Happy Spring & Best Recent Reads

spring reading site update

Spring is finally here! To say that I’ve been so, so ready for more sunshine and brighter days is an understatement. As discussed in the last site update, I’ve been focused on reviewing books and have gotten my hands on a bunch of exciting ARCs lately, so I’m excited to start reading those soon to get those reviews up.

I thought I’d do a roundup of some of the best books I’ve read in the last month or so, talk a little about some of the titles I’m excited to be reading soon, and provide some other general updates about what’s new and upcoming on the site.

Best Recent Reads

I’ve been catching up on a lot of titles that passed me by while the site was on hiatus. I’m sad not to have read them sooner, but it also means that I’ve have the luxury of being able to read a bunch of really good books at once.

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby van Pelt was a great light, feel-good read. Really enjoyable and fantastic for anyone looking to brighten up their mood with something life-affirming and cozy.

None of This is True by Lisa Jewel is my favorite of the many, many mystery-thrillers I’ve read in a long time. It’s rare to read a true psychological thriller where the characters feel psychologically consistent. If you pay attention to the clues and take the time to puzzle out what really happened, the book’s events click satisfyingly into place by the end and everything fits. I loved this, and I imagine it’ll be my favorite psychological thriller for some time.

Funny Story by Emily Henry doesn’t actually come out until May, but I thought this was a fun yet thoughtful rom-com about picking up the pieces after a breakup and finding love again. Henry continues to impress as she dominates the summer rom-com market. I think she’s continuing to grow as a writer, which is great for all of us reading her books.

Upcoming Reads

I keep finding more books I want to read that I missed out on while on hiatus, so my catch-up reading list continues to grow. I imagine I’ll still be playing catch up through about May or June, but I’m hoping to be mostly caught up by then. Here’s some of the books I’m most excited about, so you can probably expect to see these reviews in the coming months:

Literary Fiction: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett, Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (Winner of the 2023 Booker Prize), Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver (Oprah’s Book Club Pick, Pulitzer Prize Winner), and James by Percival Everett (The Adventures of Hick Finn retelling)

General Fiction: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano, and Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

Mystery/Suspense/Thrillers: The Only One Left by Riley Sager, The Inmate by Freida McFadden, and The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

Fantasy: Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo and Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

Also, I might finally cave and read A Court of Thrones and Roses by Sarah J Maas. It’s been around forever, and it might be time to see what the fuss is all about. Maybe. We’ll see.

Other Projects & Card Design

I mentioned another podcast episode was coming soon in the last site update, and it still is! I’ve just been on a roll reviewing books so I haven’t had time for the podcast, but it’s still happening, I promise.

I also wanted to showcase a few of the cards from the card game I’ve been working on, Bookshelf. I talked about the game development a bit in a previous update, but it’s a set-collection game about collecting books that I’m hoping to Kickstarter at some point.

As you can see, all the cards have references to various literary works though some of them are more obvious (Call Me Ishmael is probably one of the easier ones) than others (The Sobriquet of the Violet is a bit more esoteric).

the bookshelf cards

The illustrations are the most time-consuming part of developing the game, but balancing the cards is definitely the hardest part of the development. Figuring out how many points to assign to what so the game is fun to play mostly requires a lot of playthroughs to see if the balance feels right.

Once I get caught up on my reading list, you can probably expect more news about the game’s development. To find out when there’s updates, feel free to sign up for the mailing list (for just the game)!

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Bookshelf -- A literary set collection game