When Things Get Dark edited by Ellen Datlow: After a few DNFs (right in a row, yikes) I found myself reaching for this anthology inspired by Shirley Jackson. As with most short story collections, I really enjoyed some stories, disliked a few, and found the rest to be pretty middle-of-the-road. If you are a Shirley Jackson fan, you’ll probably enjoy this. Each story adds an unsettling feeling to everyday life, and most feature the ambiguous, open-ended “conclusions” that are a hallmark of Jackson’s work.
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw: Another short story collection? Who am I? This one actually came after another string of DNFs (again…yikes). This is a quick read filled with heartbreak, humor and some incredibly thoughtful observations and musings on life.
Slightly Married (Bedwyn Saga #1) by Mary Balogh: I picked this up after the entire series came (sort of…?) recommended by someone online. This deviates a bit from what usually draws me to historical romance but I was INVESTED. This series follows the six Bedwyn siblings, and starts by focusing on Aidan (the second oldest) as he ends up in a marriage of convenience with Eve, as a way to honor her brother’s dying request. Aidan is gruff but honorable, and is a very Jane Austen-esque love interest. I already have book two checked out from Libby and I’ll probably be reading it this week or next. (Also, I don’t mind reading the entire series just to get to Wulfric’s book…)
The Rakess (Society of Sirens #1) by Scarlett Peckham: This has been sitting on my tbr shelf for quite awhile, and I’m glad I finally gave it a shot. Seraphina is a “Rakess” (if you read historical romance, that means exactly what you assume it does). She doesn’t apologize for the lifestyle she’s chosen, and is actively working to change society’s attitudes about what women should and should not be held accountable for (and ostracized for) compared to their male counterparts. There are a lot of great things about this book but it got a bit too melodramatic for me in the final chapters. I would consider picking up book two, however (whenever that happens to be released).
CURRENTLY READING: Unmasked by Paul Holes, which is easily one of the best true crime books I’ve read so far. I purchased a signed copy of this book, but also received an ARC from Celadon Books (thank you!)