Hello, friends! Time to talk about some more books on my TBR! This is a series where I talk about a specific subset of books on my TBR. I’ve done a few posts of really long lists of books on my TBR, so for these posts I’m going to try to keep the list fairly small, provide the synopsis from Goodreads, and talk about where I found it and why I want to read it.
Today, I’m just talking about some recent fiction additions. I think it can be fun sometimes to go through Goodreads and look at the books you’ve recently added, and maybe reassess whether you still want to read them. So that’s what we’re doing today!
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House by Cherie Jones
In Baxter Beach, Barbados, moneyed ex-pats clash with the locals who often end up serving them: braiding their hair, minding their children, and selling them drugs. Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the Baxter Beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men driven by desperation and greed who attempt a crime that will risk their freedom — and their lives.
This book was brought to my attention by it being longlisted for the Women’s Prize this year, and I’m really glad it was. It sounds really fantastic, and so much like something I’d love. So I’m really excited to see what some of my friends have to say about it, and to hopefully read it soon!
The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam
Halfway through her PhD and already dreaming of running her own lab, computer scientist Asha has her future all mapped out. Then a chance meeting and whirlwind romance with her old high-school crush, Cyrus, changes everything.
Dreaming big, together with their friend Jules they come up with a revolutionary idea: to build a social networking app that could bring meaning to millions of lives. While Asha creates an ingenious algorithm, Cyrus’ charismatic appeal throws him into the spotlight.
When the app explodes into the next big thing, Asha should be happy, shouldn’t she? But why does she feel invisible in the boardroom of her own company? Why are decisions being made without her? Gripping, witty and razor-sharp, The Startup Wife is a blistering novel about big ambitions, speaking out and standing up for what you believe in.
I have no idea how I found this book (none of my friends have read it), but it sounds super interesting. I’m always looking for books about academia and women in STEM, so this sounds right up my alley.
The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith
A reckless wager between a tennis pro with a fading career and a drunken party guest–the stakes are an antique motorcycle and an heiress’s diamond necklace–launches a narrative odyssey that braids together three centuries of aspiration and adversity. A witty and urbane bachelor of the Gilded Age embarks on a high-risk scheme to marry into a fortune; a young writer soon to make his mark turns himself to his craft with harrowing social consequences; an aristocratic British officer during the American Revolution carries on a courtship that leads to murder; and, in Newport’s earliest days, a tragically orphaned Quaker girl imagines a way forward for herself and the slave girl she has inherited.
This sounds like a lot of things I love: a fun setting, high stakes, a multi-generational story. I’ve seen pretty good things about it, so I should really try to read it soon.
We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan
1960s UGANDA. Hasan struggles to keep his family business afloat following the sudden death of his wife. As he begins to put his shattered life back together piece by piece, a new regime seizes power, and a wave of rising prejudice threatens to sweep away everything he has built.
Present-day LONDON. Sameer, a young high-flying lawyer, senses an emptiness in what he thought was the life of his dreams. Called back to his family home by an unexpected tragedy, Sameer begins to find the missing pieces of himself not in his future plans, but in a heritage he never knew.
Once again, we have a multi-generational story. Wow, it’s like I have a type of something. This sounds really interesting, and the cover is gorgeous and the title is fantastic. So hopefully I enjoy this one!
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Newly arrived in New York City, twenty-two-year-old Tess lands a job as a “backwaiter” at a celebrated downtown Manhattan restaurant. What follows is the story of her education: in champagne and cocaine, love and lust, dive bars and fine dining rooms, as she learns to navigate the chaotic, enchanting, punishing life she has chosen. As her appetites awaken—for food and wine, but also for knowledge, experience, and belonging—Tess finds herself helplessly drawn into a darkly alluring love triangle. In Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler deftly conjures with heart-stopping accuracy the nonstop and high-adrenaline world of the restaurant industry and evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, and the fragility and brutality of being young in New York.
This book is in the vein of disaster women, which I can’t help but love. I just love glitzy, rich-people settings and 20-something women struggling in that world, okay? This sounds perfect for me, and I’m super excited to read it.
Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
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 debut of recent years.
This book sounds so good! I love stories about artists and fated love stories and nuanced discussions of race, and this sounds like it has all of that. I’ve heard amazing things about this, so I should really get to it ASAP as possible.
So there are some recent additions to my TBR! What books have you added recently? Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Let me know!
Also if you have any requests for things you’d like to see on my TBR, let me know!