books on my radar

Hey hey!

I've been back on my reading kick (I tend to forget about my books for a month and then I get into them again as my workload picks up!). There are so many new releases and books I want to catch up on from last year, so I figured some of y'all would be in the same boat too. I've rounded up a few books that are on my radar, including two books I already read this year and what I am currently reading! You can click on the pink book titles to check out the book on Amazon. Aren't a reader? Let me tell you below my little pitch for these books. 

Now I know reading isn't for everyone. You haven't read a book since middle school, you can't pay attention, you don't have the time, etc. But given this pandemic, I think we all have a little extra time on our hands in some way, or can substitute a bad habit with reading. I am on my phone literally 99% of the day (ok maybe not that much but it feels like it!). I've always loved reading because it allows my brain to actually work and escape from what's going on around me. I love reading at night to wind down, reading in the shower (yep you heard that one, I don't like baths!), or reading while waiting at appointments, etc. I don't sit down for hours to read, rather, I find little times throughout my day to crack open a cover. Finding good, enjoyable books is easier than ever before now, especially with all the book lists and platforms out there. Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, and beyond recommend books each month to check out. Further, I use the Book of the Month app to find a monthly book and additional reads for a fraction of the price of what is on Amazon (this isn't sponsored btw). If you want ~social media~ for books, you can check out Goodreads, which shows readers' reviews on books, allows you to track your reading, and more. Reading is high-tech and FUN, so please consider renting, downloading, or purchasing a book on this list if you want to get into it but aren't sure where to start. I'll also link some of my other book-related posts at the very bottom! 

**DISCLAIMER: Literally nothing in this post is sponsored, nor affiliated with brands. I just love to read and want to share that love with you! I share book updates on my Goodreads and Instagram, so check those out if you are a reader like me! 

// on my to-be-read list //

So I obviously don't have much to share about the books below, so I'm including a brief synopsis of each that I found on Amazon. Many of these books come from my Book of the Month orders (I've starred the ones I've ordered from there!), and others are on Reese Witherspoon's Book Club. If you ever want to know more about Book of the Month, let me know through Instagram DM! I am not sponsored or anything but just really love the company and system. I've found some great books through there! 

Amazon Synopsis: Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn't what she seems. A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila's husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it's discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth.... With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She's definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it's gone.

Amazon Synopsis: Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating  consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. Kieran's parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away...

Amazon Synopsis: Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can't give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiancé. Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend's little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy's matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather's will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren't about to follow the rules of this engagement.

Amazon Synopsis: Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel. An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin's taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept. Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge--there's something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic. Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she's the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in. . .

Amazon Synopsis: France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

Amazon Synopsis: Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable. Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy―two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia―trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to? 

Amazon Synopsis: The day of her wedding, 17 year old Ada’s life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows. She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she’s willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all. Featuring an irresistibly no-nonsense, courageous, and determined heroine, Outlawed dusts off the myth of the old West and reignites the glimmering promise of the frontier with an entirely new set of feminist stakes. Anna North has crafted a pulse-racing, page-turning saga about the search for hope in the wake of death, and for truth in a climate of small-mindedness and fear.

Amazon Synopsis: Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows. By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive. In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa―like so many of her neighbors―must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family. The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it―the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

// currently reading //

Someone in my sorority started a book club, and this is our first pick! I started it a few days ago, and I am enjoying the eery nature of the novel. While it's not holding up to the hype around it so far (I'm only a 100 pages in), I hope to discover why this book was on many Book of the Year lists. If murder mystery at a wedding sounds good to you, then I think you'll enjoy this! 

// recently read //

While most of this post is sharing books I'm hoping to read soon, I also wanted to share with y'all the two books I've read so far this year. I started 2021 off strong with two fantastic books that I think everyone should check out. 

This novel follows the story of two twin sisters who left their small town and ventured for something new. The twins eventually separated, and this novel shows their winding way back to each other. The book goes into race relations and identity, and I think it is a great read especially if you are looking for something to read by a black, female author! 

What a wild ride! This book follows the story of a woman who wants to end her life (obviously trigger warning for anyone who this topic is sensitive). It's an interesting take on a limbo between life and death, and I don't want to say much more! It's truly a treat. 

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