Suzanne

Suzanne

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Top Off Your TBR: May 2024

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 1, 2024 10:01:18 PM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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Let's go ahead and pretend I didn't entirely miss the month of May and instead celebrate the fact that I now have a whole bunch of reviews for you? IDK, all I can say is that I finally finished this thing and here it is.

Enjoy.

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March 2024 Reading Recap

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 5, 2024 10:22:40 AM / by Suzanne

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I've been sharing these recaps over on Instagram for a couple of years now and they're a great way for me to reflect on my overall reading patterns and monthly favorites. I'm going to do something of a repost here for folks who don't use Insta. We'll see if I keep going :) Summary first, then the graphics.

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Top Off Your TBR: April 2024

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 4, 2024 9:13:08 AM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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These TBR posts are apparently replacing my mini-reviews? In this post I talk a lot about some of the April books I've read and then give a list of a bunch I'm looking forward to checking out.

Top on my list of not-yet-reads are Hannah Whitten's Hemlock Queen, Fine Print Vol. 2, by Stjepan Šejić and When I Think of You, by Myah Ariel.

Hope you find something great!

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Top Off Your TBR: March 2024

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 5, 2024 11:18:57 AM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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March is here with many new books!

A couple of changes to these posts for the next several months. I'm serving on an American Library Association committee this year and reading widely across eight genres rather than spending all my time in romance-land. This means I won't have as much time for the blog/these mega-posts and I won't be reading as many early copies. This is a welcome change for me but I wanted to let everyone know because the contents of these TBR posts will change a bit. They'll be shorter and more focused on my personal interests and not the broader landscape.

On to the books.

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Top Off Your TBR: February 2024

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 14, 2024 7:30:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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February, the month of love and slush falling from the sky. In my house, it's the month of birthdays and overscheduling myself. Also the month of congress doubling down on funding genocide. Maybe by the time I write the next one of these, we'll have a ceasefire. If photos speak to you, take a look through this piece from NPR. I'm aghast at the "activists" sitting in the road to block humanitarian aid from getting into Gaza. 90% of Gazans regularly go an entire day without food. (That's from a month ago. I can't find any evidence it's gotten better.)

The world continues to be a lot. Fuel up.

Here are some books coming out this month.

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Review: The Friendship Study, by Ruby Barrett

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 13, 2024 7:30:00 AM / by Suzanne posted in review

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The Friendship Study Cover
Synopsis from the Creator: Jesse Logan doesn’t want a fresh start. He wants his old life back—before an injury made his career as a firefighter impossible, before his grandfather’s Alzheimer’s got so bad he doesn’t recognize Jesse anymore. When a friend tells him about a paid psychological study, Jesse sees it as a chance to get back to the man he was while making a little extra cash.
All Lulu Banks is asking for is a fresh start. Back home after a devastating breakup, she’s struggling to find her place. She’s always been a lot—too loud, too eager, too obvious about her feelings. The friendship study seems like a great idea…until she’s paired with Jesse Logan, who recently ghosted her after a blind date that led to a steamy make-out session.
Now that old familiar tension is back. Despite the program’s strict “no romance” rule, Jesse and Lulu are quick to find a work-around that allows them to explore their tenuous connection. And soon they’re on their way to total self-improvement…
As long as they don’t get caught.

After their mutual friend sets them up on a date that leads to a great kiss and nothing else, Jesse and Lulu independently sign up for a social study meant to find out why millennials struggle to make friends as adults and how to help them do so. One rule: they're not allowed to have sex with other participants. Naturally, our two leads fall head over heels and try (not that hard TBH) not to hook up with each other.

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My Favorite Books of 2023

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 31, 2024 10:20:34 AM / by Suzanne posted in best bets

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According to my not-so-meticulous tracking, I read 284 books in 2023. Many of those were novellas and popcorn manga, but that still leaves a big crop of around 200 fiction and nonfiction books to whittle down into a tidy Best of 2023 list. As usual, these are my favorites out of what I read during the year, something I wish more columnists at papers of record would mention in their year-end lists.

I've broken the list down into ten 2023 Releases and four earlier releases. Comics and manga will be in a separate post over on the comics side of the site. I've been enjoying reading everyone else's lists and can't wait to dig into all your faves, too.

On to the books!

Titles and images contain Amazon affiliate links. I receive a small percentage of sales which helps pay my site hosting fees. Review copy disclosures follow each book listing.

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Top Off Your TBR: January 2024

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 7, 2024 1:19:10 PM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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January is light on new releases, but February is going to be jam-packed so budget accordingly. In the meantime, look for my Favorite Novels and Favorite Comics posts coming later this month.

I hope you read something great!

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Top Off Your TBR: December 2023

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 30, 2023 8:53:15 AM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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December is usually light on new book releases and this year is no exception. There are still a bunch to look forward to and I've read a couple I can recommend!

Now that I've finished grad school, I'm hoping to have some brain energy for writing again. This is a short post, however, because I have a lengthy feature due and ought to be spending my time on that. Sigh.

Wishing you well. Don't forget to contact your reps.

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Top Off Your TBR: November 2023

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 7, 2023 2:45:41 PM / by Suzanne posted in new releases

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November is here! The world is once again/still an overwhelming place, but I continue to find solace and hope in books. I've recently read actionable nonfiction, insightful time travel fiction and a downright filthy (used lovingly) shifter romance. Books do all the things.

If you're seeing this between November 7th and 11th, please take a look at the Books for Palestine auction, which is fundraising for humanitarian aid for displaced and imperiled Gazans. The last time they did this was in 2021 and if that doesn't say something about the state of the "Israel-Hamas War"... The situation is complicated, but the parallels immediately drawn to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks were telling. Israel, like the U.S. has used this attack as justification for launching a disproportionate response with no clear path to "success." Worse is the fact that the population of Gaza has already been walled off, effectively under siege, for sixteen years.

I urge you to read about the background here, both prior to 1948, the Nabka and up through the present. I also recommend reading about Christian Zionism. There are more Christian Zionists than there are Jews in the world. This is largely because many evangelicals believe that the end times and the rapture will happen in Jerusalem/Israel and only if it's a Jewish-controlled area. So all the Christians are raptured, the big end times battle happens and after the dust settles (and the remaining humans aka Jews there are dead), the good Christians get to come back and live in paradise once again. Understandably, Jewish politicians accept this dubious support in a most pragmatic way.

There's a ton of misinformation going around and, especially in times of crisis, it can be difficult to tell what's real. I urge you to resist sharing pieces of content until you've looked into the source a little. I myself shared something during the big protests in Iran last year that was incorrect. I let my emotions get the best of me and should have evaluated the source first. (I'm supposedly an information professional. Ha.)

Anyway, there are loads of book lists easily available and a lot of public libraries have curated collections for you to browse, so go do some reading. Contact your reps, ask for a ceasefire. As Alyssa Cole mentioned, look up the ongoing situations in Sudan and Congo, too.  Also of note is the genocide of Uyghurs in Northwestern China. Genocide and ethnic cleansing are carried out again and again, often enabled by our purchasing and political power. It's all connected.

With all that in mind, here are some books that aren't about genocide for you to peruse this month. Normally I'd highlight a couple of titles, but I don't have it in me this time. I wish you well and will.

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