Hey friends! It’s another instalment of 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 talking about the most recent additions! I’m always adding things to my TBR, and even though I’ve felt a little blah about the books I’ve been adding this year, I recently added some I’m super excited about! So let’s talk about those.
Fault Lines by Emily Itami
Mizuki is a Japanese housewife. She has a hardworking husband, two adorable children, and a beautiful Tokyo apartment. It’s everything a woman could want, yet sometimes she wonders whether she would rather throw herself off the high-rise balcony than spend another evening not talking to her husband and hanging up laundry.
Then, one rainy night, she meets Kiyoshi, a successful restaurateur. In him, she rediscovers freedom, friendship, and the neon, electric pulse of the city she has always loved. But the further she falls into their relationship, the clearer it becomes that she is living two lives—and in the end, we can choose only one.
This debut sounds super interesting! I love reading books that take place in Japan and learning about Japanese culture, and I also love books that dissect women’s roles in society, and it sounds like this book does exactly that. It also sounds queer? maybe?? Regardless, I’m very excited to read it.
Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell
From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.
This isn’t a new book, but I did just recently discover it, and it sounds super interesting! Like I mentioned, I’m always trying to learn things through the books I read, and I’m particularly interested in American legal history. Hopefully this is a good look at the Virginia v Loving case.
Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti
Dava Shastri, one of the world’s wealthiest women, has always lived with her sterling reputation in mind. A brain cancer diagnosis at the age of seventy, however, changes everything, as she decides to take her death—like all matters of her life—into her own hands.
Summoning her four adult children to her private island, she discloses shocking news: in addition to having a terminal illness, she has arranged for the news of her death to break early, so she can read her obituaries.
As someone who dedicated her life to the arts and the empowerment of women, Dava expects to read articles lauding her philanthropic work. Instead, her “death” reveals two devastating secrets, truths she thought she had buried forever.
And now the whole world knows, including her children.
In the time she has left, Dava must come to terms with the decisions that have led to this moment—and make peace with those closest to her before it’s too late.
This book sounds like it was written for me. It sounds so intriguing: I love messy family dynamics, especially when there’s an air of money or prestige. Also, faking your death to read your obituaries is something I would do tbh. So needless to say, I’m very excited to have found this book.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
I didn’t even read the synopsis when I added this to my TBR. All I needed to know was that it was a new Emily St. John Mandel. This new one sounds so good, and like it’ll be super twisty while exploring the complexities of human nature, exactly what I expect from Mandel. I am now anxiously awaiting April 2022 so I can read this.
The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
In the Nigerian city of Enugu, young Nwabulu, a housemaid since the age of ten, dreams of becoming a typist as she endures her employers’ endless chores. She is tall and beautiful and in love with a rich man’s son.
Educated and privileged, Julie is a modern woman. Living on her own, she is happy to collect the gold jewellery lovestruck Eugene brings her, but has no intention of becoming his second wife.
When a kidnapping forces Nwabulu and Julie into a dank room years later, the two women relate the stories of their lives as they await their fate.
This sounds super interesting. I love kidnapping stories, and this one sounds like such an interesting twist on the typical kidnapping book. I also love the whole rich-poor dynamic in characters, especially when they come from different backgrounds, so hopefully that part is good too.
The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura, translated by Lucy North
Almost every day, the Woman in the Purple Skirt buys a single cream bun and goes to the park, where she sits on a bench to eat it as the local children taunt her. She is observed at all times by the undetected narrator, the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. From a distance the Woman in the Purple Skirt looks like a schoolgirl, but there are age spots on her face, and her hair is dry and stiff. Like the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan, she is single, she lives in a small, run-down apartment, and she is short on money. The Woman in the Yellow Cardigan lures her to a job where she herself works, as a hotel housekeeper; soon the Woman in the Purple Skirt is having an affair with the boss. Unfortunately, no one knows or cares about the Woman in the Yellow Cardigan. That’s the difference between her and the Woman in the Purple Skirt.
Despite having fairly mediocre reviews on Goodreads, I think this sounds so good (and is another translated book!). Again, I love interesting dynamics between women, and I love Japanese books that explore women’s roles, so this sounds right up my alley.
So there are some recent fiction books I’ve added to my TBR! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Which should I read first? Let me know!