So far I am only 9 books into my goal of reading 22 books for the year. I’m trying to focus on the number less, and just enjoy what I’m reading. And so far every book I’ve chosen has been great! I have yet to ‘DNF’ a book this year, and I’ve really enjoyed each one of these — so much so that I feel a sort of book hangover after finishing each one, finding my thoughts drifting to parts of the book I really enjoyed, and taking a little break before beginning the next. Most have been light, romantic, or whimsical, and reading has been a great distraction and an escape from everyday life.
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
Emma Straub was a guest on a recent episode of Bad On Paper podcast, promoting her new book. She completely won me over during her interview, not only selling me on This Time Tomorrow but also a few other recommendations! Hearing her talk about how she came up with the idea for the book really tugged at my heartstrings, and I’m such a sucker for a little magical realism. It’s a refreshing take on the time travel trope and will leave you with a lump in your throat, feeling grateful for what you have. I liked this book so very much, and it’s a contender for my own personal ‘Book of the Year’.
Read if you’re a fan of 13 going on 30, or need a reminder to appreciate the moment you’re in.
I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of Henry’s third book for at least six months, after seeing book influencers gushing over their advanced copies. While Beach Read still ranks as my favorite Emily Henry books, this was a sweet and light read, and I liked the focus on the relationship between the two sisters as the heart of the story. The winks to Hallmark movie plots, banter between the characters, and male lead you can’t help but fall in love with, all creates a cozy and heartwarming read.
Perfect for those who relate to Meredith Blake and would also send those brats to boarding school.
Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman
I’m not usually a big fan of romance books that feature a celebrity and a regular person, but this one may have changed my mind. It’s light, but unputdownable — a perfect book to keep you totally engrossed for an afternoon at the pool. The story flips back and forth from the past to present, compelling you to keep turning the page. The best part of this book was imagining who you envision as the lead male roles — I like to think of Chris Evans as the lead, and Rege-Jean Page as his best friend. It wasn’t until after I finished that I found out the book was loosely based on an article about Chris Evans, which made me feel all the more vindicated in my casting.
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
This is another contender for my personal ‘Book of the Year’. I was so impressed with Fortune’s debut novel and I am so glad that she already has a second book in the works, as she will undoubtedly be one of my new favorite romance authors. It’s such a sweet and nostalgic love story, and you will probably shed a tear or two. It makes me long for a lake house and a guy like Sam in my life. It was a well thought out and perfectly executed story and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Read if you liked making friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
When I need a soothing podcast, I like to listen to ‘What Should I Read Next?’ with Anne Bogel. This book was a recommendation from her 2021 recap episode where her staff listed all of their favorite books that year. I went into it without knowing anything about it other than that it was good. A charming, fantastical adventure that captures your senses, with themes of family and love. It grips you from the beginning and only draws you further in, to a story within a story, and is truly a delight. Harrow is a fantastic writer who enchants you in with her prose, and you really forget your surroundings when you’re engrossed in one of her books. It’s escapism at it’s best.
Read if you love not only books, but the power and structure of words.
The Once And Future Witches by Alix Harrow
This was another recommendation from the ‘What Should I Read Next?’ podcast, and while I was initially unsure about this title (I like magical realism, but wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book about witches), I am SO GLAD I picked this up. My reading this book coincided with the overturning of Roe V. Wade, and everything about the story felt so relevant to our current climate — the feelings of both helplessness and rage, loss of power, and desire for change. This book was an escape into a world that felt so similar, a historical fiction-meets-fantasy story set during the suffragist movement. I loved Harrow’s commentary on what it is to be a woman in the world, and it echoes so many of our current realities and the issues that divide us. It’s an enchanting story with themes of women’s rights, race, homophobia, sexuality, survival, and feminism. Harrow’s masterful prose will captivate and empower you.
Read if you need a cathartic escape from the loss of your rights.