May TBR List

Hello, everyone! I’m still fresh to this game but I’ve seen some other bloggers I admire doing TBR (‘to be read’) lists. I’ve found them really fun to read, and often times I end up adding a lot of their book recommendations to my backlog on Goodreads as well. Since April is on it’s way out the door and I’ve recently acquired some books I’m excited about, this is a perfect time to share them with you as well! Let’s begin…

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (physical copy)

Summary : “Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.” (via Goodreads)

Why I’m Excited: I find real enjoyment in reading nonfiction, especially on topics that help expand my understanding and compassion or provide insight on important subjects. On the other hand I also find joy in hearing stories of grace and mercy. Based on the synopsis and first few pages this book seems to interleave these two loves beautifully, and I’m excited to hear more about his experiences.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads


Whirlwind (Wings of My Legion Book 1) by Elizabeth Holland (eBook)

Summary : ““He was familiar—a friend I thought I had lost—but he was also foreign. I felt a strange urge to walk toward him, that there was nowhere else I should be, and that fighting it would cause me pain.”

Irene Yarwood spends her days busily keeping up with her mother’s bookstore. It’s been hard since her mother passed away, but the fantastic myths and wild fairy tales brimming from the shelves offer her peace. And with her best friend’s brother returning from his summer in Europe, Irene needs all the peace she can get.

Without understanding his sudden departure in the spring, Irene welcomes Cole back into her life with hesitation—she can sense that he is different. It doesn’t take long for Irene to piece together what is happening. Girls becoming strangely ill, dead bodies that turn to dust, and visions of places never before seen—Irene discovers that Cole is a faerie. He has magical powers that can entrance her, making her do as he wishes. But he isn’t the only one in town. Others begin to surface, and soon Irene discovers a most threatening creature capable of wielding swords of ice.

With her brother acting as protector and her sister keeping her grounded, Irene has her hands full. She barely has time to realize that her nineteenth birthday has arrived—a day she’ll never forget. A marking on her back takes hold and claims her as the Lady of Frostmoor, cementing her place in a world of myth. It’s a world she can’t believe is real, until she sees it for herself.

Will Irene chose the life she was fated to live, far away in a castle of beasts? Or will she stand with her natural enemies and solidify a union that could crumble her legion?” (via Amazon)

Why I’m Excited: To be honest it’s been a long time since I’ve read a fantasy book (at least 10 years?), and I’m excited to dip my toe into that genre again! Of all the types of mythical creatures faeries are one of the many I find fascinating (others include centaurs, dragons, imps, and angels – depending on where you categorize them). I can’t wait to see what kinds of magical world building and powers await in this book, and I’m ready to be drawn into the adventure.

Links: Amazon | Author Website


The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum (physical copy)

Summary : “Deborah Blum, writing with the high style and skill for suspense that is characteristic of the very best mystery fiction, shares the untold story of how poison rocked Jazz Age New York City. In The Poisoner’s Handbook Blum draws from highly original research to track the fascinating, perilous days when a pair of forensic scientists began their trailblazing chemical detective work, fighting to end an era when untraceable poisons offered an easy path to the perfect crime. 

Drama unfolds case by case as the heroes of The Poisoner’s Handbook—chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler—investigate a family mysteriously stricken bald, Barnum and Bailey’s Famous Blue Man, factory workers with crumbling bones, a diner serving poisoned pies, and many others. Each case presents a deadly new puzzle and Norris and Gettler work with a creativity that rivals that of the most imaginative murderer, creating revolutionary experiments to tease out even the wiliest compounds from human tissue. Yet in the tricky game of toxins, even science can’t always be trusted, as proven when one of Gettler’s experiments erroneously sets free a suburban housewife later nicknamed “America’s Lucretia Borgia” to continue her nefarious work. 

From the vantage of Norris and Gettler’s laboratory in the infamous Bellevue Hospital it becomes clear that killers aren’t the only toxic threat to New Yorkers. Modern life has created a kind of poison playground, and danger lurks around every corner. Automobiles choke the city streets with carbon monoxide; potent compounds, such as morphine, can be found on store shelves in products ranging from pesticides to cosmetics. Prohibition incites a chemist’s war between bootleggers and government chemists while in Gotham’s crowded speakeasies each round of cocktails becomes a game of Russian roulette. Norris and Gettler triumph over seemingly unbeatable odds to become the pioneers of forensic chemistry and the gatekeepers of justice during a remarkably deadly time. A beguiling concoction that is equal parts true crime, twentieth-century history, and science thriller, The Poisoner’s Handbook is a page-turning account of a forgotten New York.” (via Goodreads)

Why I’m Excited: I love a good true crime book, and this one seems exceptionally interesting. Many books appear to focus on the more gruesome cases so poisoning generally seems to be something I’ve seen much less of. I’m excited to learn more about poisons / forensic chemistry while still getting the thrill of classic true crime suspense.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads


Autism Is the Future: The Evolution of a Different Type of Intelligence by Marlo Payne Thurman, Ph.D (eARC)

Summary : “In Autism Is the Future, Marlo Thurman reveals how cognitive differences are the constructing pieces in understanding those with autism. Through her findings, she shows how those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) constantly challenge assumptions about intelligence and measuring intelligence. Thurman proposes that sensory and cognitive development have evolved together into a very different form of intelligence in those with ASD, and it should be viewed not as a disability but instead as a difference to be celebrated and followed.” (via NetGalley)

Why I’m Excited: Neurodiversity is something that has always been fascinating to me, perhaps as part of my deep interest in psychology and understanding the human mind. I’m looking forward to learning much more about the unique experiences of people on the autism spectrum and hearing Marlo’s research and thoughts.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads


Thanks for taking the time to read this far! I hope some of the books were interesting – please let me know if you have any recommendations via comments or DM!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links which mean I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase, at NO additional cost to you. Thank you so much for your support and readership!

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