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 →

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 →

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 →

Homegoing

A new book has been on my radar for the past few months: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaaa Gyasi. This upcoming release led me to want the author's first book, Homegoing, which was first published in 2016. While I thought about adding it to my bookshelves soon, fate stepped in to speed up the process: The... 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 →

Star Daughter

Now more than ever, in this closed off world the pandemic has forced us to become, I'm constantly looking for ways to escape and learn. Movies, music, and books have become my refuge, especially those that take me somewhere I've never gone - realistic or fantastical. This month, I was happy to discover Star Daughter... Continue Reading →

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 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 →

Her Last Flight

Just a few weeks ago, I found out that I won an Advanced Reader's Edition of Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams. This is the first physical book I've ever won from a giveaway on Goodreads - thank you, Goodreads, William Morrow, and HarperCollins! I finished Beatriz Williams's 2019 novel, The Golden Hour, right before beginning Her Last... Continue Reading →

The Golden Hour

It was almost exactly one year ago that I picked up the Book of the Month edition of The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams. I'd been wanting to read something by Beatriz Williams for a few months - all of her books look intriguing - and when it was a June pick on BOTM, I... 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 →

Dominicana

I discovered Dominicana by Angie Cruz thanks to Book of the Month featuring it as one of their August 2019 picks. Although I hadn't heard of it before, reading its description made it an instant impulse buy, and I was eager to read it. Fast forward a few months, and after finishing Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Gods... 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 →

Lock Every Door

In July, one of my Book of the Month selections was Lock Every Door by Riley Sager. I decided to read it last in my trio of thrillers related to living in another’s home as part of your job duties, following The Au Pair by Emma Rous and Ruth Ware’s The Turn of the Key. Like those former... Continue Reading →

The Bride Test

After reading Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient, I knew I had to read its sequel, The Bride Test, next. Both books are part of a trilogy, with the third and final installment due next year. The trilogy centers on characters with autism navigating romantic and sexual relationships. While The Kiss Quotient followed an autistic, successful... Continue Reading →

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