUT IN REALITY, SHE’S BACK AT SQUARE ONE…
Single after breaking up with someone she’s not sure ever loved her
Flooded with wedding invitations and pregnancy scan pictures from friends
Unable to afford to live on her own, moving in with her (also single and dating) father

Everyone moves at different paces, but Hanna’s life is in reverse. With the pressure to keep up and her dad’s insufferable musings on Tinder, will she be able to figure out what she really wants?

The Museum of Ordinary People by Mike Gayle
Releases: July 7th, Hodder & Stoughton

Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, Jess is about to do the hardest thing she’s ever done: empty her childhood home so that it can be sold.

But when in the process Jess stumbles across the mysterious Alex, together they become custodians of a strange archive of letters, photographs, curios and collections known as The Museum of Ordinary People.

As they begin to delve into the history of the objects in their care, Alex and Jess not only unravel heartbreaking stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long buried secrets that lie much closer to home.

I’m Sorry You Feel That Way by Rebecca Wait
Releases: July 7th, Quercus

For Alice and Hanna, saint and sinner, growing up is a trial. There is their mother, who takes a divide and conquer approach to child-rearing, and their father, who takes an absent one. There is their older brother Michael, whose disapproval is a force to be reckoned with. There is the catastrophe that is never spoken of, but which has shaped everything.

As adults, Alice and Hanna must deal with disappointments in work and in love as well as increasingly complicated family tensions, and lives that look dismayingly dissimilar to what they’d intended. They must look for a way to repair their own fractured relationship, and they must finally choose their own approach to their dominant mother: submit or burn the house down. And they must decide at last whether life is really anything more than (as Hanna would have it) a tragedy with a few hilarious moments.

Accomplished: A Georgie Darcy Novel by Amanda Quain
Releases: July 26th, Wednesday Books

Sixteen-year-old Georgiana Darcy returns to Pemberley Academy for her junior year, hoping to atone for last year’s incident with Wickham by rebuilding her reputation, rejoining the marching band, and setting up her older brother Fitz with his. college classmate Lizzie Bennet.



Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Releases: July 5th, Knopf

This is not a romance, but it is about love

Two kids meet in a hospital gaming room in 1987. One is visiting her sister, the other is recovering from a car crash. The days and months are long there. Their love of video games becomes a shared world — of joy, escape and fierce competition. But all too soon that time is over, fades from view.

When the pair spot each other eight years later in a crowded train station, they are catapulted back to that moment. The spark is immediate, and together they get to work on what they love – making games to delight, challenge and immerse players, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives. Their collaborations make them superstars.

This is the story of the perfect worlds Sadie and Sam build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow takes us on a dazzling imaginative quest as it examines the nature of identity, creativity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play and, above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love.

Finding Mr Perfectly Fine by Tasheem Abdur-Rashid
Releases: July 7th, Zaffre

Last week I turned 29. Along with the usual homemade Victoria sponge, helium balloon and Selfridges gift vouchers, my Mum’s birthday present to me was the threat that if I’m not engaged by my 30th birthday, she’s sending me off to the Motherland to find a fresh-from-the-Desh husband.

When Zara’s Mum puts together the most archaic of arranged marriage resources (not exactly the romcom-worthy love story she had envisioned for herself), she is soon exhausted by her family’s failed attempts to set her up with every vaguely suitable Abdul, Ahmed and Farook that they can find. Zara decides to take matters into her own hands. How hard can it be to find a husband at twenty-nine?

With just a year to go, time is of the essence, so Zara joins a dating app and signs up for speed dating. She meets Hamza, a kind British Egyptian who shares her values and would make a good husband. Zara knows that not all marriages are based on love (or lust) at first sight but struggles with the lack of spark. Particularly when she can’t stop thinking of someone else . . .

As her next birthday looms, and family pressure intensifies, Zara knows she must make a decision, but will she make the right one?

The It Girl by Ruth Ware
Releases: July 12th, Gallery/Scout Press

April Coutts-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell
Releases: July 21st, Century / August 9th, Atria

LONDON. Early morning, June 2019: on the foreshore of the river Thames, a bag of bones is discovered. Human bones.

DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene and quickly sends the bag for forensic examination. The bones are those of a young woman, killed by a blow to the head many years ago.

Also inside the bag is a trail of clues, in particular the seeds of a rare tree which lead DCI Owusu back to a mansion in Chelsea where, nearly thirty years previously, three people lay dead in a kitchen, and a baby waited upstairs for someone to pick her up.

The clues point forward too to a brother and sister in Chicago searching for the only person who can make sense of their pasts.

Four deaths. An unsolved mystery. A family whose secrets can’t stay buried for ever …

Joan by Katherine J. Chen
Releases: July 5th, Hachette

Girl. Warrior. Heretic. Saint?

France is mired in a losing war against England. Its people are starving. Its king is in hiding. Yet out of the chaos, an unlikely heroine emerges.

Reckless, steel-willed and brilliant, Joan has survived a childhood steeped in both joy and violence to claim an extraordinary – and fragile – position at the head of the French army. The battlefield and the royal court are full of dangers and Joan finds herself under suspicion from all sides – as well as under threat from her own ambition.

With unforgettably vivid characters and propulsive storytelling, Joan is a thrilling epic, a triumph of historical fiction, and a feminist celebration of one remarkable – and remarkably real – woman who left an indelible mark on history.

Four Treasures Of The Sky by Jenny Zinghui Zhang
Releases: July 28th, Michael Joseph

Daiyu never wanted to be like the tragic heroine for whom she was named, revered for her beauty and cursed with heartbreak. But when she is kidnapped and smuggled across an ocean from China to America, Daiyu must relinquish the home and future she imagined for herself.

Over the years that follow, she is forced to keep reinventing herself to survive. From a calligraphy school, to a San Francisco brothel, to a shop tucked into the Idaho mountains, we follow Daiyu on a desperate quest to outrun the tragedy that chases her.

As anti-Chinese sentiment sweeps across the country in a wave of unimaginable violence, Daiyu must draw on each of the selves she has been-including the ones she most wants to leave behind-in order to finally claim her own name and story.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Releases: July 19th, Del Rey

Carlota Moreau: a young woman, growing up in a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula. The only daughter of either a genius, or a madman.

Montgomery Laughton: a melancholic overseer with a tragic past and a propensity for alcohol. An outcast who assists Dr. Moreau with his scientific experiments, which are financed by the Lizaldes, owners of magnificent haciendas and plentiful coffers.

The hybrids: the fruits of the Doctor’s labor, destined to blindly obey their creator and remain in the shadows. A motley group of part human, part animal monstrosities.

All of them living in a perfectly balanced and static world, which is jolted by the abrupt arrival of Eduardo Lizalde, the charming and careless son of Doctor Moreau’s patron, who will unwittingly begin a dangerous chain reaction.

For Moreau keeps secrets, Carlota has questions, and in the sweltering heat of the jungle, passions may ignite.

