July TBR- Pop Culture Readathon Edition

I completely failed my June TBR but I have good feelings about July since it is another round of my favorite readathon. I absolutely love every theme that the lovely creatures of the PopCulture Readathon come up and they always have multiple bingo boards so you can really cater this readathon to what you love. The theme for this round is movies from the 2000’s which is beyond perfect for me since those are the movies from my teenage years into adulthood so I know them all really well. I, of course, picked the Thrill Seekers bingo board and I am so excited about all the books that I picked that I am aiming for a blackout. Although, I have been thinking of also trying to read some books that fit The Adult Agenda board but I haven’t fully decided on that yet. I also think it would fun to watch the movies that each book prompt is for since I haven’t watched a lot of these since the 2000’s!

Ginger Snaps (feat. a shifter)

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

Zodiac (published during your birth month)

It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father. Or so he says. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

What follows is a game of cat and mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there’s nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing—survive the night. 

Cabin Fever (feat. woods or forest)

What if your best friend and roommate killed a teacher at your prep school? Or what if he didn’t do it, but he’s being framed, and you’re the only person who can save him?

Luke Chase didn’t mean to get caught up solving the mystery of Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to spend alone time with the new British girl at their boarding school.

But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot in the woods, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would be the one to take the blame. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to solve the mystery and find the true killer.

Donnie Darko (YA Horror)

Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.

Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

Jennifer’s Body (Femme Fatale Character)

A spine-tingling novel of revenge, betrayal, and sisterhood from the internationally celebrated author of The Golden Cage.She’s had to fight for it every step of the way, but Faye finally has the life she believes she deserves: she is rich, the business she built has become a global brand, and she has carefully hidden away her small family in Italy where Jack, her ex-husband, can no longer harm them. She even has the wherewithal to occasionally turn a business trip to Rome into a steamy tryst. But when several major investors–women Faye had trusted implicitly–suddenly sell off their shares in the company, and the police officer who helped search for her daughter discovers the dark secret of Faye’s childhood, and she learns that Jack is no longer locked behind bars, Faye has no choice but to return to Stockholm. Not only does she have to fight again to keep her family safe, but now, at long last, she is forced to face the truth about her past. In this bold, mesmerizing story of seduction, deceit, and female power, a woman’s secret cannot stay buried forever.

Cursed (feat. curse that needs to be broken)

His powers—Inhuman…

His passion—Beyond immortal…
 

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she’ll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member—a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments… and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction—and a soul-shattering test of love…

Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive—and unimaginably powerful…

Don’t miss this incredible new paranormal series from Gena Showalter! 

Paranormal Activity (ghost story)

One postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country physician, is called to a patient at lonely Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for over two centuries, the Georgian house, once impressive and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. Its owners – mother, son, and daughter – are struggling to keep pace with a changing society, as well as with conflicts of their own. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more sinister than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become intimately entwined with his.

Eight Legged Freaks (deals w/ phobias)

Hot on the heels of The Twin, the undisputed queen of YA thrillers is back with a scary and suspenseful read about a summer camp filled with dark secrets.Esme and Kayla once were campers at Camp Pine Lake. They’re excited to be back this year as CITs (counselors in training). Esme loves the little girls in her cabin and thinks it’s funny how scared they are of everything–spiders, the surly head counselor, the dark, boys . . . even swimming in the lake It reminds her a little of how she and Kayla used to be, once. Before . . . it happened. Because Esme and Kayla did something bad when they were campers. Afterwards, the girls agreed to keep it secret. They’ve moved on–or so they say–and this summer is going to be great. Two months of sun, s’mores, and flirting with the cute boy counselors. But then they get a note. THE LAKE NEVER FORGETS. And the secret they’ve kept buried for so many years is about to resurface.

The Ring (7 words in the title)

A grand treasure for fans of the grande dame of mystery, this collection brings together nine rare and brilliant Christie tales of murder and detection that span nearly half a century of storytelling genius.

The Edge
The Actress
While the Light Lasts
The House of Dreams
The Lonely God
Manx Gold
Within a Wall
The Mystery of the Spanish Chest
The Harlequin Tea Set

“Twinkies!” (food on cover)

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…

Men in Black II (a sequel)

A drowned young woman is discovered on an abandoned pleasure boat drifting by the Stockholm archipelago—strangely, her clothes are dry. The next day in Stockholm, a man turns up dead, hanging from a lamp hook inside his completely bare apartment—but how could he have hung himself with no furniture to climb upon? As Detective Inspector Joona Linna begins to piece together the two mysteries, he discovers that they are a mere prelude to a dizzying and dangerous course of events.

