I feel like I say this every month, but it’s hard to believe that it’s already March.
And it’s 2022, which still feels like a year that exists in science fiction instead of lived reality.
Yesterday the Florida state senate appropriations committee passed through the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and I am so fucking tired. I’m tired of the bigotry, the hypocrisy, the way anyone who is not white and straight and the “right” flavor of christian is trammeled to the ground, while once a year these same assholes celebrate “diversity” during themed months.
The rest of the year the rest of us have to live with the shit that’s been enacted by bigots and asshats.
Which is why, for me, Pride has been Wrath for a couple years now.
Anywho, lots of books I want to read this month, most of which release in May because I over-requested (can I be blamed? there are so many great books coming out) and want to try to get a handle on them as early as possible.
Of course, it didn’t help that my great plan to read my March and April ARCs in February was scuttled by um, me requesting more books because I have no willpower whatsoever and couldn’t pass up ARCs offered in ~audiobook~ format.
Aside from much reading to be done, among other writing and library worker-ish plans, The Suspected Bibliophile is going to go on hiatus at least through the month of March.
This is my 491st post over three years. Over the past year I’ve lost a lot of my joy and motivation. I feel like I’m screaming into the void and that I have nothing new or intriguing to say in my reviews or book lists. I have not been engaging with the bookish community here, either.
Not that I need to explain my reasoning or rationale for a break.
I still plan on being active on Goodreads (my hiatus is extended to Instagram), but I plan on taking this month to focus on (fictional) writing and also the joy of being “just a reader” again. And some other personal life stuff, too.
Anywho, here are the books I’m hoping to read this month. Blurbs are from Goodreads.
ARCs are denoted with a *
Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf*
When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought.
Chef’s Kiss by TJ Alexander*
Simone Larkspur is a perfectionist pastry expert with a dream job at The Discerning Chef, a venerable cookbook publisher in New York City. All she wants to do is create the perfect loaf of sourdough and develop recipes, but when The Discerning Chef decides to bring their brand into the 21st century by pivoting to video, Simone is thrust into the spotlight and finds herself failing at something for the first time in her life. To make matters worse, Simone has to deal with Ray Lyton, the new test kitchen manager, whose obnoxious cheer and outgoing personality are like oil to Simone’s water.
Book of Night by Holly Black*
Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.
By the Book by Jasmine Guillory*
sabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing right out of college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, living at home, still an editorial assistant, and the only Black employee at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to finally get the promotion she deserves. All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?
Book Lovers by Emily Henry*
Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby. Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.
Black Tide by KC Jone*
After a drunken and desperate one-night-stand, two strangers awake to discover a surprise astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only a part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying. When a set of lost car keys leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast, when their emergency calls go unanswered and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for the car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must find in each other the strength to overcome past pain and the fight to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale.
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo*
Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid. But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her.
- Last Exit by Max Gladwell*
- Frederick Douglass by David W Blight
- The Love Con by Seressia Glass
- Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
- The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Other Bookish Possibilities
- World Between by Sarah Lyons Fleming
- The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
- The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah*
- Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda*
I hope you have a great reading month!
And maybe I’ll see you at the end of the month for a reading wrap-up