The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton
Releases: July 7th, Picador

Sequel To The Miniaturist

Thea Brandt is turning eighteen, and is ready to welcome adulthood with open arms. At the theatre, Walter, the love of her life, awaits her, but at home in the house on the Herengracht, winter has set in – her father Otto and Aunt Nella argue endlessly, and the Brandt family are selling their furniture in order to eat. On Thea’s birthday, also the day that her mother Marin died, the secrets from the past begin to overwhelm the present.

Nella is desperate to save the family and maintain appearances, to find Thea a husband who will guarantee her future, and when they receive an invitation to Amsterdam’s most exclusive ball, she is overjoyed – perhaps this will set their fortunes straight. And indeed, the ball does set things spinning: new figures enter their life, promising new futures. But their fates are still unclear, and when Nella feels a strange prickling sensation on the back of her neck, she wonders if the miniaturist has returned for her . . . 

A Darkness At the Door by Intisar Khanani
Releases: July 21st, Hot Key Books

Book 3 in Dauntless Path series

I’ve been cursed, betrayed, and sold into slavery – but the truth I carry can’t be allowed to die.

Only Rae knows the extent of the corruption at the heart of the kingdom of Menaiya, from the noble lord who betrayed her, to the Circle of Mages whose wards protect the slavers from discovery. Injured and imprisoned on a slave ship, Rae’s options are quickly running out. When a desperate escape attempt goes terribly wrong, she finds herself indebted to a terrifying Fae sorceress.

Now Rae will not rest until she has rescued her fellow prisoners and freed her land from the darkness that has taken hold. To succeed, she’ll need every ally she can find-including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind. With her debts coming due and time running short, all the truths in the world may not be enough to save her kingdom, or herself.

Hooked by A.C. Wise
Releases: July 12th, Titan Books

Once invited, always welcome.
Once invited, never free.


Captain James Hook, the immortal pirate of Neverland, has died a thousand times. Drowned, stabbed by Peter Pan’s sword, eaten by the beast swimming below the depths, yet James was resurrected every time by one boy’s dark imagination. Until he found a door in the sky, an escape. And he took the chance no matter the cost.

Now in London twenty-two years later, Peter Pan’s monster has found Captain Hook again, intent on revenge. But a chance encounter leads James to another survivor of Neverland. Wendy Darling, now a grown woman, is the only one who knows how dark a shadow Neverland casts, no matter how far you run. To vanquish Pan’s monster once and for all, Hook must play the villain one last time…

Lore Olympus: Volune Two by Rachel Smythe
Releases: July 5th, Del Rey Books

Persephone was ready to start a new life when she left the mortal realm for Olympus. However, she quickly discovered the dark side of her glamorous new home—from the relatively minor gossip threatening her reputation to a realm-shattering violation of her safety by the conceited Apollo—and she’s struggling to find her footing in the fast-moving realm of the gods.

Hades is also off-balance, fighting against his burgeoning feelings for the young goddess of spring while maintaining his lonely rule of the Underworld. As the pair are drawn ever closer, they must untangle the twisted webs of their past and present to build toward a new future.

The Darkening by Sunya Mara
Releases: July 5th, Clarion Books

Vesper Vale is the daughter of revolutionaries. Failed revolutionaries. When her mother was caught by the queen’s soldiers, they gave her a choice: death by the hangman’s axe, or death by the Storm that surrounds the city and curses anyone it touches. She chose the Storm. And when the queen’s soldiers—led by a paranoid prince—catch up to Vesper’s father after twelve years on the run, Vesper will do whatever it takes to save him from sharing that fate.

Even arm herself with her father’s book of dangerous experimental magic.

Even infiltrate the prince’s elite squad of soldier-sorcerers.

Even cheat her way into his cold heart.

But when Vesper learns that there’s more to the story of her mother’s death, she’ll have to make a choice if she wants to save her city: trust the devious prince with her family’s secrets, or follow her mother’s footsteps into the Storm.

Heat Wave by T.J. Klune
Releases: July 19th, Tor

Final book in the Extroadinaries series

Nick, Seth, Gibby, and Jazz are back in action bringing justice, protection, and disaster energy to the people of Nova City.

An unexpected hero returns to Nova City and crash lands into Nick’s home, upturning his life, his family, and his understanding of what it means to be a hero in the explosive finale of the thrilling and hilarious Extraordinaries trilogy by New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune.

These Twisted Bonds by Lexi Ryan
Releases: July 19th, Clarion Books

Final book in These Hollow Vows Duology

Brie finds herself caught between two princes and two destinies while the future of the fae realm hangs in the balance.

After Abriella’s sister was sold to the fae, she thought life couldn’t get any worse. But when she suddenly finds herself caught in a web of lies of her own making ­- loving two princes and trusting neither – things are not quite as clear as she once thought.

As civil war wages in the Court of Darkness, Brie finds herself unable to choose a side. How can she know where she stands when she doesn’t even know herself anymore? In this darkly romantic thrill ride, the more Faerie is torn apart from the inside, the clearer it becomes that prophecies don’t lie and Brie has a role to play in the fate of this magical realm – whether she likes it or not.

Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
Releases: July 26th, Delacorte Press

There’s always a price for defying destiny.

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the court as Seer with her cleverly phrased – and not always true – divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not-charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip her of her title once he’s crowned.

After the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse about the prince’s future bride. Her wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t protect her against fate – nor the doomed attraction growing between her and the prince . . .

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

June Bookish News | Women’s Prize For Fiction, Persuasion Trailer + More

June 15th, 2022

Hi Readers!

This is coming a bit early this month, but that’s because the Women’s Prize winner was announced yesterday and I’m too excited to share my opinion! There’s also been a lot of exciting developments in adaptations the past few weeks.

Here are my picks for the most exciting releases coming out in June.

Paperback Releases:

Untitled design

Season 3 of Umbrella Academy Netflix

Comes Out June 22nd
Based on the graphic novels by Gerard Way.
Starring Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, & Aidan Gallagher

Love & Gelato Netflix

Releases June 22nd
Based on the novel by Jenna Evans-Welch
Starring Susanna Skaggs, Tobia De Angelis, and Owen McDonnell

The Summer I Turned Pretty Amazon Prime Video

Releases June 17th
Based On The Novel by Jenny Han
Starring Lola Tung, Christopher Briney, and Gavin Casalegno

Everything I Know About Love BBC

On the BBC IPlayer now.
Based on the memoir by Dolly Alderton
Starring Emma Appleton and Bel Powley

We Have A Trailer For Persuasion!

On my first watch of this, my initial reaction was, what is this?

Now I’ve given it some time to process, and I think I could enjoy this movie, if I forget it’s Jane Austen. This isn’t a faithful adaptation, Anne is so out of character, and I’m pretty sure the word ‘exes’ hadn’t been coined yet… But for some reason Hollywood has decided that Austen is boring and they need to spice it up a bit. We’ll see how that turns out…

We got a teaser trailer for the new Hunger Games based on Suzanne Collin’s prequel Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

I don’t know anyone who wants this, but it’s happening. It’s been given a release date of November 2023, but no news on cast yet.

Season Two Of Shadow & Bone finished filming!

