My May has been going super well so far & I have some really exciting things going on this week – I finished my clinical internship last week for my masters program, I just started a full-time job this week (!!), & have my graduation ceremonies for my masters and undergrad degree from 2020 on Friday. With all the new changes and celebrations happening this month, my reading life has been put a little on hold, but I’m hoping to dedicate some serious time to reading on weekends. As always, while I plan on reading more than the books outlined here, I wanted to share my top 5 must-read books for May, including 3 review copies on my to-review list for June. I won’t go into too many details on a few of the books below, since I’ve mentioned at least two of them in some recent blog posts
Anna K: Away (Anna K #2) by Jenny Lee – Anna K: Away is one of my current reads. I’ve been not-so patiently waiting for this sequel since last summer when I read Anna K. The sequel picks up during the summer of book #1’s conclusion, with Anna starting off in South Korea to hide away while her friends & fellow socialites pick up the pieces of their owns scandals & drama. If you love escapist reads, I cannot recommend this series enough.
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry – If we get some nice sunny weather this weekend, I am committing to sitting outside & devouring Emily Henry’s People We Meet On Vacation. I’ve had my Book of the Month copy of this contemporary romance following two best friends, Poppy & Alex, whose relationship has been rocky for the past 2 years until Poppy convinces Alex to go on one last vacation with each other. Like Beach Read, this one screams perfect beach or poolside read.
As promised in my March 2021 Recent TBR Additions, I’m back with another monthly TBR additions list! Compared to March, I thought I hadn’t been adding as many books to my TBR this month, but as evidenced by this post, I’m still hitting the ‘add to shelf’ button on Goodreads pretty frequently. I feel like I haven’t been reading as much as I did last month so far in April – I’ve been averaging about 2 books a week – but it makes me even more excited for May when I graduate from grad school and in theory, should have some more reading time as summer kicks in.
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher – I’ve been in a big non-fiction mood lately. I usually try to read 1 nonfiction book a month, but I think I’m actually going to be reading multiple non-fiction reads or memoirs over April and May. Given my love for Star Wars over the past year, I can’t believe I didn’t have Carrie Fisher’s memoir, The Princess Diarist, on my TBR sooner. This one will soon be moving off my TBR, since I just picked it up from the library on Saturday.
The Hunting Wives by May Cobb – I’ve been reaching for more contemporary meets mystery books lately, which led me to one of Book of the Month’s picks, The Hunting Wives. When Sophie’s family moves to Texas, she soon finds herself befriending a socialite, Margot, and her elite clique, The Hunting Wives. The Hunting Wives comes out on May 18th.
Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz – Compare any book to Below Deck and I’m there. This November 2021 release follows yacht stewardess Jo and her quest to finish a bucket list of thirty things before her birthday. Things get completed turned upside down when a family tragedy occurs and Jo finds her two nieces joining her for the summer, helping her finish her list.
How are you doing? I’ll be completely honest, I’ve been super all over the place this past month! So many exciting things have been happening behind the scenes of the blog, both bookish and personal life wise – for example, I fortunately have quite a few spring & summer ARCs to dive into over the next few months, and I am in the home stretch of my grad school program, with graduation ahead in May. I realize I haven’t been too detailed about my grad school coursework, but you may know that I’m in a master’s in teaching program to receive my English teaching certification and I keep information about my clinical practicum super private. In the future though, I do want to write some sort of blog post about books I’d love to read with students or use in my classes.
That being said, this month has been super stressful between grad school assignments, including a major assessment that I’m so happy to be completed with but am nervously awaiting my final score, a dead car battery, and loss of a loved one in my family. Although I’ve been content with my blog content this month & I’m really excited sharing reviews for said spring releases in April & May, I feel so behind on blog post scheduling & editing and writing non-review posts. Fortunately, I’m on spring break next week, so I plan on using that time to get caught up on all the things AND read as much as possible. Today’s blog post is a bit of a ramble/life update-esque, but I wanted to talk about what I’m currently reading and what I want to read over the next 2 weeks.
Currently Reading: From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I added this much loved high fantasy romance to my TBR last fall, but saved it for post-reading Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Silver Flames, rightfully realizing that I’d be in the mood for another fantasy read. At the time of writing this post on Thursday afternoon, I’m over 400 pages in and plan on finishing it ASAP (or hopefully even by the time this post is published). I’m going to have a full review posted on the blog sometime next week, but I have liked this book a lot so far. I feel like this book does a lot of world-building for the next two books, based on all the details and setting up, but I do admit that once I got to the Rite about halfway through, I have been absolutely HOOKED.
I think it’s time to just make my recent TBR additions a monthly feature on the blog because I love writing these posts so much… but maybe not as much as I love adding books to my to-be-read pile apparently. Despite being busy with school and work, I think I’ve actually been on a pretty normal reading pace. According to Goodreads, I’m currently 8 books ahead of schedule to meet my Goodreads goal of reading 75 books in 2021 and on track to meet my real goal of reading at least 100 books. As we get deeper into spring release season, I’ve been finding more & more 2021 releases I want to read ASAP, including a few books featured below.
