This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is the 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To. On the plus side, it means I have some good reading ahead of me!
An Afghan American woman returns to Kabul to learn the truth about her family and the tragedy that destroyed their lives in this brilliant and compelling novel from the bestselling author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, The House Without Windows, and When the Moon Is Low.
Kabul, 1978: The daughter of a prominent family, Sitara Zalmani lives a privileged life in Afghanistan’s thriving cosmopolitan capital. The 1970s are a time of remarkable promise under the leadership of people like Sardar Daoud, Afghanistan’s progressive president, and Sitara’s beloved father, his right-hand man. But the ten-year-old Sitara’s world is shattered when communists stage a coup, assassinating the president and Sitara’s entire family. Only she survives.
Smuggled out of the palace by a guard named Shair, Sitara finds her way to the home of a female American diplomat, who adopts her and raises her in America. In her new country, Sitara takes on a new name—Aryana Shepherd—and throws herself into her studies, eventually becoming a renowned surgeon. A survivor, Aryana has refused to look back, choosing instead to bury the trauma and devastating loss she endured.
New York, 2018: Forty years after that fatal night in Kabul, Aryana’s world is rocked again when an elderly patient appears in her examination room—a man she never expected to see again. It is Shair, the soldier who saved her, yet may have murdered her entire family. Seeing him awakens Aryana’s fury and desire for answers—and, perhaps, revenge. Realizing that she cannot go on without finding the truth, Aryana embarks on a quest that takes her back to Kabul—a battleground between the corrupt government and the fundamentalist Taliban—and through shadowy memories of the world she loved and lost.
Bold, illuminating, heartbreaking, yet hopeful, Sparks Like Stars is a story of home—of America and Afghanistan, tragedy and survival, reinvention and remembrance, told in Nadia Hashimi’s singular voice. [Goodreads Summary]
Paris, 1925: To enter the Secret Circus is to enter a world of wonder-a world where women tame magnificent beasts, carousels take you back in time, and trapeze artists float across the sky. But each daring feat has a cost. Bound to her family's strange and magical circus, it's the only world Cecile Cabot knows-until she meets a charismatic young painter and embarks on a passionate love affair that could cost her everything.Virginia, 2005: Lara Barnes is on top of the world-until her fiancé disappears on their wedding day. Desperate, her search for answers unexpectedly leads to her great-grandmother's journals and sweeps her into the story of a dark circus and a generational curse that has been claiming payment from the women in her family for generations. [Goodreads Summaary]
A fast-paced, thrilling horror novel that follows a group of heroines to die for, from the brilliant New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires.In horror movies, the final girl is the one who's left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?[Goodreads Summary]
Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she's not alone. For more than a decade she's been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette's worst fears are realized--someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.
But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.
A mesmerizing novel in verse about family, identity, and finding yourself in the most unexpected places—for fans of The Poet X, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, and Jason Reynolds.Nima doesn’t feel understood. By her mother, who grew up far away in a different land. By her white suburban town, which feels both dangerous and familiar. At least she has her childhood friend Haitham, with whom she can let her guard down and be herself.Until she doesn’t. As the ground is pulled out from under her, Nima must grapple with the phantom of a life not chosen, the name her parents didn’t give her at birth: Yasmeen. But that other name, that other girl, might just be more real than Nima knows. And more hungry.This book is a story of mothers and daughters, of friends and enemies, of journeys and homecomings, and of realizing that sometimes the person you’re meant to be has been staring at you in the mirror all along. [Goodreads Summary]
The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—even for graduations, weddings, or baptism. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to come and collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers. Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly’s daughter, Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, the four descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked backed.Alternating between Orquídea’s past and her descendants’ present, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is an enchanting novel about what we knowingly and unknowingly inherit from our ancestors, the ties that bind, and reclaiming your power. [Goodreads Summary]
A charming historical fantasy with a tender love story at its core, from the author of Unnatural Magic.
Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.
At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere. [Goodreads Summary]
In Elizabeth Penney's Chapter and Curse, Molly Kimball is used to cracking open books . . . but when a poetry reading ends in murder she must use her skills to crack the case.Librarian Molly Kimball and her mother, Nina, need a change. So when a letter arrives from Nina’s Aunt Violet in Cambridge, England requesting their help running the family bookshop, they jump at the chance.Thomas Marlowe―Manuscripts and Folios, is one of the oldest bookshops in Cambridge, and―unfortunately―customers can tell. When Molly and Nina arrive, spring has come to Cambridge and the famed Cambridge Literary Festival is underway. Determined to bring much-needed revenue to the bookstore, Molly invites Aunt Violet’s college classmate and famed poet Persephone Brightwell to hold a poetry reading in the shop. But the event ends in disaster when a guest is found dead―with Molly’s great-aunt’s knitting needle used as the murder weapon. While trying to clear Violet and keep the struggling shop afloat, Molly sifts through secrets past and present, untangling a web of blackmail, deceit, and murder. [Goodreads Summary]
In this thought-provoking and sensitive novel, inspired by the true story of a Louisiana leprosy hospital where patients were forcibly quarantined, acclaimed author Amanda Skenandore tells an extraordinarily timely tale of resilience, hope--and the last woman who expected to find herself in such a place...