The Skeleton Key (bones in title or cover)

This is an ARC I received via Netgalley. It comes out September 28, 2021.

Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six month later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him.

~Cassie

48 Queer Blackathon TBR

I inadvertently took a week off of my blog because real life has been hectic but I’m back today to share the books I plan on reading for this weekend (June 19 & 20). I haven’t been reading much of all with everything that has been going on so I’m excited to hopefully reset my reading this weekend with some really awesome books. I first heard about this readathon from Starlah Reads so I will link her video below so you can get all the details and info that you need.

My goal is to read the three books that I have picked for each prompt but I will also be sharing a short list of books that I would love to choose from if I finish the main three.

Prompts

Author you have never read from before

Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he is working uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends—some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But over the course of a late-summer weekend, a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with an ostensibly straight, white classmate, conspire to fracture his defenses while exposing long-hidden currents of hostility and desire within their community.

Graphic Novel

When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.

Bi, Trans, or Ace MC/Author

From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.

Extra Books

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus’s bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor’s daughter. Audre’s grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won’t lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. “America have dey spirits too, believe me,” she tells Audre.

Minneapolis. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels–about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that’s plagued her all summer. Mabel’s reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner. 

Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer and suddenly it’s Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

Junauda Petrus’s debut brilliantly captures the distinctly lush and lyrical voices of Mabel and Audre as they conjure a love that is stronger than hatred, prison, and death and as vast as the blackness between the stars.

When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not. 

August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.

Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves–now protective, now hedonistic–move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.

Narrated by the various selves within Ada and based in the author’s realities, Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.

A refreshingly timely and relatable debut novel about a young woman whose life plans fall apart when she meets her wife.

With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.

This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

In New York, she’s able to ignore all the annoying questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

Named one of the year’s most anticipated books by The New York TimesHarper’s BazaarBuzzFeed, and more

What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom. 

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

Mercy Alston knows the best thing to do with pesky feelings like “love” and “hope”: avoid them at all cost. Serving as a maid to Eliza Hamilton, and an assistant in the woman’s stubborn desire to preserve her late husband’s legacy, has driven that point home for Mercy—as have her own previous heartbreaks. 

When Andromeda Stiel shows up at Hamilton Grange for an interview in her grandfather’s stead, Mercy’s resolution to live a quiet, pain-free life is tested by the beautiful, flirtatious, and entirely overwhelming dressmaker. 

Andromeda has staid Mercy reconsidering her worldview, but neither is prepared for love—or for what happens when it’s not enough. 

This is an angsty but fluffy F/F novella with a happy ending for both of our intrepid heroines.

Her sister’s bachelorette party is the highlight of a miserable year for Alexis Chambers, but once her bridesmaid’s dress is packed away, she’s back to coping with her life as a once popular athlete and violinist turned loner and the focus of her parents’ disappointment. She isn’t expecting much from her freshman year of college until she finds herself sharing a class with Treasure, the gorgeous stripper from her sister’s party. 

Trisha Hamilton has finally gotten the credits and the money together to transfer to a four-year university. Between classes, studying, and her job as a stripper, she has little time for a social life, until she runs into the adorably shy baby butch from the club. Trisha can’t seem to hide her feelings for Alexis, even when Trisha discovers what she has been through, but will Alexis have the strength to be just as fearless about their new love?

~Cassie

Pop Culture Readathon TBR

Last week was a rough one for me so now I’m about a week behind in posts so forgive me for this one since the readathon started yesterday. It is two weeks long though so if you are just hearing about it now and want to participate you haven’t lost too much time. The Pop Culture Readathon is my favorite to participate in because they always have themes and prompts that I absolutely love. And this one is no exception because *insert drum roll* it’s Degrassi themed! I freaking loved Degrassi so much as a teenager and I am so excited to be reliving my love of it through this readathon.

The readathon goes from May 16-May 30.

Manny Santos

Olivia Dade bursts onto the scene in this delightfully fun romantic comedy set in the world of fanfiction, in which a devoted fan goes on an unexpected date with her celebrity crush, who’s secretly posting fanfiction of his own. 

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster.  Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.

April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.

Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.

With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?

Jimmy Brooks

This is the one that I am currently reading (and loving)!

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

J.T. Yorke

When their foster-turned-adoptive mother suddenly dies, four brothers struggle to keep open the doors of her beloved Harlem knitting shop, while dealing with life and love in Harlem.

Jesse Strong is known for two things: his devotion to his adoptive mom, Mama Joy, and his reputation for breaking hearts in Harlem. When Mama Joy unexpectedly passes away, he and his brothers have different plans on what to do with Strong Knits, their neighborhood knitting store: Jesse wants to keep the store open; his brothers want to shut it down.

