Classic genre fiction and a few new releases

Hey, readers!

This week my mom and I went up to the mountains for a couple nights of rest and relaxation. It was a really special opportunity to unwind and catch up—escaping the Denver heat was a great perk, as well! Without the distracting responsibilities of home, I managed to devour my book club book and to start one of my most highly anticipated releases of the year. It was wonderful!

Even though it was just two nights, I feel like my mini-vacation made me lose track of time, and I truly can’t believe this is the last weekend of June. This month hasn’t been a great reading month for me quantity-wise due to a week of cross-country driving and the time it took to finalize my Paperback Summer Reading Guide. But I did finish some fantastic books this month, including the two I read this week.

This week in books.

This week I read…

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. This classic suspense novel was the FictionMatters Book Club pick for June, and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would! I was excited about the idea of classic genre fiction (I always love exploring a genre’s roots), but I got much more invested in the story than I had expected. I’m really looking forward to discussing it with the Patreon crew! Amazon | Bookshop

  • Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters. I listened to this book on audio and I thought it was a really special read. For me, this is one of those books that I didn’t want to end because I loved the characters and wanted to see the direction their lives would take. It’s a book about family and identity—what we can choose, where society pushes us, and what is determined for us. While I didn’t necessarily think the writing was spectacular (and this could be a product of the audio format!) the complexity of the story and depth of the characters made this unputdownable for me. I know I can’t make this the single story of transgender experience that I bring into my reading life, but I’m really glad I picked it up during Pride Month, and I’m eager to read more. Check out what readers on The Story Graph have to say for content warnings. Amazon | Bookshop

Now I’m reading…

  • Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor. I’m three stories into this fantastic collection and Brandon Taylor is not letting me down. If you loved Real Life, you have to pick it up! Amazon | Bookshop

  • The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. I’m reading this for an upcoming episode of Novel Pairings. I’m really looking forward to discussing it with Chelsey because Gilded Age literature is very much her thing! Amazon | Bookshop

Links I love.

Looking to expand your Pride Month reading? Akwaeke Emezi shared 4 books from perspectives you may not have read before. I also loved Powell’s list of kidlit recs for Pride, this list of queer fairy tale retellings, and these suggestions for queer historical fiction books.

Use this link to find more books in translation coming out in 2021.

While I don’t love every book on this list, I really appreciated this article about a generation of writers and artists grappling with questions around consent.

This love letter to Louise Penny makes me want to get back into the Three Pines series.

7 great audiobooks that released in June.

The Lily on why it’s essential to learn the history of trans women of color.

I’m very into this list of mocktail recipes. They’re great if you’re trying to drink less or just want a fancy and hydrating afternoon beverage.

I loved what Anne Helen Petersen had to say about Laura Ashley and The Nap Dress.

Birdies has a lot of great styles on sale right now, including their classic loafers in leather. These are the most comfortable shoes ever—they feel like wearing pillows on your feet!

I always have to share when my favorite skincare line, Biossance, is having a sale. This one is particularly great because it’s a sale on sets! You can’t go wrong with any of the sets, but the brightening set includes some of my personal favorite products.

End notes.

Watching: Not much other than gearing up for the finale of Top Chef!

Listening: I’m very excited that Marlon & Jake Read Dead People is back. There’s nothing better than hearing two very smart people argue about books.

Making: I’m really hoping to make these salmon bowls this week.

Loving: I bought this dress last week, and I love it so much that I’ve already worn it three times. Note that it runs a bit big and is bit bluer than it seems in the picture.


Readers, I hope you got some rest and relaxation this week as well. For questions, comments, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out by emailing fictionmattersbooks@gmail.com or responding directly to this newsletter. I love hearing from you!

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Happy reading!

Sara


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