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February TBR

A stupidly ambitious target, considering that February is a short month this year - only four weeks to read 19 books, which basically means finishing a book every other day. But several (most?) of these I think will be quick, easy reads, so that'll allow me some more time to sit with my nonfiction pick of the month and the chunkier reads.

Another month with a solid mix - and, fairly surprisingly for me, a decent bit of this list is contemporary-set fiction, with nine historical fictions (for ten contemporaries). Of these seven, I'm particularly excited for A Tip for the Hangman, which reimagines Kit Marlowe as a spy recruited at Cambridge and involves such things as trick manuscripts, coded messages in his plays, and lots of chess metaphors. A book could not be written more to appeal to all of my THINGS if it fucking tried. I am also very excited for The House on Vesper Sands, a FictionMatters recommendation, a Victorian murder mystery with lots of gothic and supernatural elements folded into it. The Prophets, Frère d'âme, The House in the Cerulean Sea and Moi, Tituba sorcière round out the historical fiction category, with A Lady's Formula for Love, The Heiress Gets a Duke and Cotillion serving as the three-per-month contractually obliged (I wish) Regency Romances. It might make more sense for me to stretch those out so I can always have one to visit in a month, but since Cotillion is the first book I'm picking up by the prolific Georgette Heyer, I'm hoping it'll open up a dam of delicious Regency Romances for me to unlace my stays and sink into.

There's also some contemporary literary fiction that serve as social critique on here: The Coyotes of Carthage, a political thriller that is also a commentary on dark money and voter suppression; Members Only, on identity politics and cancel culture; Starling Days, on isolation and mental health; Amnesty, on the good immigrant myth; and Fake Accounts, on conspiracy theories, online presences, love lives, etc. Rather covers the gamut on the multiple ills plaguing society - after that round of probably highly depressing reads, I will dive into some creepy, murdery psychological thrillers (The Echo Wife; The Divines) to cheer myself up and round out with a contemporary romance, How to Fail at Flirting (at one point I will write a blog post on why I struggle so much to find contemporary romances that I enjoy but love almost every historical romance I read).

And then I will read a book on the history of sex (cleverly titled A Curious History of Sex) and feel smug about my sex support bubble (I hope the government doesn't read this blog).

As with my January TBR, I've highlighted the books I would like to review - although obviously I reserve the right to not do that if it turns out I don't have that much to say about them. However, if you desperately want a review of one of these books, just Tweet me. Or text me. Or whatever.

  • Members Only, by Sameer Pandya

  • The Coyotes of Carthage, by Steven Wright

  • A Tip for the Hangman, by Allison Epstein

  • A Curious History of Sex, by Kate Lister

  • L'art de perdre, by Alice Zeniter

  • Amnesty, by Aravind Adiga

  • A Lady's Formula for Love, by Elizabeth Everett

  • Starling Days, by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

  • Frère d'âme, by David Diop

  • The House on Vesper Sands, by Paraic O'Donnell

  • How to Fail at Flirting, by Denise Williams

  • The Echo Wife, by Sarah Gailey

  • Moi, Tituba sorcière, by Maryse Condé

  • The Prophets, by Robert Jones Jr.

  • The House in the Cerulean Sea, by TJ Klune

  • The Divines, by Ellie Eaton

  • Fake Accounts, by Lauren Oyler

  • Cotillion, by Georgette Heyer

  • The Heiress Gets a Duke, by Harper St. George

  • Kicking off my buddy read of King Hereafter, Dorothy Dunnett's fictionalized account of the life of Macbeth (yes, there are historical reasons to believe that Macbeth was a real person...)

As ever, please let me know which of these books strike your fancy - and if you want to buddy read any of these, or talk about which ones you've already read, let me know!

Happy reading,

Amélie xx

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I’m Amélie, I love books and reading, and I also love talking about them.

I’m incredibly lucky to be bilingual, so I read books in both French and English, and will talk about both of those on here – although I will do more in English, since I know that’s probably what the majority of the people who ever find this blog will be interested in!

I also like history, traveling, Shakespeare, coffee, cheese, musicals, Italian Baroque art, the ballet, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, flowers, makeup, high heels, and baking. Yes, I’m a walking cliché. I am aware.

Please do tweet at me with any suggestions/book recommendations/thoughts.

In case you’re curious – yes, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all time.

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