Jesse makes an impassioned plea to Kerry Fuller, his childhood friend who has had a crush on him her entire life, to help him figure out how to run the business. Kerry agrees to help him reinvent the store and show him the knitty-gritty of the business, but the more time they spend together, the more the chemistry builds. Kerry, knowing Jesse’s history, doesn’t believe this relationship will exist longer than one can knit one, purl one. But Jesse is determined to prove to her that he can be the man for her—after all, real men knit.

Paige Michaelchuk

This Agatha Christie is also known as Five Little Pigs but the edition shown are the ones my library carries so I’m going by the title it has. I think it fits this prompt perfectly.

It was an open and shut case. All the evidence said Caroline Crale poisoned her philandering husband, a brilliant painter. She was quickly and easily convicted and sentenced to life in prison. 
Now, sixteen years later, in a posthumous letter, Mrs. Crale has assured her grown daughter that she was innocent. But instead of setting the young woman’s mind at ease, the letter only raises disquieting questions. Did Caroline indeed write the truth? And if she didn’t kill her husband, who did?

To find out, the Crale’s daughter asks Hercule Poirot to reopen the case. His investigation takes him deep into the conflicting memories and motivations of the five other people who were with the Crales on the fatal day. With his keen understanding of human psychology, he manages to discover the surprising truth behind the artist’s death.

Emma Nelson

In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today’s struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today’s struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.

Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that “Freedom is a constant struggle.”

The mystery of Heather Sinclair

Rose Szabo’s thrilling debut is a dark and thrilling novel about a teen girl who returns home to her strange, wild family after years of estrangement, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls.

Eleanor Zarrin has been estranged from her wild family for years. When she flees boarding school after a horrifying incident, she goes to the only place she thinks is safe: the home she left behind. But when she gets there, she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds.

Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family together — in order to save them all, Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.

Exquisitely terrifying, beautiful, and strange, this fierce gothic fantasy will sink its teeth into you and never let go.

~Cassie

Dewey’s 24 Hr Readathon TBR

This Saturday, April 24, is the next round of Dewey’s 24 hour readathon and I have decided to participate for the first time ever. My 11 year old is planning on joining me since he says he has a lot of books that he needs to catch up on. I don’t know where he gets that from 😉 The whole family will be supporting us by joining in with some reading and lots of snacking but Connor and I are both aiming to read as much as possible on Saturday. I’m even thinking of letting him stay up and we can do the first hour from midnight to one before getting some sleep and going hard when we wake up. I will link to Dewey’s Goodreads group here where you can find all the info and a link to the Bingo board that they created. I have curated my TBR based on the board and I will be sharing all the book prompts here today. There are some other fun prompts involving food and what you wear. There are some reading prompts that I’m not even attempting because my goal is to read a lot of graphic novels and shorter reads which wouldn’t work for some of them. Like the oldest book on my TBR is a classic and that would take up a lot of the readathon just for that one read. Although you only need to read 50 pages for a book to count towards a prompt but I also want to be careful that I’m not starting things I can’t finish since I have been working on cutting down on my started books list. As always with my TBR’s I have come up with a book for each prompt and then I will just pick and choose on Saturday what I read and then for my wrap up I will come up with my (hopeful) different bingos.

Read a book that has won an award

This has won a few different awards including Goodreads 2018 choice awards graphic novels & comics

Helloooo, Internet Land. Bitty here!

Y’all… I might not be ready for this. I may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It’s nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking. And then, there is Jack—our very attractive but moody captain.

A collection of the first half of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.

Read a book with no supernatural elements

Death comes to dine… 

When an elegant dinner party with friends ends in the sudden death of a beautiful young socialite, Alice Beckingham finds herself a witness to murder. Intrigued by a cryptic note in which the victim predicts her own demise, Alice enlists the aid of the cunning but slippery Sherborne Sharp to investigate.

Alice has more than one killer to contend with, however, as her family continues to be plagued by unanswered questions surrounding an older unsolved mystery.

Working together, the lady detective and her jewel thief partner set out to trap a killer. But will the looming shadows of the past leave Alice blind to the dangers of the present?

Read a book with an unique cover

I’m reading this with my buddy reading group and I’m pretty sure I am supposed to read more than 50 pages on Saturday.

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Read a humorous book

I received an ARC of this book and I have been dying to get to it. It comes out May 18.

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.

