Guest Post: Down the “look-into” hole #2 (with Bookrob13)

Note from Jenny: This is round two of the “Down the Look-Into Hole” series with Bookrob13! If you missed round one, you can find it here. This series consists of guest-posts by my partner, Rob, so the entire post is him talking, not me!

Subtitle: Staring down the look-into hole and seeing through to the other side.

What is “Down the Look-Into Hole?” This series is kind of the same thing as a “Down the tbr hole”, except that a while back I noticed that there were books that I wanted to keep in mind without necessarily knowing that I definitely wanted to read them. This lead me to create a ‘look-into’ list on Goodreads. In this post, I’ll continue going through this list and decide whether to “TBR IT” or “FLUSH IT”. As is customary, I’ll go through the list starting with the book that’s been on the list the longest. Let’s get started!

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

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I’ve heard that Helen Oyeyemi writes really interesting and strange books, and that’s a big selling point for me! It seems to be about a family that passes down some special gingerbread recipe. The teenage protagonist and her mother set out to find the mother’s childhood friend and this seems to lead them on an interesting journey. I don’t totally understand, but I suspect this premise isn’t the main point of the book. Here’s an excerpt from the first page:

A gingerbread addict once told Harriet that eating her gingerbread is like eating revenge. “It’s like noshing on the actual and anatomical heart of somebody who scarred your beloved and thought they’d got away with it,” the gingerbread addict said. “That heart, ground to ash and short through with darts of heat, salt, spice, and sulfurous syrup, as if honey was measured out, set ablaze, and trickled through the dough along with the liquefied spoon. You are phenomenal. You’ve ruined my life forever. Thank you.”

I’m intrigued! I’ll say yes, but if you think there’s another book by her that I should read instead, comment below!

Verdict: TBR IT!

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

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I actually just last night started Emily St. John Mandel’s previous book, Station Eleven, as an audiobook and I’m really liking it! It’s a book about a massive pandemic that ends society as we know it (maybe a bit too topical) and I’m really liking the way the author sets the atmosphere, and also her way of gettin at human nature. I should probably wait ’til I’m done with Station Eleven before moving this book to my TBR, but you know what, I’m really liking Emily St. John Mandel’s writing, so let’s just do it!

Verdict: TBR IT!

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

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I’m going to be honest, I have no idea why I put this book on here. I recognize the book–and it’s not that I don’t think it belongs–I just don’t remember what drew me to it. That probably means I should kick it off. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll see it in a bookstore, pick it up, read the beginning, and get hooked. In the meantime, I’ll leave this massive historical mystery novel aside.

Verdict: FLUSH IT!

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

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I’ve been thinking about reading this one for quite a while now, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I’m frankly surprised I haven’t already put it on my TBR. This is an intriguing mystery/thriller set in Nigeria about a woman who cleans up after her younger sister (repeatedly!) kills her boyfriends in apparent self-defense. Looks like things get tense (as if they aren’t already!) when the younger sister starts dating the protagonist’s crush! I’m in!

Verdict: TBR IT!

Finna by Nino Cipri

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This looks like the kind of wacky story that’s right up my alley. A customer at a furniture store gets sucked into another dimension and two workers need to track them down so that the company’s profits don’t suffer. The twist: the two workers were dating until a week ago! This novella is nominated for both the Nebula and the Hugo this year and I made lists of Hugo- and Nebula-nominated books I want to read before the ceremonies, but… I didn’t add this one! I think that means I’ll be passing on this for now.

Verdict: FLUSH IT!

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

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As you may know, I tend to read a lot of science fiction. Annihilation is one of the most successful sci-fi books of the past decade (I think), so that explains why it’s on my radar. It looks like this is a story of an expedition entering some sort of post-apocalyptic zone where strange, unexplained things have happened. Add some intrigue amongst the members of the expedition and I’m sold!

Verdict: TBR IT!

Hall of Smoke by H.M. Long

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This looks to be an epic fantasy novel inspired by viking mythology. A warrior priestess is out for revenge after raiders destroy her village. This looks pretty interesting, and I really like the cover, but I’ve been burned by fantasy novels lately. Plus, I can’t put everything on my TBR (right?), so I’ll set this one aside for now.

Verdict: FLUSH IT!

Going through this shelf, I’ve also realized that there’s a couple books that are actually on my physical TBR, so I get to TBR those too! We actually bought these two books yesterday! Here they are:

Jackpot by Nic Stone

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I really liked Nic Stone’s Dear Martin. It was a powerful story with compelling writing that really gripped me. Jackpot seems to continue the motif of following a teen dealing with the struggles of societal injustices. Rico, a high-schooler who works as a cashier teams up with her super-rich classmate, Zan, to find a customer who bought a winning lotto ticket that hasn’t been claimed yet. It looks like their journey will give us all a lot to think about. I’ve been very excited to read another Nic Stone novel, so let’s do this!

Verdict: TBR IT!

Red Widow by Alma Katsu

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I’ve been in the market for a spy thriller for a while now, and I’ve also been intrigued by Alma Katsu’s books. When I heard she was releasing a spy thriller and actually worked in intelligence for over 30 years, my curiosity was piqued! Once I picked up the book and read the first page, I was completely sold. This seems to be about two CIA agents involved in discovering an internal threat to the Russia Division. Lyndsey Duncan seems to be a senior agent and she’s in charge of the internal investigation. She becomes friends with Theresa Warner, the titular “Red Widow” and I guess intrigue ensues!

Verdict: TBR IT!

Well, that’s just 9 books out of 93 on my “look-into” list, but I still call that progress! Did I make any mistakes? Let me know!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Down the “look-into” hole #2 (with Bookrob13)

  1. Finna sounds hilariously whacky!! I need to do this with my shelf and actually figure out what I’m supposed to be reading. I love seeing what other people have got on their shelves and what decision they make – although not remembering why a book is on there seems a good reason to flush it!

    Liked by 2 people

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