Greetings from Q4!
I mean, wow. Three more months gone by in a blink, and a mere three months left this year. Good thing we have books to distract us from that fact…
I mentioned this in my Q2 book list, but I’ve been making it a special point to be intentional about my book choices throughout the quarter – diversifying authors, stories, genres, and making sure to tackle at least a couple of non-fiction books. I’m pretty happy with this quarter’s spread too, and I hope you’ll find some new and/or different stuff to check out. Like anything else, it’s important to know what you like, but it’s pretty much always worth it to try new things and expand your perspective as well.
So: 20 books to choose from, and certainly at least one to suit your fancy!
Beautiful Beloved (The Beautiful Series Book 7) Christina Lauren (Sweet and sexy, as is every book in this series.)
The Right Swipe: A Novel Alisha Rai (Liked this one a lot. Loved how it incorporated the very real and relevant challenges of being a woman in tech, specifically a woman of color.)
The Herd: A Novel Andrea Bartz (Ooooh, this was a doozy! Unexpectedly dark and twisty. And with a kind of freaky edge that feels almost too possible in real life.)
A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows, Book 4) Kim Harrison (This is a long series, and some of the individual books are long too, but sometimes it just feels fun to gobble it up, and it’s super easy reading. The plot is definitely thickening in this book! I definitely recommend this series for fun fantasy adventures, and also a little early 2000s nostalgia.)
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century Alice Wong (Powerful, and if you’re reading this email, you need to read this book. No exceptions. It’s a collection of short essays, which are all incredible, and also super easy to read. The disability experience does not get nearly enough attention, recognition, or compassion as it deserves, and this book sheds a light on what it really looks like, what it really means. Don’t avoid this one for your discomfort – that’s the point.)
You Had Me at Hola: A Novel Alexis Daria (This was a sweet one. Plus, enjoyed realizing I can still read Spanish really well.)
Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, Book 3) Kim Harrison (See above!)
Get a Life, Chloe Brown: A Novel (The Brown Sisters Book 1) Talia Hibbert (OK, highly, highly enjoyable romcom right here! British, quirky, diverse characters with actual real-life problems, like chronic illness and relational trauma. Cannot recommend this enough, and not just because of the HEA.)
Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy Book 1) Marlon James (Wowza. Picked this one up from some nerdy sci-fi review website – yes, I’m that gal. It was a rough start for me, just tough to get into the writing style, and I wasn’t quite seeing the whole “epic saga” I signed on for. AND THEN. Whew, this was a good one. Good enough that I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series, which doesn’t even have a release date. Also, gay protagonist FTW.)
If I Never Met You: A Novel Mhairi McFarlane (Enjoyed this one so much! Another lovely and quick little read.)
Nine Perfect Strangers Liane Moriarty (Easily one of my favorites this quarter. Unexpected for sure, in the best way. Plus, took place in Australia, which was a fun setting change for me. I hadn’t read any Liane Moriarty previously, and promptly put more of her books in my queue. Recommend this one if you’re into “wellness” stuff.)
Wilder Girls Rory Power (This is billed as a bit of a Lord of the Flies but with girls, and I didn’t really read it that way. Plus, I HATED LOTF, so I’d hate to ruin this book for you. It was weird and creepy and also excellent.)
Party of Two Jasmine Guillory (Typical Jasmine Guillory romcom formula, but I still liked it. Plus, cake was central to the storyline, so that’s A-OK in my book.)
Beach Read Emily Henry (Another one of my favorites for the quarter. This book was gorgeous. I loved the characters so, so deeply, and I loved their story together. Plus, like, book about books, so, winning. Highly recommend this one, any time of year.)
In Five Years: A Novel Rebecca Serle (Someone recommended this book to me after last quarter’s recs, and while I can’t even remember who, I can thank them profusely if they’re reading. This book was engrossing. One that makes you think deeply. And then take a pause to think on it some more, maybe even re-read some parts to get some closure before you move on to your next book. Great, unique, unexpected, probably a great book for a discussion group.)
Something to Talk About Meryl Wilsner (Big winner, this one! I loved it for the queer romance, but especially for the age gap workplace romance 🙂 Dig into this one and you will not be sorry.)
Sex and Vanity: A Novel Kevin Kwan (OK, this title is so, so misleading. Kevin Kwan 100000% delivers, but this book has so much more depth than the title implies. If you liked CRA, you’ll like this too for sure, just in a different way. It’s not as flashy, but truly, it was lovely.)
French Exit: A Novel Patrick deWitt (Oh my goodness, this was an odd one. Dry wit, weird twists, wild characters. Worth a read.)
Blackfish City: A Novel Sam J. Miller (If you like escaping into sci-fi/dystopian worlds, this is a good one. Also, LGBTQ+ characters, relevant political plot points, and a bunch of surprising, intertwining storylines.)
Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia Sabrina Strings (Like Disability Visibility, this is a must-read. End of story. Especially if it triggers something in you – on the Black part, the racial part, or the fat phobia part – this is a must-read. I learned so much! Art, religion, class, health – just, wow. A lot of things you thought you knew about weight and health, and about women and body image, are about to go out the window. Also, it was actually interesting and easy to understand, not dry and academic. Put it on your list today.)
Don’t forget – buying or ordering books from your favorite local bookshop is always your best bet. Next best is borrowing from your local library (hello, free!).
And finally, I keep thinking maybe it would be fun to start some kind of blog or podcast about books. But the only idea that comes to mind is literally me talking about my impression and analysis of a book, kind of like above, but babbling out loud for half an hour and basically telling the whole thing spoilers and all, kinda like Cliff’s Notes, and that just doesn’t seem exactly helpful. Ha. So, in the meantime, I’m going to do a better job of keeping my Goodreads profile updated, maybe even start a group there to have some of the discussion I’m craving. If you’re into it, click here to connect with me on Goodreads. And hit reply if you’d be into a reading/discussion group there.