Ashley's Picks

I am mostly a reader of literary and contemporary fiction.  I sprinkle in non-fiction, memoirs, thrillers and historical fiction.  I read over 100 books annually and these are some of my favorites over the past year.  

Olga Dies Dreaming: A Novel By Xochitl Gonzalez Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250786173
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - January 4th, 2022

It is hard to believe that this is a debut novel.  It's so well written and I found myself marking passages (which I rarely do in fiction books).  I read this in early January and it will definitely be one of my top books of 2022.  This book was optioned to be a Hulu series so read it now before it comes to the screen. 


No Hiding in Boise By Kim Hooper Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781684426232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Keylight Books - June 15th, 2021

This was the first book I read by Kim Hooper but for sure won't be my last.  In fact, she has a new one coming out in May that I am anxioulsy anticipating.  The plot of this one was so original; told in multiple POVs from people that were present during a shooting at a bar.  So there's a bit of a whodunnit element to the book, however the emotions present of the survivors (and from the deceased) certainly take the front and center role in the narrative.  


Razorblade Tears: A Novel By S. A. Cosby Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250252708
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - July 6th, 2021

Do you ever read a book and then just want to talk about it to every single person you come across? This was that book for me.  Luckily, I was in an online book discussion about this one.  I'm generally a pretty stoic reader but I sobbed multiple times during this one.  A warning though: there is a lot of violence in here so if you're particularly squeamish, you might want to take heed. 


What Comes After: A Novel By JoAnne Tompkins Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593085998
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - April 13th, 2021

This is simply a beautiful novel about grief and forgiveness.  If you read this, send me a message and I will direct you to a podcast interview with the author that will add some lovely nuances to your experience of the book.  My local book club had the honor of zooming with Joanne for our discussion of the book and it was just amazing.  Another amazing debut!


When I Ran Away: A Novel By Ilona Bannister Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593081761
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - February 8th, 2022

I'm hoping that this book gets a larger audience with it's upcoming paperback release.  The main character in this novel is a woman suffering from a postpartum depressive breakdown and I feel like this book, although fictional, gives a rarely heard voice to women going through those same struggles.  It's beautifully written, and though it is very sad in parts, a great read.


The House in the Cerulean Sea By TJ Klune Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250217318
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - December 29th, 2020

I literally can't tell people about this book without crying.  It's like A Man Called Ove meets Harry Potter.  It's a book about found family, belonging, and finding people who love you even when you feel so out of place.  Dang it, I'm crying now.  


In an Instant By Suzanne Redfearn Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781542006583
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lake Union Publishing - March 1st, 2020

The plot of this one is so unique.  It's about a group of people who tumble over a mountain in a car accident...and then the remainder of the book is told by the 16-year-old girl who dies in the crash as she watches the rest of her family fight for survival.  This is one of those books that's hard to put down and then stays with you long after you finish the last page.


Malibu Rising: A Novel By Taylor Jenkins Reid Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781524798659
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - June 1st, 2021

This book is sometimes classifeed as historical fiction because it takes place in the 80's.  I take great issue with that.  However, I love everything else about it.....the nostalgia, the character building and the family drama.  Taylor Jenkins Reid just puts out some really great novels.  She's an author I highly recommend to those trying to get back into reading fiction.