Hello everyone and welcome back to the third round of Twelve Days of Bookmas, a festive series of posts where we are counting down to Christmas book recommendation style!
Be sure to check out Day 1 , Day 2, and Day 3 as well.
Today I am sharing four novels that are high on my TBR which have lured me in because of the hype I have seen around them which I have yet to read. I know my tale of bookish woe is not unique, but I appreciate the company in my lack of readerly commitment. Alas, my bookworm heart is pulled in too many directions too often.
On the four day of Book-mas I found under the tree: four bestsellersTranscendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Published by Knopf on September 1, 2020
Yaa Gyasi's stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.
Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.
But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief--a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi's phenomenal debut.
Why I Want To Read It
Okay, here is the deal with most of the books on this list. I have never read a book by Yaa Gyasi. I know she is a household name among many bookish circles. I feel like it’s difficult to move in bookish spheres and not hear about Homegoing. Well, as some may know, I kind of dropped off the face of the bookish earth in my teens and early twenties and then made my way back in the last five years or so. All that is to say, my hiatus means that my literary street cred is often lacking. While I have never felt a strong desire to pick up Homegoing, when Book of the Month offered Transcendent Kingdom I knew I had to pick it up. I am especially interested in how she examines the cross sections of science and religion. As an atheist I am endlessly fascinated by these sorts of topics.Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell
Published by Atria Books on October 13, 2020
The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.
Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.
In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.
Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.
Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.
With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).
Why I Want To Read It
As I said above, “most” of the authors on this list are new to me. But Lisa Jewell is where the caveat applies. I read and adored The Family Upstairs. Basically if the book has a cult in it I will always at least like the book. The Invisible Girl is a lot different from the title that initially drew me to Jewell’s work. The Invisible Girl promises plenty of secrets, a strange disappearance, sexual misconduct allegations, and online incel forums. You know, all the things to warm the hearts of true crime and thriller junkies on a cold dark night.From Blood and Ash (Blood And Ash, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Blue Box Press on September 1, 2020
Captivating and action-packed, From Blood and Ash is a sexy, addictive, and unexpected fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Laura Thalassa.
Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.
The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.
Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.
Why I Want To Read It
Until this year, I had absolutely no interest in Armenttrout’s novels. But I’ve heard it said that being exposed to a word or phrase seven times is enough for your brain to memorize it. Well, I have heard talk of this book and Armentrout as an author that I wouldn’t be surprised if this book cover appeared in my dreams some night. Honestly the only thing that has held me back up to this point is the size but I think as we move in 2021, and I set a more realistic Goodreads goal in light of recent life changes, I will be more than ready to dive into this chunky novel.We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
on March 3, 2020
It’s 1989, and the Danvers High School Women’s Field Hockey team is staring down another losing season. But things start to look up when the team’s goalie discovers a book that will change both the course of the season as well as each player’s life.
FACT: In 1692, a handful of young girls, interested in divining the nature of their futures, brought devastating consequences to what was then known as Salem Village. FACT: Three hundred years later, Salem Village is now the Town of Danvers, and these teen girls are just as wily and original as their ancestors. If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, then Boston’s north shore is about to discover what lengths eleven teen girls will go to win a state championship, uncovering their true selves and bucking convention along the way. We Ride Upon Sticks and Are There Presently presents a portrait of teen girl-dom in all its furious messiness, from big hair to Heathers to coming into one’s glorious own despite society’s stale notions of femininity.
Why I Want To Read It
I am not a sports person. The only sport I ocassionally watch is football and that’s only because I am from Seattle and I bleed rainwater (go Hawks!). But I have seen this book everywhere and have heard nothing but good things. It should surprise no one that what drew my horror loving heart to this book is the fact that the all girl’s hockey team attempts to use witchcraft to win their season. Many have described We Ride Upon Sticks as sharp, biting and darkly humorous and I love it when my books have some good teeth on them.
What About You?
Have you read any of these books? What are some Bestsellers that you got excited to read because of their corresponding hype but which you haven’t read yet? Let me know in the comments!