Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Spring Reading List

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Let's talk about the books I’m reading this spring. A few of these books may have appeared on last year's spring reading list. Oops. I swear I'll read them this time! They've been sitting on the shelf for way too long. I think I picked a fun mixture of genres. Check out what I’m reading and then tell me which books you plan to read in the next few months.




🌈  Books I’m Reading This Spring  💧





CLOVER BLUE BY ELDONNA EDWARDS

Adult Historical Fiction

 


There are many things twelve-year-old Clover Blue isn't sure of: his exact date of birth, his name before he was adopted into the Saffron Freedom Community, or who his first parents were. What he does know with certainty is that among this close-knit, nature-loving group, he is happy. Here, everyone is family, regardless of their disparate backgrounds—surfer, midwife, Grateful Dead groupie, Vietnam deserter. But despite his loyalty to the commune and its guru-like founder Goji, Blue grapples with invisible ties toward another family—the one he doesn't remember.

With the urging of his fearless and funny best friend, Harmony, Clover Blue begins to ask questions. For the first time, Goji's answers fail to satisfy. The passing months bring upheaval to their little clan and another member arrives, a beautiful runaway teen named Rain, sparking new tensions. As secrets slowly unfurl, Blue's beliefs—about Goji, the guidelines that govern their seemingly idyllic lives, and the nature of family itself—begin to shift. With each revelation about a heartbreaking past he never imagined, Blue faces a choice between those he's always trusted, and an uncertain future where he must risk everything in his quest for the truth.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: The main character's name is Clover Blue. That's a very spring-time name. The book set in a commune in the 1970s. Of course I need to read it! By the end of my life, I’ll probably have read every commune book ever written. I’m not sure how/why I keep attracting commune books to me, but this one is a welcome addition to my collection.

 

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GRAVE MERCY BY ROBIN LAFEVERS

Young Adult Fantasy



Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

 

Why I’m excited to read it: Well, it’s about assassin nuns. That’s the main reason I want to read it. Assassin nuns! Also, a very long time ago, I asked for fantasy recommendations on Twitter. I listed a bunch of books I liked and asked for similar books. This one was recommended a few times, so I should probably give it a shot.

 

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THE THING WITH FEATHERS BY MCCALL HOYLE

Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

 


Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.

Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.

Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.”

 

Why I'm excited to read it: I haven’t read much YA contemporary in the last few years. I decided to change that by going on the hunt for under-hyped YA books. This book doesn’t have a ton of reviews, but the ones I’ve seen are very positive.

 

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THE PRICE GUIDE TO THE OCCULT BY LESLYE WALTON

Young Adult Fantasy



When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes with a terrible price, and in punishing the island's residents, Rona also bound her family ever tighter to them.

Fast-forward to the present day and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriarch’s curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author—Nor’s own mother—seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice.

A storm is coming. It's coming for Nor.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I had to read Leslye Walton’s debut novel The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender when I was in grad school. I loved it! It’s one of the best books I’ve ever been forced to read. It’s an odd, magical, memorable family saga. I’m excited to see what else the author can do. Goodreads calls The Price Guide To The Occult a “haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.”

 

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MADE YOU UP BY FRANCESCA ZAPPIA

Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

 


Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: April showers bring May flowers, right? I love the storm on the cover. The author’s other book, Eliza and Her Monsters, was one of my favorite books of 2019. Francesca Zappia is great at writing introverted characters. I’m excited to see if this book lives up to the hype.

 

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THIS SWEET SICKNESS BY PATRICIA HIGHSMITH

Adult Mystery / Crime / Thriller



David Kelsey, a young scientist, has an unyielding conviction that life will turn out all right for him; he just has to fix the Situation: he is in love with a married woman. Obsessed with Annabelle and the life he has imagined for them—including the fully furnished cabin he maintains for her—David prepares to win her over, whatever it takes.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: If you’ve been around this blog for a few years, then you might know about my obsession with Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley. Ripley is an ultra-compelling character. He’s an awful human, but everything he does is fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him. I’ve only read Highsmith’s Ripley books. I need to branch out and see what else she’s written.

 

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NORTH AND SOUTH BY ELIZABETH GASKELL

Adult Classic



When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man, John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I missed this book in college. I know it was assigned reading in a few classes, but I somehow dodged it. Compared to most classics, it gets amazing reviews on Goodreads. Almost all my friends rated it 4 or 5 stars, and none of them complained about it being boring or hard to understand. That’s a good sign.

 

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PET BY AKWAEKE EMEZI

Middle Grade Fantasy



There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood, she must reconsider what she's been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question—How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I may have done a happy dance when I came across a cheap used copy of this novel. I feel like I’ve seen it on the longlist of every award ever. It’s a children’s book, but it deals with dark topics, such as what happens when serious problems are ignored. I’m excited to see what the hype is about.

 

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CAIRO BY G. WILLOW WILSON & M.K. PERKER

Adult Urban Fantasy Graphic Novel

 


A stolen hookah, a spiritual underworld, and a genie on the run change the lives of five strangers forever in this modern fable set on the streets of the Middle East's largest metropolis.

Cairo interweaves the fates of a drug runner, a down-on-his-luck journalist, an American expatriate, a troubled young student, and an Israeli soldier as they race through bustling present-day Cairo to find an artifact of unimaginable power, one protected by a dignified jinn and sought by a wrathful gangster-magician. But the vastness of Africa's legendary City of Victory extends into a spiritual realm—the Undernile—and even darker powers lurk there

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I always need more graphic novels in my life. They’re fun, nice to look at, and quick to read on a busy spring day. This book was recommended by a friend. I was looking for a graphic novel that has depth but would still let me escape from the real world. We’ll see if this one gives me what I’m looking for.

