Back again with my list of newly discovered books added to my Goodreads to-be-read shelf during the month of April! I went pretty bananas in April, buying an obscene amount of books, many of which were new to me and added to my to-be-read shelf last month. Strap yourselves in, this is going to be a long one, but hopefully you might find something you think sounds interesting!
(Small disclaimer: as mentioned before, I will only be sharing the books that are NEW to me rather than all the ones I forgot to add to my Goodreads beforehand)
Lies We Bury by Elle Marr
Thriller • Fiction • Mystery • Psychological Thriller
Synopsis: I was born in captivity…
Two decades ago Marissa Mo escaped a basement prison—the only home she’d ever known. At twenty-seven, Marissa’s moved beyond the trauma and is working under a new name as a freelance photographer. But when she accepts a job covering a string of macabre murders in Portland, it’s impossible for Marissa not to remember.
Everything is eerily familiar. The same underground lairs. Sad trinkets and toys left behind, identical to those Marissa had as a child. And then there is the note meant just for her that freezes Marissa’s blood: See you soon, Missy.
To determine the killer’s next move, Marissa must retrieve her long-forgotten memories and return to a past she’s hidden away. But she won’t be facing her fears alone. Someone is waiting for her in the dark.
Really don’t know why I keep adding thrillers to my tbr since I’m pretty much sick of them but I guess I can’t stop wishing I’ll find that one that really blows me away!
A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw
Fantasy • Adult • Mystery-Thriller
Synopsis: Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.
Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.
Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.
Cautious of this one as it’s tagged up as both adult and young adult (and I don’t really enjoy young adult) plus it’s a fantasy first and foremost, BUT sounds kinda spooky!
Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan
Fiction • Historical Fiction • Literary Fiction • Horror • Scotland
Synopsis: The devil’s daughter rows to Edinburgh in a coffin, to work as maid for the Minister of Culture, a man who lives a dual life. But the real reason she’s there is to bear him and his barren wife a child, the consequences of which curse the tenement building that is their home for a hundred years. As we travel through the nine floors of the building and the next eight decades, the resident’s lives entwine over the ages and in unpredictable ways. Along the way we encounter the city’s most infamous Madam, a seance, a civil rights lawyer, a bone mermaid, a famous Beat poet, a notorious Edinburgh gang, a spy, the literati, artists, thinkers, strippers, the spirit world – until a cosmic agent finally exposes the true horror of the building’s longest kept secret. No. 10 Luckenbooth Close hurtles the reader through personal and global history – eerily reflecting modern life today.
I discovered this one whilst browsing Bert’s Books website. The cover drew me in immediately and the synopsis sealed the deal! Safe to say I snatched this one up and I’m excited to read it (whenever that may be…)
No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
Fiction • Contemporary • Literary Fiction
Synopsis: As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms “the portal,” where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats–from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness–begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal’s void. An avalanche of images, details, and references accumulate to form a landscape that is post-sense, post-irony, post-everything. “Are we in hell?” the people of the portal ask themselves. “Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?”
Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: “Something has gone wrong,” and “How soon can you get here?” As real life and its stakes collide with the increasingly absurd antics of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy, and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.
Another Bert’s Books purchase for April. I’d seen this one reviewed on several Bookstagram accounts I follow and it sounded really interesting. I think this is slightly out of my comfort zone in terms of genres but I like giving new things a try!
The Husbands by Chandler Baker
Thriller • Mystery • Fiction • Suspense
Synopsis: Nora Spangler is a successful attorney but when it comes to domestic life, she packs the lunches, schedules the doctor appointments, knows where the extra paper towel rolls are, and designs and orders the holiday cards. Her husband works hard, too… but why does it seem like she is always working so much harder?
When the Spanglers go house hunting in Dynasty Ranch, an exclusive suburban neighborhood, Nora meets a group of high-powered women–a tech CEO, a neurosurgeon, an award-winning therapist, a bestselling author–with enviably supportive husbands. When she agrees to help with a resident’s wrongful death case, she is pulled into the lives of the women there. She finds the air is different in Dynasty Ranch. The women aren’t hanging on by a thread.
But as the case unravels, Nora uncovers a plot that may explain the secret to having-it-all. One that’s worth killing for.
Yes OK, another thriller. BUT, this sounds like a gender flipped ‘The Stepford Wives’ kind of story and I’m all for that. This was an instant pre-order. It comes out here early August.
At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop
Historical Fiction • Fiction • Africa
Synopsis: Alfa Ndiaye is a Senegalese man who, never before having left his village, finds himself fighting as a so-called “Chocolat” soldier with the French army during World War I. When his friend Mademba Diop, in the same regiment, is seriously injured in battle, Diop begs Alfa to kill him and spare him the pain of a long and agonizing death in No Man’s Land.
Unable to commit this mercy killing, madness creeps into Alfa’s mind as he comes to see this refusal as a cruel moment of cowardice. Anxious to avenge the death of his friend and find forgiveness for himself, he begins a macabre ritual: every night he sneaks across enemy lines to find and murder a blue-eyed German soldier, and every night he returns to base, unharmed, with the German’s severed hand. At first his comrades look at Alfa’s deeds with admiration, but soon rumors begin to circulate that this super soldier isn’t a hero, but a sorcerer, a soul-eater. Plans are hatched to get Alfa away from the front, and to separate him from his growing collection of hands, but how does one reason with a demon, and how far will Alfa go to make amends to his dead friend?
