I can’t believe I’m already sharing my holiday book TBR, but does anyone actually think I wouldn’t take the opportunity to talk about them?? I’m not someone to rush into the holiday season as soon as Halloween ends (okay fine, I have listened to my Christmas Spotify playlist already), but I also wanted to share the holiday books on my TBR in case you are looking to plan your festive season reading between November and December. I actually decided to share my list earlier because I myself had to put a few of the books below on hold from my library already! For the most part, I keep my holiday book TBRs short because I don’t want all of my reading in November & December to be holiday-themed and I try to stay away from over-the-top cheesy holiday books (and there may or may not be books of holidays past that I still haven’t read, like The After Life of Holly Chase, oops).
Always, in December by Emily Stone – I totally admit that the cover alone of Emily Stone’s Always, in December drew me in. I heard this one is on the heavier side of a holiday story, as the main protagonist, Josie, lost her parents on Christmas years ago and writes them a letter each year. On the way to the mailbox, she runs into Max, who has his own reasons for avoiding the Christmas season, and the book follows them on their chance encounters over the next year – it kind’ve sounds like a deeper cross between Josie Silver’s One Day in December and Sophie Cousens’ This Time Next Year.
The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer – I feel like The Matzah Ball is THE holiday romance of 2021 – it’s also the Matzah Book Soup Book Club pick for November. The Matzah Ball is a Hanukkah inspired holiday romance, following a Jewish Christmas romance novelist, Rachel, whose publisher wants her to write a Hanukkah inspired romance.
I’m in a situation this October where I’ve added more books to my TBR than the actual amount of books I’ve read, oops. Definitely missing my 20+ book a month summer reading, but my books this fall have been really quality reads AND I’m looking forward to the following books on my TBR. Today’s recent TBR addition round feature some 2022 releases I am SO, SO looking forward to and some recent releases.
Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens – Did anyone read that title to the tune of the same song by Michael Bublé? Sophie Cousens’ debut, This Time Next Year, was one of the most popular books last year & one that I really enjoyed. Her sophomore novel coming out this November follows a woman on vacation who is convinced that the man she’s mixed up her suitcase with is the one.
The Magic of Found Objects by Maddie Dawson –The Magic of Found Objects was Bad on Paper Podcast’s Book Club pick for September 2021. I had the book on hold from the library, but it didn’t come in until this week. This book sounds super unique, following two best childhood friends who decide to give up on romance & marry each other. I plan on diving into Maddie Dawson’s backlist if I like this one!
One Night on the Island by Josie Silver – I really enjoyed Josie Silver’s One Day in December and LOVED, LOVED The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, so I cannot wait to read her February 2022, One Night on the Island, following two people who are very much in need of a vacation on a remote Irish island & are accidentally booked to share the same cabin.
Another month, another round of books I’ve recently added to my TBR! I haven’t added too many books to my TBR since myJuly TBR Additions post, but I have added a few hyped books, new releases, and an anticipated 2022 read since then.
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – I feel like The Inheritance Games has been all over Instagram lately (and maybe even Book Tok?). I loved Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ Debutantes duology in 2019, and The Inheritance Games seems like an even bigger mystery series. The main character receives an inheritance from a billionaire, but in order to get the money, she has to enter the mysterious Hawthorne house and solve a bunch of puzzles (and duke it out with Tobias Hawthorne’s grandsons).
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams – Another book that I have seen absolutely EVERYWHERE book blogging wise, the hype has finally gotten to me to read Tia Williams’ Seven Days in June. So many of my most trusted book recommendation sources (aka Becca Freeman and Hannah Orenstein on Instagram) said Seven Days in June is the perfect romance hangover cure to a book like Robinne Lee’s The Idea of You.
If I have strong enough Internet connection near the pool, you can likely find me adding books to my Goodreads TBR when taking a reading break. I haven’t shared a recent TBR additions post since late spring, but I’ve been pretty busy with review books & library books this summer, but I of course have quiet a few to share today – if you’ve read some of my recent posts, you might know I’ve gone a slight Elin Hilderbrand kick and won’t be sharing all of her books that I want to read here. I’ve organized this post by upcoming/anticipated books and recently released or backlist titles.
The Layover by Lacie Waldon – I love reading any kind of beach/vacation kind of book during the summer, with Lacie Waldon’s recent release, The Layover, absolutely screaming that kind of read with its cover alone. The book follows flight attendant, Ava, who gets stuck in Belize for a weekend layover with her nemesis and airplane pilot, Jack.
When It All Lands by Jennie Wexler – Jennie Wexler’s recently released When It All Lands has gotten so much love from a few of my book blogging friends. This YA contemporary is a what-if, love triangle type contemporary, in which best friends Shane and Drew flip a coin to see who gets to ask out the new girl in school, Stevie, and the book is told in a dual timeline following what would’ve happened if the coin landed heads or tails. I recently read this kind of timeline in Taylor Jenkin Reid’s Maybe In Another Life and I enjoyed it a lot.
One Great Lie by Deb Caletti – I read a few of Deb Caletti’s books during my early/middle school YA reading days and I loved A Heart in a Body in the World a few years ago. I absolutely loved the sound of her recent release, One Great Lie. The main character gets invited to a writing workshop in Venice by a prestigious author, but the story seems to have a darker tone as her male writing instructor takes on an unnerving behavior and she unravels a family mystery about a famed poet.
You probably know that I am an avid library user. Although I have been buying books a bit more & have been fortunate enough to receive books for review from publishers over the years, I’d still estimate that at least 50% of my books each year come from the library. Around this time of year, as school winds down and I have time off from work for the summer, I’m usually in my local county library branch 2-3 times a week stocking up on reads for the pool & beach.
Since the pandemic has still slowed down the rate of new books coming in (my library is still also quarantining books for three days after they’ve been returned) & my local branch is on the smaller side, it’s been taking longer than usual for me to get copies of some new releases. That being said, I’ve been putting upcoming releases on hold extra early and making sure to get popular books on hold even sooner lately…which has led to my 10+ book holds list. I know the obvious answer would be to just buy the books myself but I do try to hold myself to a somewhat book budget, aka not buy every new shiny release on my TBR.
Today I’ll sharing all the books on my library holds list as of this Monday morning – here’s to a few of these coming in this week.. & yes I am fearful that all of these will come in at the same time because I’ll likely only be able to have them out for 2 weeks since many of these are must-reads for the summer. I’m not going to go into too much detail on a few of a titles, since I’ll be sharing & repeating a few in my most anticipated books for Summer 2021 post on Friday and I’ve already mentioned a few of these in anticipated posts.
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave – I put The Last Thing He Told Me on my TBR during the week of pub, when all the hype definitely pulled me in. I wanted to get it & read n time for Bad on Paper Podcast’s Book Club episode, but I unfortunately think I’m going to have to wait to listen to the episode until after its released this week.
Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson – I totally admit that I thought about buying Take Me Home Tonight so I could read it sooner because I love Morgan Matson’s books so much, but I have heard some mixed reviews about this one & I only own one of her books, Save the Date. I’d probably be more tempted to buy it if I had personal copies of her other books.
The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren – My library either gets new books as soon as they come in and have them ready on pub date or it takes a few weeks for them to come in, and the pandemic and delayed shipping seems to only lengthened the process (obviously am very grateful to have my library of course & that they even order all of these new books!). One of my summer reading goals is to read all of Christina Lauren’s standalone titles so I can finally make my rankings list, so I may try to read books like Autoboyography and My Favorite Half Night Stand in the meantime.
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 »