Rick Riordan gave us some Percy Jackson casting news as filming got underway.

Red, White & Royal Blue got it’s main leads. Taylor Zakhar Perez is Alex Claremont-Diaz Nicholas Galitzine is Henry Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor.

I’ve seen a lot of people not happy with this casting, and whilst I haven’t read the I do agree. They look too old for the role and I’m tired of straight actors being cast into gay roles.

We got our first teaser poster for The School For Good & Evil

A film adapted from the novel by Soman Chainani and starring High School Musicals (tmts) Sofia Wylie, Shadow & Bone’s Kit Young, and Charlize Theron.

We also got a poster upcoming adapation for Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, which is releasing in August.

The Women’s Prize For Fiction 2022 Goes To…

The Book Of Form And Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki!
Not my number one choice (The Island of Missing Trees). Or my number two choice (Sorrow and Bliss). But I guess it’s my number three choice by default as I wasn’t able to read the other three on the shortlist.

I had a rocky time reading this book, but my full thoughts are in my review here.

Costa announced it would no longer be hosting the Costa Book Awards.

This award, which ran for 50 years, has been a huge boost for the nominated and winning books. So far Costa hasn’t given an explanantion as to why and there hasn’t been any news as to whether is could be sponsered by anybody else, but hopefully they can as losing this will be a big blow to the industry.

Imogen Hermes Gower is ready to be published again.

It’s been four years since her super hyped debut The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock was released and Gower found the experience ‘discombobulating’. But she’s possibly ready to dip her toes in again, and I for one will be here when she’s ready.

Matthew Perry Has Finished Writing His Autobiography

I’m not usually a fan of celebrity books, but I am quite excited for this one.

We Had A Beautiful Cover Reveal For Sarah Underwood’s Lies We Sing To The Sea

This is a beautiful book and I am all here for a sapphic Odyssey retelling!

What do you guys think of this years Women’s Prize winner? And are you excited, or devastated about the new adaptation of Persuasion?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

Ten Bookish / Literary Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

June 13th, 2022

Hi Readers!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of bookish content. I consume it everywhere I can, but it’s only recently I’ve discovered the bookish side to podcasting.

Podcasts have been around for a while now, but I’ve always been a bit ‘oh those aren’t for me’ about them, because I really never had the right opportunity for listening to podcasts. I don’t have a long commute and if I do listen to something through my earphones, it’s normally music.

But I’ve recently been going back and editing my entire blog, and I’ve also started knitting, and for both these things I want to listen to something and I was getting a bit sick of listening to the same playlist over and over. Eventually I thought I would give podcasts a try and I found some pretty amazing ones, and I wanted to share them with you…

You’re Booked

This is hosted by Daisy Buchanan, author of The Sisterhood and Insatiable. It’s a literary podcast which is writer focused. She visits their homes and has a nosy through their bookshelves, and learns about their reading history and how they made a career out of writing.

This podcast is perfect if you want to know more about the author behind your favourite books. She has some incredible guests including David Nicholls (author of One Day), Dolly Alderton (author of Ghosts) and, my personal favourite, Elif Shafak (author of The Island of Missing Trees).

There are over 100 episodes so far, and each and every one has been interesting, engaging, and funny. It’s also added many, many more books onto my TBR. Not just books they’ve talked about, but books that were written by some of the guests, because I enjoyed their discussion so much and I want to hear more from them.

Waterstones

This podcast is more focused on moments during the writing process. It talks to authors, discussing subjects such as ‘beginnings‘ and ‘success‘. They also have authors on to discuss their books and writing process, like Dolly Alderton and her book Ghosts.

I will say with this one there sometimes isn’t much discussion about writing or books, but it depends on the topic. They also have these external audio clips come in from Waterstones Events that have nothing to do with the topic (and does cause you to adjust the volume on your earphones). But the hosts are funny and it definitely has some interesting things to say.

On The Road With Penguin Classics

This is a podcast dedicated to classics. It was created by author Henry Eliot in collab with Penguin, and you can definitely tell it has a bit more of a budget than the others as it has music, is very well edited and is recorded around different literary locations. It’s still pretty new, but so far he’s discussed popular classics such as Mrs Dalloway and Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, but also lesser known ones like George Eliot’s The Mill On The Floss, Lady Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World.

I really enjoy podcasts that dive deep into specific books, but of course I can really only listen to the episodes of the books I have read, otherwise I won’t really know what they’re talking about.

Literary Disco

This one is hosted by three old friends who have literary debates about any topic under the sun (book related). They have a funny dynamic that only people who have known eachother a long time can have.

I don’t always agree with what they say. They have big personalities and don’t hold back on their opinions. But it’s fun to listen to their discussions.

Backlisted

This podcasts aim is to discuss the ‘backlist books’ of authors. The lesser known, lesser read books that may have escaped readers attention in favour of the authors most famous work.

They discuss books from authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oscar Wilde and Daphne Du Maurier. But many of the books they’ve discussed I have never heard of, which I like. They don’t just talk about books that have been discussed a hundred times. They literally give new life to old books.

Black Chick Lit

This podcast is hosted by two friends. They do a combination of book chats for specific books, and also discussions about anything bookish. They’re funny and they don’t mince their words, but they also have a lot of insightful things to say about black literature, and the problems they find in diverse representation.

This podcast is fun and entertaining, but leaves you also with new views and understandings you might never have considered before.

So Many Damn Books

Hosted by Christopher and Drew, and comes with over 160 episodes ready for you to listen to. They have discussions about all kinds of bookish topics, including some specific book discussions, and some more general talks, and a pretty catchy theme tune.

I like that a lot of their episodes are shorter than other podcasts out there, with many of their episodes around the 30 minute mark. They also have this ability to make you want to read everything they talk about, which is a bit detromental to my TBR…

Literary Friction

If you’re a fan of adult literary fiction, this podcast has some guests which will get you pretty excited. They have authors such as Sally Rooney, Dolly Alderton, Daisy Johnson, Otessa Moshfegh and Sarah Perry discussing bookish topics connected to their newest releases.

What I like is that, whilst they’re normally on the podcast to promote their book, they don’t really talk about it much, so you don’t need to have read it to listen to the episode. But you do learn why they wrote and how they came to write the themes that they did.

All The Books!

Hosted by Book Riot. They discuss new releases and backlist books, narrowing them down and giving specific book recommendations based on what their listeners are interested in reading.

Books and Boba

This is a podcast dedicated to Asian and Asian American writers. They discuss the books, have authors as guests to discuss their works, and does a monthly episode where they go through the exciting book news of upcoming Asian and Asian American books to look forward to.

Have you listened to any book podcasts recently?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

Monthly Bookish News Round Up | May 2022 | Book Prizes and Heartstopper Got Renewed!

May 27th, 2022

Hi Readers!

I thought I would do a little experiment here. Try something new. In this post I’ve put together a round up of some of the exciting book news we’ve had in May, including releases, film and TV, book awards and announcements. Hope you enjoy!

Here are my picks for the Most Exciting Books Released In May.

Paperback Releases:

Virgos are huge helpers.