Read a book with a one word title

Introducing… Cheryl Blossom! The fiery red-head takes center stage as Archie and Veronica’s worlds are torn apart as the two are living thousands of miles away from each other. What will happen to the rest of Archie’s friends in Riverdale? And just what kind of havoc will Cheryl Blossom wreak? All the answers and more in the third volume of the SMASH HIT Archie series! Collects Archie issues 13 – 17.

Read a standalone

Tempest Clarke has something to celebrate. She has signed the biggest contract of her career and books a private chef for a celebratory dinner with her best friend. She goes through with the dinner after her best friend unexpectedly cancels. The private chef, Russ Bradley, is nothing like Tempest expected and she definitely isn’t prepared for the chemistry that smolders between them like the hottest flame. It doesn’t take long before Tempest decides that the dinner Russ cooks up won’t be the only thing to get ATE.

Reread a favorite

Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.” First published in English in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.

A book set in spring or summer

A new love, a secret sister, and a summer she’ll never forget. 

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie … although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Read a book with a character that shares similar characteristics to you

As autumn washes over coastal Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, the Seaside Knitters anticipate a relaxing off-season. But when murder shatters the peace, the craftiest bunch in town must unravel a killer’s deadly scheme . . .

After retrieving fresh lobster nets from a local Laundromat, Cass Halloran rushes to attend a last-minute gathering with her knitting circle. But Cass can’t stop worrying about the lonely boy seen hanging around the dryers, and the school uniform he left behind in a hurry. When the ladies return the lost clothing the next day, they find the child and his younger sister alone, seemingly abandoned by their mother . . .

The knitters intend to facilitate a family reunion, not investigate a crime. But the death of Dolores Cardozo, a recluse from the edge of town, throws the group for a loop. Especially when the missing mother and one of their own become tied to the victim’s hidden fortune—and her murder . . .

Before scandalous secrets break bonds and rumors tear Sea Harbor apart, the Seaside Knitters need to string together the truth about Dolores—while preventing a greedy murderer from making another move!

* Includes a knitting pattern *

Read a book with an animal on the cover

A tale of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition.

The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

Read a book recommended or gifted to you

There are two sides to every story: yours and mine, ours and theirs, His & Hers. Which means someone is always lying. 

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation. Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep. 

His & Hers is a twisty, smart, psychological thriller. A gripping tale of suspense, told by expertly-drawn narrators that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

~Cassie

Amish in April Readathon

The Bookish Knitter on Youtube announced this monthlong readathon last week and I did a search on my Kindle of the word Amish and five books came up. I’m sure I have more Amish books but five seems like a reasonable number coupled with the rest of my April TBR. I mostly want to participate in this readathon because I want to make sure that I am consistently trying to read books on my Kindle since I buy so many of them every week!

This readathon has the them of “Triple C” because all nine prompts start with letter “C” and so you use the board to connect three words together and find a book that fits all those prompts. The only word that I kind of stretched was connection because in the video she says it means a book in a series that you have previously read but I’m just using it as a book in a series. For the classic prompt I went on the Libby app and checked out a book that was from a recommended author so I ended up with six books for this list. My goal is to read all six of them but we’ll see how much I can actually get done this month. I’m being pretty ambitious but I also have in the back of my mind that Dewey’s 24 hr readathon is at the end of the month so I do have that in my back pocket!

Classic+Contemporary+Country

Amelia “Amy” DeVries, a 24-year-old violinist, is disillusioned with life and love after the collapse of her long-running romance. Weary of endless rehearsals and performances, Amy sets out on a road trip through the Pennsylvania mountains. She leaves her cell phone behind so life’s demands can’t intrude on her solitude. She doesn’t know, nor care, where she will end up.When her car breaks down deep in the mountains, Amy realizes the flaw in her “no cell phone” plan. She abandons her car and walks the winding roads, searching for help. Following the smell of woodsmoke and the sound of music, she finds a rustic log cabin. There she meets a young Amishman–and through him a community–that will change her life forever.

Cozy+Cooking+Contemporary

He’s more than just her competition…

She’ll do anything to protect her bakery…

no matter the cost to her heart.

Amish baker Mary Brenneman is furious when handsome Englischer Noah Miller opens up a bakery right across from hers. Now she must win a local baking contest just to stay in business—and beat know-it-all Noah. But somewhere along the way, Noah and Mary’s kitchen wars are quickly warming into something more…

Contemporary+Cover+Country

Luke Beiler has loved Elisabeth Schrock for as long as he can remember and is looking forward to the day they both join the church so they can marry. Elisabeth, however, chafes under the church rules and flees to the Englisch world leaving Luke heart broken.

