My TBR list seems to get more and more ambitious the more time I spend perusing Goodreads, and watching YouTube videos from avid readers like myself has definitely broadened my horizons when it comes to genre and theme. I’m also trying to explore more diverse literature and the online reading community is especially helpful when it comes to recommendations!
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
Set during the First World War, this biographical novel follows the women known as the Radium Girls; women enlisted to help in the war effort by painting the dials and switches inside warplanes with glow-in-the-dark radium. To ensure utmost precision, the women would lick their paint brushes into a point, and then continue painting with poisonous radium. As we now know, radium can be fatal, causing painful sarcomas and a slow death. “As the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.” I am particularly excited to read this as it was a story I had never heard of before, and I hope to see women triumph in the face of adversity when it comes to such cruel treatment. Women’s rights, particularly in the workforce, is something that has been in the news a lot recently, and this book is a good way to dip my toes in the history of the issue.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This book has themes that are unfortunately quite relevant today, as it follows the aftermath of the shooting of an unarmed African American boy from the perspective of his best friend, Starr Carter. I have seen a lot of hype for this book online, even before it was released, and it has since had rave reviews. A heartbreaking read, but given that we have become a bit desensitised to these things in the media, a necessary one. I’m not sure what to expect with this book, but there might be a review in the horizon if I can get my hands on it!
Marlborough Man by Alan Carter
A Fremantle Press release! I picked this crime novel up at the Fremantle Press reading event a little while ago and it has been sitting on my bedside table ever since, waiting to be picked up. I’ve always been a fan of crime fiction, and this book in particular piqued my interest when Alan Carter himself did a reading from it at the event I attended. I love reading home-grown authors, and having the opportunity to work closely with Fremantle Press has allowed me the exposure to authors I would never have considered reading otherwise.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
This is another book that garnered a lot of hype online over the last year and I’m looking forward to seeing for myself as to why. Although the synopsis is quite vague (it seems like just another teen high school romance etc.) the book does come with trigger warnings for transphobia and suicide, but reviewers have described it as “such an important teaching tool (as a spring board for discussion) for parents to discuss the flashback chapters with very young children, for teens to see themselves or their peers in, and for adults to reflect on how they do/would interact with trans youth.” (Trina, Between Chapters).
I have been looking for books written by ‘own voices’ authors for a while, and this was recommended to me as Meredith Russo is transgender and it is based on her life.
The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
I am a total true crime buff and when one of my many true crime podcasts mentioned a book written about Ted Bundy it went straight to the top of my TBR. This book was written by a woman who worked with Bundy at the time he was a prolific serial killer and details how the mass-murderer she was hunting was in fact her charming, handsome work colleague. Terrifying, but I’m so ready to read it.