 

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A GAME OF FOX & SQUIRRELS BY JENN REESE

Middle Grade Fantasy

 


After an incident shatters their family, eleven-year old Samantha and her older sister Caitlin are sent to live in rural Oregon with an aunt they've never met. Sam wants nothing more than to go back to the way things were . . . before she spoke up about their father's anger.

When Aunt Vicky gives Sam a mysterious card game called "A Game of Fox & Squirrels," Sam falls in love with the animal characters, especially the charming trickster fox, Ashander. Then one day Ashander shows up in Sam’s room and offers her an adventure and a promise: find the Golden Acorn, and Sam can have anything she desires.

But the fox is hiding rules that Sam isn't prepared for, and her new home feels more tempting than she'd ever expected. As Sam is swept up in the dangerous quest, the line between magic and reality grows thin. If she makes the wrong move, she'll lose far more than just a game.

 

Why I’m excited to read it:  Goodreads says this book “explores the often thin line between magic and reality, light and darkness.” It sounds like this novel has the potential to be delightfully weird. I’m game. Let’s play.

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Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Which book are you excited to read this spring?





35 comments:

  1. Commune plus 70's seems like a win. Sometimes I think I might have been a hippy. Okay, probably not, but it's fun to dream.

    I loved Grave Mercy.

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  2. Neat! I'm curious about Cairo, Reese, and I have recently seen Highsmith on several blogs, for various books.
    https://wordsandpeace.com/2022/03/15/top-ten-books-on-my-spring-2022-tbr/

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  3. Great list! North and South and Pet are both on my TBR and I'm really looking forward to reading them, although N&S really intimidates me with its chunkiness 😂 I hope you enjoy all of these books and happy reading!

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  4. Hope you get lots of these read! I own Pet but need to read it.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  5. North and South is one of my absolute favorite books! I really hope you enjoy this one. The Price Guide to the Occult sounds REALLY intriguing! I hope you love all these books!

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  6. Pet is a really relevant little morality tale.

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  7. I hope you enjoy all of these when you get to them. I read North and South as part of a read-along with some friends about five or six years ago. I liked most of it. I like the miniseries with Richard Armitage better, lol.

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  8. I really liked Grave Mercy! I'm hoping to finish the series this year! Great list

    My Top Ten!

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  9. Hope you'll enjoy all of these! Grave Mercy and Made You Up are on my TBR as well.

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  10. So many good books on your list. Happy reading! :D

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  11. This sounds like a really fun and varied list. I hope you enjoy them, and thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier!

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  12. I've never heard of Cairo but it sounds like a great read. Adding it to my list to check out soon!

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  13. I loved the two Hoyle books I read (they were both set in the Feathers world). Made You Up was great too. I hope you find some gems in this bunch.

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  14. The only one I've read from this list is The Thing With Feathers. I hope you enjoy all of these!

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  15. I haven't read any of these! And most I haven't heard of! Happy reading!

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  16. I love North and South! I hope you enjoy it :)

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  17. I swear I will read Grave Mercy someday!

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  18. North and South was wonderful, of course. I'd love to hear more about Thing with Feathers.

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  19. Yay! "Pet" made it on my list too and I'm really looking forward to read it! It's so nice to see it made it on your list as well! =) Happy reading!

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  20. Always nice to see other bloggers' lists. I've only read "North and South" from your list, I love English classics, so there's not much more to say, LOL.

    "The Thing With Feathers" sounds interesting. The cover is nice, as well. And I also like the cover of "Made You Up", so beautiful.

    Thanks for visiting my green TTT this week.

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  21. I haven't read any of these, but the YA book on the Outer Banks looks good (but then, that use to be part of my stomping grounds). You are so organized in. your readings--right now I am reading more about the world situation.

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  22. So many interesting titles that I've never read! Well, I think I read North and South many many years ago though. Sounds familiar. Clover Blue sounds really good. Hope you enjoy reading your books!

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  23. Grave Mercy was on my TBR a while ago. I forgot why I took it off.

    Have you watched the BBC mini series of North and South? It is amazing!

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  24. I loved Grave Mercy but a few of my friends found it boring - hope it works for you. I adored Pet!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  25. Grave Mercy is such a great book, I hope you enjoy! Pet was a really nice surprise at the end of the year for me. Very unique. I hope you enjoy all these!

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  26. I loved North and South. I can't comment on the rest, but enjoy your spring reading!

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  27. North and South sounds very good. I hope you enjoy all these books!

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  28. Ooo I love a commune book too!!! I am definitely adding Clover Blue to my list. I am also adding The Thing with Feathers for so many reasons, and The Price Guide to the Occult. This is a great list!

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  29. North and South is one I would like to get into at some point possible during Victober event along with watching the series after.

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  30. I haven't read any of these but I'm wondering about the Highsmith novel. I haven't heard of that one and it sounds good! All the movies based on her novels have been great too.

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  31. Pet is a book I've been meaning to read for a while; I must get to it soon. And, I know we're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but Made You Up's great!

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  32. If I ever decide I want to read classics again, North and South is on my list too. I've read a couple of Gaskell's other novels and thought they were very well written.

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  33. I absolutely love Grave Mercy. Hope you do too! And I also thought A Game of Fox and Squirrels was a great representation of a relationship with an abusive parent. Made You Up is one I still need to read. I own it!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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