It’s that time again!
A quarter has passed and I have been (as always) reading. I read a bit less than usual because I was on a very tight deadline with a big project (which I hope to share with y’all soon!), so just a handful of recommendations this month. But don’t worry, I should be back on my 10-books-a-month bullshit next quarter.
Scroll down for my favorite reads so far this year across fantasy, thriller, comedy, and non-fiction:
(Please note that links below are affiliate links, which means if you click through and purchase something, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
(Books marked with an * were written by a writer from a marginalized group. By supporting these authors, you’re telling publishers we want more books from underrepresented authors. Yet another win-win situation.)
Call Down the Hawk*
Why I liked it: I just adore Maggie’s writing style, especially in The Raven Cycle, so when I saw she had a spin-off series, I was 100% on board. Loved this first book a lot and I’ve read it twice now. The voice and the creativity are killer.
Description: Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.
Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.
Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer…and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can dor. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed….
The Female of the Species
Why I liked it: If you’re in the mood for a very dark, propulsive YA, Mindy’s the writer for you. I binged a bunch of her books and this was my favorite. Keep in mind, when I say dark, I mean dark. Book deals with topics like assault and murder.
Description: Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.
Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best – the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.
As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.
Solutions and Other Problems*
Why I liked it: Everything Allie does is hilarious. Buy this book unless you hate joy.
Description: For the first time in seven years, Allie Brosh—beloved author and artist of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller Hyperbole and a Half—returns with a new collection of comedic, autobiographical, and illustrated essays.
Solutions and Other Problems includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh’s childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life.
A Curious History of Sex
Why I liked it: If you know me, you know weird history is my jam, so of course I was going to buy this book when it came out. 10/10 will be listening to this audiobook again.
Description: The act of sex has not changed since people first worked out what went where, but the ways in which society dictates how sex is culturally understood and performed have varied significantly through the ages. Humans are the only creatures that stigmatize particular sexual practices, and sex remains a deeply divisive issue around the world. Attitudes will change and grow – hopefully for the better – but sex will never be free of stigma or shame unless we acknowledge where it has come from.
Based on the popular research project Whores of Yore, and written with her distinctive humor and wit, A Curious History of Sex draws upon Dr. Kate Lister’s extensive knowledge of sex history. From medieval impotence tests to 20th-century testicle thefts, from the erotic frescoes of Pompeii, to modern-day sex-doll brothels, Kate unashamedly roots around in the pants of history, debunking myths, challenging stereotypes, and generally getting her hands dirty.
You will laugh, you will wince, and you will wonder just how much has actually changed.
Why I liked it: More weird feminist history for you! This one explores the history of alcohol through a feminist lens.
Description: Strawberry daiquiris. Skinny martinis. Vodka sodas with lime. These are the cocktails that come in sleek-stemmed glasses, bright colors and fruity flavors—these are the Girly Drinks.
From the earliest days of civilization, alcohol has been at the center of social rituals and cultures worldwide. But when exactly did drinking become a gendered act? And why have bars long been considered “places for men” when, without women, they might not even exist?
With whip-smart insight and boundless curiosity, Girly Drinks unveils an entire untold history of the female distillers, drinkers and brewers who have played a vital role in the creation and consumption of alcohol, from ancient Sumerian beer goddess Ninkasi to iconic 1920s bartender Ada Coleman. Filling a crucial gap in culinary history, O’Meara dismantles the long-standing patriarchal traditions at the heart of these very drinking cultures, in the hope that readers everywhere can look to each celebrated woman in this book—and proudly have what she’s having.
Happy reading, y’all!