When an accident leaves Brianna Mitchell with amnesia, she feels helplessly lost. What will happen when she is mistaken for Elisabeth Schrock and taken home to Paradise, Pennsylvania?

Category+Contemporary+Cover

A business arrangement…or a Christmas proposal?

Anything’s possible with Amish Country Courtships

On the brink of losing her bakery, the last thing Faith Yoder’s interested in is courting—until Hunter Schwartz returns to Willow Creek. After hiring him to deliver her treats to a Christmas festival, Faith’s determined their relationship will stay strictly professional. But despite a secret that’s kept her single, Faith can’t help but wish she and Hunter could become husband and wife.

Connection+Cover+Contemporary

Isaac King is content as he is—single and without complications of the female kind. So when his father approaches him with the outlandish idea of finding him a wife, Isaac is naturally hesitant. But as his father explains his intentions and his well-thought-out plans, Isaac eventually yields to his father’s wishes. Will his agreement be his greatest blessing? Or will it be the worst decision of his life? 
Becky has always been a faithful Amish woman. With the years quickly passing, she worries that she won’t find a suitable mate and be destined to alt maedel-hood. But she doesn’t want to marry just anybody, she wants Der Herr’s will. She has almost given up hope until a stranger comes to town with an unusual proposition. Could his appearance be of Gott, like he claims? Or will Rebekah’s acceptance lead to her ultimate heartbreak? 

A sweet Christian romance about finding God’s will for your life. Amish fiction fans are sure to love this heart-warming story inspired by Isaac and Rebekah from the Bible. 

Crime+Cooking+Contemporary

When her husband of thirty years runs off with a college student named Cherri, Jane Delight returns to Pennsylvania to work in her Amish sister’s cupcake store. Having lost everything in the divorce, Jane now finds herself sharing an apartment with two elderly ladies and their quirky cat.  
But there is no time to despair. A man is murdered in the cupcake store, and now Jane and her sister, Rebecca, are the prime suspects. Enter brooding detective Damon McLeod, a Scot with a tragic past and a desire for justice.  
Can Jane solve the murder, wrangle her new roommates, and stop herself from falling for the detective? 
Or will she never get her new life on track? 

BONUS: 2 Amish Recipes Included!

~Cassie

Spring Into ReadingAthon Wrap Up

This readathon ended more than a week ago but I just finished the last book I started reading for it over the weekend. I read three of the five books that I had wanted to which is pretty good especially considering the fact that I stopped the readathon a few days early for BookopolAthon.

Prompt: Over the rainbow

Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this mystery that is an homage to the classic Sherlock Holmes story. I think that if you aren’t someone that really enjoys the logic of figuring out a mystery then you might not enjoy this book since that is the whole plot. Anthony Gillingham is a great protagonist because he has a photographic memory and I appreciated his character’s way of solving the crime. I knocked off a star because the more the story progressed the more Milne started keeping things from the reader which to me kind of takes the fun out of a mystery. I really enjoy mysteries where the clues are all laid out for the reader and it is up to us to put it all together.

Prompt: Spring Cleaning

Rating: 3/5

This is the second book in the King series and the one that wraps up King and Doe’s story. These books are dark romances that are action packed with lots of twists and reveals but I don’t much like the characters or the writing. I will keep reading them because they are entertaining and I am still interested enough on what is going to happen to all the characters next. The next arc of this series follows Bear who had some pretty heavy stuff happen to him in Tyrant and I already like his character a lot so I have high hopes for his books. Trigger warnings for pretty much everything in this book series.

Luck of the Irish (read a book with green on the cover)

Rating: 4.5/5

This book doesn’t come out until July 13 so my full review won’t be out until a lot closer to its publication date. I was instantly hooked on this take on a locked room mystery and then it had a definite lull in the middle before it had an ending that blew me away. To be honest this book is probably more of a four star but there is something about Megan Miranda’s writing that I really connect with so I went ahead and gave her the extra half star. Despite it’s slow parts I do think this would be the perfect book to take for all the pool or beach/lake days that you have this summer.

~Cassie

48 Hr Bookopolathon Wrap Up

I had a lot of fun participating in the second round of the 48 hr bookopoly readathon. It was fun coming up with books for each prompt and I got a lot of great reading in. I loved all five things that I read and I couldn’t be more happy with the way the weekend went. I’m on week 2 of taking the highest dose of prednisone which is a steroid to help stop my relapse (which finally happened about a week ago!) and to help my body recover. That is relevant information because when I’m on the prednisone I basically only need a few hours of sleep a night which allowed me to get a lot of reading in while my family was sleeping. Hence, why I am flying through books lately. Know that you know why I am such a reading machine lately let’s move onto all the amazing things that I read.

