A week or so ago, I went on a book-buying and –downloading frenzy in a bid to get on top of my summer 2019 books.
And somehow, 10 new titles have made their way onto my bedside table. Which is, in essence, a holding ground for all of the fresh reads that don’t fit in my bookcase. I have a real problem, guys.
Bee shared a post a while ago on her Patreon (which you should all join immediately) about the books that she’s yet to read and encouraged us all to share the titles on ours. I was mildly horrified yet also glad that mine stood at zero. I had nothing waiting to be read, and my reading habits are essentially: go to the library and pick books up at random, or finish a book, consult my Goodreads TBR list and purchase a title.
Anyway, for whatever reason I’ve indulged in some titles that I’ve been dying to read for absolutely ages, and I thought I’d share them here ahead of holiday season and in case any of you need some inspiration.
Find me on Goodreads @daisybutter to follow along my reading escapades this year.
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
“Before the nightmare, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary life. But when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. In a country where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision to embrace a more “plant-like” existence is a shocking act of subversion. And as her passive rebellion manifests in ever more extreme and frightening forms, scandal, abuse, and estrangement begin to send Yeong-hye spiraling deep into the spaces of her fantasy. In a complete metamorphosis of both mind and body, her now dangerous endeavor will take Yeong-hye—impossibly, ecstatically, tragically—far from her once-known self altogether.”
A Lily in the Light by Kristin Fields
“For eleven-year-old Esme, ballet is everything—until her four-year-old sister, Lily, vanishes without a trace and nothing is certain anymore. People Esme has known her whole life suddenly become suspects, each new one hitting closer to home than the last.
Unable to cope, Esme escapes the nightmare that is her new reality when she receives an invitation to join an elite ballet academy in San Francisco. Desperate to leave behind her chaotic, broken family and the mystery surrounding Lily’s disappearance, Esme accepts.
Eight years later, Esme is up for her big break: her first principal role in Paris. But a call from her older sister shatters the protective world she has built for herself, forcing her to revisit the tragedy she’s run from for so long. Will her family finally have the answers they’ve been waiting for? And can Esme confront the pain that shaped her childhood, or will the darkness follow her into the spotlight?”
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
“So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.
A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.”
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
“Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.
Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.
Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.”
The Editor by Steven Rowley
“After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie–or Mrs. Onassis, as she’s known in the office–has fallen in love with James’s candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can’t bring himself to finish the manuscript.
Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page…
From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a funny, poignant, and highly original novel about an author whose relationship with his very famous book editor will change him forever–both as a writer and a son.”
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
“One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.
With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.
Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away–and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.”
The Orchid Sister by Anne D. LeClaire
“The people you love are taken from you. That’s what Maddie DiMarco learned when she survived the plane crash that killed her parents. Fifteen years later, the scars remain. And the ones no can see are hardest to heal. Since the accident, Maddie’s avoided the unpredictable and uncaring outside world, including any relationships—except for the one with her devoted older sister, Kat, who has always been there for her.
When Maddie meets handsome pilot Jack Moroni, she finally begins to let down her guard. But just as quickly, her hope and trust are once again shattered when a plane crash forces her to revisit her traumatic past. Maddie turns to her sister for comfort and guidance, only to realize that Kat is missing.
But Kat hasn’t vanished without a trace. An investigative journalist, she’s left behind a subtle trail of clues leading to the mysterious, myth-shrouded Yucatán coast of Mexico. To follow it, Maddie must confront her deepest fears—of flying, of intimacy, and of loss. She hopes that in doing so, she will find her sister. And if she’s lucky, she may also find herself along the way.”
I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagán
“Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.
Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.
What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?”
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
“The daughter of Korean immigrants, Casey Han has refined diction, a closeted passion for reading the Bible, a popular white boyfriend, and a magna cum laude degree in economics from Princeton, but no job and an addiction to the things she cannot afford in the glittering world of Manhattan. In this critically-acclaimed debut, Min Jin Lee tells not only Casey’s story, but also those of her sheltered mother, scarred father, and friends both Korean and Caucasian, exposing the astonishing layers of a community clinging to its old ways and a city packed with struggling haves and have-nots.”
The Kiss Thief by L. J. Shen
“They say your first kiss should be earned. Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.
They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred. Mine were broken before we left church.
They say your heart only beats for one man. Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end. I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit. Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage. They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.
I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.
One kiss. Two men. Three lives. Entwined together.
And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.”
What do you plan on reading this summer? Let me know in the comments below.