Add to TBR – August Gems

August 2nd is a very good day for new releases. Here are three of them:

This book is dark and mysterious and sumptuous and I couldn’t help but devour it. It’s like peeling apart an onion – every chapter a new layer that might make you cry if you get too close. The back and forth between past and present creates the perfect amount of intrigue and when it all comes together? A thing of wonder.

For here was the thing that no fairy tale would ever admit, but that she understood in that moment: love was not inherently good.

Sunyi Dean, The Book Eaters

This is everything I loved about the first book on steroids. The CRAPP crew, Odile, the best friends… all of them jumped off the page even more vividly than before. The office banter was a thing of beauty. ALL the banter was a thing of beauty. Husband Material sits at the intersection of Bridget Jones meets Four Weddings and a Funeral meets Schitt’s Creek. So much heart.

I think I’d been wanting to read a direct romance sequel for a while – one where the characters have had their happy ending and are now trying to figure out how that continues to work for them. No third act breakup, just life and compromise and love. As always, Alexis Hall is the king of banter and puns. But even for all of the gloriousness just listed, nothing did me in more than how Luc, in all his bright, loud queerness, learned make room and accept Oliver’s more quiet brand. Husband Material is about those beautiful compromises, and learning to make your own rules.

While I was lucky enough to score an early print copy, Joe Jameson narrates this series beautifully, so an audio reread is in order very soon.

Because when I’m with you , I’m me. Not someone I think I should be. And I’ll be with you, however you want, for as long as you’ll have me.

Alexis Hall, Husband Material

Julia Whelan is easily one of my top five audiobook narrators, so when I found out she is an author as well, of course I dove right in! Her sophomore novel, Thank You for Listening follows a former actress turned audiobook narrator navigating caring for her grandmother and finding a way back to herself after a bad accident. Pulling from Whelan’s own experience, but by no means autofiction, TYFL gives the reader a close-up view on audiobook production that leaves you feeling pretty special.

From the very first chapter, I was enraptured (and triple checking my Bluetooth settings). An absolutely perfect read that dives into creativity and desire and dementia care in beautiful, nuanced ways. I devoured it in less than 24 hours and can’t wait to do it all over again. If you can, this is one to listen to – Julia narrates and performs her characters as they were meant to be experienced.

Feelings are temporary. They stick around as long as you believe in them and then they’re gone, waiting to be believed in again. If they were permanent, then we’d only have to say ‘I love you’ once and be done with it for the rest of our lives.

Julia Whelan, Thank You for Listening

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