Roll Drop 1: Dark Cover + Fantasy

This was such an engrossing and inventive world that Okorafor created. I was so captivated by this novella that I read it in two sittings. It is only 98 pages but I tend to read Sci Fi slower because all the math and science takes a bit for me to wrap my head around. This book does have a heavy fantasy element but the math that this world uses was so fascinating. I’m really looking forward to reading the next two books in this trilogy as soon as possible.

Rating: 5/5

Roll Drop 1: Dark Cover

This is not my favorite Agatha Christie which is a little disappointing because it is Agatha Christie’s favorite novel that she wrote. I did still really enjoy this one and I will never not love a locked room trope mystery. I’m usually completely shocked by Christie’s endings and I saw most of this one coming right away. That being said Crooked House was a wonderful setting and it gave me a lot of Clue vibes which is always fun.

Rating: 4.5/5

Roll Drop 2: Contemporary + POC Rep

This is one of the best books that I have read this year. It is one that everyone should read and I am so happy that I grabbed a copy from the library when I saw it appear on people’s best of year lists last year. This story is real, authentic, heartbreaking, gritty and one of, if not the best, young adult contemporaries that I have ever read. This is a hefty book to read during a readathon (496 pages) but I absolutely flew through it. I can only speak to my experience of growing up in the Bay Area and having Asian friends but the pressure that Asian teenagers can feel when it comes to grades and extracurriculars felt absolutely honest to how I remember high school. This book has so many rich layers to it but it is ultimately an honest and brutal look at what life is like for Asians who are either born here or come here as “parachutes” (international students) on top of having to deal with being a female in a male centered world and the complexities and hardships of being a teenager. Kelly Yang’s writing is phenomenal and a lot of this book is own voices and her pain and experiences really shine through. I highly recommend this book to everyone and it is one that I will be buying for my personal library and having my sons read when they are in high school. There are numerous trigger warnings in this book including rape and sexual assault so please be aware of that before starting this.

Rating: 5/5

Roll Drop 3: Chance card + First in a series

This was a fun book to pick. I went through my Kindle and picked out the first 8 books that I saw that were first in a series and then used a random number generator to pick which one I read. I landed on this Tessa Bailey book and I couldn’t be happier. This book is fun, sexy, sweet and spicy. I really enjoyed our hero and heroine and how Bailey built up their relationship in such a short amount of time. This book series is all about four siblings on a road trip and each book is their own romance. The only downside to this book is that both characters have a few issues that get talked about a lot and at times it was a lot to get through. Rita has issues with being a chef in her mom’s shadow and can’t handle rejection so she shuts herself off from the world. Jasper was really into partying until he realized everyone thinks he is a joke so he quit messing around but is still dealing with feels of inferiority. I love how they were both able to connect over their problems and their chemistry was off the charts. I will hopefully be reading the rest of the books in the series soon since I own them all now but it is a lot to take on emotionally so we will see how soon I get to them.

Rating: 4/5

Roll Drop 4: Set in present day + a genre you don’t typically read

I was happy that I had checked a few comics and mangas out of the library because it came in handy for this roll drop. I read Archie Vol. 1 all the way back in May 2019 and I remember liking it but not loving it. This volume was so much better to me because it dealt with a lot of what I remember Archie being about when I would read it as a kid. I love all the drama between Veronica being rich and Betty and Veronica fighting over Archie. I’m hoping to go to the library this week and return all the books I read this week and also grab the next one or two volumes of this series.

Rating: 5/5

~Cassie

48 hr Bookopolathon TBR

Tomorrow, at 5 pm Pacific time, Becca and the Books 48 hr live bookopolathon starts! I’m so excited to join in as much as possible with the live sprints and for the three future rolls that haven’t happened yet. I’m linking Becca’s video here so you can find out all the details and I hope you find it just as fun as I do!

There are two boards to choose from which means each roll will have two prompts. My main goal is to combine both prompts and come up with one book that fits both. If I manage to read that book before the next roll drop then I will read a book that fits only one of the prompts. So for this first roll drop I have come up with three books. The first book that I chose that fits both prompts is a novella and with the way that I have been reading there is a good chance that I will finish it within the first 12 hours. So I have two back ups. But I only anticipate choosing one book each roll drop and then if I manage to finish it before the next roll drop then I will think about picking another book. I also might choose from the stack of books that I have already started when I was struggling with my reading so I can stop having them on the back of my mind constantly.

Fantasy (2021 board) + Dark Cover (bookopolathon board)

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

Binti is Nnedi Okorafor’s first story set in space. 

