The Fiction Fox
May wasn’t the easiest month for me, and as such I was left feeling a bit down and uninspired as to what to read next. Having the structure of readathon-prompts has helped me to narrow my reading down the past few months, so when I heard there was a Feelgood-athon being hosted in June, I was immediately interested. The Feelgood-athon is created and hosted by JesNevertheless and centres around 10 reading prompts, and 10 non-reading prompts, all containing to selfcare and feeling good. You can pick as many prompts as you’d like and you can read any type of genre you prefer, as long as you feel good and enjoy yourself. I can easily get on board with that idea. Please consult Jes’ video-announcement for a complete list of the prompts. I picked 6 bookish ones that will make up my June TBR, and will also be trying to do at least that many of the non-bookish ones as well.
1. Read A book you have high hopes for: The Girl and the Stars – Mark Lawrence
I don’t think I’m alone in having high hopes for anything Mark Lawrence writes, and with an intriguing synopsis, stunning cover and great early reviews, I’m very excited for this recent release. Synopsis: On Abeth the vastness of the ice holds no room for individuals. Survival together is barely possible. No one survives alone. To resist the cold, to endure the months of night when even the air itself begins to freeze, requires a special breed. Variation is dangerous, difference is fatal. And Yaz is not the same. Yaz is torn from the only life she’s ever known, away from her family, from the boy she thought she would spend her days with, and has to carve out a new path for herself in a world whose existence she never suspected. A world full of difference and mystery and danger. Yaz learns that Abeth is older and stranger than she had ever imagined. She learns that her weaknesses are another kind of strength. And she learns to challenge the cruel arithmetic of survival that has always governed her people. Only when it’s darkest you can see the stars.
2. Read a short book: Einsteins Dreams – Alan Lightman
This short story collection has been on my radar ever since it was mentioned by Jen Campbel in one of her favourites videos. Any favourite of Jen is of immediate interest to me, and on top of that I have since than been recommended this book by friends as well. With only 144 pages, it was the perfect fit for this prompt. Synopsis: A modern classic, Einstein’s Dreams is a fictional collage of stories dreamed by Albert Einstein in 1905, when he worked in a patent office in Switzerland. As the defiant but sensitive young genius is creating his theory of relativity, a new conception of time, he imagines many possible worlds. In one, time is circular, so that people are fated to repeat triumphs and failures over and over. In another, there is a place where time stands still, visited by lovers and parents clinging to their children. In another, time is a nightingale, sometimes trapped by a bell jar.
3. Continue a series you’ve started: Before the Devil Breaks You – Libba Bray
I was planning on saving this one until closer to fall, but now that the fourth and final entry in the Diviners quartet is released, I simply can’t wait to see how the story continues. The first books in this 1920’s-set occult urban fantasy series took me by surprise with how much I enjoyed them, so I hope the final two books will do the same. Synopsis: After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough lies. They're more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward's Island, far from the city's bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten--ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.
4. Read a book younger you would have loved The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane – Julia Nobel
I love the idea of this prompt: nothing gives me good feelings as some good-old nostalgia. Of course I was going to pick a middle-grade for this, but narrowing it down was honestly harder than I thought. Younger me had quite a varied reading taste: I read mostly adventure, historical fiction and fantasy, but my favourites honestly came from all over the place. Placing myself in the mindset of child-me I picked a book from my library’s audiobook, and ended up with The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane. A know very little about it, other than a synopsis, but as that was the way child-me always went into books, it felt fitting. Synopsis: Emmy's dad disappeared years ago, and with her mother too busy to parent, she's shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England. But right before she leaves, a mysterious box arrives full of medallions and a note reading: These belonged to your father. Just as she's settling into life at Wellsworth, Emmy begins to find the strange symbols from the medallions etched into the walls and stumbles upon the school's super-secret society, The Order of Black Hollow Lane. As Emmy and her friends delve deeper into the mysteries of The Order, she can't help but wonder—did this secret society have something to do with her dad's disappearance?
5. A book you picked up because of the cover Creatures – Crissy van Meter
I’ve never bought a book purely based off the cover, but of course there are some books that draw my eye in the bookstore based on the cover. I also sometimes see a pretty cover in my goodreads-recommended section, and decide to read the synopsis, just because the cover looks interesting. The latter was the case for Creatures by Crissy van Meter. Of course, the synopsis checks a lot of my boxes as well, but I’d be lying if I said the cover wasn’t the first thing to draw my attention to it. Synopsis: On the eve of Evangeline’s wedding, a dead whale is trapped in the harbor of Winter Island, the groom may be lost at sea, and Evie’s mostly absent mother has shown up out of the blue. From there, in this mesmerizing, provocative debut, Evie remembers and reckons with her complicated upbringing in this lush, wild land off the coast of Southern California. Evie grew up with her well-meaning but negligent father, surviving on the money he made dealing the island’s world-famous strain of marijuana, Winter Wonderland. Although he raised her with a deep respect for the elements, the sea, and the creatures living within it, he also left her to parent herself. With wit, love, and bracing ashes of anger, Creatures probes the complexities of love and abandonment, guilt and forgiveness, betrayal and grief—and the ways in which our ability to love can be threatened if we are not brave enough to conquer the past.
6. Read a book by an author you’ve never read before Feathertide – Beth Cartwright
Based on this stunning cover, Feathertide could have easily passed for my answer to the previous prompt as well, but no; I was aware and interested in this book even before the cover was announced. When something is magical realism, and has a beautiful and magical synopsis, you got yourself a hook. If you sell that something to me as being “for fans of Kirsty Logan, Erin Morgenstern and Katherine Arden, that’s plenty bait for me to bite, and for you to reel me in real quick. I was beyond excited to be approved for the ARC, and can’t wait to finally read it this month. Synopsis: Born covered in the feathers of a bird, and kept hidden in a crumbling house full of secrets, Marea has always known she was different, but never known why. And so to find answers, she goes in search of the father she has never met. The hunt leads her to the City of Murmurs, a place of mermaids and mystery, where jars of swirling mist are carried through the streets by the broken-hearted. And Marea will never forget what she learns there.
I hope you all have a lovely month, and can enjoy a bit of the summerweather, just like I plan to. Until my next post: happy reading and stay safe.