#NationalReadABook Day 2019

It’s come to my attention that today is National Read a Book day, which, as an avid reader and fan of all things books, I wholeheartedly support.

I went to the library yesterday to pick up a book I’d been very much looking forward to reading, but when I got home and opened the book, I was immediately put off by the writing style and the main characters. My disappointment was high, not only because I’d been so looking forward to beginning this book that had received very high reviews, but because it was the only book I’d picked up from the library, so I thought I’d have to wait until today to pick up another.

But here’s the thing: public libraries and modern technology are amazing. I logged onto my library’s website and began to scroll through my list of to-reads. Several of the books were immediately available for download to my e-reader. Usually, I prefer to read a physical book. In fact, in the last two years or so, I only really enjoy reading on my e-reader if I’m on vacation (because I can then carry so many more books with me) or if it’s a romance novel (because I can get them the day they come out and living abroad, it was hard to find them in stores). Still, yesterday I was in a bind. I wanted something to read before bed (my nightly routine) and it was too late to head back to the library.

When I’d walked out the front doors of my library earlier in the day, I’d felt a bit like a thief. Public libraries are amazing, when you think about it. You can walk in with nothing other than your library card and walk out with a book that you didn’t pay for (let’s not discuss taxes because honestly my taxes alone don’t begin to cover how much I read in a year). That’s pretty damn cool.

But then! Then when I was home, the magic of libraries hit me all the more because I was able to pick out a fairly new book and download it to my e-reader in a matter of seconds. For free. Just like that. MAGIC!

Now you’re probably wondering how any of this is related to National Read a Book Day. Thanks for sticking with me.

I checked out The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. The premise is simple. A group of friends in their 30’s have rented a hunting lodge for an annual trip. This year they’ve picked an isolated location in the Scottish Highlands. There is a huge blizzard that seals them off from the rest of the world, and two days after their arrival, one of them is dead.

Here’s why I’m so excited about this book: I’m a HUGE fan of Agatha Christie and her work, And Then There Were None, is one of my favorites. The description of The Hunting Party strikes me as being very much in line with what I loved about that classic book, only it sounds like it’s adding the fun dynamic of a decade of friendship between the friends (and a decade of tension) in the vein of The Big Chill (80’s movie, if you haven’t seen it).

Maybe a psychological thriller isn’t your thing. And maybe you’re looking for something new in September to pick up. Here are a few books I’m excited to pick up this month:

  • A Dream So Dark by L. L. McKinney
    • This is the sequel to A Blade So Black. Here’s hoping it’s as good as the first one!
  • Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
    • I’ll be honest, when I saw the cover for this book earlier in the year, I immediately added it to my to-be-read list without really looking at the synopsis. Harper Collins says: “The lush world building of Children of Blood and Bone meets the sweeping scale of Strange the Dreamer in this captivating epic YA fantasy debut.” As a fan of Children of Blood and Bone, and also as someone excited to read about witch doctors, I’m intrigued.
  • Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker
    • This is another sequel. If you want female pirates, check out the first in this trilogy Seafire. It’s a bit of your typical YA fantasy with a romantic subplot, but I ate it up and I was riding high on the trill of an entire ship of female pirates. I didn’t know it was something I needed in my life, but it was, and now I’m excited to read book two.
  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
    • “Ever since the dead have started coming back to life, gravedigger Ryn has been out of work. ” -Pulled from the Kirkus Review. I don’t expect this to be anything like Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, but since that was my first ‘zombie’ book that I really enjoyed, and this one line made me think of that book, I decided I wanted to check out this book. Of course, the cover is also stunning, so that helps.
  • Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
    • The first line of the synopsis had me sold on this book. A pet crow is fighting to save the world from an apocalypse. It’s set in the Pacific Northwest and having just moved to the Pacific Northwest, that little tidbit made me want to read it all the more.

There are so many other books coming out this month. You’ve probably noticed my list is exclusively fantasy books written by women. If fantasy books written by women interest you, and you want to see even more upcoming releases, I’d direct you to the Sirens Conference website and their post on upcoming releases for September. If you’re a huge nerd about fantasy books of this variety, I’d also highly recommend attending their conference this October in Denver. Then you can come hang out with a bunch of people who share your same passion.

But what about all the other genres?!

I hear you. I currently have 114 books on my to-read list. A little slice of that list, should you want something other than strictly fantasy:

  • For recent non-fiction (came out last month), I have Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver by Jill Heinerth on my list.
  • Also released earlier this summer, a suspense and thriller by Chuck Wendig called Wanderers.
  • Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon is a teen/young adult novel set in 1973 that’s about two boys falling in love, and using David Bowie to help cope with the fact that society at the time considered homosexuality a mental illness. I’m a huge David Bowie fan and a supporter of LGBQT rights, so naturally this is on my list.
  • And if you’re itching for a children’s book (the world is a dark place, friends, and children’s books give a little hope), I have Dragons Love Tacos, Franklin’s Flying Bookshop and Julián Is a Mermaid on my list.

I hope you all find a book to read today. Happy National Read a Book Day!

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