The Pond Book News #36 – History Retold: Joseon Murder Mysteries & New Literary Classics


Welcome to Issue #36!

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcomeSprout the sparrow, doing a curtsy with their eyes closed and a smile on their face. Their cape swooshes in the wind with their arm extended in their curtsy. 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. Onward to the news!

Book Releases This Week [April 20th – April 27th]

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

Friends! I just finished reading an advanced copy of this book yesterday, and listen—if you love deeply-researched historical mysteries with just a splash of murder, and you also happen to be a fan of period Korean dramas set in the Joseon era, you are going to love this book. Trust me. TRUST ME.

Releases on April 21st. Add this book on Goodreads!

Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

A boy desperate to hold on, a girl ready to let go.

Fitz Holton waits in fear for the day his single mother’s early-onset Alzheimer’s starts stealing her memory. He’s vowed to stay close to home to care for her in the years to come–never mind the ridiculous college tour she’s forcing him on to visit schools where he knows he’ll never go. Juniper Ramirez is counting down the days until she can leave home, a home crowded with five younger siblings and zero privacy. Against the wishes of her tight-knit family, Juniper plans her own college tour of the East Coast with one goal: get out.

When Fitz and Juniper cross paths on their first college tour in Boston, they’re at odds from the moment they meet– while Juniper’s dying to start a new life apart for her family, Fitz faces the sacrifices he must make for his. Their relationship sparks a deep connection–in each other’s eyes, they glimpse alternate possibilities regarding the first big decision of their adult lives.

Look at this adorable cover! This author duo is a power couple, truly,  and I know their contemporary romance stories are very much well-loved in the community. The premise sounds so interesting too—the drastically different home lives of the protagonists are sure to spark some really good conversations surrounding family, privilege, and education!

Releases on April 21st. Add this book on Goodreads!

Book News

Cover Reveal: Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao

I’ve been hooked on news about this series ever since the author posted those super cryptic photos of a mirror and hinting at a book announcement, and honestly? This is truly the best possible timeline. Is the world ready for more Julie C. Dao books? It will have to be!

Cover Reveal: Read with Pride by Lucy Powrie

This looks so vibrant and colorful! The premise of a girl accidentally founding a secret underground book club for queer readers to circumvent conservative library restrictions sounds like a perfect concoction of fun and adventure for a realistic contemporary.

Book Announcement: Aden Polydoros’ forthcoming queer Jewish gothic fantasy

This already sounds amazing!! It’s no secret that I am a massive fan of gothic fantasy, and an immigrant being possessed by the ghost of his murdered best friend sounds FANTASTIC. I can’t wait for more news about this!

Book Announcement: A cute trans boy summer romcom from Emery Lee!

The cute trans stories are coming through for us in 2020! Emery is such an active and vital member of the bookish community, and I’m so excited to see what they’ve cooked up for us in this book!

Book Announcement: Intersectional queer middle-grade novel from medina, founder of inQluded!

If you’re a budding, aspiring queer writer, you’ve likely heard of inQluded through their inexhaustible trove of writing resources. For all the work the organisation has done for the community, it warms my heart to see this being picked up! This pitch already sounds so important and so very relevant for young readers right now, too.

Book Announcement: Elite boarding schools and murder mysteries afoot, forthcoming from Goldy Moldavsky

Why hello, book news, how did the universe figure out that I’m always down for a good high society dark-prank-gone-wrong story with just a little murder? In all seriousness though, this sounds absolutely like the kind of thing I’ve been in the mood for lately, and I’m definitely intrigued to see where it goes!

Book Announcement: Upcoming YA series of literary classic reimaginings by authors of color!

This article is the absolute definition of highly anticipated for me. I adore diverse retellings! If you’re not feeling up to reading the whole article, here’s a summary of the authors involved in this project and the respective stories they’ll be retelling!

  • Spring 2021: Treasure Island — C.B. Lee (Not Your Sidekick)
  • Fall 2021: Little Women — Bethany C. Morrow (A Song Below Water)
  • Winter 2022: Robin Hood — Aminah Mae Safi (Tell Me How You Really Feel)
  • Spring 2022: Wuthering Heights — Tasha Suri (Empire of Sand)

I mean, if this list doesn’t get you absolutely dazzled with excitement, I don’t know what will. Now, if only the world could collectively figure out time travelling until then…

Book Announcement: Orisha magic in a traveling circus, forthcoming from Veronica Henry

Okay, right off the bat: The Night Circus meets N.K. Jemisin meets American Gods is one HELL of a pitch, and I am edge-of-my-seat excited for this! We truly are getting the diverse fantasies we deserve recently, and I am so very here for it.

