Beach Read

I love it when a book not only meets your excited expectations, but actually exceeds them. That's what happened with Emily Henry's Beach Read, a sweet romance about two rival authors trading genres for a summer. Although this novel wasn't on my radar, as soon as it appeared as a pick for Book of the... Continue Reading →

Sex and Vanity

Like so many people around the world, I adored Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians trilogy and the movie adaptation of the first book. (The second movie should be filmed in 2021, and I can't wait to see it, too!) Naturally, I was super excited when Kevin's new book, Sex and Vanity, was announced, and I... Continue Reading →

Home Before Dark

I'm a sucker for a good haunted house story. While I'm a fan of horror movies in general, my favorites are always set in spooky old mansions that may or may not be inhabited by ghosts. So when I found out Riley Sager's new book would be a haunted house story, I was thrilled. I... Continue Reading →

The Shadows

One of my most anticipated books this year was Alex North's second novel, The Shadows. I loved his first book, The Whisper Man - which I just read in May - and had high hopes for the followup. I'm happy to report that he did not disappoint! Summary The Shadows follows two closely connected timelines.... Continue Reading →

The Vanishing Half

One of my most anticipated books for Spring 2020 was The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I was thrilled when it was a Book of the Month pick in June, and with the attention on #BlackLivesMatter and the need for antiracism gaining traction recently, now felt like the ideal time to read it. Summary The... Continue Reading →

Felix Ever After

A few weeks ago, I fell into a vortex of finding books to recommend to my younger sister. One of those was Felix Ever After, a YA book by Kacen Callender. But though I originally wanted to get the novel for my sister, the story looked too good for me to pass up. I ordered... Continue Reading →

A Burning

One of my selections from June's Book of the Month options was the debut novel from Megha Majumdar, A Burning. Set in India, this work of literary fiction tackles difficult themes that are all too relevant today. Political and social commentary collide when an act of terrorism leads to an innocent woman's arrest, and readers... Continue Reading →

Queenie

Late last year, I picked up Candice Carty-Williams's debut novel, Queenie, from Book of the Month. I held off on reading it, waiting for the right time, and with all that's been happening these last few weeks, that time officially arrived. Queenie was more relevant than I'd even anticipated, and I encourage all of you... Continue Reading →

The Whisper Man

The first I ever head of Alex North's debut novel, The Whisper Man, was when it was a Book of the Month selection last August. Instantly, I knew I needed to read it - the cover and synopsis both alighted my imagination, and I love anything scary, especially if it might be supernatural. So I... Continue Reading →

The Secrets of Life and Death

It was 2013 when I first learned about the infamous Elizabeth Báthory. My boyfriend (now husband) had introduced me to a Swedish metal band called Ghost, and their first album featured a song called "Elizabeth." I had no idea who the titular Elizabeth was, but then my boyfriend explained about the serial killer countess who... Continue Reading →

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro

I first came across Christine Féret-Fleury's The Girl Who Reads on the Métro while exploring a nearby Barnes & Noble. It instantly captured my imagination and drew up memories: I was once a girl on the métro (or rather, subway), reading during my morning and afternoon commutes between Queens and Brooklyn. Though I've never been... Continue Reading →

What the Wind Knows

Amy Harmon's What the Wind Knows gently fluttered into my awareness last year when I saw it featured in some bookish email newsletters. But while the title and cover caught my eye, the summary catapulted it to the top of my to-buy list. There are three reasons... First: It's set in Ireland, and I have... Continue Reading →

Under the Udala Trees

I have a long and ever-growing list of books I want, but, like many readers, I must admit that I tend to be drawn to the same three or four genres. So sometimes, it's nice - and important - to get a fresh perspective thrust into your TBR. For my birthday last May, my sister... Continue Reading →

The Map of Salt and Stars

I remember when I first saw Zeyn Joukhadar's The Map of Salt and Stars at stores in 2018: I was instantly drawn to its title and cover, and even more intrigued by the summary on the back. It wasn't on my list long before I rushed back and bought it. However, it wasn't until recently... Continue Reading →

A Woman is No Man

I signed up for Book of the Month in January this year, getting two 2018 books and excitedly awaiting the months of books ahead of me. In February, I picked my first *real* Book of the Month: A Woman is No Man, the debut novel by Etuf Rum. (I also got two other new books... Continue Reading →

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

I, Amanda Whitbeck, am a book nerd. That should come as no surprise, given that I decided to start a whole website dedicated to book reviews and blog posts about reading. And as an admitted book nerd, I get pretty excited when I find novels that are, in some way, about books and a love... Continue Reading →

The Music Shop

Besides reading books, my other major passion is music. I got my master's degree in music business, and in addition to Amanda's Book Corner here, I've also run a music news site called Hidden Jams since 2014. So when my two passions collide, I get extra excited. One such collision is in Rachel Joyce's The... Continue Reading →

Everything Here is Beautiful

For my birthday earlier this year, my sister Rachel got me a book that I'd been wanting: Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee. While the title and gorgeous cover art are what initially drew me to the book, it was the summary that hooked me. Much of it sounded so relevant to my... Continue Reading →

Black Rabbit Hall

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing the Barnes & Noble bookshelves when I happened across Eve Chase's debut novel, Black Rabbit Hall. Something about the title and cover invoked childlike magic and mystery, so I was excited to dive into it right away. Black Rabbit Hall follows two timelines, each focusing on a... Continue Reading →

Rich People Problems

Following Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan's hilarious trilogy comes to an end with Rich People Problems. As someone who's never been remotely rich, this title is the funniest of the three. Yet surprisingly, Rich People Problems ended up being the most serious of the three books... and it actually benefitted from... Continue Reading →

China Rich Girlfriend

Earlier this month, I finished reading Kevin Kwan's debut novel, Crazy Rich Asians, and I loved it. So I immediately dove into the second book of the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend. Up front I can tell you, it captures all of the humor, wit, and fun of the fist book. And while it largely features... Continue Reading →

Crazy Rich Asians

I've been eyeing Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians for several months. Book addict that I am, I go to book stores pretty regularly, and Crazy Rich Asians has been featured on Barnes & Nobles' display shelves at least all of this year so far. A few weeks ago, I finally decided I couldn't wait any... Continue Reading →

Pachinko

One year ago, Min Jin Lee released her sweeping novel, Pachinko, which quickly became a bestseller and earned accolades. It captured my interest, and I finally picked up the book a few weeks ago. After finishing the final chapters today, I can say it fully lived up to the hype. Pachinko is a beautiful epic,... Continue Reading →

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