I am often guilty of tsundoku, a Japanese word that means building up piles of books and not reading them. But it's not out of a compulsion to hoard books – it's out of a genuine desire to read them. Put me in any bookstore and I will find something I want to read. Sadly, my capacity to find books to read is many times better than my reading speed.
Of those I've read recently, one was the delightful Hana Khan Carries On, by Canadian writer Uzma Jalaluddin, who writes family-entwined romantic stories set in the local Muslim community. Hana, with her dreams of being a radio star, and her love for her family, is affectionately drawn, and just fun to follow.
I'm holding out for A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark, a writer I discovered in 2020. His murder mysteries set in a 1900s Cairo where magic exists are wonderfully fantastical, his worldbuilding incredibly cleverly done.
The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves, the newest Vera Stanhope novel, was haunting and had such a strong sense of place that I could almost feel the snow, while They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall is a dark modern take on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
Sonali Dev writes beautiful, painful, complicated families and couples, and I'm excited to dive into her next book, Incense and Sensibility, after adoring her Recipe for Persuasion. If you're getting Jane Austen vibes, you're not wrong, but Sonali puts her own spin on the old classics, the books being centred around a politically ambitious Indian-American family.
New Zealand pathologist Dr Cynric Temple-Camp's second volume of memoirs, The Quick and the Dead, kept me enthralled – there is a lot of sadness in the cases he narrates but he does it with such kindness and humanity that there is no sense of being a voyeur. Rather, we are being invited to know the stories of the lost.
Another Kiwi, Lucy Parker, has a rom-com coming out in August that I'm excited to read: Battle Royal. I love Lucy's voice and characters.
And to close, I'm currently re-rereading the early books in J.D Robb's In Death series. I love each individual mystery in the series, but what I love even more is getting to see how the characters' relationships have developed over multiple books.
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Now off I go to order more books, because in the time it took to write this, I've seen about 10 other books that I absolutely can't wait to read.
Nalini Singh's new novel, Quiet in Her Bones (Hachette, $35), is out now.