1920s Los Angeles: Socialite Mirielle West's days are crowded with shopping, luncheons, and prepping for the myriad glittering parties she attends with her actor husband, Charlie. She's been too busy to even notice the small patch of pale skin on the back of her hand. Other than an occasional over-indulgence in gin and champagne, which helps to numb the pain of recent tragedy, Mirielle is the picture of health. But her doctor insists on more tests, and Mirielle reluctantly agrees.
The diagnosis--leprosy--is devastating and unthinkable. Changing her name to shield Charlie and their two young children, Mirielle is exiled to rural Louisiana for what she hopes will be a swift cure. But the hospital at Carville turns out to be as much a prison as a place of healing. Deaths far outnumber the discharges, and many patients have languished for years. Some are badly afflicted, others relatively unscathed. For all, the disease's stigma is just as insidious as its physical progress.
At first, Mirielle keeps her distance from other residents, unwilling to accept her new reality. Gradually she begins to find both a community and a purpose at Carville, helping the nurses and doctors while eagerly anticipating her return home. But even that wish is tinged with uncertainty. How can she bridge the divide between the woman, wife, and mother she was, and the stranger she has become? And what price is she willing to pay to protect the ones she loves? [Goodreads Summary]
Sixth Sense meets Stranger Things in T. L. Huchu's The Library of the Dead, a sharp contemporary fantasy following a precocious and cynical teen as she explores the shadowy magical underside of modern Edinburgh.
When a child goes missing in Edinburgh's darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She'll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
When ghosts talk, she will listen...
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she speaks to Edinburgh's dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl's gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone's bewitching children--leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It's on Ropa's patch, so she feels honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.
She'll dice with death (not part of her life plan...), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She'll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa's gonna hunt them all down. [Goodreads Summary]
Inspiration can come from the most unlikely - and inconvenient - sources.
Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love - albeit fictional. As a best-selling romance novelist and influential Bookstagrammer, she’s fine with getting her happily-ever-after fix between the covers of a book.
But right now? Not only is Kara’s best friend getting married next week - which means big wedding stress - but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word. The last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love, Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear in the wedding party. But Ryan’s unexpected arrival sparks a creative awakening in Kara that inspires the steamy historical romance she desperately needs to deliver.
With her wedding duties intensifying, her deadline getting closer by the second and her bills not paying themselves, Kara knows there’s only one way for her to finish her book and to give her characters the ever-after they deserve. But can she embrace the unlikely, ruggedly handsome muse—who pushes every one of her buttons—to save the wedding, her career and, just maybe, write her own happy ending? [Goodreads Summary]
Have you read any of these? What 2021 releases were you unable to get to this past year that you were excited to read?
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I can't believe I don't recognise any of your books! But a few does draw my attention. Talk Bookish to me can only be fun!ReplyDelete
Mareli - Yes, Talk Bookish to Me looks like it will be a fun one. :-)Delete
I also wanted to read The Ladies of the Secret Circus and The Final Girl Support Group. Hopefully it will happen this year 😄ReplyDelete
Stephanie - Hopefully it will happen for both of us this year!Delete
There are some books I can't resist and Talk Bookish to Me has all the elements that I like.ReplyDelete
Good luck with taming this list!
Deb - Thank you! I need all the luck I can get. :-)Delete
I loved Library of the Dead and I super recommend the audiobook if you;re into them.ReplyDelete
Ellie - I am so glad to hear you loved Library of the Dead. I look forward to reading it.Delete
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina and The Library of the Dead sound really good!ReplyDelete
Eustacia - I hope they will be!Delete
What a list. Found some very intriguing sounding titles. Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Vi - You are welcome. :-)Delete
I have 3 of these on my TBR from last year: Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry, Library of the Dead, and Talk Bookish to Me. Hopefully we can get to them this year.ReplyDelete
Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
Pam - I sure hope so! They sound so good, don't they?Delete
I started The Final Girl Support Group last year, and had to put it aside. I plan on finishing it this year, hopefully!ReplyDelete
Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!
