Ten books I already own that I want to read this year. What should I start with?
I‘m a big Sittenfeld fan, but I have to admit that I didn‘t know how her romance novel would read— and was so pleasantly surprised! Set partially in an SNL-like TV show and partially during lockdown 2020, this book is a tender and funny and authentic romance between two imperfect but lovable characters. Hope this isn‘t her last! If you like Emily Henry, stack this one. Out next year.
Book wrap up and recommendations via meme! Check out my year in review here: https://rachelmansmckenny.substack.com/p/2022-in-books-recommendations-in
5 ⭐️ Reads this month:
NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO PANIC
OUR MISSING HEARTS
Year-end reading wrap to come soon. Subscribe to my newsletter (link in bio) if you want to make sure to get it.
I got to record some book recommendations for Iowa Public radio! You can check out the full list of what I and some other readers recommended here: https://www.iowapublicradio.org/arts-life/2022-11-21/talk-of-iowa-2022-holiday-b...
Just joined Hive as a Twitter replacement and I‘m @ rmmckenny on there. Anyone else over there?
This is a compact (under four hour audiobook, under 200 page physical book) newly out from Tor.com and I devoured it in two sittings. A magical detective who had made a deal with the devil a decade ago is coming up on the end of her contract— her time on earth is about to end, but there‘s one more job on the horizon.
Listening to an audio ARC of this detective novel, out Tuesday. Really enjoying the balance of themes and introduction of this new kind of detective, one sent from a community response unit sent to investigate a town with a police department under scrutiny. Really awesome plot interweaving a lot of current political and social pressures.
Did I read a lot of French in October? Yeah yeah I did. Lots of good reads this month honestly.
This was for sale at my library‘s book sale. Copyright 1999. Did I buy it to put in a white elephant gift for the holidays? Of course I did.
Am I a sucker for Jen DeLuca‘s Willow Creek series? I am. Was I thrilled to get an ARC of the newest one? I was. This book follows Lulu, a lawyer who goes off the grid and quits her job, tagging along with kilt wearing musicians (if you‘ve read the series, they‘re from book 2). Enter Dex: a guitarist with a reputation. Sparks fly. I liked this one and felt like Lulu‘s journey was really relatable. Pick it up if you love RennFaires!
🍁September Reading Wrap🍁
A good reading month.
- Hysterical (memoir)
-The Women Could Fly (fiction)
- The Change (fiction)
-Do You Take this Man (romance)
Books not out yet that should be on your radar:
- Mistakes We‘re Made (romance)
-Phaedra (historical fic)
And the only book I‘ve read in months that I actively cannot recommend: Lessons
I‘m rereading Mantel and into the third novel. So sad to lose such a literary giant.
A Bildungsroman set partially at an Eton-like boarding school and partially after the main character‘s wife leaves him with their seven month old son. Per McEwan‘s style, close perspective and beautiful prose, with big themes that shake you.
The current hot book of the moment and I‘m enjoying it on LibroFM. If you wanted to read but wondered if not having ever watched iCarly would make it weird then don‘t worry. I‘ve never seen an episode and I‘m deep into this. Intense and startling and funny at points, but definitely prepare for descriptions of abuse
My annual re-listen 🍂🍁🍄
YOU GUYS. I‘m obsessed with this book. It‘s Julia Whelan (audiobook narrator extraordinaire)‘s romance novel about audiobook narrators. It‘s so funny and smart and original and Julia‘s reading of her own work is maybe the best audio I‘ve heard all year? (I think I‘m on audiobook 75 or so, so that‘s not nothing!!) Stack this one now. Out in August. It (should be, better be, if there is justice) will be huge.
5⭐️s: Counterfeit, The Cherry Robbers, Fight Night, An Olive Grove in Ends
4⭐️s: The Woman in the Library, The Unsinkable Greta James, Lessons in Chemistry, Acceptance, Flying Solo
I admit having been mislead by this cover, which reads as much lighter fare than it really is. What is actually here is a really moving, well wrought story about science, the search for love and family, and the patriarchy. Honestly one of my favorite listens of the summer so far— not over hyped!
Come join #groupR on #LMPBC if you want to rea books in translation! https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/5080444aead2ca0ff2-l...
I‘m really loving this. At first, I was worried because I had adored Dietland so much and was hoping I wouldn‘t mentally compare the two books too much, but not a problem! This is such a completely different vibe (very Shirley Jackson) and I tearing through it. Can‘t wait to see how it ends.
This was a 3.5⭐️ audiobook for me but if I read it on paper it might have been lower 😕. The voice actor is fabulous and the LGBTQ rep is wonderful, but there are overly sentimental passages and lots of direct statement of feelings/hitting you over the head with how you‘re supposed to feel in a moment. Plus, I get bothered by the use of a sick person as a “lesson” or prop (midway thru book). Just not my favorite if you only see a character once.
Things I adored about this book: the early 70s setting in a bustling gay community, the truly winding mystery through the California countryside, and of course, Vera‘s clear-eyed skepticism about everything, even about her own chances. This might be my favorite of Knecht‘s books yet. If a beautifully written noir sounds up your alley, pick it up today! 5s! (More ⬇️)
This is a really interesting urban fantasy. Parts of it are homage to The Phantom Tollbooth (an all time favorite), and it‘s set in New Orleans with a really interesting magic system based around music and spirits. Dual narrator: one kid (Perry Graves) and one adult (Casey, whose graffiti is magical). Enjoying it so far! Out tomorrow.
Peaceful morning coffee and book time before the kids get up. I‘m enjoying this one, not quite as much as Ariadne, but enough. The betrayals are so awful in Greek lit and Saint has a way of putting them so clearly
This went viral on Twitter lol one of my favorite books!
You can find me over there: Twitter.com/rmmckenny
🌼 May Reads🌼
I read so much romance this month. Too much romance? Absolutely not—but yes I think I needed to be swept away. (I especially loved BOOK LOVERS like every other person on the planet and A LADY FOR A DUKE, which would be a great Pride read if you‘re on the look out!)
Other favorites of the month were the compulsively readable GIRL, 11, TRUE BIZ, and VERA KELLY: LOST AND FOUND (out in June!)
Hope you had a great May! Onto June!
Missed this yesterday. Six years!!!! Oh my gosh. Cannot articulate how much better my life got once I joined Litsy. My reading expanded and so did my view of books. Thanks for being my favorite bookish people, littens ❤️❤️❤️
Here‘s my current bedside stack and just finished the tagged book. It‘s a literary mystery (kind of) set at a retirement home called Pondside. It‘s got interesting characters and a somewhat abrupt start but a sort of gentle plot from there and just what I needed right now
My friend sent me this pic from a bookstore today and it made my day ❤️
Have to be at home for Indie Bookstore Day because of a Covid-y four year old (he‘s doing fine! Just bored at home) but wishing I could be at Dog Eared Books! I want to see all your pics from your local stores! Post in the comments here if you post pics of your indie today or tag me in your comments. I want lots of virtual indie bookstore goodness 😍😊 #indiebookstore #indiebookstoreday
April 2022 Wrapup:
💌I Kissed Shara Wheeler
May 3, 2022. YA rom-com debut. multiple love stories and a great enemies-to-lovers centerpiece. Chloe‘s entire academic career at her Christian high school in Alabama has been in competition with the principal‘s daughter, Shara Wheeler. When Shara disappears— just hours after kissing Chloe (and two other people), Shara and the other kiss-ees follow a trail of clues to track her down. What‘s her endgame, and what if none of this is a game at all?