The Essex Serpent AppleTv

Based On The Novel by Sarah Perry
Starring Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston

This one completely crept up on me. I had no idea this was even being adapted, let alone Tom Hiddleston was at the helm. Unfortunately, I do not have AppleTV but I might have to get it one day just to watch this.

Newly widowed Cora, having been released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to a small village in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.

Heartstopper Netflix

Based On The Graphic Novel by Alice Oseman
Starring Kit Conner and Joe Locke

The highly anticipated YA adaptation is here! It also technically came out in April, but we did get the news this month that it’s been renewed for two more seasons! I’ve been hesitant because I’m not a fan of graphic novels, but seeing all the excitement has prompted me to reserve a copy at the library, and once I’ve read that, I can finally watch this first series!

Teens Charlie and Nick discover their unlikely friendship might be something more as they navigate school and young love in this coming-of-age series.

Conversations With Friends BBC

Based On The Novel by Sally Rooney
Starring Alison Oliver, Jemima Kirke, Joe Alwyn

This one hasn’t quite hit the ground running like Normal People did, but it’s still well worth a watch if you’re a fan of the book.

In the summer before their final year in college, Frances and her best friend, Bobbi, meet an impressive writer, Melissa. Frances finds herself drawn to Melissa’s husband, Nick.

The Time Traveler’s Wife Now TV

The film industry is at it again with adapting the same books over and over. I know the Rachel McAdams one wasn’t the most faithful and missed out a lot of things from the book, but I’m not sure I can spend any more of my time with this story. What do you think?

Henry is an ordinary man with an extraordinary gift, a gene that allows him to travel through time involuntarily. Claire, his wife, finds it difficult to cope with his ability.

Firestarter Theatre and Peacock TV

Based On The Novel by Stephen King
Starring Zac Efron and Ryan Kiera Armstrong

Another Stephen King adaptation to add to the list. I always see Firestarter being compared to Stranger Things, and we also get a new season of Stranger Things this month. But if that’s not enough, this might be worth giving a go, just for Zac Efron!

A couple desperately try to hide their daughter, Charlie, from a shadowy federal agency that wants to harness her unprecedented gift for turning fire into a weapon of mass destruction. Her father taught her how to defuse her power, but as Charlie turns 11, the fire becomes harder and harder to control. When a mysterious operative finally finds the family, he tries to seize Charlie once and for all — but she has other plans.

We also got a trailor for the new BBC series based on Dolly Alderton’s memoir Everything I Know About Love.

This doesn’t have a release date yet but I reckon we’ll be getting it sometime this Summer.

And the trailor for the final season of Love, Victor

This series started strong for me, but I didn’t like the second season. It got a bit messy and tried to do too much in it’s short 20 minute episodes. I probably won’t watch the final season. But it’s back June 15th, if you are interested.

Finally, we got a teaser for Pistol, the book based on Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol.

This looks epic and is coming to Disney+ at the end of May.

May is a busy month for book prizes. Here’s everything that went down:

Firstly on May 9th, the 2022 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize For Fiction
The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen

Corbin College, not-quite-upstate New York, winter 1959-1960: Ruben Blum, a Jewish historian – but not an historian of the Jews – is coopted onto a hiring committee to review the application of an exiled Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. When Benzion Netanyahu shows up for an interview, family unexpectedly in tow, Blum plays the reluctant host, to guests who proceed to lay waste to his American complacencies. Mixing fiction with non-fiction, the campus novel with the lecture, THE NETANYAHUS is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics.

Check out all of the Pulitzer Prize winners for 2022 Here.

The British Book Awards were also this month. Open Water was named best debut, Marian Keyes got author of the year, and Meg Mason’s Sorrow and Bliss was named Best Fiction. But the overall Book Of The Year was given to a football star.

Book Of The Year, 2022
You Are A Champion by Marcus Rashford

‘There is no finish line when it comes to your dreams.’

You Are A Champion will empower young people aged 10+ to develop positive thinking, build mental resilience, learn how to navigate adversity and, ultimately, to achieve their full potential.

Written with journalist Carl Anka, You Are A Champion is the empowering and life changing first children’s book from Marcus Rashford MBE. It is full of practical advice and engaging illustrations and infographics, including input from performance psychologist Katie Warriner.

International Booker Prize, 2022
Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree
Translated by Daisy Rockwell

An eighty-year-old woman slips into a deep depression at the death of her husband, then resurfaces to gain a new lease on life. Her determination to fly in the face of convention – including striking up a friendship with a hijra (trans) woman – confuses her bohemian daughter, who is used to thinking of herself as the more ‘modern’ of the two.

At the older woman’s insistence they travel back to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.

Rather than respond to tragedy with seriousness, Geetanjali Shree’s playful tone and exuberant wordplay results in a book that is engaging, funny, and utterly original, at the same time as being an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries, whether between religions, countries, or genders. 

Stephen King teased his upcoming book ‘Fairy Tale’ on Twitter and, knowing Stephen King, this book will be anything but a fairytale.

Holly Bourne’s upcoming adult novel Girl Friends got a cover reveal.

John Green gave us an update on the Turtles All The Way Down movie:

I’d love to know if you enjoyed this, and what else you’d like to see. This was a fun post to do so I’ll definitely continue doing it. There was so much I didn’t know was happening. Like, since when was Turtles All The Way Down being adapted? I had no idea!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

June Book Releases | 2022

May 23rd, 2022

Hi Readers!

Here are my picks for some of the most exciting books coming out in June, 2022!

It All Comes Down To This by Therese Anne Fowler
Publishes: June 17th, St Martin’s Press

Marti Geller is going to die soon, and she’s hoping to take her secrets with her.

To do this, Marti has stipulated in her will that the family’s summer home on Mount Desert Island, Maine, must be sold as soon as possible. This request comes as a shock to her three daughters, a trio of strong-minded women who are each hiding a secret of their own.

For the eldest daughter, Beck, the Maine cottage is essential to her secret wish to write a novel, and selling is the last thing she wants to do. But recently divorced Claire is privately too preoccupied with an unrequited love to be concerned about the sale, while the youngest daughter, Sophie, would never admit to her sisters that she desperately needs the sale in order to survive.

While the sisters argue over the fate of their late mother’s property, enigmatic southerner C.J. Reynolds, with his own troubled past, is released from prison and begins to travel to Mount Desert Island.

As this seemingly unconnected group all head for the coast of Maine, nothing is as it seems. And everything is about to change. . .

My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey
Publishes: June 6th, Lauren Whelon

It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation in sweet, sunny Cape Cod-just me and my beloved brother-but discovering a corpse in our rental house really throws a wrench into our tanning schedule. Now a rude, crude bounty hunter has arrived on the back of his motorcycle to catch the killer and refuses to believe I can be helpful, despite countless hours of true crime podcast listening. Not to mention a fulfilling teaching career of wrangling second graders.

A brash bounty hunter and an energetic elementary schoolteacher: the murder-solving team no one asked for, but thanks to these pesky attempts on my life, we’re stuck together, come hell or high tide.