The Flatshare and The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary – After LOVING Beth O’Leary’s The Switch last week, I added both her debut and 2021 release to my TBR. I am SO into the synopsis of The Road Trip – Addie and her sister are roadtripping to Scotland for a wedding when they’re forced to continue the journey with Addie’s ex after a car accident – and I feel like The Flatshare is such a must-read for British contemporary fans like me. The Road Trip comes out on June 1, 2021.
Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #1) by Mia P. Manansala – You probably can infer based on my taste in contemporary romances that I am such a fan of Berkley (the publisher). I’m really excited to check out a mystery from this publisher & Mia P. Manansala’s Arsenic and Adobo has been described as a cozy culinary mystery. Arsenic and Adobo comes out on May 4, 2021.Read More »
I shared my March TBR last year around this time in honor of my then spring break, which ultimately became the spring break that never ended because I was sent back home from college within 48 hours at the start of the pandemic. As we all know, this March somehow looks both a lot different and similar as March 2020. Aside from continuing to live with the pandemic, I’m back at my college for my grad school program and of course still reading as much as I can between grad obligations and spending time with friends & family. I have spring break during the last week in March, in which I will be spending as much time away from my laptop as possible and eating up so many of these books & more – as per usual, I’m hoping to get to more books than the ones on this list, but the following books are my priority reads.
The Happy Ever After Playlist (The Friendship Zone #2)by Abby Jimenez – I just finished reading and really enjoying Abby Jimenez’s The Friend Zone, so I’m even more excited to check out the second book, The Happy Ever After Playlist, because so many romance readers are OBSESSED with this one.
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le – I mentioned that I recently borrowed A Pho Love Story from the library in my February 2020 book haul. I’m always ready for an enemies-to-lovers, and I’m really looking forward to diving into this one about two teens whose families own rival pho restaurants.
Unfollow by Megan Phelps-Roper –Unfollow is my non-fiction read for March. I’m about halfway through this book exploring Megan Phelps-Roper’s experience growing up in the Westboro Baptist Church. I really didn’t know anything about this group prior to reading her book – I tend to gravitate towards non-fiction books about religion – but I definitely see myself going down a research spiral after finishing this one.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I was 110% correct when I predicted that I would be in a fantasy romance book hangover after reading A Court of Silver Flames. I’m so glad I saved From Blood and Ash to dive into cure my craving for more ACOTAR like books.Read More »
Idon’t often write entire blog posts dedicated to book covers, but I couldn’t help but love this week’s Top Five Wednesday theme. I wouldn’t say I’m a reader who judges a book by its over…. but I do admit that a beautiful book cover sometimes distracts me from other books on my TBR. I’ve really been loving the illustrated book cover theme over the past few years, especially when it comes to contemporary romances.
Today’s Top Five Wednesday is all about the top 5 books on our TBR that are especially screaming for our attention because of their covers.
Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey – I will absolutely be reading this YA You’ve Got Mail inspired contemporary just for that synopsis alone, but I distinctly remember running to add Last Chance Books to my TBR just because its cover screamed bookishness. The books on the cover remind me so much of the Penguin Drop Caps.
It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian – As mentioned above, I can’t help but love illustrated covers for contemporary romances like It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake. I’m also currently in a bit of a winter rut – I’m so sick of the snow and am counting down to my first beach weekend this year – so this cover screams to my current warm weather need.
What’s Not to Love by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka – This might just be my favorite Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka cover yet because I love the purple color scheme and bookshelves in the background. My absolute favorite element of the entire cover is that their other other YA books are featuring on the shelves – I can spot Time of Our Lives and If I’m Being Honest easily, and I think the female model may be holding Always Never Yours?Read More »
In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week has been Romance Week on Goodreads, where they shared a ton of romance recommendations. My favorite post of theirs this week was the 52 Most Popular Romances of the Past 3 Years. You may know that one of my 2021 reading goals is to catch up on popular contemporary romances, and this list definitely helped me figure out which books people have been reading and what I still need to read. I will put out a disclaimer to say that I know Goodreads generates most of their popular books list based on what users have been reading – I was happy to see that they did share an indie romance list curated by author Talia Hibbert. I have shared romance books that are on my TBR in a few posts
I’m glad to say that I’ve read 13 out of the 20 books I put on my contemporary romance TBR last March. I also did read 2 out of the 5 books I shared in a Top Five Wednesday about romance books back in September – 2 out of 3 that I haven’t yet read are actually on the Goodreads’ list, so I won’t be formally talking about them in this post (The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang at #2 and The Happily Ever After Playlist at #41).
