Feeling My Shelf is a bi-weekly newsletter about books, life, and well, life with books. Grab your favorite caffeinated beverage and get comfy. First up, some recent reads.
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
Talia Hibbert truly does not miss. Her YA debut follows two former friends turned enemies and academic rivals. They claim to hate each other yet, are always wondering what the other is doing, and following a series of events, are forced back into each other’s company. Good banter. Great chemistry. Highly entertaining and unfairly cute.
The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest
Follows a shy bookworm who asks her charming neighbor to help her score a date for her sister's wedding, not knowing that he’s one of her favorite authors she’s been emailing with. The main character was a little too naive at times, and the section at the beginning with their emails didn’t wow me, but absolutely everything that came after made me smile. It’s very sweet with a sprinkle of spice. Also, there are a lot of fun moments between the main character and her sisters, who are all named after flowers.
Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley
A cupcake-baking pro football player and an ex-reality TV star agree to fake-date to save his bakery and her reputation. As someone who’s not that into sports, I appreciated that there weren’t any scenes (at least any that I can recall) of the men playing football or even talking about football. Instead, there were many of them baking! The main characters grew on me as they bonded, and while at times things felt a little melodramatic, I was very entertained while reading. I also love that the ending hints that another book is coming (which I guessed before that after noting an interaction between two characters!)
It's International Women’s Day (and Women’s History Month!)
As someone who kind of only reads books written by women (with a few exceptions), I think everyone should read books written by women year-round. But hey, I guess a little extra love in March doesn’t hurt!
I’ve talked countless times before about books that I love, but not too much about the authors who wrote them. Time to give them their flowers! The authors who create worlds and characters that I can’t stop talking about. The authors who make me laugh hard, and cry even harder. The authors who’ve inspired me to be a writer, and the authors whose books I’ll always purchase, aka my auto-buy authors.
🌼 Dubbed “the undisputed queen of the modern-day romance,” Jasmine Guillory has authored eight novels featuring Black women getting their happily ever afters — occasionally with their sworn enemy (my favorite trope!) like in The Wedding Party. Any romance she writes is pure gold, and she’s so nice in person!
🌼 N.K. Jemisin, who sparked my interest in new genres: sci-fi and fantasy. If it’s not completely clear already, I love contemporary romance. But her Great Cities books (which are romance light) are some of the best I’ve ever read. And I can’t wait to read what’s next.
🌼 The author whose books I recommend the most is Alexa Martin. Her stories are always funny and full of pop-culture references. They read like a story told by a good, yet sometimes messy friend. Intercepted, my favorite, in particular, is like Real Housewives but in book form.
🌼 I pride myself on having a high tolerance for horror, gore, and unsettling things, but Tiffany D. Jackson’s words have a way of keeping me up at night. Not because they’re scary, but because they make me uncomfortable. They’re full of twists and inspired by some equally shocking cases (ahem, Monday’s Not Coming.) Her books are the kinds you have to read slowly and with lots of breaks — but that keeps you coming back for more.
💐 A few other authors that’ll make me run straight to the bookstore:
Talia Hibbert (who I talked briefly about above!) Emily Henry after reading Book Lovers, one of my favorite reads from 2022. Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers and The Vanishing Half. Stacey Abrams, who somehow got me to read—and love—a political thriller. Ashley Poston, who writes romances with quirky heroines I always relate to. Shauna Robinson for her heartfelt books about bookworms sort of finding themselves. Nicola Yoon, whose YA romances completely shatter me.
And following their debut novels that I read over the last few months (and loved!), I would also add Lauren Kung Jessen (Lunar Love), Onyi Nwabineli (Someday, Maybe), Xochitl Gonzalez (Olga Dies Dreaming), Charmaine Wilkerson (Black Cake), and Leila Mottley (Nightcrawling) to the list.
🗣 What women authors are on your auto-buy list? Let me know in the comments!
Finally, starting to get back into a reading groove after a slow February (at least by my standards.) I’m about to start Real Love, the debut novel from former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay that follows a successful financial adviser who reevaluates her life as her 30th birthday approaches. Relatable!
I’ve already seen Creed III twice, and no, not just because Michael B. Jordan is shirtless. But also because of the plot, other characters, and action scenes where Michael B. Jordan does a lot of fighting…shirtless. Worth seeing!
Also, everyone’s talking about Daisy Jones & The Six, which recently dropped its first three episodes on Amazon Prime. Is it good? Should I watch it? Should I read the book first? Let me know below!
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Thank you so much, Alexis! 💙💙💙
Aiwanose Odafen is an author whose work I’ll always buy. She’s only published her first novel but I plan to buy her next book when it’s out.