I found this one at random on the Blackwell’s website, and in my quest to read more translated fiction, this one immediately piqued my interest. It’s only 145 pages long!
The Old Slave and the Mastiff by Patrick Chamoiseau
Fiction • Historical Fiction • France • Race
Synopsis: A profoundly unsettling story of a plantation slave’s desperate escape into a rainforest beyond human control, with his master and a ferocious dog on his heels.
This flight to freedom takes them on a journey that will transform them all, as the overwhelming physical presence of the forest and its dense primeval wilderness reshapes reality and time itself.
In the darkness, the old man grapples with the spirits of all those who have gone before him; the knowledge that the past is always with us, and the injustice that can cry out from beyond the grave.
Another book I found randomly whilst scrolling on Waterstones. The hardback was in the sale section and it was another translated fiction book to add to my list!
The Listeners by Jordan Tannahill
Thriller • Fiction
Synopsis: One night, while lying in bed next to her husband, Claire Devon suddenly hears a low hum. This innocuous sound, which no one else in the house can hear, has no obvious source or medical cause, but it begins to upset the balance of Claire’s life. When she discovers that one of her students can also hear the hum, the two strike up an unlikely and intimate friendship. Finding themselves increasingly isolated from their families and colleagues, they fall in with a disparate group of people who also perceive the sound. What starts out as a kind of neighbourhood self-help group gradually transforms into something much more extreme, with far-reaching, devastating consequences.
I was kindly sent this one by 4th Estate Books, it sounds amazing and the cover is so brilliant! I’m going to prioritise reading this one soon as it’s publishing on July 8th.
Paradise Club by Tim Meyer
Horror • Fiction • Adult Fiction • Weird Fiction
Synopsis: Welcome to Paradise. Sandy beaches. Crystalline waters. An all-inclusive resort with virtually everything you can think of. A true idyllic paradise.
An event is taking place at Paradise Club that wasn’t on the brochure: a dangerous game pitting the hotel’s guests against a gang of bloodthirsty maniacs. Elliot Harper – family man and FBI agent – is about to find out how fast heaven can become hell when every single vacationer is forced to become a ruthless killer in order to survive. A team of killers have been unleashed, and they won’t stop until every single guest is dead.
Let the mayhem begin…
I found this one after watching some videos on Marcy Reads YouTube channel. I love how gaudy this one looks and sounds!
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
Fiction • Historical Fiction • Literary Fiction
Synopsis: It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.
In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field—an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.
Marcy is also to blame for this addition. The way she talked about it in her Favorite Books of 2020 video has me knowing I just had to get it! We went in-store book shopping soon after I heard about this one and it was on my list to buy but unfortunately I couldn’t find it. In the end, I managed to grab the hardback on Amazon (boo) whilst it was on sale.
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
Mystery • Fiction • Cosy Mystery
Synopsis: When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.
With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…
After reading one romance book (The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary) I’m suddenly like, yeah, I’ll read all the genres I would normally have stayed well clear of before. Cosy mysteries have never appealed to me before but I’ve seen so many reviews saying how fun this one is that I just really want to give it a try!
Comfort Me with Apples by Catherynne M. Valente
Horror • Thriller • Fiction • Mystery
Synopsis: Sophia was made for him. Her perfect husband. She can feel it in her bones. He is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect.
It’s just that he’s away so much. So often. He works so hard. She misses him. And he misses her. He says he does, so it must be true. He is the perfect husband and everything is perfect.
But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Strange things. Dark things. The look on her husband’s face when he comes back from a long business trip. The questions he will not answer. The locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can’t quite meet her gaze…
But everything is perfect. Isn’t it?
This title! This cover!!! How could I *not* add it to my TBR? Well and truly pre-ordered!
Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi
Fiction • Canada • LGBT • Africa
Synopsis: Spanning three continents, Butter Honey Pig Bread tells the interconnected stories of three Nigerian women: Kambirinachi and her twin daughters, Kehinde and Taiye. Kambirinachi believes that she is an Ogbanje, or an Abiku, a non-human spirit that plagues a family with misfortune by being born and then dying in childhood to cause a human mother misery. She has made the unnatural choice of staying alive to love her human family but lives in fear of the consequences of her decision.
Kambirinachi and her two daughters become estranged from one another because of a trauma that Kehinde experiences in childhood, which leads her to move away and cut off all contact. She ultimately finds her path as an artist and seeks to raise a family of her own, despite her fear that she won’t be a good mother. Meanwhile, Taiye is plagued by guilt for what her sister suffered and also runs away, attempting to fill the void of that lost relationship with casual flings with women. She eventually discovers a way out of her stifling loneliness through a passion for food and cooking.
But now, after more than a decade of living apart, Taiye and Kehinde have returned home to Lagos. It is here that the three women must face each other and address the wounds of the past if they are to reconcile and move forward.
This was a total cover buy because look at how damn pretty this is!!!! It also sounds really interesting and I saw a few stellar reviews for it on Instagram!
Phew! Another long list this month! Let me know if you’ve read any of these or have any on your radar, or even better, if you now have them on your radar!! One of my favourite things is knowing I’ve influenced book purchases or adding books to people’s TBR.