I’m just here to do a job, not babysit an amateur sleuth. Although…it is becoming less and less of a hardship to have her around. Sure, she’s stubborn, distracting and can’t stay out of harm’s way. She’s also brave and beautiful and reminds me of the home I left behind three years ago. In other words, the insatiable hunger and protectiveness she is waking up in me is a threat to my peace of mind. Before I sink any deeper into this dangerous attraction, I need to solve this murder and get back on the road.

Stuck With You by Ali Hazelwood (STEMinist Novellas #2)
Publishes: June 7th, Berkley

Nothing like a little rivalry between scientists to take love to the next level.

Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn….

Logically, Sadie knows that civil engineers are supposed to build bridges. However, as a woman of STEM she also understands that variables can change, and when you are stuck for hours in a tiny New York elevator with the man who broke your heart, you earn the right to burn that brawny, blond bridge to the ground. Erik can apologize all he wants, but to quote her rebel leader – she’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.

Not even the most sophisticated of Sadie’s superstitious rituals could have predicted such a disastrous reunion. But while she refuses to acknowledge the siren call of Erik’s steely forearms or the way his voice softens when he offers her his sweater, Sadie can’t help but wonder if there might be more layers to her cold-hearted nemesis than meet the eye. Maybe, possibly, even burned bridges can still be crossed….

Briefly A Delicious Life by Nell Stevens
Publishes: June 23rd, Picador

In 1473, fourteen-year-old Blanca dies in childbirth in a hilltop monastery in Mallorca. Nearly four hundred years later, when George Sand, her two children, and her lover Frederic Chopin arrive in the village, Blanca is still there: a spirited, funny, righteous ghost, she’s been hanging around the monastery since her accidental death, spying on the monks and the townspeople and keeping track of her descendants.

Blanca is enchanted the moment she sees George, and the magical novel unfolds as a story of deeply felt, unrequited longing—the impossible love of a teenage ghost for a woman who can’t see her and doesn’t know she exists. As George and Chopin, who wear their unconventionality, in George’s case, literally on their sleeves, find themselves in deepening trouble with the provincial, 19th-century villagers, Blanca watches helplessly and reflects on the circumstances of her own death (which involves an ill-advised love affair with a monk-in-training).

Charming, original, and emotionally moving, this is a surprisingly touching story about romantic fixation and a powerful meditation on creativity. 

Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh
Publishes: June 21st by Penguin

Little Marek, the abused and delusional son of the village shepherd, never knew his mother; his father told him she died in childbirth. One of life’s few consolations for Marek is his enduring bond with the blind village midwife, Ina, who suckled him when he was a baby, as she did so many of the village’s children. Ina’s gifts extend beyond childcare: she possesses a unique ability to communicate with the natural world. Her gift often brings her the transmission of sacred knowledge on levels far beyond those available to other villagers, however religious they might be. For some people, Ina’s home in the woods outside of the village is a place to fear and to avoid, a godless place. 
 
Among their number is Father Barnabas, the town priest and lackey for the depraved lord and governor, Villiam, whose hilltop manor contains a secret embarrassment of riches. The people’s desperate need to believe that there are powers that be who have their best interests at heart is put to a cruel test by Villiam and the priest, especially in this year of record drought and famine. But when fate brings Marek into violent proximity to the lord’s family, new and occult forces upset the old order. By year’s end, the veil between blindness and sight, life and death, the natural world and the spirit world, will prove to be very thin indeed.

The House Across The Lake by Riley Sager
Publishes: June 22nd (UK, July 7th) Hodder & Stoughton

Recently widowed actress Casey Fletcher has escaped to her family’s lake house for peace and quiet. She’s been happily losing herself in her thoughts and several bottles of bourbon, until the glamorous couple across the lake catch her attention. They look so perfect – just like Casey and her husband used to be.
But is anyone what they seem?

Casey has a detective sat at her kitchen table.

She has a man bound and gagged upstairs.

Casey will uncover dark truths so life-changing that nothing will ever be the same again.

The Woman In The Library by Sulari Gentill
Publishes: June 7th, Poisoned Pen Press

In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

Stargazer by Laurie Petrou
Published: June 23rd, Verve

Diana Martin has lived her life in the shadow of her sadistic older brother. She quietly watches the family next door, enthralled by celebrity fashion designer Marianne Taylor and her feted daughter, Aurelle.

She wishes she were a ‘Taylor girl’.

By the summer of 1995, the two girls are at university together, bonded by a mutual desire to escape their wealthy families and personal tragedies and forge new identities.

They are closer than lovers, intoxicated by their own bond, falling into the hedonistic seduction of the woods and the water at a remote university that is more summer camp than campus.

But when burgeoning artist Diana has a chance at fame, cracks start to appear in their friendship. To what lengths is Diana willing to go to secure her own stardom?

The lines between love, envy and obsession blur in Laurie Petrou’s utterly enthralling, unceasingly tense novel. A darkly compelling coming-of-age story, perfect for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, and Emma Cline’s The Girls.

The Botanist’s Guide To Parties and Poisons
Publishes: June 7th, Crooked Lane Books

London, 1923. Newly minted research assistant Saffron Everleigh attends a dinner party for the University College of London. While she expects to engage in conversations about the university’s large expedition to the Amazon, she doesn’t expect Mrs. Henry, one of the professors’ wives to drop to the floor, poisoned by an unknown toxin. 

Dr. Maxwell, Saffron’s mentor, is the main suspect, having had an explosive argument with Dr. Henry a few days prior. As evidence mounts against Dr. Maxwell and the expedition’s departure draws nearer, Saffron realizes if she wants her mentor’s name cleared, she’ll have to do it herself. 

Joined by enigmatic Alexander Ashton, a fellow researcher, Saffron uses her knowledge of botany as she explores steamy greenhouses, dark gardens, and deadly poisons.

Will she be able to uncover the truth or will her investigation land her on the murderer’s list? 

For The Throne by Hannah Whitten
Publishes: June 9th, Orbit

Sequel to For The Wolf

The First Daughter is for the Throne
The Second Daughter is for the Wolf…

Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Old Kings but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister Neve, the First Daughter is lost in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom where the vicious gods of legend have been trapped for centuries and the Old Kings have slowly been gaining control. But Neve has an ally–though it’s one she’d rather never have to speak to again–the rogue king Solmir.

Solmir wants to bring an end to the Shadowlands and he believes helping Neve may be the key to its destruction. But to do that, they will both have to journey across a dangerous landscape in order to find a mysterious Heart Tree, and finally to claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.

Half A Soul by Olivia Atwater
Releases: June 30th, Orbit

It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul.

Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment – a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season – but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.

If Dora’s reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.

