Birthday Book Haul

This year, I made a goal to focus on reading the books I already have and not adding to my book collection. Frankly, I have no more shelf space and too many books I want to read (and not enough time). So while I have not been actively buying books, I made an exception for my birthday. My partner and I do not usually give each other presents, so this is essentially a present from the two of us to me.


The Keeper of Lost Things

Ruth Hogan

A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.

Publication Date: Feb. 21, 2017

Goodreads Rating: 3.81 | Storygraph Rating: 3.61

The Kaiju Preservation Society

John Scalzi

When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls “an animal rights organization.” Tom enlists Jamie as a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at least.

Publication Date: Mar. 15, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 4.05 | Storygraph Rating: 4.08

So Much Blue

Percival Everett

A new high point for a master novelist, an emotionally charged reckoning with art, marriage, and the past. Kevin Pace is working on a painting – entirely in shades of blue – that he won’t allow anyone to see. It may be his masterpiece or it may not; he doesn’t know or, more accurately, doesn’t care. What Kevin does care about are the events of the past, when he had an affair in Paris. It’s not clear to him why he had the affair, but he can’t let it go.

Publication Date: Jun. 13, 2017

Goodreads Rating: 3.94 | Storygraph Rating: 3.83

I Am Not Sidney Poitier

Percival Everett

I Am Not Sidney Poitier is an irresistible comic novel from the master storyteller Percival Everett, and an irreverent take on race, class, and identity in America.

Publication Date: May 26, 2009

Goodreads Rating: 3.95 | Storygraph Rating: 3.89


Percival Everett

A deeply affecting story about the lengths to which loss and grief will drive us, Telephone is a Percival Everett novel we should have seen coming all along, one that will shake you to the core as it asks questions about the power of narrative to save.

Publication Date: May. 5, 2020

Goodreads Rating: 3.98 | Storygraph Rating: 4.02

Just Like Mother

Anne Heltzel

The last time Maeve saw her cousin was the night she escaped the cult they were raised in. For the past two decades, Maeve has worked hard to build a normal life in New York City. When Andrea suddenly reappears, Maeve regains the only true friend she’s ever had. The more Maeve immerses herself in Andrea’s world, the more disconnected she feels from her life back in the city; and the cousins’ increasing attachment triggers memories Maeve has fought hard to bury. But confronting the terrors of her childhood may be the only way for Maeve to transcend the nightmare still to come…

Publication Date: May 17, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 3.72 | Storygraph Rating: 3.73

Woman on Fire

Lisa Barr

From the author of the award-winning Fugitive Colors and The Unbreakables, a gripping tale of a young, ambitious journalist embroiled in an international art scandal centered around a Nazi-looted masterpiece—forcing the ultimate showdown between passion and possession, lovers and liars, history and truth.

Publication Date: Mar. 1, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 4.03 | Storygraph Rating: 4.01


Alexis Schaitkin

Richly emotive and darkly captivating, with elements of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and the imaginative depth of Margaret Atwood, Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin conjures a community in which girls become wives, wives become mothers and some of them, quite simply, disappear.

Publication Date: Jun. 28, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 3.83 | Storygraph Rating: 3.82

Blackmail and Bibingka

Mia P. Manansala

When her long-lost cousin comes back to town just in time for the holidays, Lila Macapagal knows that big trouble can’t be far behind in this new mystery in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series by Mia P. Manansala.

Publication Date: Oct. 4, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 3.75 | Storygraph Rating: 3.71

Harry Sylvester Bird

Chinelo Okparanta

From the award-winning author of Under the Udala Trees and Happiness, Like Water comes a brilliant, provocative, up-to-the-minute satirical novel about a young white man’s education and miseducation in contemporary America.

Publication Date: Jul. 12, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 3.34 | Storygraph Rating: 3.51

The Last Suspicious Holdout: Stories

Ladee Hubbard

From the award-winning author of Under the Udala Trees and Happiness, Like Water comes a brilliant, provocative, up-to-the-minute satirical novel about a young white man’s education and miseducation in contemporary America.

Publication Date: Mar. 8, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 3.75 | Storygraph Rating: 3.71

The Last Town (Wayward Pines, #3)

Blake Crouch

Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrived in Wayward Pines, Idaho, 3 weeks ago. In this town, people are told who to marry, where to live, where to work. No one is allowed to leave. But Ethan has discovered the astonishing secret of what lies beyond the electrified fence that surrounds Wayward Pines and protects it from the terrifying world beyond. And now that secret is about to come storming through the fence to wipe out this last, fragile remnant of humanity.

