Welcome to What I’ve Been Reading Lately, a feature where I’ll be giving short reviews of what I’m currently reading:
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie
While playing an erratic round of golf, Bobby Jones slices his ball over the edge of a cliff. His ball is lost, but on the rocks below he finds the crumpled body of a dying man. The man opens his eyes and with his last breath says, Why didn’t they ask Evans?
Haunted by those words, Bobby and his vivacious companion, Frankie, set out to solve a mystery that will bring them into mortal danger. . .(Credit: William Morrow & Company)
I need some Christie in life and I wanted to read this one before I start watching the miniseries on BritBox!
Why We Fly by Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal
With a rocky start to senior year, cheerleaders and lifelong best friends Eleanor and Chanel have a lot on their minds. Eleanor is still in physical therapy months after a serious concussion from a failed cheer stunt. Chanel starts making questionable decisions to deal with the mounting pressure of college applications. But they have each other’s backs–just as always, until Eleanor’s new relationship with star quarterback Three starts a rift between them.
Then, the cheer squad decides to take a knee at the season’s first football game, and what seemed like a positive show of solidarity suddenly shines a national spotlight on the team–and becomes the reason for a larger fallout between the girls. As Eleanor and Chanel grapple with the weight of the consequences as well as their own problems, can the girls rely on the friendship they’ve always shared? (Credit: Sourcebook Fire)
This one is like reading Friday Night Lights but with social commentary mixed in. However, so far it is doing a great portrayal of the evolution of high school friendship which I love seeing in YA.
Fix The System, Not The Women by Laura Bates
Too often, we blame women. For walking home alone at night. For not asking – or asking forcefully enough – for a seat at the table. For not overcoming the odds that are stacked against them.
In this explosive book, feminist writer and activist Laura Bates lays bare the patterns of misogyny that harm and endanger us all. She exposes the systemic prejudice at the heart of five key institutions in our society.
- Criminal justice
Combining stories with shocking evidence, Fix the System, Not the Women is a blazing examination of sexual injustice and a rallying cry for reform. (Credit: Simon & Schuster UK)
I’m already getting angry and also feeling empowered by reading another great and insightful book by Laura Bates. If you haven’t read anything by Bates yet, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon.
The Fall of the House of Byron: Scandal and Seduction in Georgian England by Emily Brand
In the early eighteenth century, Newstead Abbey was among the most admired aristocratic homes in England. It was the abode of William, 4th Baron Byron – a popular amateur composer and artist – and his teenage wife Frances. But by the end of the century, the building had become a crumbling and ill-cared-for ruin. Surrounded by wreckage of his inheritance, the 4th Baron’s dissipated son and heir William, 5th Baron Byron – known to history as the ‘Wicked Lord’ – lay on his deathbed alongside a handful of remaining servants and amidst a thriving population of crickets.
This was the home that a small, pudgy boy of ten from Aberdeen – who the world would later come to know as Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, soldier, and adventurer – would inherit in 1798. His family, he would come to learn, had in recent decades become known for almost unfathomable levels of scandal and impropriety, from elopement, murder, and kidnapping to adultery, coercion, and thrilling near-death experiences at sea. Just as it had shocked the society of Georgian London, the outlandish and scandalous story of the Byrons – and the myths that began to rise around it – would his influence his life and poetry for posterity.
The Fall of the House of Byron follows the fates of Lord Byron’s ancestors over three generations in a drama that begins in rural Nottinghamshire and plays out in the gentlemen’s clubs of Georgian London, amid tempests on far-flung seas, and in the glamour of pre-revolutionary France. A compelling story of a prominent and controversial characters, it is a sumptuous family portrait and an electrifying work of social history. (Credit: John Murray Press)
What I Plan to Read Next:
Fierce Fragile Hearts by Sara Barnard
Two years after a downward spiral took her as low as you can possibly go, Suzanne is starting again. Again. She’s back in Brighton, the only place she felt she belonged, back with her best friends Caddy and Rosie. But they’re about to leave for university. When your friends have been your light in the darkness, what happens when you’re the one left behind? (Credit: Pan Macmillan)
The Society For Soulless Girls by Laura Steven
Ten years ago, four students lost their lives in the infamous North Tower murders at the elite Carvell College of Arts, forcing Carvell to close its doors.
Now Carvell is reopening, and fearless student Lottie is determined to find out what really happened. But when her roommate, Alice, stumbles upon a sinister soul-splitting ritual hidden in Carvell’s haunted library, the North Tower claims another victim.
Can Lottie uncover the truth before the North Tower strikes again? Can Alice reverse the ritual before her monstrous alter ego consumes her? And can they stop flirting for literally fifteen seconds in order to do this? (Credit: Electric Monkey)
The Retreat by Sarah Pearse
Most are here to recharge and refresh. But someone’s here for revenge. . .
An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation–but the island itself, known locally as Reaper’s Rock, has a dark past. Once the playground of a serial killer, it’s rumored to be cursed.
Detective Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman’s body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn’t a guest–she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.
When a guest drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the guests, and who else is in danger?
Elin must find the killer–before the island’s history starts to repeat itself . . .(Credit: Bantam Press)
People Person by Candice Carty-Williams
Dimple Pennington knew of her half siblings, but she didn’t really know them. Five people who don’t have anything in common except for faint memories of being driven through Brixton in their dad’s gold jeep, and some pretty complex abandonment issues.
Dimple has bigger things to think about. She’s thirty, and her life isn’t really going anywhere. An aspiring lifestyle influencer with a terrible and wayward boyfriend, Dimple’s life has shrunk to the size of a phone screen. And despite a small but loyal following, she’s never felt more alone.
That is, until a catastrophic event brings her half siblings Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie and Prynce crashing back into her life. And when they’re all forced to reconnect with Cyril Pennington, the absent father they never really knew, things get even more complicated. (Credit: Trapeze)
Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah
Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve.
In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers-the ruling elite, have indentured Koral’s family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. The winning contender receives gold and glory. The others-if they’re lucky-survive.
When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family’s financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can’t afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral’s only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race.
But every step of the way is unpredictable as Koral races against contenders who have trained for this their whole lives and who have no intention of letting a low-caste girl steal their glory. When riots break out and rogues attack Koral to try and force her to drop out, she must choose-her life or her sister’s-before the whole island burns. (Credit: Sourcebooks Fire)