Stocking the Stacks is a weekly features inspired by Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews a weekly feature which is all about sharing the books we are adding to our endless To Be Read Piles (both physical and digital)!
Today, Haley is sharing her most recent book hauls from Black Friday and Book of the Month. Be sure to comment below with the books you’ve added to your shelves recently and your thoughts on any of her recent purchases.
The Starless Sea by Erin MorgensternThe Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Published by Doubleday Books on November 5, 2019
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world--a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues--a bee, a key, and a sword--that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.
What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians--it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.
Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose--in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
I don’t really think I need to defend my purchase of Erin Morgenstern’s most recent novel. I LOVED every thing about The Nigh Circus and while Morgenstern’s second novel is very different from her debut I have heard nothing but good things on Bookstagram and within the reading podcast community.
Magic for Liars by Sarah GaileyMagic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Published by Tor Books on June 4, 2019
Sharp, mainstream fantasy meets compelling thrills of investigative noir in this fantasy debut by rising star Sarah Gailey.
Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It's a great life and she doesn't wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.
But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.
I owe this buy to Mallory from Reading Glasses. There exists a lot of overlap between our wheelhouses and so I take her recommendations to heart, especially when it comes to fantasy and horror. Plus, I am a sucker fro all books that take place at magical academies so I probably would have bought it eventually regardless.
Slay by Brittney MorrisSlay by Brittney Morris
Published by Simon Pulse on June 30, 2020
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019! "Gripping and timely." --People "The YA debut we're most excited for this year." --Entertainment Weekly "A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that'll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain." --Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out
Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther-inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers.
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the "downfall of the Black man."
But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for "anti-white discrimination."
Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
Okay. Confession Time. I did not love Ready Player One. It was fine. But I just didn’t gush over it the way I felt like everyone else did. I’m surprised my husband didn’t seriously question his choice when I admitted it to him. However, I ADORED The Hate U Give and so I have hope for this book that our friends on The Professional Book Nerds podcast described as a diverse Ready Player One. Plus, I’m all for supporting, #ownvoices books by people of color.
Book of the Month
Long Bright River by Liz MooreLong Bright River by Liz Moore
Published by Riverhead Books on January 7, 2020
Two sisters travel the same streets,though their lives couldn't be more different. Then one of them goes missing.
In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don't speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.
Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey's district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit--and her sister--before it's too late.
Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters' childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.
I was reluctant to get this one at first because I have to be in a certain mood to enjoy slow burn mystery. However, the main reason I get Book of the Month is to push me out of my comfort zone and encourage myself to pick up books I might not become aware of otherwise. So Long Bright River is the “out of my comfort zone” pick this month. I’ll keep you posted on how I like it.
Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistonRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on August 14, 2019
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
It should surprise no one that I picked up this title. I just couldn’t pass up a hardcover copy of one of the most loved romances of the year. December is all about comfort reads and this laugh-out-loud rom-com is going at the top of my TBR.
The Wives by Tarryn FisherThe Wives by Tarryn Fisher
Published by Graydon House on December 30, 2019
Imagine that your husband has two other wives.
You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.
But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.
You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.
Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?
And who is his mysterious third wife?
I am very particular about my thrillers, but when I learned that this one featured a polygamous relationship I had to pick it up. Polygamy was something I dived into a few years ago and I am just so fascinated by the premise. I’m not sure if I will get to this one by the end of the year but it is going on the top of my TBR- as are a dozen other books.
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke CohenDangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen
Published by HarperTeen on December 3, 2019
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice
and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.
But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.
Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.
Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was my first taste of literary classics when I was about fourteen. I have since read all of Austen’s works and actively seek out spins offs, prequels and retellings. There may come a time when I tired of stories colored by Jane Austen’s influence but that day has not yet come and I am positively delighted to be getting Dnagerous Alliance in one of my boxes for December.
Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughreanWhere the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean
Published by Flatiron Books on December 3, 2019
Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal! New from Michael L. Printz Award winner Geraldine McCaughrean comes an extraordinary story of eight boys stranded on a rock in the middle of the sea, left to fight for their survival.Every time a lad went fowling on the stacs, he came home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is.
Every summer Quill and his friends are put ashore on a remote sea stac to hunt birds. But this summer, no one arrives to take them home. Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain why they’ve been abandoned—cold, starving and clinging to life, in the grip of a murderous ocean. How will they survive such a forsaken place of stone and sea?
This is an extraordinary story of fortitude, endurance, tragedy and survival, set against an unforgettable backdrop of savage beauty.
This is the other pick I am nervous about. I love survival stories. When I was younger I devoured books like Hatchet and The Little House on the Prairie and that love has continued into adulthood. My only concern about this book is the numerous reviews I have read commenting on the writing style. Fingers crossed that I still enjoy it, I loved Incendiaries last year and that had one of the most unique writing styles I had ever read.
What About You?
Well thanks for sticking around for my book haul. What books did you fill your December Book of the Month box with? Did you find any good Black Friday Deals? Let us know int he comments!