Back to the Most Popular Romances on Goodreads, I’ve read 25 out of the 52 books over the past few years. I also read 7 out of the top 10 most popular romances! While I won’t be adding all 27 of the other books on to my TBR, today I’ll be talking about some of the books I do plan on reading in the near future. The number after each book I list is its ranking on the Goodreads most popular list.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout (#12) – From Blood and Ash has been highly recommended to me by one of my bookish friends IRL and so many people from the book blog community. I didn’t read much fantasy in 2020, so I’m excited to dive into this series – I’m probably going to hold off on reading until at least March when I’ll likely be in my post A Court of Silver Flames reading slump.
The Friend Zone by Abbi Jimenz (#21) – I totally admit that I was previously more interested in reading the second book in The Friend Zone series, The Happily Ever After Playlist, because I’ve read so many rave reviews for that book, but I’m actually really intrigued by the synopsis upon this second time checking it out – the main character faces a medical procedure that would make it impossible for her to have children while developing feelings for a guy who would love to have a big family. Read More »
You probably know by now that I’m a total mood TBR type of person, but there are a few books I do want to make a point to read in February. This month’s TBR focuses on a few backlist titles I finally borrowed from the library, books for review, and potentially one of my all-time most anticipated fantasy releases. As always, I plan on hopefully being able to read more than just the books on this list. I didn’t include them on the *official* list because I don’t have my own physical copies yet, but I’m also hoping to get to You Have a Match by Emma Lord – waiting for it to come in from the library – & The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon – I’m planning on buying a copy this month.
If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha – If I Had Your Face is the Bad on Paper Podcast book club pick for February. I read at least half of their book club picks in 2020 and I’m always going back to the old book club picks, so I’m excited to join in on the February read. I decided not to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic with them in January because I wasn’t particularly in the mood for it then, but If I Had Your Face sounds like such an intriguing read. The book follows four young women in Seoul, Korea and shines light on the high beauty standards there.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes – Based on my 2021 reading goals, I’m going to try to read at least 1 backlist contemporary romance each month. This month I went with Evvie Drake Start Overs because I’ve heard that this is such a heartfelt and soothing read. As a huge fan of sports mixed in romance (hello Bromance Book Club), I’m also interested in the professional baseball player love interest.Read More »
Last year, I shared a few recent TBR additions posts and I want to keep up the trend more frequently in 2021 – maybe I’ll share each season! I love these blog posts because it’s fun to share my recent reading cravings and also got feedback from you if you’ve read the book or have similar recommendations. I’m not the type of reader whose goal it is to get their TBR down to single digits or 0. I actually enjoy knowing that there’s always books I’m looking forward to reading one day.
shine your icy crown (you are your own fairy tale #2) by amanda lovelace – I absolutely loved the first collection in amanda lovelace’s you are your own fairy tale poetry series, break your glass sippers, in 2020 – so much so that I can’t believe I didn’t realize the second installment is coming out next week until I was generously given a copy for review by the publisher!! I cannot wait to dive into shine your icy crown on a cozy weekend day ASAP. shine your icy crown comes out on January 26.
Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst – I discovered Jennifer Probst’s Our Italian Summer through Emily Henry’s Instagram last week. I recently read The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, and I’m so ready to once again dive into the Italian setting. The book follows three generations of women as they embark on a summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy.Read More »
Trust me when I say that Michael Bublé’s Christmas album is most definitely playing on my Spotify right now as I write this holiday TBR. I usually save my holiday reading and watching for November & December anyway, but I think we could all use some early holiday cheer this year, to say the least.
I haven’t dug too deeply into holiday TV and movies just yet – I did watch the first episode of the current season of Holiday Baking Championship on Food Network and Holidate on Netflix. I’ll probably share more of my thoughts on the latter in my November wrap up, but this movie wasn’t as Christmas-y as I thought it would be (which I guess makes me feel less guilty for watching a Christmas movie already during the first week in November). It was also unfortunately on the ‘stupid comedy’ side of cheesy Christmas movies. At this rate, I should probably do a post on upcoming holiday movies coming out this year, but I’m actually not too excited about this year’s new release lineup? I’m most looking forward to the second season of Sugar Rush Christmas on Netflix, and I will be checking out the second Princess Switch movie and Dash & Lily. Knowing me, I will check out more of Netflix’s Christmas movies and a cable one or two, but I have a feeling I’ll be relying on some old favorites this year.
Back to the books, I’ll be sharing the holiday-inspired reads I’ll be reading in November and December!
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren – I am so excited that one of everyone’s favorite contemporary romance authors, Christina Lauren, have come out with their first holiday romance! I’m having trouble tracking down physical copy from my county library, but I do have a e-copy on hold from the Libby that I should be getting access to later in November or early December.
Royal Holiday (The Wedding Date #4) by Jasmine Guillory – Yes, I will be continuing to read The Wedding Date companion series out or order, but it is 110% worth it because this fourth installment is holiday-inspired! I admit that I haven’t read too much of the synopsis, other than the fact that it takes place in England, but it really doesn’t matter because I’m just looking forward to checking out Jasmine Guillory’s holiday take on this world. I’ll likely end up reading The Wedding Party (book #3) before I read Royal Holiday, aka the perfect excuse for a series binge-read!Read More »