Welcome to Issue #18!
The trees are whispering…
Friends, welcome to another exciting week of The Pond Book News! Every Sunday, The Quiet Pond brings you a fresh issue of book news to catch you up on the week’s lineup of diverse book releases, cover reveals, book news, and sometimes more! We also feature three incredible people in the book community every week, to highlight the important work that readers do in celebrating the books they love.
This week’s issue is a little different because we don’t have any new books releasing this week to highlight, but we’re making up for it by bringing you the coolest book deals & cover reveals on the block! So hang tight friend, and onward to the news!
Title Reveal: Sequel to The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao
The sequel to The Dragon Warrior is HAPPENING, and the title is HERE! Ohhhh that cover tease too. I’ve been hearing so much good word about this book—its diaspora-Chinese representation, its warmth and relentless humor—and I cannot wait to finally pick it up.
Cover Reveal: The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
LOOK at this ADORABLE cover! I know this book is highly anticipated within the community, so it warms my heart to know that it lives with such a beautiful piece of art to introduce it to the world. I’m also very intrigued by the themes of cultural appropriation that are hinted at in the blurb, and hope that the book does a good job of exploring them!
Cover Reveal: Seven Devils by Laura Lam & Elizabeth May
The cover for this is WILD and (literally) super layered! The book is billed as a feminist space opera with queer themes and witty dialogue, which sounds amazing already! I love the cool technicolor palette and shiny texture of the cover too – I think it really helps to sell the look and feel of a grand space opera with multiple livelihoods at stake!
Cover Reveal: Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park
Aww man, I LOVE the lettering for this cover! This type of composition (the two protagonist figures enveloped by bold lettering) has undoubtedly been popular among contemporary romances lately, but I think this may be my favorite execution of it yet. As a media student, I’m also excited to see more new media jobs and the shenanigans they create being represented more in contemporary fiction too!
Cover Reveal: Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Friends!!! A black Cinderella retelling! With the FIERCEST cover to boot too! The illustration for this is absolutely gorgeous—I feel as though the character’s eyes tell a story of their own. The blurb also hints at f/f themes, to which I am giving a very strong 👀 to as well!
Cover Reveal: Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
I still desperately need to read Wilder Girls, but I’m elated to see that Power’s trend of getting absolutely stunning book covers isn’t stopping with her debut. I also didn’t know that I needed a lesbian gothic thriller about generational relationships between women until I read this blurb, and now I would just like to be woken up when this releases, please & thank you.
Cover Reveal: The Book of Dragons edited by Jonathan Strahan
HELLOOO dragons! Perhaps the most beloved (at least definitely the most popular!) out of any single mythical creature to have existed in our collective imaginations. This anthology will include new stories and poems about dragon mythologies from authors like R.F. Kuang (👀) and Aliette de Bodard, and I’m very excited to pick this up!
Book Announcement: A queer YA reimagining of Jane Eyre by L.L. McKinney
“Queer reimagining of a Victorian classic” is a genre that has absolutely exploded over the last few years, and honestly? Society is so much better for it. Even though I’m not a heavy classics reader myself, I adore how writers have been repurposing these aesthetics to fit and hold more progressive themes; how the new versions function as both social critique and marginalised empowerment. I have no doubt that McKinney will do this justice, and I can’t wait to see where she takes it!
Book Announcement: A mystery/thriller with themes of undocumented immigration by Nancy Jooyoun Kim
I’m so… heart eyes at this book announcement. I’m a HUGE fan of dual narratives—I think parallels and structural contrasts have immense potential for some of the most interesting storytelling—and I can already tell that this book and its themes are going to be important to so, so many readers. I am ALL for books exploring these themes in never-before-seen ways, and very interested to see more about this!
Book Announcement: A YA contemporary inspired by Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name by Dustin Thao!
I’ve been keeping an eye on this ever since it was pitched during during #DVPit, and I’m thrilled to see this book deal come to fruition! I cannot even begin to articulate how big of an impact Your Name made on my life when I first watched it curled up in my blanket at 2 AM as a starry-eyed 17 year old, so honestly any book/media based off it I intend to consume IMMEDIATELY. I will be KEENLY following news of this, and I’m very excited for what the future holds!
