Stacking the Shelves #6

Don’t let my lack of book hauls fool you…I utterly failed my book buying ban. You know, the last one I said I was on.

            By now, I realized, for me, it is not consumerism. Buying books is a distraction from job hunting failures and gives me something to look forward to. Well, it is until I check my bank account. It’s gotten to the point where I am seriously considering becoming a seasonal retail worker as we get closer to the holidays. Just so I can have something to do and make money while doing it.   

            As to be expected, there are a lot of books in today’s Stacking the Shelves. These I bought in the latter half of August and into the first week or so of September.

Those books are:  

Bronze Drum by Phong Nguyen

Besides buying books on PangoBooks, I sell on the app as well. I recently had a sale where all my books were $1. One person made a large purchase, but it somehow added up to negative earnings. When I reached out to PangoBooks support, they ended up giving me a $5 coupon as compensation. I used that coupon to buy the BOTM edition of Bronze Drum, a historical novel set in Vietnam. It follows two sisters working together to save their people from invaders.

The Accidental Pinup by Danielle Jackson

Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

The Godparent Trap by Rachel Van Dyken

How to Fake it in Hollywood by Ava Wilder

These four books were bought as a bundle from the same store on PangoBooks. This particular seller was offering a lot of adult romances I wanted. I selected ones I was most excited for, getting enough for free shipping. The Accidental Pinup follows an ambitious plus-size woman who suddenly finds herself as a fashion icon. Fake It Till You Bake It centers a former dating show contestant that agrees to a fake dating arrangement with a retired football player to save his bakery. The Godparent Trap is a take on The Parent Trap after tragedy leads to forced proximity between two enemies. How to Fake it in Hollywood is another fake dating romance between two Hollywood actors.  

Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo

Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter

Two more adult romances I bought as a bundle from a PangoBooks store. Ironically, the previous seller had copies, but they quickly sold out. Finding them at another store made me ridiculously happy. Ties That Tether follows a Nigerian-Canadian woman who risks breaking her deathbed promise to her dad by falling in love with a white man. Bet on It follows two people who engage in a bingo sex pact and, frankly, I did not need to know anything else.

Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean

In the middle of August, I had an in-person job interview in the same town my last temp job. After my interview, I visited the bookstore I frequented. I was so happy to be out and I was so certain this job would work out, I wanted to celebrate. Mercury Pictures Presents and The Book Eaters were the books I was most interested in purchasing at the time. The former follows an Italian Hollywood actress named Maria, whose childhood in Rome comes back to haunt her on the eve of World War II. The latter is a fantasy centering on “book eaters,” people who literally consume stories and one woman’s mission to protect her son, who has developed a taste for human minds instead of books.

Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson

The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead

It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake by Claire Christian

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

At the time I purchased these books from Amazon, Love in the Time of Serial Killers and The Last Housewife, were new releases. Both are mysteries I was super excited for. The other two, Hana Khan Carries On and It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake, are backlist titles I’ve wanted to buy for years. Several times I came close on PangoBooks, but someone else always beat me to the punch. They have similar concepts: women pursuing their dreams and embracing romance on their own terms.

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren

The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna

Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper

From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper

Yet another bundle I bought from a seller on PangoBooks. After the job flopped, I told myself I was not going to buy any more books until I found work. Then, I stumbled upon someone selling a book I’ve wanted for a long time: The All-Night Sun, which has been compared to the movie Midsommar. The same store was also selling new release adult romances I’ve wanted for a while. My resolve quickly fractured.  

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

Fool Me Once by Ashley Winstead

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Another seller on PangoBooks again tested my willpower with several adult contemporary/romance paperbacks I wanted. I narrowed it down to the top three, just enough to get free shipping. The Charm Offensive is a super hyped M/M romance set on a dating show. Fool Me Once is a second chance romance between a woman and her ex-boyfriend, whom she is forced to work with after she publicly humiliated him. The Scent Keeper is a contemporary about a young woman, raised by her eccentric father on a remote island, uncovering secrets of her identity after a tragedy.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

Faye, Faraway by Helen Fisher

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

Do I even need to say it? I found another store on PangoBooks selling booksI’ve wanted for so long at cheap prices. It’s the main thing about the app that keeps dragging me back down. The Rose Code follows three different women who worked as coders in England during WWII, who are reluctantly reunited seven years later when secrets from the war threaten to emerge. The Girls at 17 Swann Street follows a group of girls living in a private house for those suffering from eating disorders. Faye, Faraway is a magical realism story about a young mom transported back in time when her own mother was still alive and she is finally forced to face the grief and abandonment she feels. Whisper Network follows a group of women who ban together to take down predatory male bosses when a “list” starts circulating around the office.

A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers

A Certain Hunger was high on my radar after seeing a sudden string of very positive reviews. So, naturally, when I saw someone selling it on PangoBooks for less than $10, it’s easy to see why I cracked.

Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus

It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh

Youngblood by Sasha Laurens

There was a seller on PangoBooks offering a lot of books I really, really wanted. Once they posted Nothing More to Tell, Karen M. McManus’s latest novel, I could not wait any longer. I narrowed it down to that one, as well as the other two I knew I had to have and still get free shipping. It Will End Like This is a modern retelling of the Lizzie Borden murders. Youngblood is set at a vampire boarding school.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Ashes of Gold by J. Elle

Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes

Blaine for the Win by Robbie Couch

Debating Darcy by Sayantani DasGupta

Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price

The Monarchs by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige

No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado

Very Bad People by Kit Frick

August was the Barnes and Noble annual blowout sale. I avoided it for weeks. I wanted to buy books, but there were so many to choose from. Eventually, I settled for strictly the young adult books since that list was significantly easier to narrow down.

            I Kissed Shara Wheeler is Casey McQuiston’s young adult debut novel. Ashes of Gold, Sense and Second-Degree Murder, and The Monarchs are sequels to books I own but have not yet read. Flirting with Fate is a magical realism story about a teen girl trying to find her inherited wish after her abuela dies. Blaine for the Win follows a boy trying to prove to his ex-boyfriend he is serious by running for class president. Debating Darcy is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice centering rivals on a debate team. No Filter and Other Lies follows a teen influencer trying to hide the secrets of her double life from everyone Very Bad People is a murder mystery set at a boarding school.

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

The Attic Child by Lola Jaye

The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh

After I received my Book of the Month box for August, I paused the account. Then, the books for September dropped. When I did this, I rationalized deliberately denying myself books only makes the urge worse (exhibit A: this post).

            Love on the Brain is a romance set at NASA, following two rival scientists forced to work together. The Attic Child is a historical novel told in dual timelines centered around an attic. The Fortunes of Jaded Women is a contemporary novel with a touch of magical realism following generations of Korean women as they contend with a family curse.

What is your favorite book you bought recently?

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