Little Bird by Tiffany Meuret
Published: June 17th Black Spot Books

The skeletons in the closet have nothing on the one in your backyard.
Freshly divorced and grieving the death of her father, Josie Lauer has caged herself inside her home. To cope with her losses, Josie follows a strict daily routine of work, playing with her dog, Po, and trying to remember to eat a decent meal–and ending each night by drinking copious amounts of vodka. In other words, she is not coping at all.
Everything changes when Josie wakes to find a small shrub has sprouted in her otherwise dirt backyard the morning after yet another bender. Within hours, the vine-like plant is running amok–and it’s brought company. The appearance of the unwieldly growth has also heralded the arrival of a busybody new neighbor who insists on thrusting herself into Josie’s life. The neighbor Josie can deal with. The talking skeleton called Skelly that has perched itself in Josie’s backyard on a throne made of vines, however, is an entirely different matter.
As the strangely sentient plant continues to grow and twist its tendrils inside Josie’s suddenly complicated life, Josie begins to realize her new neighbor knows a lot more about the vines and her bizarre new visitor than she initially lets on. There’s a reason Skelly has chosen to appear in Josie’s suddenly-blooming backyard and insists on pulling her out of her carefully kept self-isolation. All Josie has to do is figure out what that reason is–and she has only a few days to do it, or else she might find herself on the wrong side of catastrophe.
LITTLE BIRD is a story about found family, no matter how bizarre.

The Seawomen by Chloe Timms
Publishes: June 14th, Hodder & Stoughton

Esta has known nothing but Eden’s Isle her whole life. After a fire left her orphaned and badly scarred, Esta was raised by her grandmother in a deeply religious society who cut itself off from the mainland in the name of salvation. Here, fear rules: fear of damnation, fear of the outside world and fear of what lurks beneath the water – a corrupting evil the islanders call the Seawomen.

But Esta wants more than a life where touching the water risks corruption, where her every move is watched and women are controlled in every aspect of their lives. Married off, the women of the island must conceive a child within their appointed motheryear or be marked as cursed and cast into the sea as a sacrifice in an act called the Untethering.

When Esta witnesses a woman Untethered she sees a future to fear. Her fate awaits, a loveless marriage, her motheryear declared. And after a brief taste of freedom, the insular world Esta knows begins to unravel…

This Place Is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian
Publishes: June 9th, Penguin

Two sisters. A shocking racist incident. The summer that will change both of their lives forever.

Annalie and Margaret are sisters who agree on only one thing: that they have nothing in common.

Annalie is seventeen: sweet, content, and looking forward to a summer of flirting with the most popular boy in school.

Margaret is nineteen: ambitious, a warrior for social justice, and desperate to forget her ex-boyfriend in New York City.

When their family is the victim of a racial attack, Annalie tries to pretend it never happened – but Margaret wants to fight back. Suddenly their relationship – and all the ones around them – are hanging by a thread. And then a crushing secret threatens to tear them apart forever . . .

How To Raise An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Publishes: June 14th, One World

How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How are kids at different ages experiencing race? How are racist structures impacting children? How can we inspire our children to avoid our mistakes, to be better, to make the world better?

These are the questions Ibram X. Kendi found himself avoiding as he anticipated the birth of his first child. Like most parents or parents-to-be, he felt the reflex to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But research into the scientific literature, his experiences as a father and reflections on his own difficult experiences as a student ultimately changed his mind. In How to Raise an Antiracist he shows that we must all participate in the effort to raise young people as antiracists.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

Bookish News

The Women’s Prize Shortlist Is Here And It’s Fantastic!

April 27th, 2022

Hi Readers!

Oh my goodness was I nervous for this years shortlist! The longlist had left me feeling a little underwhelmed with many books that were just absolutely not my thing, and many of them I never plan to read. Thankfully the shortlist is made up of my ideal books with just one I’m hesitant about (because of tw’s) but I might even brave that one.

So firstly, this years shortlist is…

I have read two. One is a new favourite and I will absolutely be rooting for it to win the whole thing.

I have one out of the library I will be reading soon, and the others I’ve got in reserve. Hopefully they come in soon, but we have a little while before the winners announced in June.

The Island Of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

My ideal winner!
I can’t express to you how much I adore this book, although I tried to in my review. I was having heart palpitations whilst watching the shortlist video until I saw the golden branches of a fig tree and I knew it had made it!

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

I have this out of the library and did start it over the weekend, but I wasn’t in the mood for it (and I have too many prompts I still need to finish for the magical readathon and this completes none of them, lol). I think I will read this next week.


The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

I was so excited to see this on the shortlist! I didn’t predict it but had I done an ideal shortlist, this would have been on it.
I’m excited to read this because it sounds like I magical realism I might actually like.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Not surprised this one made it, but very relieved all the same because I definitely want to read it, but it’s a pretty big book and I definitely needed that extra motivation.
It’s another one that has a long wait list at the library though so it might be a while before I can get to it. Thank goodness we have until June!

The Book Of Form And Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

This is the second one I’ve read, and whilst I wasn’t wowed by it, I’m glad it’s here because it means one less book to read!
I can see why it made the shortlist as it does explore mental health and how we view objects and possessions in an interesting way, I just thought it dragged on for too long.

The Bread The Devil Knead by Lisa Allen-Agostini

This is the one I’m hesitant to pick up. I have been hearing nothing but incredible things, but I also know the trigger warnings and themes it explores will make this quite a tough one to read and I’m not sure if that’s something I want to do. I have reserved it from the library though, so if it does come in a might give it a try.

So that’s the Women’s Prize For Fiction 2022 shortlist! Are you excited? Happy? Is there anything you’re gutted didn’t make it? Honestly the only one I thought just HAD to make the shortlist was Island of Missing Trees so I couldn’t be happier.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

May Book Releases | 2022

April 11th, 2022

Hi Readers!

May is absolutely the month of contemporary romance for me. There are so many exciting new releases, including one of my most anticipated releases of the entire year, Book Lovers! I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these…

Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Releases: May 3rd Penguin
About: One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming…

Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books.

Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he’s Nora’s work nemesis.

Nora has been through enough break-ups to know she’s the woman men date before they find their happy-ever-after. That’s why Nora’s sister has persuaded her to swap her desk in the city for a month’s holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s a small town straight out of a romance novel, but instead of meeting sexy lumberjacks, handsome doctors or cute bartenders, Nora keeps bumping into…Charlie.

She’s no heroine. He’s no hero. So can they take a page out of an entirely different book?

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner
Releases: May 10th, Atria Books
About: A heartfelt and unputdownable novel of family, secrets, and the ties that bind.

When Veronica Levy bought her dream house on the Outer Cape, she imagined a place where generations of her family would gather for years to come.

Now, forty years later, with her children barely speaking to each other, or to her, Veronica has decided, reluctantly, to put the place on the market. She’ll invite the family to gather one last time (and insist on their good behavior) at her granddaughter Celia’s wedding. She’ll spend one last summer by the beach, with her daughter Sarah, her son Sam, and whichever grandchildren can be coaxed into making the trip. Then she’ll say goodbye to the house she’s loved for forty years.

But three months is a long time. Time enough for an old love to reappear, for secrets to come to light, and for three generations of Levy women to decide what kind of lives they want to live, in the summers they have left.

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren
Releases: May 17th, Gallery Books
About: A charming, laugh-out-loud novel filled with adventure, treasure, and, of course, love.