Dark Cover

In the sprawling, half-timbered mansion in the affluent suburb of Swinly Dean, Aristide Leonides lies dead from barbiturate poisoning. An accident? Not likely. In fact, suspicion has already fallen on his luscious widow, a cunning beauty fifty years his junior, set to inherit a sizeable fortune, and rumored to be carrying on with a strapping young tutor comfortably ensconced in the family estate. But criminologist Charles Hayward is casting his own doubts on the innocence of the entire Leonides brood. He knows them intimately. And he’s certain that in a crooked house such as Three Gables, no one’s on the level…

Fantasy

Vampires who knit 
A troublemaking witch 
Who killed Granny — and is she really dead?  

At a crossroads between a cringe-worthy past (Todd the Toad) and an uncertain future (she’s not exactly homeless, but it’s close), Lucy Swift travels to Oxford to visit her grandmother. With Gran’s undying love to count on and Cardinal Woolsey’s, Gran’s knitting shop, to keep her busy, Lucy can catch her breath and figure out what she’s going to do. 

Except it turns out that Gran is the undying. Or at least, the undead. But there’s a death certificate. And a will, leaving the knitting shop to Lucy. And a lot of people going in and out who never use the door—including Gran, who is just as loving as ever, and prone to knitting sweaters at warp speed, late at night. What exactly is going on? 

When Lucy discovers that Gran did not die peacefully in her sleep, but was murdered, she has to bring the killer to justice without tipping off the law that there’s no body in the grave. Between a hot 600-year-old vampire and a dishy detective inspector, both of whom always seem to be there for her, Lucy finds her life getting more complicated than a triple cable cardigan. 
The only one who seems to know what’s going on is her cat … or is it … her familiar?

~Cassie

Spring Into ReadingAthon TBR

Next week (March 15- 21) starts the week long Spring Into Readingathon and I will be participating the first four days. Next Friday is the start of Becca’s 48 hour Bookopoly but since I have been reading a lot lately I thought I might as well try to do both. Three of the prompts for the Spring Into Readingathon fit perfectly with books I still have on the two TBR’s I made this month but we’ll see if I end up prioritizing those three or not. I will link Melanie’s announcement video so you can find out all the info if you want to participate as well. I have come up with a book for every prompt but if I don’t get to all of them then I will combine what I can when it comes to my wrap up.

Spring Cleaning (read a book that has been collecting dust on your shelf)

I won’t be sharing a synopsis of this one since it is the second book in the series. This book works perfectly for this prompt because the whole reason I put this one my TBR this month was because I have been dying to read it since I finished the first book in the series back in December 2019. I recently discovered there are a couple of prequel stories to this series so I am going to try to read them this weekend so I can read them all in order. Which I guess would mean rereading the first book in this series as well. Although I’m kind of feeling like I want to binge this whole 10 book series so it will be interesting to see my March wrap up and how many I actually get to.

Luck of the Irish (read a book with green on the cover)

This doesn’t come out until July 13 but it has been calling to me since I was approved on Netgalley.

We had no warning that she’d come back.

Hollow’s Edge used to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.

With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge, and into the home she once shared with Harper Nash. Harper, five years older, has always treated Ruby like a wayward younger sister. But now she’s terrified. What possible good could come of Ruby returning to the scene of the crime? And how can she possibly turn her away, when she knows Ruby has nowhere to go?

Within days, suspicion spreads like a virus across Hollow’s Edge. It’s increasingly clear that not everyone told the truth about the night of the Truett’s murders. And when Harper begins receiving threatening notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else becomes the killer’s next victim.

Over the rainbow (read a classic or a retelling)

The creator of such beloved storybook characters for children as Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore, A. A. Milne was also the author of numerous dramas, essays, and novels for adults — among them, this droll and finely crafted whodunit.

In it, Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Mark Ablett. While visiting this cozy retreat, amateur detective Anthony Gillingham and his chum, Bill Beverley, investigate their genial host’s disappearance and its connection with a mysterious shooting. Was the victim, whose body was found after a heated exchange with the host, shot in an act of self-defense? If so, why did the host flee, and if not, what drove him to murder?

Between games of billiards and bowls, the taking of tea, and other genteel pursuits, Gillingham and Beverley explore the possibilities in a light-hearted series of capers involving secret passageways, underwater evidence, and other atmospheric devices.

Sparkling with witty dialogue, deft plotting, and an intriguing cast of characters, this rare gem will charm mystery lovers, Anglophiles, and general readers alike.

Women’s March (read a book with a strong female protagonist)

This doesn’t come out in North America until April 20.

