Tuesday, April 19, 2022

April 2022 Book Haul

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Guess what? I got new books! Let's look at them and find out why the heck I brought them into my life. (I definitely don't use shopping to cope with crippling anxiety. What are you talking about? *Nervous laughter.*)

💮  April Book Haul  👀

The Unseen World by Liz Moore

Adult Literary Mystery / Thriller / Science Fiction (?)

Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David's mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David's colleagues. Soon after she embarks on a mission to uncover her father’s secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World's heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion.

Why I'm excited to read it: I recently read and adored You by Caroline Kepnes. Usually, I'm not a fan of thrillers, but since I liked You, I thought I'd be more open minded and try another one. This book was categorized as a thriller on the site where I bought it, but I don't know if that's false advertising. Whatever this book is, it gets good reviews.

Buy it on Amazon

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story Of The Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar

Adult History Nonfiction

In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened. This gripping work of literary nonfiction delves into the mystery through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter.

Why I'm excited to read it: I'm pretty sure I've seen every TV show about the Dyatlov Pass incident. It's a weird and fascinating historical mystery that may never be solved. There are so many things in the wilderness that can kill a person. I'm interested to see if this book has any new insights.

Buy it on Amazon

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Young Adult Fantasy

Kate Harker is a girl who hunts monsters. And she's good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadow—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim's inner demons—Kate must face a monster she thought she'd killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

Why I'm excited to read it: This is book #2 in a duology. Book #1 isn't my favorite Victoria Schwab novel, but I'm determined to read everything she writes, so of course I need to read this one. I'm sure the finale will be full of plot twists and characters who kick ass.

Buy it on Amazon

Anger Is A Gift by Mark Oshiro

Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies' father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media's vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

Why I'm excited to read it: I've recently become interested in the school-to-prison pipeline and how to prevent kids from ending up in prison before they've even gotten a chance to live independently. That's what this book is about.

Buy it on Amazon

White Ivy by Susie Yang

Adult Literary / Mystery / Thriller

Ivy Lin is a thief and a liar—but you’d never know it by looking at her. Raised outside of Boston, she is taught how to pilfer items from yard sales and second-hand shops by her immigrant grandmother. Thieving allows Ivy to accumulate the trappings of a suburban teen—and, most importantly, to attract the attention of Gideon Speyer, the golden boy of a wealthy political family. But when Ivy’s mother discovers her trespasses, punishment is swift and Ivy is sent to China, where her dream instantly evaporates.

Years later, Ivy has grown into a poised yet restless young woman, haunted by her conflicting feelings about her upbringing and her family. Back in Boston, when she bumps into Sylvia Speyer, Gideon’s sister, a reconnection with Gideon seems not only inevitable—it feels like fate.

Slowly, Ivy sinks her claws into Gideon and the entire Speyer clan by attending fancy dinners and weekend getaways to the Cape. But just as Ivy is about to have everything she’s ever wanted, a ghost from her past resurfaces, threatening the nearly perfect life she’s worked so hard to build.

Why I'm excited to read it: I'm trying to be more open minded about thrillers. This is another one that gets great reviews. It's giving me You vibes, but in reverse. Instead of being about a man who is obsessed with women, it's about a young woman who is obsessed with a family and manipulates her way into their lives.

Buy it on Amazon

The Southern Book Club's Guide To Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Adult Horror

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia's life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they're more likely to discuss the FBI's recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.

But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club's meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he's a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she—and her book club—are the only people standing between the monster they've invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community.

Why I'm excited to read it: A few years ago, I read the author's other book, Horrorstör, and loved it. It's clever and funny. I'm hoping for more of the same.

Buy it on Amazon

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

Adult Historical Fiction

When the Black Death enters England through the port in Dorsetshire in June 1348, no one knows what manner of sickness it is—or how it spreads and kills so quickly. The Church cites God as the cause, and fear grips the people as they come to believe that the plague is a punishment for wickedness.