Lily has never forgotten the man that got away . . . but she certainly hasn’t forgiven him either!

As the daughter of a notorious treasure hunter, Lily makes ends meet using her father’s coveted hand-drawn maps, guiding tourists on fake treasure hunts through the canyons of Utah. When the man she once loved walks back into her life with a motley crew of friends, ready to hit the trails, Lily can’t believe her eyes. Frankly, she’d like to take him out into the wilderness – and leave him there.

Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily is all business: it’s never going to happen. But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives, and their hearts, on the adventure of a lifetime . . .

The Emma Project by Sonali Dev
Releases: May 17th, Avon Books
About: Emma gets a fresh Indian-American twist from award-winning author Sonali Dev in her heartwarmingly irresistible Jane Austen inspired rom com series.

No one can call Vansh Raje’s life anything but charmed. Handsome—Vogue has declared him California’s hottest single—and rich enough to spend all his time on missions to make the world a better place. Add to that a doting family and a contagiously sunny disposition and Vansh has made it halfway through his twenties without ever facing anything to throw him off his admittedly spectacular game.

A couple years from turning forty, Knightlina (Naina) Kohli has just gotten out of a ten-year-long fake relationship with Vansh’s brother and wants only one thing from her life…fine, two things. One, to have nothing to do with the unfairly blessed Raje family ever again. Two, to bring economic independence to millions of women in South Asia through her microfinance foundation and prove her father wrong about, well, everything.

Just when Naina’s dream is about to come to fruition, Vansh Raje shows up with his misguided Emma Project… And suddenly she’s fighting him for funding and wondering if a friends-with-benefits arrangement that’s as toe-curlingly hot as it is fun is worth risking her life’s work for.

Yerba Buena by Nina Lacour
Releases: May 31st, Flatiron Books
About: At once exquisite and expansive, astonishing in its humanity and heart, Yerba Buena is a love story about two women finding their way in the world.

When Sara Foster runs away from home at sixteen, she leaves behind not only the losses that have shattered her world but the girl she once was, capable of trust and intimacy. Years later, in Los Angeles, she is a sought-after bartender, renowned as much for her brilliant cocktails as for the mystery that clings to her.

Across the city, Emilie Dubois is in a holding pattern. In her seventh year and fifth major as an undergraduate, she yearns for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but is unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena and embarks on an affair with the married owner.

When Sara catches sight of Emilie one morning at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But the damage both women carry, and the choices they have made, will pull them apart again and again.

You Make A Fool Of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
Releases: May 24th, Atria Books
About: Akwaeke Emezi’s vivid and passionate writing takes us deep into a world of possibility and healing, and the constant bravery of choosing love against all odds. 

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime:

Feyi is about to be given the chance to escape the City’s blistering heat for a dream island holiday: poolside cocktails, beach sunsets, and elaborate meals. And as the sun goes down on her old life our heroine also might just be ready to open her heart to someone new…

The only problem is, she’s falling for the one man she absolutely can’t have.

The Murder of Mr Wickham by Claurdia Gray
Releases: May 3rd, Vintage
About: A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Mr. Wickham, one of literature’s most notorious villains, meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Jane Austen’s leading literary characters.

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a house party, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.

Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In a tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang.

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
Releases: May 17th, Riverhead Books
About: What if you could take a vacation to your past?

On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn’t exactly the one she expected. She’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing.

When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn’t just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it’s her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited.

Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?

Forging Silver Into Stars by Brigid Kemmerer
Releases: May 3rd, Bloomsbury
About: When ancient magic tests a newfound love, a dark fate beckons . . .

Tycho of Rillisk has been a lot of things: son and brother, stablehand, prisoner, soldier and friend to the king. Now, four years after Grey took the throne of Emberfall, Tycho has taken on a new role: courier and spy. As the only person the king can trust, Tycho carries secret messages back and forth between the kingdoms of Emberfall and Syhl Shallow.

But even though the war is over, peace still seems far away. A dangerous anti-magical faction is rising, and when Tycho discovers a plot to assassinate Grey and Queen Lia Mara, ruler of Syhl Shallow, he must fight for everything he believes in.

Nothing here is as it seems, and after a devastating betrayal, it becomes clear that the danger is only just beginning …

Book Of Night by Holly Black
Releases: May 3rd, Tor Books
About: Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make.

She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall.

Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but getting out isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that Charlie’s shadowless, and possibly soulless, boyfriend has been hiding things from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends into a maelstrom of murder and lies.

Determined to survive, she’s up against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world—all trying to steal a secret that will give them vast and terrible power

The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna
Releases: May 26th, Usborne Publishing
About: THE MERCILESS ONES is the second, thrilling instalment of the epic fantasy series in which a young heroine fights against a world that would dare tame her.

It’s been six months since Deka freed the goddesses in the ancient kingdom of Otera, and discovered who she really is… But war is waging across the kingdom, and the real battle has only just begun. For there is a dark force growing in Otera – a merciless power that Deka and her army must stop.

Yet hidden secrets threaten to destroy everything Deka has known. And with her own gifts changing, Deka must discover if she holds the key to saving Otera… or if she might be its greatest threat.


City of Orange by David Yoon
Releases: May 24th, G.P. Putnam’s Son
About: A man wakes up in an unknown landscape, injured and alone.

He used to live in a place called California, but how did he wind up here with a head wound and a bottle of pills in his pocket?

    He navigates his surroundings, one rough shape at a time. Here lies a pipe, there a reed that could be carved into a weapon, beyond a city he once lived in.
 
 He could swear his daughter’s name began with a J, but what was it, exactly?

    Then he encounters an old man, a crow, and a boy—and realizes that nothing is what he thought it was, neither the present nor the past.

He can’t even recall the features of his own face, and wonders: who am I?

Family Of Liars by E. Lockhart
Releases: May 3rd, Delacorte Press
About: The prequel to We Were Liars takes readers back to the story of another summer, another generation, and the secrets that will haunt them for decades to come.

A windswept private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
A hungry ocean, churning with secrets and sorrow.
A fiery, addicted heiress. An irresistible, unpredictable boy.
A summer of unforgivable betrayal and terrible mistakes.

Welcome back to the Sinclair family.
They were always liars

Which of these will you be looking forward to?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

Women’s Prize For Fiction | 2022 Longlist Reaction

March 8th, 2022

Hi Readers!

Firstly, happy international women’s day. This day means celebrating the vast sea of female voices, and that’s why I always look forward to the women’s prize longlist. This years has finally been announced, and there are so many books here not even on my raider, but sound so exciting.

This years longlist consists of 16 books again, eight of them I’d heard of before but eight are completely new to me. I’ve also not read any of them, so that means I have a lot of reading to do. I’m quite pleased by this years selection and there are only a couple of books I’m not sure about.

