Books about new beginnings

Plus the best romances and comedies of the year so far

Hey, readers!

The weather has been so nice this week that I can feel summer reading season just around the corner. I know it’s not going to last, but it has me dreaming of leisurely afternoons spent reading books on my back patio. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the reality of my reading life this week. Now that my new website is live, I’m figuring out how to balance reintegrating blogging back into my routine while still fitting in all of the reading I want to do. I know I’ll get there, but for right now, I didn’t read much this week and that’s okay!

On the blog.

I shared all of my March favorites on the blog this week. Of course, I shared the best of what I read, but you’ll also find my favorite shows, podcasts, recipes, and purchases.

The blog will host frequent mini-reviews of upcoming releases, and this week I shared my thoughts on two super buzzy summer books that I think you’re going to want to pre-order!

Finally, I wrote a list of 8 books about new beginnings that are perfect for Spring reading. The list includes a moving story about Syrian American boy finding his true name and identity, a second chance romance with a great small town setting, and a very rated R story about a single mom rediscovering her sexuality. I hope you find something you love!

This week in books.

This week I read…

  • One, Two, Three by Laurie Frankel (out June 8th). Frankel’s newest novel is totally different and extremely engaging. It takes place in the tiny town of Bourne, which made national news 17 years prior when the water turned green leading to long-lasting health ramifications for most of the community. Our narrators are Mab, Monday, and Mirabel Mitchell—otherwise known as One, Two, and Three. They’re triplets with an incredible bond and significant obstacles. When the family responsible for the accident that changed Bourne moves to town, the Mitchell sisters uncover long-buried secrets that change the way they see their community and themselves. The triplets’ narration is what really makes this book work. They’re brilliant and while they each see the world drastically differently, you will empathize and connect with all three girls. I will be curious to read reviews from own voices readers for this one, as I can’t speak to the accuracy of the way Frankel depicts disability, neurodivergence, and chronic illness, but I really enjoyed the story and characters and think this book will connect with a lot of readers. Preorder from Amazon | Preorder from Bookshop

  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I reread this for an upcoming episode of Novel Pairings and was reminded of just how much I love Vonnegut. The episode drops April 20th so you’ll have to wait until then to hear all my thoughts, but I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this one. I will say that while Slaughterhouse-Five is fantastic, it isn’t my favorite Vonnegut. If you’re new to his work I recommend starting with The Sirens of Titan or Cat’s Cradle, or maybe trying A Man Without a Country if you like author memoirs. Order from Amazon | Order from Bookshop

Now I’m reading…

  • Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann (out May 4th). I love a family saga, an evocative setting, and mythological retellings so this book feels like it was written just for me. Preorder from Amazon | Preorder from Bookshop

Links I love.

A FictionMatters Patron shared this list of bad classic book covers in our Discord chat and I’m still chuckling about them.

Here are the best reviewed new releases of the week.

Vulture shared their lists for best comedy books and best romance novels of the year so far. So many good books!

Torrey Peters’ Detransition, Baby inclusion in the Women’s Prize Longlist is monumental and a positive change for the prize. Unfortunately, she’s received backlash, and in this article she responds.

In this edition of Ask a Book Critic, Constance Grady shares books that read like Hallmark movies and post-apocalyptic novels.

My reading nook was featured in this Apartment Therapy article along with 6 other wonderful bookstagrammers.

Looking for a thriller that will stick with you? This list is for you.

Anne Helen Petersen wrote about the Baylor influencer twins again, so of course I had to go down that rabbit hole.

End notes.

Watching: Top Chef is back!! Top Chef is my favorite reality TV show and one of the only things I still anticipate watching week to week. I’m so glad they were able to safely create a bubble to film during the pandemic, because it brings me so much happiness!

Listening: This conversation between Anne Helen Petersen and Patricia Lockwood is awesome—especially if you’re an elder millennial.

Making: Shakshuka with feta. SO yummy and shockingly satisfying!

Loving: Mid-day workouts. I hadn’t been moving my body enough recently so I decided to reorganized my days to fit in a short pre-lunch workout most days. It’s been so great for my mood!


Readers, thank you for your continued support as I launch the blog and expand my bookish world. 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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