Welcome to What I’ve Been Reading Lately, a feature where I’ll be giving short reviews of what I’m currently reading:
The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
Expected Publication Date: February 22
Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.
The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.
The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge
Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.
I’ve been waiting to read this for ever since I heard it was coming out and I am so excited to start this! I’m already a couple of chapters in and I AM HOOKED!
The Burning Swift by Joseph Elliott
Agatha, Jaime, and Sigrid must unite the people of Scotia and beyond as war comes to the Isle of Skye. But will betrayal and secrecy be their undoing? The epic final installment of the Shadow Skye trilogy.
With the deadly phantom sgàilean defeated, Jaime and Agatha prepare to help their clan reclaim their compound from the treacherous Raasay people. But Sigrid, sent at the behest of Queen Beatrice, arrives with a warning: the kings of Norveg and Ingland have joined forces and plan to march north to annihilate the people of Scotia. The clan quickly turns to the Badhbh and his powerful blood magic. But instead of aiding them, the mage kidnaps Agatha, seemingly as an offering to the kings.
Now Sigrid and Jaime must rally unlikely allies to face a common enemy, even as Jaime finds himself drawn to a boy from another clan. Meanwhile, Agatha garners unexpected support among the Inglish as well as from an animal of Scotian legend, and discovers the extraordinary secrets of her past. Three remarkable heroes unite for the grand conclusion of this rich and exciting series.
I’m so sad that this series is coming to an end but I’m looking forward to see how it turns out!
The Last Man by Mary Shelley
A futuristic story of tragic love and of the gradual extermination of the human race by plague, The Last Man is Mary Shelley’s most important novel after Frankenstein. With intriguing portraits of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, the novel offers a vision of the future that expresses a reaction against Romanticism, and demonstrates the failure of the imagination and of art to redeem the doomed characters. (Credit: Oxford World’s Classics)
It would be nice to read a classic by Mary Shelley that is not Frankenstein so this will be interesting to read. Although this story revolves around a plague, so it might hit close to home.
What I Plan to Read Next:
Open Water by Caleb Azumah
Two young people meet at a pub in South East London. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists – he a photographer, she a dancer – trying to make their mark in a city that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence. At once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity, Open Water asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body, to be vulnerable when you are only respected for strength, to find safety in love, only to lose it. With gorgeous, soulful intensity, Caleb Azumah Nelson has written the most essential British debut of recent years. (Credit: Grove Press)
The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
Seventy-seven-year-old Judith Potts is blissfully happy. She lives alone in a faded mansion in Marlow, sets crosswords for The Times, and there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink.
One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. When the local police don’t believe her story, Judith and two unlikely friends decide to investigate for themselves. Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.
But soon another body turns up, and it seems they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. Now the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…(Credit: HQ)
The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews
Evelyn Maltravers understands exactly how little she’s worth on the marriage mart. As an incurable bluestocking from a family tumbling swiftly toward ruin, she knows she’ll never make a match in a ballroom. Her only hope is to distinguish herself by making the biggest splash in the one sphere she excels: on horseback. In haute couture. But to truly capture London’s attention she’ll need a habit-maker who’s not afraid to take risks with his designs—and with his heart.
Half-Indian tailor Ahmad Malik has always had a talent for making women beautiful, inching his way toward recognition by designing riding habits for Rotten Row’s infamous Pretty Horsebreakers—but no one compares to Evelyn. Her unbridled spirit enchants him, awakening a depth of feeling he never thought possible.
But pushing boundaries comes at a cost and not everyone is pleased to welcome Evelyn and Ahmad into fashionable society. With obstacles spanning between them, the indomitable pair must decide which hurdles they can jump and what matters most: making their mark or following their hearts? (Credit: Berkley)
Love in Color: Mythical Tales From Around The World Retold by Bolu Babalola
Discover love from times long ago…
Join Bolu Babalola as she retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology in this stunning collection. From the homoromantic Greek myths, to magical Nigerian folktales, to the ancient stories of South Asia, Bolu brings new life to tales that truly show the vibrance and colours of love around the world.
The anthology is a step towards decolonising tropes of love, and celebrates in the wildly beautiful and astonishingly diverse tales of romance and desire that already exist in so many cultures and communities.
Get lost in these mystical worlds and you will soon realise that humanity – like love – comes in technicolour. (Credit: William Morrow & Company)
Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri
In this powerful book about why black hair matters, Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today’s Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at everything from hair capitalists like Madam C.J. Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, from women’s solidarity and friendship to ‘black people time’, forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids.
The scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don’t Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation. (Credit: Allen Lane)