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Just Our Bookish Luck: March Releases

Hey y’all! So my favorite month has made it way here (though it feels like it got here hella fast while also slow…iz my birthday month folx *cues airhorns*) and it’s giving us much to be excited about! With the way the weather has been acting all sorts of weird (not sure where you are in the world right now but in NY, this is our truth), we’re at least we are getting a bunch of books to curl up with while Mother Nature figures out if she wants us to experience, climate wise (I really hope she figures it out very soon).

how I feel about it being March now!

Before we get into this list, please remember to check the dates of the books you are anticipating because supply chain issues & last minute pub date push backs are still a thing *insert weary sigh here*. We’ve got a nice amount of books coming out so let’s get into it!

I really wanted to find another way to say “let’s get to it”, lol! But, hey, books ARE a business!
  • The Karma Map by Nisha Sharma 3/1
  • Chlorine by Jade Song *adult* 3/1
  • There Goes The Neighborhood by Jade Adia 3/7
  • Dear Yesteryear by Kimberly Annece Henderson *PB* 3/7
  • You Are Here: Connecting Flights Edited By Ellen Oh *MG* 3/7
  • Change The Game by Colin Kaepernick 3/7
  • Chloe And The Kaishao Boys by Mae Coyiuto 3/7
  • The Jump by Brittney Morris 3/7
  • My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron 3/7
  • Real Love by Rachel Lindsay *adult* 3/7
  • Link & Hud: Heroes By A Hair by Jarrett Pumphrey & Jerome Pumphrey *MG* 3/7
  • The Moonlight Blade by Tessa Barbosa 3/7
  • Living Resistance: An Indigenous Vision For Seeking Wholeness Every Day by Kaitlin B. Curtice *adult* 3/7
  • She Persisted: Florence Nightingale by Shelli R. Johannes *MG* 3/7
  • The Making of Butterflies By Zora Neale Hurston, Ibram X. Kendi & Kah Yangni *PB* 3/7
  • Hispanic Star: Sylvia Rivera by Claudia Romo Edelman *ER English & Spanish* 3/7
  • Hispanic Star: Selena Gomez by Claudia Romo Edelman *ER English & Spanish* 3/7
  • Quiet Time with My Seeya by Dinalie Dabarera *PB* 3/7
  • Study Break Edited by Aashna Avachat 3/7
  • In Limbo: A Graphic Memoir by Deb JJ Lee 3/7
  • Who Gets Believed? By Dina Nayeri *adult* 3/7
  • To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara *adult* 3/7
  • One Day by Joanna Ho *PB* 3/14
  • I Will Find You Again By Sarah Lyu 3/14
  • Aniana Del Mar Jumps In by Jasminne Mendez *MG* 3/14
  • A Bit Of Earth by Karuna Riazi *MG* 3/14
  • Midnight Strikes by Zeba Shahnaz 3/14
  • Bitter Medicine by Mia Tsai 3/14
  • Red Queen by Juan Gomez-Jurado *adult* 3/14
  • Mrs. Big by Maryann Reid *adult* 3/14
  • Sex And The Single Sister by Maryann Reid *adult* 3/14
  • Pinata by Leopoldo Gout *adult* 3/14
  • Love And Other Flight Delays by Denise Williams *adult* 3/14
  • Walking Practice by Dolki Min *adult* 3/14
  • Michi Challenges History by Ken Mochizuki *YA Adaptation* 3/14
  • Turtles of the Midnight Moon by Maria Jose Fitzgerald *MG* 3/14
  • Eb & Flow by Kelly J. Baptist *MG* 3/14
  • The Mill House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji *adult* 3/14
  • The Minus-One Club by Kekla Magoon *Audiobook* 3/14
  • The Witch And The Vampire by Francesca Flores 3/21
  • Lucha Of The Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Meija 3/21
  • The Raven Thief by Gigi Pandian *adult* 3/21
  • While You Were Dreaming by Alisha Rai 3/21
  • Too Soon For Adios by Annette Chavez Macias *adult* 3/21
  • Jasmine Toguchi: Peace Maker by Debbi Michiko Florence *MG series* 3/21
  • Stella Diaz Leaps To The Future by Angela Dominguez *MG* 3/21
  • Mirror To Mirror by Maggie LaRocca *MG* 3/21
  • Even When You Lie by Michelle Cruz *adult* 3/21
  • Flux by Jinwoo Chong *adult* 3/21
  • Free Radicals by Lila Riesen 3/21
  • Acts Of Resistance by Dominic Carrillo 3/21
  • The Monkey Trial by Anita Sanchez *MG* 3/21
  • Little Daymond Learns To Earn by Daymond John *PB* 3/21
  • Muzoon by Muzoon Almellehan w/ Wendy Pearlman 3/21
  • Belle Of The Ball by Mari Costa 3/21
  • Y/N: A Novel By Esther Yi *adult* 3/21
  • The Nursery: A Novel by Szilvia Molnar *adult* 3/21
  • Beauty Beheld: A Beauty Is Her Name Novel by Zariah L. Banks *NE* 3/23
  • Shining A Light by Veeda Bybee *PB* 3/28
  • Into The Light by Mark Oshiro 3/28
  • Last Sunrise In Eterna by Amparo Ortiz 3/28
  • No Rings Attached by Mona Shroff *adult* 3/28
  • Hamra And The Jungle Of Memories by Hanna Alkaf *MG* 3/28
  • Marya Khan And The Fabulous Jasmine Garden by Saadia Faruqi *MG Series* 3/28
  • Lone Women by Victor LaValle *adult* 3/28
  • Hanging With Vampires: A Totally Factual Field Guide to the Supernatural by Insha Fitzpatrick *MG* 3/28
  • The Build Up by Tati Richardson *adult* 3/28
  • Chaos And Flame by Tessa Gratton & Justina Ireland 3/28
  • Stars And Smoke by Marie Lu 3/28
  • Calling The Moon Edited by Aida Salazar & Yamile Saied Mendez *MG* 3/28
  • Big Tune: Rise Of The Dancehall Prince by Alliah Agostini *PB* 3/28
  • You Will Do Great Things by Amerie *PB* 3/28
  • I’ll Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know by Leslie Odom Jr., Nicolette Robinson & Joy Hwang Ruiz *PB* 3/28
  • The Human Origins Of Beatrice Porter & Other Essential Ghosts by Soraya Palmer *adult* 3/28
  • Sea Change by Gina Chung *adult* 3/28
  • Black Ice by Bradford D. Smith 3/28
Izzalot y’all!

That is quite the list for this month! As I have in past months, I’ve been really lucky to receive ARCs so here are the ones I have for this month:

  • The Karma Map by Nisha Sharma
  • Chloe And The Kaishao Boys by Mae Coyiuto
  • My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron
  • Real Love by Rachel Lindsay *adult*
  • Midnight Strikes by Zeba Shahnaz
  • The Witch And The Vampire by Francesca Flores
  • Lucha Of The Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Meija
  • Too Soon For Adios by Annette Chavez Macias *adult*
  • Into The Light by Mark Oshiro
  • Last Sunrise In Eterna by Amparo Ortiz
  • No Rings Attached by Mona Shroff *adult*
  • Lone Women by Victor LaValle *adult*
  • The Build Up by Tati Richardson *adult*
  • Chaos And Flame by Tessa Gratton & Justina Ireland
  • Stars And Smoke by Marie Lu
Finish this set of ARCs before the month ends…I believe in myself!

Of these ARCs, so far I’ve read:

  • The Karma Map by Nisha Sharma
  • My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron
  • Real Love by Rachel Lindsay *adult*
  • Currently Reading: Chloe And The Kaishao Boys by Mae Coyiuto
And by “we”, I mean “me”. I’m working on reading all these ARCs!

Alright y’all, I’m going to end this here! Are there any books that you are excited about for this month? Are there any books by Authors Of Color that I’ve missed? Let me know here or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (mostly on Tuesdays and Fridays) to chat with me. Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like its both my birthday month and really great books are coming out! And to those who have subscribed, thank you so much, I truly appreciate y’all! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

Later Y’all!

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Life has been Life-ing So I’ve Been Escape Reading

Hi there! So I think that the title of this post speaks for itself but nevertheless, life has been doing what it does in wild ways since basically this year started. Last week, I just felt really out of it, hence no post rather than trying to force myself to write something lackluster that wouldn’t have been fair to you as a reader or the books that would get mentioned. All I could do the past few weeks is nap and read when I wasn’t working (it has been A LOT in my professional life and we aren’t hear to talk about that). Thankfully, there was a break so I was able to decompress, sleep in most days, clean a little and build a desk along with read.

That’s life for you, right?

So since life has been life-ing and all I could do with non-napping & work time is read, I figured that I would share some of the reads that I really got wrapped up in for various reasons. They may have common threads…I guess we will see as I write and you subsequently read. Some will be adult and others will be YA, which I will be sure to indicate next to the title.

I’d say this is a fairly accurate depiction of me with both napping and escaping into books

Isha, Unscripted by Sajni Patel (Adult): From beginning to end, I think there were tears in my eyes from how hard I was laughing. I had read most of Sajni’s other books and I really enjoyed them but this one has to be my favorite. When I say shenanigans happened in this book, I feel like that is an understatement. Isha had the best ride-or-run-from-threats-at-any-moment in her cousin and potential love interest in Thirst Trap. I was so sad when I finished this book because I wasn’t ready for it to end. If this book doesn’t become a movie, the world would be done a serious disservice because the level of comedy is just *Chef’s Kiss*, which made it the perfect escape read. Though there is so much I want to say, I’m not saying anymore because I don’t want to spoil anything but know, you should read this book (if you are over 18…if you aren’t, wait until you are please and thank you!).

I don’t know what show this is from but it feels accurate to this book, lol

Imposter Syndrome And Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim by Patricia Park (YA): This was another book that kept me laughing but also one that I deeply understood. As someone who hails from two different cultures, I often times battle how much I may feel of either one on any given day. Alejandra deals with this a Korean Argentine (the book touched on the history of this, which reminded me of Haiti’s history being a sanctuary/refuge country) and how she not only battles the identity crisis she faces but how others impact this internal struggle. Since this book took place in New York (*shouts NEWWWWWW YORRRRRK*, sorry, had to), I felt like I was right in the middle of the story. There were emotional highs and lows but even with the lows, I didn’t feel pulled under because of the way Patricia wrote it. She did a bit of a “cut to” with the epilogue but I wasn’t mad at it because we often don’t get to see where YA characters are too much into their futures. This was definitely a worthwhile read!

Who Am I? What’s the meaning of life? I feel like this book covers the general existential crises many of us have but in a funny way

When You Wish Upon A Lantern by Gloria Chao (YA): First, I have to say that Gloria Chao is one of the authors that helped me get through the passing of my grandfather. Not that she herself was an emotional support but her books were…I literally was reading Rent-A-Boyfriend during the funeral to keep myself grounded (everyone knew to give me a wide berth with a book in my hand & an angry air about me). With that said, I was REALLY excited when this book was announced because, emotional turmoil aside, I enjoyed her books and this one was no different. There was great banter, rekindling of friendship, baking and some sneaky wish granting antics. While there was death of a grandparent (wow, full circle, huh?), it made me think back fondly of my own rather than get wrapped up in grief (it’s a never-ending battle folx). There were so many great moments in this book and I ate it up in less than 48 hours since I was having such a good time with these characters. Icing on the cake (or filling in the mooncake for a better analogy), this book was a dual perspective (and y’all know how much I love those).

There was a lot of hiding in plain sight in this book…you’ll get it when you read it

Not The Plan by Gia De Cadenet (Adult): This was a book I was excited about since I read Gia’s first book and found out there was a companion. While I’m not one for politics (both characters work in this field), it really didn’t distract from the story at hand, which had quite a few layers to it. There is a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride in terms of what the main characters go through in this story (this, too, is a book with dual perspectives) both separately and together but it also allowed the reader to see their growth. The daunting moments don’t last long nor took away from the love story that was brewing. We did get some spicy moments in this book, which y’all know I love but will tell the 18 & under folx to stay away from until they join the 18 & over crowd. I’m hoping we get another companion so we can see more of these characters & have already asked Gia about this (to which, she said she can’t say anything *insert side-eye emoji here*).

This is a pretty fitting depiction of Isadora…if I’m being honest

Chaos Theory by Nic Stone (YA; out 2/28/23): It’s not a secret that I’m a Nic Stone stan and how much I love her work (and her, as a person). When I finished this book (which was in a few hours, with stops for bathroom breaks), I immediately DMed her some thoughts. I absolutely loved this story and am still deciding if it knocks Jackpot from my favorite Nic Stone book spot or not. There was so much funny banter and nerd sh*t that it set my Blerdly heart aflutter. I loved how Shelbi & Andy (or should I say Walter?) navigated their circumstances together in this story. There’s grief, addiction, mental health discussions and some other potentially triggering subjects but there is also joy, friendship and great family members (wait till you meet Becky…she deserves her own book and Bibi)! I have already told Nic that I would like a New Adult crossover and I am putting it into the universe that we get one. I also wouldn’t be mad at any sort of on-screen adaptation (where are the Obamas to make this happen?).

Shelbi to Andy/Walter

The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest (Adult; out 2/28/2023): Kristina Forest is another author whom I’ve read other works by and really enjoyed so I was very excited to hear she was going to write an adult romance. I was not disappointed and was heavily invested in this story (I actually bumped it up in my TBR because I didn’t want to wait anymore to read it, lol). I loved that it was 1) dual perspective, 2) had different parts that added layers to the story and 3) took place in New York. There was also tons of funny moments and I thought the banter between Lily & her sisters was hysterical. And for those who look bookish talk, there is SO MUCH of it in this story so you know I was the happiest panda while reading. I’m so happy that the E-ARC gave us a preview of Kristina’s next book and that it we will get to live in another character we have met’s world for a bit (I was ready to DM Kristina about what/who was next so that saved me a trip to IG, lol). We also got some spice in this story which delighted me being the grown person that I am.

This is definitely one of Lily’s sisters to her at various posts in the book

So, I guess category is repeat author (for 5 of them) and funny banter (all of them) for this post? Any other way, each of these books brought me joy and gave me the right story to fully immerse myself in, which was/is exactly what I need these days. Have you read any of these books? Are you the type to escape into books when life is life-ing? Let me know in the comments here or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (mostly on Tuesdays and Fridays) to chat with me. Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve escaped into a really good book! And to those who have subscribed, thank you so much! This blog as recently reached 650 subscribers! So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOUUUUUUUUU! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

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Mythically Motivated Middle Grades For The Win

Hey Y’all! So I realized that I haven’t written about any middle grades lately despite having a post in the back of mind for a while. If you’ve been around this blog a while, then you know that I love stories inspired by mythology. There are so many different ones across cultures and they add a different type of texture to the stories that is almost palpable for me. Mythology inspired books both lend to themselves to the past while being in the present, which is really beautiful when you think about it.

Me thinking about this and the realization that I 1) had to do this post and 2) I’ve got the right combo of books!

There are 3 books (I think that’s the magic number for me in for these lists) that I’ve read that I wanted to share with you all; 2 that I read a few months back and 1 that I recently finished. Clearly, I think these books are great because they’ve (finally) made their way here and I believe that they deserve to be highlighted so let’s get into it!

I’m readyyyy!

Marikit And The Ocean Of Stars by Caris Avendaño Cruz: First, I must say that the cover got me the moment that I saw it! It’s such a gorgeous cover and gives a visually striking representation of the story. This story is Filipino Folklore inspired and is quite the adventure from pretty early on till the end. It weaves (pun intended) the magic of the world Marikit finds herself in and real world scenarios such as the glaring wealth gap in the Philippines (everywhere, really) so beautifully. It was hard not to get wrapped up in (pun intended again) this story and its characters with the banter, emotional beats & hijinx!

*insert corny thread through the needle analogy here*

Omega Morales And The Legend Of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp: One, I saw that the sequel was announced and I screamed so you can guess that I’m excited about it! This story was so riveting from the very beginning and I was enamored with the characters in this book. There were so many hysterical moments and I couldn’t wait for Omega to crack the mystery she was trying to solve. I will say that there was a twist or two that caught me off guard, which doesn’t happen often so it earned even more brownie points from me for that. Omega Morales is Mexican Folklore inspired, in case you were wondering!

You might get this look on your face a few times while reading!

Winston Chu Vs. The Whimsies by Stacey Lee: I have to start this by saying that when I was reading this E-ARC, adulting was hitting me hard and I resented not being able to just sit and read this but it was a bright spot when I was able to sit and read it in chunks. This book was so funny, I laughed out loud quite often as Winston & his crew really got into some shenanigans. The story balanced the humor and grief so well, which I sincerely appreciated as someone who still grapples with grief. There were a lot of soccer references/puns and creative ways not to curse…the one that will stick with me forever is PITA (Pain In The Armpit, lol…which can really hurt), that I also really enjoyed! Winston Chu is inspired by Chinese Mythology & beliefs.

“GOOOOOOOALLLL!!!!!” Sorry, I had to… it just felt right

All of these books are out now and I definitely think that you should consider adding them to your TBR, gifting them to a kid/brood of kids and/or add them to your libraries (personal/classroom/school/public…just sayin’). There are other mythology inspired middle grades that are either coming out this year or are in my TBR that I really can’t wait to get to read. Are the books mentioned above in your TBR? Have you read them? Are you a fan of mythology inspired stories? Let me know! You can find me on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (mostly on Tuesdays now) to chat with me. Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve read a really good mythology inspired middle grade! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

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Solving Murders And Proving Innocence: Two Amazing Black YA Mysteries

What’s up y’all?! So in past posts, I’ve talked about books that turn me into somewhat of a Grown Black Nancy Drew in order to figure out the whodunit/solve the case. When that happens, I have even more fun with the story and it makes me eager to get to the “big reveal” so I can find out if I was correct or not (and I REALLY like to be right, lol). These sorts of reads keep me really engaged and happy really. I also love when books are multiple perspectives and when they are, it makes me an even happier reader!

Dis me when I’m reading a book with even a hint of a mystery in it, lol

Well, I am happy to say that I recently read two books (that are out now) that did all of the above AND they were written by Black men (which I’ve been wanting to read more books by Black men)! These books have some similarities in terms of proving characters innocence & finding the real culprits but they have very distinct vibes in the twists & turns that they gave. Both of these books have breath taking covers that should make them instabuys or at least make your bookish senses tingle enough to put them on your TBR list! I’m so excited to talk about these books so I’m going to hop into it.

Me, getting ready to get into talking about these books!

The Black Queen by Jumata Emill: Before I ever saw a synopsis for this book (which admittedly, I’m a chronic non-reader of anyway), I saw the cover and was immediately drawn in. I got those bookish tingles that just let me know that I would really be into this story. The story is from 2 perspectives; Duchess, the best friend of the Black Queen and Tinsley, who is aiming to prove her innocence. When I tell you you couldn’t have more different perspectives, you really couldn’t, which made the draw to this book even stronger. I mean, there was a hallway moment where you could almost hear folx chanting “FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT” (the ones that know, know).

I kinda hoped for a moment like this, I’m not going to lie, lol

There were so many moments where I was like “DUCHESS IS ME” because of how she responded to different situations and how down for her friends she was (a pretty literal Ride Or Verbally Bust Heads cause she’s not trying to get suspended/arrested type homegirl). She also turned into a Black Nancy Drew so I was really living for her. Tinsley admitted worked my nerves in the beginning and I had kinda hoped she would get chin-checked cause ole girl said some really outrageous ish throughout the story. By the end of the story, I saw her growth & was less annoyed by her (which should tell you a bit about her character arc). We got to see two very different world views/perceptions through them, one of privilege and the other where a way was always made out of no way. A lot goes on in this book from start to finish so be prepared to kept on your toes friends!

I’m fully convinced that this was Jumata while writing this book

Promise Boys by Nick Brooks: Now, this book I DID actually read the synopsis for (I didn’t see the cover first & that’s okay) and knew this was a book I wanted to read. Full disclosure, I am on the blog tour for this book (hence this post) but this book would’ve definitely had a place on this blog. When I saw that they had a FULL cast for the audiobook, I knew I really REALLY wanted to listen to it and my friends, I would HIIIIIIIIIIIIGHLY recommend taking that route because the narrators did a superb job! It’s a little under 5 hours and you won’t want to pause it (I finished it in 2 days). Since I listened to the audiobook, I couldn’t highlight things said (and I don’t know how to clip things, lol) but I definitely was taking mental notes.

Me, taking those mental notes & trying to figure things out, lol!

Since the audiobook had a full cast, it really highlighted the layers that this story had. While the book is centered around 3 Black & Brown boys, J.B., Ramón & Trey, we got to hear/read the thoughts & accounts of others which helped to build this really rich world. We were not only able to see the perspectives of these 3 kids who really don’t have a fair shake at life to begin with but come to understand how they ended up where they did as well as see the support systems they each had. I can’t speak for anyone else but I knew from chapter one that I was rooting for them, in both proving their innocence and finding success (I’m always rooting for the Black & Brown Folx doe).

And Brown, in Ramón’s case

As I usually do, I had a fav and it was definitely Keyana. She was about the cause from jump and she was about her business. I couldn’t help but respect how she approached the case from varying angles, using every resource she had at her disposal. Keyana, in no way, felt like a side character in how fully realized she was and I found myself looking forward to hearing her thoughts or her popping up in J.B’s chapters because she was such a standout from the moment she was mentioned. She’s definitely been added to my list of characters I want to see full novels about (*hint* *hint* Nick…which this was mentioned during the New York launch, lol)! When you read this book, you’ll understand why I had to mention her specifically (*smirks*).

This was Keyana getting down to business

Something that I loved about The Black Queen & Promise Boys is that they both offered criticisms of the educational systems that are in place. They addressed the issues around inclusion, funding, equity and opportunity for all students both in the public & charter school systems. *Warning, I’m finna hop on my soap box for a second.* As an educator, this is always in the back of my mind when I step into the schools that I go into. I see the disparities between the public and private schools (as those are the settings that I currently work with students in) and how students are treated & viewed based upon their backgrounds & abilities. It’s disheartening to see that we still have issues with inclusion in 2023 and schools not taking the necessary steps towards an equitable playing field for all students regardless of their race, religion, finances or abilities/diagnoses. I appreciate that both these books bring this to the forefront so that kids who read it can learn to identify these issues so they can advocate for themselves. Ultimately, the hope is that kids would find their voices and speak up alongside or even without their adult counterparts, which these books help them to see what that is like and the possible outcomes. *Hops off soap box*

I couldn’t find a good soap box gif, so this will have to do as the sentiment is the same, lol!

I am REALLY hoping that both of these books are adapted for the screen because they played out clearly in my mind as I read them. If they are, these stories would be able to reach an even broader audience AND open up more conversations around the educational and social disparities that we see come up throughout the stories. Also, we need to see more Black & Brown kids win in the media; whether its through solving crimes, proving their innocence, their capabilities in their passions, their strong support systems, finding love and having healthy relationships. Can someone call up the Obamas and ask them to adapt these books, PLEASE?!

Not maybe, DEFINITELY because we need these stories done correctly!

Aiight y’all, I think I’ve talked your ears off, or would it be wrote your eyes off, enough. Either way, I’m going to end this post here! If neither of these books weren’t on your radar, I’m glad to have put you on! Get into your detective bags with these stories then spread the word so that your people could do the same! Let me know in the comments or on social media if you had these books in your TBR. Have you gotten the chance to read either of them? What do you think? You can find me on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (mostly on Tuesdays now) to chat with me. Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve guessed correctly whodunit! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

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February, I’m In Love With Your Releases

Hey Y’all! I can’t believe we are already in a new month (with another corny blog post title, lol)! As usual, there are new books coming out and so many that I’m excited about! Please do double check the titles that you are excited about in case something changes thanks to supply chain issues & possible publishing date changes. Let’s get into the list:

Cause y’all know I love a good list!
  • Daughters of Oduma By Moses Ose Utomi 2/7
  • Borderless By Jennifer De Leon 2/7
  • These Infinite Threads by Tahereh Mafi *sequel* 2/7
  • Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood 2/7
  • This Time It’s Real by Ann Liang 2/7
  • Winston Chu Vs. The Whimsies by Stacey Lee *MG* 2/7
  • The Pearl Hunter by Miya T. Beck *MG* 2/7
  • Hungry Ghosts A Novel by Kevin Jared Hosein *adult* 2/7
  • Brown Girl Like Me by Jaspreet Kaur 2/7
  • Nerd Crush by Alisha Emrich 2/7
  • Sugar Pie Lullaby by Carole Boston Weatherford *PB* 2/7
  • A Crown For Corina by Laekan Zea Kemp *PB* 2/7
  • Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir by Lamya H. *adult* 2/7
  • The House Of Eve by Sadequa Johnson *adult* 2/7
  • June Storm by Ramona Lee Soo-Jun *adult* 2/7
  • Where I’m Coming From by Barbara Brandon-Croft *adult* 2/7
  • Not The Plan by Gia De Cadenet *adult companion* 2/7
  • The Black Athlete Revolt by Shaun M. Anderson *adult* 2/8
  • Coming Home: A Novella by Kennedy Ryan *adult Audio* 2/9
  • When You Wish Upon A Lantern by Gloria Chao 2/14
  • Unquiet Spirits edited by Lee Murray & Angela Yurika Smith *adult* 2/14
  • On The Air With Zoe Washington by Janae Marks *MG Sequel* 2/14
  • The Last Tale Of The Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi *adult* 2/14
  • Isha, Unscripted by Sajni Patel *adult* 2/14
  • Take The Lead by Alexis Daria *Adult Reprint* 2/14
  • And Other Mistakes by Erika Turner 2/14
  • The Beauty Trials by Dhonielle Clayton *Sequel* 2/14
  • The Shamshine Blind by Paz Pardo *adult* 2/14
  • Speculation by Nisi Shawl *MG* 2/14
  • Under Lock & Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian *adult* 2/21
  • Last Chance Dance by Lakita Wilson 2/21
  • A Country You Can Leave by Asale Angel-Ajani *adult* 2/21
  • A Small Sacrifice For An Enormous Happiness by Jai Chakrabarti *adult* 2/21
  • Idol Minds by KT Salvo *adult* 2/21
  • The Best Man’s Problem by Sera Taino *adult* 2/21
  • Designs On A Rancher by LaQuette *adult* 2/21
  • Winning His Trust by Toni Shiloh *adult* 2/21
  • Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim By Patricia Park 2/21
  • An Autobiography Of Skin: A Novel by Lakiesha Carr *adult* 2/21
  • The Unfortunates by JK Chukwu *adult* 2/28
  • Pilar Ramirez And The Curse Of San Zenon by Julian Randall *MG Sequel* 2/28
  • Momo Arashima Steals The Sword Of The Wind by Misa Sugiura *MG* 2/28
  • The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest *adult* 2/28
  • The Wicked Bargain by Gabe Cole Novoa 2/28
  • It’s Boba Time For Pearl Li by Nicole Chen *MG* 2/28
  • Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Gun *adult* 2/28
  • Last Violent Call by Chloe Gong *series* 2/28
  • Delicious Monsters By Liselle Sambury *MG* 2/28
  • The Headmaster’s List by Melissa De La Cruz 2/28
  • She Is A Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran 2/28
  • Chaos Theory by Nic Stone 2/28
  • Black Candle Women by Diane Marie Brown *adult* 2/28
  • Finally Seen by Kelly Yang *MG* 2/28
That’s a good amount of books

Thanks to the Bookish Powers that be, I’ve received a nice amount of ARCs. Here are the books I have:

  • Currently Reading: Winston Chu Vs. The Whimsies by Stacey Lee *MG*
  • Daughters of Oduma By Moses Ose Utomi
  • Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood
  • Not The Plan by Gia De Cadenet *adult companion*
  • When You Wish Upon A Lantern by Gloria Chao
  • On The Air With Zoe Washington by Janae Marks *MG Sequel*
  • Isha, Unscripted by Sajni Patel *adult*
  • Last Chance Dance by Lakita Wilson
  • Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim By Patricia Park
  • Pilar Ramirez And The Curse Of San Zenon by Julian Randall *MG Sequel*
  • Momo Arashima Steals The Sword Of The Wind by Misa Sugiura *MG*
  • The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest *adult*
  • The Headmaster’s List by Melissa De La Cruz
  • She Is A Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran
  • Chaos Theory by Nic Stone
  • Black Candle Women by Diane Marie Brown *adult*
It’s going to be good reading month!