Here are the books, a small part of their synopsis, and my plans for them. n

Careless by Kirsty Capes

Sometimes it’s easy to fall between the cracks…
At 3.04pm on a hot, sticky day in June, Bess finds out she’s pregnant.
She could tell her social worker Henry, but he’s useless.
She should tell her foster mother, Lisa, but she won’t understand.
She really ought to tell Boy, but she hasn’t spoken to him in weeks.
Bess knows more than anyone that love doesn’t come without conditions.
But this isn’t a love story… 


This is a tale as old as time, I’m intrigued to see what Capes has done with it.


The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mandelson

The longer the marriage, the harder truth becomes . . .

I love books about family, and I love books about art. This one brings those two together, and I have big hopes for it.




The Bread The Devil Knead by Lisa Allen-Agostini

This is an engrossing and atmospheric novel with a strong feminist message at the heart of its page-turning plot. It explores an abusive love-affair with searing honesty, and skilfully tackles the issue of gender violence and racism against the lush and heady backdrop of the national festival, and the music that feeds it. It’s impossible not to root for Alethea – she is an unforgettable heroine, trapped in ways she is only just beginning to understand but shining with strength, resolve and, ultimately, self-determination. 

This is normally something I would avoid because it’s main character is a victim of domestic abuse and I don’t like reading that. I would however like to try this. I may not be able to though as my library doesn’t currently have it available.

This One Sky Day by Leone Ross

Dawn breaks across the archipelago of Popisho, a world where magic is everywhere, food is fate, politics are broken, and love awaits. Everyone in Popisho was born with a little something… The local name for it was cors. Magic, but more than magic. A gift, nah? Yes. From the gods: a thing that felt so inexpressibly your own.

Another book I would have normally avoided. I’ve tried magical realism before and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed one. But I will definitely try to read this as it has got some great reviews.


Flamingo by Rachel Elliott

A novel of love, homelessness, and learning to be fearless
In the garden, there were three flamingos.


This is one I’m considering skipping. I have reserved it and if it comes in I’ll give the first couple of chapters a go. But the way the full synopsis is written just doesn’t entice me, and kind of gives me reservations about the writing style.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Spanning Prohibition-era Montana, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New Zealand, wartime London, and modern-day Los Angeles, Great Circle tells the unforgettable story of a daredevil female aviator determined to chart her own course in life, at any cost.

Finally, one I predicted correctly! I am so pleased to see this made the longlist because I’m very excited to read it. This just felt like a women’s prize book.

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

It is a perfect July morning, and Elle, a fifty-year-old happily married mother of three, awakens at “The Paper Palace” — the family summer place which she has visited every summer of her life. But this morning is different: last night Elle and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had sex with each other for the first time, all while their spouses chatted away inside.

I’m very excited for this, and I’m very annoyed with myself for not predicting it. I don’t know why, I just didn’t think it sounded like a women’s prize book. But I definitely think I’ll enjoy it.

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

With its blend of sympathetic characters, riveting plot, and vibrant engagement with everything from jazz, to climate change, to our attachment to material possessions, The Book of Form and Emptiness is classic Ruth Ozeki–bold, wise, poignant, playful, humane and heartbreaking.

I had never heard of this book before today, and that’s why I love this prize, because this book sounds incredible. I love books about books and grief, and whilst this is another magical realism, I think this could be a very enjoyable one.

Creatures of Passage by Morowa Yejide

With echoes of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Yejidé’s novel explores a forgotten quadrant of Washington, DC, and the ghosts that haunt it.

I have never seen this book before, and I can’t say I have much interest in it personally. Just the fact that it achoes Beloved, a book I’m really not a fan of, puts me off. It’s also another magical realism, apparently it has ghosts. This might be one where I wait to see what other people think first. My library doesn’t have it in anyway.

Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey

The looming presence of the nearby prison camp – lying just beyond a patch of forest – is the only blot to mar what is otherwise an idyllic life in Buchenwald.

This is another subject I tend to stay away from, especially in fiction. The holocaust. I think that these stories will always be important to share, I just can’t read them. My library also doesn’t have this in, so I’ll just see what everyone else thinks of it.

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

This novel is about a woman called Martha. She knows there is something wrong with her but she doesn’t know what it is. Her husband Patrick thinks she is fine. He says everyone has something, the thing is just to keep going.

This book completely escaped my notice last year, but it sounds incredible and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

A moving, beautifully written and delicately constructed story of love, division, transcendence, history and eco-consciousness.

I can see this becoming a favourite. I’ve read and enjoyed two of Shafak’s previous books, but this one sounds like something I could love. I did want to read it when it was first released but I never got around to it. I definitely will now.


Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith

Two young women go missing decades apart. Both are fearless, both are lost. And both will have their revenge.

Doesn’t that one line just hook you? It has me, and I can’t wait for it.


Salt Lick by Lulu Allison

This book has a chorus, the dreamy herd voice of feral cows, who are impatient with humans for their cruelty and lack of ability to find contentment, but they watch over Jesse, Isolde and Lee with benevolent care, understanding their lives as part of a bigger story that ravels and unravels endlessly over time. 

My library doesn’t have this, and the synopsis doesn’t really speak to me. I think it’s from the POV of animals which I’ve never really been a fan of so I don’t think I would have read it anyway. Maybe if it makes the shortlist.

The Sentence by Luise Erdrich

The Sentence begins on All Souls’ Day 2019 and ends on All Souls’ Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written. 

The fourth and final book I predicted! I very excited to see this made the longlist because I absolutely want to read it, and now I can for the prize. I just love the sound of this.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.

Just like The Book of Form and Emptiness, I hadn’t heard of this one. But this book sounds like something I could possibly love. I love music and bands, and if this author does what TJR does and makes this band feel real, this could be a potential new favourite. We’ll see!


What longlisted book are you most eager to get to? I can’t wait to get my hands on The Island of Missing Trees myself, but there a few here I’m excited for.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

Exciting Book Releases For February | 2022

January 25th, 2022

Hi Readers!

February is going to be a great month for fantasy readers. There are a couple here that sound so incredible, and have the most beautiful covers, and I can’t wait to pick them up. There’s also a couple of non-fantasies that have also caught my eye.

A Storm of Sisters by Michelle Harrison

Releases: February 3rd, 2022
About: There are secrets hidden beneath the ice . . . bring the magic home in the frosty fourth instalment of the Pinch of Magic Adventures.

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Releases: February 1st Penguin
About: Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

This Woven Kingdom by Taherah Mafi

Releases: February 1st HarperCollins
About: To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.

The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can’t put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom—and the world.

Earth of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

Releases: February 15th, Bloomsbury
About: Book Two In The Crescent City, an Adult Fantasy series.

Amari and the Great Game by B.B. Alston

Releases: February 1st Balzer + Bray
About: Book Two in the Middle Grade fantasy series. Sequel to Amari and the Night Brothers.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

Releases: February 22nd Hodder & Stoughton
About: Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.

Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.

Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…

Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi

Releases: February 15th Faber and Faber
About: From National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi comes a companion novel to the critically acclaimed PET that explores both the importance and cost of social revolution–and how youth lead the way.

Iron Sword by Julie Kagawa

Releases: February 1st Inkyard Press
About: Book Two in The Iron Fey, Evenfall, a YA Fantasy series.

What book release are you looking forward to in February?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X