Winter Counts

It wasn't until late last summer that I first heard of Winter Counts, the debut novel by David Heska Wanbli Widen. It was one of the main picks for Book of the Month in September, and it instantly intrigued me. I finally bought it in January, and since it's winter now, it felt like the... Continue Reading →

A Witch in Time

Let me preface this review with a confession: I was really excited when A Witch in Time, the debut novel by Constance Sayers, was about to be published in February 2020. Then I was ecstatic when I won it in a Goodreads giveaway! But the version I won was an ebook, and I've never been... Continue Reading →

The Hunting Party

Earlier this year, I bought The Guest List, the widely-read and award-winning second thriller by Lucy Foley. Though I still haven't read that one, I was excited when Book of the Month unexpectedly made her previous thriller, The Hunting Party, available two months ago. I decided to end 2020 with a time-appropriate book. As The... Continue Reading →

Winterwood

At the end of last year, back when I still went into book stores without a mask or fears of Covid, I stumbled across an enchanting novel called Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw. Its intricate cover arrested my attention - with its web of branches and roots reaching for an ominous half moon. But beyond that,... Continue Reading →

One Day in December

So here's a confession: Although I bought Josie Silver's The Two Lives of Lydia Bird earlier this year - and I'm still excited to read it - for some reason I never felt that interested in getting her first book, One Day in December. I don't have any great explanation for that, other than my... Continue Reading →

Such a Fun Age

I've been hearing great things about Such a Fun Age, the debut novel from Kiley Reid, since it came out nearly a year ago. So with that in mind, I was excited to choose it as my book club's December read. With themes of racism, white saviorism, and class struggles, it felt like a timely... Continue Reading →

The Last Story of Mina Lee

I've said it before, and I'll probably keep saying it: My favorite thing about Book of the Month is how it introduces me to new books that weren't on my radar. Last month, one of their main September picks was The Last Story of Mina Lee, the debut novel by Nancy Jooyoun Kim. I didn't... Continue Reading →

Red, White, & Royal Blue

Okay guys, here's the deal: I am so tired of politics and the Trump administration at this point. I just want it to end already. Or, better yet, I wish we could turn back time and have a different president right now. Alas, we can't change the past, only the future (PLEASE VOTE). But thanks... Continue Reading →

Next Year in Havana

A couple of years ago, I picked up Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton. She's released two more books in this series since then, and has already announced another due next spring, and I knew it was time to finally settle in and give this novel my attention. That this month (from September 15... Continue Reading →

You Had Me at Hola

This summer, I started hearing great things about a new contemporary romance, You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria. I was instantly interested, in part because it highlights Latinx characters. My husband is Latino - Peruvian, specifically - and while it wasn't quite love at first sight, we at least became friends at "hola."... Continue Reading →

This is My America

For many years, I've watched in horror at how Black people are mistreated in America, especially in encounters with police and incarceration. I'm appalled that these injustices continue, but I'm happy there is at least a silver lining now as support for Black Lives Matter has grown over the past few months. It's also encouraging... Continue Reading →

With the Fire on High

I have a confession: In the first few years after I finished college, I thought I was too old for YA books. I thought I could only read about characters who were my age or older, and that reading YA books would make me look immature. This nonsense went on for several years before I... 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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