Welp, I’m going to end this post here because I want to finish my current read and another post to get ready for you all (*wink* *wink*)! Did I miss any books by Authors Of Color that are coming out this month? Are there any books you’re really excited about? Let me know in the comments here or on social media via Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (for Tuesdays, mostly). Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like it’s a pub month with so many books to fall in love with! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

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Four Fantastical YAs That I’ve Recently Eaten Up

Hey There! So off and on the end of 2022 & this month, I’d been in my YA bag in terms of ARCs/ALCs that I’ve read and some of them have had some sort of magicalesque elements to them, which I live for. Whenever a book has that sort of fantastical quality to it, I will eat them up so I figured I would share some of these books with y’all.

Me with these books!

We Are All So Good At Smiling by Amber McBride: First, I have to say that the cover is stunning and it fully deserves its flowers (or rather butterflies, lol). Getting that out of the way, this was such a beautifully written novel in verse that balanced out the whimsical (*smirks*) with contemporary so well and it definitely felt like a fairy-tale (*smirks again*) while I was reading. We see the MCs navigate a world where they have to navigate connection to themselves, each other, their families and the secrets that threaten their lives as they know it. They also face what it is to face grief, anxiety and depression head on, which I can deeply relate to. The imagery throughout the story is breathtaking and brings to life different mythologies that we know and love. I’d highly recommend grabbing your favorite comfy blanket/hoodie & cup of tea to enjoy while reading this book.

This is a little too on the nose, when you read, you’ll get it, lol!

Song Of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao: I don’t know what it is but I love a fantasy that takes place in the past or is inspired by it…maybe it’s the history nerd in me but I always feel like there is a vividness that period pieces bring. If we add in magic with the historical, then I’m fully in my element and this book checked all the boxes for me. The story gives world building, imagery, different types of magic & how to access it, mythology/mythological creatures and high stakes along with dual perspectives (which y’all know I LOVE). Since this book takes place in the past, it also deals with colonizers, their shenanigans and the fight against their antics, which I deeply felt. I can’t wait to see what the next book brings because I feel like there is a battle to be had & I want to see certain heads roll (All Queen Of Hearts)!

I think you can guess who’s head I would like to see roll

Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim (out 1/24/23): I think I’ve been obsessed with this book since I saw the cover and then fell deeper in love as I got into the story. There are various types of magic in this story but how it is accessed is what adds another layer to it. Along with the magic and mythical creatures, there’s lots of trouble to both get into and out of with twists you very well may not see coming (if you can catch me a little off guard, then that’s an accomplishment). I also really enjoyed the banter in this story and the development & break down of relationships. For me, this story read like a movie and I think the world would be at a disservice if it is not adapted for the screen in some way. I also can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

I may or may not have had a moment like this & this gif maybe a little on the ironic side, lol

My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron (out 3/7/23): Alright, so I have been itching to read this book since Kalynn announced it and even more so after the cover reveal (it gives Baron Samedi vibes, look him up). For transparency, I am guilty of not having read the original but knew the premise (so it was fine). I will say that I believe anyone who didn’t read the OG will be fine as this book stood well on its own. The story had so many different layers to it covering being Black in the 1800s, being gay in that era, respectability politics and so much more. While there isn’t necessary magic in this story, there is that fantastical/otherworldly nature of science and determining how far is too far to go with it. There’s mystery, intrigue and twist & turns throughout the entire story that will keep you on your toes a bit. Since I listened to the ALC of this book, I was talking back out loud to the narrator (who did a good job) every once in a while (rather than in my head if I read the physical version) & I’m sure I had a lot of facial contortion going on as well. This was a great addition to the Classics Remix family.

I’d say this is an accurate depiction of the range of emotions I went through while reading, lol

On the real, I love when I get my hands on books that I can just fully immerse myself in which cause me to eat them up (as quickly life allows me too, depending on when I read them). Have you read any of these books? Did you fall into their worlds too? Are there any other books that you ate up because of how you invested you were in their stories? Let me know in the comments or on social media via Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (which the group I’m apart of is currently on hiatus). Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve eaten up some really good books! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

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I Love Reading Black And Brown Kids Falling In Love

Hello There! I hope 2023 is treating you well so far! In terms of books, it’s treating me great (other life stuff could use work but such is being an adult)!

Book life Balance is a work in progress!

In the past, I’ve written posts about Black & Brown Girls deserving to be centered in YA Romance as well as Kids Of Color deserving safe spaces & healthy relationships & My Spirit demanding more POC romances to which I’m glad to say that I have a few books to rave to you all about that checks those boxes (but I still hope for more in the future). It really makes my medium-key romantic heart so happy to have read these stories where Black & Brown Kids can see themselves fall in love.

It really does make my heart so happy!

Highly Suspicious And Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert: When I saw the announcement & cover for this book, I was super excited about it. When there are two Black kids on a cover in the woods, there could only be shenanigans to be had, right? And there were plenty! Add in the fact that this book was dual perspective, I was a very happy panda. There were so many great moments between Brad & Celine that just had me completely wrapped. They went from best friends to enemies then back to friends, so we got the best of those tropes. It was a journey that was worth taking with a beautiful balance of serious and funny.

I envisioned Celine looking at Brad like this so much during the course of this book

The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim: This was another book that had me at the cover and it gave us a love triangle! I’m usually not one for them but I was sold on this one. Our MC, Zahra, was juggling so much between her family & work so it was refreshing to read her have these moments where she could be a teenager discovering herself as well as what romance is & what she is worthy of. Did I pick a team, I sure did (I don’t know how people can be neutral) and no, I will not tell you who I was rooting for…I was rooting for Zahra and her happiness first & foremost. She also had really great friends who often cracked me up.

You’ll have to read in order to see who Zahra walks away with *smirks*

Friday, I’m In Love by Camryn Garrett: First off, my favorite cover designers was on this one (shoutout to Erick Davila) and second of all, I love Camryn’s writing & humor (I will never forget a certain scene in Full Disclosure…EVER) so I was very excited to read news of this book. There was a great balance of humor (especially when she was planning her Super Gay Sweet 16…that could totally be a show), heavy and romance. I felt Mahalia on the realness of crushes and it was so nice to read how her crush on Siobhan evolved into her reality (their banter is hysterical). I also really enjoyed her relationship with her best friend and mom, so we really got 3 love stories-romance, friendship/sisterhood & family; which is a trifecta I can get with on any day of the week, especially a Friday (is that too corny?)!

There was also a lot of music references, singing out loud in public & Black Girl Magic in this book

As You Walk On By by Julian Winters (out 1/17/23): This is yet another book with a lovely cover that drew me in. I’d mostly read short stories by Julian but I’m so glad this was my introduction to his novels. This book tackled a lot but with an air of levity that was invigorating to read; from what it is to be Black, to be Gay, to be male and what it is to be all three. It also highlighted friendships, what healthy and potentially unhealthy ones look like & how to move towards what is best for you. I loved that we got the romance for the MC Theo but also familial and friendship love. There really was more than one happily ever after in this book and I love to see it! Heads up, there was also a lot of shenanigans too since some of the characters love dares (this book takes place before prom, need I really say more on that).

There were a lot of dares happening in this book

All of these books gave me laugh out loud moments along with eye-leaking moments and all the feels in between. They also left me with the heartwarming feeling that only reading Black & Brown kids finding & falling in love could bring to me as a reader. This books are truly amazing reads and I couldn’t recommend them enough!

This is an accurate visual of how I feel

Were any of these books on your radar? Have you gotten the chance to read any of them? Are there any books that I should be on the look out for? Let me know in the comments or on social media via Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve read amazing stories where Black & Brown Kids fall in love! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

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What All I Read: 2022 Reading Wrap Up

What’s up y’all?! So, you all know that I had been reading like crazy last year, so much so that I really leaned on lists so I could share more of those reads because I do so love to share what all I read with you all. I shared the list of reads from last year so I had to do so again this year. This year was a bit rough at times but books really helped me to get through each day.

It is…unless you are asking me to borrow a book, then I’m not so caring, lol!

Like last year, I participated in The Free Black Women’s Library Challenge again…I believe this was year 4 for me (those books will be in bold). The books that I had written about or featured them in a post will also have links to them! Before I get to the list, here’s my stats:

  • Books Read For The Year: 287
  • Least books read in a month: 18
  • Most books read in a month: 32
  • Average amount read a month: around 20 (this answer tells you I’m not great at mathing, lol)
  • No slumps but times where books took me longer than usual to read for various reasons (emotional state, adulting, etc.)
  • I did actual re-reads, the e-ARCs then audiobooks, which was new for me.
  • I also listened to a lot more audiobooks this past year! I really enjoy them (especially adult romances that get really spicy, lol)
I’m pretty sure it’s 4 years, lol!

Here’s all the books I’ve read:

  1. Along For The Ride by Mimi Grace *adult E-Book*
  2. The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo E-Book
  3. The Red Palace by June Hur E-ARC
  4. Dream, Annie, Dream by Waka T. Brown *MG ARC*
  5. The Keeper by Guadalupe Garcia McCall *MG ARC*
  6. Loveboat, Reunion by Abigail Hing Wen E-ARC
  7. Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee *MG E-ARC*
  8. Black Panther: The Young Prince by Ronald Smith *MG*
  9. Black Panther: Spellbound by Ronald Smith *MG Sequel E-ARC*
  10. Cameron Battle & The Hidden Kingdom by Jamar Perry *MG E-ARC*
  11. Squire by Sara Alfageeh & Nadia Shamans ARC
  12. Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed *MG Companion e-arc*
  13. This Woven Kingdom by Tahareh Mafi ARC
  14. Required Reading For The Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen Lee E-ARC
  15. Asking For A Friend by Andi Osho *adult ARC*
  16. Black Girls Must Be Magic by Jayne Allen *adult E-ARC*
  17. Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow *adult E-ARC*
  18. Black Love Matters edited by Jessica C. Pryde *adult E-ARC*
  19. The Great Mrs. Elias by Barbara Chase-Riboud *adult ARC*
  20. You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen E-ARC
  21. Shuri: Symbiosis by Nic Stone *MG sequel*
  22. A Comb Of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow *MG ARC*
  23. Sunny G’s Series Of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon E-ARC
  24. Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie E-ARC
  25. Lulu And Milagro’s Search For Clarity by Angela Velez ARC
  26. Cold by Mariko Tamaki E-ARC
  27. Reclaim The Stars Edited by Zoraida Cordova E-ARC
  28. Only A Monster by Vanessa Len ARC
  29. The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea by Axie Oh E-ARC
  30. Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi *MG ARC*
  31. Pilar Ramirez And The Escape From Zafa by Julian Randall *MG E-ARC*
  32. Loteria by Karla Arenas Valenti *MG E-ARC*
  33. The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta E-ARC
  34. Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys E-ARC
  35. Traveler’s Along The Way by Aminah Mae Safi E-ARC
  36. All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir ARC
  37. The Rumor Game by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton E-ARC
  38. Turning by Joy L. Smith ARC
  39. Love, Decoded by Jennifer Yen E-ARC
  40. Messy Roots by Laura Gao ARC
  41. Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros *MG ARC*
  42. Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore E-ARC
  43. Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye ARC
  44. Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron *adult E-ARC*
  45. Hot Girl Summer by Sonia Palermo *adult E-ARC*
  46. Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma *adult E-ARC*
  47. When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo *adult E-ARC*
  48. Working Through It by Kasha Thompson *adult E-ARC*
  49. Savvy Sheldon Feels Good As Hell by Taj McCoy *adult ARC*
  50. A Magic Steeped In Poison by Judy I. Lin E-ARC
  51. Her Rebel Highness by Diana Ma *Prequel E-ARC*
  52. Sir Fig Newton & The Science Of Persistence by Sonja Thomas *MG E-ARC*
  53. Star The Elephant by Remy Lai *MG E-ARC*
  54. Rainbow The Koala by Remy Lai *MG E-ARC*
  55. Karthik Delivers by Sheela Chari *MG E-ARC*
  56. A Walk In The Park by Rebekah Weatherspoon *adult Audio-Novella*
  57. You Are More Than Magic by Minda Harts E-ARC
  58. The Perfect Play by GS Carr *adult Audio-Novella*
  59. Sun Of A Beach by Mia Sosa *adult Audio-Novella*
  60. Nothing Burns As Bright As You by Ashley Woodfolk E-ARC
  61. The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport *NA ARC*
  62. Business Not As Usual by Sharon C. Cooper *adult E-ARC*
  63. The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa *adult companion E-ARC*
  64. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa *adult E-Book*
  65. What A Match by Mimi Grace *adult E-ARC*
  66. Sari, Not Sari by Sonya Singh *adult E-ARC*
  67. Hope And Glory by Jendella Benson *adult ARC*
  68. An Arrow To The Moon by Emily X.R. Pan E-ARC
  69. The Five Year Hitch by Melissa De La Cruz *adult Audio-Novella*
  70. Shinji Takahashi & The Mark Of The Coatl by Julie Kagawa *MG E-ARC*
  71. My Sister’s Big Fat Indian Wedding by Sajni Patel E-ARC
  72. Flirting With Fate by J.C. Cuervas E-ARC
  73. The Set-Up by Falguni Kothari *adult Audio-Novella*
  74. Half Light by Tayari Jones *adult Audio-Novella*
  75. Queen Of The Tiles by Hanna Alkaf E-ARC
  76. The Second Chance Of Benjamin Waterfalls by James Bird *MG E-ARC*
  77. The Wedding Setup by Sonali Dev *adult Audio-Novella*
  78. Unfadeable by Maurice Broaddus *MG ARC*
  79. In The Key Of Us by Mariama J. Lockington *MG E-ARC*
  80. Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone by Tae Keller *MG E-ARC*
  81. Winnie Zeng Unleashes A Legend by Katie Zhao *MG E-ARC*
  82. The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton *MG E-ARC*
  83. Ballad & Dagger by Daniel Jose Older E-ARC
  84. An Unreliable Magic by Rin Chupeco *Sequel E-ARC*
  85. By The Book by Jasmine Guillory *adult E-ARC*
  86. Confessions Of An Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney ARC
  87. Rise Up, Burn Down by Vincent Tiredo E-ARC
  88. The AI Who Loved Me By Alyssa Cole *adult Audiobook*
  89. The Noh Family by Grace K. Shim E-ARC
  90. If I Don’t Have You by Sareeta Domingo *adult Audiobook*
  91. Freddie Vs. The Family Curse by Tracey Badua *MG ARC*
  92. Zachary Ying And The Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao *MG E-ARC*
  93. Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas *MG ARC*
  94. Confessions Of An Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney Audiobook
  95. Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas *MG ARC*
  96. Cafe Con Lychee by Emery Lee ARC
  97. Should’ve Been by Alexandria House *adult Audio-Novella*
  98. All I Want For Christmas by Michelle Stimpson *adult Audio-Novella*
  99. Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed E-ARC
  100. The Summer Between Bitter And Sweet by Jen Ferguson ARC
  101. Nate Plus One by Kevin Van Whyte E-ARC
  102. The Lesbiana’s Guide To Catholic School by Sonora Reyes ARC
  103. Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho E-ARC
  104. Pride, Prejudice & Other Flavors by Sonali Dev *adult E-Book*
  105. Temper Me by Alexandria House *adult Audiobook*
  106. Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev *adult series E-Book*
  107. Incense And Sensibility by Sonali Dev *adult series E-Book*
  108. The Emma Project by Sonali Dev *adult series E-ARC*
  109. A Proposal They Can’t Refuse by Natalie Cana *adult E-ARC*
  110. I Guess I Live Here Now by Claire Ahn E-ARC
  111. The Princess Game by Soman Chainani *Audio-Novella*
  112. Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle E-ARC
  113. Finding Jupiter by Kelis Rowe E-ARC
  114. All Signs Point To Yes Edited by G. haron Davis, Cam Montgomery & Adrianne White E-ARC
  115. Deep In Providence by Riss M. Neilson E-ARC
  116. The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna *Sequel E-ARC*
  117. Touch Me by Alexandria House *adult Audiobook*
  118. Flip The Script by Lyla Lee ARC
  119. My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth E-ARC
  120. Private Label by Kelly Yang ARC
  121. Theo Tan And The Fox Spirit by Jesse Q. Sutanto *MG E-ARC*
  122. Fireworks by Alice Lin E-ARC
  123. Hazel & Gray by Nic Stone Audio-Novella
  124. Before Her by Jacqueline Woodson *adult Audio-Novella*
  125. Zyla & Kai by Kristina Forest E-ARC
  126. Love Again by Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm *adult Audiobook*
  127. The Signs And Wonders Of Tuna Rashad by Natasha Deen E-ARC
  128. Fibbed by Elizabeth Agyemang *MG E-ARC*
  129. Off-Script by Ashley Marie *adult E-ARC*
  130. Counterfeit by Kirsten Chen *adult ARC*
  131. Thank You, Next by Andie J. Christopher *adult E-ARC*
  132. Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey E-ARC
  133. The Last Fallen Moon by Graci Kim *MG Sequel E-ARC*
  134. Teach Me by Alexandria House *adult Audiobook*
  135. Onyeka And The Academy Of The Sun by Tola Okogwu *MG E-ARC*
  136. Hana Hsu & The Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu *MG E-ARC*
  137. The Loophole by Naz Kutub ARC
  138. This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron ARC
  139. Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley *adult E-ARC*
  140. On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi *NE E-ARC*
  141. Lucie Yi Is Not A Romantic by Lauren Ho *adult E-ARC*
  142. The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi *adult E-ARC*
  143. Good Morning, Love by Ashley M. Coleman *adult E-ARC*
  144. American Royalty by Tracey Livesay *adult E-ARC*
  145. The Sizzle Paradox by Lily Menon *adult E-ARC*
  146. Godslayers by Zoe Hana Mikuta *Sequel E-ARC*
  147. Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma *adult Audiobook*
  148. The Dream Runners by Shveta Thakrar ARC
  149. The Black Girls Left Behind by Juliana Goodman E-ARC
  150. Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola *NE ARC*
  151. Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser & Robyn Smith *adult E-ARC*
  152. What Souls Are Made Of by Tashi Suri E-ARC
  153. The Charmed List by Julie Abe E-ARC
  154. Nura & The Immortal Palace by M.T. Khan *MG E-ARC*
  155. Be Real, Macy Weaver by Lakita Wilson *MG E-ARC*
  156. Symona’s Still Single by Lisa Bent *adult Audiobook*
  157. Graceful Burdens by Roxane Gay *adult Audio-Novella*
  158. How Maya Got Fierce by Sona Charaipotra E-ARC
  159. Sister Mother Warrior by Vanessa Riley *adult ARC*
  160. Lila by Naima Coster *adult Audio-Novella*
  161. Circling Back To You by Julie Tieu *adult ARC*
  162. Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander *adult E-ARC*
  163. The Accidental Pin-Up by Danielle Jackson *adult E-ARC*
  164. Love In Colour by Bolu Babalola *NE Audiobook*
  165. Dauntless by Elisa Bonnin E-ARC
  166. Thirst by Varsha Bajaj *MG E-ARC*
  167. Team Chu & The Battle Of Blackwood Arena by Julie C. Dao *MG E-ARC*
  168. Have We Met by Camille Baker *adult Audiobook*
  169. Ravenous Things by Derrick Chow *MG E-ARC*
  170. Boys I Know by Anna Garcia E-ARC
  171. The Moment We Met by Camille Baker *adult Audiobook*
  172. Twice As Perfect by Louise Onome E-ARC
  173. Love Times Infinity by Lane Clarke ARC
  174. Nobody’s Princess by Erica Ridley *adult series E-ARC*
  175. West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras *adult Audiobook*
  176. Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson *adult E-Book*
  177. Knot Again by Kwana Jackson *adult E-ARC*
  178. After Hours On Milagros Street by Angelina M. Lopez *adult ARC*
  179. The Neapolitan Sisters by Margo Candela *adult ALC*
  180. Booked On A Feeling by Jayci Lee *adult E-ARC*
  181. The Stand-In by Lily Chu *adult Audiobook*
  182. Twice Upon A Quinceanera by Yamile Saied Mendez *adult E-ARC*
  183. Ben & Beatriz by Katalina Gamarra *adult E-ARC*
  184. The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon *adult E-Book*
  185. The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon *adult E-Book*
  186. The Hook Up Plan by Farrah Rochon *adult E-ARC*
  187. Mika In Real Life by Emiko Jean *adult ARC*
  188. Office Hours by Katrina Jackson *adult Audiobook*
  189. Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sivak *adult E-ARC*
  190. Creep: A Love Story by Lygia Day Penaflor ALC
  191. Fault Tolerance by Valerie Valdes *adult ARC*
  192. Self-Made Boys by Anna-Marie McLemore ALC
  193. A Venom Dark & Sweet by Judy I. Lin *Sequel E-ARC*
  194. The Very Secret Society Of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna *adult E-ARC*
  195. Big Chicas Don’t Cry by Annette Chavez Macias *adult E-ARC*
  196. Almost There by Farrah Rochon ALC
  197. Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Sandhy Menon & Evelyn Skye E-ARC
  198. Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas E-ARC
  199. The Curse On Spectacle Key by Chantel Acevedo *MG ALC*
  200. Amari And The Great Game by BB Alston *MG E-ARC*
  201. A Taste Of Magic by J.Elle *MG E-ARC*
  202. Serwah Boeting’s Guide To Vampire Hunting by Roseanne Brown *MG E-ARC*
  203. Shot Clock by Caron Butler & Justin A. Reynolds *MG ARC*
  204. Adrift by Tanya Guerrero *MG E-ARC*
  205. The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas ALC
  206. The Weight Of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson ARC
  207. The Rules Of Engagement by Selena Montgomery *adult E-ARC*
  208. The Two Lives Of Sara by Catherine Adel West *adult ARC*
  209. The Boy With The Bookstore by Sarah Echavarre Smith *adult E-ARC*
  210. The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale *adult E-ARC*
  211. Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa *adult ARC*
  212. Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco *adult E-ARC*
  213. To Win A Prince by Toni Shiloh *adult E-ARC*
  214. Vanessa Jared’s Got A Man by LaQuette *adult ARC*
  215. Drunk On Love by Jasmine Guillory *adult E-ARC*
  216. Rust In The Root by Justina Ireland ARC
  217. The Comeback by Lily Chu *adult Audiobook*
  218. Eternally Yours Edited by Patrice Caldwell E-ARC
  219. Seoulmates by Susan Lee E-ARC
  220. Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto E-ARC
  221. The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park ALC
  222. CeCe Rios And The King Of Fears by Kaela Rivera *MG E-ARC*
  223. Omega Morales & The Legend Of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp *MG E-ARC*
  224. Anisa’s International Day by Reem Faruqi *MG ARC*
  225. The Keeper Of Night by Kylie Lee Baker Audiobook
  226. Shad Hadid & The Alchemist Of Alexandria by George Jreije *MG ARC*
  227. The Empress Of Time by Kylie Lee Baker *Sequel E-ARC*
  228. Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayci Lee *adult Audiobook*
  229. We Are The Scribes by Randi Pink ALC
  230. A Scatter Of Light by Malinda Lo E-ARC
  231. Lucky Streak by Tif Marcelo *adult Audiobook*
  232. Everyone Hates Kelsey Miller by Meredith Ireland ARC
  233. If You Could See The Sun by Ann Liang E-ARC
  234. On The Hustle by Adriana Herrera *adult E-ARC*
  235. Partners In Crime by Alisha Rai *adult E-ARC*
  236. One Week To Claim It All by Adriana Herrera *adult Audiobook*
  237. Somebody I Used To Know by Dana L. Davis E-ARC
  238. Just For The Holidays by Adriana Herrera *adult Audiobook*
  239. Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega *MG E-ARC*
  240. Drizzle, Dreams & Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad E-ARC
  241. Marya Khan & The Incredible Henna Party by Saadia Faruqi *MG ARC*
  242. Marikit And The Ocean Of Stars by Caris Avendano *MG E-ARC*
  243. Picture Perfect by Jeevani Charika *adult E-ARC*
  244. The StandUp Groomsman by Jackie Lau *adult companion E-ARC*
  245. The Empress Of Time by Kylie Lee Baker ALC
  246. A Touch Of Moonlight by Yaffa S. Santos *adult E-ARC*
  247. A Lowcountry Bride by Preslaysa Williams *adult Audiobook*
  248. Rescue Me by Debbie Rigaurd *adult AudioShort*
  249. Strike The Zither by Joan He E-ARC
  250. Salt And Sugar by Rebecca Carvalho E-ARC
  251. Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon E-ARC
  252. Kiss Me, Catalina by Priscilla Oliveras *adult companion Audiobook*
  253. Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn *sequel ARC*
  254. Donut Fall In Love by Jackie Lau *adult Audiobook*
  255. Briarcliff Prep by Brianna Peppins E-ARC
  256. Pride And Protest by Nikki Payne *adult E-ARC*
  257. We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds E-ARC
  258. The Many Dates Of Indigo by Amber Samuel *adult E-ARC*
  259. In It To Win It by Sharon C. Cooper *adult companion E-ARC*
  260. One Scott Deal by Lucy Eden *adult Audio-Novella*
  261. Better Than Fiction by Alexa Martin *adult E-ARC*
  262. Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan *adult Audiobook*
  263. A Ghost In Shining Armor by Therese Beharrie *adult companion E-ARC*
  264. Reel by Kennedy Ryan *adult Audiobook*
  265. Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan *adult series Audiobook*
  266. Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin *adult E-ARC*
  267. Queen Move Bonus Epilogue by Kennedy Ryan *adult E-Novella*
  268. Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone by Sequoia Nagamatsu *adult ALC*
  269. Where We End And Begin by Jane Igharo *adult E-ARC*
  270. A Million To One by Adiba Jaigirdar ALC
  271. A Sweet Lowcountry Proposal by Preslaysa Williams *adult ARC*
  272. Her Big City Neighbor by Jackie Lau *adult Audiobook*
  273. Valentine’s Kiss by Kema B *adult E-Book*
  274. A Singh Family Christmas by Nisha Sharma *adult E-Novella*
  275. Room For Three? by Katrina Jackson *adult E-Novella*
  276. Neighborly by Katrina Jackson *adult E-Novella*
  277. Sabbatical by Katrina Jackson *adult E-Book*
  278. Highly Suspicious And Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert E-ARC
  279. The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim E-ARC
  280. Breakup From Hell by Ann Davila Cardinal E-ARC
  281. Song Of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao E-ARC
  282. Monarch Rising by Harper Glenn Audiobook
  283. Let Me Love You by Alexandria House *adult series Audiobook*
  284. Let Me Hold You by Alexandria House *adult Series Audiobook*
  285. Sincerely Sicily by Tamika Burgess *MG ARC*
  286. Let Me Show You by Alexandria House *adult Audiobook*
  287. Let Me Please You by Alexandria House *adult E-Novella*
I’m still a little shocked I read this many books…but also, that I fell short of 300…maybe this year!

