Charming historical fiction and profound sci-fi
Plus the new substack app and a literary guide to the Oscars
I have exciting news to share: You can now read FictionMatters Newsletter in the new Substack app for iPhone.
With the app, you’ll have a dedicated Inbox for my Substack and any others you subscribe to. New posts will never get lost in your email filters, or stuck in spam. Longer posts will never cut-off by your email app. Comments and rich media will all work seamlessly. Overall, it’s a big upgrade to the reading experience.
The Substack app is currently available for iOS. If you don’t have an Apple device, you can join the Android waitlist here.
This week in books.
This week I read…
A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbetson. I absolutely loved this book and it was just what I needed when I picked it up. This is a chaste romance that’s packed with wit, humor, and characters who absolutely sparkle. It’s about an displaced Russian countess who finds work as a housemaid at a large estate—and of course a romance blossoms. It was first published in 1981 so there are some aspects that feel a bit dated, but I adored it all the same. I found it on audio through my library and really enjoyed it in that format, but I’m sure it would be delightful in print as well. Amazon | Bookshop
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. It seems like everyone who has picked this book up has loved it, and now I can count myself among them. This story about a tea monk and their unlikely robot companion is calming and profound. Not much happens in terms of plot, but it’s a slim novella and I loved the characters so much that I didn’t care. It’s the first in a planned series and I’m very excited to see where Chambers takes us. Amazon | Bookshop | Libro.fm
Now I’m reading…
*You can get two LIBRO.FM audiobooks for the price of one by using code my link or FICTIONMATTERS.
Links I love.
Yesterday was Tolkien reading day and all the LOTR ebooks are on sale this weekend!
I’m not typically a horror reader, but if I do decide to dip into the genre, it will likely be with one of these 25 most influential horror novels of all time.
A book-to-screen character guide for the new season of Bridgerton.
Have you heard of this author, considered the Agatha Christie of romance novels?
Top Chef. I don’t have any standout favorites yet but I still love watching.
Hopefully season 2 of Bridgerton soon! I really enjoyed the second book in the series so I’m eager to see it brought to life.
I loved the most recent episode of Sarah’s Bookshelves Live where she interviewed a professional ghostwriter. So fascinating!
All the Elizabeth Mitchell albums.
Space on my shelves. They’re once again overstuffed so I’m planning to make a trip to Book Give Denver this week.
Hanna Andersson pajamas. I stocked up on 6-12 month sizes for Louise during a recent sale and they are so cute and cozy.
Getting back into Novel Pairings content. I missed reading and thinking about the classics and I really missed talking about books regularly with Chelsey. It’s fun to be doing both again.
Readers, thanks for being patient with me as I get this newsletter back up and running. For questions, comments, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org 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!