Featured Books for February 2022
Our Book Club pick this month is Helen Hoang's The Heart Principle (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm), a book is just perfect for this month! For our Buddy Read pick, we'll read Emiko Jean's Tokyo Ever After (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm). (Let us know @unabridgedpod if you'd like to join either chat!)
The Heart Principle
"A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this new New York Times bestselling romance by Helen Hoang.
"When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She's going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.
"That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she herself has just started to understand. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves."
Tokyo Ever After
"Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Ever After is the 'refreshing, spot-on' (Booklist, starred review) story of an ordinary Japanese-American girl who discovers that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan.
"Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in―it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi―or Izzy, because 'It’s easier this way'―and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity, and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.
"In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.
"Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself―back home, she was never 'American' enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s 'Japanese' enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?"
In March, our Book Club book will be Jenny Lawson's Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm). And for our Buddy Read pick, we'll be reading Meg Medina's Burn Baby Burn (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm). (Stay tuned to @unabridgedpod on IG for details about our chats!)
"In Furiously Happy, a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile, Jenny Lawson examines her own experience with severe depression and a host of other conditions, and explains how it has led her to live life to the fullest:
"I've often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that 'normal people' also might never understand. And that's what Furiously Happy is all about.
"Jenny's readings are standing room only, with fans lining up to have Jenny sign their bottles of Xanax or Prozac as often as they are to have her sign their books. Furiously Happy appeals to Jenny's core fan base but also transcends it. There are so many people out there struggling with depression and mental illness, either themselves or someone in their family--and in Furiously Happy they will find a member of their tribe offering up an uplifting message (via a taxidermied roadkill raccoon). Let's Pretend This Never Happened ostensibly was about embracing your own weirdness, but deep down it was about family. Furiously Happy is about depression and mental illness, but deep down it's about joy--and who doesn't want a bit more of that?"
Burn Baby Burn
"Meg Medina transports readers to a time when New York seemed balanced on a knife-edge, with tempers and temperatures running high: the infamous summer of 1977, when the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam who shoots young women on the streets. Seventeen-year-old Nora Lopez’s family life isn’t going so well, either. Before she turns eighteen and can strike out on her own, Nora will discover that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit — and the hardest to accept."
If you missed our January picks, be sure to check out episode 214 in which we discuss Fredrik Backman's Anxious People (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm). Our Buddy Read pick was Natasha Deen's In the Key of Nira Ghani (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm), which we all thoroughly enjoyed!
(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)
Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.
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