Whew, I can’t believe that I read that many books…but also, I can! I constantly had my face in a book, eyes on my tablet or ears listening to an audiobook when I wasn’t sleeping, working or peopling. I really was on my bookish hustle/escape.

It’s the truth, I stay on my bookish grind y’all!

If these, 135 counted toward The Free Black Women’s Library Challenge! That greatly delights me because last year, I read 80, my intent was to read at least 100! This year, I would love to surpass 2022’s number. If you would like to join me, keep track of the books you read by Black Women & Non-Binary authors and if you post about those books, tag The Free Black Women’s Library & use the #TFBWLChallenge on whatever outlet you’re using!

This is my energy!

Alright y’all, I’mma end this post here because wordpress is playing in my face & moving slowly and I really want to get back to my current read! Have you read any of the same books as I did? Do you have any favorites in this list? Any you want to talk about? Let me know in the comments or on social media via Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve exceeded the number of books I’ve read in the previous year (which I did, woot woot)! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

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Brand New Year, Brand New Books: January 2023 Releases

First and foremost, let me say…HAPPY NEW YEAR *cues airhorns*! Wow, we have made it to another year and it still feels very unreal to say “last year” in reference to 2022! It truly feels like 2022 was both the shortest and longest year (for me, at least)! And to my fellow Haitians: HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! *cues Konpa music*

This is the energy I’m rolling into this new year with!

Welp, its a brand new year, a brand new month so that means brand new books! This month (the entire year, really) has books that I’ve been highly anticipating so I can’t wait to share this list with you all! Just a reminder, Please be sure to check the dates because you all know that publishers and supply chains like to play in our faces sometimes. Anyway, let’s get to this list!

  • Highly Suspicious And Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert 1/3
  • Song Of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao 1/3
  • NeverWraith by Shakir Rashaan 1/3
  • The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim 1/3
  • 16 & Pregnant A Novel By LaLa Thomas 1/3
  • Sincerely Sicily by Tamika Burgess *MG* 1/3
  • The Wrong Kind Of Weird by James Ramos 1/3
  • A Boy And His Mirror by Marchánt Davis *PB* 1/3
  • My Selma by Willie Mae Brown 1/3
  • Breakup From Hell by Ann Davila Cardinal 1/3
  • Dark Testament: Blackout Poems by Crystal Simone Smith 1/3
  • All That It Ever Meant by Blessing Musariri 1/3
  • Chloe’s Lunar New Year By Lily LaMotte *PB* 1/3
  • What Does Brown Mean To You? By Ron Grady *PB* 1/3
  • I Am Born To Be Awesome by Renee Mechal Roe *ER* 1/3
  • Rosa Parks & Claudette Colvin Civil Rights Heroes by Tracey Baptiste & Shauna J. Grant *MG* 1/3
  • Welcome To Chinatown by William Low *PB* 1/3
  • Now Let Me Fly by Ronald Wimberly & Brahm Revel 1/3
  • TinkerActive Workbook English Language Arts by Kate Avino & Gustavo Almelda *EL* 1/3
  • The Survivalists by Kashana Cauley *adult* 1/10
  • The Dream Builders by Oindrila Mukherjee *adult* 1/10
  • Justice Rising by Katheryn Russell-Brown *PB* 1/10
  • For Lamb by Lesa Cline-Ransome 1/10
  • Mr. Right Next Door by Naima Simone *adult* 1/10
  • We Are All So Good At Smiling by Amber McBride 1/10
  • Friday I’m in Love By Camryn Garrett 1/10
  • Always Unique by Nikki Turner *adult* 1/10
  • Lunar Love by Lauren Kung Jessen *adult* 1/10
  • Moonrise Over New Jessup by Jamila Minnicks *adult* 1/10
  • Cool. Awkward. Black Edited by Karen Strong 1/10                        
  • The Girl I Am, Was, And Never Will Be by Shannon Gibney 1/10
  • Ghost Season by Fatin Abbas *adult* 1/10
  • The Green Piano by Roberta Flack & Tonya Bolden *PB* 1/10
  • Get Your Shoes On & Get Ready! By Raphael Warnock *PB* 1/10
  • Basketball Dreams by Chris Paul & Courtner Lovett *PB* 1/10
  • The Year Of Cecily by Lisa Lin 1/17
  • As You Walk By Julian Winters 1/17
  • The Fraud Squad By Kyla Zhao *adult* 1/17
  • This Is Not A Personal Statement by Tracy Badua 1/17
  • Figure It Out, Henri Weldon by Tanita S. Davis *MG* 1/17
  • Decent People by De’Shawn Charles Winslow *adult* 1/17
  • We Are Allies by Taimani Emerald *PB* 1/17
  • My Red, White And Blue by Alana Tyson *PB* 1/17
  • The Ice Cream Man by Glenda Armand & Kim Freeman *PB* 1/17
  • Dragons In A Bag: The Enchanted Bridge by Zetta Elliot *MG Series* 1/17
  • A Mighty Long Way by Carlotta Walls LaNier w/ Lisa Frazier *YA Adaptation* 1/17
  • Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim 1/24
  • Sun Keep Rising by Kristen R. Lee *NA* 1/24
  • Against The Currant by Olivia Matthews *adult* 1/24
  • The Many Fortunes Of Maya by Nicole D. Collier *MG* 1/24
  • Hands by Torrey Maldonado *MG* 1/24
  • The Minus-One Club by Kekla Magoon 1/24
  • This Other Eden by Paul Harding *adult* 1/24
  • A Cowboy Kind Of Thing by Reese Ryan *adult* 1/24
  • Just Like Grandma By Kim Rogers *PB* 1/24
  • A Is For Aretha by Leslie Kwan *PB* 1/24
  • Heroes Of Havensong: Dragonboy by Megan Reyes 1/24
  • Retro by Sofia LaPuente & Jarrod Shusterman 1/24
  • The Buried & The Bound by Rochelle Hassan 1/24
  • The Chinese Groove by Kathryn Ma *adult* 1/24
  • Click To Subscribe by G.L Tomas *adult* 1/28
  • The Davenports by Krystal Marquis 1/31
  • The Cartographers by Amy Zhang 1/31
  • The Second You’re Single by Cara Tanamachi *adult* 1/31
  • Cameron Battle And The Escape Trials by Jamar J. Perry *MG series* 1/31
  • Reggie And Delilah’s Year Of Falling by Elise Bryant 1/31
  • Where The Black Flowers Bloom by Ronald L. Smith *MG* 1/31
  • How To Be A (Young) AntiRacist by Ibram X. Kendi & Nic Stone *MG* 1/31
  • The (Young) AntiRacist’s Workbook: Questions For Changemakers by Ibram X. Kendi & Nic Stone *MG* 1/31
  • Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni *adult* 1/31
  • Platanos Go With Everything by Lissette Norman *PB* 1/31
  • One Girl In All The World by Kendare Blake 1/31
  • Promise Boys by Nick Brooks 1/31
  • River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer *adult* 1/31
  • Maame A Novel by Jessica George *adult* 1/31
  • I Did It Myself by Saniyyah Khalilallah *PB* 1/31
  • I Help At Home! By Saniyyah Khalilallah *PB* 1/31
  • The Black Queen by Jumata Emill 1/31
  • How to Win A Break Up by Farah Heron *adult* 1/31
  • Nell Plants a Tree By Anne Wynter *PB* 1/31
  • That Flag By Tameka Fryer Brown *PB* 1/31
  • You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce by Chiquita Mullins Lee & Carmella Van Vleet *PB* 1/31
  • Then Everything Happens at Once By M-E Girard 1/31
  • Play the Game By Charlene Allen 1/31
This is really me!

Whew, the book world is trying to break our bank accounts, library holds and most importantly, our TBR piles! But, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Needless to say, the ARC Gods have been kind to me so here are the ones I have for this month:

  • Highly Suspicious And Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
  • Song Of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao
  • The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim
  • 16 & Pregnant A Novel By LaLa Thomas
  • Sincerely Sicily by Tamika Burgess *MG*
  • Breakup From Hell by Ann Davila Cardinal
  • We Are All So Good At Smiling by Amber McBride
  • Friday I’m in Love By Camryn Garrett
  • Cool. Awkward. Black Edited by Karen Strong
  • As You Walk By Julian Winters
  • The Fraud Squad By Kyla Zhao *adult*
  • Figure It Out, Henri Weldon by Tanita S. Davis *MG*
  • Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim
  • Against The Currant by Olivia Matthews *adult
  • The Many Fortunes Of Maya by Nicole D. Collier *MG*
  • The Minus-One Club by Kekla Magoon
  • The Davenports by Krystal Marquis
  • Reggie And Delilah’s Year Of Falling by Elise Bryant
  • Where The Black Flowers Bloom by Ronald L. Smith *MG*
  • Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni *adult*
  • Promise Boys by Nick Brooks
  • The Black Queen by Jumata Emill
  • Play the Game By Charlene Allen
I got so much reading to do, lol

Of these, I have read:

  • Highly Suspicious And Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
  • Song Of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amelie Wen Zhao
  • The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim
  • Sincerely Sicily by Tamika Burgess *MG*
  • Breakup From Hell by Ann Davila Cardinal
  • Currently Reading: 16 & Pregnant A Novel By LaLa Thomas
I’m proud of me for being a little ahead, lol

Alright y’all! That’s a long list and as you can see, I’ve got some reading to do! Are there any books that you are excited about? Any books by Authors Of Color that I missed? Let me know in the comments or on social media Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic (I’m STILL not sure WHAT is going on that bird app these days) and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like it’s a new year filled with promising new books! Anyways… I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading and a very happy, healthy & bookish new year!

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Bookish Intents For 2023

Hey There! So I can’t believe that we are half way through December and super close to 2023…It feels wild to me whenever I think about that! I can’t possibly be the only one who feels this way?!

I feel this every day!

Anyways, as we get close to this new year, I’ve been thinking what my bookish intent for the upcoming year would be. I did this last year (around this time actually) and honestly, most of the intents are the same (they were VERY good intents, in my opinion). I do want to add to the previous list though.

I do think about this blog A LOT!
  1. Attend More Bookish Events AND share them here. I won’t lie and say that it hasn’t been tough for me with my anxiety around crowds/people to attend in person stuff, it has been. I’ve had to really push myself but the few in person book events I’ve gone to have felt like returning home in a sense. It may not be a ton of events (it wasn’t this past year) but I should share them with you all, even if it’s just pictures and a paragraph…this is an adventure we’ve decided to be on together (me, writing this blog and you, reading it) and I have to respect that bond *insert Kool-aid smile here*.
truly!

2) Go back to doing more Instagram lives. I used to do them a ton but I won’t lie, depression has been kicking me in the ass and the want to be in front of a camera & engage has not been there. Even though I have a stack of books to share and always love talking books, in general, my brain just hasn’t been seeing it for the rest of me! I do really need to get back to that because I enjoyed singing “the bookmail song”, even when certain friends pressure me to put more energy into it (LOL, shout out to them)! I would also love to share those links here afterward.

Me, begging my brain to want to do things!

3) To stay on top of posting/remain consistent. This year, I slipped a little and didn’t post 2 weeks (and there was one posted next day into the new week) and I didn’t like that feeling. I actually really love writing this blog, though my energy isn’t always at a 100%. It’s been especially rough with how draining my work has felt at times which hinders my ability to give what I want to. I have been escaping into books and y’all wouldn’t know how much reading I’ve been doing because I haven’t shared EVERY book I’ve read (but you’ll see in my reading wrap up for the year in January). I want to do better with that as well.

I really can and I want to show that I can!

4) To find a good book-blog-life balance. This is a bit tough for me and I’m working on that. Like I said previously, I’ve been escaping into books and it’s pretty much in the literal sense (adult romances with lots of spice have been my go-to & bonus if they are on audio, lol). If I’m not sleeping or working, I’m reading. So as much as I love reading, I do need to do better with the other aspects of my life, which include this blog!

It’s true…I gotta work on hyping up myself AND these books!

All the other intents remain the same:

  • Remain Transparent & Authentic (as always!)
  • To Share More Of What I Read (I ended up doing this through lists and I honestly love that format, I think I will keep it, lol)
  • To Engage More On Social Media. (this is still tough. I think after my IG got hacked, I lost some of that fervor I had for posting, not that it was so much before than but it was more)
  • To Do More Author Interviews (and I really want to make this one possible because I enjoy talking books with authors but y’all don’t ever get to see those conversations since they are often times DMs…sometimes there are public tweets)
I do and I believe I do!

Are you setting bookish intents for the new year? Would you want to share them? If so, please do share them in the comments or the socials you can find me on which are: Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic (I’m not sure WHAT is going on that bird app these days) and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’m keeping up with my intents for the year! I also have to take a second to thank those of you who ARE subscribed because the blog recently reached 600 and I’m beyond grateful for those of you who have chosen to rock with me! *cues airhorns* Anyways… I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading and holidays!

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Sometimes My Brain Doesn’t Shut Up When I Finish A Book

Hey Y’all! So when I was trying to figure out what to write about this week, I kept coming up blank until the moment I started to rest my eyes (that’s code for take a nap, lol) and all I could think about is the book I’m currently reading (if you are wondering, its the E-ARC of Highly Suspicious And Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert and the answer is yes, you need to get it when it comes out next year). Then it hit me that my brain doesn’t shut up when it comes to books, lol.

Me, when the inspiration hit

I don’t know about you all but sometimes my brain just decides that it wants to think about a book when I’ve had to pause reading or have just finished it. I really wish it wouldn’t do that, especially when I’m getting ready to go to sleep! And then sometimes when I get to sleep, I end up dreaming about the book as if to continue the story because my brain is mad that we had to stop reading (which, yes, why do we have to sleep when we could be reading?!)! Why is my brain like this? I have no idea and I’m not sure I feel like studying it to try to understand.

no, seriously, why am I & my brain like this?!

Anyways, I figured that I would share a few books where my brain pulled these shenanigans on my body when it was trying to find rest.

Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn: I both dreamt and thought about this whooper of a sequel when I wasn’t reading it and finished it. However, I don’t think anyone who has read Legendborn (the first book, see blog post linked to understand my obsession) and this book would feel like that’s weird because Tracy loves to leave us hanging with our fingers on the edge of the cliff and her foot is on it. The 500+ pages of this sequel will have you in a literal chokehold and the only thing you can be mad about that with is the fact that you have to get sleep and do adult things like work, study or parent. Shoutout to my girl Alice getting more page time in this book, btw!

This could be Tracy & her publisher…looking at all of us

Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan *adult*: I listened to the audiobook and as I listened, I UNDERSTOOD why this book was all up and down my social media TLs… All I could think about was this book when I wasn’t listening to it and it didn’t help that 2 of my favorite narrators were reading, Jakobi Diem & Wesleigh Siobhan, and when either or both of them is on a book, they are going to read the HECK out of that book. This book me through such a range of emotions and there was an added bonus of spice…whewwww Chile! I promptly went looking into her other audiobooks and listened to 2 others (some of the others had narrators I wasn’t wild about). For my adult folx, this was a worthwhile read and maybe have tissues near by too!

For so many reasons!

Strike The Zither by Joan He: So, I’m a fan of Joan and I talked about this book in my owing netgalley post but this book also had me in a dream chokehold as well. If this book doesn’t get a series or movie, that is a seriously missed opportunity (It gives Chinese Historical Drama vibes and those never disappoint)! Also, Joan recently announced sequel’s title, which is Sound The Gong, and I’m super excited about it!

Accurate portrayal of the MC

The Weight Of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson: To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book by Tiffany that didn’t have me thinking about it days and months after I finish. This book really gave the YA Passing X Carrie vibes that I never knew that I needed. TWOB definitely deserves a TV series (we did a 2 part discussion on this book on clubhouse because so many of us felt so strongly).

Especially when it gets to the pivotal moment in the book when they learned who was REALLY mad

Rust In The Root by Justina Ireland: This is one I dreamt about while I was reading and even when I finished it for several nights…I really hope this book gets a sequel because it was SO GOOD. It gave me everything I could’ve asked for from the Magical Black Girl, historical references (it takes place in the 1930’s) and comedic moments with a dash of darkness. If this book doesn’t get a movie in the near future, we should ALL riot!

From start to finish my friends!

I’m going to list a few others cause I believe I talked about them in past posts:

Get into allllll of these books!

Does anyone else find their brain does this? Or is this just me? If you go through this, what books have had your brain on overdrive? Let me know here in the comments or on the socials-Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I just finished a book that has me obsessing about it in my sleep! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading!

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Deck The Halls With Brand New Books: December Releases

Hey Y’all! First, I just wanted to apologize for my lack of a post last week. I was not feeling well and just wanted to sleep it off. So thank you for your understanding!

I appreciate you!

Holy cow y’all…ITS DECEMBER! The year is almost over and it feels so weird to say. The year has both dragged and moved quickly, if that makes any type of sense =0/. With it being a new month, it means we’ve got new books to deck our halls! This list isn’t a very long one, which some of y’all may find a relief or not! As usual, please check the dates because they are always subject to change!

I do love new book release lists!
  • Holy Parrot by Angel A *adult* 12/1
  • The Union by Leah Vernon *adult* 12/1
  • The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev *adult* 12/1
  • A Singh Family Christmas by Nisha Sharma *adult novella* 12/5
  • The Many Dates of Indigo by Amber Samuel *adult* 12/6  
  • A Dash of Salt and Pepper by Kosoko Jackson *adult* 12/6
  • Where It Rains In Color by Denise Crittendon *adult* 12/6
  • Roses, In The Mouth Of A Lion by Bushra Rehma *adult* 12/6
  • Never After: The Broken Mirror by Melissa de la Cruz *sequel* 12/6
  • The Bird Tattoo by Dunya Mikhail *adult* 12/6
  • Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone by Sequoia Nagamatsu *adult* 12/6
  • An Ayah’s Choice by Shahida Rahman *adult* 12/8
  • In It to Win It by Sharon C. Cooper *adult* 12/13
  • A Million To One by Adiba Jaigirdar 12/13
  • One White Crane A Bilingual Counting Book of the Months by Vickie Lee & Joey Chou *PB* 12/13
  • The Thorn Puller by Hiromi Ito *adult* 12/13
  • Shy by Bukimi Miki 12/13
  • Radiant Red, Vol. 1 by Cherish Chen 12/13
  • How We Say I Love You by Nicole Chen *PB* 12/13
  • Pregnant by The Playboy by Jackie Lau *adult* 12/13
  • The Daughters of Izdihar by Hadeer Elsbai *adult* 12/14
  • The Rodeo Queen by Marcella Bell *adult* 12/27
  • Miles Lewis: Matchmaker by Kelly Starling Lyons *MG Series* 12/27
  • Welcome to the Island by Dela Costa *MG* 12/27
  • Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson 12/27
  • One Night Only by Jayci Lee *Adult series* 12/27
  • Tomorrow Is New Year’s Day by Aram Kim *PB* 12/27
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Summer Of Ashes, Autumn Of Dust by Ballad Kitaguni 12/27
compared to past months, it’s really not!

I did get a few ARCs for books coming out this month thanks to netgalley and I have finished them all! They are:

  • The Many Dates of Indigo by Amber Samuel *adult*
  • Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone by Sequoia Nagamatsu *adult*
  • In It to Win It by Sharon C. Cooper *adult*
  • A Million To One by Adiba Jaigirdar
I feel like such a winner for being able to say I finished all the ARCs I had for this month, lol!

The great thing about not having a ton of ARCs for this month, I’m able to do a little bit of catch up with past ARCs and books that have been sitting in my TBR before I start on my 2023 ARCS (which will be very soon)… wow y’all, we’re really about to be in another year in a few weeks O_O!

This is my face, thinking about that fact!

Did I miss any books coming out this month by Authors of Color? Are there any you are excited for? Either way, let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve caught up with my TBR (no matter if the notion is a myth, lol)! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading and a very bookish holiday season!

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I Owe Netgalley So Many Reviews They May Come After Me Like Sallie Mae

Hey Y’all! I know the title of this post is long but roll with it, lol! So I was thinking about the fact that I have a long list of titles that I owe netgalley reviews/feedback for. Sometimes, I look at the list and I feel super overwhelmed but I try to clear some from it every once in a while… I won’t lie and say that I don’t use these some of these posts to help me get them done…this post will be yet another, lol!

This feels pretty accurate, lol!

I know that netgalley *probably* won’t come after me like they’re Sallie Mae (am I dating myself? lol), but when I look at the list of books I need to give reviews/feedback for makes me think that they actually might. So, in an attempt to clear up some of this list, I’m going to write some of my reviews here. Of course, these are all books that I would recommend anyway but just not doing individual posts or themed (my brain is semi-fried after the week I had)!

Let’s get this party started!

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega; illustrated by Rose Bousamra (MG): I, admittedly, don’t read a lot of graphic novels but I’m really glad to have read this one. I grew up being made fun of for my hair because it was always frizzy and wild (though I’m so glad that I didn’t have to sit in a salon every weekend). It was as if the state of my hair impacted how others saw me (my uncle’s nickname of “Crazy Horse” for me still sticks to me), much as it did the main characters. I loved how relatable the MC was and how her relationship with her hair and family evolved throughout the story. It was a beautiful visual journey of self-acceptance and self-advocacy. I know so many are proud of their natural hair and some who are on the journey to begin to. I think so many would connect with this story.

It’s a celebration! of self

Seoulmates by Susan Lee: This book read like a K-Drama and whenever a book reads that way, I always read them quickly. I enjoyed how lighthearted it was and walked away from it feeling really good but also feeling a range of emotions throughout the experience. Annoyance with certain people [redacted] peopling, feeling the confusion & hurt of a best friend leaving and the joy & relief of reconnecting with said best friend. We were given levels without being drug through the mud in order to experience them! Fans of K-Dramas would enjoy this read.

This is some of the energy this book gives…super cute with a bit of side-eye, lol

Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Sandhya Menon & Evelyn Skye: One thing I didn’t realize I was into is multiple authors co-authoring a book & it not being a anthology but I am! Sure the sections had names but this book is a novel with characters that are intertwined by their friendship and desire for romantic love. This book gave light, magical and a bit of a myth that is specific to the story. These authors did an amazing job at bringing their voices and writing styles together to create this story where three friends support each other as they live out their own love stories against the clock. This book was pretty light though there is a touch of grief that doesn’t deter the story and its sweetness at all!

Very this, especially since they were all hyper-aware of the time!

Eternally Yours Edited by Patrice Caldwell: As some of you all know, I’m a sucker for an anthology (this post tells you that) and Patrice’s last anthology, A Phoenix First Must Burn, was so good and this one didn’t disappoint either. We got vampires, undead, witches, and other monster love stories without a scary edge to them (I’m a scaredy cat, I’m not ashamed to say that). As usual, I did have a favorite story but I rather you all read and then tell me what YOUR favorite was (see what I did there? *wink*). Patrice has completely cemented why I would read any anthology she edits and books she writes!

Anthologies from Patrice please!

Somebody I Used To Know by Dana L. Davis: First, the cover of this book is stunning. When I first saw it, my bookish spidey senses tingled and I knew I wanted to read it. This was a great read that was a balance of light and heavy. Its a story of second chances in reconnection, friendship and romance. I had moments where I laughed, where my eyes got a little watery and where I cheered. I’m also a sucker for two Black kids falling in friendship and love because it’s truly a beautiful thing (I still don’t think we have nearly enough of those stories right now). I flew through this book and I wouldn’t be surprised if you do too when you read!

This is the energy!

Salt & Sugar by Rebecca Carvalho: I love when a book takes us to a country I’ve never been before (cause I’m afraid of flying & this is the easiest way to travel without leaving my home or spending thousands of dollars) and this book takes us to Brazil where two bakeries have a multi-generational rivalry going and the youngest of these generations have to decide if they want to keep it going or not. In a way, it gives Romeo & Juliet but without the unnecessary deaths (that is still very weird to me, btw). There are plenty of laughs and mishaps throughout this story that created balance to the grief that was laced throughout it. With there being the sudden loss of a beloved grandparent & parent, I was a bit in my feels but didn’t feel overwhelmed. This was a really nice read.

This is kind of on the nose for the MC

Drizzle, Dreams And Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad: I love a book where we get multiple points of view but also varying stories and this book gives us that. We get four seasons, four different types of expression, four sisters and a really cool dad. We get to see all their love stories play out in different ways and how they all influence each other. There are some points of shared grief but those moments weren’t super heavy for long (it was a really good reminder for me that everyone processed the same loss(es) differently). From prologue to epilogue, I enjoyed this book!

I love a good seasonal love story!

Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto: I loved Jesse’s MG Theo Tan And The Fox Spirit and was really excited to read this book. I will tell you that this book was a very far departure from that MG but the humor is still there but from hormonal teenagers perspectives. This book gives us dual perspectives and travel to Indonesia where one lives & the other’s parent immigrated from. The beginnings of both their stories had me in tears (of laughter) and how they came to meet was brilliant. This book was great from start to finish and I’ve recommended it quite a bit as I found it quite relatable (as a once horny teen myself).