But Lady Anne of Develish has her own ideas. Educated by nuns, Anne is a rarity among women, being both literate and knowledgeable. With her brutal husband absent from the manor when news of this pestilence reaches her, she looks for more sensible ways to protect her people than daily confessions of sin. She decides to bring her serfs inside the safety of the moat that surrounds her manor house, then refuses entry to anyone else, even her husband.

Lady Anne makes an enemy of her daughter and her husband’s steward by doing so, but her resolve is strengthened by the support of her leading serfs . . . until food stocks run low. The nerves of all are tested by continued confinement and ignorance of what is happening in the world outside. The people of Develish are alive. But for how long? And what will they discover when the time comes for them to cross the moat again?

Why I'm excited to read it: For mysterious reasons, I'm interested in plagues. The plot of this book intrigues me because of how the characters isolate themselves. Can you imagine hiding in a manor house and not having any access to news from the outside world? (Now that I'm thinking about it, that might actually be awesome.)

Buy it on Amazon

Stiff: The Curious Life Of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Adult Science Nonfiction

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

Why I'm excited to read it: Mary Roach is my favorite nonfiction writer, but I've never read her most famous book. Oops. I'm interested to see what the hype is about. Her books are usually hilarious and weird. She asks the awkward questions that everybody wonders about.

Buy it on Amazon

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Adult Historical Fiction

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

Why I'm excited to read it: A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about modern books that I think will become classics. While researching that post, I kept coming across this book. I don't read enough about Africa, so I decided to give it a shot.

Buy it on Amazon

Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

Adult Mystery Graphic Novel

When Sabrina disappears, an airman in the U.S. Air Force is drawn into a web of suppositions, wild theories, and outright lies. He reports to work every night in a bare, sterile fortress that serves as no protection from a situation that threatens the sanity of Teddy, his childhood friend and the boyfriend of the missing woman. Sabrina’s grieving sister, Sandra, struggles to fill her days as she waits in purgatory. After a videotape surfaces, we see devastation shown through a cinematic lens, as true tragedy is distorted when fringe thinkers and conspiracy theorists begin to interpret events to fit their own narratives.

Why I'm excited to read it: Honestly, I don't understand what this book is about. I became interested in it after it made the Booker Prize longlist, and all the literature snobs on Twitter were like, "Eww, a graphic novel? That's not a real book." Graphic novels are real books, and I want to know how this one got the attention of a stuffy award committee. There must be something special about it.

Buy it on Amazon

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?


  1. Loved loved Southern Book Club - gory and creepy! Dead Mountain was a fantastic read - so eerie!

  2. Dead Mountain sounds interesting, but not something to read before going off on a winter hike. Mary Roach is a hoot, and I read "The Posionwood Bible last year and reviewed it, I think. I like how she used the four daughters to give four insights into Africa.

  3. I have not read any of these, but I heard amazing things about Anger is a Gift. Hope you adore them all.

  4. I read The Poisonwood Bible many years ago, I'd love to read it again!

  5. Oooh I want to read Southern Book Club too! Dead Mountain sounds really good too. I have been sitting on Our Dark Duet for... Idk, since the day it published, even though Book 1 wasn't my fave either. Whoops? Stiff sounds really interesting, but I know it will send me into a death panic spiral, so I shall refrain. Also, funny enough, I buy to soothe my depression, but then spending the money makes anxiety worse bwahha. Hope you enjoy these!

  6. I've read Liz Moore's novel Unseen World and her book Heft but liked her novel Long Bright River best! Very good. Now about this Dyatlov Pass incident, which I'm a newbie to knowing about, what was the radiation on their clothes? You have me interested. And I still need to read the Poisonwood Bible!

  7. I'm adding Anger is a Gift, and The Last Hours to my TBR! 📚

    I have the Hendrix book on my TBR and The Poisonwood Bible. 👍

  8. 'The Southern Book Club's Gude To Slaying Vampires' is a fab title! :)