CBTB's Weekend Checklist - 5/25/18
Happy Friday, reader!! I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for this long weekend. I have a nice big TBR set to keep me company, and I’m so excited to dig into it! Today’s blog post is my second Weekend Checklist; I was thrilled by your response to my first-ever Checklist last week, and hope you’ll love this post, too! I’m also going to be shifting these posts to appear on Friday’s so you have plenty of time to hit the bookstore or the library before the weekend. (Very necessary logistics so you can sleep in on Saturday and wake up with a good book on your nightstand!) These Weekend Checklists will be a periodic feature, so make sure to check back in on future Friday’s if you’d like to see more posts like this!
Without further ado, and let’s dive right into my Weekend Checklist for the weekend of 5/25/18. Happy reading!! xx A
Marked for Life by Emelie Schepp
I’m currently reading Swedish crime writer Emelie Schepp’s forthcoming release SLOWLY WE DIE (on sale in June), and I’m totally enjoying it—and it’s reminding me that it’s been far too long since I’ve talked about Schepp’s work on CBTB! This weekend, dig into Schepp’s debut novel MARKED FOR LIFE - a Nordic crime novel with a touch of action thriller and a complex female protagonist. Schepp writes books that are pure entertainment; her books won’t be your standard slow-burn Nordic Noir. Where these books really shine is in Schepp’s willingness to venture outside genre stereotypes and give readers a compelling and enigmatic female lead with a high-powered career and a compelling backstory to boot. MARKED FOR LIFE introduces readers to Schepp’s series protagonist, Jana Berzelius - a prosecutor with some very dark secrets. In MARKED FOR LIFE, Jana leads an investigation that turns out to have deep dies to her disturbing past—a past she never knew the truth about until now.
As a young woman who (clearly!) loves crime fiction and the crime fiction community, I find authors like Emelie so inspiring. You can learn more about Emelie’s backstory in this Q&A she and I did over two years ago now for her debut, but the overall gist is this: after having her debut novel rejected by numerous major publishing houses, Emelie decided to self-publish. Not only did she successfully self-publish her debut novel, but she actually broke records for self-published novel sales in her native Sweden, and is now an international bestselling author. Emelie is humble, hard-working, and she writes addictive and entertaining crime fiction—I couldn’t come up with better reasons to support her work if I tried!
Episode #75 - "The Gatekeeper" Featuring Marilyn Stasio
Speaking of women I look up to, one of my personal idols is Marilyn Stasio, the crime fiction reviewer for the New York Times Book Review. Stasio has been reviewing crime fiction for the NYTBR since 1988 (!), with columns appearing every other week in the Book Review. I read her reviews religiously, and always get particular pleasure in reading her reviews of books I’ve read and reviewed, too! Of course, she’s a professional and CBTB is simply a passion project - she's the true expert! - but it’s so fun to see how her take on a book compares to my own. She’s such an astute reader and her commentary is always spot on—basically, she’s the queen of reviewing crime fiction. So why am I telling you about Stasio? Well, she typically stays pretty well out of the spotlight, but in 2017 Stasio appeared on an episode of the true crime podcast Criminal called "The Gatekeepers" that I’ve listened to… is it embarrassing to say countless times? Whether or not you’re familiar with Stasio’s work, I think it’s fascinating to get a glimpse into the process of someone who reviews books professionally. Stasio is an institution in the crime writing world, and I for one loved the personal introduction to her work that this episode provides! You can find the episode online here, and Marilyn Stasio’s reviews for the New York Times Book Review online here.
(PS. If anyone knows how I can get in touch with Marilyn and ask her to coffee… I’m all ears!)
I REMEMBER YOU (2017)
Iceland’s Queen of Crime Yrsa Sigurdardottir is a woman with a seriously impressive resume. Not only has she had careers as both an engineer and an internationally-bestselling author, but her work has made it to the big screen, too! In 2017, a movie adaptation was released of Sigurdardottir’s thriller I REMEMBER YOU - and it’s available to watch on Netflix! The movie looks super creepy—as a huge fan of Sigurdardottir’s work and of horror movies, too, I’m so excited to (finally!) watch this movie over the long weekend. I actually have not yet read the book this movie is based on… but given how huge my TBR is right now, I’m giving myself permission to watch this film before reading the book - which is something I typically don’t do!
I REMEMBER YOU tells the chilling story of three friends who set to work renovating a rundown house in a remote, isolated part of Iceland. But as they begin their work, they soon realize they’re not as alone as they thought… and someone, or something, wants them to leave the house alone. Meanwhile, in a nearby town, a doctor investigating the suicide of an elderly woman discovers that she was obsessed with the disappearance of his young son. As the two mysteries converge, they reveal horrible and shocking truths…
I’ve loved the Yrsa Sigurdardottir books I’ve read (check out THE UNDESIRED if you want a crime novel/ghost story; check out THE LEGACY if you want a police procedural - both highly recommended!). I will most definitely read I REMEMBER YOU one of these days, but I’m so excited to treat myself to a movie night this weekend to watch the film.
Ruth Ware's THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY
On Sale 5/29/18
When I think about my most-anticipated releases of 2018, the new Ruth Ware book is very, very high on the list—and it releases this coming Tuesday, 5/29! I had the chance to read an early copy of THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY and absolutely loved it - in fact, it’s officially my favorite Ruth Ware book yet. (Which is saying a lot, because I love her work!) In case you missed my review, you can read it here - or enjoy a little snippet from my review below! (Plus: stay tuned, because I may just have a Q&A with Ruth coming in a couple days…)
The Mysterious Bookshop / New York, NY
If you’ve been around CBTB for a while, it will come as no surprise that I had to give my beloved The Mysterious Bookshop a shoutout here! The Mysterious Bookshop is the oldest mystery specialist bookstore in America. It was opened in 1979 by Otto Penzler, and continues to serve crime fiction readers in New York and around the world! I grew up not far from the city, but it wasn’t until I first visited New York as an adult that I made a trip to The Mysterious Bookshop… and totally fell in love. I still remember my sheer awe the first time I walked in the store and witnessed its floor-to-ceiling shelves of crime fiction! This first trip to the store happened while I was still working in Texas, but now that I’m back living on the east coast I make a point to get to Mysterious Bookshop as much as I can. I always find such unique hidden gems there, and the staff is always so kind—they don’t even ask questions when I park myself on the floor in front of the store’s Scandinavian crime fiction bookshelf! If you live in New York - or are planning a trip to the city - Mysterious Bookshop is a must-visit. Don’t be shy when you’re there, either - the booksellers are incredibly knowledgeable and can always help with book recommendations or questions!
You can connect with Mysterious Bookshop on Twitter at @TheMysterious.