Hi, friends! This past Saturday in honor of Independent Bookstore Day and supporting local sellers, I broke my physical book buying ban to purchase a few books. And it felt so good 😛 In total I bought five books to share with you today – a mix of recent fantasy, thriller, and nonfiction.
My local bookstore had some awesome events going on – authors coming through and doing signings all day, free wrapped ‘blind date with a book’ mystery picks with purchase over $20, and exclusive merchandise. I dabbled in a bit of everything. Among the many incredible authors doing signings Django Wexler was in and kindly signed my copy of Ashes of the Sun as well as his second book. I also picked up a cute branded tote bag to carry all my lovely new books in, and a nice pen loop for my new notebook that doesn’t have one attached 🙂
I’m very excited to share with you the books I snagged this weekend! So let’s get into it –
[Nonfiction] Cultish by Amanda Montell
Why I bought: I’ve heard a lot of great things about this one from other readers, and in general am very intrigued to learn more about cults and the mindset of similar groups!
The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as the ultimate form of power.
What makes “cults” so intriguing and frightening? What makes them powerful? The reason why so many of us binge Manson documentaries by the dozen and fall down rabbit holes researching suburban moms gone QAnon is because we’re looking for a satisfying explanation for what causes people to join—and more importantly, stay in—extreme groups. We secretly want to know: could it happen to me? Amanda Montell’s argument is that, on some level, it already has . . .
Our culture tends to provide pretty flimsy answers to questions of cult influence, mostly having to do with vague talk of “brainwashing.” But the true answer has nothing to do with freaky mind-control wizardry or Kool-Aid. In Cultish, Montell argues that the key to manufacturing intense ideology, community, and us/them attitudes all comes down to language. In both positive ways and shadowy ones, cultish language is something we hear—and are influenced by—every single day.
Through juicy storytelling and cutting original research, Montell exposes the verbal elements that make a wide spectrum of communities “cultish,” revealing how they affect followers of groups as notorious as Heaven’s Gate, but also how they pervade our modern start-ups, Peloton leaderboards, and Instagram feeds. Incisive and darkly funny, this enrapturing take on the curious social science of power and belief will make you hear the fanatical language of “cultish” everywhere.From Goodreads
Why I bought: The next book in the Burningblade and Silvereye series! I enjoyed book one and am excited to see how things continue in this second book. The structure and dichotomy between the separated siblings is especially cool.
Reunited after twelve long years apart, Gyre and Maya will soon find themselves on opposite sides of a brewing civil war between those who wield magic and those who do not in the second instalment in Django Wexler’s epic new fantasy series.
Long ago a great war wreaked devastation, destroying an empire and leaving a new republic in its wake. Now a new civil war has begun, pitting those with the power to wield magic against those without. Across that divide stand a brother and sister.
Twelve years after she was taken by the mysterious Twilight Order, Gyre has finally found his sister Maya, now a powerful magical warrior known as Burningblade. But given the chance to kill her and brandish a great blow against the oppressive Order, he instead let her free. The love for his sister was too strong, despite the terrible authority she represents.
All the while, trouble brews within their factions. A small but influential group of the Order conspire, intent to bring about the return of the Chosen; and the warriors of the resistance will need to learn to work as one if they are to stand any chance.From Goodreads
[Thriller] The Retreat by Elisabeth de Mariaffi
Why I bought: Love most isolated nature thrillers! Though the Goodreads reviews on this one aren’t so high. We’ll see where this ends up!
A “gorgeously written and atmospheric thriller” following a woman on a long-awaited visit to a mountain arts retreat—where she soon finds herself trapped among strangersand in a deadly race to survive (Robyn Harding).
“Magnificently absorbing and haunting . . . With a dabble each of Hitchcock thriller, cozy mystery, and domestic noir, The Retreat offers a terrifyingly fun read.” —Amy Stuart, author of Still Water
She came looking for inspiration.
Instead, disaster strikes.
Maeve Martin arrives at the High Water Center for the Arts, a gorgeous lodge nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains, determined to do one thing: begin her own dance company. A retired performer and mother of two, time is running out for her to find her feet again after the collapse of her disastrous—and violent—marriage. And at first, there’s a thrill to being on her own for the first time in years. Isolated in the snowy beauty of the retreat, Maeve can forget the ghost of her past for an hour, for a day.
But when an avalanche strikes, Maeve finds herself trapped with six other guests. They’ve lost all power, phone service, heat, and the road back to town. At first, there’s a sense of camaraderie—the fire is warm, the freezer well-stocked. But as the days pass and the storm rages on outside, tensions start to run high. Help is coming, so they just have to hold on, right?
Then the first guest meets an unspeakable death.
Followed by another.From Goodreads
Soon Maeve must admit how little she knows about these strangers . . . and how useless a locked door is if the darkness is already inside.
[Thriller] The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone
Why I bought: A next-gen evil mansion story? Yes please! (Turn of the Key brought to modern readers?)
After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin outside an abandoned, crumbling mansion, young programmers Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford have created something that could make them rich: a revolutionary computer they name Eagle Logic.
But the hard work and escalating tension have not been kind to their once solid friendship—Shawn’s girlfriend Emily has left him for Billy, and a third partner has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While Billy walks away with Emily, Shawn takes Eagle Logic, which he uses to build a multi-billion-dollar company that eventually outshines Apple, Google, and Microsoft combined.
Years later, Billy is a failure, beset by poverty and addiction, and Shawn is the most famous man in the world. Unable to let the past be forgotten, Shawn decides to resurrect his and Billy’s biggest failure: a next-generation computer program named Nellie that can control a house’s every function. He decides to set it up in the abandoned mansion they worked near all those years ago. But something about Nellie isn’t right—and the reconstruction of the mansion is plagued by accidental deaths. Shawn is forced to bring Billy back, despite their longstanding mutual hatred, to discover and destroy the evil that lurks in the source code.From Goodreads
[Thriller] Hyde by Craig Russell
Why I bought: Neurological condition meets Jekyll/Hyde play sounds fascinating!
Edward Hyde has a strange gift-or a curse-he keeps secret from all but his physician. He experiences two realities, one real, the other a dreamworld state brought on by a neurological condition.
When murders in Victorian Edinburgh echo the ancient Celtic threefold death ritual, Captain Edward Hyde hunts for those responsible. In the process he becomes entangled in a web of Celticist occultism and dark scheming by powerful figures. The answers are there to be found, not just in the real world but in the sinister symbolism of Edward Hyde’s otherworld.
He must find the killer, or lose his mind.
A dark tale. One that inspires Hyde’s friend . . . Robert Louis Stevenson.From Goodreads
Let me know which of these books sound good to you! 😀