Book Announcement: A novel about presidentship inspired by José Mujica forthcoming from Carolina DeRobertis
Okay friend, so we admittedly don’t have a lot of information about this book yet, so I looked up the inspiration behind the story, and was honestly very surprised by what I found! José Mujica is a political-rebel-turned-president who was imprisoned for 12 years prior to his political career for his membership in a guerilla resistance during a dictatorship, and is known mostly for his modest lifestyle & for donating 90% of his income to charity while in office. Which sounds like such… amazing inspiration for a book about what it means to lead a country, especially in political times as tumultuous and unfortunate as the one we currently live in. I didn’t know anything about this before writing this feature, but I’m definitely keeping this book on my radar now!
Book Community Spotlight
Book blogger: Avery at Book Deviant
When I first came across Book Deviant, I was absolutely blown away by the amount of thoughtfulness and care that went into the blog. Beyond just being extremely well-organised, all of Avery’s articles on there are also consistently incisive and on-point! I found great solace in their post on the struggle of book blogging while being in college, especially as I’ve been wrangling this issue in my own life as well. If you’re in the mood for some book-reviewing discourse, Avery also makes some excellent points in their insightful post on what it means to critique an #ownvoices book when you are not explicitly being represented, that I honestly think should be required reading for every book blogger before they begin their career. Avery’s voice is vital to the community, and I’m very excited to see what the future has in store for them and their blog!
Bookstagrammer: Sumaiyya from sumaiyya.books
View this post on Instagram
Do you read memoirs? Are you reading any books for Nonfiction November? 😻🖤My first read for this challenge was FIRST COMES MARRIAGE by Huda Al-Marashi (@pantheonbooks). Huda writes about her experience of marriage and love as a first generation Iraqi American who belongs to the Shia Muslim sect, a minority within Islam. One of the highlights of this memoir is how Huda examines her cultural upbringing as the child of Iraqi immigrants who is also growing up influenced by the western romantic ideal of marriage. Huda’s writing makes it clear that she’s not stifled by her religion and culture, that she doesn’t see it as something to turn away for in favour of American values (that are changing weekly anyway 🙄)—she’s a young woman who happily gets married at a young age because it makes sense to her and she wants to do it according to her culture and religion. The author writes with great honesty that must have been difficult to confront because it is clear that the early years of her marriage were challenging and filled with moments of doubt and angst caused due to the romantic ideal that she’d created in her mind. This is a very revealing memoir and must have taken a lot of courage to write. There are moments in this book that make us a witness to a version of some of the most private times in Huda’s early marital life. But I really appreciated reading this perspective because it offers a lot of to think about. The point of this book isn’t to convince you that the arranged marriage path is the superior one as opposed to western courtship etc. It shows you that everyone creates a narrative of what marriage should be in their minds and how tricky managing it can be when your partner doesn’t match the expectations (often unfair) that you’ve stacked up for them. I was enlightened while reading this, and although it’s not a perfect five star read, I appreciated that this memoir offers us the story of a young Muslim girl who is not stereotypically smothered by her Muslim (and Iraqi) identity and heritage. It’s refreshing to see someone embrace a traditional approach to marriage 🥰🖤 . Thank you @prometheusbooks for sending a copy & @kdwinchester for the rec! 😻
I know we’re supposed to be focused on the books here in our good book-blogging household, but that cat is so fluffy that I just. LOOK at the good girl!
Sumaiyya is a co-host of Reading Women, which is a podcast that Joce from here at the Pond also helps to run! And friends, I am so genuinely in love with Sumaiyya’s photography. Her feed is stunning and absolutely goals—the consistent, slightly faded vintage color scheme? those textures? the copious amounts of coffee that also represent my soul? Needless to say, Sumaiyya comes as an easy recommendation to anyone with an interest in great books promoted by diverse women of color, the #aesthetic, and very very soft-looking cats.
Booktuber: Cierra from Cierra’s Cynosure
Cierra is a tiny booktuber with a big heart, and deserves so much more attention for the awesome work that she’s doing! I absolutely loved her vlog for Girls of Paper and Fire, which also included an announcement of her partnership with PenguinTeen—her enthusiasm is so warm and infectious that you just can’t help but feel fuzzy inside as well! Also, girl, your reaction to the ending of GOPAF??? Same. As an avid journaling enthusiast, I’m also super fond of Cierra’s reading journal videos too! Her spreads are warm and adorable, and honestly make me want to pick up journaling consistently again. If you need a little pick-me-up to brighten your day, definitely check out Cierra’s videos!