I can neither confirm nor deny if this was me in certain situations, lol!

Briarcliff Prep by Brianna Peppins: I’m not going to lie…I thought this book was going to be a thriller of sorts based off the title & cover (for some reason, they give me that & I am a chronic non-reader of synopses), especially since it takes place at a boarding school but alas, it is not…I just knew I really wanted to read it! I loved this book about the MC, Avi, following the footsteps of her mother & older sister but with a plan to make a place for herself in this new place. I also loved that there was a little bit of a love story but the larger part was the friendships she establishes while navigating her relationship with her sister. There could be some triggers based upon experience but I ate this book up.

Avi, while writing at times

Strike The Zither by Joan He: So my first intro to Joan was Descendant Of The Crane (which I still really want a sequel to because reasons) and loved that book so much so I was so glad when she announced this book, which is a fantasy like DOTC. This book was so good! The cast of characters were so great, an MC who is too smart for her own good with a cause that she believes in and a twist that I definitely didn’t see coming. I was biting my nails most of the time I was reading but enjoyed the entire experience. It also doesn’t help that I’m complete trash for a period book of any kind (it’s the nerd in me, what can I say?!)! I’m super anxious for book two (which I believe we get in 2023…it feels so far but in reality isn’t).

I’m not saying this is a moment in the book but this gives the energy of one or two *smirks*, lol!

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds (out 11/29/22): This is another book that had a cover that I was absolutely enamored with. Someone posted about pre-ordering on Twitter and I had to co-sign how great this book is. I tweeted “I read #WeDeserveMonuments and I promise you it’s worth your time. Connecting with a dying grandparent, learning your history, self-discovery, love in the form of friendship & romance and 2 Black girls finding it in both forms! Yea, go preorder!” I still stand by this statement and add that there maybe a twist or two that you don’t see coming in this book along with varying timelines, points of view outside of the MCs & family tea. And because this needs repeating, adolescent Black Love, which I love to see in all forms. So definitely pre-order!

There is also an abundance of this in this book!

Whew, that was a lot of typing but I think that should satiate netgalley for a second, lol! Also, these are all great books that I think you all might enjoy if you have the same taste in books as I do!

That really was a lot!

Are you like me and read the E-ARCs from netgalley (I barely mess with edelweiss so I won’t hold y’all on that) and then take forever to give feedback? What is your relationship like with netgalley? Do you keep your ratio up with them so you remain in their good graces or do you think they will come after you like Sallie Mae did for her money back (before she sold off our debts to let others chase us)? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve written a bunch of feedback on netgalley (which I just technically did, lol)! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading along with the start of the holiday season!

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Immigrant Parents Just Don’t Understand-Some Books With Immigrant Parents

Hey Y’all! Last week, I had to take a break because my brain felt a bit off but I’m back! Thank you for your patience! So I’ve mentioned in plenty of posts that I am the child of Immigrants. This is a big part of who I am and guides so much of how I move through this world. I’m honestly so honored and proud to hold such a title. There is also another layer of being first generation born in this country as well! There is so much to unpack about these experiences but I still love having this as part of my background.

Incrediblyyyyyy proud!

While the title of this is “Immigrant Parents Just Don’t Understand”, its the same of some of us not understanding them either. We won’t ever know their sacrifices in the same way, their thought processes and their experiences. We don’t understand all that they are just as they don’t understand all that we are. It’s truly a learning experience. There is so much to navigate in these sorts of relationships because, as you guessed it, I’m speaking from first hand experiences.

Me, trying to navigate my relationship with my own parents, lol

Whenever I read a book where they mention having Immigrant parents, I immediately connect with it. It’s truly a unique experience and it isn’t talked about a lot. It honestly should be talked about more often. With this in mind, I wanted to share a list of a few books where they mention being a child of immigrants or has the experiences of children of immigrants. I’m just sharing a short list because my brain is still gathering itself but there will be several books in different genres ranges.

  • Middle Grade
    • Karthik Delivers by Sheela Chari
    • The Curse On Spectacle Key by Chantel Acevedo
    • Adrift by Tanya Guerrero
    • Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega
  • Young Adult
    • Boys I Know by Anna Garcia
    • Twice As Perfect by Louise Onome
    • The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park
    • Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto
    • Sunny G’s Series Of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon
    • Drizzle, Dreams And Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad
  • Adult
    • A Lowcountry Bride by Preslaysa Williams
    • A Touch Of Moonlight by Yaffa S. Santos
    • Partners In Crime by Alisha Rai
It is true, sometimes they really don’t!

These are all books that I really enjoyed and thought maybe y’all would too! Are there any books that came out recently that have immigrant parents that you enjoyed? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel seen as a child of immigrants! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading!

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Gobble, Gobble, Gobbling November’s New Releases

If you haven’t watched her prime special “Watch Out For The Big Grrrls”, you really should, it’s amazing!

What’s up y’all?! Can you believe that we are about to be in another month and really 2 months before we find ourselves in a whole new year?! That realization just hit me! Time is wild and doesn’t feel real sometimes! I also realized that I probably need to be stopped with the corny new release blog post titles but I truly cannot help it, lol!

It really does feel that way sometimes!

Anyways, with a new month comes new releases and there are so many to look forward to! So let’s hop into this list!

Yes! Let’s!
  • Saha by Cho Nam-Joo *adult 11/1
  • The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson *adult* 11/1
  • Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer; adapted by Monique Gray Smith; illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt 11/1
  • Salt And Sugar by Rebecca Carvalho 11/1
  • Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win by Susan Azim Boyer 11/1
  • Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli *adult* 11/1
  • Shuna’s Journey by Hayao Miyazaki 11/1
  • Chicano Bakes: Recipes for Mexican Pan Dulce, Tamales, and My Favorite Desserts By Esteban Castillo 11/1
  • Hold You Down by Tracy Brown *adult* 11/1
  • The Wicked Remain by Laura Pohl *Sequel* 11/1
  • My Fade Is Fresh by Shauntay Grant *PB* 11/1
  • She Persisted: Maya Lin by Grace Lin *MG* 11/1
  • Who Is The Man In The Air? Michael Jordan by Gabe Soria *MG* 11/1
  • Kiss Me, Catalina by Priscilla Oliveras *adult series* 11/1
  • I Want To Die But I Want To Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee *adult* 11/1
  • Love In The Age Of Dragons by Fatima R. Henson 11/1                        
  • Not Done Yet Shirley Chisholm’s Fight for Change by Tameka Fryer Brown *PB* 11/1
  • Colton: Restoration Ranch Book 2 by LaQuette *adult* 11/1
  • Friends Like These by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez 11/1
  • Blue Box by Kouji Miura 11/1
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever The Courage To Dream by Frederick Douglas *PB* 11/1
  • The Aziza Chronicle: Awakening by Trevaugh Roach-Carter 11/4
  • Angels Before Man by Rafael Nicolas 11/7
  • Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn *sequel* 11/8
  • Black Internet Effect by Shavone Charles 11/8
  • Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon 11/8
  • Futureland Battle For The Park by H.D. Hunter *MG* 11/8
  • Better than Fiction by Alexa Martin *adult* 11/8
  • Mihi Ever After by Tae Keller *MG* 11/8
  • A Song For The Unsung by Carole Weatherford & Rob Sanders *PB* 11/8
  • You Matter To Me by Doyin Richards *PB* 11/8
  • She Sang For India by Suma Subramaniam *PB* 11/8
  • Amor Is To Love You by Susie Jaramillo *PB* 11/8
  • I Love My Mommy by Susie Jaramillo *PB* 11/8
  • Nubia The Awakening by Omar Epps & Clarence A. Haynes 11/8
  • My Paati’s Saris by Jyoti Rajan Gopal & Art Twink *PB* 11/8
  • A Sweet Lowcountry Proposal by Preslaysa Williams *adult series* 11/8
  • Fatty Fatty Boom Boom by Rabia Chaudry *adult* 11/8
  • Vegan Africa Plant-Based Recipes from Ethiopia to Senegal by Marie Kacouchia *adult* 11/8
  • True Beauty Volume One by Yaongyi 11/8
  • Ride or Die A Feminist Manifesto for the Well-Being of Black Women by Shanita Hubbard *adult* 11/8
  • While You Sleep by Jennifer Maruno *PB* 11/8
  • Kaiu Shirai X Posuka Demizu: Beyond The Promised Neverland by Kaiu Shirai 11/8
  • The Grimkes: The Legacy Of Slavery In An American Family by Kerri K. Greenidge *adult* 11/8
  • Where Monsters Lurk & Magic Hides edited by Lauren T. Davila 11/10
  • One Scott Deal by Lucy Eden *adult Audio* 11/14
  • Briarcliff Prep by Brianna Peppins 11/15
  • Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne *adult* 11/15
  • Kobe Eats Pizza by Ashley Wian, Joy Ang & Cate Berry *PB* 11/15
  • Put Your Shoes On & Get Ready by Raphael Warnock *PB* 11/15
  • Little Black Girl by Kirby Howell-Baptiste *PB* 11/15
  • Little Black Boy by Kirby Howell-Baptiste *PB* 11/15
  • The Tamarind Tree by Sundara Ramaswarmy *adult* 11/15
  • Convergence by Zoraida Cordova *adult* 11/15
  • Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan *adult* 11/15
  • Africa Risen A New Era of Speculative Fiction by Sheree Renée Thomas; Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki; Zelda Knight 11/15
  • Heart Of The Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan *adult sequel* 11/15
  • Ravaged A Burned Inc. Novel by Naima Simone *adult* 11/15
  • Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse 11/15
  • My GrandMom by Gee-eun Lee & Sophie Bowman *PB* 11/15
  • Other Side of the Tracks By Charity Alyse 11/22
  • Living While Black Portraits of Everyday Resistance by Ajuan Mance *adult* 11/22
  • Embrace Your Size by hara 11/22
  • Where There Is Smoke There Is Fire by Monique Fisher *adult* 11/23
  • The Things We Bring To The Table by Rod Palmer *adult* 11/28
  • We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds 11/29
  • House Of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur 11/29
  • The Second Chance At Rancho Lindo by Sabrina Sol *adult* 11/29
  • We’re in This Together A Young Readers Edition of We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders by Linda Sarsour 11/29
  • What We Found In Hallelujah by Vanessa Miller *adult* 11/29
  • The Universe In You: A Microscopic Journey by Jason Chen *PB* 11/29
That is a decent amount of books coming out!

There are a good amount of books coming out this month and I’m quite excited for so many! I’ve gotten lucky with ARCs thanks to bookish homies, netgalley and publishers. Here are the books I have ARCs for:

  • Salt And Sugar by Rebecca Carvalho
  • Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win by Susan Azim Boyer
  • Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli *adult*
  • Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn *sequel*
  • Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk & Nicola Yoon
  • Better than Fiction by Alexa Martin *adult*
  • Mihi Ever After by Tae Keller *MG*
  • A Sweet Lowcountry Proposal by Preslaysa Williams *adult series*
  • Briarcliff Prep by Brianna Peppins
  • Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne *adult*
  • We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds
This is the energy!

I’m really excited for the books I have ARCs for (not as many as past months but I’m REALLY happy with the ones I have). I haven’t gotten to start any of them because I was playing catch up with October’s ARCs and trying to live life (and napping because work has required A LOT of energy) but I will be hopping to it soon because y’all see whats in that list, lol! My plan is also to go back to ARCs I hadn’t gotten to in the past since I don’t have a lot of ARCs for December!

I willlllll get to those books!

So are there any books you are looking forward to for November? Did I miss any books by Authors of Color that are coming out? Has the realization that the year is almost over hit you too? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like books I’ve been eagerly awaiting are dropping soon! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading as well as start of the holiday season!

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Give A Listen-YA Audiobooks I’ve Enjoyed

Hey There! So I’ve been continuing to listen to audiobooks while driving, cooking, fixing my dogs food (I know, that sounds pretty boujie) and whenever I feel like giving my eyes a bit of a break from whatever I am physically reading. The last post that I did about audiobooks mostly featured adult romances (which I still very much so love to listen to) but this one will have a bit of a mix of Young Adult books I’ve listened to.

We know I don’t look like this but just go with it, lol!

The Sunbearer Trials by Aidan Thomas: If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I love Fantasy and when you add in mythology-inspired then its like winning the lotto for me. This book definitely hit the mark for me. I talked about it a lot after I listened to the ALC because from start to finish, I was invested. I loved how the narrator both narrated Teo’s voice but also the other character’s voices (especially his best friend). I wasn’t bored for one moment and wanted to know what was going to happen next (no, I didn’t speed it up to try to get to it faster, in case you are wondering). If I wasn’t often times driving or walking while listening, I would’ve been at the edge of my seat during the trial scenes. The banter was also really great and I laughed quite often. I also really appreciated the growth that Teo experienced, even though he was really put through the ringer. I’m really excited for the next book because while the end wasn’t the most intense of cliff hangers, we still ended in a sort of limbo *sigh*!

Me, listening for what was to come next!

The Keeper Of Night & The Empress Of Time by Kylie Lee Baker: This is an incredible duology. I listened to The Keeper Of Night in order to get ready to read the E-ARC of The Empress Of Time and the narrator really does a phenomenal job. I could seriously listen to her talk/read all day long because her voice has this resonate quality to it. She read both audiobooks so I kind of knew what I would get in terms of vocal performance but I wasn’t ever bored of her voice or the story when I got to TEOT. I read the E-ARC first and while I was in the middle of reading it, I got approved for the ALC so I did an audio re-read. While I knew what happened in the story, it’s was almost like experiencing it for the first time and I appreciate that as someone who is really not much of a re-reader. As a heads up, TEOT picks up 10 years after the end of TKON but it isn’t disconnected from the first book at all. You also get to meet a bunch of new characters while seeing some old ones. It’s truly a journey and I loved every moment of it, even the points that made me flinch (TW: violence & xenophobia).

Me, quite often while listening! There are some intense moments but I lived for Ren’s anger & strength!

We Are The Scribes by Randi Pink: This was a book that sold me by its beautiful cover but the story definitely affirmed what I felt would be a great one. It combines the past with the present along with grief and joy beautifully; it also made political commentary digestible (it’s not a huge amount but it is apart of the narrative due to the MC’s parent’s professions & pasts). There is also a different take on paranormal influence in how the spirit reaches out to the main character, which I liked (you have to read in order to find out how that is). The narrator did a great job with this story and giving the characters varying voices. I did wish that they had another narrator for the secondary voice in the story so it really denotes that characters age and the levity of what they are saying as well as differentiates them. Other than that, this would be a great book to add to a social studies unit along side books like Black Was The Ink by Michelle Coles, whether the class listens to it together on audiobook or reads the physical/e-book.

This book made me want to write!

The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park: This was just a feel good listen/read. You’ve got rivaling families for reasons unknown to the teens but that still impacts them. Those same teens go from rivals to co-conspirators (in a way) when they work together for the good of more than just their families and possibly even become something more. There was funny moments along with heavy ones but the heavy didn’t last long. There were two narrators, which I always love with dual POV books! They really showed the differences between the two teens, personality wise, and they balanced well. The narrators also did a really great job voicing the family members and their respective best friends group. If you are a fan of holiday romances, this one would be a great one to add to your list this year! Oh, there is also a good amount of talk about food so make sure you have a snack nearby if you tend to get hungry while listening to talk about food!

Whenever the MCs were at an impasse

I have a two other audiobooks that I’m looking forward to listening to, which are Monarch Rising by Harper Glenn and Beasts Of Ruin (the sequel to Beasts Of Prey) by Ayana Gray (and they have multiple narrators, which greatly delights my Spirit)! Are there any audiobooks that you have listened to that you’ve enjoyed? Have you listened to any of these audiobooks? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve listened to some seriously engaging audiobooks! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading!

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I’m All For Bookish Love: Adult Romances Centered Around Books

Hey Y’all! So you all know that I have really gotten into adult romances this year. They serve as really great escapes and I do tend to run through them very quickly when my schedule allows. Getting wrapped up in other’s love stories is almost like an addiction for me. I absolutely live for the banter and tension, especially if there are laugh out loud moments and some (okay, a lot of) spice too.

Romances really are! No one warned me of this!

With all the things that adult romances offer, the HEA (Happily Ever After) being the guarantee and all, they feel even better when they are centered around books/bookish people…it gives my secretly romantic and easily melty heart hope. There are a few that I read in recent months that I really enjoyed. All of these are out now so you don’t have to wait!

Meeeee when I read a bookish romance!

Booked On A Feeling by Jayci Lee: I’m a sucker for a series/companion novels and am so glad that I got to read the first two books, A Sweet Mess and The Dating Dare, especially when this one had cameos with characters from them. Who wouldn’t love reading a book where there is a lot of time spent in a bookstore? The entire time, it just felt right between the two main characters (which this was dual POV, so SCORE) who are 1) best friends, 2) seeking something new and 3) finding the beauty of what has always been there. This was such a great book with lots of lusty thoughts, especially when toolbelts are involved (you have to read to understand, lol), some spicy moments and nosy family & friends.

It wasn’t quite like this but the energy is kind of there, lol

The Very Secret Society Of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna: Another type of book I love is one that involves magic so if you add a potential love story to it, then I’m sold! While one main character is a, you guess it, a witch, the other is a (grumpy) librarian in terms of the romance in the story; we get multiple perspectives, not just the main characters and how various relationships blossom throughout the story. I do love a story where there are layers to it and love grows in different & beautiful ways! There were also some funny moments because whenever children are present in a story, you are bound to be entertained in some way, shape or form (I know this all too well)! There are also some secrets to uncover as well. What are they might you ask? Well, you just have to read to find out!

There are quite a few to feel in different ways, if I’m being honest!

The Boy With The Bookstore by Sarah Echavarre Smith: There are 2 things that always go well together in my mind and that is books & baked goods, so when a book delivers BOTH of these things, it makes me extremely happy (and hungry). With one MC owning a bakery and the other a bookstore (and from what I read, that “boy” is definitely a man my friends), it’s truly like a match made in heaven. We also get cameos from beloved pets (shoutout to my fellow furparents out there). There’s mutual crushing, heated moments, funny banter, family interventions and plenty of book & food talk throughout the book! Definitely have some snacks nearby while reading!

Me, stuffing my face then reaching for my book

The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale: If you’re a fan of stories where there is mistaken identity, identity switching and even a bit of identity “borrowing”, this is a book that you will really enjoy! One main character is an author and the other is an actor & both seem to be in career and/or personal life slumps. When these two characters meet, the tension begins to build right away. This book had some really hilarious banter (with things that I totally could see myself saying), I laughed out loud quite a lot. There is also more spice in this book than Lillie’s first book, which shocked the ish out of me in the best of ways (I really love when books do that)! Anyways, two characters finding their way to each other (so to speak) while also finding themselves no matter the pretenses, I’m here for it!

There are a few moments of this sentiment/reaction

By The Book by Jasmine Guillory: If you are a fan of Beauty And The Beast as well as Black Love, this would definitely be the book for you. I remember seeing the cover and instantly knowing that I wanted to read it. We get an MC who is a publishing professional that is attempting to help a reclusive & surly author finish his book so you know there are moments of bookish banter, grumpy but potentially heated glares/glances and change of hearts. This is not a super steamy book (it is published under Disney after all) but it will leave your bookish heart filled (as it did mine).

With a capital L and a capital B (Black), I truly do!

So those are 5 books that left my heart wanting more bookish love stories (which I do hope for in the future) but still feeling full. Are there any adult romances that you have read that meet the bookish criteria in one way or another? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve read a bunch of bookish romances! Yet again, thank you so much for being here and hope you continue to be! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wish you happy reading!

Byeeeee
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Let’s Celebrate: I Hit 100 Books Read For The Free Black Women’s Library Challenge

Hey Y’all! So for those who have been reading this blog for a while or had been following me for a while on social media (and if you haven’t now you will), know that I have been participating in the Free Black Women’s Library Challenge for several years. If you aren’t aware of it, every year, they set a number of books to aspire to read by Black Women & Non-Binary Authors and they provide a list of suggested genres, if you want to look at last years list, here is the link. TFBWL Reading Challenge is honestly the only one that I actually take part in and keep track of as I really aim to prioritize Black Authors, especially Women & Non-Binary, in my reading.

In case you were wondering!

Last year, I read 80 books that fit this criteria, which was at least 5-10 books more than the previous year (I can’t remember the previous year’s total). My goal is always to read the same amount of books but really to surpass the previous year. I’m super excited that I have hit 100 books varying from Middle grade to Adult and range from contemporary to fantasy (clearly because now this post exists)! I also like to go into the new year reading a book by a Black Woman so that I’m keeping in line with my intention to keep up with this challenge.

This is the energy I feel!

Since I was so very excited about hitting this major milestone, I figured that I would share the list of books read thus far (I have more in my TBR to read that WILL get read but I’m not setting an end goal as I like going with the flow). I’ll share if they are adult, new adult, young adult or middle grade; the format I read it in and if there is a Blog post about it, I will link it!

Janelle Monae is forever a mood!
  1. Along For The Ride by Mimi Grace E-Book *adult*
  2. Required Reading For The Disenfranchised Freshman by Kristen Lee E-ARC *NA*
  3. Asking For A Friend by Andi Osho ARC *adult*
  4. Black Girls Must Be Magic by Jayne Allen E-ARC *adult*
  5. Cherish Farrah by Bethany C. Morrow E-ARC *adult*
  6. Black Love Matters edited by Jessica C. Pryde E-ARC *adult*
  7. The Great Mrs. Elias by Barbara Chase-Riboud ARC *adult*
  8. You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen E-ARC *YA*
  9. Shuri: Symbiosis by Nic Stone Print book *MG*
  10. A Comb Of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow ARC *MG*
  11. Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys E-ARC *YA*
  12. The Rumor Game by Dhonielle Clayton & Sona Charaipotra E-ARC *YA*
  13. Turning by Joy L. Smith ARC *YA*
  14. Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye ARC *YA*
  15. When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo E-ARC *adult*
  16. Working Through It by Kasha Thompson E-ARC *adult*
  17. Saavy Sheldon Feels Good As Hell by Taj McCoy ARC *adult*
  18. Sir Fig Newton And The Science Of Persistence by Sonja Thomas E-ARC *MG*
  19. A Walk In The Park by Rebekah Weatherspoon Audio-Novella *adult*
  20. You Are More Than Magic by Minda Harts E-ARC *YA*
  21. The Perfect Play by G.S. Carr Audio-Novella *adult*
  22. Sun Of A Beach by Mia Sosa Audio-Novella *adult*
  23. Nothing Burns As Bright As You by Ashley Woodfolk E-ARC *YA*
  24. The Blood Trials by N.E. Davenport ARC *NA*
  25. Business Not As Usual by Sharon C. Cooper E-ARC *adult*
  26. The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa E-Book *adult*
  27. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa E-ARC *adult*
  28. What A Match by Mimi Grace E-ARC *adult*
  29. Hope And Glory by Jendella Benson ARC *adult*
  30. Half Light by Tayari Jones Audio-Novella *adult*
  31. In The Key Of Us by Mariama J. Lockington E-ARC *MG*
  32. The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton E-ARC *MG*
  33. By The Book by Jasmine Guillory E-ARC *adult*
  34. Confessions Of An Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney ARC *YA*
  35. Rise Up, Burn Down by Vincent Tiredo E-ARC *YA*
  36. The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole Audiobook *adult*
  37. If I Don’t Have You by Sareeta Domingo Audiobook *adult*
  38. Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas ARC *MG*
  39. Confessions Of An Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney Audiobook *YA*
  40. Cafe Con Lychee by Emery Lee ARC *YA*
  41. Should’ve Been by Alexandria House Audio-Novella *adult*
  42. All I Want For Christmas by Michelle Stimpson Audio-Novella *adult*
  43. Temper Me by Alexandria House Audiobook *adult*
  44. Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle E-ARC *YA*
  45. Finding Jupiter by Kelis Rowe E-ARC *YA*
  46. All Signs Point To Yes Edited by G. haron Davis, Cam Montgomery & Adrienne White E-ARC *YA*
  47. Deep In Providence by Riss M. Neilson E-ARC *YA*
  48. The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna E-ARC *YA*
  49. Touch Me by Alexandria House Audiobook *adult*
  50. Hazel And Gray by Nic Stone Audio-Novella *YA*
  51. Before Her by Jacqueline Woodson Audio-Novella/Short *adult*
  52. Zyla & Kai by Kristina Forest E-ARC *YA*
  53. Love Again by Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm Audiobook *adult*
  54. The Signs And Wonders Of Tuna Rashad by Natasha Deen E-ARC *YA*
  55. Fibbed by Elizabeth Agyemang E-ARC *MG*
  56. Off Script by Ashley Marie E-ARC *adult*
  57. Thank You, Next by Andie J. Christopher E-ARC *adult*
  58. Teach Me by Alexandria House Audiobook *adult*
  59. Onyeka And The Academy Of The Sun by Tola Okogwa E-ARC *MG*
  60. This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron ARC *YA*
  61. Fake It Till You Back It by Jamie Wesley E-ARC *adult*
  62. On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi E-ARC *NA*
  63. The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi E-ARC *adult*
  64. Good Morning, Love by Ashley M. Coleman E-ARC *adult*
  65. American Royalty by Tracey Livesay E-ARC *adult*
  66. The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman E-ARC *YA*
  67. Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola ARC *NA*
  68. Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser & Robyn Smith E-ARC *adult*
  69. Be Real, Macy Weaver by Lakita Wilson E-ARC *MG*
  70. Symona’s Still Single by Lisa Bent Audiobook *adult*
  71. Graceful Burdens by Roxane Gay Audio-Novella/Short *adult*
  72. Sister Mother Warrior by Vanessa Riley ARC *adult*
  73. Lila by Naima Coster Audio-Novella/Short *adult*
  74. Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander E-ARC *adult*
  75. The Accidental Pin-Up by Danielle Jackson E-ARC *adult*
  76. Love In Color by Bolu Babalola Audiobook *NA*
  77. Have We Met by Camille Baker Audiobook *adult*
  78. The Moment We Met by Camille Baker Audiobook *adult*
  79. Twice As Perfect by Louise Onome E-ARC *YA*
  80. Love Times Infinity by Lane Clarke ARC *YA*
  81. Nobody’s Princess by Erica Ridley E-ARC *adult*
  82. Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson E-book *adult*
  83. Knot Again by Kwana Jackson E-ARC *adult*
  84. The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon E-Book *Adult*
  85. The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon E-Book *adult*
  86. The Hook-Up Plan by Farrah Rochon E-ARC *adult*
  87. Office Hours by Katrina Jackson Audiobook *adult*
  88. Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sivak E-ARC *adult*
  89. Almost There by Farrah Rochon ALC *YA*
  90. Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas E-ARC *YA*
  91. A Taste Of Magic by J.Elle E-ARC *YA*
  92. Serwah Boeting’s Guide To Vampire Hunting by Roseanne Brown E-ARC *MG*
  93. The Weight Of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson ARC *YA*
  94. The Rules Of Engagement by Selena Montgomery E-ARC *adult*
  95. The Two Lives Of Sara by Catherine Adel West ARC *adult*
  96. To Win A Prince by Toni Shiloh E-ARC *adult*
  97. Vanessa Jared’s Got A Man by LaQuette ARC *adult*
  98. Drunk On Love by Jasmine Guillory E-ARC *adult*
  99. Rust In The Root by Justina Ireland ARC *YA*
  100. Eternally Yours Edited By Patrice Caldwell E-ARC *YA*
  101. We Are The Scribes by Randi Pink ALC *YA*
My spirit so do deeply excited by this!

