Discover more from FictionMatters Newsletter
Three trippy books across three unique genres
Plus the National Book Award longlist and my new favorite reading device
We are finally back to business as usual with today’s Sunday newsletter. I’m sharing three really excellent reading experiences, a link roundup, and—of course—my End Note moments of joy. If you’re missing the Ask FictionMatters section that appeared over the last several weeks, don’t worry! I loved responding to reader questions and have decided to migrate that to another day. Here’s the lineup of what you can expect from me going forward.
Sundays - always free
This week in books. All the books I read that week
Links I love. Book news and other fun reads from around the internet
End notes. What I’m watching, listening to, eating, and loving
Tuesdays - almost always free
Reading in Public. An ongoing series about how I read, dropping (just about) every other week
Ask FictionMatters. An ongoing series where I respond to reader queries (just about) every other week
Author interviews. Talking about craft and books with authors, very occasionally
Paid Subscriber Posts
Friday Mood Recs. Recommendations for books and more that match my mood and the season
Ranked Reading Recaps. Mid-month podcast episodes ranking every book I read the previous month
In Summation. End-of-the-month life updates
If you have any questions about what you can expect from the newsletter or how a paid newsletter subscription differs from Patreon membership, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
And in case you missed it…
This week in books.
This week I read…
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This might be my favorite book to reread. It’s a wildly impressive work of domestic suspense and every time I marvel at what du Maurier is able to do from both a narrative and allegorical perspective. Rebecca is one of our most frequently requested books for Novel Pairings and I’m excited for that episode to release on September 26th. Subscribe now so you don’t miss it! Amazon | Bookshop | Libro.fm
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas. The back cover bills this as Rebecca meets Mexican Gothic and that is truly a perfect description. Set during the Mexican Revolution, the novel follows Beatriz after she marries her beloved father’s political rival for the safety and security that comes with the arrangement. Yet, of course, rather than providing safety and security, her new home is filled with fear and torment. When she seeks the aid of a young priest to help her rid the home of whatever is haunting it, she uncovers truths she could have never expected. While I’d describe this more as horror than psychological thriller, I did enjoy the way Cañas used the tropes of Gothic novels in new and surprising ways. This would be a great addition to your October TBR and I may very well pick up Cañas new book, Vampires of El Norte when I’m ready for another scary read. Amazon | Bookshop | Libro.fm
Doppelgänger: A Trip into the Mirror World by Naomi Klein. When I first heard that Naomi Klein had a new book I thought, “Isn’t she problematic? Didn’t she go the conspiracy theory route during the pandemic?” Well, it turns out I was thinking of Naomi Wolff. And not only am I not alone in this mistake, this common mixup is the jumping off point for the entire book. As Klein unpacks how it feels to be frequently mistaken for someone with radically different views from her own, she wades into a much larger exploration of identity markers, online personas, and the mirror world of the internet. This book is incredibly smart and highly engaging, even for a Klein novice. Amazon | Bookshop | Libro.fm
Now I’m reading…
I’m almost done with The Bee Sting and absolutely loving it. I think In Ascension will be my next Booker selection.
I decided to pick up Night Watch after it made the National Book Award longlist. So far I’m highly invested.
If you are an international reader or just prefer UK covers, you can also order books through my Blackwell’s affiliate page!
Links I love.
All of the National Book Award longlists came out this week. I’m still grumpy about some snubs, but curious to read more of the recognized books from all the categories.had some fun and intriguing thoughts about this year’s National Book Award surprises.
These are some great selections for anyone looking for innovative sci-fi and fantasy.
The Vaster Wilds is one of my favorite books of the year and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about how Lauren Groff put it together.
We see our friends without kids more than our friends with kids, so this article baffled me.
This week in views, listens, eats, and moments of joy.
I upgraded to a Kindle Oasis, and I am obsessed. I read so many e-galleys in preparation for my Fall Fiction Compendium, and I was reminded that I do enjoy the Kindle reading experience, especially for bedtime reading. The image is so much crisper on the Oasis and I’m very into the page turning buttons!
My body seems to be settling into a new size now that I’m nursing less so I took advantage of the Madewell Insiders sale to get a few new pairs of jeans. I’m trying some new styles with this one and this one.
I started listening to Wilder and I’m really enjoying it. Next up might be a relisten of Once Upon a Time at Bennington College because it’s just so dishy and I think I might want to reread The Secret History for real this year.
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