You know what, I think I’ve reached that level of peace where I am truly okay with the mountain-sized TBR stack I’ve acquired this year. It’s proved quite the profitable makeshift backrest as I type. While it may seem like I’m not reading nearly as often as I purchase books, on the contrary, I AM!
I’ve read a lot of books from my previous TBRs but my bandwidth and ability to make words out of all the feelings I have for them have dwindled as of late. Honestly, I owe you all, like, five book reviews (which I am working on, ha!), but translating expressions into written word is daunting because, dammit, some books really are just too good for words.
Nevertheless, that won’t keep me away from Book of the Month‘s monthly roundup. I’m in this thing for the long haul.
These are Book of the Month’s May 2017 Selections
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Since We Fell, Dennis Lehane
Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. By turns, heart-breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.
“Lehane knows when to pull back and take his time with the story, and when to up the tension and white-knuckle it to the finish.”— Judge, Sarah Weinman
The Leavers, Lisa Ko
One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon—and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.
With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents’ desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind.
Polly is forced to make one heartwrenching choice after another.
“The Leavers is about belonging, and who we are when we lose the people who make us, well, ourselves.” — Judge, Elizabeth Kiefer
The Love Interest, Cale Dietrich
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.
Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?
Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.
What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
“The genius of this book is how it blatantly mocks clichéd tropes while you are being sucked into a story about the very thing being mocked.” — Judge, Stacey Armand (winner of BOTM’s #YouBeTheJudge contest!)
Priestdaddy, Patricia Lockwood
Father Greg Lockwood is unlike any Catholic priest you have ever met—a man who lounges in boxer shorts, loves action movies, and whose constant jamming on the guitar reverberates “like a whole band dying in a plane crash in 1972.” His daughter is an irreverent poet who long ago left the Church’s country. When an unexpected crisis leads her and her husband to move back into her parents’ rectory, their two worlds collide.
In Priestdaddy, Lockwood interweaves emblematic moments from her childhood and adolescence—from an ill-fated family hunting trip and an abortion clinic sit-in where her father was arrested to her involvement in a cultlike Catholic youth group—with scenes that chronicle the eight-month adventure she and her husband had in her parents’ household after a decade of living on their own. Lockwood details her education of a seminarian who is also living at the rectory, tries to explain Catholicism to her husband, who is mystified by its bloodthirstiness and arcane laws, and encounters a mysterious substance on a hotel bed with her mother.
“Lockwood uses the nine months she and her husband live with her parents as the springboard to examine her extraordinary upbringing by two very eccentric individuals.” — Judge, Nina Sankovitch
Woman No. 17, Edan Lepucki
High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has decided to take a break from her husband. Left alone with her children, she’s going to need a hand taking care of her young son if she’s ever going to finish her memoir. In response to a Craigslist ad, S arrives, a magnetic young artist who will live in the secluded guest house out back, care for Lady’s toddler, Devin, and keep a watchful eye on her older, teenage son, Seth. S performs her day job beautifully, quickly drawing the entire family into her orbit, and becoming a confidante for Lady.
But in the heat of the summer, S’s connection to Lady’s older son takes a disturbing, and possibly destructive, turn. And as Lady and S move closer to one another, the glossy veneer of Lady’s privileged life begins to crack, threatening to expose old secrets that she has been keeping from her family. Meanwhile, S is protecting secrets of her own, about her real motivation for taking the job. S and Lady are both playing a careful game, and every move they make endangers the things they hold most dear.
“Lepucki anchors this wild ride with keen observations and sympathy for her unmoored creations—it’s the kind of book you’ll find yourself underlining.” — Judge, Kim Hubbard
BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB EXCLUSIVE!
Paula Hawkins fanatics, where you at?
I am extremely thrilled to help bring attention to this amazing offer thanks to those over at Book of the Month Club. And here it is! *Ahem* New members who join Book of the Month Club between now and May 21 will receive a FREE COPY of Hawkins’ forthcoming novel, Into the Water, which releases tomorrow (May 2)! Existing members fear not! You can select the book as an add-on title with this month’s selection as early as today for only $9.99!
About Into the Water:
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
But wait…there’s more!
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From Editor-in-chief, Paris Close: So here’s the thing, I own two of the books on this list already: Since We Fell and Woman No. 17. Both of which I am confident will be major page-turners in their own right, seeing as Lepucki and Lehane have been respectively accredited for their shuddering works of fiction.
The Love Interest is giving me all sorts of Hunger Games feels, and that’s always a good thing; Priestdaddy is hella dark, and seems like the sort of documentary I wouldn’t mind binging on YouTube; I get the feeling that Woman No. 17 will read like another one of my favorite books, Single White Female; and Lehane’s Since We Fell looks to be the mind-fuck I probably should get on sometime this year. These decisions are always the hardest ones to make, but I think I will be selecting The Leavers by Lisa Ko.
I’ve really been eye-balling The Leavers ever since the New Year. At that time, I made it a goal to read with a more open mind; and lately, I’ve read two works by authors of Asian background that I really, really enjoyed: Celeste Ng‘s Everything I Never Told You and Han Kang‘s The Vegetarian. After reading Jesmyn Ward‘s Sing, Unburied, Sing, I’ve become so attached to accounts on race (interracial narratives, specifically), and since Lisa Ko‘s novel follows one boy trying to cope with his own identity in light of his adoptive white parents, it sounded like something I could cling on to easily. I’m really interested to see how Ko will approach the subject.
Oh, and it goes without saying that I AM SO GETTING A COPY OF INTO THE WATER! WILL YOU?
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