Okay so I read a little over 100 books (including one reread in a different format). I got really into adult romance along with audiobooks, and if they are both, even better! I even read some adult fiction (that shocked me as well)! I’ve really branched out with my reading and I think it is, in part, due to this challenge! If you are wondering how to get into it, just start documenting your books and when you post, use their hashtags that are in the link I posted earlier in the post! If you aren’t following them on social media, I would highly recommend to: IG @thefreeblackwomenslibrary and facebook.

This is the energy y’all!

Are you apart of a challenge like this one? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments here or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve read over 100 books by Black Women & Non-Binary Authors! Until the next post, I’m sending y’all bookish love and wishing happy reading!

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Don’t Be Spooked By All These Books Coming Out In October

What’s Up? So September has come and gone so quickly I feel like I’ve gotten whiplash (hopefully I’m not the only one) so now we’re entering into a new pub month along with Spooky Season! October is bringing us some great books so we are just going to get right into this list!

Yes!
  • The Pain We Carry Healing from Complex PTSD for People of Color by Natalie Gutierrez *adult* 10/1
  • Path Of Deceit by Justina Ireland & Tessa Gratton 10/4
  • A Scatter Of Light by Malinda Lo 10/4
  • Token Black Girl A Memoir by Danielle Prescod *adult* 10/4
  • The Lords of Night by J.C. Cervantes *MG* 10/4
  • The Empress Of Time by Kylie Lee Baker *sequel* 10/4
  • Tasting Light Edited by A.R. Capetta & Wade Roush 10/4
  • The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco 10/4
  • Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala *adult series* 10/4
  • Monarch Rising by Harper Glenn 10/4
  • The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park 10/4
  • Shad Hadid And The Alchemists Of Alexandria by George Jreije *MG* 10/14
  • Nothing Ever Happens To Ethan Fairmont by Nick Brooks *MG* 10/4
  • The Blue Scarf by Mohamed Danawi *PB* 10/4
  • Children Of Stardust by Edudzi Adodo *MG* 10/4
  • Brown Is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar *PB* 10/4
  • She Persisted: Wilma Mankiller by Traci Sorell*MG* 10/4
  • The Big Dreams Of Small Creatures by Gail Lerner *MG* 10/4
  • You Should Sit Down For This by Tamera Mowry-Housley *adult* 10/4
  • Anne Of Greenville by Mariko Tamaki 10/4
  • My Road From Damascus by Jamal Saeed *adult* 10/4
  • Bhai For Now By Maleeha Siddiqui 10/4
  • The Forerunner: A Story Of Pain And Perseverance in America by Cori Bush *adult* 10/4
  • Papyrus: The Invention Of Books In The Ancient World by Irene Vallejo *adult* 10/4
  • Maybe An Artist, A Graphic Memoir By Liz Montague *MG* 10/4
  • The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera *prequel* 10/4
  • Soul of a Killer by Abby Collette *adult* 10/4
  • The Tuskegee Student Uprising A History by Brian Jones *adult* 10/4
  • Jackal by Erin E. Adams 10/4
  • If You Could See The Sun by Ann Liang 10/11
  • Black Gold by Laura Obuobi & London Ladd *PB* 10/11
  • Somewhere Sisters by Erika Hayasaki *adult* 10/11
  • Don’t Look Back by Achut Deng & Keely Hutton 10/11
  • My People: Five Decades of Writing About Black Lives By Charlayne Hunter-Gault *adult* 10/11
  • The Picture Bride by Lee Geum-Yi *adult* 10/11
  • Where The Lost Ones Go by Akemi Dawn Bowman *MG* 10/11
  • Nikhil Out Loud by Maulik Pancholy *MG* 10/11
  • Will Do Magic For Small Change by Andrea Hairston *adult* 10/11
  • The Essential Dick Gregory edited by Christian Gregory *adult* 10/11
  • Off The Wall by Theodore Taylor, III *PB* 10/11
  • On The Hustle by Adriana Herrera *adult* 10/11
  • Black Power Kitchen by Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao & Lester Walker *adult* 10/11
  • The Miracle Of Salt by Naomi Duguis *adult* 10/11
  • Black Panther: Panther’s Rage by Sheree Renée Thomas 10/11
  • I Miss You, I Hate This by Sara Saedi 10/11
  • Blood Moon Prophecy The Legend of the Nyx by Dilani Kahawala 10/11
  • An American Martyr In Persia by Reza Aslan *adult* 10/11
  • Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking by Raquel V. Reyes *adult series* 10/11
  • The Name-Bearer by Natalia Hernandez 10/11
  • Daughters of the New Year A Novel by E.M. Tran *adult* 10/11
  • Everyone Hates Kelsie Miller by Meredith Ireland 10/11
  • When Trees Fall by Dale Mahfood *adult* 10/15
  • Marya Khan And The Incredible Henna Party by Saadia Faruqi *MG Series* 10/18
  • Road Of The Lost by Nafiza Azad 10/18
  • Drizzle, Dreams and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad 10/18
  • The Spirit Queen by Arnée Flores 10/18
  • Frizzy by Claribel Ortega *MG* 10/18
  • Marikit And The Ocean Of Stars by Caris Avendano Cruz *MG* 10/18
  • Miles Morales: Stranger Tides by Justin A. Reynolds *MG Series* 10/18
  • Love from Mecca to Medina By S. K. Ali 10/18
  • We Are The Scribes by Randi Pink 10/18
  • Partners In Crime by Alisha Rai *adult* 10/18
  • Somebody That I Used To Know by Dana L. Davis 10/18
  • The Heartbeat Of Wounded Knee (YA Adaptation) by David Treuer 10/18
  • Twelve Dinging Doorbells by Tameka Fryer Brown *PB* 10/18
  • The Talk by Alicia D. Williams *PB* 10/18
  • When We Were Sisters by Fatimah Asghar *adult* 10/18
  • I Can’t Wait To Call You My Wife by Rita Roberts *adult* 10/18
  • Black Women Will Save The World by April Ryan *adult* 10/18
  • Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure by Hena Khan *MG* 10/18
  • African Art Now 50 Pioneers Defining African Art for the Twenty-First Century by Osei Bonsu *adult* 10/18
  • My Nest of Silence by Matt Faulkner 10/18
  • Mama’s Home by Shay Youngblood *PB* 10/18
  • Picture Perfect by Jeevani Charika *adult* 10/21
  • Into The Riverlands by Nghi Vo *adult sequel* 10/25
  • The Stand-Up Groomsman by Jackie Lau *adult* 10/25
  • A Touch of Moonlight by Yaffa S. Santos *adult* 10/25
  • The Sevenfold Hunters By Rose Egal 10/25
  • Strike The Zither by Joan He 10/25
  • Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris *adult* 10/25
  • Maybe This Christmas by Ieshia Wiedlin *adult* 10/25
  • A Seed In The Sun by Aida Salazar 10/25
  • Go, Sled! Go! By James Yang *PB* 10/25
  • Into The Riverlands by Nghi Vo *adult* 10/25
  • João by a Thread by Roger Mello *PB* 10/25
  • Never Catch Me by Darius Simpson *adult* 10/25
  • The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and The Making Of An Empire by Joseph Sassoon *adult* 10/25
  • We Are All We Have by Marina Budhos 10/25
  • Honest With You by Kaye Rockwell *adult* 10/30
The list isn’t that long this month…*looks away*

That is a good amount of books coming out! I have been blessed with some ARCS/ALCs for a few of these books courtesy of netgalley, MacMillan, HarperCollins (thanks to my friend Doris) and Meredith Ireland (for her book)! Shout Out to y’all! They are:

  • A Scatter Of Light by Malinda Lo
  • The Empress Of Time by Kylie Lee Baker *sequel*
  • The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park
  • Shad Hadid And The Alchemists Of Alexandria by George Jreije *MG*
  • If You Could See The Sun by Ann Liang
  • On The Hustle by Adriana Herrera *adult*
  • Everyone Hates Kelsie Miller by Meredith Ireland
  • Marya Khan And The Incredible Henna Party by Saadia Faruqi *MG Series*
  • Road Of The Lost by Nafiza Azad
  • Drizzle, Dreams and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad
  • Frizzy by Claribel Ortega *MG*
  • Marikit And The Ocean Of Stars by Caris Avendano Cruz *MG*
  • We Are The Scribes by Randi Pink
  • Partners In Crime by Alisha Rai *adult*
  • Somebody That I Used To Know by Dana L. Davis
  • Picture Perfect by Jeevani Charika *adult*
  • The Stand-Up Groomsman by Jackie Lau *adult*
  • A Touch of Moonlight by Yaffa S. Santos *adult*
  • Strike The Zither by Joan He
  • Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris *adult*
I do! I really do!

Of these, I’ve listened to/read are:

  • The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park
  • Currently Reading: Shad Hadid And The Alchemists Of Alexandria by George Jreije *MG*
I truly believe in my heart of hearts that I will get through this TBR of mine! It’s what I have to tell myself to get through the day, lol!

I’m a tadbit behind on my TBR but I’ll catch up eventually, lol! Hopefully this list didn’t spook you! Are there any books by Authors Of Color that I’ve missed? Are there any that you are really excited for? Let me know in the comments here or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve produced a book release list that doesn’t leave you concerned for your bank accounts or library holds! Until the next post, I’m sending y’all bookish love and wishing you a happy spooky season & reading!

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Middle Grade Is Giving Magical Black Girl Realness And I Live For It

Hey there! So I’ve been in & out of my middle grade bag for the last few months and noticed that authors have really been giving Magical Black Girl Realness and how much I have been living for it (same for Young Adult but this is the MG girlies moment). I’ve been so immersed in my reading, especially these books that I can think of little else.

In every way, shape and form!

I’ve written about other books in past posts like the one about The Marvellers and 4 MGs I Loved (Sir Fig Newton And The Science Of Persistence & Unfadeable was mentioned) but some time has past and more amazing MGs have graced us with their presence. I’ve been wanting to share these books with you so let’s get to it!

Imagine she jumped in for the sake of visuals, lol!

Amari from Amari And The Great Game (sequel to Amari And the Night Brothers) by B.B. Alston: I’m not going to lie, I loved the first book so much and was very nervous about how things were going to go in this book. Sequels are tough, especially when a character like Amari sets such a high bar in the first book and I can tell you that she didn’t disappoint in this book. Amari is just as determined and powerful, catching all the curveballs thrown her way and devising plans like a mastermind. I know that readers everywhere (while they maybe mad with some of the situations) will love this continuation of Amari’s journey and will be excited to see how it will end (whenever we get the third book, of course, lol).

I’m pretty sure this is a pitch but that point is what gives me Amari’s energy when she’s focused

Kyana from The Taste Of Magic by J.Elle: If you read Wings Of Ebony, you will feel right at home in The Taste Of Magic because the setting is close but distinctly it’s own anddd we get Kyana. Kyana is not only this funny, intelligent and community-minded kid who loves to bake (I craved baked goods a lot while reading) but she also learns that there is so much more to her than she could’ve ever imagined beginning with the fact that magic is actually real. She goes on this amazing journey of self-discovery, gaining new friends (outside of her BFF, Nae, and her Memaw) along the way and solving the problems that she finds in her path which would make anyone want to root for her. Kyana’s voice is one that is definitely worth listening to and I, personally, can’t wait to hear more of it!

There was a lot of oven usage & Kyana was like a junior master baker/chef!

Serwa from Serwa Boeting’s Guide To Vampire Hunting by Roseanne Brown: From the very beginning of this book, I knew that I would live for Serwa. Homegirl is ridiculously funny, knowledgeable and kicks serious tail (mostly vampire)! Who wouldn’t love a main character, especially one that is a Black Girl, who serves snark & humor with a side of superhero energy and mythology lessons?! I will sign up for that each and every time with bells on. I know so many kids will see themselves in Serwa; the ones who have moved & had to find their way in new surroundings, had their names mispronounced no matter how many times they correct the offender, is a child of immigrants and fights to show their worth when they are doubted. I can’t wait to see what Serwa gets into in the next book!

Serwa gives this energy to me

There are also a few others that I have loved in the past months and if you haven’t read these books, you really should:

  • Onyeka from Onyeka And The Academy Of The Sun by Tola Okogwu
  • Hasani From Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas
  • Maya (and Frankie) From Maya And The Rising Dark, Maya And The Return Of The Godlings & Maya And The Lord Of Shadows (recently released)
  • Pilar from Pilar Ramirez And The Escape From Zafa by Julian Randall
  • Ella From The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton (Link to that blog post is above)
I wholeheartedly agree, especially the ones in all of these books!

Honestly, I can’t wait to see even more Magical Black Girls make their way to shelves everywhere and into readers hands (I have a few reads coming up with Black Girl Main Characters in both MG & YA that I can’t wait to get to). I always feel so empowered by their journeys and always feel like my younger self could’ve used these characters but feel so glad that kids get them now and in the future.

I couldn’t resist!

Okay y’all, I’m ending this here but have you read any of these books? Are any of these Magical Black Girls your favorite? Is there one that I don’t have on this list? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I read Magical Black Girls who spoke to my Spirit & gave what needed to be given! Until the next post, I’m sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading always!

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New Settings, Making New Friends And The Jitters They Bring-MGs That Deal With These Things

Hey everyone! With a new school year underway, we find that this is a high stress time, especially for kids who are entering into a new school/classroom, those who have moved and have to navigate new territory as well as attempt to establish friendships. As an adult and educator, EYE have trouble with this so I know that some of the younger generations, especially the introverted of the pack, may struggle with these daunting things.

Me…at the thought of peopling, especially in new environments

I was scrolling on twitter (not quite doom but cautiously doing so) when I came across the tweet of an author speaking of their child’s struggle with being in a new setting and attempting to make friends (I’m not linking because I haven’t gained permission from them to do so as their child is the focus of it). This author asked for middle grade book suggestions and y’all know how excited I get over book recommendations so I jumped at providing a list. It got me thinking about the fact what I really hadn’t thought about the older kids in this struggle as my work focuses around 3-5 year olds with special needs so I wanted to make amends by sharing the list here and adding a bunch of others I thought of later! Some of these have their own blog posts or were in others so I’ll link those as well.

It really got me thinking and I scoured my reading log and blog to extend this list!
There always is!

All of these books tackle themes from moving, new school/boarding school, making friends, new abilities and a combination of two or more of these things. I apologize that I didn’t give little reviews, this week has been a lot but I hope to get back to that next week! If you have questions about a specific book, do feel free to drop them in the comments and I will answer (spoiler-free, of course)!

I’m finding my footing with work but I haven’t forgotten about y’all!

As an educator, I do want to offer a word (or a few) of advice to the parents/guardians out there of children who are dealing with these struggles. Please openly communicate with your child’s teachers (all of them) about creating a more supportive environment for not just your child but all others who may be having these anxieties. Half the time, it’s not just one student having trouble finding their footing with their peers and their new environments. Ask the teachers about doing class meetings where a safe space is created for the children to speak on whatever is on their hearts. This may open the floor for the kids to connect. There is also the possibility of reaching out to school administrators to set up support groups within the grades. I would also recommend asking to be linked to other parents/guardians of children dealing with social anxiety or are new to the environment. Of course, we want these connections to be made organically but we, as adults, can be a positive catalyst. Oh and if you can find a great child therapist and have the means for one, it would be helpful for the kid(s) to have a neutral party to speak to about their struggles and be offered the tools to deal with them.

And I hope they inspire you!

Anyway, I hope that this list and little bit of advice is helpful. Do you know of any great middle grades by authors of color that should be added to this list? Have any advice for adults who have children having a tough time with new settings or making new friends? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I read some great middle grades that ease my anxious heart! Until the next post, I’m sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading always!

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Chillin’ With The Author: Judy I. Lin

Hi everyone! For this week! I had the pleasure of doing a Q&A with the amazing Judy I. Lin about her Book Of Tea Duology, as the second book A Venom Dark & Sweet, came out on 8/23! So let’s get into this!

First, let me just say thank you for taking time to do this and answer my questions! As you know, I LOVED A Magic Steeped In Poison and was delighted that we didn’t have to wait long for A Venom Dark & Sweet. We are going to make this a spoiler free Q&A because we want people to go out and get your books!

What was it like writing the duology and then having them published within months of each other?

It was definitely stressful while I was writing the second book because of the tight timeline. However, I was happy with the way the story turned out because I was able to revise the first book and put in hints about the second book as well as tweak some of the details to ensure the flow of the story. 

Releasing the second book so close to the debut of the first one though is definitely overwhelming! But I’m very lucky in that I got to go on tour for A Venom Dark and Sweet and meet all the wonderful readers in person. It made me really happy to be able to celebrate the release of the book and see it on the shelves. 

*My face*

What was the catalyst or the inspiration to you writing this duology? Had this been an idea you had for a long time?

I started working on the idea of what would become the Book of Tea duology in Fall 2018 as I was playing around with the concept of “magical tea”. It took a year to research and worldbuild and work on the sample chapters before it sold a little over a year later. 

Very…that’s the answer!

Who was the first character that came to you in the series? Did you envision them or hear their voice?

Ning was always the character who spoke to me from the start. I envisioned someone whose life was already predetermined to assist her father, but then a scroll from the capital arrives and that changes everything. Those scenes didn’t make it into the book, but that was how Ning came to me. 

Whoaaaaa!

So AVDAS is a bit of a shift from AMSIP as this book was a Dual POV (which is my JAM by the way), what was that like for you going from a singular perspective to dual?

I had a ton of fun writing Kang’s POV! I thought it opened up more of the world so that we could go somewhere unexpected with him. But returning to Ning’s POV felt very comfortable and familiar. 

Did you always know that AVDAS would be a dual POV? If not, what inspired the change?

This was a suggestion from my brilliant editor! I had a very short first draft for the sequel initially and I knew something was missing but I wasn’t sure what. She suggested adding Kang’s POV and it all grew from there! 

I also noticed that one perspective was in first person why the other was in 3rd, was there a particular reason behind this?

During the events of the second book, Kang felt very distant from everyone around him. I chose the third person perspective to represent his state of mind and also to distinguish him from Ning’s POV, as ultimately the story still belonged to Ning. 

That makes sense!

I’m actually really glad this was a Dual POV because I found myself wondering the thoughts of the other quite frequently while reading AMSIP so I was pleased that we got their perspective. What was it like writing this character’s experiences?

I don’t want to go into too much detail because of spoilers, but I thought writing from his POV helped a lot in understanding his motivations and why he made the choices he did in the first book!

cause it did!

Between the two main characters, we got to see so much more of the world they lived in and met a lot of new characters. What was your favorite part about expanding the world and the cast?

I had so much fun coming up with the different places that Ning travels through in A Venom Dark and Sweet. I kept an inspiration board of places that inspired each of the locations, and referred to it frequently. Since I wrote the book while travel restrictions were still in place, it was my own way of “sightseeing” from my keyboard. 

Did you have a favorite character to write in AVDAS? What made them your favorite?

I enjoyed writing a particular side character that Ning meets in the story – Brother Huang. Even though Ning’s encounters with him are brief, he certainly made an impact, and I enjoyed thinking of his back story and why his paths crossed with Ning’s. 

I liked him too! He’s agratt character!

Which character or characters did you write yourself most into in AVDAS? What did you give them of yourself like personality, interests, etc?

I feel like I put a little bit of myself in each of the characters, whether it’s something I aspire to, something I hope for, something I am annoyed with, etc. 

Did you base any characters on people in your life or name any after anyone?

I’m always surprised to hear when writers name their characters after people they know! I actively avoid this while writing as I would definitely be influenced by the person who has that name! 

I can see that though

Is there anything you want readers to know about The Book Of Tea Duology, if they haven’t read it yet or gotten to AVDAS?

I hope that readers will enjoy the world in the Book of Tea and the mythology behind the world, whether they are being introduced to Chinese mythology or whether they have knowledge of it and can appreciate the twists that I put into the story to make it unique. I also hope that it sparks an interest in them where they might want to learn more about Taiwanese culture or food or tea! 

Do you think you will write anything in this world again or do you feel that the stories that needed to be told have been?

I think Ning’s story arc has concluded for me in my mind in the two books. I do have an idea for a chapter or perhaps a short novella that might give readers a deeper glimpse into certain relationships in the book…but no plans right now to write them. Maybe some day!

hmmm…well, I’m ready for anything else comes out of this world!

Okay, so my favorite question to ask any author is actually a two part question. If you had the ability to hang out with any of your characters in real life, who are you hanging out with? And what are y’all doing?

I think it would be fun to hang out with Zhen and Ruyi in Taipei! I feel like Zhen would like to be in a modern city. She’d probably like to explore all of the little shops in the shopping district during the day, and then we would go to the night market to try all sorts of food at night! 

Yes! That sounds like so much fun & they would be great to hang with!

Alrighty, I’m going to end this here so the readers can go out and pick up A Venom Dark And Sweet, if they haven’t already! Thank you so much Judy for taking time from your busy life to answer my questions! I’m truly honored that you did!

Thank you so much for having me! I hope everyone enjoys A Venom Dark and Sweet!

Now if you haven’t added this book to your TBR, you need to change that! This duology is filled with court intrigue, mythology, found friends/family and MAGIC (which is truly the making of a great book/series)! Please be sure to follow Judy on all social media platforms Instagram @judyilinauthor; Twitter @judyilin; as well as visit her website https://judyilin.com/ because she is lovely!

Judy really is lovely!

Have you read A Magic Steeped In Poison yet? Have you added A Venom Dark And Sweet to your TBR? Let me know here or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I just a really amazing cup of tea (with or without bubbles)! Until the next post, I’m sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading & tea drinking!

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Falling Into The Bookish Grind: September Releases

Hey there! So September is now upon us which means that lots of folx are headed back to school or back to work from vacation but it also means a whole lot of new Books are dropping! This month has a CRAZY amount coming out and I imagine that my fellow bookworms will be keeping our favorite bookstores and libraries super busy (Nobody come for me about your bank accounts, talk to the publishers, lol)!

I think I know several people that is going to look like this, lol!

Since this list is INSANELY long, I’m just going to get right to it. Though I quickly want to remind you that you should always double check pub dates because they are always subject to change (supply chains and publishers love to play in our faces at times)! Okay, now to this list!

