Staff Reads: July 26

Staff Reads: July 26

Do you wonder what the Bookish team is reading? Do you want to take a peek at our bookshelves? You’ve come to the right place. Here are the Bookish staff’s personal weekend reading recommendations. Tell us what you think in the comments!

If you’re still looking for some inspiration, check out our Summer Previews for a look at the best books of the season.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

I’ve read quite a few of Victoria Schwab’s newer books, but she has such an extensive backlist that I haven’t read. I picked up one of her earlier YA novels, The Archived, which is a paranormal ghost story that is extremely unique. In the world of this book, the dead are stored like books and it’s up to Keepers to collect ghosts and bring them to Librarians. Mackenzie Bishop is a Keeper whose young brother has passed away, and she feels very conflicted about what she does. As a result, she finds herself wanting to break the rules. When Mac moves to a new and very haunted home, she meets a charismatic ghost looking for answers about his sister’s murder. There were a lot of twists in this story that I didn’t see coming, which shows that Schwab has always gone for the unexpected developments in her writing and is able to keep secrets from the reader. After reading this one, I know that I need to dive into even more of Schwab’s books! —Dana

Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak

This book was a lot of fun. It’s about two friends from college who begin competing with one another professionally. Stella is beautiful and connected and comes from a very wealthy family, while her best friend and longtime roommate Violet has had to struggle for recognition and success. When both end up working at the same news organization, their friendship turns tense. Both women are determined to get ahead at nearly any cost, and I was shocked at how far they were willing to go.Elizabeth

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Earlier this year I visited The Ripped Bodice for the first time and promptly died of happiness. Once my soul returned to my body, I told owner Leah about my mission to rectify the fact that I hadn’t read Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflower series, and she helped me find this gem. The book follows Evie and Sebastian, who enter into a marriage of convenience. The bargain they strike is that Sebastian has access to Evie’s wealth in exchange for protecting her from her greedy family members. The hero Sebastian is a fan favorite in the romance community, and I quickly found myself charmed by this devilish rake. I’m already looking forward to reading the other books in the series! –Kelly

The Overstory by Richard Powers

I fell head over heels in love with The Overstory by Richard Powers; I’m going to boldly claim at the midway point of 2019 that it’ll be my favorite book of the year. At once sprawling but cohesive, like a 1990s Robert Altman movie, it follows ten characters who have a strong (if not overt) connection to trees, and whose plotlines overlap as the story progresses. Read it outside, in the presence of trees if you can, and prepare to be moved as you gain a new perspective on the natural world and humanity’s ongoing battle to both protect and destroy it. –Annie

Normal People by Sally Rooney

I was very surprised by this book—by how subtle and seemingly small the story seemed, and how it simultaneously occupied an incredible amount of space. I’m still not sure if I actually enjoyed the story and characters, since the push-pull of the relationships was so relatable and often frustrating. But I did find that if I let that go a little, I was able to focus more on the weaving of characters—when they drifted and when/how they returned. This is a book that will be on my mind for a while. —Tarah

Bloom by Kevin Panetta and illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau

Ari dreams of leaving his small beach town behind and moving to Baltimore with his band, but his plans change when he begins training his replacement at his family’s bakery. Hector, the shop’s newest employee, comes alive in the kitchen. As the attraction between them grows, Ari finds himself searching for his own purpose and facing the pressure of being uncertain about the next steps he wants to take in life. Slowly, he begins to rediscover his love of baking. This YA graphic novel is perfect for readers looking for a coming-of-age story filled with heart and mouth-watering baked goods. –Kelly

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole

I’ve been continuing my adventure reading Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series as I listen to the Fated Mates podcast. While on vacation at Disney World, I read Dark Needs at Night’s Edge on my phone while on the bus, waiting for rides, and at night before bed. I was so thoroughly hooked that I was looking for any moment when I could get a few pages in. This story follows the romance between a ghost named Néomi Laress and Conrad Wroth, a vampire who has gone down a dark path. Conrad is the sibling of one of the main characters of a previous book. I just loved the relationship between Néomi and Conrad, especially as it developed into the fated mates bond. Néomi is a ghost from the 1920s and was very experienced sexually, whereas Conrad is a centuries-old vampire who has never experienced anything. This made for heightened chemistry on the page, and it was palpable. I’ve enjoyed the bonkers fun of this series with every book, and this one was the perfect read to escape into on vacation.—Dana

Motor Crush, Vol. 1 by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr

This sci-fi graphic novel takes place in the future where motorbike racing is the hottest game in town. The story follows a racer who is leading a double life racing both legally and illegally. Domino Swift is racing for a substance used to make engines faster. This substance is illegal in tournaments, but Domino is addicted to it and has been ingesting it since she was a child. Domino is a fierce black woman who kicks lots of butt. Her relationship with her ex-girlfriend Lola, a mechanic, was one of my favorite aspects of the volume. Dom’s dad is an adorable teddy bear that I want to hug. This graphic novel takes readers on a high-stakes adventure as Dom tries to illegally obtain the special substance, and I loved all of the mystery surrounding how it works and what it does to her. Given the cliffhanger the story ended on, I can’t wait to pick up the next installment. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for an exciting graphic novel to read! —Dana

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