A slow but compelling reading week

Plus a break from your regularly scheduled programming

Hey, readers!

In anticipation of the all-consuming change about to take place in our lives (baby’s arrival is mere weeks away!), this is going to be my last regular Sunday newsletter for a bit. Writing these newsletters is always one of the highlights of my week. I love reflecting on the books I’ve read, sharing my hits and misses with you, and rounding up the book news that I think will be meaningful to you. I also love the responses I get to these emails when you tell me a particular book resonated with you or that you found a new favorite author from a link I shared. I can’t imagine stepping away from this kind of writing for too long, but I think it’ll be important not to push myself into a weekly schedule. So while you won’t get my bookish news every Sunday, I’ll be popping in with occasional book and baby updates. Make sure you’re still keeping an eye out for FictionMatters in your inbox!

And if you’re eager for my reading updates while the newsletter is on an irregular schedule, consider joining the FictionMatters Patreon community. I’ll still be sharing monthly reading recaps and hosting book clubs there for the rest of the year, and we’d love to have you join our community of readers!

This week in books.

This week I read…

  • Mrs. March by Virginia Feito. I picked this book up after reading a glowing review from Constance Grady. This book is about a wealthy woman married to an esteemed author who becomes convinced that the unlikeable woman in her husband’s recent novel is secretly based on her. At the beginning of the novel we quickly understand that she is paranoid, self-conscious, and judgmental, and as the story progresses we wonder if she’s tortured, evil, or both. This book packs a lot into it—sometimes I felt like Feito was throwing in every thriller trope and unreliable narrator convention possible. Still, the short chapters and wickedly good characterization kept me coming back to it. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit (and it’s a great fall read!), but I think I would have liked it even more if I had read it in a shorter time span. The true pleasure of the book is getting absorbed into Mrs. March’s unsettling perspective and stretching it out over multiple weeks didn’t allow for a full immersion. Amazon | Bookshop

Now I’m reading…

  • Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell. This is my current audiobook* listen and it is fascinating. I recommend this book to anyone who’s fascinated by stories about cults, MLMs, and charismatic leaders. Amazon | Bookshop

  • Something that feels like fall or a great piece of genre fiction. Maybe this witchy book or this acclaimed sci fi novel.

*You can get two LIBRO.FM audiobooks for the price of one with my link or by using code FICTIONMATTERS.

Links I love.

I had so much fun pairing audiobooks with some of my favorite TV shows for Libro.fm. Check out the full list here!

Check out these 26 books by Latinx authors to read during Latinx Heritage Month and beyond. While you’re at it, be sure to use this month to support these Latinx-owned bookstores!

Your next fall read based on your Zodiac sign.

10 authors like Shirley Jackson to add to your fall reading list.

I love this conversation with Ruth Ozeki.

I’ll definitely be purchasing these kids books that celebrate the power of language.

Lena Waithe and Gillian Flynn are getting their own book imprints. I can’t wait to see what they put out!

20 bi books for Bi Visibility Day.

We already intuitively knew this, but here’s why you should ignore the “don’t judge a book by its cover” advice.

End notes.

Watching: The Other Two on HBO Max. It is absolutely hilarious.

Listening: This Ezra Klein Show episode was extremely powerful. Content warnings for abortion and high risk pregnancy.

Making: Plans for stepping back from projects while still keeping up with the things I love. We’ll see how it all goes, but I’m excited for what’s to come!

Loving: Stocking up on baby books and preparing to read to our little one. There are so many wonderful board and picture books out there and adding to her library has been a true delight.

Readers, I don’t know when it will be but I’m already looking forward to checking in with you about my changing reading life. 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!

If you’re looking for more book recommendations and delightful bookish community, consider supporting FictionMatters on Patreon.

And if you enjoyed today’s newsletter, please forward it to a book-loving friend. That’s a great way to spread bookish cheer and support the newsletter!

Happy reading!