Staff Reads: June 7

Staff Reads: June 7

Staff Reads

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 Spring Previews for a look at the best books of the season.

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

I’m reading Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by my favorite podcasters, Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff. True to the tone of their podcast (hilarious, brutal, fearless/fearful, and empowering) this book does a deep dive into the duo’s lives before podcasting brought them to our speakers and headphones. You needn’t have listened to their amazingly popular podcast, My Favorite Murder, in order to enjoy this book. I promise by the end of it you’ll wish you were best friends with Georgia and Karen (and your wish will come true when you start listening to the podcast). To celebrate the book’s release, I even put together a list of other true crime books for Murderinos. —Myf

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

I spent the whole week of BookExpo and BookCon shuttling back and forth from the Javits Center, and Neil Gaiman’s collection of Norse myths was terrific company on my many subway rides. Gaiman narrates the audiobook himself, and is one of the authors who can really pull it off. Plus, I heard all of the Norse names pronounced! For someone who is primarily familiar with Greek and Roman myths, the Norse pantheon is surprising and delightful. Whereas most of the exploits on Olympus are elegant and glamorous, if petty, the goings-on in Asgard tend to be a bit earthier (but still petty). Drinking competitions, feats of strength, boars and goats to pull godly chariots, and the gods all pitching in together to build a fortress, and Thor wrestling a giant grandmother. —Nina

The Likeness by Tana French

I’m reading The Likeness, the second book in Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, which I felt so compelled to read I had to rearrange my entire summer TBR pile. After finishing In the Woods and telling everyone I know how they must read it, I picked up a copy of The Likeness and was immediately thrown back into French’s entrancing storytelling. This is not a great summer read because things have been so busy I feel like I’m constantly being pulled away from the book even though I want nothing more than to sit here and tear through itit really is hard to put down. This novel follows up on Detective Maddox, one of the main detectives from In the Woods and hints at the time In the Woods tells but is very much its own story. She has moved on from the Murder Squad and has an easy job in another department when out of nowhere a victim shows up who could be her identical twin, and she’s using one of Maddox’s aliases from when she was undercover. Naturally, Maddox is consulted to help investigate the murder. Things are creepy as in the first book, and without giving anything more away, I’ll just say I am equally drawn to this story and cannot wait to see what answers we get. I am already recommending it to everyone even though I’m only about a third of the way in. —Amanda

We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fiedler

I’m reading We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fiedler, which comes out in July. This coming-of-age story grabbed my eye with its beautiful cover—a girl balanced on a wire between a circus tent and a lifeguard stand on a beach. I’m a sucker for circus imagery and whimsy. Fiedler tells this story in two perspectives—from 1965, when Victoria flees her abusive father and runs away to join the circus, and 50 years later with Victoria’s granddaughter Callie, who is torn away from her beloved circus in favor of a more “normal” life by her mother. It’s a quick read (I’m already almost done after a quiet evening spent reading) and it’s lovely to see how Victoria’s experiences help Callie through her own challenges. Don’t be put off by Callie’s bratty, entitled moments—it’s clear that her growth as a character is well underway. —Kristina

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

I’ve been in a mood to read all the books set in space, so I decided to pick up All Systems Red and it did not disappoint. This space opera novella is told from the perspective of a droid who calls itself Murderbot and spends most of its time watching soap operas in its room. Murderbot has a lot of social anxiety and hates most humans, especially because droids are seen as less than. Murderbot was such an interesting character and was both funny and highly relatable in its struggle with anxiety. This is a short book, but it packs a punch with world building, voice, and mystery. I can’t wait to pick up the next installment. —Dana

Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

Readers, I’m finally starting Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflowers series. This is a favorite series for historical romance readers and while I’ve read other books by Kleypas, I haven’t yet gotten around to this classic. Secrets of a Summer Night introduces readers to a group of women who often find themselves sitting on the sidelines of the ballroom. Together they agree to help each other find matches. Already I love how friendship is a key element in this series, and it’s been a highlight of the reading experience so far. This also marks the very first romance audiobook that I’ve listened to! I’m enjoying the audiobook, but I think as a personal preference romances will always be books I want to physically hold in my hands and curl up with. I picked up a copy of the third Wallflowers book, Devil in Winter, while at The Ripped Bodice and I can’t wait to start it. —Kelly

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

As a huge fan of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae Files series, I have been eagerly anticipating their newest collaboration. Let me tell you: It did not disappoint. Like their last series, this one is set in space and follows a ragtag team that must overcome their differences to save the day. The book starts out the day before the graduation at the Aurora Academy, a school for space cadets, where one of the characters, Tyler, takes a spacecraft out without permission and goes through a fold in space. In the fold, Tyler finds a spaceship that supposedly went missing 200 years ago and his spacecraft picks up life on board. He finds a young girl named Aurora, who had been asleep for two centuries, and brings her back to Aurora Academy. Tyler misses the crew assignment and ends up with some of the least wanted cadets. When his team sets off for their first mission, they find Aurora stowed on board. They go on an adventure to find out what happened to her. I loved the group dynamic between the characters in this book. I’m excited to see where the romantic plotlines go in the next installment. The mystery of this story was so cool and not at all what I was expecting, but it led the characters to very intriguing places. I will read any space adventure these authors write! —Dana

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

I’m finally trying to get on the audiobooks trend, and figured that Bourdain reading his own iconic memoir of his life in kitchens was a good place to start. His depictions of life in fancy restaurants has a great working class perspective—the real heroes are the line cooks, the dishwashers, everyone other than the executive chef. It is deep praise of a job well done, the insider patois of late nights, busy kitchens, knife cuts, and the skill required to work at a frites station all night. It is, however, not as evolved in its take on the gender dynamics of kitchen life. Bourdain became less machismo and more curious as the years went by, which is something I’m keeping in the back of my mind. This book, and this man did fundamentally change how mainstream America thinks about food, and it’s a pleasure to hear his voice. —Nina

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