Book Announcement: Presidential prank wars, a middle-grade forthcoming from Yamile Saied Méndez

This sounds absolutely adorable! Yamile has definitely established herself as a voice to listen for in the realm of warm Latinx children’s books—I’m still eagerly awaiting the release of her upcoming MG On These Magic Shoresand I’m very excited to see what she has up her sleeves next!

Book Community Spotlight

Book blogger: Riv at Small Stained Pages

Riv is an up and coming Taiwanese-American book blogger, and a definite voice to watch! Her blog is already beautifully organised and very aesthetic, and her shelves are filled with top-notch books that are super buzzy in the community! Check out her tiny book reviews of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim and The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu—both excellent Asian-authored books that I personally enjoyed a lot as well.

Follow Riv on her book blog, Twitter, and Goodreads!

Bookstagrammer: Paris at parisperusing

View this post on Instagram

5✨ It starts with a death: 12-year-old Lucy and 11-year-old Sam — siblings, something like sisters — wake to find their Ba dead in the thick of the night, years after Ma chose a ghost life of her own. Even as Ba’s life comes to an end, his vestige of tough love remains a warm wound against Lucy’s cheek and a pang of pride in his beloved “son” Sam, who, guns blazing, leads the way in a tortuous journey to lay Ba to rest in a proper burial. While fending for each other in the uncharted hills of the West, Lucy and Sam must confront their grief, identity, and long-kept secrets with little more than the compass of their youth to guide them. After months in the wild, the siblings find themselves at a crossroads that will alter the next five years of their life: poor Lucy becomes a confidant to a wealthy friend, Sam an outlaw prospecting the hills for gold, or perhaps for Ba. As if witnessing the trajectories of Sam and Lucy’s lives weren’t devastating as it were, it is all the stories kept hidden away from these orphans that makes the pain an anchor upon the reader’s heart, even more for where their stories end. It is what we learn about Ma and Ba when it is too late, and how trauma trickles down in the most unimaginable ways that make this book so larger than life. C Pam Zhang's How Much of These Hills Is Gold is an indelible tale about a family of four withered to two siblings whose paths are blown asunder by the gale of death, secrecy, lies, and displacement — all in search for the American Dream. Written with compelling language, oral tradition, and eidetic imagination, Zhang’s debut invokes not only the land on which those gilded hills were born, but a country built on broken promises, lost cultures, and rewritten histories. Iconoclastic and formidable, this book bears the brunt of an unforgettable writer who should be described as nothing less than a force of nature. (Thank you for sending my way, Riverhead! 💙)

A post shared by Paris (@parisperusing) on

Friend, do you see what I see? The eloquence of this review, its words flowing like a river; the meticulous-yet-somehow-candid composition of the photo, the desaturated vintage-like editing—everything in Paris’ Instagram is an expert curation of both pictures and words celebrating wonderfully diverse books by all sorts of different authors. The book in this photo (C. Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills is Gold) was already on my anticipated TBR, but now I just want to devour it cover-to-cover. Go check out Paris’ work, friends, I promise it’s a worthy investment!

Follow Paris on his bookstagram, Goodreads and book blog!

Booktuber: Francina Simone

Friends, Francina’s takes on bookish discourse come from one of the funniest and most refreshing voices I’ve heard in a while, and I’m honestly angry at myself for not discovering her videos sooner. I first knew about Francina when her video on American Dirt (but really it’s also about why these fiascos keep happening in literature) popped up on my recommendations, and I’ve since been absolutely binging her videos. I looooved her video about how important books aren’t necessarily good, which is such an important concept to grasp when we talk about diversity in books. If you watch anything on YouTube this week, make it one of Francina’s videos.

Follow Francina on booktube, Twitter, and add her upcoming YA book to Goodreads!


2 thoughts on “The Pond Book News #36 – History Retold: Joseon Murder Mysteries & New Literary Classics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s