Adult Fiction, LGBTQ+, Romance

The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann

Ages 18+

Joy is in love with her best friend Malcolm, but he doesn’t know it…yet. The two have been friends since college, and Joy almost lost him when he got engaged to Caroline, but then Caroline broke his heart. Currently, Malcolm is really interested in Summer, and is planning a trip with her, but asks Joy to come along so she can get to know Summer better. Summer’s ex Fox is also along for the ride. While trying to keep Fox at bay, Joy’s real plan is to finally tell Malcolm how she feels. What could go wrong?    

Adult Fiction, Books

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson

Ages 18+

Maggie Banks’ best friend owns a struggling bookshop in Bell River and Maggie has been tasked with running it for a while. What she finds when she arrives, however, is not what she expects – bestsellers to be flying off the shelves. She encounters a literary society that wants to keep the bookstore stuck in the past. Maggie decides to take matters into her own hands by starting a secret book club and starts selling forbidden books. Keeping things under wraps is nearly impossible, though, and she has to decide which types of books are more important – the ones that tell the town’s history, or ones that might revive it.     

Adult Fiction, Romance

Thank You For Listening by Julia Whelan

Ages 18+

Sewanee Chester is a former movie star whose glory days are long behind her, but being an audiobook narrator fits into her life now, and allows her to also care for her ailing grandmother. She then travels to Las Vegas for a book convention and on her way home discovers that a powerhouse romance author wants her to record one last book for her with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest voice. However, Sewanee was burned by love and stopped narrating romance novels years ago. Ultimately, she decides to take the plunge, and work with Brock under her old romance pseudonym. She and Brock start communicating virtually, and forge a connection. Can she put her insecurities behind her and get what she really wants out of life?    

Adult Fiction, Horror/Thriller

Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard

Ages 18+

Catherine Ryan Howard’s most recent novel is about Final Draft, a psychological thriller, a movie to be directed by Steve Dade. It will be filmed in West Cork, Ireland, in a cottage deep in the forest. Adele Rafferty is a former soap star looking for her next big break, and she jumps at the chance when the original actress slated for the role is down for the count. However, everything isn’t as it seems, and Adele will soon find out that the real horror lies behind the scenes. 

Romance, YA Fiction

Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon

Grades 9-12

It’s winter and Atlanta is covered in snow. In fact, there are blizzard conditions outside, but that won’t stop twelve teens from helping a friend pull off the biggest apology of her life. She really messed up with her significant other, but she is determined to fix everything with the help of her friends. Whiteout is brought to us by the same powerhouse team of six authors that brought us Blackout, and it is not to be missed! 

Books

Book Podcasts

Did you know that I listen to two fabulous book podcasts? They’re available on my phone’s podcast app, and all I have to do is stick a pair of headphones in (or not) and listen right from there. It’s so simple, yet so exciting! I’ve been listening for years now.

The first one I started listening to was Sarah’s Bookshelves Live, hosted by Sarah Dickinson. The episodes come out every other Wednesday. Her format, for the most part, is that she has a guest on, or a guest host such as Catherine Gilmore from Gilmore Guide to Books or Susie from the Novel Visits blog. Sarah then asks her partner for the episode to share “two old books they love, two new books they love and one new release they’re excited about.” I think this is a simple format and it is perfect for book recommendations. She also does interviews with authors on her podcast, so has a conversation with great, thoughtful questions for her guests. This is the first book podcast I started listening to, and I couldn’t imagine my reading life without it!

The other book podcast I listen to is the Currently Reading Podcast, whose two main hosts, Meredith Monday-Schwartz and Kaytee Cobb are just two of the most awesome book people I “know.” Their part-time hosts are: Mary, Mindy and Bunmi. All of these ladies come together and put on an incredible show for book lovers. The format is that two of them are on one episode, and they each share three books they’re currently reading, giving a “set-up” for each book. Then they also do a deep dive, a discussion on anything book related or book adjacent. Then they “visit the fountain,” and each share a bookish wish. I should mention that the fountain is a new thing, and they used to press books into your hands. You can find the list of their presses on their website here.

I’m also a patron via Patreon for both of these podcasts (which means I pay a small fee to get bonus content like extra episodes and access to their Facebook groups so that I can interact with other listeners). It is beyond worth it! These book podcasts enrich my reading life (and my reading list) so much. I am grateful for all of the people involved in these podcasts, from the hosts, to the guests, to the people behind the scenes.

Please follow Sarah, Meredith and Kaytee on Instagram!

Do you listen to either of these book podcasts? If not, do you listen to any others? Comment below!

Short Stories, YA Fiction

Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell

Grades 9 – 12

Scattered Showers is a book of short stories by YA powerhouse Rainbow Rowell, who brought us Eleanor & Park, and the Simon Snow trilogy. In fact, some of the stories feature characters in her novels, and tell the reader where you can read more about them. This short story collection includes love stories, friendship stories, and even a fairy-tale in classic Rainbow Rowell fashion. 

Books

Bibliophile: Diverse Spines by Jane Mount & Jamise Harper

Ages 14+

Have you been wanting to diversify your reading but aren’t sure where to start? Bibliophile: Diverse Spines is a wonderful book with book lists that are sure to drastically increase your TBR (to-be-read) list. It includes book lists in various genres that feature diverse authors and even mentions unique bookstores from around the country and around the world. So, what are you waiting for? Dive in now!    

Adult Fiction

The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith

Ages 18+

Greta James is a famous indie guitarist promoting her sophomore album when she recently and unexpectedly loses her mother. Due to this, Greta has a public meltdown on stage, and it goes viral. Needing a restart and craving time away from her career, she decides to accompany her estranged father on a week-long Alaskan cruise that he was meant to take with his wife for their fortieth wedding anniversary. Will the two heal old wounds or will the trip of a lifetime prove disastrous for them both?  

Adult Fiction, Latinx

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Ages 18+

It’s 2017, and Puerto Rico has just been hit with the most devastating hurricane in its history.  Olga and her brother Pedro live their lives in New York City in the public eye and everything seems to the rest of the world that it’s all sunshine and roses, but upon closer inspection, that’s not the case. Their mother Blanca abandoned her children when they were young, and they were raised by their grandmother. Twenty-seven years later, she is back in their lives. Olga Dies Dreaming examines political corruption, family life and the American dream.