Aymee - I hope you enjoy it when you pick it back up again!Delete
So many good books to look forward to reading! I loved The Final Girl Support Group, and I liked Talk Bookish to Me. And I have to put The Ladies Secret Circus on my TBR list. :)ReplyDelete
Lark - I am glad you loved The Final Girl Support Group. I can't wait to read it! Talk Bookish to Me sounds like a fun one. I am glad to hear you liked that one as well.Delete
I have The Library of the dead on my tbr as well.ReplyDelete
Marianna - I hope we both will enjoy it when we read it!Delete
I’ve been looking at The Final Call Support Group!ReplyDelete
My list is here: https://fiftytwo.blog/2022/01/18/ttt-2021-books-i-didnt-get-to/
Lori - I hope we both get a chance to read it and end up loving it.Delete
All of these are new to me. I hope you enjoy them when you get a chance to read them :) https://cindysbookcorner.blogspot.com/2022/01/top-ten-tuesday-2021-releases-i-still.htmlReplyDelete
Cindy - Thank you! I hope I will too. :-)Delete
I haven't heard of any of these but, I know I have over 25 books acquired and unread - why is it so easy for this to happen? Maybe 2022 will be our year? enjoyReplyDelete
Diane - I am in the same boat as you. I do hope we are able to work our way through some of our backlog!Delete
I did read The Final Girl Support Group and enjoyed it! Sparks Like Stars, The Ladies of the Secret Circus, and The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry are all on my list too. I hope you enjoy these when you get to them!ReplyDelete
Jen - I am glad to hear you enjoyed The Final Girl Support Group. I hope I will too! And I hope you and I both enjoy Sparks Like Stars, The Ladies of the Secret Circus, and The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry when we read them.Delete
Great choices. I've only read The Final Girl Support Group. But there are plenty more there I'd like to read.ReplyDelete
Anne - Books of My Heart
Anne - Thank you! I hope I will enjoy it when I read it. :-)Delete
I've actually read two of these! I liked Ladies of the Secret Circus (but not as much as the author's previous book), and I liked the Grady Hendrix books (but again, not as much as his previous books!). I also picked up a copy of Orquidea Divina, but haven't started it yet (but I'm looking forward to reading it -- I've heard such good things!)ReplyDelete
Lisa - The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires was my first book by Grady Hendrix and I loved it. I am looking forward to reading more of his work. I hope you and I both enjoy The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina!Delete
I totally forgot about The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry! It looked like such a good one! I hope you enjoy these if/when you get to them!ReplyDelete
Leslie - The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry sounds like it will be a fun read. And I just love that title. :-)Delete
I've been out of the book scene for a while so I haven't heard of a lot of these, but they all sound awesome! I'm going to put them on my TBR. Thanks for the recs and thanks for stopping by my blog!ReplyDelete
Jenni Elyse - I hope you enjoy whichever ones you decide to read (and me too!).Delete
I haven't read any of these, but many of them sound good: The Ladies of the Secret Circus, The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry, Chapter and Curse, and The Library of the Dead. Hope you get a chance to read all these books.ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting my blog today.
Cheryl - I hope I will be able to read them sometime soon. Fingers crossed!Delete
I read Talk Bookish to Me, and loved it! Great list!ReplyDelete
Wendy - Thank you! I am glad to hear you enjoyed Talk Bookish to Me. I can't wait to read it!Delete
I like the mix of genres. The Nadia Hashimi book is new to me. Making a note of that one.ReplyDelete
Mystica - I really enjoy Nadia Hashimi's books. I hope you enjoy her new one if you do read it!Delete
The Final Girl Support Group looks really good.ReplyDelete
Helen - I think so too!Delete
Oooh! All of these books sound interesting! Great list!ReplyDelete
Here’s my TTT!
Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog
Ronyell - Thank you! I think so too. :-)Delete
I'm seeing some titles with two of my bookish buzzwords, library and bookish. I will check out those books, thank you for bringing them to my attention. Happy reading! My TTT https://readwithstefani.com/2022-resolutions-and-goals/ReplyDelete
Stefanie - Yes! Anything with library and bookish is sure to get my attention too. :-)Delete
It didn't make my list, but I'd really like to read The Library of the Dead.ReplyDelete
Jennifer - We couldn't fit all the books onto the list, could we? I hope we both will enjoy The Library of the Dead when we read it!Delete
Ladies of the Secret Circus is sooo good! Good luck reading all of these, I know how hard it is to go back when there are so many new books just ahead😁ReplyDelete
Tammy - I know how much you liked Ladies of the Secret Circus. This will definitely be its year. It's on my must read this year list. :-)Delete
I love the variety of genres in your list. A lot of these look fun! I hope you enjoy them and get to read them soon.ReplyDelete
Kami - Thank you! I hope so too!Delete
I bought a copy of CHAPTER AND CURSE a few weeks ago with a gift card I got for Christmas. It sounds like a fun read. I hope we both enjoy it.ReplyDelete
Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!
Susan - It does sound fun. I hope we both enjoy Chapter and Curse too!Delete
Support Group looks so fun!ReplyDelete
Greg - I look forward to reading it!Delete
That's a great variety of books you've here, Wendy! I'll have to check them out. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Melody - I hope I can get to them all!Delete
I really meant to read The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina last year too. Hopefully, I can work it in this year!ReplyDelete
Carole - I hope we both can--and that we love it.Delete
Nice list, Wendy. I read Talk Bookish For Me and Sparks Like Stars and enjoyed them both. Some of these others look interesting. Enjoy them all.ReplyDelete
Carla - I am glad you enjoyed both Talk Bookish to Me and Sparks Like Stars. I look forward to reading them.Delete
The only one I've read is Elizabeth Penney but I enjoyed it and feel like she set up the series to go interesting places. I see several on my TBR though!ReplyDelete
Katherine - I am glad you enjoyed Chapter and Curse. I look forward to reading it!Delete