  • The Kindest Red by Ibtihaj Muhammad, S.K. Ali & Hatem Aly *PB* 9/1
  • Big Chicas Don’t Cry by Annette Chavez Macias *adult* 9/1
  • Magic: Once Upon A Far Away Land by Mirelle Ortega *PB* 9/6
  • Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah 9/6
  • The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas 9/6
  • Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting by Roseanne Brown *MG* 9/6
  • Daughters Of The Dawn by Sarena & Sasha Nanua *sequel* 9/6
  • The Fortunes of Jaded Women A Novel by Carolyn Huynh *adult* 9/6
  • The Curse on Spectacle Key by Chantel Acevedo *MG* 9/6
  • The Weight Of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson 9/6
  • Shot Clock by Caron Butler & Justin A. Reynolds *MG* 9/6
  • The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas *Adult Sequel* 9/6
  • Rules of Engagement by Selena Montgomery; Stacey Abrams *adult* 9/6
  • Do You Take This Man by Denise Williams *adult* 9/6
  • The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale *adult* 9/6
  • The Boy with the Bookstore by Sarah Echavarre Smith *adult* 9/6
  • Eden’s Everdark By Karen Strong *MG* 9/6
  • Skeletina And The In-Between World by Susie Jaramillo *PB & Spanish Edition* 9/6
  • Key Player by Kelly Yang *MG Series* 9/6
  • Magnolia Flower by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi *PB* 9/6
  • Running To Fall by Kalisha Buckhanon *adult* 9/6
  • Almost There by Farrah Rochon 9/6
  • Days Come And Go by Hemley Boum *adult* 9/6
  • The Year Of The Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong *adult* 9/6
  • Adift by Tanya Guerrero *MG* 9/6
  • The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat & Joanna Cacao *MG* 9/6
  • Our Shadows Have Claws edited by Yamile Saied Mendez & Amparo Ortiz 9/6
  • Buddha And The Rose by Mallika Chopra *PB* 9/6
  • Lotus Bloom And The Afro Revolution by Sherri Winston *MG* 9/6
  • Me Gusta by Angele Dominguez *PB* 9/6
  • I Have A Superpower by Stephen Curry *PB* 9/6
  • She Persisted: Diana Taurasi by Monica Brown *MG* 9/6
  • The Call Her Fregonia by David Bowles 9/6
  • In The Black Fantastic by Ekow Eshun *adult* 9/6
  • What We Fed to the Manticore by Talia Lakshmi Kolluri *adult* 9/6
  • Moonflower by Kacen Callender *MG* 9/6
  • Meet Me in Mumbai By Sabina Khan 9/6
  • The Two Lives Of Sara by Catherine Adel West *adult* 9/6
  • Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore 9/6
  • Looks Good on Paper by Kilby Blades *adult* 9/12
  • Black Panther: Uprising by Ronald L. Smith *MG Series* 9/13
  • Small Deaths by Rijula Das *adult* 9/13
  • Finding My Dance by Ria Thundercloud *PB* 9/13
  • Charlie Hernández & the Golden Dooms by Ryan Calejo *MG* 9/13
  • Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco *adult* 9/13
  • Astrology for Black Girls A Beginner’s Guide for Black Girls Who Look to the Stars by Jordannah Elizabeth, Illustrated by Chellie Carroll 9/13
  • Maya And The Lord Of Shadows by Rena Barron *MG Sequel* 9/13
  • Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa *adult* 9/13
  • Death By Society by Sierra Elmore 9/13
  • Until Someone Listens/Hasta Que Alguien Me Escuche by Estella Juarez with Lissette Norman *PB* 9/13
  • Shark Princess by Nidhi Chanani *MG* 9/13
  • Inaugural Ballers by Andrews Maraniss 9/13
  • Iveliz Explains It All by Andrea Beatriz Arango *MG* 9/13
  • To Win A Prince by Toni Shiloh *adult* 9/13
  • People Person by Candice Carty-Williams *adult* 9/13
  • Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions A Novel in Interlocking Stories by Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi *adult* 9/13
  • As Long As The Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh 9/13
  • The Line In Sand by Thao Lam *PB* 9/15
  • Lioness Of Punjab by Anita Jari Kharbanda 9/17
  • Seoulmates by Susan Lee 9/20
  • You Only Live Once, David Bravo by Mark Oshiro *MG* 9/20
  • Anisa’s International Day by Reem Faruqi *MG* 9/20
  • Airi Sano Prankmaster General by Zoe Tokushige & Jennifer Naalchigar *MG* 9/20
  • The Vanquishers by Kalynn Bayron *MG* 9/20
  • Rust In The Root by Justina Ireland 9/20
  • MapMaker by Lisa Moore Ramée *MG* 9/20
  • España A Brief History of Spain by Giles Tremlett *adult* 9/20
  • Amira & Hamza: The Quest for the Ring of Power by Samira Ahmed *MG Sequel* 9/20
  • Wanda The Brave by Sihle-isipho Nontshokweni *PB* 9/20
  • The Getaway by Lamar Giles 9/20
  • Drunk On Love by Jasmine Guillory *adult* 9/20
  • Vanessa Jared’s Got A Man by LaQuette *adult* 9/20
  • Eternally Yours edited by Patrice Caldwell 9/20
  • Call Him Jack by Yohuru Williams & Michael G. Long 9/20
  • Until We Break by Matthew Dawkins 9/20
  • Me And Muhammad Ali by Jabari Asim *PB* 9/20
  • Direwood by Catherine Yu 9/20
  • Something Bright And Burning by Whitney Amazeen *NA* 9/20
  • Tears of My Mother The Legacy of My Nigerian Upbringing by Wendy Osefo *adult* 9/20
  • Maya’s Song by Renee Watson *PB* 9/20
  • Stolen City by Elisa Bonnin *adult* 9/20
  • The House Of Transcendence by Amanda Ross 9/22
  • Abuela’s Fideo by Gabriela Tijerina *PB* 9/24
  • A Library by Nikki Giovanni, illus. by Erin Robinson *PB* 9/27
  • A Ghost In Shining Armor by Therese Beharrie *adult companion* 9/27
  • Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong *Prequel* 9/27
  • Ruby Finley VS. The Interstellar Invasion by K. Tempest Bradford *MG* 9/27
  • Rain Rising by Courtne Comrie *MG* 9/27
  • Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender 9/27
  • Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto 9/27
  • Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo *adult* 9/27
  • How To Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy 9/27
  • Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin *adult* 9/27
  • The Adventures of Qai Qai by Serena Williams; illustrated by Yesenia Moises *PB* 9/27
  • Ways to Share Joy by Renée Watson *MG Sequel* 9/27
  • House of Hunger by Alexis Henderson *adult* 9/27
  • Creep A Love Story by Lygia Day Penaflor 9/27
  • Jasmine Toguchi, Brave Explorer by Debbi Michiko Florence *MG* 9/27
  • Last Of The Talons by Sophie Kim 9/27
  • Dream With The/Suena Con Las Latinitas Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers by Juliet Menendez *PB* 9/27
  • Our Day of the Dead Celebration By Ana Aranda *PB* 9/27
  • Black Icons In Herstory by Darian Symone Harvin & Monica Ahanonu *adult* 9/27
  • You Gotta Be You by Brandon Kyle Goodman *adult* 9/27
  • Black Trailblazers by Bijan Bayne *PB* 9/27
  • Lucky Streak by Tif Marcelo *adult* 9/27
  • Viva’s Voice by Raquel Donoso *PB* 9/27
  • Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell *adult* 9/27
  • Holler Of The Fireflies by David Barclay Moore *MG* 9/27
  • Soul Of The Deep by Natasha Bowen *sequel* 9/27
  • Beautiful Country: A Memoir Of An Undocumented Childhood by Qian Julie Wang *adult* 9/27
  • Stay True by Hua Hsu *adult* 9/27
  • Cece Rios And The King Of Fears by Kaela Rivera *MG Sequel* 9/27
  • Opening My Eyes Underwater by Ashley Woodfolk 9/27
  • Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp *MG* 9/27
This is truly a fitting gif

Whew! That’s A LOT OF BOOKS but being in the second half of the year, I’m not super surprised! Thanks to the bookish powers that be (i.e. netgalley, HarperCollins, MacMillan & Amazon in this case for me), I’ve gotten quite a few ARCS/E-ARCs and they are:

  • Big Chicas Don’t Cry by Annette Chavez Macias *adult*
  • The Sunbearer Trials by Aidan Thomas
  • Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting by Roseanne Brown *MG*
  • The Curse on Spectacle Key by Chantel Acevedo *MG*
  • The Weight Of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • Shot Clock by Caron Butler & Justin A. Reynolds *MG*
  • Rules of Engagement by Selena Montgomery; Stacey Abrams *adult*
  • The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale *adult*
  • The Boy with the Bookstore by Sarah Echavarre Smith *adult*
  • Almost There by Farrah Rochon
  • Adift by Tanya Guerrero *MG*
  • The Two Lives Of Sara by Catherine Adel West *adult*
  • Silver Under Starfall by Rin Chupeco *adult*
  • Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa *adult*
  • To Win A Prince by Toni Shiloh *adult*
  • Seoulmates by Susan Lee
  • You Only Live Once, David Bravo by Mark Oshiro *MG*
  • Anisa’s International Day by Reem Faruqi *MG*
  • Rust In The Root by Justina Ireland
  • MapMaker by Lisa Moore Ramée *MG*
  • Drunk On Love by Jasmine Guillory *adult*
  • Vanessa Jared’s Got A Man by LaQuette *adult*
  • Eternally Yours edited by Patrice Caldwell
  • A Ghost In Shining Armor by Therese Beharrie *adult companion*
  • Ruby Finley VS. The Interstellar Invasion by K. Tempest Bradford *MG*
  • Rain Rising by Courtne Comrie *MG*
  • Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender
  • Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto
  • Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo *adult*
  • How To Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn Brophy
  • Witchful Thinking by Celestine Martin *adult*
  • Creep A Love Story by Lygia Day Penaflor
  • Cece Rios And The King Of Fears by Kaela Rivera *MG Sequel*
  • Opening My Eyes Underwater by Ashley Woodfolk
  • Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza by Laekan Zea Kemp *MG*
  • Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • Stolen City by Elisa Bonnin *adult*
I’ve got my work cut out for me friends!

This month I HAVE gotten to read some of my ARCs/E-ARCs/ALCs (and I am PROOOOUD) and so far, I’ve read:

  • Big Chicas Don’t Cry by Annette Chavez Macias *adult*
  • Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting by Roseanne Brown *MG*
  • The Curse on Spectacle Key by Chantel Acevedo *MG* (ALC)
  • Shot Clock by Caron Butler & Justin A. Reynolds *MG*
  • Almost There by Farrah Rochon (ALC)
  • Creep A Love Story by Lygia Day Penaflor (ALC)
  • Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore (ALC)
  • Currently Reading: Adift by Tanya Guerrero *MG*
Truly, I am folx!

Alright Y’all! I’m going to end this post here so you can go look into the titles that caught your eye and don’t forget to support the authors who are being impacted by the Barnes & Noble situation! Are their any books you’re super excited for? Are there any by Authors of Color that I missed? Let me know in the comments here or on social media via Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel giddy knowing its a great pub month! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading!

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Books That Had Me In A Chokehold

Hey y’all! I don’t about you but sometimes, books just entrance me to the point of being held in a literary chokehold. It could be the story line/plot, the character’s voice, comedic moments, emotional content, pacing or a combination of all of those things. With the amount of books that I read (netgalley keeps me VERY busy), I go through books fairly quickly and some stick with me more than others.

This is what I think these books would say to me, if they could!

In keeping with the Spirit of sharing more of what I’m reading, there are 3 that I read/listened to recently that had me in a chokehold of sorts and you may want to add to your TBRs!

As a matter of fact, I do!

Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas (out 8/30/22): This book is actually the inspiration behind this post because I tweeted that it had me in a chokehold. I had started it at like 4:25 am (I know, I know, the hours I am up) and forced myself to stop at like 7:30 am because I hadn’t gone to sleep yet (in my defense, it was Saturday morning & I had no plans for the day). Each time I picked up my amazon fire, I had such a hard time putting it down because I was getting sucked into the story, trying to figure out the roles that the Seton Girls played in the story and how the characters would handle certain situations. There were multiple points of views which also helped push the story forward (and y’all know Dual POVs are my jam). The layers this story had just gave everything that needed to be given, especially since there was an added little twist that I did NOT guess, which is not something that happens all that often! This is definitely a book I’ll be thinking and talking about for a very long time.

My energy the entire time I was reading this!

Almost There by Farrah Rochon (out 9/6/22): So almost the moment that I got the widget for the ALC (Advanced Listener Copy) for this book, I started it… then found myself listening every chance I got. This one was with the professional narrator, who did a great job with the various voices, especially Tiana’s, and alternate story. I found myself captivated by the journey Tiana was on and the alternate points of view that we got. As a fan of The Princess And The Frog, I was so glad with how well the original characters were woven in with new ones that were added to the storyline and the history lessons that were embedded within them. I would like to say though that in Haiti, Vodou is practiced, not “Voodoo” which was what colonizers called it to give it a negative connotation. It is actually a beautiful practice, much like its counterparts throughout the diaspora. I would highly encourage learning about Vodou, Root Work and other similar practices. This was a great book and if you are also a fan of The Princess And The Frog, you’ll enjoy it too!

The only thing that could’ve been better is if this song was in the audio!

Creep: A Love Story by Lygia Day Peñaflor (out 9/27/22): This book was the first one I listened to that was a synthesized voice but I’ll tell you, I was just as captivated as if it was professionally narrated or I was physically reading because it was so engaging. I love a good love story but I would’ve never thought to read one from the perspective of a stalker! When I tell you I was yelling back in response, making faces and holding on to my sanity by a thread several times…… *cocks head to the side* Chileeeeeeee, if I wore pearls, I would’ve clutched them because this chick was unhinged and I just couldn’t stop listening! I was wishing that I could hear the professional narration because if they do it right, anyone would be looking over their shoulder throughout the day. There was so much that went on in the story but it was just the right amount of tew murch. If you’re a fan of shows or books with stalkers, you’ll definitely enjoy this story.

This was pretty much me with this expression, lol!

So seeing how these books had me enraptured the way they did, don’t be surprised if you hear me talk about these books often if you are on the interwebs with me (what?! I have an obsessive nature when it comes to books). Am I the only person that finds themselves in a chokehold while reading at times? I know it can’t just be meeeeee! Are you planning to read any of these books? Let me know in the comments or social media, on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like finishing a book that had me completely enraptured! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading!

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Show Up And Show Out For Authors Impacted By Barnes & Nobles’ Decision

Hello there! So if you have been on the interwebs recently (especially twitter), you may have heard about Barnes & Nobles’ nationwide decision to reduce the number of hardcover children’s books (including Middle Grade & Young Adult) titles they carry. If you haven’t heard about this, here is an article about this situation and Author Kelly Yang speaks out in this video. While Kelly speaks specifically about her books, she also mentions how this impacts other marginalized authors and from the looks of the books shown to be impacted, it’s predominantly POC/marginalized authors.

My face when I read the news

I was made aware of this policy change due to a tweet from Debut Author, Britney S. Lewis(who’s book JUST came out), in response to a tweet by @storysorcery on this topic. Can you imagine being a debut and finding this out AFTER your book comes out? It’s no less devastating finding it out in advance, really, Debut or not (which Kelly Yang is not a debut). I don’t think I have to tell you how incredibly disturbing this is; for the authors, their sales and for the future of books, especially for those of color.

This is very me

I figured that in this post, I would share some titles that are impacted by this decision and their release dates. This list is not exhaustive as there are authors that are still finding out that their books would be impacted by this decision as it seems like the information is being released in a rollout-type fashion. I will definitely work to keep this list current as I find out others (or do follow up posts, if anything).

  • The Undead Truth Of Us by Britney S. Lewis (YA) Out now
  • Key Player by Kelly Yang (MG 4th in series) out 9/6
  • Amira & Hamza: The Quest For The Ring Of Power by Samira Ahmed (MG, 2nd book) out 9/20 (Paperback of Book 1 out 8/30)
  • The Vanquishers by Kalynn Bayron (MG) out 9/20
  • The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton (MG) out now (I wrote a post about this amazing book, which you can read here)
  • Sam’s Super Seats by Keah Brown (PB) out 8/23
  • Iveliz Explains It All by Andrea Beatriz Arango (MG) out 9/13
  • Omega Morales And The Legend of La Lucheza by Laekan Zea Kemp (MG) out 9/27
  • Love Times Infinity by Lane Clarke (YA) Out now (this is a phenomenal book, btw)
  • Merci Suárez Plays It Cool by Meg Medina (MG Final in Series) Out now
  • Crown Of Flames by Sayantani DasGupta (MG 2nd in Series) Out 10/4
  • Shad Hadid And The Alchemists Of Alexandria by George Jreije (MG) out 10/4
My sentiment looking at this list

Here is a twitter thread from @BiruktiWrites with pre-order & ordering links. If you follow these authors on social media, they also share the local indies that will be carrying their books (thank Goodness for Indie Bookstores) and if you don’t follow them, I hope you will start. If you have it in your budget, please do support these authors at your local indie bookstores and even if you don’t have the funds, request their books at your local library. Nothing about this is easy for them and this will impact so many going forward, especially Authors Of Color, if this policy doesn’t change.

No, seriously we have to support these authors

Are there any books by Authors Of Color that you’ve heard has been impacted by this that you didn’t see on this list? Do you feel a way about this like I do? Let me know in the comments or on social media. You can find me on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like Authors of Color are able to thrive in these crazy times! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading!

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Tuning Out The World & Tuning Into Audiobooks

Hey there! So lately, I’ve really gotten into listening to audiobooks while driving, showering or going through my hair washing routine (it’s a very long process). I used to not be one for audiobooks because I’m not always the best with sitting and listening but while I’m in motion/completing a task seems to be a very different story.

The sweet spot has been found for me when it comes to audiobooks!

I also find that I’m more drawn to listening to adult romances on audio than YA (maybe its an unconscious attempt at manifestation, I dunno). It’s just something about listening to them on audiobook (especially when done well) that just does it for me! For instance, I was listening to Have We Met by Camille Baker (available on kindle unlimited, btw) and the narrator was talking about a scalp massage and I could feel it so much that I just yelled out “THAT IS SO HOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT” (I’m sure it would’ve been funny to anyone listening). I submit my tweet about this as proof that I had done so, lol!

I really wasn’t kidding cause it takes trust for me to allow anyone to touch my hair, let alone massage my scalp!

When an audiobook is read well, it can evoke so much emotion, which I think is almost as important as the story itself, for me! So, I’m going to list 5 audiobooks that I really enjoyed, 1 YA and 4 adult, and what I liked about them (I have some YA books to listen to hopefully this is like a part 1)! So let’s get into it!

Confessions Of An Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney: So if you read my blog, you know this is a book that I have featured (it’s also linked) and while I writing that review, I was in the process of listening to the audiobook. I wanted to see how it held up to narrative and I’m pleased to say that it did! I cackled just as much listening to it as I did while reading the ARC. The Narrator was really great at giving the different characters their own voices and keeping to the humor throughout the story! She gave voice to what I had only previously seen in my mind.

The Narrator carried!

Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma: It’s not a secret that I absolutely loved this book. It gave me everything that I needed when I read it as an ARC and then again when I listened to the audiobook. The story is so so SO good, so funny, had great balance in its themes and has great steamy scenes! Both the narrators did an amazing job with this book and I would honestly listen to anything else that they narrate. Even though they didn’t read together, there was still a chemistry there so they did the characters & story justice (which is all I ask for in a re-read/listen). I’m so ready for the next book in the series!

Me, listening to those steamy scenes again!

The AI Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole: This is one that I found on audible and I really enjoyed it. It had a good plot twist, multiple points of view and multiple narrators & when it ended, I was searching for the next book in the series (which I haven’t seen posted since I last searched, which was before I wrote this post). There was some steam in this story which was good too. I’m hoping that the next book will be soon and they have multiple narrators like this one since it added so much depth to the story!

Of this world, PLEASE!

The Stand-In by Lily Chu: This was another book I found via audible and I really enjoyed it. The story was great, it gave a great twist, a nice balance to humor & grief and the narrator was HYSTERICAL! I laughed out loud several times while listening. She did an amazing job giving voice to the different characters. I do wish that there was more steam but that’s really just me. It played out like a C-Drama and if you’ve ever watched one, you know those give what needs to be gave! Lily recently came out with another story on audible with the same narrator but I haven’t listened to it yet (but I will soon)!

This was the type of laughing I did during this book

West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras: I really enjoyed this remix/retelling, the story and the cast of characters that we got to meet. It was such a feel good listen and I found myself not wanting it to end. The narrator did a great job with the voices of the various characters though I honestly felt that since this was a dual perspective, there should’ve been a second narrator but that’s a personal preference of mine to keep with the fantasy I tend to place myself in when I read. I also would’ve loved more steam but again, another personal preference. I’m very excited for the next book in this series (which I had been hoping for & which character I hoped)!

It really did!

For me, an audiobook (both the narrator & story) should evoke emotion from me and make me not want to turn it off. The five that I mentioned did just that for me. While every audiobook doesn’t do it for me, whether its the narration or the story itself, I appreciate the experience that they provide (I honestly don’t know if I could ever narrate a full novel) and the breaks they give my eyes! Also, remember that listening to audiobooks is STILL reading (don’t be an ableist about it if you think its not) and good be a good way to get back into reading should you find yourself in a slump or find yourself at a crossroad as to what to read next!

They should make me feel like this or whatever the emotional response should be!

Do you listen to audiobooks? Have you listened to any of the ones on this list? Are there any that you highly recommend? I’ve been searching for more by authors of color so if you have any recs (especially if they have multiple narrators), please send them my way! Do holler at me either here in the comments or on social media. You can find me on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like someone listened to my processing when a hug isn’t possible (or I don’t feel like being touched cause that’s a thing for me too)! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading!

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Grief Is Truly A Beeotch: Some Books That Deal With It

Hey everyone! So it seems like grief has come up several times this week in conversations with others so I took it as a sign to do this post this week. As those of you who read & follow this blog or my social media know, I’ve been grieving the passing of my grandpa over a year & a half (it will be 2 years in December), which I’ve been pretty open about. It’s really not easy to think about but if you’re brain works like mine, it doesn’t stop the thoughts so its best to work toward finding a place of peace with it all and move with the knowledge that grief doesn’t have an end date so there is nothing to rush. Honestly, it’s made things easier for me when I remind myself or others of this fact.

It is Auntie Michelle but we move forward anyway

One of the things I’ve learned is that grief is extremely messy. It morphs in shape, especially when you feel you have a good grasp on it, it changes and brings up something new (I got hit with this okie doke just recently)…and you know what, that’s okay because I found it triggers evolution, even if it is tiny. Here’s the thing though, it’s those thoughts of that person/those people, that insure that they continue to live on. We may not see them in person but we’ll always have those moments, even if they don’t feel like enough at the time, most days. If its not a living being grieved but a situation/opportunity/etc, we can eventually achieve a sense of acceptance with that.

Grief really is!

For the longest time, I avoided books that had any sort of grief in them because I was so deep in mine that I couldn’t deal with anyone else’s, even a book characters. I couldn’t hold space for someone else because I was barely holding it for myself & no one was really able to comfort me because I’m not one for platitudes (I really, really am not). I was only able to hold myself together long enough to complete sessions with my students then would get wrapped tightly in that space of anger, hurt, and anything else that would fit with what I was feeling because like I had said, grief morphs and it’s one hell of a shape shifter… and everyone grieves differently so it has to be.

This was me, quite often after my Grandpa passed

Now that I’m in a different place with my grief, I wouldn’t say better but processing it in a healthier way (shoutout to my Black Lady therapist), I’m able to read books that have a theme of grief in them without breaking or shutting down and can receive them better. So I wanted to share five Middle Grade & Young Adult books that had a theme of grief but I sincerely valued for the journeys their characters went on.

To my Black Lady Therapist and these books

Theo Tan And The Fox Spirit by Jesse Q. Sutanto (MG): Part of what I loved about this book was the humor that was strung throughout and another part being that it’s dual perspective. Even in the moments where it could’ve felt heavy, the humor wasn’t far behind from either Theo, Kai or both. I really appreciated that about this book. I seriously laughed more than anything and I learned a few things too!

I imagine that Kai would be like this every time she messed with someone, namely Theo!

Ravenous Things by Derrick Chow (MG): This is another book that had some great humor but what I connected to most about this book was the anger that Reggie experienced. For a long time (really, to this day), I was so angry about my grandpa’s passing and other things surrounding it. I wholeheartedly understood how he could be so angry & why. I think any kid, grieving or not, would enjoy this book.

This feels so accurate for Reggie & I can relate, heavily

Private Label by Kelly Yang (YA): This book showed that grief isn’t just about death and that it could have layers. I appreciated that it showed one character grappling the effect chronic illness could have on family/caregivers while the other deals with familial expectations & their own desires. For me, these dual perspectives gave this book great balance so it didn’t sit too heavy on my Spirit.

This is how I imagine the characters felt at times; caregivers as well

Deep In Providence by Riss M. Neilson (YA): I won’t lie, this book drop kicked me in my feels several times. This is especially since it is multiple perspective & they all have one one thing in common while having a slew of other things to pile on to that. Add grief with a bit of magic and it takes a whole different shape. This was a great read but I would definitely advise anyone who wants to read have tissues ready!

Or maybe you would prefer using your sleeves, either way, you’re eyes are likely to leak

The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman (YA): This was another book that drop kicked me in my feels but I was distracted by the mission the main character was on and the trips down memory lane. Her grief was palpable throughout but she used it as a motivator rather than a hindrance, which I really appreciated. This book showed how grief can move us in different ways and didn’t feel as heavy as it could’ve been because it felt like being in a movie (to me).

This book & the MC gave this energy and I lived!

There are so many ways to move with grief. Sometimes you stay still and other times you go full throttle, finding the in-between is the space to work towards. Reading characters that process grief in various ways was honestly a breath of fresh air. It felt healing in a way, because I didn’t feel as alone in my grief as I had previously. For me, reading has been really helpful in getting through tough times (fun fact, I read at my Grandpa’s viewing/funeral to keep from exploding), even if it means that the act is serving as an escape (as long a return to the real world happens).

I really did and a bit while writing this post, If I’m being honest (which I am)

So, if you are currently grieving, whether it’s fresh or years old, know that you are not alone, that there is someone holding space for you and that how you process it is valid. If you want to chat, then lets do so, either here in the comments or on social media. If you aren’t able to do so in an open forum, my DMs are open. You can find me on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like someone listened to my processing when a hug isn’t possible (or I don’t feel like being touched cause that’s a thing for me too)! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading!

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Hot Book Summer Is LITerally Sweltering: August Releases

Hey everyone! I’m not sure where you are in the world but where I’m at, it’s hotter than a metal chair left out in the sun all day! Not only is the temperature at a redonkulous high but so is the amount of books coming out this upcoming month (July went by hella fast!)!

It’s disrespectfully so!

Just a quick reminder that sometimes the release dates change so please double check the titles you are anticipating just in case! Some times I find out the week of original pub date that the dates got pushed back. Unfortunately, I can’t control publishing or supply chain issues (but could you imagine if I cooooooould?!). Anyways, I’m quite excited for so many of the books coming out so let’s get into this list:

Because there are quite a few books coming out
  • A Girl’s Guide To Love & Magic by Debbie Rigaud 8/2
  • Dauntless by Elisa Bonnin 8/2
  • Alliana, The Girl Of Dragons by Julie Abe *MG* 8/2
  • I Rise by Marie Arnold 8/2
  • What’s Coming to Me by Francesca Padilla 8/2
  • Isaiah Dunn Saves The Day by Kelly J. Baptist *MG Sequel* 8/2
  • How To Date A Superhero (And Not To Die Trying) by Cristina Fernandez 8/2
  • Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sivak *adult* 8/2
  • Stand Up by Brittany Cooper & Cathy Ann Johnson *PB* 8/2
  • The Hookup Plan by Farrah Rochon *adult series* 8/2
  • Ben and Beatriz A Novel by Katalina Gamarra *adult* 8/2
  • Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows by Tehlor Mejia *MG Sequel* 8/2
  • Long Past Summer A Novel By Noué Kirwan *NA* 8/2
  • It Sounds Like This by Anna Meriano 8/2
  • Booked by Kwame Alexander *MG Graphic Novel* 8/2
  • Fault Tolerance by Valerie Valdes *Adult* 8/2
  • Mika In Real Life by Emiko Jean *adult* 8/2
  • The Mirror Series: Fractured Path by: J. C. Cervantes 8/2
  • How You Grow Wings by Rimma Onoseta 8/9
  • Blood Like Fate by Liselle Sambury *sequel* 8/9
  • Tristan Strong Punches A Hole In The Sky Graphic Novel by Kwame Mbalia *MG* 8/9
  • The Lies We Tell by Katie Zhao 8/9
  • The Undead Truth of Us by Britney Lewis 8/9
  • The Art of Prophecy A Novel By Wesley Chu *adult* 8/9
  • Surely Surely Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly *ER series* 8/9
  • Abuelita And I Make Flan by Adriana Hernandez Bergstrom *PB* 8/9
  • The Last Karankawas by Kimberly Garza *adult* 8/9
  • Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked The Civil Rights Movement by Angela Jay & Janelle Washington *PB* 8/9
  • Furysong by Rosaria Munda 8/9
  • Black Boy, Black Boy by Ali Kamanda; Jorge Redmond *PB* 8/9
  • Surviving The Wild: Sunny The Shark by Remy Lai *MG* 8/9
  • Resistance: My Story of Activism by Frantzy Luzincourt *MG series* 8/9
  • The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings *adult* 8/9
  • The Memory Index by Julian R. Vaca *adult* 8/9
  • Fruit Punch A Memoir by Kendra Allen *adult* 8/9
  • The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope *adult* 8/9
  • The Neapolitan Sisters by Margo Candela *adult* 8/9
  • Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club by Roselle Lim *adult* 8/16
  • The Antiracist Kid: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism by Tiffany Jewell *MG* 8/16
  • If You Read This by Kereen Getten *MG* 8/16
  • The Oleander Sword by Tasha Suri *sequel* 8/16
  • Eating While Black Food Shaming and Race in America by Psyche A. Williams-Forson *adult* 8/16
  • Tumble by Celia C. Pérez *MG* 8/16
  • The First Binding by R.R. Virdi *adult* 8/16
  • My Town/My Pueblo by Nicholas Solis *PB* 8/16
  • A Venom Dark And Sweet by Judy Lin *sequel* 8/23
  • My Government Meant To Kill Me by Rasheed Newson *adult* 8/23
  • Warrior Princess: The Story of Khutulun by Sally Deng *PB* 8/23
  • The Coquies Still Sing/Los Coquies Aun Cantan by Karina Nicole Gonzalez & Krystal Quiles *PB* 8/23
  • Azar On Fire by Olivia Abtahi 8/23
  • Aphrodite and the Duke A Novel by J.J. McAvoy *adult* 8/23
  • The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna *adult* 8/23
  • To Catch A Raven by Beverly Jenkins *adult* 8/23
  • Babel by R.F. Kuang *adult* 8/23
  • This Is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves 8/23
  • If Your Babysitter Is A Bruja by Ana Siqueira & Irena Freitas *PB* 8/23
  • The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez *adult* 8/30
  • Park Row Magic Academy: A Taste Of Magic *MG* by J.Elle 8/30
  • Honest June: The Show Must Go On by Tina Wells *MG* 8/30
  • Amari And The Great Game by BB Alston *MG Sequel* 8/30
  • The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim *Sequel* 8/30
  • Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas 8/30
  • Patchwork by Matt de la Pena *PB* 8/30
  • ChupaCarter by George Lopez w/ Ryan Calejo *MG* 8/30
  • The Thread Collectors by By Shaunna J. Edwards & Alyson Richman *adult* 8/30
  • Bad at Love by Gabriela Martins 8/30
  • Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder by Valeria Burns *adult* 8/30
  • Walking in My Joy In These Streets By Jenifer Lewis *adult* 8/30
  • Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Sandhya Menon & Evelyn Skye 8/30
Cause this list isn’t short

I got quite a few ARCs for this months releases, though not as many for past months, which actually allows me a bit of a reprieve (a sista is tired) but here are the ones I received in thanks to the Bookish Divine, Netgalley and publishers.