Publication Date: Oct. 18, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 4.10 | Storygraph Rating: 3.91

The Dragon Republic

R.F. Kuang

Rin’s story continues in this acclaimed sequel to The Poppy War—an epic fantasy combining the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters.

Publication Date: Jul. 14, 2020

Goodreads Rating: 4.39 | Storygraph Rating: 4.48


The Sewing Girl’s Tale: A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America

John Wood Sweet

A riveting Revolutionary Era drama of the first published rape trial in American history and its long, shattering aftermath, revealing how much has changed over two centuries―and how much has not.

Publication Date: Jul. 19, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 3.86 | Storygraph Rating: 3.96

In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial

Mona Chollet

Examining modern society, Chollet concludes that these women continue to be harrassed and oppressed. Rather than being a brief moment in history, the persecution of witches is an example of society’s seemingly eternal misogyny, while women today are direct heirs to those who were hunted down and killed for their thoughts and actions.

Publication Date: Mar. 8, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 4.21 | Storygraph Rating: 4.14

We Carry Their Bones: The Search for Justice at the Dozier School for Boys

Erin Kimmerle

Forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle investigates of the notorious Dozier Boys School—the true story behind the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Nickel Boys—and the contentious process to exhume the graves of the boys buried there in order to reunite them with their families.

Publication Date: Jun. 14, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 3.93 | Storygraph Rating: 3.91

We Are Bellingcat: The Online Sleuths Solving Global Crimes

Eliot Higgins

In 2018, Russian exile Sergei Skripal and his daughter were nearly killed in an audacious poisoning attempt in Salisbury, England. Soon, the identity of one of the suspects was revealed: he was a Russian spy. The scoop came from Bellingcat, the open-source investigative team that is redefining the way we think about news, politics, and the digital future. We Are Bellingcat tells the story of how a college dropout pioneered a new category of reporting and galvanized citizen journalists-working together around the globe-to crack major cases. 

Publication Date: Mar. 2, 2021

Goodreads Rating: 4.14 | Storygraph Rating: 4.08

Death’s Acre: Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales

Dr. Bill Bass & Jon Jefferson

On a patch of land in the Tennessee hills, human corpses decompose in the open air, aided by insects, bacteria, and birds, unhindered by coffins or mausoleums. This is Bill Bass’s “Body Farm,” where nature takes its course as bodies buried in shallow graves, submerged in water, or locked in car trunks serve the needs of science and the cause of justice. In Death’s Acre, Bass invites readers on an unprecedented journey behind the gates of the Body Farm where he revolutionized forensic anthropology. A master scientist and an engaging storyteller, Bass reveals his most intriguing cases for the first time.

Publication Date: Mar. 8, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 4.21 | Storygraph Rating: 4.11

Bad City: Peril and Power in the City of Angels

Paul Pringle

For fans of Spotlight and Catch and Kill comes a nonfiction thriller about corruption and betrayal radiating across Los Angeles from one of the region’s most powerful institutions, a riveting tale from a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who investigated the shocking events and helped bring justice in the face of formidable odds.

Publication Date: Jul. 19, 2022

Goodreads Rating: 4.26 | Storygraph Rating: 4.18

The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice

Scott Ellsworth

The Ground Breaking not only tells the long-suppressed story of the notorious Tulsa race massacre. It also unearths the lost history of how the massacre was covered up, and of the courageous individuals who fought to keep the story alive. Most important, it recounts the ongoing archaeological saga and the search for the unmarked graves of the victims of the massacre, and of the fight to win restitution for the survivors and their families.

Publication Date: May. 18, 2021

Goodreads Rating: 4.22 | Storygraph Rating: 4.08

Kill Shot: A Shadow Industry, a Deadly Disease

Jason Dearen

Two pharmacists sit in a Boston courtroom accused of murder. The weapon: the fungus Exserohilum rostratum. The death count: 100 and rising. Kill Shot is the story of their hubris and fraud, discovered by a team of medical detectives who raced against the clock to hunt the killers and the fungal meningitis they’d unleashed.

Publication Date: May. 18, 2021

Goodreads Rating: 4.40 | Storygraph Rating: 4.47

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