A woman being held captive is willing to risk everything to save herself, her unborn child, and her captor’s latest victim in this claustrophobic thriller in the tradition of Misery and Room

On an isolated farm in the United Kingdom, a woman is trapped by the monster who kidnapped her seven years ago. When she discovers she is pregnant, she resolves to protect her child no matter the cost, and starts to meticulously plan her escape. But when another woman is brought into the fold on the farm, her plans go awry. Can she save herself, her child, and this innocent woman at the same time? Or is she doomed to spend the remainder of her life captive on this farm?

Intense, dark, and utterly gripping The Last Thing to Burn is a breathtaking thriller from an author to watch.

Spring Break Bash (read the group book or buddy read a book)

I was supposed to read this last month with my mom and sister but because I wasn’t feeling good I never got around to it.

Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita have worked at Truviv, Inc. for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Each of the women has a different relationship with Ames, who has always been surrounded by whispers about how he treats women. Those whispers have been ignored, swept under the rug, hidden away by those in charge.

But the world has changed, and the women are watching this promotion differently. This time, when they find out Ames is making an inappropriate move on a colleague, they aren’t willing to let it go. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.

Sloane and her colleagues’ decision to take a stand sets in motion a catastrophic shift in the office. Lies will be uncovered. Secrets will be exposed. And not everyone will survive. All of their lives—as women, colleagues, mothers, wives, friends, even adversaries—will change dramatically as a result.

“If only you had listened to us,” they tell us on page one of Chandler Baker’s Whisper Network, “none of this would have happened.” 

~Cassie

Blackathon TBR

In addition to my regular TBR I have also decided to participate in Blackathon. I love that there are different teams for this month long readathon and it is no surprise that I picked team Thriller/Horror. I also appreciate the fact that there are only three prompts plus a group book so I feel it is a very achievable readathon to participate in. I will insert Jesse’s video here where they go over all the details you need to know to participate:

The name of the prompt is the name of an influential black author that has written a book that will fit the prompt. Which is so genius and an easy way to find a book for each prompt.

Megan Giddings

I started this one today and I’m only on the first chapter but I’m loving the writing style.

A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation—part The Handmaid’s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

When Lena Johnson’s beloved grandmother dies, and the full extent of the family debt is revealed, the black millennial drops out of college to support her family and takes a job in the mysterious and remote town of Lakewood, Michigan.

On paper, her new job is too good to be true. High paying. No out of pocket medical expenses. A free place to live. All Lena has to do is participate in a secret program—and lie to her friends and family about the research being done in Lakewood. An eye drop that makes brown eyes blue, a medication that could be a cure for dementia, golden pills promised to make all bad thoughts go away.

The discoveries made in Lakewood, Lena is told, will change the world—but the consequences for the subjects involved could be devastating. As the truths of the program reveal themselves, Lena learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of her family.

Provocative and thrilling, Lakewood is a breathtaking novel that takes an unflinching look at the moral dilemmas many working-class families face, and the horror that has been forced on black bodies in the name of science.

Victor LaValle

People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?

Rachel Howzell

Isabel Lincoln is gone.

But is she missing?

It’s up to Grayson Sykes to find her. Although she is reluctant to track down a woman who may not want to be found, Gray’s search for Isabel Lincoln becomes more complicated and dangerous with every new revelation about the woman’s secrets and the truth she’s hidden from her friends and family.

Featuring two complicated women in a dangerous cat and mouse game, And Now She’s Gone explores the nature of secrets — and how violence and fear can lead you to abandon everything in order to survive.

Group Book

Introducing Detective Inspector Darko Dawson: dedicated family man, rebel in the office, ace in the field—and one of the most appealing sleuths to come along in years. When we first meet Dawson, he’s been ordered by his cantankerous boss to leave behind his loving wife and young son in Ghana’s capital city to lead a murder investigation: In a shady grove outside the small town of Ketanu, a young woman—a promising medical student—has been found dead under suspicious circumstances. Dawson is fluent in Ketanu’s indigenous language, so he’s the right man for the job, but the local police are less than thrilled with an outsider’s interference. For Dawson, this sleepy corner of Ghana is rife with emotional land mines: an estranged relationship with the family he left behind twenty-five years earlier and the painful memory of his own mother’s inexplicable disappearance. Armed with remarkable insight and a healthy dose of skepticism, Dawson soon finds his cosmopolitan sensibilities clashing with age-old customs, including a disturbing practice in which teenage girls are offered to fetish priests as trokosi, or Wives of the Gods. Delving deeper into the student’s haunting death, Dawson will uncover long-buried secrets that, to his surprise, hit much too close to home.

~Cassie