  • Alliana, The Girl Of Dragons by Julie Abe *MG*
  • What’s Coming to Me by Francesca Padilla
  • How To Date A Superhero (And Not To Die Trying) by Cristina Fernandez
  • Mademoiselle Revolution by Zoe Sivak *adult*
  • The Hookup Plan by Farrah Rochon *adult series*
  • Ben and Beatriz A Novel by Katalina Gamarra *adult*
  • Long Past Summer A Novel By Noué Kirwan *NA*
  • It Sounds Like This by Anna Meriano
  • Fault Tolerance by Valerie Valdes *Adult*
  • Mika In Real Life by Emiko Jean *adult*
  • The Undead Truth of Us by Britney Lewis
  • The Art of Prophecy A Novel By Wesley Chu *adult*
  • The Neapolitan Sisters by Margo Candela *adult*
  • Surely Surely Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly *ER series*
  • Surviving The Wild: Sunny The Shark by Remy Lai *MG*
  • The Antiracist Kid: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism by Tiffany Jewell *MG*
  • Tumble by Celia C. Pérez *MG*
  • A Venom Dark And Sweet by Judy Lin *sequel*
  • The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna *adult*
  • Park Row Magic Academy: A Taste Of Magic *MG* by J.Elle
  • Amari And The Great Game by BB Alston *MG Sequel*
  • Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas
  • The Thread Collectors by By Shaunna J. Edwards & Alyson Richman *adult*
  • Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Sandhya Menon & Evelyn Skye
I’m excited for this list!

Despite the fact that I’ve been reading like a madwoman, I am behind in my ARC TBR & am currently finishing up my July ARCs so I won’t get to start reading my August ARCS until after the 2nd. Though, I just found out that Dauntless by Elisa Bonnin got pushed back & I read it when I thought it came out in July! I do hope to catch up this month!

I really really am!

What are y’all excited for this month? Did I miss any coming out by POC authors (quick shout out to my bookstagram homie @raethereviewer for reminding me of a few titles)?! Please let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic (I finally got my account access back AYEEEEEEEEE), Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve been reading while enjoying a cool treat on a hot day! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wish you happy reading!

Byeeeeee
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If Books Were A Bubble Tea

Hey Y’all! So I don’t l know about y’all but if there are a few things that are constantly on my mind and it would be books and bubble tea…literally, I’m always thinking of them so it was only a matter of time before I had a post like this.

Literally me when a bubble tea is in front of me or I’m thinking about it.

Some time ago, I did a post on IG for a book (I think it was Loveboat Taipei but I couldn’t find the post) where I showed every bubble tea I drank while reading that book and I think it was like 4 or 5 in the 3 day span… and before you ask, YES, I can drink that many bubble teas in a few days (I’ve done more than that when I first discovered it). I’ve also shared bubble teas & books I was reading at the time as well (I did this for A Magic Steeped In Poison by Judy I Lin, Girl Giant & The Monkey King by Van Hoang and Bruised by Tanya Boteju), especially if they matched! But this post is different where I’m picking 4 of my favorite bubble teas (all with Boba though other toppings could work too) and a book that I felt paired well with it. So let’s get into it!

I am not going to lie…I drooled a bit looking at this gif!

Thai TeaZyla & Kai by Kristina Forest. I picked this book because even in the moments where it was tough for the characters, it was still incredibly sweet to experience. It’s a book that I would happily recommend because it just felt right and was gratifying in the end, I feel the same about Thai Tea too!

They both definitely are!

Peach Matcha LatteHow Maya Got Fierce by Sona Charaipotra. I paired these two together because when you read HMGF, you may think Maya may do or say one thing but ends up doing another and I feel that this tea/fruit combo is the same. And like the drink, you finish this book feeling full and happy you got it.

I think so about both!

Rose Green TeaThis Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron. So everyone knows how I loved This Poison Heart and I loved the sequel as much as I love Rose Green Tea. Both give intense moments but also are incredibly hard to put down. They are both incredibly satisfying to complete though you maybe a little sad its over when you do.

Both book and the tea!

Lavender Black TeaFlip The Script by Lyla Lee. I picked this combination because like when I have a lavender black tea, I found myself very relaxed and in a happy place as I read this book. This a pair that is good for when you need uplifting and that you can finish with a happy sigh.

Exactly this sentiment

In my opinion, there is not a bad time to have a bubble tea (or tea period) with a book ever. Since I drink bubble tea fairly often, I’m sure I will do another post like this because I really enjoyed pairing books to teas…it’s almost like book matchmaking! Are there any teas you would like to see me pair with a book? Do you agree or disagree with these pairings? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @crystalyogi22 (I’m STILL emailing Instagram every free moment I think to (and they must be really sick of me) in order to regain access to it. You can safely follow @bookishgirlmagic, that’s me but am still having trouble getting these people to understand why I can’t log into it. *UGH*), Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve been keeping to my bookish intents this year! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wish you happy reading!

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Kinda Sorta Mid-Year Accountability Check

Hey Y’all! So it’s been an odd week for me (two really) and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Have you had times like these? If you have, we understand each other and are in the struggle together. If you haven’t, well, you are very lucky and I would love to know your secret!

Me, really trying to figure out this weird energy

Since it’s been a weird week for me, filled with work, deep napping, reading, emailing instagram (yea, I’m still dealing with that), a very off sleep schedule and more reading; I hadn’t felt inspired for a post for a list or singular book (and I try not to write about books with low energy). Being that I’m feeling this way, I figured I would do an accountability check of sorts since I did a post prior to the new year of bookish intents for 2022 and we are a little more than half way through the year (which is WILD to me). So, let’s see where I’m at with these intents, shall we?

Or you read or whatever, lol

1) Remain Transparent & Authentic.-I think I’ve been doing a good job keeping up with this…I believe it’s really part of my brand/who I am as a person to be transparent when the time calls for it and authentic at all times. Am I outchea tellin’ all my bidness? Heck No. Am I telling my truth & keeping it real? Yup! I don’t plan on changing this about me.

I’m glad to check this one off

2) Remain Consistent In Posting.-Last week almost ruined this but I’ve been doing my due diligence in posting here once a week even before this year started. I’ll be honest & say that it’s not always easy for me but I made a commitment to this blog and I intend to keep it. I do want to get back to my regular Wednesday posting but I’m giving myself grace at this point in time if I don’t.

Technically, I’m still doing this but I could be better

3) To Share More Of What I Read.-I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job in doing this by posting lists but I could certainly do even better! Hopefully, you all have been enjoying the lists I’ve been posting though! If there is more that you want to know about what I’m reading, let me know in the comments!

Burgundy suit is me…I’m so so (IMO) here but want to do better!

4) To Engage More On Social Media.-I’m not gon’ lie, I’ve not been doing so great with this outside of commenting on other people’s posts & liking them…I’ve done lives and what not but I could do much better with this… It feels sometimes like social media is another job that I didn’t realize it would be.

I know, I know!

5) To Do More Author Interviews.-This is one I wish I was doing more of and did with J.Elle earlier in the year and Sonja Thomas on IG Live but that has been it at this point. I do hope to change this but I will also give myself grace on that as well. I want to try to work on this once I get my bookishgirlmagic account access back!

There’s nothing like a 90’s R&B gif to express this sentiment, lol!

I do hope to continue to hold fast to these intents and work on making them happen in order to keep to & honor the mission of this blog! I appreciate you all being apart of this journey, cause that’s truly what this is because even when my energy is weird, I still look forward to working on this blog in some way (not me getting a little sappy)!

I may get a little weepy tho

Anyways, let me know how I’m doing with these intents from your perspective in the comments or on social media! Is there more you would like to see from me? Weigh in with me on Instagram @crystalyogi22 (since my bookstagram got hacked, I’m STILL emailing Instagram every free moment I think to (and they must be sick of me) in order to regain access to it. You can safely follow @bookishgirlmagic, that’s me but am still having trouble getting these people to understand why I can’t log into it. *UGH* Please follow my OG account and if anyone has some helpful tips or knows someone who works for IG, please hit me up), Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve been keeping to my bookish intents this year! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wish you happy reading!

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Why Wasn’t This Hyped More? Books That Deserved More

Hey there! So I don’t know about you, but have you ever read a book that you’re like “why didn’t I see more of this book before it released?”, “where was all the hype?” and “now, I have to tell the world about this book!” I’ve read quite a few books that I have loved so much that I was like “this deserved so much more notoriety than it got” & could’ve argued the publisher down as to why they dropped the ball on the publicity despite being smart enough to acquire it!

This is how I be looking at these publishers & what I want to ask them when I finish these phenomenal & phenomenally under-hyped (IMO) books.

I’ve written several posts about other books that I’ve loved and mentioned that they weren’t hyped enough in the past. Since new books are constantly coming out, I’ve got a few more that I would like to add to that list! I think each of these books have something(s) in common when it comes to their humor and romance, now that I think about it. For me, books with great humor & some romance has been a saving grace for me (if I’m being honest, which I always am, with y’all). Anyways, here are four books that I loved and think deserved more PR & to be added to your TBR, if they aren’t already.

No, but for real for real, these books gave what I needed to be given & you likely will feel the same once you read them

A Summer Between Bitter And Sweet by Jen Ferguson: When I began reading this book, I was instantly entranced. I couldn’t tell you what I expected when I started it but I just knew that I had a great feeling about it…and my bookish spidey sense was on point. I laughed A LOT, I got a little weepy at times but no matter what, I felt balanced emotionally the entire time. The sign of a great book, for ME, is that I experience the vast range of human emotions and that’s exactly what I got. The cast of characters were brilliant in their banter and the parts that they shared of themselves. I also appreciated seeing my people where I least expected them (one of the characters was Trinidadian and while we are everywhere, the specificity wasn’t lost on me & it meant a lot). This is a book that, while it takes place in the summer, can be read in any season and enjoyed all the same. Oh, and if you love ice cream, be prepared to crave it A LOT while reading!

You could be feeling emotional at one moment but then laughing hysterically in the next.

Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey: On one of my many netgalley raids, I saw this gorgeous cover & just knew that I had to read it. I absolutely judge books by their covers and this one definitely passed with flying colors. You all know that Dual POV’s are my jam and the moment I saw that that was part of what this book would give, I was elated! The characters were hysterical and incredibly badass. Though this book took place in the past, the humor felt current and not out of place. I also enjoyed the air of mystery (I do like playing detective while I read too) on top of their budding love story. This book is inspired by actual figures in history, which was like a cherry & whip cream on top of your favorite dessert (that’s the HistorNerd in me)!

They gave this energy when they weren’t cutting up or thinking of each other.

The Lesbiana’s Guide To Catholic School by Sonora Reyes: This book was one that I received in a surprise box of ARCs from HarperCollins and it was my first time learning of this book. When I tell you I’ve recommended this book NUMEROUS times since I finished reading it, I kid you not, I really have! I’ve tweeted about it as well. I laughed so much while reading and just loved the way the MC’s mind worked along with the banter and dynamics with her brother and eventual love interest. There were a few moments where I felt a little weepy but overall, I felt so good reading that I didn’t want to put it down. I think anyone who reads this book, would really enjoy it, hence why I keep telling people to read it (that includes you too, clearly).

Me, each time I bring up this book…because seriously, it needs to be added to your TBR and read ASAP!

My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth: This is a book I found on one of my netgalley comb throughs (to be honest, I still haven’t seen anything for this book and its been out a hot second) and this was a worth while approval. As someone who is a nerd, this book spoke to me as it was a dual POV between 2 nerds (I do so love when a book speaks nerdy to me). While their nerd-outs were different from mine (as implied by the title, it involves mechanics), I still appreciated how invested the characters were in their futures & interests. I laughed a lot during this read, the banter was great and it didn’t feel heavy, even when there was potential for it to be.

Nerd love should seriously be celebrated more!

As I think about these books, I’m still trying to figure out why they didn’t get more hype without spoiling them & honoring them in the way they deserve. As I stated earlier, I clearly have a criteria in what I love in books (great banter, humor, [potential] romance & balance of heavy and light) and all of these more than met that. If you haven’t read any of these books, I implore you to change that.

To add these books to your TBR because they are great and deserve more recognition.

Are there any books that you feel strongly weren’t hyped enough? Have you read any of the ones I’ve listed here? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @crystalyogi22 (since my bookstagram got hacked, I’m STILL emailing Instagram every free moment I think to (and they must be sick of me) in order to regain access to it. I have gotten it reactivated but am still having trouble getting these people to understand why I can’t log into it. *UGH* Please follow my OG account and if anyone has some helpful tips or knows someone who works for IG, please hit me up), Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve discovered more great reads that I want to talk incessantly about! Yet again, thank you so much for being here and hope you continue to be! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wish you happy reading!

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Hot Book Summer Is Heating Up: July Releases

Hey everyone! Well, this week has been one heck of one but we are in a new month! It feels like time is flying by but also not in some cases…it’s really weird! It also got really hot and that feels sudden…or is that just my heat intolerant self?!

Seriously, is it just me here?!

Annnnnnyway, with a new month comes new books and its coming for all our bank accounts & library holds (though it feels a little lighter than the last few months…or that could just be me)! I compiled a list about it. Like to hear it? Here it go (if you know the reference, you know the reference & we can be friends, lol)!

This man lives rent-free in my head
  • The Charmed List by Julie Abe 7/5
  • What Souls Are Made Of: A Wuthering Heights Remix by Tasha Suri 7/5
  • The Darkening by Sunya Mara 7/5
  • Nura And The Immortal Palace by M.T Khan *MG* 7/5
  • Honey And Spice by Bolu Babalola *new adult* 7/5
  • Remixed: A Blended Family by Arree Chung *PB* 7/5
  • Chester Keene Cracks The Code by Kekla Magoon *MG* 7/5
  • Wash Day Diaries By Jamila Rowser & Robyn Smith 7/5
  • Keya Das’s Second Act by Sopan Deb *adult* 7/5
  • Dear Miss Metropolitan by Carolyn Ferrell *adult* 7/5
  • The Moment We Met by Camille Baker *adult* 7/5
  • Be Real, Macy Weaver by Lakita Wilson *MG* 7/12
  • Circling Back to You A Novel by Julie Tieu *adult* 7/12
  • How Maya Got Fierce by Sona Charaipotra 7/12
  • Bet on It A Novel by Jodie Slaughter *adult* 7/12
  • The Last Beekeeper by Pablo Cartaya *MG* 7/12
  • Other Names For Love by Taymour Soomro *adult* 7/12
  • Granny’s Kitchen by Sade Smith & Ken Daley *PB* 7/12
  • Spider-Man’s Social Dilemma by Preeti Chhibber *MG* 7/12
  • Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann *MG* 7/12
  • All Four Quarters of the Moon by Shirley Marr *MG* 7/12
  • Figure Of Speech by Kasha Thompson *adult* 7/12
  • Big Girl By Mecca Jamilah Sullivan *adult* 7/12
  • Sister Mother Warrior By Vanessa Riley *adult* 7/12
  • Harry Sylvester Bird by Chinelo Okparanta *adult* 7/12
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau By Silvia Moreno-Garcia *adult* 7/19
  • Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander *adult* 7/19
  • Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin 7/19
  • Thirst by Varsha Bajaj *MG* 7/19
  • The Accidental Pinup by Danielle Jackson *adult* 7/19
  • The Kingdoms Of Savannah by George Dawes Green *adult* 7/19
  • Skeletina And The In-Between World by Susie Jaramillo *PB & Spanish Edition* 7/19
  • The Last Feather by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou 7/19
  • Twisted Hate by Ana Huang *adult* 7/19
  • Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Dawn of Yangchen by F.C. Yee *sequel* 7/19
  • Because You Are by Jael Richardson *PB* 7/19
  • Send Her Back And Other Stories by Munashe Kaseke *adult* 7/25
  • After Hours On Milagro Street by Angelina M. Lopez *adult* 7/26
  • A Girl’s Guide To Love And Magic by Debbie Rigaud 7/26
  • Team Chu And the Battle Of Blackwood Arena by Julie C. Dao *MG* 7/26
  • Twice As Perfect by Louisa Onome 7/26
  • Beasts Of Ruin by Ayana Gray *sequel* 7/26
  • Blue Bloods: After Life by Melissa De La Cruz 7/26
  • Violet Made Of Thorns by Gina Chen 7/26
  • Love Times Infinity by Lane Clarke 7/26
  • More Than Peach by Bellen Woodard *PB* 7/26
  • Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min 7/26
  • Stirring Up Trouble by Chandra Blumbery *adult* 7/26   
  • Ravenous Things by Derrick Chow *MG* 7/26
  • Twice A Quinceanera by Yamile Saied Mendez *adult* 7/26
  • Knot Again by Kwana Jackson *adult sequel* 7/26
  • Booked On A Feeling by Jayci Lee *adult* 7/26
  • Boys I Know by Anna Garcia 7/26
  • Nobody’s Princess Erica Ridley *adult* 7/26
  • Calling for a Blanket Dance A Novel by Oscar Hokeah *adult* 7/26
  • POŪKAHANGATUS by Tayi Tibble *adult* 7/26
  • Man Or The Monster by Aamna Qureshi *Sequel* 7/26
  • A Hundred Other Girls by Iman Hariri-Kia *adult* 7/26
  • The Witchery by S. Isabelle 7/26
  • It Started With A Dance by Tinia Montford *adult* 7/28
Publishers are still tryna keep us busy this summer!

I’ve been blessed by the Bookish Gawds yet again. Here are the ARCS that I have thanks to Netgalley and these books respective publishers!

  • The Charmed List by Julie Abe
  • What Souls Are Made Of: A Wuthering Heights Remix by Tasha Suri
  • Nura And The Immortal Palace by M.T Khan *MG*
  • Honey And Spice by Bolu Babalola *new adult*
  • Wash Day Diaries By Jamila Rowser & Robyn Smith
  • Be Real, Macy Weaver by Lakita Wilson *MG*
  • Circling Back to You A Novel by Julie Tieu *adult*
  • How Maya Got Fierce by Sona Charaipotra
  • Sister Mother Warrior By Vanessa Riley *adult*
  • Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander *adult*
  • Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin
  • Thirst by Varsha Bajaj *MG*
  • The Accidental Pinup by Danielle Jackson *adult*
  • After Hours On Milagro Street by Angelina M. Lopez *adult*
  • Team Chu And the Battle Of Blackwood Arena by Julie C. Dao *MG*
  • Twice As Perfect by Louisa Onome
  • Love Times Infinity by Lane Clarke
  • Ravenous Things by Derrick Chow *MG*
  • Twice A Quinceanera by Yamile Saied Mendez *adult*
  • Knot Again by Kwana Jackson *adult sequel*
  • Booked On A Feeling by Jayci Lee *adult*
  • Boys I Know by Anna Garcia
  • Nobody’s Princess Erica Ridley *adult*
Truly (but like, this is pretty much every month so I do know better)

Thanks to whatever energy has decided to descend my life into chaos (yes…I’m, in part, alluding to my bookstagram IG getting hacked and the other parts are just part of being human and ish going left), I am behind on my ARC TBR so I haven’t gotten to start my July ARCs yet but I’m literally planning to start this weekend!

Like the level of sad I am over this…

Did I miss any books coming out by POC authors this month (I’m not perfect folx, my homegirl @raethereviewer had a few I didn’t have so go check out her page & follow her!)? Are there any books that you are excited for this month? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @crystalyogi22 (since my bookstagram got hacked & I’m emailing Instagram every free moment I think of it to regain access to it, I’m seriously fighting for my life here y’all. Please follow my OG account and if anyone has some helpful tips or knows someone who works for IG, please hit me up), Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve gotten to sit on the beach to relax and read! Yet again, thank you so much for being here and hope you continue to be! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wish you happy reading!

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My Spirit Demands More POC Romances

Hi y’all! I hope you are holding up as well as you possibly can! So, if you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I went on a bit of a rant about wanting more POC romances…and you know what, I’ve been dying to say that out loud for a hot minute! Like, I literally think this at least 5 times a day so it’s been sitting heavy on my Spirit and couldn’t contain it any more! See Exhibit A below.

The link is attached…but I couldn’t hold it in any longer!

Not too much on Biracial romances because they exist and are more than valid (I’m not here for erasure) but EYEEEEEEEE really want to see more romances where POCs seek and desire other POCs. Is that asking too much? Is that an irrational request? To see myself & my friends desired by someone who could have similar backgrounds and experiences? I really don’t think that this an an unrealistic ask. I understand when an author is biracial themselves or is in a biracial relationship (namely, Black & White) but there are so many narratives pushed about white desirability and it’s a fantasy I can’t ever get with…I really really can’t folx, nor do I want to to keep it 100%.

I truly don’t think so!

On the real, there is nothing like reading a romance where the MCs sit and talk about their experiences in their Black/AAPI/Latinx/Indigenous/Immigrant households. When I read scenes like that, I feel like I’m there because I’m Black & grew up in an Immigrant household with most of my friends who are Black & Latinx and either are immigrants or are children of immigrants. Like, I just really want more of that with lots of loving & adoring gazes, kissing and steam (in adult because I’m not a creeper asking for that in YA) woven in.

The joy that those thoughts brought to my spirit…I need more of that

So, with all of that being said, I’m going to give y’all a list of recent YA and adult books that give us just that because it’s what we all deserve! I did a post earlier in the year with a few romance suggestions, but I wanted to give you a list with more recent reads.

This list is my offering to you all, really
  • Young Adult
    • The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo
    • Loveboat, Reunion by Abigail Hing Wen
    • An Arrow To The Moon by Emily X.R. Pan
    • My Sister’s Big Fat Indian Wedding by Sajni Patel
    • Confessions Of An Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney
    • Cafe Con Lychee by Emery Lee
    • A Summer Between Bitter And Sweet by Jen Ferguson
    • Nate Plus One by Kevin Van Whyte
    • The Lesbiana’s Guide To Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
    • Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho
    • Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle
    • Finding Jupiter by Kelis Rowe
    • Flip The Script by Lyla Lee
    • My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth
    • Private Label by Kelly Yang
    • Zyla & Kai by Kristina Forest

A Note: I just want to apologize in advance of you reading the adult list because it is a heteronormative list. I’ve been working on broadening my reading horizons and do have some LGBTQIA+ reads in my ARC TBR but have not gotten to them yet and in this case, I want to be sure that the romances both POC MCs & Love interests.

  • Adult (The spice levels vary, for those who care about that but I’m not commenting on that because that’s not what this post is about…ask me in the comments if you really wanna know)
    • Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron
    • Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma (this book is perfection)
    • Savvy Sheldon Feels Good As Hell by Taj McCoy
    • Business Not As Usual by Sharon C. Cooper
    • What A Match by Mimi Grace
    • Sari, Not Sari by Sonya Singh
    • By The Book by Jasmine Guillory
    • The Emma Project by Sonali Dev
    • Off Script by Ashley Marie
    • Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley
    • On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi
    • Good Morning, Love by Ashley M. Coleman
How I feel about these books

On the real y’all, I really wish these lists were longer & I hope that they will be in the future (I know a few authors who are working on this, thankfully). I don’t just want this for myself but for others who want to see themselves adored & desired by someone who looks like them or as a similar background to them, teens and adults alike.

Even more so than Kel does seeing this Orange sooooooda!

Am I alone in this sentiment? Let me know if I’m alone in this or if you have any recommendations in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve read a bunch of romances with POC MCs & Love Interests! Yet again, thank you so much for being here and hope you continue to be! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wish you happy reading!

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I Can’t Help Marveling At The Marvellers

  • Dhonielle Clayton
  • MG Debut; 7th Book
  • Genre: MG Fantasy
  • Background: Black
  • Instagram: @brownbookworm; Twitter: @brownbookworm; www.dhonielleclayton.com
  • Release: 1/25/2022 (this NEEDS to be in your TBR!)
  • Publisher: Henry Holt
  • Favorite Character: Jason! I loved how he interacted with both humans and adults; he also had some really great moments that made his character so easy to love!
  • Favorite Quote(s): “I’m putting the hoodoo-hot sauce in the top drawer. You know the food here isn’t going to have the taste from home.”-Ella’s Mom. I don’t know about anyone else but I read this as “they only use salt and pepper and call it seasoning”, or maybe that’s just me! Either way, I cackled loudly because it would be a Black mama to carry around something, be it spices, snacks or mini-emergency kits because she is likely to find something lacking where ever she goes.
This is what Ella’s mama was giving and I’m here for that sort of energy!

Before I start this post, I have to say that I’m a big Dhonielle Clayton fan and am forever in love with The Belles, especially the cover (I have a huge poster of it hung up in my apartment, if there is any doubt). I don’t recall when Dhonielle announced that she was doing a middle grade but I know I’ve been anticipating this book for a LONGGGGGGG time and The Marvellers was worth every moment of anticipation! I did speak a little bit about it when I did a live on IG, which you can see here and mentioned it in my most recent MG books post but I really wanted to give The Marvellers it’s own dedicated post (especially after a certain publication tried to play in Dhonielle’s face).

I have been from the moment I picked up The Belles and that won’t ever change!

As I was reading this book, it felt like a love letter to everyone (young and old) that wanted to see themselves in a magic school but weren’t written in (no shadè to a particular book…well, maybe a little). It felt like a space where no one had to imagine themselves there because we (I include myself in this) were already there. From the first page, to the last, it felt like a “welcome home” which is so important when it comes to MG & YA books (mirrors, windows & sliding doors my friend). The Marvellers was definitely a book that I know I would’ve wanted to be as a pre-teen/teen and it’s world a place that I would want to be as an adult. I can only imagine what a young Latesha would’ve felt if she had this book in her hands but I won’t have to imagine it putting this book into the hands of my Godson and any other kid I come across…this a beyond beautiful feeling.

It felt like a wonderful welcome too

I have to say that there is something incredibly special when on any given page, you can see something from your culture, your name (mine wasn’t but maybe book 2? I’ll hold out hope, lol), your identity. For example, when I tell you I got super hyped at the mention of Trinidadian curry…like y’all…Y’ALL, not everyone knows the nuances of different curries, let alone the countries that make them, it made me incredible happy that Trinidadian curry was included in the list. Honestly, Trini curry should NOT be slept on (it’s the best curry in MYYYYYY opinion) and it was taking it’s rightful place in the pantheon of curries in The Marvellerse! I’m in my *cough* late 30s *cough* and the level of excitement I felt shouldn’t have made sense but it did because I hadn’t read that in any other book and I’ve read a lot of books. It had me so hyped that I decided to tweet at Dhonielle a bunch of ideas of Haitian foods to include because EYEEEEE felt that you can’t have a worldly cafeteria without Haitian Food!

The tweet is linked to this picture but I included other ideas, I was so hyped. Also, I misspelled Griyo so it should’ve been “Griot’s Griyo”

Another aspect that I loved about The Marvellers that went with that welcome home feeling, was that Dhonielle wrote in quite a few familiar author names, whether they were adults or students. With that, it felt like being amongst people who care and who would want to be there since they were all YA authors who have really worked to bring forth visibility of children of color & queer rep within literature (of course, it helped that some of the names are people who I’ve met IRL so that added another layer). When you’ve attended as many book events as I have (pre-panorama but even post), you are able to get a feel for those in this world and who not only talks but actually shows how about this work they are. Seeing those names in The Marvellerse, along with having this amazing author who has always be vocal on representation, that made this book a truly safe space.

In every sense of the term!

Speaking of safe spaces, one of the things I loved most about this book was the friendships that Ella developed. Did some of the kids at the school play like she wasn’t finna be the dopest Marveller/Conjuror there? Yea they did but I firmly believe that your people will find you and find Ella they did. When Jason, the homie, stepped onto the page, I was like “you are it” and that he would become the second in what I knew would be the eventual magical trifecta of this book. Then when Brigit begrudgingly came around (you have to read to understand this statement), I felt she would complete the triumvirate and I lived. Sure, they are on the US cover but it still hits different when they step onto the scene. I’m truly a sucker for a great friend group (which MGs are really good at serving) and this one was no exception. They complimented each other in all the right ways, were funny & silly together and supported when it really counted. I couldn’t help rooting for them the entire time like you would any MVP & their team!

They certainly were in their individual shining moments & as a team!

Part of what I loved about Ella, Jason & Brigit is that they each brought something unique to the story and I honestly wouldn’t have minded their perspectives (maybe in future books) but it was really important to be rooted in Ella’s first. Ella is coming from distinctly different magical world into another and finding her footing. She’s deemed an outsider and a threat (but unfortunately not in the fact that her intelligence & abilities would leave her peers in the dust) which she handled with a lot more grace than she was given. What makes Jason & Brigit special is the fact that, they too, are outsiders in a sense when it comes to their backgrounds and abilities (I’ll let you read to find out what those are). So when they bond with Ella, it felt like a home (I’m using that word a lot huh? It’s fitting though) was created and they were capable of anything. There is a level of trust that they develop that could be felt and that was super important to the dynamic out the gate as well as to what they would go through together.

Well, the real three! They are just so special together!

After I finished reading The Marvellers, I was like “there was NO WAYYYY that this could be a duology and it needs to be at least three books but really five” (I may or may not have said something to the folx I know at MacMillan) and I was BEYOND thrilled when it was announced that The Marvellerse would be at least four books (I’m holding out hopes for more with potential for YA cross-over because I believe in Ella that much & want to manifest this). Dhonielle sprinkled in so many bread crumbs throughout that made it feel like there are quite a few threads to unravel in this world that extends past the Villain, who actually makes herself known in a pretty unique way (I know I’m not saying much about her but that’s on purpose since she is apart of the experience/mystery of this magical world). It’s clear there is so much for Ella to learn about herself, being a Conjuror and the Marveller world…and I want to be present for every single moment.

I’m not afraid to ask in this case!

There is so much that I could say about this book… How it felt like a homage to the vastness of Black culture but still honors other traditions. How it’s a breath of fresh air despite how many times I held my breath reading the twists & turns Ella experiences. How refreshing it was to read magic that is unique to the characters, their cultures and experiences. How it felt like Dhonielle was holding readers with just as much care as she did her characters. It felt like such an honor and a privilege to read this book knowing the cannon of work it opens up for generations to come. To say that I loved this book, is an understatement, and I felt like it deserved more than just a paragraph in a list when it meant so much more to me than that.

The Marvellers truly is

So, if you haven’t added this book to your TBR, you really should change that. If you are an educator, you really should add this book to your curriculum and/or class library because there is so much that could be taught from it. Librarians, you already know what needs to be done! Parents, caregivers, put this book in your kids hands because they deserve to see themselves on the page, having adventures and learning about themselves just as much as they will others. This book is a gift and an offering, in my humble opinion.

On the real people, just make it happen!

Okay y’all, I’ve written enough and now it’s time for you to holler at your favorite bookstore or branch of the library to get your hands on The Marvellers, if you haven’t already. If you wanna chat about this book or ask me more questions, you know you can find me out in these e-streets on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve seen myself in a magical world & found a home there! Yet again, thank you so much for being here and hope you continue to be! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

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If You’re Looking For Laughs And Adventure, Look At These Middle Grades!

Hello, Hello, Hello! Before I start up this post, I recently saw that this blog has reached 500 subscribers and the gasp that emerged from my Soul was such a loud one that you likely heard it from where ever you are in the world (never underestimate my ability to project, lol)! I’m so incredibly thankful to each and every person that has chosen to subscribe and I hope that I can continue to Give what you are looking for. I am at a loss for further words but this milestone means SOOOOOOOOOOO very much to me and I wanted to let you know! So thank you, thank you, thaaaaaaank you for being here!

No, but like, seriously THANK YOU!

Just a heads up that this post is week is going to be short. It is has been a little tough but I didn’t want to leave you all hanging nor abandon the intent that I set for this year (Posting once a week & sharing more of what I read, if you wanted the sparknotes, lol). I do want you all to go out and read all of the books your heart desires so a short post will help you all to do so (This makes sense to me, lol)!

What can I say, really? lol! It’s just been one of those weeks *sigh*

So I have been thinking about some of the middle grades that I’ve read in the last few months and have been loving the adventures they’ve taken me on along with the laughs that I had along the way. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about middle grades that I enjoyed and I’m continuously reading them so I wanted to share some more, especially with summer upon us and I’m sure books with some excitement would be appreciated for those who actually do the reading challenges (does Pizza Hut still do those? Did I just show my age if they don’t? Somebodies library somewhere has to be doing them, right?!)!

This was me whenever I finished the challenges, lol!

Anyway, here is a short list and most of them are the start of a new series (which may either deeply excite you or frustrate you, depending on how you choose to look at it, lol):

  • Winnie Zeng Unleashes A Legend by Katie Zhao: I laughed a ton and really enjoyed the approach to Chinese mythology!
  • The Marvellers By Dhonielle Clayton: This was the magical school of my dreams and I lived for the world that was built!
  • Freddie Vs. The Family Curse by Tracy Badua: Freddie was ridiculously funny and super relatable in all he went through!
  • Zachery Ying And The Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao: I loved Zach so much & the Chinese history lessons this book gave!
  • Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas: I related so much to Hassani, both in Spirit & Life and I think so many would as well!
  • Theo Tan And The Fox Spirit by Jesse Q. Sutanto: Theo & Kai are the comedic duo I never knew I needed & I cackled A LOT!
  • The Last Fallen Moon, Sequel to The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim: I just started reading but so far, it is giving me what I was hoping for! It comes out on 6/14/22 so you don’t have long to wait!
Issa short list but a good one and I think you’ll love all of these!

I know that wasn’t a wholeeeeeeee lot to go on but trust me…as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of Middle Grade Books, I promise that all these books will deliver on the laughs & adventures along with hijinxs with friends (I really do love a good group of friends). They’re all such great representations of the caliber of MGs that are coming out now and would love to see them in the hands of more people (kids & adults alike, really). I have some more middle grades that I’ll be reading soon so I will eventually report on them because I can’t NOT talk about MG as it holds a big part of my heart just as YA does!

In a good way, of course! You know I’m a reliable source for books and I wouldn’t ever lead you astray…*flutters eyelashes rapidly* lol

Are there any MGs that you have read that you really enjoyed? Have you read any that are on the list and would you co-sign? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve read a middle grade that had me laughing while on an adventure! Yet again, thank you so much for being here and hope you continue to be! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wishing you happy reading!

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Hot Book Summer Is Upon Us: June Releases

Hey there! I can’t believe a new month is upon us, that we are already in June and the fact that it’s coming for all our bank accounts & library holds! There is so many books coming out and many of them are some that I have been highly anticipating! I don’t know about y’all but my mind is on books, the beach and reading on the beach (yea, yea, I know, I gotta adult before I do those things…*deep sigh*)!

I’m ready for this to be me y’all..I’m so so ready!

Now, take this list at face value because the way that supply chain issues and publishing has been playing in our faces with some of these release dates…so just be sure to double check the dates and my recommendation is to check is the publisher websites (and y’all know that you can trust my recommendations *wink* *wink*). Also, if you reference this list, please do share this post too! Thank you!

You can never be too careful folx!

Anyway, let’s get to this list:

  • Zo And The Forest Of Secrets by Alake Pilgrim *MG* 6/2
  • A Proposal They Can’t Refuse A Novel by Natalie Caña *adult* 6/7
  • Zyla & Kai by Kristina Forest 6/7
  • TJ Powar Has Something To Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo 6/7
  • This Place Is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian 6/7
  • Meet Me In Mumbai by Sabrina Khan 6/7
  • Sunflower Sisters by Monika Singh Gangotra *PB* 6/7
  • The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad by Natasha Deen 6/7
  • Tomorrow y Mañana by Monica Gomez-Hira 6/7
  • Fireworks by Alice Lin 6/7
  • Off Script by Ashley Marie *adult* 6/7
  • Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen *adult* 6/7
  • Fibbed by Elizabeth Agyemang *MG* 6/7
  • You Are A Champion by Marcus Rashford *MG* 6/7
  • Out There Into The Queer New Yonder Edited by Saundra Mitchell 6/7
  • Somewhere We Are Human Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings By Reyna Grande, Sonia Guiñansaca, Foreword by Viet Thanh Nguyen *adult* 6/7
  • I Want to Be a Vase By Julio Torres *PB* 6/7
  • Empress Crowned In Red by Ciannon Smart *Sequel* 6/7
  • The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin & Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich *YA Edition* 6/14
  • The Last Fallen Moon by Graci Kim *MG Sequel* 6/14
  • Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith 6/14
  • Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey 6/14
  • In the Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo *MG* 6/14
  • Thank You, Next by Andie J. Christopher *adult* 6/14
  • Under The Skin by Linda Villarosa *adult* 6/14
  • The Catch Me If You Can by Jessica Nabongo *adult* 6/14
  • Asian Ghost Short Stories Foreword by K. Hari Kumar, Intro by Luo Hui *adult* 6/14
  • Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tolá Okogwu  *MG* 6/14
  • The Silence that Binds Us By Joanna Ho 6/14
  • The Loophole by Naz Kutib 6/21
  • This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron *sequel* 6/21
  • Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley *adult* 6/21
  • The Sleepless by Victor Manibo 6/21
  • Don’t Go Baking My Heart by N.G. Peltier *Adult series* 6/21
  • American Desi by Jyoti Rajan Gopal & Supriya Kelkar *PB 6/21
  • We Weren’t Looking to Be Found by Stephanie Kuehn 6/21
  • On Rotation A Novel by Shirlene Obuobi *adult* 6/21
  • The Final Strife A Novel By Saara El-Arifi *adult* 6/21
  • Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic by Lauren Ho *adult* 6/21
  • Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu *MG* 6/21
  • We Are The Origin by C.M. Lockhart 6/21
  • Tomatoes In My Lunchbox by Costantia Manoli & Magdalena Mora *PB* 6/21
  • Good Morning, Love A Novel by Ashley M. Coleman *adult* 6/21
  • Rakontay Vedi by Wynnie Lamour-Quansah & Darnelle Champagne *PB* 6/24
  • From Fake to Forever by Laila Rafi *NA* 6/27
  • American Royalty by Tracey Livesay *adult* 6/28
  • The Sizzle Paradox A Novel by Lily Menon *adult* 6/28
  • GodSlayers by Zoe Hana Mikuta *Sequel* 6/28
  • The Dream Runners by Shveta Thakrar 6/28
  • Valentina Salazar Is NOT A Monster Hunter by Zoraida Cordova *MG* 6/28
  • Lia Park And The Missing Jewel by Jenna Yoon *MG* 6/28
  • A Secret Princess by Melissa De La Cruz & Margaret Stohl 6/28
  • Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow 6/28
  • Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro *adult* 6/28
  • The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman 6/28
  • My Name is Jason. Mine Too. by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin 6/28
  • The Most Precious Substance on Earth by Shashi Bhat *NA* 6/28
  • The Scent Of Burnt Flowers by Blitz Bazawule *adult* 6/28
  • The Kaya Girl by Mamle Wolo 6/28
Yo, so many!

This list may not be as long as some of the previous months but it’s still a heavy hitting list! I don’t know about y’all but there are some on this list that I have been INSANELY hyped about being released into the world! Also like previous months, I’ve been incredibly blessed by the ARC Gawds and have gotten some of them (*cue the harps*). Here are the ones that I received:

  • A Proposal They Can’t Refuse A Novel by Natalie Caña *adult*
  • Zyla & Kai by Kristina Forest
  • The Loophole by Naz Kutib
  • The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad by Natasha Deen
  • Tomorrow y Mañana by Monica Gomez-Hira
  • Fireworks by Alice Lin
  • Off Script by Ashley Marie *adult*
  • Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen *adult*
  • Fibbed by Elizabeth Agyemang *MG*
  • The Last Fallen Moon by Graci Kim *MG Sequel*
  • Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith
  • Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey
  • Thank You, Next by Andie J. Christopher *adult*
  • Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tolá Okogwu  *MG*
  • This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron *sequel*
  • Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley *adult*
  • On Rotation A Novel by Shirlene Obuobi *adult*
  • The Final Strife A Novel By Saara El-Arifi *adult*
  • Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic by Lauren Ho *adult*
  • Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu *MG*
  • American Royalty by Tracey Livesay *adult*
  • The Sizzle Paradox A Novel by Lily Menon *adult*
  • GodSlayers by Zoe Hana Mikuta *Sequel*
  • The Dream Runners by Shveta Thakrar
  • The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman
I’m going to remain hella busy this month…well, for the next few months, really!

My TBR has been insane so I am not as far into my June ARCs as I would like to be so what I’ve read so far is:

  • A Proposal They Can’t Refuse A Novel by Natalie Caña *adult*
  • Fireworks by Alice Lin
  • Zyla & Kai by Kristina Forest
  • Currently Reading: The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad by Natasha Deen
Okay, okay, okay! I will get back ro reading!

Are there any books that you are looking forward to? Did I miss any books by Authors Of Color coming out this month? Let me know in the comments here or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve gotten to sit on the beach and read, especially reading ARCs! Yet again, thank you so much for being here and hope you continue to be! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love, wishing you happy reading ANDDDDD A Hot Book Summer!

Get Your Hot Book Summer On Folx! Shout Out to Megan Thee Stallion, a Dope A$$ Black Woman who gave us the Bop “Hot Girl Summer”…Also, give Black Women Credit Peeple!

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Books That Gave Me Serious Heart Eyes And Butterflies

Hey there! I don’t know about you but lately, it feels like quite a few of my reads have been romances and have been delivering a level of fluffy that has me looking like a heart eye emoji and gives a belly full of butterflies…and you know what, I’m not mad about this. The fact that many of these have been ARCS also makes me happy because it means that the masses will be getting lighter reading material. As someone who deals with a moderate level of anxiety, it’s been helpful to read books that aren’t super heavy…..and, okay, I will also admit that I also tend to avoid books that could be heavier than I can handle in the moment whenever it is possible (that’s why there are some books in my TBR that I haven’t been able to crack open).

Who doesn’t want to feel like Pikachu while reading?!

So since everyone could use reads that would give them the warm and fuzzies, I figured I would share five Young Adult books that gave me that feeling. I did a short list of these in my post about POC kids deserving healthy relationships at the end of it but I’m going to speak about some of them here with a little more detail!

Seriously, reading these books made me feel like I was in a warm & comfy bed, snuggling up with my weighted blanket

Cafe Con Lychee by Emery Lee: When I read this book, all I could do was fall in love with the two MCs (y’all know that Dual POVs are my jam) along side the gorgeous cover that beckoned me to it. The way that these seemingly opposite kids went from “enemies” to barely tolerated acquaintances then friends was just wonderful. I loved reading their evolutions and getting to laugh the entire way through… my eyes may have gotten glassy a time or two but not in a bad way!

This was me a lot the time I was reading

Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle (out 5/31/22): This is a book that I was really excited about and it gave what I hoped it would. First the cover gave me Love & Basketball vibes (its one of my favorite movies) but with music and the book itself was that & Love Jones, but with a male MC I could stand behind. It was the Black Love Story that I wish that I had as a teen! While there were some heart wrenching moments (what romance doesn’t have them), there were more uplifting ones. I appreciated the balance of the MCs and their personal struggles along side their love story.

What Prince gave but without the problematic moments after this scene.

Finding Jupiter by Kelis Rowe (Out 5/31/22): This was another book that served classic Black Love Story from the 90s (which is my favorite era of movies). I ate this book up within a matter of hours because I was so drawn to Jupiter and Orion’s story. I loved that it was Dual POV and I felt that I was beside them the entire time as well as the fact that there was a bit of a mystery to unravel. I was just wrapped up in the story from beginning to end and did not put down my amazon fire the entire time.

This book was like watching Monica make her shots in this scene for me cause I was rooting for her in the same way I rooted for Jupiter & Orion

Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho: This book gave me the right level of K-Drama and K-Pop that just made my heart so happy. It made me happy in the way other books inspired by K-Pop/Drama did and made me want to listen to nothing but K-Pop while reading. I loved that there was some alternate perspectives but I was really happy to read Elena’s perspective because she was so funny and was super relatable. Honestly, I just smiled the entire time I was reading it!

I just felt all the happy feels throughout!

All Signs Point To Yes Anthology edited by g haron davis, Cam Montgomery and Adrianne White (Out 5/31/22): Ok, so if you know me, you know that I love anthologies and this one was no different. It gave me various love stories, from different backgrounds and varying genres based upon the astrological signs! It was a nice mix of fantasy and contemporary that was well balanced out. None of the stories felt heavy or overwhelming nor overpowered the others! If you are into different types of love stories and varying genres, you would likely enjoy it as well!

I’m blowing kisses to all the contributors and the editors!

There are some other books that I’ve read but these five, I definitely felt good while reading. With how things have been in the world and even in my own personal life, it’s been helpful to just be able to read and feel light at the same time…it’s a relief to be completely honest!

Trust that I don’t deny it and I definitely feel relief when I do!

Are you into books that give you the warm & fuzzies while reading? Are there any books that gave you that feeling recently? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve read a bunch of books that gave me the warm & fuzzies! Yet again, thank you so much for being here and hope you continue to be! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wish you happy reading!

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Wow, I Said That?: An Ode To 100 Posts

Hey there! I can’t believe it but this is my 100th post! I never gave thought to getting to this point (outside of just staying on top of posting) or what I would do once I do but I’m so glad to have made it here and you are have joined me! I set the intent for this year that I would post every week and I have actually been sticking to that (even when I post later than my usual day like this week), so I shouldn’t be surprised we are here now!

I’m still blown that we got to this point!

So in order to garner some inspiration for this post, I asked some of my bookish clubhouse peeps what they think I should do and my very wise & amazing soror @chptrshakedown made the recommendation to do a post revisiting old posts and saying if they still apply. Knowing me, they all still would because I only write about what I’m passionate about buttttttttt she was very much so on to something with this idea and I trust Black Women to lead me in the right direction!

She had me thankin’ y’all but I knew she was correct!

When I write my posts, sometimes it’s almost like I’m in a fever dream once I crank my iTunes so I know I’ve said some outrageous or at least a bit funny things while writing in order to express my love for a book or get a point across. So keeping my soror Nelly’s idea in mind, I’m revisiting past posts that I remember having the best time writing but I’m going to share quotes that made me go “I really said that?”, lol! I’ll link those posts, of course! So let’s get into it!

Yea…yea…I did, lol!

“Arrah’s mother & eventual sister are the antithesis of her…they are both hoes and a halves for their shenanigans!”-From the OG Post Kingdom Of Souls Snatched My Edges. Reading back this post, there is so much more I wish I could add to it…being that I was new to wordpress and it didn’t have some of the capabilities it does now, it doesn’t have gifs and I hadn’t even thought of using memes…mmm, now I’m thinking this post may get an update, regardless of it’s original state, I loved writing that post! Anyways, I still love KOS as much as I did then (the 3rd book, Masters Of Souls, comes out this summer) and I still believe that Arrah’s mom and sister are hoes & a half…*Ye shrug*.

*sings* that Arrah’s mom & sister are hoes & a halffffff

“You know I’m not about taking lives (I’m vegan for fucks sake)…though I will snatch a scalp or two when fucked with and thus was happy when Eva dug deep within her ovaries and started to fight back. Thinking about it, this book was like an episode of Snapped: Literary Sibling Edition because shit was BANANAS…*cues Gwen Stefani* B-A-N-A-N-A-S!”A River Of Royal Blood Gave Me Life. I remember having such a good fucking time writing this post and I stand TEN FUCKING TOES on how I felt then (and if you haven’t read that book, what are you even DOING?!)! This post was written when I still hadn’t discovered the magic of having gifs BUT I believe anyone who read that post got the gist, lol!

I seriously lived for when Eva got to this point!

“The Lady is one of those characters that you just want to fight…like put vaseline on your face & take off your earrings then invite her outside when she’s mentioned or pops up.”Behold, Raybearer Is Fire, AF. I just had an epiphany that I may have some anger issues because in the posts I’ve quoted so far, I’ve wanted to fight at least one character and they’ve been the moms, lol! This post was also written at the beginning of the pandemic, so you know the caginess I was feeling! If you’ve read Raybearer, then I think you would understand this sentiment though (I still feel the same).

It’s how I felt at the time and still do….*shrug*

“Just look at the cover and tell me that it’s not worth staring at for prolonged periods of time…Go on and take a moment to look at it and then come back… *waits* Thank you for joining me in my obsession!”Aye Yo #LegendbornKeptMeUp Is A Real Thing. I am still very much so obsessed with Legendborn’s cover (& overall story, I’m so ready for Bloodmarked to drop) and stare at the framed poster of it on my Magical Black Kids Wall several times a week…No one told the cover illustrator to go off the way they did but they sure did the world a service in doing so!

Understatement of the muhfuckin century!

“Since I finished this book in February, I have not been able to stop talking about it…like, it stays in my mouth (I’m not ashamed to say that either)!”I’m Completely Obsessed With FireKeeper’s Daughter. I wrote this blog post back in March 2021 and this book is still in my mouth…I literally talk about it ALL THE TIME and I react to it the same each time I see it in a bookstore…I’m not embarrassed AT ALL about my physical and verbal response to this book! *shrug*

I really, truly am not…in the least bit

“With a premise like having your personal property filled with your deepest thoughts in it stolen then being blackmailed with it (that’s not a spoiler, btw), how could you not go from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other with characters?! ER-BODY getting the side-eye and 3rd degree the moment the opportunity presents itself in my opinion!”So Many Reasons Why I Love Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry. I said so much in this post and it was hard to pick something…but yea, I was legit side-eyeing the book like it was being shady… Trust was something I did NOT have in some of these characters but I absolutely did have in Joya (there is a post about her second book, Confessions Of An Alleged Good Girl, which recently came out and you need to read it if you haven’t yet)!

This was definitely me

*Cracks knuckles and cues up BlackPink* Sooooooo, I’m not a violent person (okay, yes, I can be despite being a Hufflepuff) but OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHH *Fist to mouth*, I wanted to take my earrings off so bad, grab some vaseline and lace up my timbs (if I still had a pair, I’m failing as a New Yorker right now) while reading this book!”Ace Of Spades Made Me Want To Take Off My Earrings And Lace Up My Timbs. Man…I really went off in this post and it was hard to pick a quote here too so I went with the very beginning of the post…I still feel the same way that I did when I wrote this post. I still wanna fight bitches and light that school on fire then walk away like Angela Bassett in Waiting To Exhale (that’s still one of my all time favorite movie moments). Yes, I know it wasn’t a real place but it felt too real and thus, my mind and body responded accordingly.

Both iconic and accurate to how I felt & still feel!

I know there are so many other moments in my other blog posts but there is but so much time in the day and I rather you read those posts to really get the energy of them…but know that I loved writing each of these posts above and have loved writing this blog for the better part of the last 3 years! I’m so grateful for this space and for you taking the time to read these posts!

But seriously, thank you for being here and reading!

Are there any posts you’ve loved of the last 99 I’ve written? Has there been a quote from them that stuck with you, outlandish or profound? Have you read any books that I wrote about because of the post(s)? Let me know in the comments or on social media on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also please subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve written 100 more posts! Yet again, thank you so much for being here and hope you continue to be! As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love and wish you happy reading!